Bitcoin wallet and payment card services provider Xapo has announced that it is moving its headquarters to Zurich, Switzerland.
The stated rationale was to have its center of operations closer to its security infrastructure, per requests by its customer base. Bitcoins held under Xapo’s care are stored in cold storage vaults, which the startup previously described as “housed in radio wave-blocking Faraday cages and secured behind military-grade security controls deep within reinforced underground bunkers.”
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The company has taken a recent emphasis on security, earlier announcing its adoption of multisignature technology and entering a partnership that may see parts of its infrastructure moved to space. It says to have incorporated additional security protocols to prevent theft via phishing or social engineering. It noted how makeshift security strategies, occasionally employed by businesses dealing in bitcoin, are inadequate, drawing an analogy to the fiat world:
“While it should be unimaginable that major institutions would hold millions of dollars in cash, many corporations today still follow an analogous practice with respect to bitcoin by using insecure storage techniques like paper wallets or printed key backups.”
Xapo joins several other cryptocurrency startups reportedly setting up shop in Switzerland. It cited Zurich’s position as a global financial center, as well as Switzerland’s international neutrality, as additional reasons for its choice. It will continue to maintain a small presence in Palo Alto, California to service its US clients.