Bitcoin Startup Gem May Revolutionize MultiSig Wallet Security

Journalist:
January 28, 2015
Gem partners with Thales e-Security.

Bitcoin startup Gem, that provides a scalable API for bitcoin developers, has revealed to CCN a security enhancement that may be significant for the future of Bitcoin security. The company announced the inclusion of Custom Hardware Security Modules produced by Thales e-Security, as part of their standard multi-sig bitcoin wallet.

Multi-sig wallets have become the standard for Bitcoin wallet security. A multi-sig wallet is associated with several private keys, making it more secure. Gem’s inclusion of the Hardware Security Modules or HSMs, is bound to make Gem’s wallets a lot more secure.

Background on HSM

Hardware Security Modules are used to protect military encryption keys and other confidential information. They are also used in the global payments industry, accounting for over 80% of global transactions. The device has a mechanism known as FIPS-140-2 Level 3 hardware-certified security. The FIPS-140-2 is a standard that is issued by the US Government to accredit cryptographic modules. Level 3 of this standard prevents any would-be hackers from accessing, using or otherwise modifying the private keys that are contained in the HSM. The device is also enterprise standard, meaning that it is ideal for organizations where the volume of transactions are high.

Speaking after the launch of the HSM, Gem CEO and Founder Micah Winkelspecht had the following to say,

“Our engineers worked closely with the hardware team at Thales for months to develop a custom solution specifically for the Bitcoin industry. The payments industry has been using this hardware technology for years. But we looked at every HSM on the market to find one that could support Bitcoin wallets, and none of them could do it, so we built it ourselves. Thales really came through for us, and the level of enthusiasm they have for our growing industry is incredible.”

Gem’s partner Thales e-Security has more than 40 years of experience in the data protection business. Thales e-Security provides data protection services for 19 banks, which are among the top 20 largest banks in the world. In addition, 3,000 other financial institutions around the world secure their information through Thales.

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Bitcoin – “A Compelling Opportunity”

Richard Moulds, VP of Product Strategy at Thales e-Security believes that Bitcoin represents “a compelling opportunity.” He added that his company was excited to work with Gem in developing products for the crypto market. He praised Gem for,

“focus on comprehensive Bitcoin security, deep technical expertise, and collaborative attitude has enabled them to rapidly incorporate the use of our HSMs at the core of their solution.”

Gem’s goal is to become the preferred security provider for developers as they build apps and products for Bitcoin. Gem has developed an API that has an easy to use Bitcoin security platform. Developers will, for this reason, find the platform secure and well suited to their needs.

Gem COO Ken Miller adds,

“We empower Bitcoin companies to build incredibly secure products and services with our multi-signature platform. By abstracting away the hard parts of blockchain development, we offer our developers the simplest way to get up and running, giving them expert security by default. The additional steps we’ve taken to generate and secure all Gem keys within FIPS certified HSMs is a first of its kind, and signals to the industry how serious we are about securing blockchain technologies.”

Gem’s customers are also pleased with the new offering. Some of Gem’s clients such as Bitmo, a mobile payments company based in the US, and CryptoSigma, a multi-currency Bitcoin wallet provider announced that they would be integrating Gem’s development platform into their products and services as well.

Last modified (UTC): January 28, 2015 18:22

Tags: Gem
John Weru Maina @bitmaina

John Weru is a Kenya-born writer who has been writing since his teenage years. He believes that digital currencies hold the key to unlocking the potential of e-commerce and m-commerce globally, and powering Africa's participation in international trade.