There isn’t a month that goes by where someone doesn’t take to their computer and check their balance in their bitcoin wallet, only to find that there’s something missing. It happened with Mt.Gox; it happened with MintPal and it even happened recently with Blockchain.info, a wallet that was thought to be a highly secure form of storing coins.
These thefts happen due to vulnerabilities in the systems implemented by these companies (not the Bitcoin protocol itself), but the bitcoin ecosystem doesn’t see many changes and innovations to solve the problem. One of the major problems, of course, is private keys becoming compromised.
According to Coinkite’s CEO Rodolfo Novak, the sheer amounts of thefts he sees reported pushed him and his company to make their sophisticated multi-signature wallet free for everybody. In a recent interview, Novak expressed his sentiment on the state of his competitors and why it baffles him.
“Honestly I think the biggest driver for making the multi-signature free is that I’m sick and tired of seeing people post on Reddit that they lost money. It seriously pisses me off. It pisses me off because it doesn’t have to be that way!”
He then went on to explain what he believes competing companies are doing wrong, and what he believes Coinkite is doing right.
“Some of these other wallets are making very rookie mistakes. The fact that you don’t do deterministic key generation? It’s absurd.”
So to get the tools to the people in need to safely, privately and securing manage their bitcoins, Coinkite opened up a basic plan to consumers for free.
Multi-Signature Wallets Had to be Done Right, Coinkite Says
According to Coinkite, they could have launched multi-signature wallets earlier but it took them a while to find the right way to ease it into the community. There are so many steps to properly setting up and maintaining a multi-signature wallet, so the process can be confusing if not executed correctly.
“We could have launched multi-signature earlier. It took us a while to find the right way of doing this, both user-experience wise and to give users all the control they want. We are the only multi-sig wallet to allow users to generate all their private keys offline if they want, so we’re not holding any private keys if the user prefers it that way.”
One of the biggest factors for doing multi-signature the right way, and making it free to use, is because of the large clients Coinkite has for their major services. The issue that the bitcoin ecosystem is faced with is the fact that there’s so much trust involved; trust that often is betrayed. Novak doesn’t want that for Coinkite.
“There are exchanges; there are large startups that use our system, right? I don’t want them to have to trust us. It’s important and that’s what bitcoin really gives us; that ability to remove trust from the equation.”
Removing the trust-based system is what multi-signature wallets are all about, and its time bitcoin users took back their financial freedom along with their private keys. Coinkite isn’t the only tool out there that allows for multi-signature transactions. There are plenty of services offering the option that can help educate the community and put an end to stolen funds. The bitcoin community needs to find the right fit for their life and educate themselves on the possibilities.
Images from Shutterstock.