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Coinkite Pulls Plug on Bitcoin Web Wallet Service

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:47 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:47 PM

Bitcoin services startup Coinkite has announced that it will soon be dropping its popular and secure bitcoin web wallets, Tor access to users as well as their API in order to focus on hardware-based bitcoin products and services.

The phase out from its current roster of services including its web wallet will play out over the next 30 days, Coinkite announced in a blog post today.

The company insists that it is moving on to the “next phase” of Coinkite, one which does not involve the web wallet service offered to its customers who include individuals and businesses. In its blog post, Coinkite adds that it remains big proponents of the cryptocurrency and its applications while noting that the company is only moving away from the software realm of Bitcoin services.

The revelation offers clear insight into the decision taken by Coinkite, citing state-sponsored threat actors and DDoS attackers who have been targeting the company ever since its launch over three years ago.

An excerpt from the blog explaining Coinkite’s decision to stop its web wallet reads:

Being a centralized bitcoin service does attract attention from state actors and other well-funded pains in the butt, and as a matter of fact, we’ve been under DDoS since the first month we launched – over three years – yay.

Plus, we have put real fiat dollars into our lawyers’ pockets, to defend our custoemrs from their own governments. This is not what we love to do, which is coding and delivering awesome services.

Coinkite was one of the earliest developers of bitcoin services and developer tools, having been founded in 2012. The service was launched the following year. In 2014, Coinkite launched multi-signature wallets. In the same year, the company expanded its multiple signature service for up to 15 members.

The same year saw Coinkite market a Bitcoin point-of-sale (POS) system for the first time, offering merchants the ability to accept the cryptocurrency for settlement through their terminals. Coinkite also offered their own Bitcoin debit card.

The Phase Out

Following the announcement, there will be no acceptance for new-user sign-ups and no new API keys issued, with immediate effect. In a further 14 days, API will be disabled entirely and Tor access provided to privacy-minded customers will end.

Users will be encouraged to withdraw balances in two weeks and prorated balances for Coinkite’s annual pre-paid plans will be refunded.

In a month from now, all logins will also lead to forcible withdrawals.

Coinkite recommends users to switch over to alternatives such as Ledger, Bitcoin Core and Electrum.

The Future, With Bitcoin

Going forward, Coinkite revealed that it intends to bring a focus specifically to hardware-related applications in the Bitcoin ecosystem. This includes standalone BTC terminals and hardware wallets that exist with a printer and QR scanner, other hardware products for authentication and security of bitcoin users as well as stand-alone bitcoin solutions.

“[W]e want to spend more time where our heart is, hardware products, software-”not-as-a-service”, and other exciting new possibilities,” Coinkite added.

Featured image from Shutterstock.