As the Bitcoin community grows and the popular digital currency progressively expands its horizons, the question of “Where do I store my bitcoins?” becomes increasingly one of the most important choices for any user. Whether you are just a casual person or a big company dealing with digital money, storing bitcoins in a reliable and easy way is a fundamental necessity indeed.
BitGo is acclaimed as one of the most secure services for storing bitcoin. Being the pioneer in offering multi-sig online wallets to its users, BitGo still stands as a leader in security, while still offering a very friendly user experience through its neatly designed web interface.
BitGo’s enterprise-grade security relies on multi-sig technology. That is, each transaction requires 2 of 3 signatures by default in order to be effectively executed. One private key is generated and held by the user, another is held by BitGo, and the third is an offline backup key to be used in case either of the two other keys are lost.
All this means that BitGo can never transact without your consent, since it never has enough private keys.
Among other innovations, BitGo offers a way to eliminate transaction delays with BitGo Instant.
BitGo Instant is a service that allows users to be able to safely receive “zero-confirm” Bitcoin transactions, with full financial guarantee.
Usually, transactions can take from 10 minutes up to a couple of hours in order to be considered as fully confirmed by the network (waiting for at least 6 confirmations is suggested). This level of unpredictability can be detrimental to the user experience, especially for traders and consumer-facing businesses. Accepting unconfirmed transactions, nevertheless, poses a high risk of being victim of a double spend attack.
To circumvent such issues, BitGo implements a clever mechanism for allowing secure instant transactions to be made. Relying on its multi-sig architecture, BitGo partners with a third-party Key Recovery Service (KRS), who contributes in co-signing each transaction along with the user to ensure that the funds involved haven’t been double spent. Each transaction is then cryptographically marked with a guarantee, in which BitGo commits itself to compensate for any transaction that fails to be confirmed on the blockchain.
Many important companies in the Bitcoin space are already relying on BitGo Instant service, such as Bitfinex, Bitstamp, Kraken, Shapeshift and many others.
Creating a wallet
Creating a wallet with BitGo is quite a simple process. After choosing a name for the wallet, one of several methods can be used in order to generate the backup key:
- Recovery service: create your backup key on a third party recovery service trusted by BitGo.
- Create in browser: generate the key in your browser, and encrypt it with your password. BitGo never gets to see your password or your key.
- Use BitGo KeyTool: Create the key using the BitGo KeyTool iOS App, and then send the public key to BitGo.
- Provide Public Key: Generate a key offline, and provide only the public portion of your backup key.
For this example, we’ll be creating the key in the browser.
BitGo allows to encrypt the new wallet with the existing password, or choose a new one.
After that, a “KeyCard” is downloaded to your computer, where all relevant private and public keys are. Additionally, an activation code is provided in order to continue with the wallet creation process. The Keycard is meant to be printed and kept in a secure place.
After following these steps, the new wallet is ready to be used. Happy BitGo-ing!
In a space where online wallets were usually disregarded as “insecure by default”, a solution as elegant and genuine as BitGo surely adds general reliance upon this kind of service, proving that Bitcoin is a technology that can be utilized in a highly secure and professional manner, without needing a high degree of technical knowledge. The company is led by executives of high repute who have the knack to constantly innovate. Additionally, BitGo has raised around $14 million US dollars.
In addition, more than just a simple wallet service, BitGo offers itself as a platform API for businesses to leverage its already proven security and innovative features.
For more information, visit BitGo’s website.