According to a press release sent to CoinReport, the wallet will initially power internal accounts and operations, and eventually power co-branded end-user wallet with Gem’s multi-signature security solution, offering an alternative to expresscoin’s current bring-your-own-wallet model.
Selling Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Blackcoin, and Darkcoin, the Santa Monica, California-based expresscoin previously required its users to bring their own wallet to the retailer’s website, allowing them to test different wallet offerings on the market. But as multi-sig, hierarchical-deterministic (HD) wallets are becoming more recognized and adopted as industry best practice, expresscoin has teamed up with Gem to be able to provide, as its default, a multi-sig, HD wallet.
“Expresscoin has gone out of their way to increase access to bitcoin as much as possible, which is in line with our philosophy of making Bitcoin security easy for developers,” said Gem CEO and founder Micah Winkelspecht in the press release. “From the very beginning, we wanted Gem to empower digital currency companies to focus on building great user experiences, instead of focusing on infrastructure.”
Winkelspecht added, “Partnering with expresscoin, one of the industry’s most prominent digital currency retailers, is the next big step in showcasing how seamlessly Gem’s API can integrate into other apps and services while maintaining the level of security consumers demand.”
Described as a “game-changer” in the increasingly saturated Bitcoin and payment industry since its launch at TechCrunch Disrupt’s Startup Battlefield last September, the Venice, California-based Gem emphasizes developer happiness with its API that can be integrated into numerous applications and services with fewer than 10 lines of code.
With its multi-signature API wallet, Gem is never in possession with enough keys to move users’ funds without their permission, ensuring the consumer always has control over their funds.
With its wallet, Gem issues three keys: two in the consumer’s possession (in online and offline storage) and one held by the company as a co-signer. Should a consumer’s online key be compromised in an attack, the attacker would not be able to move funds from the affected account without Gem’s co-signing key or the consumer’s offline key.
“Keeping our customers’ funds safe while allowing them full control and manageability of their coins is our number one priority,” said expresscoin CEO Will Wheeler in the press release. “Gem’s cutting-edge platform offers our customers and flexibility they desire and allows us to focus on providing a superior service.”
Ken Miller, Gem’s COO, told CoinReport how the partnership arose:
“Expresscoin shared a desired to be the first major US Bitcoin retailer and exchange to adopt multi-sig as a standard and anchor within its platform. They were committed to prioritizing security of both their coins and their customer’s coins above other features. In turn, we worked had to abstract all of the complexity typically required in knowing security, network security, the Bitcoin protocol, so that expresscoin could access our platform with literally less than 10 lines of code and have a level of security in their business that hasn’t really been seen to date.”
Security is not an option or a nice-to-have at expresscoin, said Wheeler, the retailer’s CEO.
“Because bitcoin and other digital currencies are becoming so mainstream, it also means they are a target for bad guys everywhere as we’ve seen in recent months. We looked at multiple options and decided Gem was both the easiest option and most serious when it comes to security. These guys actually have full-time security engineers on staff trying to break their own systems. Having these new Gem wallets in place gives us peace of mind to continue adding really cool functionality in a safe way, and this is a killer competitive advantage for us,” Wheeler told CoinReport
The key priority, for both parties, is security; another priority, said Miller, is “making adjacent Bitcoin services drop dead simple.”
Miller told CoinReport that Gem wants its platform to be a one-stop shop for developers. The company will soon announce more features and products around the purchasing, using, and storing of cryptocurrency that will be accessible through Gem’s API, and can easily be made available to expresscoin and its customers. Miller said expresscoin has made it a priority to make the Bitcoin purchasing experience really easy, and Gem plans to help the retailer make related services just as simple for its users.
Images courtesies of Gem and expresscoin