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Wallet Provider Gem announces Partnership With Expresscoin

With another major exchange recently failing, security within the Bitcoin community is a hot topic. It appears that the Gem and expresscoin fusion aims to provide appropriate solutions.

“Bitcoin security is hard. Storing private keys securely is really hard. How hard? Roughly 7% of all bitcoins that have ever existed have been stolen or lost. That’s over a half billion dollars in lost value due to poor key security.”
— – Gem

CEO and founder of GEM, Micah Winkelspecht describes partnering with expresscoin as, “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.”

Members of the Gem team have been responsible for security in many areas of payment processing over the years, from securing online credit card payments at PayPal, to participating in the building of Palantir, providing intricate data tools described on the website as “deployed at the most critical government, commercial, and non-profit institutions in the world”.

Now the experienced team of developers and mathematicians are taking on a new challenge. They have recognized the possibilities of Bitcoin, and are focusing their security talents on some key issues;

“Each transaction must be securely protected to ensure the billions of future participants can easily use and trust this liberating technology.”
— – Gem

The multi-sig wallet created at Gem has the ability to provide comprehensive security. The three-key multi-sig system allows for the consumer to maintain control over their funds at all times. Two keys are held by the customer, one offline and the other online. The third is held by Gem as a co-signer key. Two of three are required to move funds, so transactions can be completed independently of Gem.

Expresscoin CEO, Will Wheeler, mirrored the ideals at Gem, “Keeping our customers’ funds safe while allowing them full control and manageability of their coins is our number one priority,” he said in a recent press release, “Gem’s cutting-edge platform offers our customers the security and flexibility they desire and allows us to focus on providing a superior service.”

The Gem wallet incorporates a raft of other security measures, including some reassuring highlights;

  • Hierarchical Deterministic wallets, enabling wallet recovery.
  • High Availability Wallet Access, maintaining 99.999% access uptime.
  • Encrypted Offsite Backups, kept in online and offline protected environments across multiple regions
  • Host-proof Encrypted Backup, optional hosting of client-side encryption to which Gem will never have access.

There is clearly heavy focus on the wallet security at Gem. According to the team, “Despite deep industry experience, we remain appropriately paranoid about security.” With this in mind the team have addressed more than just wallets, “Utilizing outside expertise is critical to insure the integrity of our platform, therefore we have a system of independent audits and reviews to help us identify any potential vulnerabilities.”

Platform security includes;

  • Independent Security Audits: Gem has retained network and software security professionals to perform penetration testing, network security audits, procedural audits and line-by-line code reviews.
  • Bug Bounty Program: Gem believes that auditing alone will not be enough. They have put together a pending bug bounty program to attract security researchers to find potential vulnerabilities.
  • Financial Audits: As they have been funded by a venture company in Silicon Beach, they comply with both federal and local laws.

In a recent press release CEO at expresscoin, Will Wheeler, stated that his number one priority is keeping their customers funds safe while allowing them to retain full control and manageability of their coins. “Gem’s cutting-edge platform offers our customers the security and flexibility they desire and allows us to focus on providing a superior service.”

The Santa Monica based digital currency retailer, expresscoin, intends to make the digital currency buying experience fast, safe and easy. In the past, users were required to bring a wallet of their choice to the company. This increased experimentation and resulted in a wide variety of different wallets being utilized on the site. However, as Gem states in their press release, “as multi-signature, hierarchical-deterministic (HD) wallets are increasingly recognized and adopted as an industry best practice, expresscoin has partnered with Gem to be able to offer a multi-sig, HD wallet as their default.”

The partnership will consist of two key phases, making expresscoin the first major bitcoin retailer to adopt HD multi-sig wallets its security standard:

  • Phase one will equip all current expresscoin internal operational wallets with Gem’s multi-signature security platform.
  • Phase two includes the release of a new, co-branded wallet that will be the default wallet for new expresscoin customers. This wallet will also be made available to existing expresscoin customers who would like to switch to the new wallet.

“2014 was a monumental year for legitimizing bitcoin as a currency.  2015 should be the year it becomes mainstream; however, crucial to its wide adoption and advancement is trust in its security, and we’re excited to provide that security to expresscoin and all other apps and services.”
— – Ken Miller, COO at Gem


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