Block Rolls Out Bitkey Hardware Wallet to 95 Countries, Empowering Bitcoin Holders with Security
Block, formerly known as Square, has made an exciting announcement today, revealing the launch of its hardware Bitcoin wallet, Bitkey, in 95 different countries. Bitcoin enthusiasts can now pre-order this highly anticipated device, with shipping expected to commence in early 2024. While the company has not disclosed the price of the product yet, its innovative features are set to captivate the attention of the cryptocurrency community.
Block’s release of the Bitkey hardware wallet in 95 countries offers enhanced security for Bitcoin holders. By employing a self-custodial mechanism and a two-of-three authentication system, Block ensures that users have complete control over their crypto assets while mitigating the risk of unauthorized access. Additionally, partnerships with Coinbase and Cash App simplify the process of purchasing and transferring Bitcoin to the Bitkey wallet, enhancing user experience and adoption.
Enhanced Security with Self-Custodial Wallets
Block is advocating for the use of self-custodial cryptocurrency wallets, emphasizing their superior security compared to traditional custodial wallets and exchanges. By adopting a self-custodial approach, Bitcoin holders take responsibility for safeguarding their crypto assets, relying on their passwords or lengthy seed phrases to unlock their accounts. Block’s Pronto team, responsible for the development of the Bitkey wallet, has addressed the challenge associated with remembering these vital credentials by introducing a two-of-three authentication mechanism.
The Bitkey wallet incorporates two keys held by the customer: the hardware wallet itself and a mobile app. The third key is securely stored on Block’s server. Through this arrangement, Block ensures that it cannot gain access to or transfer customers’ Bitcoins, as it possesses only one of the three keys.
Seamless Account Recovery and Ease of Use
Block clarifies that it solely employs the server-side key for transaction authentication when customers have only their mobile phones at hand or need to recover their accounts due to misplaced devices or phones. The company has also revealed that in the event a customer loses both their phone and hardware wallet, the server-side key will facilitate account recovery. However, further details regarding this recovery process will be provided in a forthcoming update from Block.
Lindsey Grossman, Business Lead for Bitkey, underscored the significance of this release, noting, “People holding Bitcoin on exchanges and custodial platforms today are often hesitant to move to self-custody wallets because they are nervous about making mistakes, especially with the historical requirement that you must safely guard 12 or 24-word long passwords called ‘seed phrases’.”
Partnerships for Seamless Bitcoin Transfer
Block has established collaborations with leading cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and its own Cash App to enable users to effortlessly purchase and transfer Bitcoin to the hardware wallet. The ability to transfer Bitcoin from Coinbase and Cash App will be promptly available, while additional features will be introduced in due course.
While hardware wallet startups like Ledger and Trezor have previously launched products catering to the needs of cryptocurrency beginners, Bitkey sets itself apart by prioritizing compatibility with Bitcoin. However, it is worth noting that Ledger and Trezor support other cryptocurrencies as well, providing options beyond Bitcoin for those who embrace a diverse range of digital assets.