A self-custody bitcoin wallet Bitkey, built by Block, Inc., has launched globally, widening access to true financial ownership.
Open in more than 95 countries across six continents, Bitkey is widening access to self-custody and empowering people around the world to truly own and manage their bitcoin easily and safely.
Today, most of the millions of bitcoin owners keep their bitcoin in the custodial platforms or exchanges where they bought it, leaving them under the control of the custodian.
Accessing self-custody solutions where people can truly own the keys to their bitcoin still often relies on a complex set of devices or long passwords that people need to remember to be able to recover their money in case of loss.
Bitkey includes a mobile app, hardware device, and a set of recovery tools in case the customer loses the phone, their hardware, or both.
“The bitcoin decentralized payments network has the potential to create a more inclusive financial system for all, especially those who have traditionally been underserved. In the future, we believe customers will demand ownership and self-custody because it brings peace of mind, reduces dependence on any one entity, and puts individuals in control of their own bitcoin. With Bitkey, we are building a safe and easy way for people all around the world with different levels of experiences with bitcoin to take control of their finances on their terms.”
Ease of use and peace of mind
A critical part of making self-custody more accessible is providing forgiving recovery experiences that prioritize both simple and secure paths to help customers recover their money when something goes wrong, without the burden of having to remember long passwords.
According to Lindsey Grossman, Business Lead for Bitkey:
“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’. People have often felt stuck: worried about the lack of control they might experience on a custodial platform or exchange, yet also anxious about the unforgiving product experiences that exist in other self-custody wallets historically available. With Bitkey, we wanted to build a product that helps bring everyone to self-custody, combining robust security and recovery options, with a simple customer experience that puts them in control of their money.”
Bitkey addresses this with a unique 2-of-3 multi-signature design that doesn’t require customers to remember long passwords or seed phrases: it uses three keys to secure bitcoin, and any two keys working together are needed to move bitcoin or approve other security-related actions like initiating recovery or modifying security settings.
Bitkey puts two keys in customers’ hands: one is in the mobile app, which enables customers to make bitcoin transactions easily on their mobile phone, track their balance, and manage security preferences; and the second customer-held key is in the hardware device, securely stored offline.
The hardware key serves two main purposes: an extra layer of security to co-sign money movements (based on a customer-set limit); and enables recovery when customers lose their phone.
A third key is on Bitkey’s server and is used for only two things: to help customers move bitcoin with just their phone for the transactions they choose to make on the go without their hardware device, and to help customers recover their wallet if they lose their phone or hardware – or even both.
Importantly, because Bitkey only has access to one, not two or three keys in this 2-of-3 multi-signature wallet, Bitkey cannot access or move a customer’s bitcoin without them.
This puts customers in true control of their money, while giving them peace of mind that they can recover their money if they lose something (for more information on how Bitkey’s 2-of-3 multi-signature design and recovery tools works, read ‘How it works page’).