The pros and cons of using and investing in Bitcoin and crypto currency in general are no longer a mystery, and solutions to some of the problems are being presented almost daily.
One of the biggest ones is keeping your Bitcoin stash safe, both from cyber crooks and your own errors of judgement. Usually, that means keeping your bitcoins in “cold storage”: in a paper or offline hardware wallet, a data storage device inaccessible to anyone except the owner, or online but encrypted (with the encryption key offline).
But, if you want, you can now also insure your bitcoins against theft or loss, as a UK-based company has presented Elliptic Vault, a storage service with insurance underwritten by Lloyd’s of London.
The service protects its customers’ bitcoins with “advanced deep cold storage techniques” – the stash is encrypted and the keys are stored offline.
“Multiple copies are maintained, and each is protected by additional layers of cryptographic and physical security, accessible only by a quorum of our directors,” explains the company’s website.
The level of cover is up to the user, and the price for the service is set according to this choice. The company says that they don’t do anything with the stored bitcoins, and that the customers can make withdrawals whenever they want. Nevertheless, if you think about using their services, carefully reading their Terms of Service is a good idea.
They currently store only bitcoins, but are open to individual requests to store other crypto currency as well.
Time will tell whether this service will be successful. Caleb Chen of CryptoCoinsNews says that anyone who knows what he’s doing can store his own bitcoins as well as Elliptic. “There is no added security that an individual could not take upon themselves, and in fact the only innovation is the fiat denominated coverage,” he pointed out.
In other news, GoldMoney, one of Britain’s largest precious metal storage firms, has announced that it will also be offering a cold storage solution for bitcoins, but without the insurance, via its spin-off company Netagio.
The company has made sure to implement – along with offline storage – many security measures and controls to protect their customers’ bitcoins. Also, they made sure to note that all stored bitcoins and the company’s encrypted backups are located in the EU and Switzerland.