Although mainstream media outlets still seem to have mixed feelings on the long-term viability of Bitcoin and blockchain technology, one Bitcoin firm was recently able to scoop up a highly-coveted award from The Banker, which is a Financial Times publication. Elliptic has won the “2015 Security Project of the Year” award for their work in securing and insuring bitcoin deposits for large institutions around the world. Proper storage of bitcoin held by third-party institutions has been an issue for the digital money since its inception, and Elliptic is attempting to bring peace of mind to individuals who decide to turn their private keys over to a financial institution.
Secure Bitcoin Storage
Elliptic’s Vault service is what helped the company gain recognition from The Banker, as the publication realizes the value of this secure method of storage and management of private keys. As Elliptic CEO James Smith told The Banker:
“Bitcoin and other blockchain-based assets operate as bearer instruments – if you lose the key, you lose control of the asset. It is therefore essential that companies using this technology protect their keys in the most secure way possible. Elliptic Vault provides that enterprise-grade security, giving the user confidence that their blockchain assets are safe.”
One of the main issues with Bitcoin is that it is confusing and scary to new, less-technically-inclined users. While early adopters of the technology enjoy having control over their own private keys, there are some people who would rather use bitcoin as a currency or token-of-value rather than a payment network. For these individuals, Elliptic is an extremely valuable company that works to ensure that customer funds are as safe as possible.
But Should Users Give Their Bitcoins to Third Parties?
There are many individuals in the Bitcoin community who want to see everyone using the blockchain instead of turning their private keys over to a centralized institution, but this line of thinking is simply not practical. Many people do not have the technological know-how to handle their own private keys, and it’s unclear if everyone’s grandmothers will ever be able to handle their own security. For these individuals, it makes sense to put trust in a third-party institution.
Some may say that this destroys bitcoin’s original value proposition of decentralization, but that’s not necessarily true. Plenty of users will still want to use the blockchain directly for security, privacy, or other personal reasons, so there will always be that fundamental value of using Bitcoin for censorship-resistant payments. Others can still use bitcoin as a currency or speculative investment without taking care of all the nuts and bolts underneath the hood.
Insurance for Bitcoin Deposits
While placing trust in third parties has not worked out too well in the Bitcoin industry over the past few years, it’s important to note that Elliptic bitcoin deposits are also insured. The company is the only bitcoin storage provider to gain comprehensive insurance coverage against various forms of crime and loss from a Fortune 100 insurer.
When you combine insurance with Elliptic’s top-grade security system, it’s easy to see why The Banker sees them as such an important company in the Bitcoin industry — and the entire financial sector as a whole.