A new digital wallet platform is seeking to become the default wallet for Bitcoin and Ether enthusiasts. Developed by the Luxembourg-based dapp development company aptly called Blockchain, Blockchain Wallet facilitates the storage and transaction needs of Bitcoin and Ether users. With a focused interface, BW has sidestepped trying to be all things to all currencies, and instead built a dedicated wallet facility capable of storing only BTC and ETH.
The company claims to be the globe’s most popular BTC and ETH wallet. Trading on an intuitive user-friendliness, flexibility and security, the company has so generated a very loyal following. With an inbuilt “Security Center” that walks users through security protocols, it makes much of the tight control inherent to its wallet.
BW is accepted on many partner exchanges, and users can zip in and out of trading from their wallets. Part of that user-friendliness is the fact that users have some flexibility in tweaking their transaction fees based on personal preference.
Originally a blockchain explorer, the company has diversified with their relatively new wallet offering. Largely spared any tremendous advertising budget, Blockchain’s wallet offering began gaining lots of traction in the 2017 “year of Bitcoin.” Prior to that, the company had released its first iOS and Android apps in 2012.
A steady and respectable company, many prominent investors have bought into BW, such as the Digital Currency Group, Virgin Group and even Roger Ver. There was a rowdy funding round that started in October 2014, gleaning $30 million from Mosaic Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners. At the time, it was billed as the biggest largest funding round ever seen in the industry.
How Does Blockchain Wallet Work?
Blockchain’s Wallet is free to employ but charges a small transaction fee every time currency enters or leaves a wallet. BW deducts fees automatically and these are calculated on the transaction size and network activity at the time. The option to dictate the fee you’ll be charged on a Bitcoin transaction is a novelty for many users. As opposed to offering storage for any crypto token, the company has presented a singular product that appeals to a large swathe of enthusiasts.
Many consider BTC and ETH to be the only two true cryptocurrencies. Many others love the wallet and hope it will expand its offering as their interest in other altcoins grows too.
Upon creating an account, users need to choose between the two currencies on offer. In the case of BW, sending incorrect funds to the wallet could result in funds being permanently lost, something critics find untenable. Users that don’t own any BTC or ETH will need to visit an exchange in order to render their tokens viable for BW.
New users will patronize other exchanges like Coinbase, that recognizes fiat currency, in order to purchase their initial BTC or ETH, before transferring it to their BW. Paying via the “Send” option on the dashboard is easy, once the QR code is scanned or cut and paste. In all countries of operation, the app allows users to type the total to pay in their own or the relevant digital currency. Subsequent totals are also displayed in both currencies.
Users who opt to nominate their payments as “High Priority” face the prospect of a higher fee when the transaction is enacted. This is where, under “Customize Fee,” users can specify the rate they wish to pay on the transaction. The platform will enact at a time (of network activity) that carries the asked-for rate. With BW, speed costs, but the reality is the company has simply chosen to highlight and work around an unavoidable reality for anyone on these blockchains. Especially investors who transact minimally will find this BW option addictive.
Blockchain Wallet Details
Blockchain Wallet has arguably hit a sweet spot for many with a balance of security and great UX. Any crypto enthusiast will recognize the basic security features of the wallet, but there are many additional layers of protection users can enact if they wish.
Although already known as a secure wallet, BW upped the ante in February 2016 when the company upgraded to a hierarchical deterministic (HD) wallet. This placed it among the top secure wallets available. The company has incorporated detailed analysis of the cryptosphere – including cybercrime – in the build, noting that with minimal cross-referencing, criminals can target what they believe to be high-value wallets.
Simply put, the HD nature of BW means that the algorithm employed in generation remains wholly unpredictable. Through the HD upgrade, BW grants users an ability to generate new addresses every time they transact. Technically, BW employs BIP44 implementation to generate addresses and accounts, and uses BIP39 to generate mnemonic for wallet users. In layman’s terms: it’s highly secure.
Apart from watertight security, currency display options and an all-round “attentive” intelligence to the wallet, benefits would include a genuinely appealing navigation experience and the fact that users can transact with exchanges directly from their BW. On the downside, the tokens stored are very limited, at a time when the market is seeing massive growth.
While junk tokens abound, for the majority the market is already defined by more than just two altcoins. Brand new users will be dismayed to find there is no fiat funding protocol and the wallet is also hot. Cold wallets are wholly secure, being off-chain. Online wallets, on the whole, are less secure due to their ability to connect with the greater blockchain all the time.
Moans have emanated from some regarding the rather cumbersome process they experience in verifying their identity in order to register. Genuine complaints have been few, although some users have voiced their disappointments on social media.
As a project, the development team remains fairly consistent with the first group that constituted Blockchain.info. Work on improvements is constant, and the company is dynamic and user-focused. Support is above-average for a cryptocurrency service provider – swift enough and transparent – and it appears the truly bitter complaints seem inevitable of any entity in the realm. Very much like the formal banking sector, issues arise, but the company has avoided glaring absence or silence on user complaints.
Blockchain Wallet Conclusion
BW stands on its own merits as a detailed and savvy offering. Security really is as tight as it gets on a hot wallet and the depth of user customization is unrivalled. The company has executed more than 100 million transactions for users, something that speaks of its value and popularity.
Stemming from a time during which a cryptocurrency wallet was still a brand new idea, that BW has amassed a user base of some 25 million people is impressive. The wallet sees almost 16,000 transactions a day from users.
BW is something of an anomaly in the industry, having built a solid, old-school kind of reputation. Where most offers are immediately compared and evaluated in terms of the novel technology underpinning altcoins – and BW has been – it nonetheless is seen as upmarket and ahead of the field.
It has to be concluded that this is so because of the fundamental value in the build and service of BW. Assuming the limitations on tokens isn’t an issue, a user would be hard-pressed to find a sleeker altcoin wallet, in spite of there being thousands out there.