Venture capital investments in bitcoin and blockchain technology have reached $800 million since 2012 and there is $380 million pledged in rounds for 2015 according to Coin Desk yesterday. A portion of the VC monies has already arrived in San Diego from Block26 of Los Angeles to Airbitz, the bitcoin digital wallet company. Contribution of $450,000 in Airbitz’s seed round came with confidence for Airbitz and its innovation.
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Airbitz has made amazing inroad in the area of a secured digital wallet last March with a “One-Touch 2-Factor Authentication” system. The security provision of the new feature was that neither Airbitz nor any 3rd party can access user’s funds or data. This forward thinking approach captured Block26 to invest in the company.
Block26 principal Ni’coel Stark considers Airbitz an underrated company and significant provider to Bitcoin peer-to-peer adult users for transfer of money. Stark states:
“We’re really looking for nuances in the technology. Airbitz is an amazing wallet, it solves problems for consumers, but it’s so much more than that. We see opportunities beyond the wallet, the ability that they have to go into security, their contributions to the Internet of Things, altogether they really make them fascinating.”
Here is an interview with Airbitz CEO Paul Puey about the future of Airbitz and its venture capital investment.
Q: What is planned in 2015 for Airbitz products and services to bitcoin holders with its wallet?
A: Airbitz will complete the circle of bitcoin adoption by allowing users to buy/sell bitcoin from within our mobile app by connecting users to global exchange partners. We also intend to help push education of bitcoin and decentralized technologies through extensive outreach and marketing and show how we intend to contribute to that effort.
Q: Is there any enhancement to the Airbitz Merchant directory? How many merchants are currently listed globally?
A: Airbitz currently has over 5000 brick and mortar and online retailers listed throughout sixteen countries. We intend to onboard several more countries through the rest of this year. As a result, we will empower users with the abilities to buy, store and most importantly, spend their digital currency.
We also have in our roadmap enhancements to the merchant directory allowing for crowdsourced curation of merchant listings, further contributing to the decentralization of the bitcoin ecosystem.
Q: Has the 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) key security feature for online accounts been successfully utilized? Any improvements planned for it?
A: In a word, yes. Airbitz’s one touch, two-factor authentication has been an unusually important innovation to drive not just great security for bitcoin and Airbitz users but digital security usable by the masses. We’ve had great feedback from our users with some feeling strongly that this type of technology should be available in all applications.
Q: Where does Airbitz see itself in 5 years? Will it lead the digital wallets? Will other use of block chain technology be integrated into Airbitz products?
A: With our first focus on Bitcoin, we aim to be the premier mobile platform for acquiring, holding and transacting digital currency. In addition we see ourselves enabling a broad ecosystem of decentralized, secure, zero knowledge applications built on the Airbitz framework. We believe strongly in the core fundamentals of blockchain technology which have one common requirement: amazing edge security for private keys. We believe that in five years, the adoption of various blockchain technologies will require and utilize the security platform that Airbitz has developed and will continue to improve.
You may find more information about Airbitz and its secure bitcoin wallet on its website.