London Firm Offers Bitcoin Storage Service

In response to the steady growth of Bitcoin, a storage service for the virtual currency has been launched in London, according to a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) report.

Elliptic Vault in London insures deposits of the digital currency against loss and theft by using ‘deep cold storage’ where private encryption keys to Bitcoins are stored on offline servers and in a secure location. The BBC reported that the vault’s founders claim to be the ‘first in the world’ to offer insurance for Bitcoin owners.

As stolen Bitcoins cannot be recovered because all transactions are irreversible, hackers have carried out malicious attacks on online wallets used to store Bitcoins.

Elliptic co-founder Tom Robinson said that one of the main concerns people have with Bitcoin is that it’s fairly difficult to store securely and offering people insurance seemed an obvious step. Elliptic is underwritten by Lloyd’s of London, which, said managing editor of CoinDesk, Emily Spaven, is likely to give people more faith in the Bitcoin system.

The report said that insurance payouts would be calculated using the Bitcoin to US dollar exchange rate at the time a claim is made and the copies of the encryption keys are accessible only via a quorum of Elliptic’s directors.

US online retailer Overstock announced last week that it would start accepting Bitcoins in payment by consumers, the first major company in the retail sector to accept the digital currency.

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