BitStash is a 3-tier storage solution for Bitcoin which features advanced security measures to enable virtually fool-proof safeguarding of private balances.
Traditional wallet technology has provided users with broadly sufficient means of safely storing their bitcoins. However, factors such as human error on the part of the user, advanced cyber theft and complexity of use have all limited the efficiency and reputability of such methods.
BitStash seeks to bring a universal solution to this problem. An integrated 3-tier storage system designed for all usage environments allows previously inaccessible technical security features to benefit the non-technical user, while remaining highly simple to operate.
The central concept behind BitStash is a storage method which provides the most advanced security to regular users in the most efficient and user-friendly manner possible.
The BitStash solution is delivered via an integrated 3-point method, each aspect specifically designed for use in a different way. The goal is to replace existing combinations of paper wallets, hot wallets and other inefficient and potentially confusing security methods and replace them with a simpler, more secure and more intuitive system.
BitStash CTO Trevor Murphy explains more in an interview with Cointelegraph.
“In order for Bitcoin to gain mass adoption it needs to be as simple as using PayPal, or shopping at Amazon.com. BitStash achieves this, transparently securing Bitcoin transactions. The three tiers of storage are:
A) Cold Storage, stored on doubly encrypted USB drives, it cannot be spent unless plugged into BitStash. This is for long term savings. Keep it in a safe or bank vault.
B) Device/Home wallet. This is on the BitStash itself. Accessed over hardened Bluetooth, it's ultra secure, but accessible from your Desktop & Mobile devices. This is like your checking account. Use it for paying bills, trading, online shopping etc.
C) Mobile wallet. This resides on your phone, as do the private keys, fully encrypted of course. Keep small balances, backed up by the device, here and use them for spending Bitcoin while out of range of BitStash. Importantly you can receive Bitcoin into the Device & Cold Storage wallets using BIP32 generated addresses on your mobile device.”
The product not only demonstrates the most advanced security credentials available for Bitcoin storage, but also conforms to the highest US Government data security protocol, FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standards) 140-2 level 3.
In addition to its consumer offerings, there is also a POS merchant device featuring near field communication (NFC) and HDMI capabilities.
The product interface functions as an all-encompassing wallet and overview of all transactions. It offers statistics and guidance in addition to wallet functions such as sending and receiving payments, which can be done in a range of currencies.
In total over 100 currencies are supported in the ‘send’ function of the BitStash client.
BitStash has created three consumer packages and one merchant package, which can be reserved via its website.
BitStash, the basic package, costs US$159.
BitStash Ultra, featuring an addition anti-tamper device, costs US$199.
BitStash with FIPS certified features costs US$499.
The POS merchant package costs US$499.
Payment is accepted via major credit and debit cards in addition to Bitcoin. Reserved products are currently expected to be shipped in May 2015.
BitStash was created by founders Steve Swanson and Trevor Murphy of eCoinConcepts earlier in 2014. The company is registered in Naples, Florida and is currently putting the finishing touches to its hardware wallet following a US$500,000 seed funding round in June. Other funding steams are forthcoming.
Cointelegraph reached out to Co-founder and CTO Trevor Murphy to get more details and some essential background on how BitStash came into being, and the outlook for the future of the project.
CT: What inspired you to start BitStash and to move into the Bitcoin arena?
TM: My partner and I have spent many years in Financial Services with much success. When we came across Bitcoin we immediately understood its potential to radically change Financial Services and indeed money. Being early investors in Bitcoin we were unfortunately affected by the Mt Gox collapse and saw immediately the need for better security for all Bitcoin uses and investors.
So BitStash was born, so everyone could keep their Bitcoin secure, without some third party in the middle, without the risk of employee theft, business continuity, regulatory risks or seizures. We truly want to solve the Bitcoin security and usability challenges so Bitcoin's potential is unlocked for everyone.
CT: Gaining recognition and creating a unique ethos can be difficult for a Bitcoin startup. What have been some hurdles you've needed to overcome to get this far?
TM: Well, in reality these are the challenges that every startup faces no matter what the industry, whether its raising money, managing teams in disperse geographic locations, or building marketing strategies. Starting any company is challenging, but not new for us. My partner Steve faced these challenges when he started Automated Trading Desk, but still managed to grow it to 7% of US equity trading volumes. I faced these challenges when I co-founded TradingEdge, but still managed to create a company that became the first exchange for HighGrade and HighYield Bonds. So all startups face these challenges. However, with BitStash we have some special challenges. We are attempting to solve for the security risk of Bitcoin keys.
So there is much skepticism to overcome, trust to be built. We will address these challenges through open sourcing our technology and certifying it to FIPS 140-2 level 3, which should answer the security skepticism, leaving only the huge challenges of finding customers, becoming profitable and generating a return for our investors. Easy enough right?
CT: An essential element for anyone choosing a Bitcoin storage method site is security. How is BitStash specifically ensuring there are no issues with the safety of customers' investments and other sensitive information?
TM: This is critical to the entire BitStash proposition. We are trying to solve ease of use and security for Bitcoin, two somewhat competing goals. We have spent a lot of time, and indeed money to get where we are, having raised and invested $250K to date in the design of our hardware & software. We have built a solution that is capable of being certified to the FIPS 140-2 level 4 standard, the highest standard for cryptographic hardware that exists in the world. We will certify the device to the FIPS 140-2 level 3 standard initially, a process that will take 12 months and cost in excess of $100k.
This will validate our software, our cryptography, our security and our hardware as being hacker proof, tamper resistant and the ultimate Bitcoin security solution in the market. In addition we will open source our software, and maybe even our hardware. In the meantime, we are bringing our devices to market through a pre-order campaign and customers can order them for delivery in May / June 2015 at significantly discounted prices. FIPS certification will follow at the end of 2015.
CT: Are there any future developments you're especially excited about sharing?
TM: Right now, there are so many exciting things happening. We are in the process of designing packaging, signing contracts for large scale case and PCB manufacturing, finalizing production & assembly partners, talking to VCs about further investment. Quality assurance and design parameter testing on our devices is ongoing, as is the development of our mobile apps. Production cases are due in January and our Point of Sale device NFC antennae design will be complete in February. So there is much happening and packed 18 hour a day schedule for all of us for the next quarter or two.