Bitcoin API-provider BlockTrail launched its new webwallet this week, including distinguishing features such as sub-wallets, hierarchical deterministic (HD) capabilities and multi-signature security by default.
The most interesting of these features is arguably the webwallet's multi-signature setting. When users create a BlockTrail webwallet, they automatically generate three key seeds in their browser, of which two are required to send funds. Two of the keys are kept by the user while the third key is held by BlockTrail, which uses it to co-sign transactions. The keys generated by users are handed as a PDF file, which users can optionally choose to store offline. The two seeds held on the file can restore any funds the wallet will hold, as well as any address it will ever generate.
Since BlockTrail itself only has access to one of the required seeds for each wallet, the company can never run off with any funds. Users can retrieve bitcoins even if BlockTrail would – for whatever reason – vanish.
As BlockTrail is mainly a developers platform, the new webwallet is specifically targeted at developers using BlockTrail's API to help them keep their funds safe. As such, BlockTrail is currently not targeting average users, although BlockTrail CEO Boaz Bechar does note that the webwallet could attract bitcoin power-users as well.
“The wallet includes a lot of the advanced functionality that bitcoiners should expect from their providers. In particular, the ability to separate coins into different wallets with different keychains, multi-signature security, and HD capabilities, which eliminate the need to backup newly generated addresses.”
Adding to the new webwallet, BlockTrail also launched webhooks functionality that lets users subscribe to real-time event notifications such as transactions that have been received in their wallet, or network confirmations.
“In order to update a users balance, for example, apps need to be notified in real-time when a new transaction is received and how many confirmations it has. Our webhooks help deliver these notifications, allowing developers to receive notifications for wallet events without having to subscribe to individual addresses.”
Since Amsterdam based BlockTrail was founded a year ago, it has steadily been broadening its reach in the Bitcoin sphere. BlockTrail initially launched its block explorer in August 2014, which was followed by BlockTrail's core product, the multisig API, in January 2015. The new webwallet now marks BlockTrail's third released product.
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