The popular Bitcoin wallet Blockchain.info, which was targeted by a white hacker late last year, is boosting its security lineup. Kristov Atlas, of Open Bitcoin Privacy Project is joining Blockchain.info as Security Engineer. He accepted the position in December.
Atlas explained the step in his blog. He noted that Blockchain.info shares his goals: They have maintained a reputation for handing control to the users. And they have kept a clean record. “Time and time again, we’ve seen companies go under or disappear with apparently stolen money, abusing the recency of the space,” he wrote.
“Not every Bitcoin company has integrity, but I think Blockchain has it in spades.”
Bitcoin is new, and as people figure out how to navigate the “wild west” of online money, companies from Mt. Gox to Bitstamp have been susceptible to hacks. Even Blockchain.info had a few bad months. The company was hacked in December by a white hat hacker, using the username johoe. He stole 255 BTC through a loophole when the company updated its software. Two days later he announced he intended to return the funds.
On the other hand, Blockchain.info promised to reimburse users, even before johoe's announcement.
Atlas described the need for security:
“Increasingly, the function of our personal devices will shift in the attention of our prey from feeble spam bots to tiny, personal banks. The stakes have been raised, and it’s going to be one heck of a challenge responding to this new generation of financial threats.”
Atlas has made many contributions to the security and privacy space. He wrote the book Anonymous Bitcoin, which explores different methods of Bitcoin anonymity, and founded the Open Bitcoin Privacy Project, which aims to improve the privacy of Bitcoin.
Because of this new position, Atlas will drop many side projects, like the show Dark News. But he will continue working on the Open Bitcoin Privacy Project. “Bitcoin security is starting to get some much-needed love,” said Atlas, “but I think Bitcoin privacy still needs a shot of adrenaline to get up to par with the legacy systems that Bitcoin will replace.”
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