Bitcoin startup Coinkite, Inc. has announced that it is closing down its secure Bitcoin wallet service in order to focus on building hardware-based Bitcoin products instead.
Founded in 2012, Coinkite billed itself as the easiest and safest way to use and accept Bitcoin, along with the claim that if offered “the world’s most advanced web wallet system” that “empowers customers and merchants to BUY, SELL, ACCEPT and STORE Bitcoins and other crypto currencies, in both the online and physical worlds.”
The closure of the Bitcoin wallet service will take place over the coming 30 days, with users who do not remove funds from their wallets at the end of the period having their Bitcoin withdrawn and credited to them automatically.
Projects listed by the company as being their future include something called Opendime, which is described as a physical Bitcoin; a completely stand alone Bitcoin terminal/ hardware wallet with printer and QR scanner; hardware products for authentication and security; general purpose stand-alone Bitcoin solutions, and last but not least hardened services for hosting Bitcoin hot wallets.
It would appear that much of the decision to get out of the online Bitcoin wallet business was due to the company constantly dealing with harassment, with a blog post announcing the move describing that they had been under constant Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks over the last three years, and that they had also had to deal with Government agencies and attempted intrusions into client privacy.
In an interview with Coindesk, Chief Executive Officer Rodolfo Novak said that the company wanted to move away from software as their meager resources were being drained by the “amount of bullshit” involved with running the service.
“We want to write software, not deal with lawyers and DDoSing … One of the main issues with SaaS is all the free users and need support and we want to provide good support. All these things have costs,” Novak noted.
Coinkite’s decision to close its Bitcoin wallet service is quite considerable, with the company having reported in September 2015 that it had processed some $250 million in transactions in the preceding 3 months, making it one of the bigger Bitcoin wallet providers in the market.
Before all services stop with 30 days Tor access and Coinkite’s application program interface will be closed with 14 days, along with prorated balances for annual pre-paid plans being refunded.
Image credit: zcopley/Flickr/CC by 2.0
Duncan is a co-founder of VC funded media company B5Media and founder of news site The Inquisitr, and was a senior writer at TechCrunch in its earlier days.
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