Blockchain technology company Blockstream has announced the launch of its own Bitcoin wallet, Blockstream Green, on March 19, 2019. The wallet is based on the new Green Development Kit and is a rebuild of the GreenAddress Bitcoin mobile wallet.
Blockstream has also put a heavy emphasis on various privacy features that could be seen as a direct response to competitor wallet Samourai stepping up development resources for its wallet offering.
The Battle for Secure and Safe Transactions
The Samourai wallet is one of the most popular mobile Bitcoin wallets for privacy-focused users. It uses AES 256 encryption along with Bitcoin-specific privacy improvements such as BIP 23, BIP 44, and BIP 49.
On the other hand, the recently launched GreenAddress Bitcoin wallet employs two-factor authentication (2FA) and uses 2-of-2 multisig by default. One set of keys are stored on the device while the second set of keys are stored on Blockstream’s servers.
This ensures that the user does not lose access to their digital assets in the absence of the device, key, or both. The service offers the ability to use Google Authenticator, email, phone call, and text message for two-factor authentication.
Support for Tor
Blockstream Green gives users the ability to use either Tor or request connection through a proxy before initiating a Bitcoin (BTC) transaction. Users can also use a hardware wallet with Green by connecting it to the phone using a micro USB cable. Currently, it supports only the Trezor One and Ledger Nano S. Support for more hardware wallets will be announced in due course of time, according to the company’s official statement.
Blockstream CEO Adam Back tweeted that using a hardware wallet connected to Green, which itself employs 2FA and gives an option to cross verify your own full node over Tor, is the most secure option for completing Bitcoin payments.
However, some security concerns arise given that one set of private keys of the multisig wallet is stored remotely on Blockstream servers. The blockchain technology company has not mentioned the steps it would take to ensure the safety of the keys.
[bctt tweet=”Storing keys on an online server, even if only one half of the pair, introduces reliance on a third party entity.” username=”beincrypto”]
Previous attacks at cryptocurrency exchanges have outlined the risk of wallets connected to the internet. Blockstream, however, believes that the two-factor authentication system will provide enough security. It remains to be seen whether Bitcoin enthusiasts view this as a potential problem.
Blockstream also recently launched a satellite capable of relaying Bitcoin blockchain data to any place on the planet. Adam suggested that users who were even more conscious about their privacy could use the satellite to connect to their full node and configure Green wallet over Tor.
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