In a 2014 article, the Wall Street Journal shone the spotlight on Bitcoin security challenges and the bold move by tech startup Xapo to raise $20M to build unprecedented security structures for bitcoin storage.
Co-founded by tech entrepreneur and internet pioneer Wences Casares, Xapo was one of many ventures in his ongoing mission to leverage technology to provide financial services to the underserved people and spare them the nightmare of losing their savings.
An early Bitcoin adopter and miner, Wences always believed in Bitcoin’s ability to change the world as much as the internet did. To him, the value is in how Bitcoin can be transferred from one person to another, in real time without the need for an intermediary. Just like cell phones did to telecommunications, Bitcoin offered an equality of access to financial services on a scale that previously did not exist.
However, despite its potential, it was clear that Bitcoin faced challenges including misconception, distrust and security. Because it was the first digital asset that was both scarce and valuable, it raised challenges about how people could keep their Bitcoins safe from hackers.
To tackle these challenges, Xapo invested heavily in cold-storage offline servers located in different continents. The servers are stored in secret vaults which are themselves stored in underground bunkers, protected by 24/7 surveillance, armed security guards and biometric sensors.
Through these measures, the world’s first Bitcoin storage and security service to be fully protected and insured against hacking and bankruptcy was created. At the peak of its Bitcoin custodianship, Xapo held over 800,000 Bitcoin for family offices, funds and high net worth individuals.
Building the world’s first crypto private bank
Xapo set out on a business transformational journey which would further revolutionise financial services as the world knew it.
We sold our institutional custody business to Coinbase, keeping our expertise and infrastructure for the benefit of the individuals we serve. We partnered with Thoughtworks to mature our product offering, evolving it from a wallet to a full banking service. We got a banking licence and a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) licence, both issued by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission
Built on a foundation of innovation, financial services expertise and safety, the new Xapo Bank has a primary mission to protect and grow the wealth of members. Which is why we adopt exemplary standards of physical and digital security, even where they are not mandatory by regulation.
From paying one of the highest interest rates on both US Dollar and Bitcoin deposits*, to enabling our members deposit USDC into their USD accounts and assigning a personal Account Manager… ours is a robust mix of benefits that seamlessly cuts across the traditional banking and crypto currency divide.
To learn more about Xapo Bank’s private banking value proposition, please visit www.xapo.com.
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