As more and more people get into Bitcoin, the question of how to hold and use them securely is going to be one of the real make-or-break issues surrounding Bitcoin. The new cryptocurrency is not something that you can hold in your hand, and there is no customer support that people are going to be able to call when something goes wrong. Making matters worse, when people do their research they will see that the short history of Bitcoin is littered with hacks, thefts, and businesses entrusted to keep people’s coins suddenly not allowing withdrawals or disappearing altogether.
That isn’t to say that this kind of thing doesn’t go on with fiat currencies already. Thefts, hacks, Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, and money laundering are all things that happen with great regularity in fiat, but what fiat has over Bitcoin is that it is familiar and comfortable. If you ask a random set of people what makes the paper money in their wallets valuable, they are unlikely to be able to give a good answer. It is money to them not because they understand it, but because it has always been money to them. There are risks, but the risks are felt, justifiably or not, to be known risks. Bitcoin is an unknown and an intangible, and that is a barrier that bitcoiners are going to need to break down before we really see mass adoption.
One company in Switzerland, Verso Solutions, is doing its part to solve the security issue of Bitcoin. By merging the idea of paper wallets, smartphone apps, and Swiss banks, they are coming up with a way to help people feel that they really have control over their money. I was able to have a short conversation with Sebastien Coupy, the CFO of Verso Solutions LLC to learn more about what they are doing:
It seems like you are trying to make the idea of ‘Swiss Banking’ portable with Bitcoin. Is that the idea?
That is exactly the idea, and we thank you for picking up on that! Switzerland is well-known for its robust banking system and its concern for privacy. Verso Cards are essentially your own personal Swiss bank. They are safe, trustless, and easy to use. We actually store the backups of our Verso Gold cards in Swiss bank vaults.
Your site says that I need both the card and my password to access my funds. However, once the app is running, it seems like the app can be used on a daily basis. So, as long as the app is running and I have not set it to automatically log me out, then am I free to use the funds without actually having the card with me?
Yes, you are absolutely correct. With the default settings, the encrypted private key is stored on your phone as long as you don’t log out. If the user (you or, say, someone who stole your phone) enters an incorrect password three times in a row, the app will log you out. We recommend enabling automatic log-out for increased security.
I need both a password and private key to access funds. If I lose my password, I cannot access my funds. How about if I drop my phone in the toilet and the data is completely irretrievable. Am I right in thinking that as long as I have the card