A cryptocurrency vault aimed at protecting online currencies such as Bitcoin from hacking is about to be launched by a digital Canadian bank, it has been reported. It comes after last month Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck announced it would have to pay back more than £300million to customers after their system was hacked, affecting 260,000 customers.
Canadian bank VersaBank has announced they are setting up a “Blockchain-based digital safety deposit box” for digital currencies to protect investors from such attacks.
Announcing their brand new vault, VersaBank said:
“Your digital assets are just as valuable as any family jewellery, property deed or stock certificate, but protecting them isn’t nearly as simple. No storage device or commercial cloud service is completely safe, and most blockchain-based secure storage is only for crypto-currency and offered by companies you’ve never heard of, in places you don’t know. Like a safety deposit box, only you have access to what’s inside, and like a safety deposit box, it’s been built by an institution you can trust to be there for the long run.”
President and CEO of the bank, David Taylor, has said he hopes his company’s latest offering to customers will help cement Canada as a cryptocurrency world leader. There is currently a tussle between countries around the world as they all try to present themselves as the Bitcoin capital of the world.
Mr Taylor said:
“We’re using what banks are all about — safety and security — only what we’re doing now is saying that physical box in the basement is getting obsolete. Most people’s really valuable assets are contained in some sort of digital format, whether it be a deed or a contract or a cryptocurrency.”
There have been a number of high profile cases of hacking online money over the past few years. The digital nature of cryptocurrencies means that many traders are often vulnerable to being hit by an online attack.
Mr Taylor added:
“Our differentiator in this market is to be secure and super private. The bank wouldn’t have any kind of back door to open up the vault, we’re just providing the facility that folks could put their digital keys in.”
Banks and governments are currently trying to get to grips with how to deal with cryptocurrencies in society.
While Canada and Japan are competing to improve their attractiveness for crypto investors, countries such as South Korea and India are introducing strict regulations on their use. Equally, as VersaBank look to open the first online currency safe, other banks are wary of crypto. In particular many banks have stopped allowing their customers to use credit cards to purchase crypto.