Coinbase is launching a new account that offers additional security features for storing large amounts of bitcoin.
Called 'Vault', the new account was designed in response to demand for a more secure type of wallet from Coinbase's growing customer base of institutions and wealthy individuals, according to company CEO Brian Armstrong, who explained:
"We are moving to a place where we are starting to offer more and more professional financial services that high net-worth individuals would really expect from their financial service providers."
Vault accounts include security features that are common among enterprise bank accounts, such as requiring multiple approvals for a withdrawal.
They also include other extras, like a time-delay feature on withdrawals, which will push a withdrawal back by 48 hours while Coinbase uses a variety of communication channels to contact the account holder to verify the action.
Coinbase said it would release the multi-signature feature for Vault accounts once it has been examined by security experts. Additionally, it notes, the new accounts use the same cold storage technology that the firm deploys for existing customers.
Bitcoin 'savings' account
Vault accounts are free and will be made available to a randomly selected sample of 5% of existing Coinbase users initially, becoming available to all Coinbase users by 16th July.
Vault is designed to complement standard Coinbase wallet accounts. The difference between the two accounts is similar to a traditional bank's checking and savings accounts, Armstrong said, explaining:
"We really wanted to capture that difference, where you think of a wallet as money that you would store in your back pocket or keep in your purse. It's your day-to-day spending, it's your wallet. The vault is like a savings account."
Armstrong said his firm had been discussing the idea of a higher-security account for more than a year, but only started working on it several months ago. Over the last few weeks, Coinbase has been testing the new accounts in closed beta.
"We've really been battle-testing it before we went to publicly announce it," Armstrong said.
Featured image via grittycitygirl / Flickr