Blockchain Debuts Android Bitcoin Wallet with Merchant Directory

Pete Rizzo
Jul 19, 2014 at 21:20 UTC
Updated Sep 30, 2014 at 13:02 UTC

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Bitcoin wallet and block explorer provider Blockchain has unveiled its latest Android wallet update, announcing the news at The North American Bitcoin Conference (NABC), an ongoing two-day industry event taking place in downtown Chicago.

The official launch follows the release of early previews provided by the company in June, a leak that coincided with Blockchain‘s debut of its new customer onboarding tool, Bitcoin.com.

Blockchain CEO Nicolas Cary framed the announcement as part of a broader update to the company’s wallet service that will find it issuing more news through the summer. Combined, this initiative will help the company better meet the scale that it excepts as more consumers join the bitcoin ecosystem.

Cary said:

“We’re completely focused on creating simple and engaging experiences so we can go to web scale – supporting hundreds of millions of users.”

Notably, the updated Android wallet integrates with user address books and includes an in-app merchant map that can be leveraged to find bitcoin businesses.

Click below to view a gallery of app images:

Merchant mapping

One of the more novel aspects of the new app is its inclusion of a merchant directory that the company says uses a “fully verified database” to let users discover local businesses that accept bitcoin in a similar way as traditional merchant directories such as Yelp.

Images provided by Blockchain show that in-app business directory pages include the phone number, address and website of bitcoin companies, as well as a description of their services.

Users can also search an interactive map that includes five unique, color-coded pins to specify the nature of the business and its services.

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Reimagining interaction

Keonne Rodriguez, Blockchain’s product lead, said that the goal with the app redesign was to focus on user experience, and images show that personal finance management services may have influenced the final release.

For example, the wallet dashboard allows Android users to see their balance and divide their funds into categories such as “Vacation”, “Car” or “Savings” to better manage their finances.

Additionally, the wallet will enable peer-to-peer transactions without the recipient needing an existing bitcoin wallet, providing bitcoin users with a way to bring more interested individuals into the ecosystem.

Conference update

The announcement followed a Saturday speech by Blockchain COO Peter Smith, who spoke opposite CoinSetter CEO Jaron Lukasiewicz at the NABC.

The event also featured speeches from notable industry leaders such as BitPay senior software engineer Jeff Garzik, OKCoin CTO Changpeng Zhao and Bitcoin Shop CEO Charles Allen.

For more news and breaking announcements, follow CoinDesk’s live Twitter coverage of the event.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the event was attended by OKCoin CEO Star Xu. Xu has since been replaced by OKCoin CTO Changpeng Zhao.

App photos courtesy of Blockchain

Image credit: OlegDoroshin / Shutterstock