The offer makes a number of Coinkite services available up to certain limits. With a starter account, users can create multi-signature wallets, watch-only accounts and send bitcoin by SMS, email and voucher, among other services.
The normally PR-shy Coinkite spoke out during what CEO Rodolfo Novak categorized as a trying time for bitcoin users, many of whom have reported losing funds due to problems with hosted wallet services and open-source alternatives.
As such, Novak suggested that the most appealing aspect of the news for consumers may be the ability to fund multisig wallets without limitation.
Novak told CoinDesk:
“The amount of people who lost money is unacceptable. This is very bad for bitcoin. So, we decided to make the account available for free. Because we don’t have control of the keys for multisig, we let users deposit any amount at no charge.”
The move follows Conkite’s release of its multisig accounts in November, which allow for the use of up to 15 signatures. Users can now keep an unlimited amount of bitcoin in their multisig wallets, though hot wallets are limited to 1 BTC (roughly $329 at press time).
Coinkite announced no changes to the pricing for both its personal and professional accounts. The products allow for increased usage of Coinkite’s services, including its debit cards and advanced liquidity features, for $10.09 and $30.27 a month, respectively.
Appealing to developers
Though Novak stressed that Coinkite’s services are available to any end user, be it an enterprise business, small merchant or consumer, he emphasized that the company is taking steps to better appeal to bitcoin’s development community.
“We have more than 1,000 developers that are using our API, and a lot of them are working at exchanges,” Novak said, citing derivatives platform BitMEX as one such client.
Key to this strategy will be its partnerships with startup incubator Boost VC and BitAngels, through which Coinkite will offer an upgraded version of its API to startups for free for one year.
Novak indicated that the goal of the program is to get the startups of the future acclimatized to, and building on, its technology.
Focus on foundational tech
Novak stressed that while his company has seen growth in 2014, Coinkite still considers the bitcoin ecosystem to be in its early days. This, he said, has allowed the company to be “unfocused” in how it looks at developments in the space.
Novak suggested that this experimentation, however, has allowed it to develop an expertise in the technology, even as it works on services as diverse as bitcoin debit cards and point-of-sale (POS) hardware systems.
“Companies still have ‘coin’ in the name, like when companies used to have ‘net’ in the name. We want to build a lot of stuff, a lot of features and see which of these features get more adoption and more use,” he said.
For now, he said, Coinkite aims to focus solely on cryptography, refraining from interacting with fiat currency and encouraging unlimited experimentation on its service. In particular, Novak cited one unnamed Asia-based company, as evidence of how far Coinkite has gone to support its ideals.
“They’re building a competitor to us, using us,” he said. “We welcome that.”
Bitcoin visualization via Coinkite