Elliptic, a service provider for bitcoin currency holders, has launched what it claims is the first ever insured storage vault for bitcoin.
The London-based company offers a "deep cold storage" which it claims will ensure the safety of a person's funds. The data is kept secure thanks to private keys that are kept in multiple secure locations, it said.
The service, dubbed Elliptic Vault, is insured by a Lloyd's of London underwriter.
The organisation claims that tens of millions of pounds' worth of bitcoins have been lost or stolen due to insecure storage. One man, James Howells, an IT worker from Newport, threw away his hard drive, which contained 7,500 bitcoins that he obtained for almost nothing, and were worth about £5m in November.
Elliptic Vault's pricing is dependent on the cover the bitcoin holder chooses. The storage cover level is specified in pounds, and customers are billed in bitcoins at two per cent per annum. The company has a calculator on its website to help customers to determine how much it will cost them to store their bitcoins per month.
It has a minimum withdrawal size of one bitcoin, and insurance cover levels start at £5,000.
Customers that wish to remain anonymous to the bitcoin services provider will not be able to, as the terms of storage state that the authorised user has to "provide photographic identification, proof of address, passwords and any other information or documentation reasonably requested by Elliptic Vault to verify identity prior to any delivery of stored funds".
The virtual currency is still in its infancy but regulating bitcoin has become a major topic for governments and financial services firms in the past year.
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