For armored doors, separated from the outside world, the corridors with reinforced concrete walls, are not plugged into anything encrypted servers that hold the keys to huge digital state.
Argentine entrepreneur Wences Casares last few years trying to convince the millionaires and billionaires of Silicon valley that bitcoin is a global currency of the future, that it is necessary to buy several hundred valuable coins, and that he is the man that will to protect them. His startup Xapo has built a network of underground storage facilities on five continents. One of them is located in a former Swiss military bunker.
Xapo rarely allows journalists to look into his citadel, to those written about the unprecedented security measures. But one secret to reveal, not yet succeeded: how many crypto currencies it holds?
Two clients Xapo said that in the vaults of bitcoins placed at $10 billion. Another source said this amount was approximate. In the end, bitcoin price is unstable.
Albeit approximate, this figure represents about 7% of the total issued bitcoins. This means that Xapo just four years attracted more “deposits” than 98% of the approximately 5670 us banks. It should be noted that the storage companies are regulated differently. The Swiss subsidiary is accountable to the standards Association financial services, which tests its members on compliance with laws to combat money laundering. Xapo caters to USA customers through a Corporation registered in the state of Delaware.
Casares was nicknamed “patient Zero” because he was the first in Silicon valley popularized bitcoin, and it is believed that it helps captainweston large companies such as Grayscale and CoinShares. His clients include billionaires Xapo founder of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman and former trader on wall street Mike Novogratz.
In Xapo delivery of bitcoins from the vault takes about two days. The company verifies the client’s identity and the authenticity of the request before manually sign transactions with private keys from multiple locations in the vault. For any transaction required approval from three separate repositories. The company also offers clients a trading platform for buying and selling bitcoin and created the first bitcoin debit card.
Thanks to an extensive advertising campaign at the start of Xapo managed to attract a large audience — mostly at conferences dedicated to cryptocurrency. Casares rarely gave interviews to journalists, but his ability to convince the legendary. His bitcoin propaganda was in Silicon valley a huge impact: when Hoffman proposed to his banker to buy a few Belokonov, the latter asked when he spoke with Casares.
The Xapo advisers now includes former US Treasury Secretary Larry summers, former CEO of Citigroup John reed and founder of Visa International, Dee hock. First Block Capital, first registered in Canada cryptocurrency company, chose Xapo as storage after several months of searching. Sean Clark, founder of First Block Capital, says:
Each part of their DNA is focused on safety. Whenever we make substantial transfers, they meet with us, and if need be, they will come to see us.
He notes that the fingerprint scanners storage is provided with a pulse sensor to prevent the use of amputated hands.
Xapo wants to attract more institutional clients, and company President Ted Rogers has invited Peter Najarian, an experienced trader from UBS Group AG and Royal Bank of Scotland Group, to monitor the involvement of investors, including pension funds, private banks, asset managers and hedge funds.
Live and Ripple can boast billions of dollars in market capitalization. However, Xapo stores bitcoins is only due to the belief of Casares that only this cryptocurrency will be successful. Because of this dogmatism is losing a Great many customers who want to store other cryptocurrencies.
Some supporters of bitcoin say that companies such as Xapo, there is no place in the ecosystem, since they only slow down development and is contrary to the very idea of bitcoin. To this Roger replied:
The subject we have been discussing and we think that bitcoin will not become mainstream if people will be able to store their private keys. Technically pretty hard to be a private Bank with high level of security.