Welcome Marco Santori: Blockchain’s new President and Chief Legal Officer

Today we’re thrilled to announce that Marco Santori is joining Blockchain as our President & Chief Legal Officer. Previously, Marco was a partner at the law firm Cooley LLP, where he led the global financial technology practice and built the most acclaimed digital assets-focused legal practice in the industry.

Marco has an impressive legal background and has a roster of world-class clients. He has worked with investors, companies of all sizes, regulators and public institutions to build our industry and shape the future of finance. Notably, Marco is an advisor to the International Monetary Fund, and the Blockchain Ambassador for the State of Delaware. He is most recently known as an author of the “Simple Agreement for Future Tokens” (SAFT) Project Whitepaper, which has set the standard for mitigating investor and consumer risks associated with Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

“Marco has a breadth and depth of knowledge that is unmatched and I couldn’t think of a better person to focus entirely on our expansion efforts and strategy as we continue to serve our millions of users globally,” said Peter Smith, CEO and Co-Founder of Blockchain.  

Blockchain experienced a record year of growth in 2017 and we’re focused on scaling our company and leadership team to support the global business we run today.  As President and Chief Legal Officer, Marco will focus on building our compliance, legal and corporate development teams as well as leading the charge to bring new products to market alongside the rest of our team.  

“I’m honored and thrilled to join Blockchain, the leading provider for digital asset software,” said Marco Santori. “It’s a compelling opportunity to contribute to a company that is not only achieving unparalleled business success, but also delivering on a powerful mission to create an inclusive financial system from which everyone can benefit.”

Marco will assume the role of President from Co-Founder Nicolas Cary. As Vice Chairman for the company, Nic will continue to be instrumental in day-to-day operations as well as Blockchain’s public affairs and external relations. “Marco will be a great asset for Blockchain and I look forward to dedicating more of my time on building our brand in key regions like India, hiring the brightest talent, and educating more people on the benefits of digital assets,” said Nic Cary, Co-Founder, Board Member, and Vice Chairman of Blockchain.

More on Marco:

Marco joins Blockchain from Cooley LLP where he was the head of the firm’s Financial Technology practice group. Marco Santori is an authority in the law of blockchain technology, and has been called “The Dean of Digital Currency Lawyers” by American Banker. He is the author of the transformative Simple Agreements for Future Tokens (SAFT) Project Whitepaper, a standard-setting self-regulatory effort that mitigates investor and consumer risks associated with Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). Additionally, he is the Legal Ambassador for the Delaware Blockchain initiative and an advisor to the International Monetary Fund. He has frequented stages around the world to share his insights, including the Cato Institute’s Cryptocurrency Conference, the American Bar Association Summit, North American Bitcoin Conference, and the Consensus Conference and has been profiled by the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Bloomberg, Reuters among others.

A New Look for Bitcoin Cash Addresses

Until earlier this month, bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash addresses used the same format, making it difficult to ensure you were transacting using the correct currency’s address. In order to simplify the process for transacting with both bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash for our users, Blockchain wallets are now using an a new format (CashAddr) for Bitcoin Cash addresses.

Q: Why do my Bitcoin Cash addresses look different?

A: Bitcoin Cash developers have proposed a new format for addresses to help differentiate between bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash addresses, called CashAddr. This updated format only changes how your Bitcoin Cash addresses are displayed, not the underlying private and public keys.

Q: Why has Blockchain implemented this change for users’ wallets?

A: We want to continue improving the user experience for both bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash within users’ wallets. Ultimately, having a different address format for each will help you distinguish which currency you’re transacting with, allowing you to use BTC and BCH more easily.

Q: What is the difference between the address formats?

A: Bitcoin Cash addresses now look like this: qp3wjpa3tjlj042z2wv7hahsldgwhwy0rq9sywjpyy. They can also have a prefix (bitcoincash:qp3wjpa3tjlj042z2wv7hahsldgwhwy0rq9sywjpyy). Each Bitcoin Cash address also has a “legacy address”, which is it’s corresponding bitcoin address. You can find the legacy address for each BCH address on Blockchair. Take a look here to see an example of the difference between legacy and CashAddr addresses.

Q: What do I need to do?

A: Nothing, we’re taking care of it for you! Your wallet will now only show Bitcoin Cash addresses in this new format. The only thing we encourage you to do is to start sending and receiving using the updated address type.

Q: Can I still send to the original ‘legacy’ address?

A: Technically yes, but it would benefit both you and the community to begin using the new version. Don’t worry, if you have a legacy address that is currently being used, it will continue to work. If you continue transacting with your legacy addresses, they will be displayed in your transaction feed as the BCH CashAddr address equivalent.

Q: Is this a protocol change, soft-fork, or hard-fork?

A: Nope.

Q: Where can I dive into more technical details?

A: You can find more details on this update here.

The Wait is Over! Buy & Sell is Coming to America

Earlier today, we announced a partnership with SFOX that lays the groundwork for our users in the US to seamlessly buy and sell digital assets with greater reliability and without compromising user security or control.

At Blockchain, we are on a mission to build an open, accessible, and fair financial future, one piece of software at a time. This announcement brings us one step closer to realizing that mission by making the exchange of digital assets fast, easy, and inexpensive for millions of users across the US.

Starting today, users in 22 states will have the option to sell bitcoin quickly and easily.

 

A product shot of Blockchain's new integration that allows users in America to sell bitcoin.

 

And this is just the beginning; in the coming weeks, users will also be able to buy bitcoin, and buy and sell other assets like ether and Bitcoin Cash. As always, we’ll keep you posted while we roll out these features. In the meantime, we welcome your thoughts on how we can continue to improve.

Not in the US? Users in Europe and India are already able to buy and sell bitcoin. As we continue to expand to new countries, we’ll keep you in the loop here and on Twitter.

Don’t have a Blockchain wallet? Sign up to get started with bitcoin and other digital currencies today!

Product Update: Q4 2017

Amidst holiday festivities and New Year’s preparations, we want to quickly revisit the assortment of great new features that made their way into the Blockchain wallet during Q4. Grab a fresh mug of hot cocoa (and maybe that sugar cookie you’ve been eyeing) and we’ll get into all the exciting Q4 product update details.

Read more “Product Update: Q4 2017”

A Look Back: Blockchain’s 2017 Year in Review

There’s no doubt that we will look back on 2017 was one of the most exciting and important years for the digital assets ecosystem. Together we made significant progress and are even closer to a fairer financial future.

We want to thank all of our customers, our team, and the industry for making 2017 such a memorable one. Blockchain wouldn’t be where it is today without all of you and we look forward to continuing to serve you in the years ahead!

Cash in on Bitcoin Cash

At Blockchain, we’re always looking for ways to empower our users to interact with the digital economy in new, meaningful ways. In November, we revealed our plan to deliver on the growing demand we’ve seen for Bitcoin Cash. Starting today, we’re supporting Bitcoin Cash with full functionality through the same web wallet users know and love.

With Bitcoin Cash joining our existing lineup of digital currencies, users now have a full suite of options and can easily toggle between digital currencies to send and request funds, safely manage balances, and monitor market prices – all from one central place.

If you had bitcoin in your Blockchain wallet prior to August 1st, get excited because you’ll see an equal amount of Bitcoin Cash in your wallet now! New to Bitcoin Cash? Users can get started by simply trading bitcoin and ether for Bitcoin Cash using our exchange integration.

Just like with bitcoin and ether, users hold their Bitcoin Cash private keys, meaning they always have full, exclusive access to their funds with their backup phrase.

Not on web? Don’t fret. We’ll be rolling out full support for Bitcoin Cash on mobile by the end of Q1 2018. We’ll keep you in the loop here and on Twitter as we continue to build on this new addition to our wallet. Still have questions about how Bitcoin Cash works in your Blockchain wallet? Visit our Support Center.

Don’t have a Blockchain wallet? Sign up to get started with Bitcoin Cash and other digital currencies today!   

Set it & Collect it with Recurring Orders

At Blockchain we’re always looking for ways to make digital currency more accessible. It’s part of our commitment to creating an open, accessible, and fair financial future – and helping you, our users, Be Your Own Bank™.

Today, we’re excited to introduce Recurring Orders, a new feature that gives our European users greater purchasing power by allowing them to automatically buy bitcoin on a regular basis. Whether you’re just getting started or regularly purchase bitcoin, this feature will make it even easier to invest little by little in a better financial future.

Here’s how it works:

  • Log into your Blockchain wallet
  • Select ‘Buy’ powered by Coinify
  • Enter the desired amount you’d like to purchase with your credit card
  • Select ‘Make this a recurring order’
  • Choose your frequency whether on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis
  • Select the duration you’d like the recurring order to last (you can cancel anytime!)
  • Then click ‘Buy Bitcoin’

Taking small, incremental steps can add up to big results over time. With recurring orders, you can find your comfort zone and watch your wallet accrue additional bitcoin – without having to worry about a large upfront cost.

Log-in or sign up at www.blockchain.com to get started with recurring bitcoin orders on web or mobile today!

Forking, Cashing, and Witnessing

At Blockchain, our priority is always our users and the safety of their funds. We recently communicated that our service would be unavailable during the Segwit2x hard fork. While plans for the hard fork have been suspended, there may be some network instability at block height 494,784.

We’ll be monitoring the network closely. Should network instability threaten the safety of our users’ funds, we may briefly suspend outgoing bitcoin transactions but anticipate any suspension to last no more than 1 hour.

Moving forward, we are prioritizing two major initiatives to improve our users’ experiences in the digital currency ecosystem:

SegWit

Our block explorer, Blockchain.info, has supported SegWit from the day it activated. In 2018 we will be rolling out support for SegWit within our wallet products. This will be a major and complex update to some of the most sensitive parts of our codebase, across a wide variety of platforms and devices, affecting billions in user transactions with potentially significant privacy implications. We will do this cautiously but also with consideration for the rising miner’s fees within the bitcoin ecosystem. We are excited about the advances SegWit offers and we plan to begin making it available within our wallets in as soon as possible in 2018, with an eye towards rollout in Q1.

Bitcoin Cash

We launched partial Bitcoin Cash support on October 11th and said we would monitor market demand for fully featured support. Market demand for Bitcoin Cash has proven strong and, in our view, it’s likely here to stay.

We plan to offer full support for Bitcoin Cash before the end of year on web with support across all our platforms before end of the end of Q1 2018. Stay tuned for product launch announcements!

Meet our Team: November 2017

With less than two months left in 2017, we’re waiting (some more enthusiastically than others) for snow fort season to begin. In the meantime, we’ve kept a clear focus on enhancing our platform for our 18+ million users around the world. Here are some of the newer team members helping us do just that and then some.

Read more “Meet our Team: November 2017”

SegWit2x Hard Fork: Frequently Asked Questions

When block 494,784 is mined (on or around November 16th), the second and final part of an important network upgrade to the Bitcoin protocol called “SegWit2x” will take place. Below is a quick breakdown of what to expect throughout the coming weeks.


Some background on SegWit2x
SegWit2x is essentially a software upgrade that will bring improved capacity to the Bitcoin protocol.  A majority of Bitcoin miners have signaled their intent to deploy Segwit2x, which increases the base size of bitcoin transaction “blocks” (groups of bitcoin transactions). The final part of this change is scheduled to occur when bitcoin block 494,784 is mined. Right now, this protocol change will likely activate on or about November 16th.

How does Blockchain plan to respond to SegWit2x?
During the upgrade, unanticipated changes to the Bitcoin network may occur. Our team is working around the clock to ensure our platform is prepared to incorporate these changes to the network as quickly as possible.  During the upgrade period, we will take steps to ensure users are protected and their funds are safe.

To keep your funds safe while the network is in transition, we will temporarily suspend bitcoin send, request, buy, sell, and exchange functionality roughly 24 hours before the time of the fork until the network stabilizes.

What happens if there is a network split?
There is a significant possibility that the planned hard fork will result in two bitcoin block chains. In this case, we will follow the chain with the most accumulated difficulty and refer to that chain as bitcoin. If the minority chain has significant value, we will make that value available for customers to hold or exchange for a period of time, as we have done with Bitcoin Cash. If the minority chain is the one with 1MB blocks, we plan to call it BT1. If the minority chain has 2MB blocks, we plan to call it BT2.

Is there any action I need to take in advance?
While no immediate action is required, we encourage you to write down your backup phrase if you haven’t already. Check out this blog for more info on that.

Will I be able to see my bitcoin in my Blockchain wallet?
Yes. We will temporarily be suspending transactions for bitcoin, but your funds will remain safe and you’ll be able to monitor them from within your Blockchain wallet. Please note, until the network stabilizes, your bitcoin’s fiat balance will be based on the value of bitcoin at the time of the hard fork.

Can I use ether during SegWit2x?
Yes, ether will be available during SegWit2x. If you have transactions you need to make during this time, we recommend using ether to send and request.  

When are you suspending buy and sell functionality for bitcoin?
We will be suspending all buy and sell functionality roughly 24 hours before the fork.

When will you bring back transactions? Will you be offering replay protection? 
We’ll bring back transactions when it’s safe either because there is one chain or funds are protected by our own replay protection.

Where can I find the latest updates?
We’ve created a status page at blockchain-status.com where we’ll be posting regular updates throughout. We will have updates featured on throughout the wallet as well.

Have additional questions? Our industry-leading support team is prepared, as always, to help answer your questions at support.blockchain.com.