Our partnership with Imperial College London: The Digital Asset Research Lab

Block chain technology is poised to reengineer the world as we know it. In fact, there is general consensus that the technology will revolutionize industries as varied as finance, fashion, government and healthcare, among others. While the technology offers a great deal of promise, it is in its nascent stages and there is still much to explore in understanding the future we’re helping build. It’s that perspective that keeps us committed to research and development. And that commitment, in turn, has led to groundbreaking developments like Thunder. Earlier this week, we were excited to announce that we’re furthering our commitment via the launch of the Digital Asset Research Lab. In partnership with Imperial College London, this new Lab will be instrumental to exploring the transformative potential of block chain technology and digital assets.

Read more “Our partnership with Imperial College London: The Digital Asset Research Lab”

Our legacy and a new logo

Blockchain started as a geeky hacker project aimed at making bitcoin just a little more accessible by building an explorer. From those humble origins, the project grew into a passion for creating a better financial future and Blockchain, the world’s leading software platform for digital assets, was born.

Today, we run the largest block chain software platform in the world. We leverage our technology to build a radically better financial system. In doing so, our software has powered over 100M transactions and empowered users in 130 countries across the globe to transact quickly and without costly intermediaries. More recently, we added our 11 millionth wallet (and counting) and added Antony Jenkins to our board of directors.

We have been privileged to serve millions of people around the world. And, in recent months, we’ve been working to evolve our brand to better match the scope of our ambition and our growing user base.

Late last year, we launched an updated look and feel on blockchain.com, released V3 of our wallet, launched new mobile experiences, and updated our blog. Today, we’re excited to announce the next phase in the evolution of our brand: our new logo.

We arrived at this direction through visual explorations of the division of a fixed asset. With Bitcoin, there is a cap at 21 million and those bitcoins can be divided and subdivided to infinity. The block is a tiny ecosystem, and the pieces within grow, shrink and shift as the ownership of any given piece evolves. It is also a representation of how ‘many’ become ‘one’.

The specific divisions of the colors in this execution are also purposeful: they are based on measurements of the golden section.

The logo as a whole honors the heritage of our previous logos while becoming more simple, modern and optimized for the digital world we’re helping build. It brings us full circle to the very thing that attracted us to the Rubik’s cube, in the first place: all of the squares (entries in the chain) read together as a single unit (the ecosystem); the logo is a gestalt of its pieces. And the colors are built on our most recent logo.

Over the course of the coming weeks, you’ll see the new logo anywhere we’re out in public, like our web and social media sites; very soon you’ll see it in all of our products, as well.

We’re excited about the new logo, but more importantly about the role we’re playing in helping people and businesses throughout the world realize a more open, fair and accessible financial future, one piece of software at a time. Thank you for helping us make our vision a reality each and every day.

To the moon,

Reaching 10 Million Wallets and Beyond

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we have a lot to be grateful for. Earlier this year, we successfully released the third version of our flagship wallet product. Earlier this month we announced a new partnership with Coinify, which is the first step in our effort to make our wallet infinitely more user friendly and, ultimately, more accessible for the mass market. And earlier this week we hit our 10 millionth wallet.

Hitting this milestone at this particular moment isn’t a coincidence. Bitcoin has become a safe haven in the face of geopolitical events like the Brexit vote, the US Presidential election and a weakening Yuan; we’ve seen unprecedented levels of activity and transactions on our platform as a result. Beyond using bitcoin to protect against geopolitical risk, people across the globe are utilizing digital financial products, like ours, to transact and save their way to a better economic future. For them, bitcoin can and has changed lives.  

Bitcoin hasn’t yet replaced the established financial system, and we have a long way to go before the general public forsakes banks, cash or credit cards in favor of cryptocurrency. But we are seeing record levels of activity across our platform, which signals that people are embracing the need for a more globally accessible financial system, and one that does not exclude over one-third of the world’s population.  While there’s still a lot to do, we can’t help but pause this week to give thanks for the millions of users who are helping us build an open, fair and accessible financial future. We are excited and honored to be on this path with you all.

It’s here: we’re rolling out the ability to buy bitcoin from your Blockchain Wallet

Earlier today, we announced a partnership with Coinify that will allow our users in Europe to, for the first time ever, seamlessly and expediently fund their Blockchain wallets without compromising user security or control. This partnership will make our wallet infinitely more user friendly and, ultimately, more accessible for the mass market.

Read more “It’s here: we’re rolling out the ability to buy bitcoin from your Blockchain Wallet”

Security Update: Yesterday’s DNS Attack

Yesterday, Blockchain experienced an outage for several hours while under a DNS attack.

At approximately 5:42 AM EST, the attacker changed Blockchain.info’s DNS servers. Within minutes, our internal systems alerted our infrastructure team who immediately began to assess the attack.

Control over our DNS servers is highly restricted and goes beyond industry standard protections against configuration changes. We were able to access our administrative accounts with our registrar and regain control. Unfortunately, it became clear the attackers gained access to our accounts through breaching the systems of our DNS registrar.

In an abundance of caution, we shut down our entire platform until we investigated the full extent of the attack. After making offline high-level contact with our registrar, we quickly determined that our registrar’s systems were breached by a highly sophisticated attack against the registrar’s infrastructure and not Blockchain’s infrastructure. Our registrar was able to manually regain control and revert the DNS changes.

While we waited for the fix to propagate across the internet, we investigated the malicious site to which the attacker had redirected traffic. We determined that due to the attacker using a self-signed SSL certificate, users using modern browsers – which the wallet requires – were prevented from being exposed to the phishing site. Due to the quick response of our team, the attacker’s DNS changes were allowed only to propagate partially across the Internet. We were also able to locate the owners of the compromised machine being used by the attackers and have it shut down.

After a full check of our own systems and a complete propagation of the correct DNS servers, we brought our platform back online at 1:20 PM EST. To mitigate the attack vector at our registrar, we have implemented additional manual, offline controls.

Ultimately, any disruption in service is something we take seriously and we extend our sincere apologies. While we sometimes remain offline for longer than necessary, we do so out of an abundance of caution while we check to ensure all systems are fully protected and functional.

Thank you for your patience.

Peter Smith

CEO & Co-Founder, Blockchain

Announcing the New Blockchain Wallet!

The world’s most popular bitcoin wallet is now more secure and easier to use than ever. Starting today, we will begin the process of rolling out a major update to our flagship consumer product.

The New Blockchain Wallet

We’ve been focused on three things to make this the best wallet for you:

#1. A simplified wallet recovery and backup feature to keep users firmly in control of their funds
#2. A new security center to help users take the necessary steps to secure their wallet
#3. The friendliest and simplest user experience of any bitcoin wallet

What happens now?

As an existing user, you can choose the old version, or log into the new wallet at which point you can upgrade. Right now this is voluntary, but eventually everyone will need to switch. All your funds will be safe and sound when you choose to update, and you’ll get a lot of new features including:

  • Custom funds management
  • Dashboard with balance overview
  • Did You Know tips for new users
  • New Activity log
  • Improved transaction feed

For the bitcoin pros out there, our new wallet utilizes a hierarchical deterministic architecture (HD). This is a term used to describe the way a certain type of bitcoin wallet works. In an HD wallet, a single master wallet seed allows for a simplified recovery process. It also improves privacy by generating a new address for every payment request the user makes, all from the same original seed.

While our software does hundreds of thousands of transactions a week, we believe we’re just getting started on our mission. Our goal is to build the bitcoin wallet that people all over the world recommend to their friends and family. Secure, simple, and easy to use.

We will continue to launch additional features that make this product even better. And stay tuned – we’ll be featuring the wallet in future blog posts over the next few weeks!

The Block Chain – A New Regulatory Paradigm

Arthur Levitt, Jr. Former US SEC Chairman
Arthur Levitt, Jr. – Advisor to Blockchain Since 2014

By Arthur Levitt, Jr.

I have devoted my career to effective regulation of markets in order to create and promote trust, certainty and stability. My view is that open, free markets were and always will be the best way to promote shared prosperity, so long as those markets are transparent and well-protected against fraud and abuse. For this to occur, we have always needed regulations and regulators. And I’m proud to have played a part in promoting regulations and an environment that promoted transparency, protections of the investing public and well-functioning capital markets.

The reason I’ve chosen to take an advisory role with Blockchain and other firms engaged in crypto-currencies is precisely because of the opportunity they present to achieve the outcomes of good market regulations in new and interesting ways. These are new technologies and therefore we are just beginning to understand them, but what we already see is quite promising.

The challenge in any form of prudential regulation – which is the system created by multiple regulatory schemes and agencies – is this: How quickly does it respond to failures in the market system? When there is a bad actor committing fraud, do traditional regulatory agencies and actors catch it in time? The sad truth is that they lag. Other efforts to close that gap have proven wanting. Self-regulation doesn’t work in some cases; regulation by litigation presents a powerful disincentive to fraud, but rarely imposes broad compliance.

Blockchain’s business model is appealing precisely because it creates its own regulatory framework within its value proposition. First, it is the world’s largest bitcoin wallet software provider. With over four million wallets, Blockchain is the wallet software of choice for those transacting with bitcoins. Second, Blockchain.info provides a diagnostic tool that allows the public to view and research the public ledger of all Bitcoin transactions. As more transactions become digital, the kind of transparency enabled by Blockchain’s tools will amplify the market’s ability to self-correct bad acts and inefficiencies. Finally, Blockchain understands that for a company to grow, it must empower its industry’s developers.  To this end, Blockchain provides the most reliable and widely-used API service. Blockchain’s API enables software programmers to build new applications on top of the Bitcoin protocol.

In short, within the Bitcoin economy, Blockchain functions as both a provider of services, a platform for other developers and a fully incentivized system for correction and fraud detection.

Whether this is a model for other financial markets is debatable, but I believe it is promising and worthy of investment and support – particularly as the Bitcoin economy takes shape. I have always enjoyed seeing new companies and new markets succeed – and my goal for Blockchain is to see its business not only thrive but nurture a new regulatory model.

Arthur Levitt was the twenty-fifth and longest-serving Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from 1993 to 2001. Widely respected as a champion of the individual investor, his distinguished career has placed him at the intersection of policy and financial regulation for decades. Levitt previously served as a policy advisor to Goldman Sachs and is a Director of Bloomberg LP, as well as serving as a senior adviser at the Carlyle Group.

FinTech means Blockchain

Bob Wigley joins Blockchain as advisor
Bob Wigley, advisor to Blockchain

By Bob Wigley 

London has throughout modern history been a leading global financial services centre and at the forefront of innovation. It was in Great Britain that the modern era of the gold standard began in 1717 with Isaac Newton as Master of the Royal Mint. Britain’s banking system has pioneered many of the now ubiquitous world leading innovations in payments technologies including CHAPs, BACs and Fastpayments. Today, London remains a thriving hub of innovation with entrepreneurs choosing London to start or base their businesses here as a result of our fair and predictable legal and regulatory regime, low and predictable taxes, pool of talent, time zone, language and digital infrastructure.  

In financial services in particular, there is a tectonic shift going on as the digital era creates new opportunities for established businesses to reinvent themselves spurred by entrepreneurs inventing digital business models to disrupt the status quo. I can’t remember a time when London has been buzzing with so much entrepreneurial activity and a day doesn’t go by without someone raising a new FinTech idea with me. To me, FinTech means using the internet and constantly developing internet access devices, combined with their now pervasive penetration amongst consumers, to create more convenient and less expensive ways to undertake financial transactions and one company that embodies this is Blockchain.

I have learned more and more about Bitcoin as I have been approached by a number of Bitcoin related start-ups looking for investment and advice. Bitcoin strikes me as one of those developments you see infrequently that won’t just change one particular aspect of the way an existing service or product is delivered but has the potential to totally revolutionise world payments.

I am sure it is for this reason and because London is quite literally centre of the global currency exchange business that Her Majesty’s Treasury and UK regulators are focussed on understanding this potential revolution and the impact on consumers and institutions – so that London can once again embrace changes as they occur and encourage innovators to base themselves here whilst providing appropriate safeguards for consumers and investors.

Blockchain, as the bitcoin infrastructure company with the most market share and highest transaction volumes, supported as it is by a sound balance sheet and A list investors and led by a visionary management team, seemed a clear first among equals to me and I’m excited to continue to help support their mission.

Bob Wigley has a long and successful career in both the private and public sector. Bob was the former Chairman of Merrill Lynch Europe, Middle East and Africa, and served as an Ambassador for UK Business for the Prime Minister, David Cameron. Among other roles, he served as a member of the Court of the Bank of England. Currently, Bob is the Chairman of Tantalum Corporation plc, LLamabrook plc, NetOTC Saarl, Justinvesting Ltd, Stonehaven LLP and is an investor and entrepreneur. He is also a Fellow of both Oxford University Said’s Business School and Cambridge University’s Judge Business School Centre for Alternative Finance.

Bitcoin is Poised to Become a Hyper Growth Industry

Salil Pitroda, joins Blockchain as advisor

By Salil Pitroda

In the fifteen years I have dedicated to building technology companies, I have seen what makes a market innovator. Today, I see that, and more, in Blockchain, and it has been thrilling to work with the company as an advisor over the past year. 

I witnessed the financial crisis first hand on Wall Street, where it became clear to many that, over time, the financial system would need upgrading for complexity management and greater efficiency. That was when I first started to learn about the Bitcoin industry and the block chain. What was most exciting to me was the fundamental architectural innovation of the block chain as a trusted, pseudonymous, distributed ledger for financial flows with broad applicability and deep utility.

Blockchain, the company, has already achieved exponential growth as the world’s leading bitcoin wallet, which has built-in viral adoption characteristics, especially as more consumers go mobile. The company has the most trusted brand in Bitcoin for consumers and application developers. As a key enabler, Blockchain is building the software abstractions that will hide technical complexity, add features, increase usability and grow adoption of bitcoin technology. Creation of this platform ecosystem has been a key driver of growth with other large-scale networks such as Facebook.

Growth of bitcoin and the block chain will have transformational impacts in our lifetime. For consumers, bitcoin will offer a more efficient, accountable, and lower cost way to transfer funds and pay in many use cases. For businesses, the block chain will allow sharing of information for its participants, trust between unknown parties, and greater security and risk management for transactional flows.

I look forward to working with Peter, Nic, Ben and the team. They have the vision required to lead the industry into the next phase of hyper-growth, and the skillset to build its foundation. I’m eager to bring my experience in mobile wallets, financial services, and social networking to bear on the company’s product innovation, business model, partnerships and scalability.

The team is-well positioned to bring a better future to the world through the block chain.

Salil Pitroda was previously an executive in corporate development at Facebook and has been a part of two successful startups. The first, Old Lane, an innovative investment firm where he specialized in technology and financial services, which was acquired by Citigroup. The second, C-SAM, a pioneering mobile transactions company where Salil served as a founding investor, interim executive, and board member, which was acquired by MasterCard in 2014. Salil has also worked on strategy, product development, growth, M&A and more with Pryte, Onavo, C-SAM, MSC Software, Shopzilla, Poplicus, Ceridian, Beecher-Carlson, Aspen Marketing, SPI Technologies, Symphony Services, Click Tactics, Zagat Survey, Phonetic Systems, and ProBusiness.