Interviews 2 April 2019CoinGeek
CoolBitX CEO Michael Ou on security, convenience with CoolWallet S
One of the biggest concerns the public has about cryptocurrency adoption is the security of their money, should they invest. Michael Ou, CEO and founder of CoolBitX, creators of the CoolWallet S, is seeking to hit that perfect balance between air-tight security and convenience for crypto users, without forfeiting much on either end. He joined CoinGeek.com’s Stephanie Tower to talk about what his company is working on.
Ou got involved with cryptocurrency right when security was most obviously needed. “I started the company in 2014 right after Mt. Gox collapsed, and I started it because I was obsessed, obviously, with cryptocurrency, because of its unique features and explosive potential,” he told us. “So I wanted to do something with crypto, and I look into the market, and I found there’s a lot of missing puzzles in the space before this cryptocurrency can go to really what we call mass adoption. So what was missing, we think, was security and ease of use, and most importantly, compliance.”
Until there are proper safeguards for user and enterprise funds, Ou just doesn’t see mass adoption happening. “Just within the last 12 months, it’s reported that $1 billion worth of crypto is gone,” he offers. “Now if you take that number to any other financial market, it’s not acceptable at all. If you say Tesla stock, $1 billion is gone to thieves, hackers, I guarantee you nobody is going to buy that stock anymore.”
To explain how CoolBitX is trying to help the space, he demonstrated the CoolWallet S. It’s a credit card sized device with a small screen for displaying transaction information, and a button for confirmation. It communicates with a smart phone through Bluetooth networking, and doesn’t require the hassle of cables like other hardware wallets do. He explained that it supports Bitcoin Core (BTC), Ethereum, Litecoin, XRP, and all other ERC-20 tokens.
The selling factor is the ease of use, and three factor authentication. Users need the owner’s biometrics, the card, and the owner’s smartphone to confirm a transaction. If any one of those three pieces is missing, funds can’t be stolen.
Thus the name. It offers the security of a hard wallet, and the convenience of a cold wallet. “So we call ourselves something in-between, CoolWallet S,” he explains.
The next step for CoolBitX is a bit more ambitious though. When asked about it, he explained the problems of private key storage. He explains the problem, “If you ask your friends, your mom, ‘You have to memorize your private keys, if you lose your wallet, you need that to get your money back,’ totally not possible. We’ve tried for years, trust me.”
His company is looking to make that process much less frustrating, and more familiar, to the public. “When you lose the wallet, you call up your banks, you call up your exchange, prove your ID, they give you your wallet with your keys,” Ou explains. “That’s how it should be.”
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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