Blockchain startup Bitsy wants to help build out the bridge between cryptocurrencies and fiat money.
To that end, the company announced a new crypto wallet Friday, one aimed at providing a simplified, user-friendly experience. CEO Ann-Marie Hopkins told CoinDesk that the wallet will allow users to buy some amount of cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin, and ensure that “it’ll be easier to get bitcoin from one person to another.”
Bitsy – which has seen investment from Medici Ventures, the blockchain subsidiary of retail giant Overstock.com – says its wallet offers a clean interface for newcomers to the tech, one which hides wallet addresses, transaction verifications and other technical details, though those will still remain accessible for more experienced users.
“We want the regular bitcoin technical person to appreciate it, but at the same time we want it to be more mainstream, more usable, and until we make it more approachable, we don’t think people will use it.”
According to the firm’s website, the product will use facial recognition for wallet access on devices fitted with the technology.
To use the new product, users purchase their desired amount of bitcoin in U.S. dollars, and the crypto “goes right into your wallet,” according to Hopkins. To transfer bitcoin to someone else, the wallet defaults to a QR code instead of a bitcoin address.
“If you don’t want to worry about the technical stuff, you don’t have to. Of course, you have access if you want to look at the verifications,” she added.
At launch, users will be able to transfer funds chiefly between individuals. However, the company intends for its platform to act as an on-ramp for those looking to purchase goods or services online, as well.
“That’s eventually, probably where we’re going. That’s the ideal, companies all get a wallet, you send them the bitcoin, they charge you the bitcoin, it can just be another form of payment,” the CEO said.
To kick start that expansion, Overstock.com will add an integration for the wallet in late 2018 or early 2019, which will enable customers to quickly purchase items for sale on its platform using cryptocurrency. Ultimately, Overstock.com customers will even be able to directly purchase bitcoin through the app.
Moreover, while users in developed nations may already have options to purchase and transact with bitcoin, those who have difficulty accessing banking services may be able to more easily conduct transactions using Bitsy, Hopkins said.