BlockTrail launches secure multi-signature Bitcoin wallet service

Amsterdam-based BlockTrail B.V. is stretching its virtual legs and launching a brand new multiplatform Bitcoin wallet service for iOS, Android, and the web. The service, which has been in the Bitcoin industry since 2014, started originally with a blockchain explorer–a service that allows users to view historical transactions on Bitcoin’s distributed ledger–as well as a developer API for accessing that information. The company’s newest product is much more consumer-oriented and will allow users to store and transfer bitcoins.

The company is backed by a €500,000 seed funding round from its own co-founder Lev Leviev who is also the founder of the Russian Facebook, Inc. rival (VKontakte Ltd.) Leviev sold his controlling interest in in 2013 along with another investor to the tune of $1 billion.

The BlockTrail wallet supplies all the standard services expected from a Bitcoin wallet: the ability to send and receive bitcoins securely, storage of said bitcoins and payments and receipt using QR codes. The service also promises that users will be in control of their own private keys (the encryption keys needed to transact with stored bitcoins) which greatly increases the security of the wallet.

BlockTrail says that the company provides this security by implementing multi-signature wallets and HD wallets (also known as Hierarchical Deterministic key wallets.) With multi-signature wallets more than one private key is needed to release bitcoins for transaction–often this is used to allow multiple parties to have access to a wallet, but requires two or more of those parties to sign off before a transaction can happen.

When users can control their own private wallet keys it also means that the wallet provider cannot access the bitcoins in the

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