Since the first day we started developing Case, our goal has been to develop a device that is both secure and easy to use. Often, products are designed in such a way that sacrifices one for the sake of the other, but this is a false dilemma. There are hardware wallets that provide secure storage, but you need to transfer your funds to an insecure hot wallet in order to spend them at your local bitcoin-accepting coffee shop. On the other hand, there are web wallets that are simple to use, but as we’ve seen time and time again, they’re not secure, and when you’re dealing with people’s money, that’s just unacceptable.
We developed Case to be just as convenient as a credit card, and most importantly, more secure than a credit card. When you’re making a comparison in security to a piece of plastic with your “private key” printed on it, the latter is a pretty low bar to set. We’ve started to explain the security measures we’ve implemented with Case, and there will be more to come about that in the near future. However, matching the convenience of a credit card is a pretty high bar to set. With an American credit card, all you have to do is take out your wallet, get your card, swipe your card, sign your name, and put it away. In other countries, they’re using even more convenient methods. How can we match that? First of all, Case needed to be small enough to carry in your pocket. Case is just barely thicker than a credit card (due to the thickness of the camera), and is the length and width of a standard-size credit card. To send bitcoins with our device, all you have to do is press the Ƀ button once and scan a QR code. If you’re paying a merchant, chances are, the amount is already embedded in the QR code, and all you have to do is swipe your finger. If you’re sending money to your friend’s address, the only extra step you have to perform is entering an amount to send before swiping. Until NFC-enabled terminals start accepting bitcoin, it doesn’t get simpler than this. We’ve timed Case’s QR detection and compared it against our smartphones (iPhones and S5’s, for the most part), and Case is noticeably faster.
With Case, we want to make bitcoin as easy to use and secure as Google Wallet, Apple Pay, or PayPal. Those services allow you to send money to friends and merchants easily, but there’s just one problem: they’re closed systems. If you have PayPal and your friend has Google Wallet, you can’t send money to them unless they create an account. If your friend has a Coinbase account and you have a Case, you can send money to them no problem, which they can then sell for their local currency or use bitcoin directly, even if they’re in another country. We expect other services to continue entering the Bitcoin space, and you’ll be able to interact with them without any issue because Bitcoin is an open protocol. Large corporations have been trying to solve the payments problem for the past decade with closed systems, but the problem is that all of these systems are too segmented to gain traction. Bitcoin is a potential solution to this problem, but everyday consumers need a secure solution that they can use every day without having to think about it. We’ve designed Case to be the first such solution. Stay tuned for some big updates!
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