This article is a company-provided press release and ProgrammableWeb cannot vouch for the accuracy of the statements within. If you have questions regarding the information below, please contact the company that issued the press release.
Gem, a developer API platform that simplifies integrating Bitcoin into apps and services, today announced that it has raised an additional $1.3 million. Along with the funding, Gem also announced that its popular multi-signature wallet API is now out of private beta and available to any developer around the world to use.
Developing with Bitcoin is difficult. While many prominent technologists and investors believe the technology has the potential to disrupt major industries, including banking and finance, the Internet of Things, identity management and many others, the underlying Bitcoin protocol is quite complex, creating a barrier to entry for new developers. In addition to a steep learning curve, Bitcoin companies have become a target for hackers which has multiplied the security risk that comes with building a Bitcoin app or service.
Recent high-profile thefts at well-known Bitcoin companies like Bitstamp, Bter and Coinapult have highlighted the security risk. In total, roughly 10% of all bitcoins that have ever existed have been lost or stolen due to poor security practices, or around $350 million USD.
Gem has made it a mission to eliminate the security issue, shorten the learning curve and make Bitcoin friendly to every developer, everywhere, regardless of what they are building.
By eradicating the pain points associated with integrating Bitcoin, the API does the heavy lifting for developers. Multi-signature wallets, key generation and storage, broadcasting transactions to the blockchain, and the security required to keep bitcoin safe are all immediately accessible capabilities any developer can get their hands on through Gem's service.
"We've been speaking a lot with our beta customers, and they've told us repeatedly that our API has freed up their development resources to focus on building experiences their customers love. They also feel they can sleep better at night knowing their customers' bitcoins are safe," said Micah Winkelspecht, Gem CEO and Founder. "They feel empowered, and that was our goal."
With the broad release of its API comes a significant amount of rich features and capabilities, including:
- Unlimited transactions
- 2-of-3 multi-signature security (BIP11/BIP16)
- Hardware Security Module (HSM) cosigning protection
- Hierarchical deterministic (HD) wallet (BIP32/BIP43/BIP44)
- Client SDKs in multiple languages (Ruby, Java, Python, Node.js)
- Webhook notifications
- Multi-factor authentication
- Fraud monitoring and rules enforcement
- Chat support
"Bitcoin is new technology, and let's be honest, a lot of the essentials required to use it are rough to figure out and can take a lot of manpower," said Gem COO Ken Miller. "There are enough adoption hurdles already without developers actually being incented not to integrate Bitcoin. So we decided to do something about that."
Gem not only tackled the hard problems of streamlining Bitcoin adoption for developers, but did so with a strict focus around making it the most secure offering on the market. Gem's API gives all developers access to a platform that has true 2-of-3 multi-sig functionality, a sophisticated set of rules and monitoring to intelligently cosign transactions and prevent fraud, and key management within FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) that Gem introduced to the Bitcoin industry earlier this year.
"The entire banking world has been using HSMs for years to secure financial transactions, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and even Apple Pay. But until now, the Bitcoin industry hasn't been using them because they weren't designed for Bitcoin. We fixed that problem," said Winkelspecht.