Gem, a bitcoin platform for developers, launched its private beta Monday at TechCrunch Disrupt. Gem takes a different approach to securing bitcoin applications through a scalable API that abstracts the bitcoin storing layer. The API simplifies bitcoin implementations because it stores, encrypts and backs up users' bitcoins so developers can concentrate on product development instead of security.
"Our platform allows you to create wallets based on multisignature technology and other technologies," Gem co-founder and CEO Micah Winkelspecht explained. "It’s more secure than holding your own keys because we provide an extra layer of security.
"The industry right now is really focused on payment, but we’re really about empowering the next wave of developers," he said. "Right now, if you want to build a bitcoin app, you have to be an expert in cryptography and security. We give you a very consumable platform and a client library.”
As part of its launch campaign, Gem entered TechCrunch Disrupt's Startup Battlefield challenge. Gem is one of 26 companies selected to participate in the Battlefield challenge out of a 700-applicant pool. Monday and today, Gem will demonstrate a home-built Android app that utilizes the Gem API. While the app exists to demo the API, it is an example of the simplicity of the Gem API. The Gem team was able to develop a world-class bitcoin wallet in just a few weeks with the Gem API.
The Gem service is exposed as an HTTP API. Accordingly, the API can be accessed from any language. The API eliminates developers' need for thorough cryptocurrency understanding; however, basic knowledge is helpful. More complete API documentation is soon to come, but those interested can learn more at the API overview. Reach out to the team for early access.
Gem's goal is ambitious: "We are reinventing banking from the ground up." Gem aims to accomplish its feat by putting full control of digital assets back in the owners' hands. Security continues to be a major hurdle for the wide-scale adoption of cryptocurrencies. Gem has a new approach to security that enables bitcoin developers to focus on products and applications, not infrastructure.