$10 Billion: Bitcoin Storage Service Xapo Reportedly Holds 7% of BTC's Supply in Cold Storage Vaults

Francisco Memoria
  • Bitcoin wallet and cold storage service provider Xapo reportedly holds 7% of the cryptocurrency's supply in its vaults on behalf of wealthy clients.
  • Per reports, this amount equals roughly $10 billion. It's so security-focused it even has a pulse scanner in its vaults, to stop criminals from accessing them using amputated hands.

Bitcoin storage service provider Xapo, a cryptocurrency startup that’s been on the market since 2014, reportedly holds about 7 percent of Bitcoin’s total supply in its vaults. The amount is being held in cold storage on behalf of clients, and equals about $10 billion.

According to Bloomberg, Xapo’s chief executive officer Wences Casares has spent the past several years pitching bitcoin to Silicon Valley millionaires and billionaires. Xapo itself has built a network of underground vaults, which span across five continents, including one in a decommissioned military bunker, to keep the bought bitcoins in cold storage.

Citing two unnamed clients, Bloomberg reports that the wallet and cold storage provider has an estimated $10 billion worth of bitcoin in its vaults. If the figure is accurate, it means Xapo – a four-year-old startup – has more “deposits” than 98 percent of the over 5,600 banks in the United States.

The company is reportedly overseen by the self-regulating Financial Services Standards Association, which ensures its members comply with anti-money laundering (AML) rules. Cryptocurrency funds praise its storage concept, despite the arguably centralized setup it has.

CoinShares’ CEO Ryan Radloff, the CEO of cryptocurrency investment firm CoinShares, which reportedly has over $500 million worth of bitcoin stored at Xapo, was quoted as saying:

“Everyone who isn’t keeping keys themselves is keeping them with Xapo. You couldn’t pay me to keep it with a bank.”

Ryan Radloff

Xapo’s backers now include LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and billionaire investor Michael Novogratz, who recently defended bitcoin in the scaling debate, noting its market cap “dwarfs bitcoin cash.” Their bet, Bloomberg notes, is that bitcoin is here to stay.

The cryptocurrency storage service’s business model is a successful one. Bitcoin’s late 2017 surge saw various criminals attempt to enter the market, which led bitcoin tycoons to resort to drastic measures, including fortifying their homes, hiding their identities, and studying self-defense.

Per Bloomberg’s report, it takes Xapo two days to retrieve bitcoin from its vaults. Before making transactions, it verifies the client’s identity and authenticates the request before conducting it.

First Block Capital, the first fully registered cryptocurrency firm in Canada, picked Xapo as its custodian after months of due diligence, which included a tour to the startup’s Swiss vault. Sean Clark, the firm’s founder, noted that the vault’s fingerprint scanners were even equipped with a pulse reader that would prevent amputated hands from being used. He was quoted as saying:

“Every part of their DNA is geared to security. Whenever we make big transfers they FaceTime us, we have duress words, if it’s big enough they’ll fly out to see us.”

Sean Clark

Samsung Galaxy S10 Reportedly Supporting BTC, LTC, ETH, and All ERC-20 Tokens via Enjin Crypto Wallet

According to the latest reports from Asia in the past few hours, Samsung's Galaxy S10 will ship next month with a preinstalled copy of the Enjin crypto wallet, which supports Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and all Ethereum tokens (such as Basic Attention Token or Augur).

Earlier today, news outlet Asia Crypto Today reported that they had heard from anonymous sources that "the Enjin Wallet has been chosen as the partners for the new flagship phone," and they referred to this as "the biggest partnership in crypto history." What seems to support the first claim is that the online shopping site of SK telecom, South Korea's largest wireless carrier, seems to have posted a product listing page for the Samsung Galaxy S10 that shows a screenshot from the phone's "Samsung Blockchain Keystore" as well as one from the Enjin cryptocurrency wallet:

SK Telecom S10 Page Screenshot.png

The website for the Enjin crypto wallet says that it supports BTC, ETH, LTC, ENJ and all ERC-20 tokens by default" and that "other altcoins will be supported soon." The Enjin wallet actually also supports ERC-721 and ERC-1155 (an Ethereum token standard that Enjin created itself).

Here are a few more screenshots to give you a better idea of what the interface looks like:

Enjin Wallet Interface 1.png

Enjin Wallet Interface 2.png

This non-custodial crypto wallet was launched on January 8th. The Enjin team says that they have worked hard to try to make the Enjin wallet "almost as secure as a hardware wallet" on "non-rooted" Android devices, and that they have "commissioned 3rd party audits and penetration testing with trusted security researchers and experts to ensure that the Enjin Smart Wallet remains ultra-secure and tested before each new release." In fact, they go so far as to say that they "can confidently state that the Enjin Digital Smart Wallet is more secure than any other mobile wallet in the world."

Featured Image Courtesy of Enjin Pte. Ltd.