Bitcoin Startup Gem Announced an Additional $1.3M Funding

Bitcoin start-up Gem announces the launch of its developer API to the general public.

Photo: BTC Keychain/Flickr

Photo: BTC Keychain/Flickr

Gem, a Bitcoin start-up that provides a scalable API for Bitcoin developers, has recently announced the launch of its developer API to the general public after about nine months in private beta.

The company offers multi-signature wallets, multifactor authentication, key generation and storage, broadcasting transactions to the Blockchain, security, fraud monitoring and rules enforcement, and other features all as an on-demand service that can be integrated into any end-user experience in minutes with just a handful of lines of code.

At the moment, Gem supports multiple programming languages, including Ruby, Java, Python, Node.js.

“Our mission is to just make Bitcoin simple and accessible for everyone, everywhere. We started down that path by first making Bitcoin painless to work with for developers. Developers all over are building products where they want to integrate Bitcoin and had no idea how to do that. Or lacked the manpower to pull it off. We understood that pain and built an API that makes those issues go away,” is written on the company’s website.

Furthermore, Micah Winkelspecht, Founder and CEO of Gem, announced that the company has raised an additional $1.3 million in a Seed extension round led by KEC Ventures with participation from existing investors First Round Capital, RRE Ventures, ECEG Partners, Birchmere Labs, Baroda Ventures, Amplify.LA, Tekton Ventures, Drummond Road Capital, and Robert Wolfson. Currently the company has raised a total of $3.3 million to date.

Besides, Mr. Winkelspecht stated that the company allows Bitcoin developers to adopt standard banking industry grade (FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified) Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) for the first time in the industry:

“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.”

Gem stores all information related to customer Bitcoin assets on its servers in encrypted form, which means that neither the company nor the developers using the service have the ability to decrypt this information without private keys known only by the end user. Therefore, if the company’s servers are hacked, no funds will be lost. However, on the downside, if the customer loses their private keys, the company cannot help him/her recover their encrypted funds.

“Many developers are eager to incorporate bitcoin into their products and services, but aren’t sure where to start, or are lacking resources to figure it out. 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. They feel empowered, and that was our goal,” said Micah Winkelspecht.

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