We’re pleased to announce to that we’ve launched our buy bitcoin service in United Arab Emirates. If you’re a UAE customer, you can now buy bitcoin on BitOasis.
We’re working on allowing different methods of payments on our platform to make it easy for our Middle East based customers to buy and sell bitcoin. This is the initial buy bitcoin product we’re rolling out and we’ll be adding further features and payment methods to make it as seamless as possible to buy bitcoin.
Security is crucial for the growth and maturity of the Bitcoin space; however, some companies still underestimate the importance of security as a main pillar in any Bitcoin product and still expose their users to risks of losing their funds.
In 2012 we’ve seen the early adoption of multisignature transactions. Three years after, multisignature technology has become increasingly more important for the fast growing Bitcoin space as more companies started adopting it as a security standard for wallets and vaults.
Photo: State of Bitcoin 2015 – CoinDesk
How do multisignature transactions work?
Traditional Bitcoin wallets rely on a simple send-receive system, which is the standard transaction to Bitcoin address (pay-to-pubkey-hash). This means for every Bitcoin wallet there’s one 34-character wallet address, which is a hash of the public key, associated with a 64-character private key that the user would have to be able to spend their bitcoins. Private keys need to be kept safe and only accessed when a user wants to sign a transaction. In these wallets, so long as you keep this single private key safely secured you’ll be fine. However, once this safety is compromised and hackers gain access to your key, they can easily empty your funds out of your wallet.
Multisignature transactions (pay-to-script-hash) are more complex than the scenario explained above. In a multisignature transaction, addresses can have various number of private keys associated to them such that you need any number combination of these keys to be able to spend the funds. This is what’s referred to as n-of-m multisig. The most standard combination of keys for multisignature wallets is 2-of-3 where you need 2 private keys out of 3 to be able to execute a transaction. Hence, even if the safety of one of your private keys was compromised the hacker still can’t steal your bitcoins as they need to gain access to the second key to sign off transactions out of your wallets.
Photo: Since 2012, daily average number of p2sh transactions have been steadily increasing, p2sh.info
While multisignature transactions have been standardized in the Bitcoin protocol since 2012, it didn’t see much traction until early 2014 with more wallets providing multisig security and adopting BIP32 Bitcoin protocol.
HDM wallets and BitOasis multisignature structure
At BitOasis, we understand that security is a priority for any wallet solution and we have built a Hierarchical Deterministic Multisignature (HDM) wallet to provide the highest level of security to our users.
The deterministic characteristic in BitOasis HDM wallet allows it to automatically generate random new Bitcoin addresses on each transaction using a specific algorithm from a single seed, providing higher levels of privacy and easier wallet backups from the seed rather than manually keeping and updating a backup file that can be lost if your hard drive goes corrupted.
The hierarchical characteristic allows the generation of billions of addresses and accounts from a single seed. Think of it like a tree, where you have a single node (key) that have branches and each of these branches have other branches and so on. The HD wallet characteristics combined with a 2-of-3 multisignature setup is a powerful combination to create a wallet with the highest level of security, without compromising usability, and that’s what we aspired for.
Three keys, three distributed locations
BitOasis multisig has three private keys in distributed storage in three different geographical locations:
The first key is secured by BitOasis under the control of the user and protected by a strong password and 2-factor authentication.
The second key is secured by implementing a trusted third party oracle, provided by CryptoCorp, that co-signs user transactions after examining the transaction to detect any potential wallet compromise or fraud.
The third key is a recovery key that is secured and held in cold storage by an independent legal entity for recovery in case of any service compromise.
How do BitOasis multisignature transactions work?
When you log onto BitOasis and try to spend your bitcoins, you sign with the first key and automatically forward your transaction to CryptoCorp to co-sign.
Before it signs the transaction, CryptoCorp performs the necessary security and fraud detection checks to make sure the transaction was truly initiated by you and counter-signs with the second key. In the case of suspicious activity, CryptoCorp initiates an automated call or text to your cell phone to verify the outgoing transaction with you before signing it.
Once you confirm that the transaction is initiated by you, CryptoCorp would sign the transaction with your second key.
Once the transaction is signed by the second key, your funds are now spent and your transaction is broadcasted to the Bitcoin network for confirmation.
CryptoCorp’s oracle acts as trusted third party that only signs transactions when certain determined conditions are met, by that providing an extra layer of security that doesn’t compromise the usability of BitOasis’ HDM wallet.
Vetting all transactions to prevent fraud
Each transaction is vetted to protect BitOasis users from theft, fraud and risk without having control on user funds. Transactions are pre-classified into different risk weights and when certain risks, anomalies or wallet compromise cases are identified, the user will receive an automated call from CryptoCorp and will be presented with the three options below:
Enter number 1 to confirm that the transaction is initiated by you, and then CryptoCorp would sign with the second key
Enter number 3 to cancel the transaction, and hence CryptoCorp wouldn’t sign the transaction and in turn, it will not go through.
Enter number 9 to notify CryptoCorp and BitOasis that the transaction wasn’t initiated by you. This would put your account and all transactions on hold until you decide on next action.
BitOasis is currently in private beta and we’re rolling out our new exchange service soon.
If you enjoyed the piece and have more questions about BitOasis HDM wallet, shoot us an email at [email protected], or follow us on Twitter @BitOasis.
For the past few weeks we’ve been working on a new feature we’re very excited to launch. With our new wallet Facebook integration you can now send bitcoins to your friends over Facebook instantly and easily without needing to save and copy paste bitcoin addresses every time you send a transaction.
Once you register through Facebook (or link your existing BitOasis wallet to Facebook from Dashboard or Settings) you can immediately start using this feature to send money to your friends through Facebook.
Your My Friends page will be automatically updated with your Facebook friends that have BitOasis wallets, and you can use Invite Facebook Friends button to invite your friends to create BitOasis wallets. Your friends will receive their invitation to BitOasis as a Facebook notification on their accounts.
For every friend you invite and registers through Facebook, you will earn 500bits for free!
By selecting your friend that you want to send money to (either through Dashboard or Send page) you can immediately send bitcoin to them without needing to copy paste or save long bitcoin addresses.
We’re looking forward for you to try it! Give it a quick run, and let us know if you like it. We’ll be adding further features as we go, hence we’d love to hear your feedback on how we can improve. For any comments or questions, get in touch with us at [email protected]
We’re running a promotional offer on BitOasis. Sign up and you get 1000bits for free, invite your Facebook friends and you’ll get 500bits for each friend that signs up.
We had a great time at the Dubai Bitcoin Conference. The event took place at the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) on December 12-13 and had a great mix of international and regional attendees and speakers. The event, organized by Bruce Fenton, is the second Bitcoin event that took place in Dubai and the first to successfully create a platform for all Bitcoiners, internationally and regionally, to connect, network and explore partnership opportunities.
The two days featured great speakers such as Bitcoin entrepreneur & investor Erik Voorhees, David Johnston of DApps Fund, Greg Simon of Ribbit and Founder & CEO of Bitreserve, Halsey Minor. The event also had Garrett Cassidy from Circle, Ira Miller of Coinapult and Paul Snow of Factom presenting.
Whoever attended the two days of the conference can’t deny the strong presence of startups from emerging markets; India, Africa, Turkey and most importantly the Middle East. Day 1 had Sunny Ray of Unocoin talking about Bitcoin in India. Having the world’s largest inbound remittances flow, with the biggest share coming from Gulf Arab countries, Sunny highlighted that Bitcoin can play a big part in facilitating remittances into the country. Our very own Ola Doudin talked about the potential of Bitcoin in the Middle East and BitOasis multi-signature wallet. David El Achkar of Yellow gave an overview of the Middle East’s fast growing Bitcoin ecosystem, presenting all the latest meetup groups and startups filling the space. Charlene Chen of BitPesa showcased their work in Kenya and their expansion across Africa.
In recent years, Dubai has emerged as a leading global commercial hub with a business environment that attracts companies and individuals from different parts of the world. Its strategic location, that connects the east with the west, has enabled it to become a leading financial center where opportunities and talent meet. And this year’s Dubai Bitcoin Conference was a live example of that. Startups and investors from various countries have come to celebrate Bitcoin. But the biggest highlight of the conference surely was that Bitcoin is fast rising in the emerging world. We’re excited to be part of this movement, and we’re eagerly looking forward to 2015!
Big news! We’ve launched our private beta at the Dubai Bitcoin Conference. Request your early access to BitOasis here and get free $10 in bitcoins.
If you’ve lived or spent some time in the Middle East, you’ll quickly notice that moving money cross-border or simply paying online isn’t that easy. Say you’re a freelancer from Beirut who’s doing work for a company in Dubai and it’s time to get paid. Oh wait, Paypal wouldn’t work. They’ll have to transfer that money to your bank account, but that’s costly. Now, say you don’t have a bank account. Doing freelance work remotely might not be such a good idea after all. Even if the internet allows it, you still can’t get paid easily for your work in many parts of the Middle East.
Getting paid online is only one of many challenges introduced by the lack of advanced and efficient financial and payment systems in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA). The region’s societies remain cash-based with low consumer trust, leading to low adoption of online payments. Creating new, robust, affordable, and easily accessible payment and money transfer tools can radically transform the lives of people and help boost the region’s markets, such as remittances and e-commerce, with the latter expected to grow to $15B in market size in 2015. The biggest opportunity remains in banking the region’s unbanked. About 80% of MENA’s adult population lacks access to any financial instruments. Imagine the economic growth and social well-being that can be achieved by integrating them into an inclusive financial system.
Bitcoin, a decentralised digital currency and open payment protocol, has the potential to reinvent the way we transact as individuals, companies, and institutions. It helps lay the groundwork for a stronger financial infrastructure that is suited for the digital world. With Bitcoin, anyone can have a bank account simply by having access to the internet without paying fees or doing complicated paperwork and signups.
At BitOasis, we believe we can transform the way people transact, send money, and pay online by making it easy and secure to use Bitcoin. Using our wallet, we enable users in the Middle East to make and receive bitcoin payments from all over the world instantly and at no cost. Security is a top priority and we are committed to adopting the most secure technology to ensure that funds are safe at all times. Through applying 2-of-3 multi-signature technology and advanced fraud prevention, you can now store and spend your bitcoin digital assets more securely and confidently than before.
This is how it works:
Our 3-key distributed architecture provides the most advanced Bitcoin technology available today to protect your bitcoin from theft. Your wallet has three keys that are independently generated and securely stored by three geographically diverse parties: BitOasis, CryptoCorp and Empowered Law LLP. No one party has access to 2 of the 3 keys at any time, so funds are not controlled by any of the parties acting alone.
When you log onto BitOasis and try to spend your bitcoins, BitOasis signs with the first key and forwards your transaction to CryptoCorp which in turn performs the necessary security checks and counter-signs with the second key. In the case of suspicious activity, CryptoCorp will immediately call you to confirm the outgoing transaction before signing it.
Our solution is different from other multi-signature wallets in the way the third key, known as the Recovery key, is secured. This key allows users to recover their bitcoins in case BitOasis or CryptoCorp become unavailable. Most multi-signature wallets today require you to print and store your Recovery key, make backups, and keep them at multiple physical locations. At BitOasis, we move the responsibility of protecting and safekeeping the Recovery key from our users to an independent party that specializes in doing such tasks. Empowered Law LLP, an independent legal attorney, is responsible for managing the safeguarding of our users’ Recovery keys. In the case of any service compromise or termination by BitOasis or CryptoCorp, Empowered Law LLP will act on behalf of our customers to recover and return all bitcoin funds to their owners.