Bitgo engineer Jameson Lopp is a Bitgo employee no more. The developer, who is one of the best known figures in bitcoin, has been coaxed away to Casa, a startup seeking to create a secure wallet for the crypto rich. With annual maintenance fees running into five figures, the service is for hodlers with deep pockets and an even deeper fear of being deprived of their cryptocurrency.
Lopp Enters the House of Casa
The launch of secure wallet Casa is an interesting one for a couple of reasons. For one thing, the multisig service includes some additional steps designed to thwart attacks that include physical threats. For another, the company’s sudden emergence heralds the equally sudden departure of Jameson Lopp from Bitgo. The bitcoin developer is regarded as a knowledgeable head within the industry, but it was no secret that he had his disagreements with Bitgo CEO Mike Belshe, who was an advocate for the abortive Segwit 2x split that was called off last November.
The reason for Lopp’s change of employer may have been more prosaic however: he was likely seeking a fresh and more lucrative challenge, and he’s found that at Casa. The company was only started last summer by Jeremy Welch after raising $2.1 million in venture capital. The “premium hodl software” Casa has developed is basically just fancy multi-sig with a fancy price tag to match. There is no doubt, however, that the security market for high net worth hodlers is a burgeoning one, and thus Casa’s arrival is timely. The company’s offering will be competing against the likes of Coinbase Custody, which also comes with a high annual maintenance fee.
Helping the Super Rich Stay That Way
The technology behind Casa isn’t novel, but it’s been well marketed and has some high profile figures on board including Jameson Lopp. Thus, it shouldn’t struggle to attract clients, and with USD fees reported to run into five figures, it won’t need many of them to turn be profitable. The solution Casa will be using requires three of five multi-sig approvals to release funds, with one of those keys stored by the company.
Casa reportedly has a few clients signed up already, and another 100 or so on its waiting list. The biggest challenge the company may face is one of convenience. The biggest asset the super rich possess is arguably not money, but the luxury of time that money brings. These people are accustomed to paying others to do their chores, and having to set up multi-sig and store several wallets in multiple locations is the sort of task that may not come naturally. Given the ‘effort’ involved, high crypto net worth individuals may prefer to offload all responsibility to a fully insured third party such as Coinbase.
Would you pay over $10,000 a year for a multisig wallet service? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Casa.
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