SOURCE: Gem

Gem

January 28, 2015 14:24 ET

Gem Announces Major Bitcoin Security Platform Expansion With Integration of Hardware Security Modules and Global Partnerships

Gem Becomes the First Multi-Sig Developer Platform to Utilize FIPS-140-2 Level 3 Hardware Certified Security With Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) From Industry Leader Thales e-Security; Partners With Southeast Asia's CryptoSigma and US-Based Bitmo

VENICE, CA--(Marketwired - Jan 28, 2015) -  Gem (https://gem.co), the Venice-based Bitcoin startup offering a multi-signature security platform to Bitcoin developers, today announced a major shift in the future of Bitcoin security with the deployment of custom Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) from payment security giant Thales e-Security, now offered as part of Gem's standard multi-sig wallet offering.

These HSM devices, used to protect military encryption keys and other mission critical secrets, secure more than 80% of global payment transactions. They include FIPS-140-2 Level 3 hardware-certified security, a tamper-resistant physical security mechanism that prevents intruders from gaining access to, using, or modifying sensitive private keys held within the cryptographic module, and are designed to operate within high-volume enterprise deployments.

"Our engineers worked closely with the hardware team at Thales for months to develop a custom solution specifically for the Bitcoin industry," said Gem CEO and Founder Micah Winkelspecht. "The payments industry has been using this hardware technology for years. But we looked at every HSM on the market to find one that could support Bitcoin wallets, and none of them could do it, so we built it ourselves. Thales really came through for us, and the level of enthusiasm they have for our growing industry is incredible."

With over 40 years of experience securing sensitive information, Thales e-Security -- a division of the $11B aerospace and defense giant, the Thales Group (EPA: HO) -- protects data for 19 of the 20 largest banks in the world and over 3,000 financial institutions worldwide, making it the largest provider of key security to the payments industry.

"Bitcoin represents a compelling opportunity for both new entrants and traditional members of the payments ecosystem. As providers of the most trusted and widely deployed HSMs in the world, we are excited to work closely with Gem in this rapidly evolving market," said Richard Moulds, VP of Product Strategy at Thales e-Security. "Gem's focus on comprehensive Bitcoin security, deep technical expertise, and collaborative attitude has enabled them to rapidly incorporate the use of our HSMs at the core of their solution. By taking advantage of unique capabilities of these machines, Gem is securing Bitcoin transactions in a way that matches and exceeds security best practices that are a pre-requisite in the payments industry."

Just as Thales has become the most recognized and widely used security provider for global payment transactions, Gem seeks to be the Bitcoin security provider of choice for the next wave of developers building Bitcoin apps and products. Their API optimizes the developer experience by providing an easy to use Bitcoin security platform that doesn't sacrifice security for convenience. 

"We empower Bitcoin companies to build incredibly secure products and services with our multi-signature platform. By abstracting away the hard parts of blockchain development, we offer our developers the simplest way to get up and running, giving them expert security by default," said Gem COO and former PayPal executive, Ken Miller. "The additional steps we've taken to generate and secure all Gem keys within FIPS certified HSMs is a first of its kind, and signals to the industry how serious we are about securing blockchain technologies."

Gem's customers are equally pleased about the new HSM offering. Bitmo, a US based mobile payments company focused on incentivizing consumers and merchants through a seamless Bitcoin payment experience, will now be integrating Gem wallets into their platform. And last week, South East Asia's first multi-currency bitcoin wallet provider CryptoSigma announced they would be using the Gem development platform to secure their wallets. Gem's progression into hardware security fortified each company's decision.

"Addressing our customers' need for security and giving them full control and manageability of their coins is our number one priority," said CryptoSigma CEO Aaron Siwoku. "Gem's platform offers our customers the security and flexibility they desire and allows us to focus on providing a superior product and user experience. Their addition of HSMs to store and protect all Gem keys just further reinforced to us how seriously they take protecting cryptocurrency."

Bitmo Founder Michael Smallwood added, "The decision to use Gem's multisig solution was a no-brainer for us. Not only was their API easy to integrate, but we felt great knowing that our funds would be secured by the strongest solution on the market. The news that Gem will now be securing keys inside of HSMs custom built for our industry was yet another reminder of why we made the right decision partnering with Gem."

Key features of the HSM integration and partnership with Thales include:

  • Physical security that includes the use of strong enclosures and tamper detection/response circuitry
  • Support for BIP32 Hierarchical Deterministic (HD) key derivation
  • Use of strong random number generated keys with the SECP256k1 elliptic curve to support interactions with the Bitcoin protocol

"The year 2014 was all about multi-sig; now we're finally starting to see major adoption of that security standard by Bitcoin companies, and it's growing at an exponential pace," said Winkelspecht. "2015 is the year of hardware security. The great news is they work perfectly together... like peanut butter and jelly."

For more information about Gem, please visit: https://gem.co
Twitter: @GemHQ
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/gemhq
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/gem-hq
Github: https://github.com/gemhq
Instagram: @GemHQ

About Gem
Gem, founded in 2014 by Micah Winkelspecht, is a simple and secure Bitcoin platform that allows developers to build feature-rich blockchain applications in minutes using less than ten lines of code. Gem's mission is to empower individuals to be sovereign over their own assets, starting with bitcoin. The Gem API leverages a host of security features such as multi-signature wallets, hardware security modules and multifactor authentication to provide an easy to use, comprehensive security solution for Bitcoin and blockchain apps, without ever taking possession of funds. Gem is located in Venice, CA.