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Block Debuts Self-Custody Bitcoin Wallet Bitkey

Block has launched its self-custody bitcoin wallet Bitkey in 95 countries.

The new wallet, announced Thursday (Dec. 7) is designed to widen access to self-custody and comes amid a resurgence in the price of bitcoin.

“Today, the vast majority of the millions of bitcoin owners keep their bitcoin in the custodial platforms or exchanges where they bought it, leaving them under the control of the custodian,” the news release said.

“Accessing self-custody solutions where people can truly own the keys to their bitcoin still often relies on a complex set of devices or long passwords that people need to remember to be able to recover their money in case of loss,” the release said. 

Bitkey, Block said, addresses this issue with a design that doesn’t require users to remember long passwords or seed phrases. Rather, it uses three keys to secure bitcoin, with any two of them needed to move coins or approve other security-related functions.

Two of those keys are in the hands of the customer: one in the company’s mobile app, and the other in a hardware device.

“A third key is on Bitkey’s server and is used for only two things: to help customers move bitcoin with just their phone for the transactions they choose to make on the go without their hardware device, and to help customers recover their wallet if they lose their phone or hardware — or even both,” the release said.

The news comes during a week that has seen bitcoin’s price continue to climb, getting back to the place it was at last year when the cryptocurrency market began to falter. 

The price of the most popular cryptocurrency reached $41,600 on Monday (Dec. 4) and before climbing to higher than $44,000 later in the week.

Observations attributed to the rebound in part due to “dovish” comments about crypto by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

“The market is increasingly expecting a rate cut in the coming year, and investors are increasingly bullish on the outlook of Bitcoin ETF applications by some of the biggest names in asset management,” Metalpha analyst Lucy Hu wrote in a note, per a report by Coindesk. “This is an official statement of a bull run, and the price could see more upticks in the coming weeks.”