Cryptocurrency start-up Xapo periodically shows journalists its bunker, which was equipped for the maximum safe storage of digital currencies. However, the amount that is on servers of the company that do not have connection to external networks, is kept secret. As reported two customers of the company to Bloomberg , it is about $10 billion in bitcoins. Another source close to the company confirmed that this estimate is quite accurate.
Thus, Xapo stores about 7% of all existing today bitcoins. At the same time, the size of the deposits of the start-up, founded 4 years ago, exceeds the amounts that are in the accounts of 98% of US banks.
“Everyone who doesn’t store the keys himself, keep it in Xapo,” said Ryan Rudloff, CEO of CoinShares, who deposited about $500 million in a cryptocurrency for storage in the bunker. “You won’t force me to transfer them to the bank, even for money.”
Xapo decided to organize a cold repository of bitcoins in the Swiss mountains, using the former military bunker and providing it with both physical protection and advanced electronic protection.
“They were the first to think that the storage and security functions will be the main,” said LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, whose venture company provided Xapo with $20 million in 2014, approximately 2 years after the head of the startup Vinces Casares convinced him to buy bitcoin. “He told me about his plan in the morning, and in the second half of the day I called him with a proposal.”
Getting bitcoins from the Xapo repository takes about two days. First, the company identifies the client and approves his request, and then manually signs transactions with private keys located at different points in the bunker.
“Each element of their structure is aimed at ensuring security,” said Sean Clarke, founder of First Block, adding that fingerprint scanners in the Xapo store are equipped with heart rate sensors to exclude the possibility of using amputated hands. “Every time we want to make a major translation, they contact us using a videoconference, we use code words. If the transaction is large enough, they will fly to check everything personally. “