Coinapult Bitcoin Wallet Review
Everyone who uses Bitcoin to trade with needs a wallet where they can securely store their coins. A Bitcoin wallet resembles an email address in many ways – you can give others your address and have them send you money. Bitcoin wallets can come in a few different forms: an online wallet, hardware wallet, mobile app or even a desktop wallet that you download onto a computer.
Coinapult is a popular online Bitcoin wallet that was founded by Eril Voorhees and Ira Miller in 2012. The company is based in Panama City, Panama and it targets users in developing countries, and particularly people who are just venturing into the world of Bitcoin usage. In this way, it can be an ideal option if you are just getting involved with Bitcoin and are looking for an easy-to-use online wallet.
Coinapult Company Overview
In 2015, Coinapult merged with Crypto Capital which is a licensed financial institution. This was in hopes that the company could provide its business partners and users with a more robust Bitcoin-friendly banking experience.
Superior SMS-Based Wallet
Coinapult’s online Bitcoin wallet service is an SMS based wallet. This enables it to act as a global Bitcoin service that users all over the world who do not have data plans or smart phones can use. This SMS feature is not necessarily unique (because Coinbase and Blockchain also have it), however, Coinapult’s SMS technology is superior compared to these two services.
One reason why Coinapult’s SMS features are considered to be superior is that with Blockchain’s wallet, users are required to sign up for an account to receive funds. With Coinapult users only need to use their SMS app to access funds sent to them. They can also view transactions, invoices, lock BTC to a variety of assets and currencies and spend their BTC just with the use of text commands.
Like any other service, Coinapult is not without its limitations. The company agrees that its wallet does have some shortcomings and it is decentralized. It is aware that users’ private keys can potentially be hacked in rare cases. Due to this reason, Coinapult discourages its customers from storing larger amounts of Bitcoin in their accounts. It also warns against storing coins in the accounts for a long duration. The Coinapult wallet is meant to be used by people who lack other storage options, and caters towards those who send and receive Bitcoin frequently.
Coinapult plans to include more languages in the future. It is also researching to find out if there are safer SIM card and SMS technology that might be available in the industry to increase their security measures.
Locking in an Exchange Rate
Another unique Coinapult feature is that it enables users to lock the exchange rate for their stored Bitcoin by using a tool known as Locks. This service was introduced in 2014, and it helps users to protect their balance from feeling the heat of Bitcoin price swings. Customers can lock their Bitcoin with Euros, gold, US Dollars, silver, British pounds and other assets. In this respect, it differs greatly from other Bitcoin providers that use SMS.
Basically what you need to do is first access the Coinapult wallet by logging in. Then look for the “My Locks” icon and select the option to lock a specified fraction of your wallet funds to a chosen asset. Users do not have to pay any fees for utilizing the locking service. Similarly, Coinapult does not sell Bitcoin to its users. What happens is that a person will lock or unlock their funds and Coinapult will provide them with a specific number of coins at a specific price that is equivalent to the value of the Bitcoin they have locked or unlocked.
The specific amount that Coinapult will give users when they lock their funds will be based on the market, but it will always be equivalent to the value of Bitcoins that are locked. Coinapult users can only redeem funds in BTC which means that users who lock their Bitcoin to silver should not expect to get silver from coinapult. Users are also at liberty to reduce or increase the number of Bitcoin they have locked whenever they want to use their holding whether for expenses or any other reason.
According to Ira Miller (Coinapult’s CEO), the good thing about holding BTC is that it is relatively safe regardless of whether they are sent over Bluetooth, SMS, Ham radio or Near Field Communication (NFC). He also says that the reason for coming up with the Lock feature was to try and do away with the price volatility that Bitcoin is often associated with. The volatility in Bitcoin prices often deters new people from using it for the first time.
Coinapult Wallet User Experience
The Coinapult wallet is quite easy to use and is one of the most efficient options currently available to Bitcoin owners. Therefore, the Coinapult wallet provides a great convenience to most users; both newcomers and veteran Bitcoin users. The wallet interface is user=friendly and simple, so you should not have any issues using it as your primary online Bitcoin wallet.
Countries and CryptoCurrencies Supported
Coinapult is essentially available to users in every country around the whole world – with the exception of the USA. However, technically and according to the company, the countries supported are the United Kingdom and Canada. Soon, additional countries – including Finland, Spain, Poland, Sweden, Norway and Belgium – will also be able to enjoy the services.
Wallet Storage Limits
Coinapult has been very vocal in advising users to store a limited amount due to the possible risks involved with using a centralized cryptocurrency wallet. Therefore, the onus of how much a consumer can store in this wallet rests on them and their risk tolerance.
Coinapult Wallet Security & Hack History
On March 17, 2015, Coinapult posted on their twitter handle that it was investigating a hacking incidence on its hot wallet and advised customers not to send Bitcoin to coinapult addresses during that period. The hacking resulted in a loss of 150 coins which were equivalent to only $42,000 at the time. The company also released a short summary and assured customers that they had contained the situation and secured all funds safe for the 150 coins that were missing.
In this case, they further told customers that they were investigating to find out how the hackers managed to withdraw the coins so that they could prevent it from happening again in the future and that they would not be able to operate as usual until they do so.
Later, it was reported by Cryptocoins News that the hacker had not moved the stolen funds from the initial address they had transferred it to which was quite strange for a Bitcoin hack. This hacking tainted the image of the cryptocurrency market and attracted a lot of criticisms regarding the security of Bitcoin storage.
A few months before the hack, there had been two major hackings that rocked the industry which made the issues experienced on Coinapult look like pocket change. One was in January of 2015 where $5 million worth of Bitcoin was stolen from Bistamp. The other occurred at MT. Gox, where $370 Million USD had been stolen just before the company went under.
Coinapult Hack Helps Improve User Security
Since the Coinapult incident, the company has prioritized security to better protect its customers. It has done so by ensuring that their website uses advanced SSL security features, offering users two-factor authentication, and making it mandatory that all wallets require multi signatures.
In conclusion, Coinapult is an example of the great strides that Bitcoin technology has taken over the years. Despite the challenges it encountered when it was hacked, the wallet has greatly improved its security features and tried to win back the confidence of their users and gain new ones.
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