Blockchain.info has hit a milestone this past week with users of the online Bitcoin wallet service having created more than 25 million wallets. This is by far the most out of any online Bitcoin wallet service; Coinbase, a major Bitcoin exchange based in the United States, has 13 million in comparison.
The Blockchain.info wallet service can easily be used on any computer or phone, and can be secured with a pin code and 2-FA to ensure Bitcoins won’t be stolen. It is seen as a good lightweight option since a wallet can be created, secured, and used in minutes, as opposed to Bitcoin Core which can be time-consuming as it requires downloading the entire Bitcoin blockchain.
Serious Bitcoin users, however, will still prefer offline wallets that let users control their own private keys and that are not at risk of an online wallet’s server being hacked or shut down without warning. Full clients like Bitcoin Core also allows users to act as nodes that help secure the Bitcoin network.
Of Bitcoin wallets created, there are currently only 22,057,779 Bitcoin addresses with a positive balance and 20,812,887 unique Bitcoin wallets with a positive balance, accounting for multiple addresses in a Bitcoin wallet. This means that many millions of wallets on the Blockchain.info service are empty, considering that there are lots of other Bitcoin wallet providers and programs included in this count of positive balances. Such a large amount of wallets with zero balance is due to people abandoning wallets. Often, people just use a wallet once and forget about it – this is also the recommended usage of addresses to protect privacy.
Blockchain.info was founded in the United Kingdom and was launched in August 2011, and has been one of the biggest Bitcoin websites ever since with an Alexa rank of 860 out of all the websites in the world. It provides wallet services, a block explorer, Bitcoin network statistics such as transaction volume and hash power, and an integrated Bitcoin exchange service. Apparently, Blockchain.info provided a mechanism for buying and selling Bitcoin in the United Kingdom since near its inception but has only recently begun exchange services for United States customers. This puts Blockchain.info in direct competition with Coinbase.
There have been positive developments for Blockchain.info, such as over USD 70 million of funding raised in recent years. It also hired Peter Wilson from Facebook and Google as VP of engineering, Breanne Madigan from Goldman Sachs as head of institutional sales, and Garrick Hileman from Bank of America and Allianz as head of research.
With its popularity, reputation, experience, and funding, it is likely that Blockchain.info will continue to grow in the long term and continue to be a leading online Bitcoin wallet service provider.
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