VersaBank: Canadian Financial Service Provider Unveils Digital Vault

Stories abound on how people have lost private keys of digital currencies such as bitcoin to their regrets. There also have been instances when such losses were from unexpected and unprepared for sources such as hackers or hardware failures. This may have been the motivation behind the creation of VersaVault by the Canadian financial company VersaBank.

VersaBank, is a digital bank that specializes on financing and deposits. The company announced on Tuesday that it is building a digital vault that is based on the blockchain technology to enable safer storage of digital assets. The bank which was founded in the 1980s is traded on the floors of Toronto Stock Exchange.

The founder, David Taylor explained that people have been storing valuables such as deeds, certificates and jewelries in safe vaults to keep them secure, he said however that with the advent of blockchain and digital currencies, a need has arisen to secure these digital assets through impenetrable encryption technology such as could be built on the blockchain.

Mr Taylor made references to serious cyber security issues that made the services of VersaBank’s VersaVault necessary as a solution to the threats on digital assets. VersaBank, which is a branchless financial institution with focus on technological innovations. The popularity of its inventiveness has made it one of the top ten Canadian banks. David Taylor believes that banks can give cryptocurrencies and digital assets wider acceptance and a sense of trust by getting involved in securing digital assets.

The announcement made on Tuesday is an expansion of the bank’s services to include securing digital blockchain based assets such as bitcoins. The bank has been a major player in storage and security of physical assets such as precious stones, which is a turf familiar to traditional banking.

Gurpreet Sahota, a cyber security expert and former principal architect at Blackberry, the Canadian smartphone manufacturer is heading the project. He also is in charge at the bank as the chief architect of cyber security. The digital safe services is an idea a number of companies are already working on. Guardtime, a data security company is collaborating with Metaco, a blockchain company in one of such services called ‘silo’ which is designed to store digital assets. Coinbase also has announced a similar service.

With VersaBank leading such services among the financial institutions, the common concept among crypto enthusiasts that banks are going to be rendered irrelevant could be seen to be without merit. It would seem as if the trend would rather be that cryptocurrencies and assets would make the banks innovate in way hitherto unknown to render services to the industry.

Some within the crypto community see the digital vault concept as making no sense. They are of the opinion that the strength and uniqueness of digital currencies is the elimination of third parties. They said that it is unreasonable to add them back as this defeats the purpose of the blockchain innovation, saying that it is like trading one risk for another. It is interesting to know that there are security measures implementable by users of digital currencies that would keep their valuables safe and still not bring in third parties, some crypto users said. Hardware wallets used for cold storage is one of such measures.

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