In the world of payments online, there’s usually a financial institution involved – a bank, a credit card company, etc. There’s several problems with this status quo- apart from the fact that financial services companies take a cut from every commerce transaction online, these payments are usually non-reversible and expensive to process. That’s where Bitcoin comes.
Bitcoin is an experimental new digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Using P2P technology Bitcoin is built on open source software which enables the use of this currency. On peak days, Bitcoin processes about $25 million in payments in a single day.
In the words of its founder Satoshi Nakamoto (possibly a preudoname):
A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution. Digital signatures provide part of the solution, but the main benefits are lost if a trusted third party is still required to prevent double-spending. We propose a solution to the double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer network...
As Open source is not always the prettiest software to look at, Israeli entrepreneurs Eli Sklar and Or Perelman came up with Safebit, an elegant cross platform Bitcoin Wallet/Vault. Safebit’s primary goal is to create a safe and secure way of storing and exchanging Bitcoins, by reducing the risk of unauthorized access to one’s Bitcoins. This kind of security flaw is possible when a user keeps the Bitcoins in a non-encrypted file on his desktop.
Safebit has launched a Chrome extension preview version which received positive reviews, and is now operating in Alpha mode. According to the founders, on the first 24 hours of operation, over 725 unique users paid with Safebit.
Safebit faces competition from other Bitcoin Wallets, which seem to be abundant on Android app market.