Bringing Bitcoin wallets to mobile users is a key element in order to push awareness and adoption to new heights. Luckily for us Bitcoin enthusiasts, there are a plethora of mobile wallets to choose from, each with their own interesting and unique features. AirBitz is so much more than just another Bitcoin wallet for Android and iOS users though!
The AirBitz Business Directory
Having a way to store or access your Bitcoin wallet on a mobile device is one thing, but that still doesn’t help anyone who wants to spend their cryptocurrency at a physical location. And if there is one thing I personally cannot stand, is having to google “places to spend bitcoin <location>” in order to find out where to head next. Trust me, I’ve tried this several times in London, England, and it’s not a fun experience.
But what if there would be a Bitcoin wallet which includes a business directory? This is where AirBitz enters the picture, as they managed to integrate a worldwide Bitcoin business directory into their mobile wallet. And it is very informative as well, as the first things you will see is the name of the business, and how far away it is compared to your current location. This is a feature I will definitely be using when I’m in London next week for Bitcoin Expo 2015.
However, that is not all the functionality to be found in the AirBitz Bitcoin business directory. Every place accepting Bitcoin payments comes with a listing of their exact address, and more importantly, opening hours! There really is no point in looking up a place to spend Bitcoins, only to arrive there on their weekly closing day. Kudos to AirBitz for including this feature, as it is really helpful for both experienced and novice enthusiasts alike.
Equally or even more important are directions in order to get to your destination safely. When clicking on a place you want to visit, you will also be presented with their physical address. If you click on the arrow next to it, you will be prompted to use an application such as Google Maps in order to get directions. A neat integration which will be very useful if you are abroad, or even at a part of town you have never been to before.
To make things even better, Bitcoin ATM locations can be found in the AirBitz Bitcoin business directory as well. These ATM’s will show up intermixed with regular business locations (depending on where you are), or can be accessed through the extensive Categories menu, under the “ATM” subsection. It has to be said, this business directory is exquisitely designed, and features a ton of categories.
Setting Up a Bitcoin Wallet in Your Local Currency
AirBitz offers a ton of interesting and unique features, and one of which a lot of users will enjoy is the ability to create a wallet address in your native currency. For example, you can set your local currency to EUR or USD, and your wallet balance will be automatically displayed in that currency. Furthermore, any payment requests you make will be denominated in that currency as well, as you can see in the following screenshot.
Supported local currencies at this point in time include Euro, US Dollar, Canadian dollar, Mexican Peso and Yuan. In order to get the actual exchange rate in the fiat currency of your choice, the AirBitz wallet retrieves the data from either Bitstamp (USD only) or CoinBase (all currencies). There are other local currencies available as well,but no default exchange is listed for those.
Note from the author : In our upcoming interview with Paul Puey, I will inquire about where the exchange rates for these other currencies are coming from. If you have any questions you would like to ask him, leave them in the comments below this article.
Other Noteworthy Features
AirBitz offers too many features to list, but one thing I found particularly interesting is the fact users can set their own preferred Bitcoin denomination in the wallet. Options are Bitcoin, milliBitcoin and microBitcoin. No word yet on whether or not “bits” will become an official denomination in a future update, but this question will be asked during the upcoming interview.
If you are ever in the position of creating a payment request, you can even include your own name and/or a nickname in that payment request. This is particularly interesting for merchants and people who deal with advertisers on a regular basis (such as ourselves). Payment requests can be sent via QR code, email and even SMS. Sending it via SMS will tell a user to download the AirBitz application in order to pay for the transaction, assuming they do not have the application installed yet.
When getting ready to send a Bitcoin transaction, you are automatically prompted with a screen where you can enter someone’s wallet address manually, or immediately scan the QR code presented to you. Personally, I think it’s well designed to let users scan a QR code immediately when taking action to send Bitcoins, as most of us will do transactions this way.
On the privacy front, which is a concern near and dear to all of us, AirBitz will never require any user information such as a name, address, email or phone number when creating a wallet. Some of this information can be provided voluntarily when creating a payment request, but everything is controlled by the users themselves.
Decentralized Bitcoin Wallet
Even though decentralization is synonymous with Bitcoin technology, most mobile Bitcoin wallets are far less decentralized than one might think. In fact, AirBitz is so decentralized that transactions can still be processed even without any AirBitz server in existence. Some of you might wonder how this is achieved, but it’s rather easy to explain.
Private keys and user data are encrypted by using a login and password (which form an encryption key), which you set up during the initial installation process, all of which takes place before storing or backing up the data. Therefore, the encryption key belong to the user and only the user, as AirBitz has no ability to decrypt user data or spending users’ funds.
This login and password can also be used to obtain your encrypted data on multiple devices, in case that is something you are looking for, or even when your phone/tablet has been lost or stolen. While the login and password might seem like you are connecting to an actual server, in reality, you are not. AirBitz wallet holders login “locally” on their device without access to the network, creating an “offline login” which simply decrypts the data already on your mobile device.
As a result of these implementations, users can send funds without being online or needing to use AirBitz servers. In fact, the Bitcoin network is accessed directly without routing through any of AirBitz’s infrastructure. Even if AirBitz would shut down for whatever reason, users can still send out their funds regardless. Bitcoin wallet decentralization in its truest form.
Seed Investment and Accelerator Program
It was announced yesterday that AirBitz Inc. has been selected by Plug and Play Tech Center to take part in their Startup Camp Accelerator in Silicon Valley. By spending 10 weeks in Sunnyvale, CA, AirBitz Inc will receive valuable workshops,mentorship, exposure to a huge network of Plug and Play’s partners, and last but not least, a US$25,000 seed investment.
This accelerator program started yesterday on Monday January 12th, and as you would come to expect, the AirBitz team is very excited to be a part of this event. Some of you may now know this, but the Plug and Play accelerator program has been a key factor in bringing several companies to fruition, both in the cryptocurrency sphere and the “regular” business world.
When asked about this opportunity, AirBitz CEO Paul Puey had the following to say: “The Plug and Play program is the exact catalyst our team needs to bring the guidance and exposure needed to drive our powerful bitcoin wallet and business directory to the masses and help bitcoin achieve mainstream adoption.”
Are you using the AirBitz Bitcoin wallet, or do you plan on using it in the near future?
Do you have any questions for our upcoming interview with Paul Puey?
Leave a comment on our website!
Website : http://airbitz.co