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BitGo

BitGo is a digital asset custody and security company that was founded in 2013 by . In 2021, it was acquired by for $1.2 billion. They offer regulated custody, borrowing and lending, and core infrastructure to investors and builders alike. [1][2][3]

History

BitGo was founded in 2013 by Mike Belshe. Prior to starting BitGo, Belshe had a background in internet technology and had also observed the increase in malware on the internet, leading him to recognize the vulnerability of the emerging cryptocurrency market. [4]

To address these concerns, Belshe developed air-gapped storage systems for himself and investors in Silicon Valley. However, as the value of cryptocurrencies increased, he recognized the need for a more robust security solution. This led to the development of the first commercially available multi-signature wallets, which formed the basis of BitGo's multi-signature system. [4]

BitGo was established in 2013 in the early stages of cryptocurrency adoption. The company pioneered multi-signature wallets, and later developed TSS to enhance other companies' MPC technology offerings. [7]

In 2014, BitGo announced that it had successfully raised $12 million in Series A financing. The funding round was led by Redpoint Ventures, a venture capital firm, and included investments from several prominent Bitcoin investors such as Founders Funds, Barry Silbert’s Bitcoin Opportunity Corp., and Crypto Currency Partners. Additionally, Ashton Kutcher's A-Grade Investments and Liberty City Ventures also participated in the round. [4]

In January 2015 BitGo announced the general availability of their Platform API. The following month the company bought an insurance policy from XL Catlin against theft from its wallets. [10]

On August 2, 2016, , a digital currency exchange using BitGo software, announced it had suffered a security breach. [11] BitGo was not itself hacked, but processed withdrawal requests from the hacker, who had obtained access to Bitfinex's keys. [12]

Over time, BitGo expanded beyond wallet services to provide a complete suite of solutions. This allows customers to securely store assets and use them efficiently. In 2018, BitGo Trust Company was introduced, providing fully regulated and qualified cold storage to complement BitGo Inc's original hot wallet solution. [7]

In September 2018, BitGo was approved by the South Dakota Division of Banking to act as a qualified custodian for digital assets and created BitGo Trust Company. [13]

In October 2018, the company raised US$15 million in venture capital funding from Goldman Sachs and Mike Novogratz's . [15]

BitGo Prime was launched in 2020, allowing clients to trade, borrow, and lend. BitGo also provides access to DeFi, staking, NFT wallets, and other services, and is the exclusive global custodian for (wrapped Bitcoin). [7]

In December 2020, the Office of Foreign Assets Control announced that BitGo had paid $98,830 to settle apparent violations of multiple sanctions programs. [14]

In March 2021, BitGo received NY Trust Charter from the New York State Department of Financial Services. [16]

In May 2021, Galaxy Digital announced its acquisition of BitGo for $1.2 billion in a cash and stock deal, marking the first $1 billion deal in the cryptocurrency industry. [17]In August 2022, Galaxy's Board of Directors terminated the deal following BitGo's inability to provide certain financial statements needed by Galaxy for its SEC filing. BitGo claimed that it had provided its audited financials and honored its obligations, and that it would take legal action against Galaxy and seek a $100 million termination fee. [18]

In a Delaware Chancery Court complaint dated Sept. 15, 2022, BitGo asserted that while it had filed the required financial reports, Galaxy twice used last-minute criticisms of the accounting methods employed to first delay and then scuttle the acquisition. The suit sought at least $100 million under a termination agreement that was part of the takeover accord between the companies. Galaxy told Forbes that it “completely” disagreed with the allegations. [19]

Overview

One of BitGo's primary services is its custody services, which are specifically designed for institutional investors looking to secure their digital assets. BitGo also provides multi-signature wallets, which allow for secure transactions with multiple signatories, and customized private blockchains for the financial industry, offering a secure and efficient means of conducting transactions. BitGo's platform API enables developers to integrate its solutions into their blockchain projects, simplifying the process of building and deploying blockchain applications. [5]

Other products and services include hot wallets, custodial wallets, self-managed cold wallets, NFT wallets, trading, borrowing, lending, and staking. [6]

BitGo Prime

In the Trading solution offered by BitGo Prime, traders can execute trades from the safety of cold storage. BitGo Prime acts as the sole counterparty, connecting to a network of market makers and exchanges to source the best execution for the trade. This approach helps traders obtain a better price and reduce the risk of front-running or market manipulation. BitGo Prime does not operate its own proprietary trading desk. By working with a single, impartial counterparty, traders can benefit from increased efficiency in both operations and capital management, as they do not need to spread their funds across multiple exchanges and manage each of them separately. [8]

Threshold Signature Scheme (TSS)

BitGo’s hot wallets are backed by BitGo’s Threshold Signature Scheme (TSS) security, which enables lower gas fees. TSS wallets have been designed to minimize gas fees by reducing the amount of computational work required compared to Multi-Sig . As a result, they consume less gas per transaction. TSS base wallets can be created for free, while the fees for sending payments from TSS wallets are equivalent to the standard on-chain gas fee for a simple payment. [9]

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BitGo

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February 5, 2024

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