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With summer’s arrival, banks now have their fair share of holidays, but (lucky for us) the crypto space is open and active 365 days a year. Before heading off on your summer vacation, catch up on this short-but-sweet collection of product updates from the last quarter, plus we revisit milestones and exciting steps forward.

What’s new in Q2 2018?
  • Bitcoin cash joins bitcoin and ether on iOS
  • On web, total spendable balance no longer includes watch-only balances
  • European users can once again set up recurring bitcoin orders
  • Our 25 million wallet milestone
  • Announcing blockchain.info migration to blockchain.com
Bitcoin Cash Comes to iOS

As part of our mission to make digital currency more easily accessible, the same bitcoin cash functionality released to web and Android users is now also available on iOS. iOS users can now send, request, and exchange bitcoin cash, safely manage their balance, and monitor the bitcoin cash market price from one central place.

Watch-Only Balances vs Your Total Spendable Balance

As a way to more easily differentiate between your wallet’s spendable and non-spendable balance, we released an update for our web users so watch-only balances will no longer show in your total balance. To view them you can go to Settings -> Addresses. Mobile users should see this feature rolled out in the near future.

In case you’re unfamiliar with what “watch-only” means, it refers to the bitcoin or bitcoin cash address import feature in our wallet designed for monitoring purposes only. Conveniently, users are able to keep an eye on the balance and activity of virtually any bitcoin or bitcoin cash address from within their wallet. It’s important to remember, however, that watch-only balances are not imported with their corresponding private key and therefore aren’t spendable on their own.

Recurring Buy Returns

Mentioned in our Support Team’s latest monthly update, our recurring buy feature made its anticipated return this quarter. The re-launch incorporated user feedback to help make it easier to avoid unknowingly setting up a recurring order when intending to place a one-time order. Available to our European users, the feature makes it easier to acquire bitcoin little-by-little with automatic regularly occurring orders.

Reaching 25 Million Wallets and Beyond

It wouldn’t be a proper product update if we didn’t recap our 25 million wallet milestone, which we celebrated this quarter. When Blockchain initially launched, our vision was to make it easier for anyone to learn about and study the Bitcoin ecosystem. Since then we’re proud to have built a strong and safe growing community of cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Thanks to your trust and support, we get to continue driving innovation forward.

Blockchain.info’s moving domains

As you may have heard, we recently announced our decision to consolidate blockchain.info into blockchain.com. The site migration took place late last week, and our support team @AskBlockchain kept users in the loop throughout the process. Going forward, users will only need to visit one destination, instead of two, for all their crypto needs. Have questions about the move? Here’s what you need to know.

If you’d like to help us build the future of finance, check out our open positions here. For our earlier product updates, click here.

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Today, we’re excited to announce the debut of our comprehensive institutional platform known as Blockchain Principal Strategies (BPS). BPS provides institutions, family offices, and individual investors unparalleled and tailored access to markets, research, and services on the most trusted digital asset platform worldwide.

With the launch of BPS, we’ll harnesses our unmatched track record in securing, managing, and evaluating digital assets to offer investors an opportunity to gain exposure to the growing digital asset ecosystem.

“We are thrilled to debut Blockchain Principal Strategies, an institutional grade platform customized for institutions, family offices, and individual investors,” said Peter Smith, CEO and Co-Founder of Blockchain. “BPS provides clients the opportunity to invest in digital assets with the same peace of mind and security that has become synonymous with the Blockchain name.”

Through BPS, investors have access to an over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk which offers a white-glove trading service led by a world-class team hailing from Cooley, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and UBS. The OTC desk also operates as a best-in-class matchmaker and direct counterparty to clients, executing trades and managing associated risk. Our long standing position in the market and technical expertise allows for trading across major currencies and digital asset pairs, powered by a sophisticated smart Order Management System (OMS) that combines liquidity from across the market to ensure best execution.

In addition to trading, BPS provides clients a customized portfolio view, as well as exclusive insights into market fundamentals, risk metrics, and access to a research team that includes the leading cryptocurrency economist, Garrick Hileman. Clients will be able to explore a variety of managed investment offerings including the opportunity to make direct equity investments into promising companies in the larger digital asset ecosystem, as well as gain access to early stage token offerings - all sourced and vetted through Blockchain’s global network.

“I joined Blockchain to help modernize the financial system, and launching BPS is the first step in our longer term strategy to execute on that vision,” said Breanne Madigan, Head of Institutional Sales and Strategy. “In addition to the BPS platform itself, we will also offer educational and networking opportunities with hopes of creating a broader, well-informed community around digital currencies moving forward.”

Blockchain Principal Strategies can now be accessed at bps.blockchain.com and we’ll be rolling out additional institutional products throughout the summer.

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Earlier this week we announced that we’ll be consolidating blockchain.info into blockchain.com to create a unified experience for our users. As a reminder, this means you’ll soon be accessing all of your .info favorites from blockchain.com. Before anything changes for you, we want to make sure to address any questions or concerns you may have.

  • Why are you consolidating blockchain.info into blockchain.com?
    For you! We know that your needs as users are ever-changing and we want to be prepared to offer you the end-to-end experience you’ve been waiting for. Before we can get to releasing the new and improved products we’re working on, we want to simplify how you interact with us so you only have one place to look for all of your crypto needs.

  • When will this domain move happen?
    We want to make sure everything works perfectly when we release this update so we’re tying up any loose ends as we speak. We don’t have an exact date for you yet, but you can expect to see the move over to blockchain.com later this month.

  • Where will I log in to my wallet and how do I know I’m not on a phishing site?
    You’ll soon be logging into your wallet at login.blockchain.com. You can bookmark this new URL to make sure you’re always logging in at the right place.
    You may be used to seeing our SSL certificate on blockchain.info as a way to make sure you’re not on a phishing site.

    This will now be shown across all of our sites and products, so you can rest assured that you’re always in the right place.

  • How will this affect my wallet and transactions?
    The only thing that will change for your wallet is where you log in, which will soon be at login.blockchain.com. You’ll continue using the same wallet ID and password that you’ve always used. Once you’re logged in, your balances, transaction history, and imported addresses will all be ready and waiting for you.

  • Will this change how I use your block explorer?
    Our block explorer will be getting a new look and feel in the coming months as we prepare to expand on the currencies we support. Until then, the only change you should expect is how you access the explorer. Once we consolidate domains, blockchain.info will be found at blockchain.com/explorer.

  • What if I have a problem once the domains move?
    We’re hoping you won’t run into any issues, but we know things happen. If anything comes up, please reach out to our support team and we’ll help to figure out a solution as quickly as possible.

  • How will this impact the use of Blockchain’s APIs?
    Our APIs will continue to work as normal following this migration.

As always, if you have questions not answered here please reach out to our support team. Check back here and on our Twitter and Facebook pages often to stay up to date on our domain move.

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In the coming weeks, we’ll be consolidating blockchain.info into blockchain.com, making it seamless for our users to access all of our products through a single web experience.

Like with all big moves, we’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic. Way back in August 2011, blockchain.info was created with the simple idea to make bitcoin transactions and its ecosystem more accessible. It was one of the first platforms of its kind and quickly became the most popular and trusted resource for diving into the Bitcoin block chain in real time.

Seven years later, we’re now one of the oldest, most established company in the industry and so much more than a bitcoin explorer. We’re the world’s leading crypto wallet where 25 million users invest in and store Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). We also allow users to analyze the top cryptocurrencies via our markets page and are continually expanding our widely used API services to make it even easier for developers to build on top of the block chain.

We’ve done a lot over the years, but have a lot more to do in building the future of finance. As we move forward through 2018, we know that your needs are ever-changing, and we need to be prepared to offer you the end-to-end experience you’ve been waiting for. Before we can get to releasing new and improved products for you, we want to simplify how you interact with us.

Later this month, we’ll be consolidating all pages on blockchain.info under our one and only blockchain.com domain. We’ve been looking forward to this merger for quite some time, because it means you’ll only have one place to go for all of your crypto needs, instead of two. In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to access all of your .info favorites from blockchain.com. Along with creating one destination at blockchain.com, we’re excited to roll out a fresh new look!

In the meantime, we’ll be preparing for this move so that when it happens, you don’t have to worry about a thing. All you need to know now is that when this migration happens, the URL that you use to access your wallet, the explorer, and all other .info pages will be located on blockchain.com.

Check back here and on our Twitter and Facebook pages often to stay in the know. And a special shout out to all of those loyal BCi followers that have helped us get here today!

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Thanks for joining us for our monthly support team update! In this series, we shed light on trending user concerns, questions, and feedback. May’s big topics include a resolved bug follow-up, questions about buying and selling, and the 1-800 number phishing scam. Let’s get started!

Error De-Serializing Token

Earlier this month, a portion of users were unable to log into their wallets because authorization links in our emails were being double encoded by certain web-based email providers. Instead of being able to proceed with the wallet login process, users would be prompted with a message saying “error de-serializing token”. Thankfully, we were able to make adjustments on our end to allow the link’s data to be decoded by email providers multiple times, if needed. A big thank you to all users who sent us screenshots and details needed to help us diagnose and resolve this issue.

Buying and Selling

Our exchange integration for users in India was disabled, as of May 6th, to undergo necessary maintenance. Understandably so, this change prompted some questions and confusion so we wanted to give you an update. As of now, the functionality remains in maintenance mode but we are working to restore it as soon as possible. We’ll bring you a fresh update as soon as it’s available.

European users can once again place recurring orders. This feature was removed back in January so we could provide updates based on user feedback. With the reintroduction of recurring buy, some users have reported that a recurring order was unknowingly set up when they intended to place a one-time order. To avoid unintentionally setting up recurring orders, be sure “Make this a recurring order” is not checked when placing a buy order. If you accidentally set up a recurring order, you can cancel it by navigating to Buy Bitcoin -> Order History, choosing the order listed under Recurring Orders, and clicking Cancel Recurring Order.

The Latest in Phishing Scams

A claim has been making the rounds that Blockchain has a 1-800 number for support, or that a third party company is handling telephone support on our behalf. We want to clarify that these claims are false. We have never provided any telephone support in-house or through a third party.

If we decide to offer telephone support, we’ll be sure to let you know on our social media channels and through our Support Center. It’s always important to cross-reference any claim like this with our official support page, or by asking us directly.

If you have any questions about this update or a specific topic you’d like us to cover, send us your feedback here. You can also get in touch with us @AskBlockchain.

Don’t miss April’s update where we uncover the wave of watch-only scams and take you on a test drive exploring how watch-only addresses work.

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Today, we are making history together.

We’re thrilled to share that we are celebrating 25 million wallets today, a huge milestone not only for us at Blockchain, but for our broader community. We’re thrilled and humbled to have earned your trust over the last five years as we strive to create a more open, accessible, and fair financial future for the world.

With 25 million wallets, we’re building a strong, safe community of digital currency enthusiasts. This global community did not materialize overnight, and we truly appreciate your growing with us these past few years as we make our way to the moon.

At 25 million wallets, we now have a larger community than that of TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, and Ally Bank combined. You’ve made us the world’s most popular cryptocurrency wallet, and for that, we are eternally grateful.

Blockchain began with a simple idea: to make Bitcoin transactions and the Bitcoin economy easier to understand and use. We’ve experienced exponential growth ever since we first launched in 2013 -- in the first 18 months of our existence alone, we expanded by a whopping 2100% from 100,000 to 3 million wallets.

We will never stop innovating in order to create a brighter financial future for folks like you around the world. And with your trust and support, we’re excited for the next 25 million.

Onwards!

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We’re honored to share that Garrick Hileman, one of the top 35 most influential economists in the U.K. and Ireland, has joined the team at Head of Research. Known best for his work on cryptocurrencies and block chain technology, Garrick was recently named as one of the 100 most influential economists in the U.K. and Ireland, and has paved the way for a broader understanding of distributed ledger technology. At Blockchain, he will help lead a new research arm aimed elevating block chain technology to its full potential.

As one of the foremost thinkers within the industry, Garrick has become an authority figure whose work has shaped the cryptocurrency field. He is the author of multiple industry standard publications, including the 2017 Global Cryptocurrency Benchmarking Study, as well as the 2017 Global Blockchain Benchmarking Study. He was also the responsible for the creation of the State of Bitcoin and State of Blockchain reports published by CoinDesk between 2013 and 2016. Garrick developed the first university class on blockchain technology at the University of Cambridge, and has shared his wealth of knowledge with a new generation of students as a lecturer at the prestigious Judge Business School.

“There is no one in the cryptoasset space as widely-respected and cited as Garrick, and I am thrilled that he will be bringing his expertise to Blockchain,” said Peter Smith, CEO and Co-Founder of Blockchain. “Garrick will not only help to advance our company, but the industry at large with his work.”

Garrick holds a PhD in economic history from the London School of Economics, and before returning to the academic world, worked for well over a decade in the private sector with well-known brands including Bank of America, The Home Depot, IDG, and Allianz. He joins our team at a time of tremendous growth and innovation for the company. Recently, we introduced Goldman Sachs alumna Breanne Madigan to lead Institutional Sales and Strategy and former Google and Facebook executive Peter Wilson to serve as the VP of Engineering. At the beginning of the year, we also welcomed Marco Santori, formerly of Cooley, as President and Chief Legal Officer.

“After years of conducting research on distributed ledger technology, I am honored to be joining a company that is at the forefront of this new wave of innovation,” said Garrick Hileman. “It is very exciting to have the opportunity to continue to research block chain technology and help create value for millions of businesses and individuals around the world.”

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Welcome to the inaugural edition of our support team’s monthly update! Each month we’ll tackle trending user concerns and shed light on them in an insightful and educational way. If you missed it (and in this case, we hope you did!) watch-only scams have been making waves throughout the last month. We started debunking this scam by explaining watch-only addresses and making some changes to our web wallet. Now let's dive further into the details of this scam, private keys, and importing watch-only addresses with your Blockchain wallet!

April showers bring.. Watch-only scams?

A new type of scam made the rounds last month involving the misuse of watch-only addresses. All versions of this scam used the watch-only feature to make it seem as if a wallet had a particular balance when, in fact, it did not. In reality, a user can import any bitcoin address in existence into their wallet as watch-only. They can monitor its transaction activity and balance, but without having the corresponding private key, the one thing they can never do is spend that address’ balance.

A recent update to our web wallet has made it easier to see your total spendable balance. Watch-only balances will no longer show in your total wallet balance but can still be viewed in Settings -> Addresses. This update has not been rolled out to mobile users yet.

We know there’s nothing more satisfying than throwing a wrench in a scammer’s plans or outsmarting them from the get-go. To help you call their bluff from right out of the gate, we’ll start by shedding a little light on private keys.

The (not so) elusive private key

This scam lead to users asking questions like, “where is my private key?” or “what is my private key?” Well, we’re glad you asked.

Bitcoin and other digital assets use a method known as public key cryptography to help prevent fraud and manipulation of transactions. This method involves the use of a public key and a private key. The public key is the bitcoin address you can share with a third party to receive incoming transactions. The private key, on the other hand, is the corresponding tidbit that tells the Bitcoin network you are authorized to spend those funds. You never want to share an address’ private key; anyone possessing it can spend those funds.

In your Blockchain wallet, we have the more technical underpinnings (including your private keys) working under the hood for an experience that is as seamless and user friendly as possible, without compromising on security. Each time you click on Request and see a new bitcoin address display, the private key, although not visible, is generated along with it. All of these addresses and corresponding private keys are tied to your 12-word backup phrase, which should be written down and stored as a wallet backup.

Addresses that are not generated within your Blockchain wallet will be found under your Imported Addresses. These are addresses that are not stored by your backup phrase, which is why their private keys must also be imported to spend from them.

It’s time for a test drive

Now that we’ve explained private keys, there’s no better way to demystify watch-only addresses further than to take you along on a test drive of this wallet feature. Seat belts are optional.

Before navigating to your Blockchain wallet, the first step is to find a bitcoin address. We’ll do you a solid and find one for you. If you’re feeling adventurous, here’s how to choose your own:

  • Head to Blockchain.info
  • Click on a block height under Latest Blocks
  • Scroll down to see all the bitcoin transactions mined in that block
  • Click on any address to view its current balance & transaction details
  • Copy the address of choice to your clipboard

When you’re ready, log in to your wallet and navigate to Settings -> Addresses, then scroll down until you see Imported Addresses. This is where you can find any watch-only addresses you’ve imported.

Next, you’ll want to click Import Bitcoin Address, paste that address in the text field, and click Import. Give the warning a read, which explains a bit about how watch-only addresses work, then click OK.

And there you have it - that address and its balance will display under Imported Addresses with a Watch Only indicator to the right.

Any incoming or outgoing transaction activity for watch-only addresses will show up in your bitcoin transaction feed. You can monitor this address to your heart’s delight, but if you click Send and choose the watch-only address from the dropdown, a field will display right below asking for that address’ private key.

And in case someone told you otherwise, there is no magical formula that will help you acquire that private key if you didn’t already have it from the get-go.

Once you’ve given the watch-only process a test run, you can delete that address from your wallet by heading back to Imported Addresses, click More Options -> Archive, then show your Archived Bitcoin Addresses -> More Options -> Delete.

To ensure smooth sailing for all our users, we recommend clicking Request to get a new bitcoin address each time you transact. Never attempt to receive via a watch-only address, especially not at the request of a third party.

We hope this exercise helped you understand a bit more about how watch-only addresses work. If you have a specific topic you’d like us to cover, send us your feedback here, or get in touch with us @AskBlockchain.

Don’t miss our previous post on drafting a golden support ticket and getting the most out of our Support Center.

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Today, we are thrilled to announce that Blockchain has gone bicoastal with the opening of our newest office in San Francisco, California. This marks the fourth office across the globe for Blockchain and the second in the United States for the quickly growing company, and follows Blockchain’s recent acquisition of the talented team at Tsukemen.

The new office will be headed by Thianh Lu, formerly the CEO and co-founder of Tsukemen, and Blockchain’s new Head of Design. Thianh previously founded file-sharing product Cloudup, which was ultimately sold to Automattic.

Our new West Coast engineering lead is Fred Cheng, the founder of Simperium and creator of Simplenote, recognized by Apple as a Best App of 2013. Fred will help Blockchain build the software necessary to create a more open, accessible, and fair financial future, and will be assisted in these efforts by Chris Arriola, whose expertise in both Android and iOS development will help advance Blockchain’s mobile applications. Both Fred and Chris join Blockchain as a result of the Tsukemen acquisition.

Also the team from Tsukemen is Min Wei, who holds an MBA from MIT Sloan, and has previously worked at companies including the Wall Street Journal, AOL, and Automattic. At Blockchain, she will serve as part of the Strategy & Partnerships team, and will be crucial in identifying new opportunities for the company to explore.

“It is rare to find such diverse and remarkable talent within a single team, and I feel lucky to have added the creative individuals behind Tsukemen to Blockchain,” said Peter Smith, CEO and Co-Founder of Blockchain. “With such a capable group at its helm, I know that our West Coast office will be instrumental in helping us scale operations and continue building best-in-class products to serve our customers.”

2017 marked a record year of growth for our team, and the company has seen more than 24 million wallets created on its platform. In the last eight months, Blockchain has doubled its headcount, and plans to do so again by the end of 2018.

The opening of a new office is just the latest development we’re proud to share -- we’ve also recently brought aboard top tier talent including Marco Santori, formerly of Cooley, as the company’s President; Peter Wilson, formerly of Google and Facebook, as the Vice President of Engineering; and most recently, Breanne Madigan, formerly of Goldman Sachs, as the Head of Institutional Sales and Strategy. With the addition of a San Francisco office, our team is committed to serving our ever-growing user base, and develop new and innovative software that will transform the future of the financial landscape.

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At Blockchain, we don’t want you getting left in the dust. Our goal is to provide you with resources that explain all the inner and outer workings of your wallet, while also delivering a seamless virtual experience. To bring us closer to that goal, we want to share some “best practices” to submitting a new support ticket in hopes of optimizing the troubleshooting process. In sharing these tips, we hope to reduce the amount of time you spend frustrated or skeptical— so you can spend more time planning your trip to the moon.

1. Read through our Support Center articles

The learning curve in this industry is real, folks. We try to keep our Support Center content thorough and up-to-date in order to diminish the time you have to spend searching for answers. A lot of our posts come straight from your fingertips to ours, as we often take questions and concerns straight from the tickets that you are submitting. That being said, if there is something you find to not be sufficiently described or represented, feel free to bring that to our attention or by submitting a support ticket.

2. The devil is in the details

Make sure you include all potentially relevant information in your first ticket so we can decrease our back-and-forth and get you closer to an ideal wallet experience even faster. Depending on the issue, helpful information to send us can include:

  • Transaction hash (found in your transaction details and on Blockchain.info, etherscan.io, or blockchair)
  • Any addresses involved in the transaction
  • Time of the transaction
  • Order ID (if it’s a buy, sell, or exchange trade, found in your Order History)
  • Screenshots of the error or inconsistency you’re seeing (by holding command+shift+3 on mac, or ctrl + prnt scrn on PC)
  • A photo of the cutest kitten you can find

Okay, we’re joking (kind of) on that last one. But including the rest of this information when relevant gives us a swift head start on addressing your issue, whether it means clarifying how an aspect of our wallet works, or fixing a bug on our platform.

3. Send Screenshots in the proper format

JPEG and PNG are the only types of files we are permitted to open. Remembering to send in these formats is just one other way we can keep the gap between question + answer as small as possible.

4. Keep in mind, Blockchain does not have the ability to:
  • Access your wallet
  • Change or provide your private key
  • Change or provide your password
  • Reverse, cancel, or refund transactions
  • Freeze or suspend wallets

This is, in part, why we stress the importance of storing your backup phrase in a safe place offline and remind you to never give out any of your wallet information.

A refresher: Giving someone your 12 word backup phrase is like giving someone the key to your house. All the contents of your wallet will be exposed and potentially compromised by the person with access. Make sure to keep this string of words in a secure place offline. Please practice safe browsing, regularly update your operating system, and do not access your wallet on public WiFi. To learn more about how the Blockchain wallet works, spend some time here.

5. One ticket is all it takes

We know how frustrating an issue with your funds can be, and we want to help you alleviate that issue as soon as possible. Submitting multiple tickets on the same issue can delay our response because we need to search for and compile those tickets first. Additionally, this may cause your inquiry to be filtered as spam. Your inquiry is important to us and we will work diligently to tackle any outstanding problems as soon as possible.

6. Follow us on social media

We update our social media with relevant news, outages, and known issues our users are experiencing. To stay up to date, follow our main social media channels on Twitter and Facebook, and follow @AskBlockchain for support-related updates and information.

When it comes to opening a support ticket, the only official way to reach us is by submitting a ticket here. Any phone number, WhatsApp group, Facebook or Twitter user asking for information most likely does not have your best interest in mind.

Don’t have a Blockchain wallet? Sign up for one today.

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