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Nymi – The First Wearable Bitcoin Wallet Secured by Biometrics

Op-ed - Nymi – The First Wearable Bitcoin Wallet Secured by Biometrics

Imagine walking into your favorite coffee shop, electronics store or restaurant, and paying for everything you need with the flick of your wrist. Today, Nymi (NIM-mi) makes this possible and more importantly, allows Bitcoin users to store their Bitcoin in a native biometric wallet.

Bionym’s Nymi wearable armband uses your unique ECG (electrocardiogram) biometric signature to securely identify you to various services and devices. The Toronto-based startup will also provide Nymi users with an easy to use and secure Bitcoin wallet. This is the first wearable Bitcoin wallet, and will enable consumers to make secure payments using the most secure digital payment method, without having to use your phone, tablet or computer.

In a recent Techcrunch interview, Bionym President Andrew D’Souza stated, “What Nymi brings to the table is a way to keep the private key securely stored independent of any computer, and tied to your unique ECG biometric signature. This makes it not only secure, but also more convenient than existing Bitcoin wallet solutions.”

Wearable technology has been around for years and has been widely used for tracking fitness activity. Companies like Samsung just recently dove into wearable tech and rumor has it that Apple currently has another in development. However, Nymi is the first technology that has merged the ability to make payments with wearable tech. Bionym’s innovation has many implications for both consumers and businesses, especially those in the Bitcoin community.

What Nymi Means for Businesses

An aspect of Bitcoin that has been challenging for brick-and-mortar businesses has been the payment process itself. Nymi provides an effortless and streamlined Bitcoin transaction process that will be customer facing, while enabling even greater transaction efficiency. The act of buying your favorite drink at Starbucks with Bitcoin can be a reality with Bionym’s new product.

Still, a challenge remains for many brick-and-mortar businesses looking to accept Bitcoin. How do you integrate Bitcoin into an existing POS? The answer has been given by many companies who provide payment integration, but very few actually integrate directly into every point-of-sale platform. For Bionym’s Nymi, this could mean that their native wallet may just be a way to secure and store Bitcoin in a unique and wearable way. However, with the rapid growth and adoption of Bitcoin, major retailers are searching for ways to get ahead and Nymi will soon capitalize on its innovation.

What Nymi Means for Consumers

Consumers are always looking for new and secure ways to pay for what they need. We have seen firsthand the cost of fraud with the recent data breach at Target stores nationwide, which accounted to over $1 billion in fraudulent purchases. It is obvious that the security of our money and our payment methods is more important than ever.

Nymi is tied directly to an individual’s ECG biometric signature, which means that if it is lost, nobody can access your funds. The technology within Nymi works much like Bitcoin, as both are backed by security that is built into the code. When you complete a transaction using Bitcoin, each user agrees to the amount and the transaction is verified multiple times. This happens nearly instantaneously and because each user agrees upon the transaction, there is no security risk, unlike other payment methods. Nymi brings this technology into the wearable tech space.

This new wearable tech will drastically increase the adoption of Bitcoin, both in business and by consumers. Not only will individuals be able to store their funds on a device that is directly tied to their biometrics, but they will also be able to effortlessly pay for goods and services. It makes perfect sense for Bionym to integrate a Bitcoin wallet into the Nymi. For Bitcoin, Nymi will bring new light to the already fastest growing mobile payment method. It will drive individual adoption and sales for businesses who already accept Bitcoin. For businesses who do not accept Bitcoin - it’s not too late.