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OFF BEAT: Lloyd's of London offers insurance for Bitcoin vault


Users of digital currency Bitcoin now can stow their virtual cash in a storage vault that has insurance underwritten at Lloyd’s of London.

Elliptic Vault is a service that uses so-called “deep cold storage” at a secure location and an offline server to store privately encrypted keys to Bitcoins.

Tom Robinson, a co-founder of Eliptc Vaults who has a doctorate in physics, told the British Broadcasting Corp. that secure storage of Bitcoins had been a major fear of people using the virtual currency.

He said finding an insurer to offer coverage for theft and loss for the storage facility was not an easy task. All transactions made using Bitcoins are irreversible and there is no way of retrieving the currency if it is lost.

In November, James Howells of Wales hit the headlines when he lost more than £4 million ($6.6 million) after throwing away a hard drive that he forgot contained his Bitcoins.

The insurance covering Elliptic Vaults reportedly will issue payouts calculated using the bitcoin to U.S. dollar exchange rate at the time a claim is made.