Jumio has signed up several bitcoin-related businesses to a scheme which lets users validate their identities by holding up paper ID to the cameras of Web-connected devices.
The Bitcoin Identity Security Open Network (Bison) aims to instill greater trust and confidence in a virtual currency ecosystem currently beset with security headaches.
Exchanges, wallets and other bitcoin-related companies collect and validate buyer identities at the point of transaction via any connected device. Customers just hold up their driver license or passport issued by over 100 countries to their device camera and Jumio's technology scans and validates it, extracting personal info and populating it into the transaction form.
Jumio says that the process happens in real time and that buyers' identities are used solely in the relationship with the exchange or wallet and do not change any aspects of the Bitcoin transaction flow.
A new feature, coming this summer, will also enable an opted-in, validated customer on one exchange to be automatically validated on another without rescanning their ID.
Daniel Mattes, CEO, Jumio, says: "The vast majority of Bitcoin users are honest and engaging in a range of legal transactions, but a small minority are not and that threatens the entire ecosystem, especially during this formative period. Bison is designed to minimise the problem by weeding out those who use false or manipulated IDs, which is a strong indicator of intended fraud or other illegal activity."
So far BitAccess, SnapSwap, CoinMkt, Digital Currency Exchange of Texas, CoinRnr, Hashop.io, NoveltyLab and Bitnet Technologies have signed on as initial Bison members.
Separately, Stripe - the payments outfit which provides merchants with an API that they can embed into their Web sites to easily accept credit card payments - is adding bitcoin support.
The firm is inviting customers to sign up for a private beta programme while one firm, online backup service Tarsnap, is already up and running with the option.