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World's first insured bitcoin vault launches

A new bitcoin (BTC) storage vault that insures deposits of the digital currency against theft and loss has been launched in London.

The Elliptic Vault is the world's first facility of this kind, and uses "deep cold storage" to store private encrypted keys to bitcoins on offline servers and in a secure location.

There are multiple copies, protected by layers of cryptographic and physical security.

The creation of the secure vault comes after a number of high-profile thefts of bitcoins in the past and an increase in BTC cyber-attacks.

Demand for additional protection has arisen as stolen bitcoins cannot be recovered as transactions are irreversible.

Lloyds of London is set to underwrite the Elliptic Vault service and insurance payouts will be calculated using the Bitcoin to US dollar exchange rate at the time a claim is made.

The exchange rate has fluctuated dramatically in recent years as governments around the world have had their say on whether or not the digital currency is a feasible payment method.

By Asim Shah