Blockchain

Blockchain has been available on Windows Phone for some time, but we've failed to cover it until now. Billed as the first app on the platform to support Bitcoin, the app enables you to carry out transactions using the Wallet service (www.blockchain.info). The developer is also the same soul who was behind Web2Tile back in 2011.

So what exactly is Bitcoin? It's an open-source cryptocurrency where the creation and transfer of "bitcoins" is based on a cryptographic protocol that is independent of any central authority. The concept was introduced back in 2008, billed as a "peer-to-peer, electronic cash system". Bitcoins can be transferred through a computer or smartphone without an intermediate financial institution.

Think of it as an online, peer-to-peer, freedom bank.

Each user has a bitcoin address (slightly like email addresses on PayPal), which is essentially a cryptographic public key. Its string of numbers and letters is often stored in a digital wallet or mobile device and it is protected by a password (or other means of authentication). Each bitcoin transaction is signed by the private key of the user initiating the transaction. In this case, Blockchain is the bitcoin client that helps you interact with your online wallet.

Blockchain App

Blockchain allows you to view your current balance, check out previous transactions and wire bitcoins to recipients, just as you would on a desktop client. If you're still rather baffled by the concept (we were at first), be sure to head on over to We Use Coins (www.weusecoins.com/en/questions) for some quick answers about multiple parts of the system.

The http://www.windowscentral.com/windows-phone-8Windows Phone 8 app is an interesting solution that integrates with the default Wallet Hub, offering quick and convenient access to the service. It's worth noting that you need to have a Bitcoin wallet with Blockchain to use this app (requires authentication before continuing). Here's a quick video of the app in action:

If you're an avid fan of Bitcoin or use it on a daily basis for transactions, Blockchain is well worth checking out. You can download Blockchain from the Windows Phone Store for free.

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