HomeBlockchainWhat is Blockchain.com?

What is Blockchain.com?

The Blockchain.com website may look like an “official” website, but it is actually a company’s website.

The Blockchain.com domain was registered in 2011, which is two and a half years after Bitcoin was created. The official domain registered by Satoshi Nakamoto in fact was bitcoin.org, registered three months before Satoshi announced his celebrated whitepaper on 31 October 2008.

When the Blockchain.com website went online, it was simply an explorer, i.e., a website where it was possible to see the transactions being recorded on Bitcoin’s blockchain, as well as other information such as the circulating supply, price chart, and so on.

It is worth noting that in 2011 very few other cryptocurrencies existed besides Bitcoin, such as Litecoin and Namecoin, while famous cryptocurrencies such as Dogecoin and Ripple were born only two years later. Ethereum actually came into existence in 2015.

Thus when Blockchain.com first went online, it was not at all strange that it only showed Bitcoin data, even though it carried the name “blockchain” in the domain.

The Bitcoin wallet of Blockchain.com

Blockchain.com was a huge success, so much so that it became the go-to explorer for Bitcoin for a time. Indeed, it was often regarded as the “official” Bitcoin explorer, even though it was not.

Given its success, at some point additional features were added to the website, and mostly crypto services including a BTC wallet.

To be fair, the Blockchain.com wallet was a bit peculiar, because it was a non-custodial online wallet, since it was the user who held the private keys.

In some ways it could not even be called a wallet in the strict sense, precisely because it did not hold the private keys. It was a kind of client software that allowed users to interact with the Bitcoin blockchain with their own private keys.

This solution had a problem because it effectively forced users to keep their private keys saved in plain text on the device they used to connect to the site. In fact, it was later overtaken by more secure solutions, such as software wallets or software hardware, and fell into disuse.

It is important not to forget that the first Bitcoin wallets were software wallets that required the entire blockchain to be downloaded, often taking hours, or even days, to install for the first time.

So until the time when node-less stand-alone wallets were invented that connect to a server to download data from the blockchain, Blockchain.com’s solution made sense. In fact it remained in use for several years.

It was later replaced by a standard custodial wallet.

The exchange

At some point, Blockchain.com began to offer its users trading services as well, and so it effectively became a centralized exchange. At that point, it was necessary for the wallets to be custodial, and so the old wallet client was simply set aside.

Moreover ever since a crypto exchange was integrated into Blockchain.com, the website also opened up to other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum, Stellar, Solana, and so on. At this time, it also supports Dogecoin, Polkadot, Algorand, Uniswape Compound.

The website also offers more advanced crypto services, such as staking and an Earn program, since it now functions as a regular centralized exchange.

It also allows users to apply for a Visa card powered by cryptocurrencies stored in the custodial wallet.

The famous explorer still exists, although it is now very different from what it was in the beginning and is certainly no longer considered, rightly or wrongly, “official.”

The explorer now also supports other cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Ethereum, and offers much more information and many more charts than it once did.

The website also has a section dedicated to NFTs.

In other words, although Blockchain.com started out with very little functionality, and for reference only, over time it has become a rich website, full of features, and predominantly based around a crypto exchange.

The operation of Blockchain.com

For these reasons, the operation of Blockchain.com’s wallet and exchange now doesn’t differ much from those of other exchanges.

What is still different is precisely the explorer, both because the other exchanges generally do not have one built in, and because it is now one of the most comprehensive ones around.

All of this makes Blockchain.com by far one of the most comprehensive crypto websites that exist in the world, especially because of the varied functionality it offers.

It is worth specifying that as an exchange it is by no means among the largest, both because its trading volumes are not at all high, and because it does not offer from this point of view advanced functionalities to professional traders operating with large amounts of money.

However, it does offer services to institutional clients as well, particularly custody, OTC trading, and crypto lending. In other words, it is a website suitable for both small retail savers and institutional giants, but not suitable for professional or semi-professional traders.

It is worth noting that it has more than 1.3 million followers on Twitter, revealing that its main target audience is precisely small retail investors. Suffice it to say that FTX’s Twitter profile, for example, has just over half that number.

The reviews

There was a time when Blockchain.com was really widely used. More accurately, although it certainly had far fewer users than it does now, it had a far greater market share, percentage-wise.

After all, in 2011 there were very few easily usable crypto services online, so it is quite obvious that the few that were there had very high market shares.

Even back then, although the website was functioning largely well, there was a lot of criticism circulating about it, specifically with regard to customer support.

It is worth mentioning that there were very few people at the time who knew how a wallet worked, or the blockchain, so a lot of users were looking for even just basic information that clogged up their support service.

In addition, since the wallet was in fact non-custodial, problems unrelated to the incorrect private key storage were quite common. This meant that there were many problems with its use, often not due to the website but to user inexperience, and their customer support was often clogged.

Lately, however, the site has gotten a bad name because of several scammers who have decided to use it legitimately.

That is, Blockchain.com has nothing to do with scams or fraudsters, but some of them use it as a referral exchange because it allows them to get into the accounts of their unsuspecting victims who unwittingly give them access.

Negative reviews on Blockchain.com are practically countless, but they are almost never due to issues internal to the website or the exchange.

After all, those who grant scammers access to their profile on an exchange are almost always inexperienced beginners who cannot even distinguish between the responsibilities of the exchange itself, which in this case are almost zero, and those of the scammers who have nothing to do with the exchange itself.

This is compounded by the fact that some scammers use, obviously without any permission, the name and brand of Blockchain.com to convince their victims to trust it, and this unfortunately further affects the undeserved bad reputation of this historic exchange.

Marco Cavicchioli
Marco Cavicchioli
Born in 1975, Marco has been the first to talk about Bitcoin on YouTube in Italy. He founded ilBitcoin.news and the Facebook group" Bitcoin Italia (open and without scam) ".