One of the objections often raised to bitcoin is that it is not—cannot be—secure, existing as it does online where cyberthieves and hackers can pilfer it. The best way to keep one's digital gold safe is to store it in a "cold wallet" on a device not connected to the internet. But that typically leaves users unable to spend or sell it on short notice.

Erik Voorhees, the founder and CEO of the Switzerland-based digital asset exchange ShapeShift, is only too aware of the challenges. He is determined to give cryptocurrency users the best of both worlds.

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