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Crypto Banking Wars: Can BlockFi & Celsius Disrupt Banking?

Crypto Banking Wars: Can BlockFi & Celsius Disrupt Banking?
These crypto lending & borrowing services found early traction. Are they capable of bundling more financial services and winning the broader consumer finance market?
https://reddit.com/link/icps9l/video/98kl1y596zh51/player
This is the third part of Crypto Banking Wars — a new series that examines what crypto-native company is most likely to become the bank of the future. Who is best positioned to reach mainstream adoption in consumer finance?
While crypto allows the world to get rid of banks, a bank will still very much be necessary for this very powerful technology to reach the masses. As we laid out in our previous series, Crypto-Powered, we believe a crypto-native company will ultimately become the bank of the future. We’re confident Genesis Block will have a seat at that table, but we aren’t the only game in town.
In the first post of this series, we did an analysis of big crypto exchanges like Coinbase & Binance. In our second episode, we looked at the world of non-custodial wallets.
Today we’re analyzing crypto lending & borrowing services. The Earn and Borrow use-case covers a lot of what traditional banks deliver today. This category of companies is a threat worth analyzing. As we look at this market, we’ll mostly be focused on custodial, centralized products like BlockFi, Nexo, and Celsius.
Many of these companies found early traction among crypto users. Are they capable of bundling more financial services and winning the broader consumer finance market? Let’s find out.

Institutional Borrowers

Because speculation and trading remains one of the most popular use-cases of crypto, a new crypto sub-industry around credit has emerged. Much of the borrowing demand has been driven by institutional needs.
For example, a Bitcoin mining company might need to borrow fiat to pay for operational costs (salaries, electricity). Or a crypto company might need to borrow USD to pay for engineering salaries. Or a crypto hedge fund needs to borrow for leverage or to take a specific market position. While all of these companies have sufficient crypto to cover the costs, they might not want to sell it — either for tax or speculative reasons (they may believe these crypto assets will appreciate, as with most in the industry).
Instead of selling their crypto, these companies can use their crypto as collateral for loans. For example, they can provide $1.5M in Bitcoin as collateral, and borrow $1M. Given the collateralization happening, the underwriting process becomes straightforward. Companies all around the world can participate — language and cultural barriers are removed.

https://preview.redd.it/z9pby83d6zh51.png?width=600&format=png&auto=webp&s=54bf425215c3ed6d5ff0ca7dbe571e735b994613
The leader (and one of our partners) in this space is Genesis Capital. While they are always the counterparty for both lenders and borrowers, they are effectively a broker. They are at the center of the institutional crypto lending & borrowing markets. Their total active loans as of March 2020 was $649M. That number shot up to $1.42B in active loans as of June 2020. The growth of this entire market segment is impressive and it’s what is driving this opportunity for consumers downstream.

Consumer Products

While most of the borrowing demand comes from institutional players, there is a growing desire from consumers to participate on the lend/supply side of the market. Crypto consumers would love to be able to deposit their assets with a service and watch it grow. Why let crypto assets sit on an exchange or in cold storage when it can be earning interest?
A number of consumer-facing products have emerged in the last few years to make this happen. While they also allow users to borrow (always with collateral), most of the consumer attraction is around growing their crypto, even while they sleep. Earning interest. These products usually partner with institutional players like Genesis Capital to match the deposits with borrowing demand. And it’s exactly part of our strategy as well, beyond leveraging DeFi (decentralized finance protocols).
A few of the most popular consumer services in this category include BlockFi, Nexo, and Celsius.

https://preview.redd.it/vptig5mg6zh51.png?width=1051&format=png&auto=webp&s=b5fdc241cb9b6f5b495173667619f8d2c93371ca

BlockFi

BlockFi (Crunchbase) is the leader in this category (at least in the West). They are well-capitalized. In August 2019, they raised $18.3M in their Series A. In Feb 2020, they raised $30M in their Series B. In that same time period, they went from $250M in assets under management to $650M. In a recent blog post, they announced that they saw a 100% revenue increase in Q2 and that they were on track to do $50M in revenue this year. Their growth is impressive.
BlockFi did not do an ICO, unlike Celsius, Nexo, Salt, and Cred. BlockFi has a lot of institutional backing so it is perceived as the most reputable in the space. BlockFi started with borrowing — allowing users to leverage their crypto as collateral and taking out a loan against it. They later got into Earning — allowing users to deposit assets and earn interest on it. They recently expanded their service to “exchange” functionality and say they are coming out with a credit card later this year.

https://preview.redd.it/byv2tbui6zh51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=bac080dcfc85e89574c30dfb396db0b537d46706
Security Woes
It’s incredible that BlockFi has been able to see such strong growth despite their numerous product and security woes. A few months ago, their systems were compromised. A hacker was able to access confidential data, such as names, dates of birth, postal addresses, and activity histories. While no funds were lost, this was a massive embarrassment and caused reputational damage.

https://preview.redd.it/lwmxbz5l6zh51.png?width=606&format=png&auto=webp&s=ebd8e6e5c31c56da055824254b35b218b49f80e0
Unrelated to that massive security breach and earlier in the year, a user discovered a major bug that allowed him to send the same funds to himself over and over again, ultimately accumulating more than a million dollars in his BlockFi account. BlockFi fortunately caught him just before withdrawal.
Poor Product Execution
Beyond their poor security — which they are now trying to get serious about — their products are notoriously buggy and hard-to-use. I borrowed from them a year ago and used their interest account product until very recently. I have first-hand experience of how painful it is. But don’t take my word for it… here are just a few tweets from customers just recently.

https://preview.redd.it/wcqu3icn6zh51.png?width=1055&format=png&auto=webp&s=870e2f06a6ec377a87e5d6d1f24579a901de66b5
For a while, their interest-earning product had a completely different authentication system than their loan product (users had two sets of usernames/passwords). Many people have had issues with withdrawals. The app is constantly logging people out, blank screens, ugly error messages. Emails with verification codes are sometimes delayed by hours (or days). I do wonder if their entire app has been outsourced. The sloppiness shines through.
Not only is their product buggy and UX confusing, but their branding & design is quite weak. To the left is a t-shirt they once sent me. It looks like they just found a bunch of quirky fonts, added their name, and slapped it on a t-shirt.

https://preview.redd.it/mi6yeppp6zh51.png?width=600&format=png&auto=webp&s=fd4cd8201ad0d5bc667498096388377895b72953
Culture
To the innocent bystander, many of these issues seem totally fixable. They could hire an amazing design agency to completely revamp their product or brand. They could hire a mercenary group of engineers to fix their bugs, etc. While it could stop the bleeding for a time, it may not solve the underlying issues. Years of sloppy product execution represents something much more destructive. It represents a top-down mentality that shipping anything other than excellence is okay: product experience doesn’t matter; design doesn’t matter; craftsmanship doesn’t matter; strong execution doesn’t matter; precision doesn’t matter. That’s very different from our culture at Genesis Block.
This cancerous mentality rarely stays contained within product & engineering — this leaks to all parts of the organization. No design agency or consulting firm will fix some of the pernicious values of a company’s soul. These are deeper issues that only leadership can course-correct.
If BlockFi’s sloppiness were due to constant experimentation, iteration, shipping, or some “move fast and break things” hacker culture… like Binance… I would probably cut them more slack. But there is zero evidence of that. “Move fast and break things” is always scary when dealing with financial products. But in BlockFi’s case, when it’s more like “move slow and break things,” they are really playing with fire. Next time a massive security breach occurs, like what happened earlier this year, they may not be so lucky.
Institutional Focus
Based on who is on their team, their poor product execution shouldn’t be a surprise. Their team comes mostly from Wall Street, not the blockchain community (where our roots are). Most of BlockFi’s blockchain/crypto integration is very superficial. They take crypto assets as deposits, but they aren’t leveraging any of the exciting, low-level DeFi protocols like we are.
While their Wall Street heritage isn’t doing them any favors on the product/tech side, it’s served them very well on winning institutional clients. This is perhaps their greatest strength. BlockFi has a strong institutional business. They recently brought on Three Arrows Capital as a strategic investor — a crypto hedge fund who does a lot of borrowing. In that announcement, BlockFi’s founder said that bringing them on “aligns well with our focus on international expansion of our institutional services offering.” They also recently brought someone on who will lead business development in Asia among institutional clients.
BlockFi Wrap Up
There are certainly BlockFi features that overlap with Genesis Block’s offering. It’s possible that they are angling to become the bank of the future. However, they simply have not proven they are capable of designing, building, and launching world-class consumer products. They’ve constantly had issues around security and poor product execution. Their company account and their founder’s account seem to only tweet about Bitcoin. I don’t think they understand, appreciate, or value the power of DeFi. It’s unlikely they’ll be leveraging it any time soon. All of these reasons are why I don’t see them as a serious threat to Genesis Block.
However, because of their strong institutional offering, I hope that Genesis Block will ultimately have a very collaborative and productive partnership with them. Assuming they figure out their security woes, we could park some of our funds with BlockFi (just as we will with Genesis Capital and others). I think what’s likely to happen is that we’ll corner the consumer market and we’ll work closely with BlockFi on the institutional side.
I’ve been hard on BlockFi because I care. I think they have a great opportunity at helping elevate the entire industry in a positive way. But they have a lot of issues they need to work through. I really don’t want to see users lose millions of dollars in a security breach. It could set back the entire industry. But if they do things well… a rising tide lifts all boats.

Honorable Mentions

Celsius (ICO Drops) raised $50M in an ICO, and is led by serial entrepreneur Alex Mashinsky. I’ve met him, he’s a nice guy. Similar to Binance, their biggest Achilles heel could be their own token. There are also a lot of unanswered questions about where their deposits go. They don’t have a record of great transparency. They recently did a public crowdraise which is a little odd given their large ICO as well as their supposed $1B in deposits. Are they running out of money, as some suggest? Unclear. One of their biggest blindspots right now is that Mashinsky does not understand the power of DeFi. He is frequently openly criticizing it.
Nexo (ICO Drops) is another similar service. They are European-based, trying to launch their own card (though they’ve been saying this forever and they still haven’t shipped it), and have a history in the payments/fintech space. Because they haven’t penetrated the US — which is a much harder regulatory nut to crack — they are unlikely to be as competitive as BlockFi. There were also allegations that Nexo was spreading FUD about Chainlink while simultaneously partnering with them. Did Nexo take out a short position and start spreading rumors? Never a dull moment in crypto.
Other players in the lending & borrowing space include Unchained Capital, Cred (ICO Drops), and Salt (ICO Drops).

https://preview.redd.it/9ts6m0qw6zh51.png?width=1056&format=png&auto=webp&s=dd8d368c1aa39994c6bc5e4baec10678d3bbba2d

Wrap Up

While many companies in this category seem to be slowly adding more financial services, I don’t believe any of them are focused on the broader consumer market like we are. To use services like BlockFi, Nexo, or Celsius, users need to be onboarded and educated on how crypto works. At Genesis Block, we don’t believe that’s the winning approach. We think blockchain complexity should be abstracted away from the end-user. We did an entire series about this, Spreading Crypto.
For many of these services, there is additional friction due to ICO tokens that are forcefully integrated into the product (see NEXO token or CEL Token). None of these services have true banking functionality or integration with traditional finance —for example, easy offramp or spending methods like debit cards. None of them are taking DeFi seriously — they are leveraging crypto for only the asset class, not the underlying technology around financial protocols.
So are these companies potential competitors to Genesis Block? For the crypto crowd, yes. For the mass market, no. None of these companies are capable of reaching the billions of people around the world that we hope to reach at Genesis Block.
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BitMax.io & Lambda Joint AMA

BitMax.io & Lambda Joint AMA
George Cao :Let’s welcome lambda team . Xiaoyang and Lucy
Lambda: Hello friends from BitMax ~~ I am Lucy Wang, Co-founder and CMO of Lambda. I am very happy to e-meet with you here and thx for George's invitation. I on behalf of Lambda wish all of you a merry Christmas and prosperous new year in 2019
George Cao: Great. I am a bit surprised to see a big volume day yesterday Christmas. Seems our users didn’t take a break even on holidays :)
Lambda: I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce myself first, I have over 14 years of progressive career development with global leading enterprise software / service organizations as well as VC-backed start-up ventures, including HP, Oracle, and SAP. Before Lambda I was CMO/GM at two enterprise SaaS start ups in China backed by top VCs.
And my partner Mr. He Xiaoyang, who is the founder of Lambda, he is a well-known expert in infrastructure and open source software in China. Prior to Lambda, he was the co-founder of OneAPM, a fast-growing infrastructure software focusing on ITOM (IT operation management) in China. OneAPM is known as the “New Relic or AppDynamics of China” and the company has received strong VC backing from Matrix Partners, Chengwei Capital, and Qiming Venture. Prior to his entrepreneur experiences, Mr. HE worked at BEA as a R&D software engineer. In addition, Mr. HE is also a blogger with strong following in China and some of his articles have been published by major media such as Forbes China, 36Kr, Sina, etc.
Lambda idea was born at the end of year 2017 and the product development started from the beginning of 2018. Now let me talk about Lambda idea and what we do
Lambda, is the leading decentralized infrastructure project providing secure, reliable, and infinitely scalable decentralized storage network that enables data storage, data integrity check, security verification, and marketplace for storage-related services on the Lambda Chain Consensus Network.
In recent years, there have been frequent data leakage problems in major Internet platforms at home and abroad, and even business giants such as Facebook and Marriott have not been spared. Returning the value of data to data owners is an inevitable trend in line with human pursuit of freedom. The block-chain technology with P2P features provides an opportunity for this, and this area will be highly valued by the industry in the next few years. Lambda is the only provider of block-chain storage infrastructure projects in China. It is sometimes referred as “File-coin of China”or “File-coin 2.0”.our vision is to return the value of data to the data owner, with this vision in mind, our mission is to promote the decentralization of the Internet, with the goal of creating a storage infrastructure for the next generation of block-chain.
After the Lambda project launch in early 2018, it has received strong support by well-known strategic and financial investors including Bitmain, Viking Capital, FBG Capital, Bluehills, Zhen Fund, FunCity Capital, Ceyuan Digital Fund, BlockVC, INBlockChain, DATA Foundation, Bitcoin World, Reflextion Capital, etc. To date, Lambda has received investment funding in excess of $10M.

https://preview.redd.it/ynaos7rps2721.png?width=1267&format=png&auto=webp&s=77360b7cdf06c288e8c25675f94f5fb9d3d02137
n all the existing decentralized storage projects that are aiming to give a solution to this problem worldwide, Lambda is the first ever to announce its LPDP ( Lambda Provable Data Possession )
George Cao: I see we share several investors in common, So 2019 q1-q2 will be a big milestone for lambda
Lambda: Provable Data Possession (PDP) and Proofs of Retrievability (POR) are critical to efficient decentralized data storage and its implementation, which is the essential difference between centralized network projects and real decentralized storage. Prior to Inter-planetary
File System (IPFS), Lambda launched its minimum viable product (MVP) of core functions in the third quarter of 2018, and has been continuously upgrading and optimizing this in block-chains in a multi-role environment.
File-coin is our main competitor, here is a chart shows the progress comparison FYI

https://preview.redd.it/ewmyh9tqs2721.png?width=1267&format=png&auto=webp&s=cddc52a6d613196f6c0cbf870da42a5b82a8aaa6
For those who have interest to know more about Lambda's technical innovations, they can be find in our keep updating FAQ document posted on Medium, and I copied her FYI
1.Innovatively designed the Validator role which provides verification service for storage proof and the Validator replaces storage miner as the full-time storage proof result verifier, this greatly improves the performance of the storage and retrieval system.
2.In response to the limitations of the PDP algorithm, Lambda innovatively created a consensus network on the block-chain and used the validators role to replace the "TPA" in the PDP algorithm.
3.Innovatively modified the PDP algorithm from synchronous to asynchronous communication, which greatly reduces the communication traffic for Challenge in the system. Use of chain data as a random seed for storage miners to issue Challenge themselves addresses the randomness of TPA challenges.
4.Innovatively upgraded the PDP algorithm from periodic verification to a verification set generated by the miners to submit the verification result at one time, and fully realize the Proof-Of-Space-Time verification.
on top of all the technical, Lambda creates a consensus network where data can be stored, storage space can be rented on the basis of a marketplace built on block-chain.
In the Marketplace, the transaction process is: storage miners pledge hard disk sectors to the consensus network, and place orders and sell their own storage space in the Marketplace; storage users initiate purchase requests, complete the matching of storage requests through the Marketplace, and store data in the space of the storage miners.
Different from other block-chain applications, Lambda is a storage mining project, we have miners mine on Lambda network. Earn LAMB tokens by contributing on the network, and users who have data storing requirements pay Lamb tokens to purchase services accordingly.
The price of Lamb token not only rely on the exchanges but also supported by our miners who are doing works on the network.
There are four roles in the Lambda mining network: storage miners (providers of storage space), verification miners (ensuring the integrity and security of data and packaging transactions), retrieval miners (providing download bandwidth), and users (storage buyers). 1024 verification miners promoted from storage miners constitute the Lambda-chain consensus network. So you will see three types of miners serve our users from all over the world.
The key milestones we are looking at is the launch of test-net, where miners can start mining and earn testing Lamb tokens, the date will be around end of Jan. 2019 and main network will go live in Q2, 2019, most likely in Apr.
Regarding our partnership, In the academic field, we have established a strategic partnership with Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT), which is well known in China for its engineering and computer science research programs, to conduct research into centralized storage.
In the commercial field, Lambda has established a strategic collaboration with IOST, a well-known public blockchain project, and Perlin, a super computing platform, and started to conduct pilot projects for decentralized application (DAPP) companies such as DATA and BCV. Lambda also has close ties to many leading Internet data centers (IDCs) in China. They join the Lambda network as miners and take advantage of their surplus server capacity to engage in the Lambda network ecology.
Q: Will the rest of the code be open sourced? If so when ?
Lambda: we have released the codes of core function module, the test net codes will be released gradually in Jan. pls stay tuned with our official github
Q: What can Lamb tokens be used for?
Lambda: Lambs are tokens in the Lambda ecosystem, which are mainly used in the following scenarios:
A. Users of services in the Lambda ecosystem have to pay with Lambda tokens.
B. Providers of storage services in the system have to pledge a certain number of tokens.
C. Verification nodes in the system have to pledge a certain number of tokens.
D. Verification nodes can obtain a certain number of tokens as accounting rewards.
E. Storage nodes get a certain number of tokens based on their storage capacity and their service level agreements (SLAs).
F. Other roles in the Lambda ecosystem can also obtain a certain number of tokens based on their contributions.
Q: What more incentives does miner gets to mine or rent storage on Lambda?
Lambda: every miner stars from storage miner on Lambda network, they get paid by providing storage space, when their business getting bigger, system will select the top 1024 storage miners and promote them to validator, who will get block generation rewards from system.
Q: how are the 1024 miners selected? Doesn't this become more centralised?
Lambda: we did a survey to the Chinese miners, they mainly fall into two groups, either are waiting FileCoin to go live with purchased mining machine idle at home or they are doing hard drive or graphic cards mining, which has a high requirement to the hardware standard. To mine on Lambda, you need a mining machine ( computer ) that has big storage space ( because the bigger the higher probability you'll be promoted to be a validator ) and the connection to the internet
Q: How much is initial supply?
Lambda: Lambda did two rounds of fund raising, private investors have a lock up terms of 2+4+4 meaning the first 20% of tokens will only be released 2 months listing on exchange. so on the day one listing till 2 months there will be only around 0.5% initial circulation, and after 2 months, 5% in total. in addition to that, as we are recruiting miners to join our network, actually ppl have been in a situation where they can't wait to mine on our testnet. with the mining mechanism we have, miners need to buy Lamb token to get their mining work started, because a certain amount of pledge need to be made
Q: What partnership will lambda and bitmax have in the future?
Lambda: We value the way BitMax doing things and care about projects, we feel like we found the right exchange to be listed, in particular an initial listing. we will work with BitMax and do some joint campaigns to boost the community
George: We have great chemistry with lambda team.
Q: And are you still primary list in there, I heard the list was delay? Is it related to Huobi?
Lambda: you are right, it is related to Huobi, but one thing you can be assured of is that our initial listing on BitMax wont change, but most likely a joint listing with Huobi.
Q: what about the time of primary list?
Lambda: we will primarily list very soon, we are targeting end of this week, now we are in the middle of some technical integration with Huobi
George: We can assure everyone that our team will do our best to protect our investors and serve our listing projects. The promise does not change whether or not if we co-list with huobi.
Q: We get reward to mine ? Any incentive? For testnet
Lambda: Yes, you have two ways obtain Lamb tokens, buy from exchange and earn more from mining, but firstly you have to buy Lamb on BitMax haha. Are you asking the reward from testnet by mining on it? yes, you will get test Lamb token, and they can be redeemed to Lamb token with a ratio that will be specified shortly. on Lambda official website www.lambda.im, we have whitepaper, besides that we also have economic whitepaper to explain how the lambda economic system runs, on Dec. 28 we will launch our yellow paper where we will demonstrate the detailed technical realization and all the parameter setting for mining on Lambda
Q: What are the implications if a miners rig goes offline or they decide to stop?
Lambda: If miners rig goes off, they will not get the reward from the corresponding generated block, if they do cheating there will be punishment from the system, and if they decide to quit, the pledge will be returned
Q: Lambda planning to have own FS?
Lambda: Yes, FS and consensus network is separate. validators and marketplace are on the consensus network, while Files are in the File System.
Q: Is Lambda GDPR friendly?
Lambda: yes, we are
Q: Hi can u explain what’s the requirements of decentralized data . Do You think big companies will like to use lambda services .... or it’s for medium level enterprises as big companies will go for their in house system with their reliable nodes ...
Lambda: this is a good question, from I seeing it, ppl call out the protection of privacy, it is a trend and it takes steps. Lambda has two big groups of prospects users, one is DAPPs, another is the general industries such as big data, AI, IoT, Games, Financial, etc, as long as they need massive data storage demand, Lambda has the opportunity, data storage is expensive, especially when we are talking about big data, a lot of companies will value the cost in this area very much. currently we have lighthouse customer like DATA, BCV, VVshare, in the very near future, a game that is developed by Lambda team will also go live on Lambda network. from the BD perspective, Lambda will create a satellite network ( you can take it as channel network ) to bring us customers, we have a few reaching out to us already
Q: Why suddenly launched on Huobi
George Cao: I believe lambda team has its own consideration. Projects esp in bear market are facing pressures from different parties. Investors users exchanges. Not everything is under projects control. What we can do as an exchange is to stand by our partners and fully support them down the road
Lambda: thx for the answer
Q: I think you have made a great choice working with bitmax. Bitmax have really helped push new
coins and their site in general with good PR, marketing and reward/airdrop promotions
Lambda: strongly agree with you
Q: GDPR has taken over the EU and the UK so that is very important
Lambda: you are right, so we see to be GDPR friendly, which is one of our differentiator from FileCoin
Q: Being GDPR friendly , European market is a go for lambda
Lambda: I have this plan to develop European market by having a Raspberry program, it is still in planning.
George Cao: Let’s take a last question and move to lambda community:) And as usual we will pick 3 best questions. We will send out 1000 800 and 500 btmx. @lambda do you want to pick 3 questions ?
Q: Recent partnerships are interesting , can you tell us about coming q1 2019 both in terms of technical and marketing developments ?
Lambda: from Marketing side, we are focusing on Chinese miners community and potential European market ( like I said still in construction ) Korean market is another, and US market to go along our compliance path, Lambda has been strictly abide by the regulations. from technical side, the most important task we are targeting is the main network launch as planned
George Cao: Thanks everyone for your time. It’s a great ama as usual. We do have the best community. We will pick 3 winners and we will announce here after we finish ama in lambda community
Lambda: thank you all for your time to participate the AMA, I had a great time with you, see you friends and have a nice day.
George Cao: Hello everyone, Merry Christmas:)
Lambda: Hello Lambdos. Today we have George, the founder of BitMax to join us for the AMA. Let's give him a warm welcome to do a introduction of BitMax
George Cao: I am George Cao, founder of bitmax. I am happy to take the opportunity to talk to everyone here. Thanks to the lambda team. Let me start with a brief introduction about us.
Bitmax.io (btmx.io) is an exchange founded by a group of Wall Street veterans. Unlike most projects, we are kinda of old :) core team are in their 30ish - 50ish. The 10 founding member have combined of 150 years of Wall st experience. I have 10+ yrs of high frequency trading experience therefore I know the trading system well. That’s why our match engine can handle 400k tps per second vs huobi 1000 tps. We want to build an exchange that is transparent, robust, and efficient. While our system is the best in class, we offer the lowest trading fees. We believe the current high commission will not sustain and we will see consolidating of the exchanges with better depth and liquidity and lower commission. We are happy to partner with lambda, one of the best projects in 2018. We are committed to serve the project and the community. Alright, I am ready to take questions. Anything you can ask, as tough as you want :)
Q: Haha nice platform.
George Cao: Thanks. We are young as a platform but we are working to deliver the best
Q: I see reverse mining is new , I used many other mining exchange but all have normal mining . How does reverse mining works?
George Cao: Reverse mining is an innovative approach that helps the exchange and the project in several ways. 1) the concept of reverse mining is by providing liquidity to the exchange, you get a rebate and deduct out tokens from your account of the same valued. You can think of a otc sell our. 2) the benefit is it removes lots of sell pressure from the secondary market. And provides a strong support for the token price. 3) it introduces lots of liquidity to the exchange and benefits all traders
Q: The BTMX used in reverse mining are locked forever?
George Cao: Yes so the total number of tokens are always reducing your
Q: I've really been enjoying using the bitmax exchange so far especially with the low fees and data usage rewards. Does the exchange plan to bring in a shorting function in the near future?
George Cao: Yes we will have margin and futures trading
Q: It was supposed to December right ?
George Cao: We postponed our margin to Jan. The reason is we want to be more careful on protecting margin call protections.
Q: Margin trading and futures is important for BTMX price to drive up
George Cao: Totally agree
Q: Does BitMax have any activities on New Year's Day?
George: We do have multiple promotional events. Including but not limited to airdrops. Please visit our website and stay tuned
Q: I saw the whitepaper of bitmax, can you talk more about your dividends the formula is really hard for me ?
George Cao: Sure 80% of our commission goes to our fee pool. 1/180 of the total pool will be distributed daily. As long as you are a token holder, the current rate we pay is over 100% annually
Q: Oh I see, so the dividends will be smooth, great idea.
George Cao: Yes unlike other mining exchanges have huge volatility on div we smooth our curve
Q: I've also heard there is a mobile app in the works, is this likely to be released in the near future?
George Cao: Almost done. Beta version is in testing
Q: What about the north American, will it be available in the future?
George Cao: We more cleared our legal path for fiat trading in us. Q1 2019 we will launch in the us
Q: Great news I think this will bring a big volume.
George Cao: Yes agree. Our team is excited as well
Q: With promotional Airdrops that require a certain amount of the BTMX token to be held such as The lamb one that has taken place on the exchange this week. Are tokens that are locked for data usage or in cards taken into account when balance screenshots are taken?
George Cao: Yes we will take that into account
Q: When will be the private sale tokens be released ?
George Cao: As soon as we mined 90m we will start to release
Q: So let me get this right .. you give us FREE BTC and ltc and even Lambda EVERYDAY if we hold BTMX and agree to share our data
George Cao: Free usdt btc eth
Q: Wow. In a bear market, Free btc is the best thing ever
George Cao: We share revenue with our users, 90% is usdt. Not sure if you like it:)
Q: also consider adding coins like ADA and few from top 30. People need more coins
George Cao: We are adding stellar and zcash soon
Q: I heard they are insured Unless we give password to someone hehe
George Cao: Yes we are using custodian service
Q: George are our funds SAFU with you? Exchange insurance? I would say it is With the industry giants backing this exchange
George Cao: Sequoia matrix bitmain fbg dhvc are our equity investors
Q: What’s to stop People dumping BTMX token after free btc Or stop capital investor dumping on retailer
George Cao: They get it every day. Why would they dump? All equity investors can not sell on secondary market. They can only to reverse mining
Q: Will margin allow reverse mining instead of normal mining?
George Cao: Not initially
Q: People do irrational things when btc moves Or whales dumping, I heard there was a lock up token or something. To stop this
George Cao: We required lock our tokens to get rewards. You can request to unlock at anytime but it takes 24 hours to process
Q: Binance is developing DEX any plans for BitMax ?
George Cao: Not anytime soon we have a looong to do:)
Q: It's good you have dex in mind , with improved scalability in future maybe bitmax can build good dex
George Cao: Agree
Q: Retail investors are important , George knows it haha
George Cao: We care most of retails
Q: It would help if they also burned or locked tokens up
George Cao: Yes we permanently locked
Q: Seems you have everything thought of.. but how about moving to Malta?
George Cao: We priority US. Once us is clear pretty much everywhere is clear
Q: Doesn’t any exchange cover US right now?
George Cao: Coinbase but they have 0 international coverage and 0 client service
Q: What sort of systems are in place for abnormal/suspicious activity on the exchange?
George Cao: We prohibit self trading. For unusual trading behavior we ban the account and as for explain in the first violation. For continued violations we permanently ban the account
Q: can we get a glimpse of mobile application ?
George Cao: There is a beta version you can use but we are keep improving
Q: What are the precautions taken to prevent wash trading ?
George Cao: We have pre trade and post trade checksums. E.g we don’t just scan one account. We check or related account
Q: Will market orders and stop-loss orders be available in the future?
George Cao: Yes we are working on it
Q: what do you think of lambda project and community
George Cao: Lambda is definitely one of the best projects this year. We have been working with lambda for months and have lots of respect ion for the team. Community is also great very well organized. I didn’t talk much but I joined lambda tele group for a while. Great interaction
Q: So the trading starts at 8 pm ETC?
George Cao: It’s postponed. Please stay tuned for announcements
Lambda: We will make announcement giving out time and new date.
Q: when please? It's also more professional to be able to give dates and respect them
Lambda Cao: we are working hard and aiming the date of Dec. 29, pls stay tuned, thank you
George: Unfortunately bitmax and lambda don’t have 100% control of the date and time. Huobi is holding the ball
Lambda: The listing dates have been postponed and we don't want to give out a random date. I request you to have patience and wait for official announcement
Lambda: we will try everything to protect retails interest
Q: Can’t let houbi just arrive late to the party?
Lambda: in the long run we may need Huobi to help us better protect us all
George Cao: We trust lambda team can make the best decision for all investors
Q: Have you been busy with listing recently? Anything else?
George Cao: We have been working 24 hours a day including Chris eve :) Listing and app and margin and lots of new improvements
Q: Why would we need huobi with bitmax on our side.
George Cao: Trust me we are as upset. However as an exchange our mission is to serve projects and investors. Please join us in fully supporting any decision lambda team made. We have 100% confidence in lambda
Q: Are you familiar with the REKTbot and SYSTEM OVERLOAD problems at bitmex
George Cao: Yes but still bitmex is the best place to trade future compare with okex
Q: Slap that Hayes fool when bitmax start margin and futures..
George Cao: Haha i don’t want to declare war with them. Let’s be a bit patient :)
Q: Could bitmax handle That volume and not system overload
George Cao: We are 100% confident
George Cao: Alright i have to run for another meeting. It’s been a great ama. Thanks everyone. For any trading related questions please contact our client support. We promise to get in touch in 5 mins 7/24. Thank you all!
Lambda: thank you for participation, have a nice day!
submitted by BitMax_Support to BitMax [link] [comments]

I wrote a 30,000 ft. "executive summary" intro document for cryptos. Not for you, for your non-technical parents or friends.

This document was originally written for my dad, an intelligent guy who was utterly baffled about the cryptocurrency world. The aim was to be extremely concise, giving a broad overview of the industry and some popular coins while staying non-technical. For many of you there will be nothing new here, but recognize that you are in the 0.001% of the population heavily into crypto technology.
I've reproduced it for Reddit below, or you can find the original post here on my website. Download the PDF there or hit the direct link: .PDF version.
Donations happily accepted:
ETH: 0x4e03Bf5CCE3eec4Ddae4d3d6aAD46ca4f198AeD6 BTC: 1GqWMZRRygRJJWYYTWHkAVoRcgyQHjgBMZ XMR: 42Y1S1KBoPk381kc7hA68zaiC78BxMoCADjLrFcTdWiE7ejhZc49s1t9i7P2EmTnHsLDiKoSUiogCbLVHXRJxjrCT4WG8ic XRB: xrb_1bpzh745s9kzk8ymfnks3jtdi65ayumdstokzd4yw4ohu3fopxmiocjcntcu 

Background

This document is purely informational. At the time of writing there are over 1000 cryptocurrencies (“cryptos”) in a highly volatile, high risk market. Many of the smaller “altcoins” require significant technical knowledge to store and transact safely. I advise you to carefully scrutinize each crypto’s flavor of blockchain, potential utility, team of developers, and guiding philosophy, before making any investment [1] decisions. With that out of the way, what follows are brief, extremely high-level summaries of some cryptos which have my interest, listed in current market cap order. But first, some info:
Each crypto is a different implementation of a blockchain network. Originally developed as decentralized digital cash, these technologies have evolved into much broader platforms, powering the future of decentralized applications across every industry in the global economy. Without getting into the weeds, [2] most cryptos work on similar principles:
Distributed Ledgers Each node on a blockchain network has a copy of every transaction, which enables a network of trust that eliminates fraud. [3]
Decentralized “Miners” comprise the infrastructure of a blockchain network. [4] They are monetarily incentivized to add computing power to the network, simultaneously securing and processing each transaction. [5]
Peer-to-peer Cryptos act like digital cash-- they require no third party to transact and are relatively untraceable. Unlike cash, you can back them up.
Global Transactions are processed cheaply and instantly, anywhere on Earth. Using cryptos, an African peasant and a San Francisco engineer have the same access to capital, markets, and network services.
Secure Blockchains are predicated on the same cryptographic technology that secures your sensitive data and government secrets. They have passed seven years of real-world penetration testing with no failures. [6]

Bitcoin (BTC)

The first cryptocurrency. As with first movers in any technology, there are associated pros and cons. Bitcoin has by far the strongest brand recognition and deepest market penetration, and it is the only crypto which can be used directly as a currency at over 100,000 physical and web stores around the world. In Venezuela and Zimbabwe, where geopolitical events have created hyperinflation in the centralized fiat currency, citizens have moved to Bitcoin as a de facto transaction standard. [7]
However, Bitcoin unveiled a number of issues that have been solved by subsequent cryptos. It is experiencing significant scaling issues, resulting in high fees and long confirmation times. The argument over potential solutions created a rift in the Bitcoin developer community, who “forked” the network into two separate blockchains amidst drama and politicking in October 2017. Potential solutions to these issues abound, with some already in place, and others nearing deployment.
Bitcoin currently has the highest market cap, and since it is easy to buy with fiat currency, the price of many smaller cryptos (“altcoins”) are loosely pegged to its price. This will change in the coming year(s).

Ethereum (ETH)

Where Bitcoin is a currency, Ethereum is a platform, designed as a foundational protocol on which to develop decentralized applications (“Dapps”). Anyone can write code and deploy their program on the global network for extremely low fees. Just like Twitter wouldn’t exist without the open platform of the internet, the next world-changing Dapp can’t exist without Ethereum.
Current Dapps include a global market for idle computing power and storage, peer-to-peer real estate transactions (no trusted third party for escrow), identity networks for governments and corporations (think digital Social Security card), and monetization strategies for the internet which replace advertising. Think back 10 years to the advent of smartphones, and then to our culture today-- Ethereum could have a similar network effect on humanity.
Ethereum is currently the #2 market cap crypto below Bitcoin, and many believe it will surpass it in 2018. It has a large, active group of developers working to solve scaling issues, [8] maintain security, and create entirely new programming conventions. If successful, platforms like Ethereum may well be the foundation of the decentralized internet of the future.

Ripple (XRP)

Ripple is significantly more centralized than most crypto networks, designed as a backbone for the global banking and financial technology (“fintech”) industries. It is a network for exchanging between fiat currencies and other asset classes instantly and cheaply, especially when transacting cross-border and between separate institutions. It uses large banks and remittance companies as “anchors” to allow trading between any asset on the network, and big names like Bank of America, American Express, RBC, and UBS are partners. The utility of this network is global and massive in scale.
It is extremely important to note that not all cryptos have the same number of tokens. Ripple has 100 Billion tokens compared to Bitcoin’s 21 Million. Do not directly compare price between cryptos. XRP will likely never reach $1k, [9] but the price will rise commensurate with its utility as a financial tool.
In some sense, Ripple is anathema to the original philosophical vision of this technology space. And while I agree with the cyberpunk notion of decentralized currencies, separation of money and state, this is the natural progression of the crypto world. The internet was an incredible decentralized wild west of Usenet groups and listservs before Eternal September and the dot-com boom, but its maturation affected every part of global society.

Cardano (ADA)

Cardano’s main claim to fame: it is the only crypto developed using academic methodologies by a global collective of engineers and researchers, built on a foundation of industry-leading, peer-reviewed cryptographic research. The network was designed from first-principles to allow scalability, system upgrades, and to balance the privacy of its users with the security needs of regulators.
One part of this ecosystem is the Cardano Foundation, a Swiss non-profit founded to work proactively with governments and regulatory bodies to institute legal frameworks around the crypto industry. Detractors of Cardano claim that it doesn’t do anything innovative, but supporters see the academic backing and focus on regulation development as uniquely valuable.

Stellar Lumens (XLM)

Stellar Lumens and Ripple were founded by the same person. They initially shared the same code, but today the two are distinct in their technical back-end as well as their guiding philosophy and development goals. Ripple is closed-source, for-profit, deflationary, and intended for use by large financial institutions. Stellar is open-source, non-profit, inflationary, and intended to promote international wealth distribution. As such, they are not direct competitors.
IBM is a major partner to Stellar. Their network is already processing live transactions in 12 currency corridors across the South Pacific, with plans to process 60% of all cross-border payments in the South Pacific’s retail foreign exchange corridor by Q2 2018.
Beyond its utility as a financial tool, the Stellar network may become a competitor to Ethereum as a platform for application development and Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”). The theoretical maximum throughput for the network is higher, and it takes less computational power to run. The Stellar development team is highly active, has written extensive documentation for third-party developers, and has an impressive list of advisors, including Patrick Collison (Stripe), Sam Altman (Y Combinator), and other giants in the software development community.

Iota (IOT)

Iota was developed as the infrastructure backbone for the Internet of Things (IoT), sometimes called the machine economy. As the world of inanimate objects is networked together, their need to communicate grows exponentially. Fridges, thermostats, self-driving cars, printers, planes, and industrial sensors all need a secure protocol with which to transact information.
Iota uses a “Tangle” instead of a traditional blockchain, and this is the main innovation driving the crypto’s value. Each device that sends a transaction confirms two other transactions in the Tanlge. This removes the need for miners, and enables unique features like zero fees and infinite scalability. The supply of tokens is fixed forever at 2.8*1015, a staggeringly large number (almost three thousand trillion), and the price you see reported is technically “MIOT”, or the price for a million tokens.

Monero (XMR)

The most successful privacy-focused cryptocurrency. In Bitcoin and most other cryptos, anyone can examine the public ledger and trace specific coins through the network. If your identity can be attached to a public address on that network, an accurate picture of your transaction history can be built-- who, what, and when. Monero builds anonymity into the system using strong cryptographic principles, which makes it functionally impossible to trace coins, [10] attach names to wallets, or extract metadata from transactions. The development team actively publishes in the cryptography research community.
Anonymous transactions are not new-- we call it cash. Only in the past two decades has anonymity grown scarce in the first-world with the rise of credit cards and ubiquitous digital records. Personal data is becoming the most valuable resource on Earth, and there are many legitimate reasons for law-abiding citizens to want digital privacy, but it is true that with anonymity comes bad actors-- Monero is the currency of choice for the majority of black market (“darknet”) transactions. Similarly, US Dollars are the main vehicle for the $320B annual drug trade. An investment here should be based on the underlying cryptographic research and technology behind this coin, as well as competitors like Zcash. [11]

RaiBlocks (XRB)

Zero fees and instantaneous transfer make RaiBlocks extremely attractive for exchange of value, in many senses outperforming Bitcoin at its original intended purpose. This crypto has seen an explosion in price and exposure over the past month, and it may become the network of choice for transferring value within and between crypto exchanges.
Just in the first week of 2018: the CEO of Ledger (makers of the most popular hardware wallet on the market) waived the $50k code review fee to get RaiBlocks on his product, and XRB got listed on Binance and Kucoin, two of the largest altcoin exchanges globally. This is one to watch for 2018. [12]

VeChain (VEN)

Developed as a single answer to the problem of supply-chain logistics, VeChain is knocking on the door of a fast-growing $8 trillion industry. Every shipping container and packaged product in the world requires constant tracking and verification. A smart economy for logistics built on the blockchain promises greater efficiency and lower cost through the entire process flow.
Don’t take my word for it-- VeChain has investment from PwC (5th largest US corporation), Groupe Renault, Kuehne & Nagel (world’s largest freight company), and DIG (China’s largest wine importer). The Chinese government has mandated VeChain to serve as blockchain technology partner to the city of Gui’an, a special economic zone and testbed for China’s smart city of the future. This crypto has some of the strongest commercial partnerships in the industry, and a large active development team.
  1. “Investment” is a misnomer. Cryptos are traded like securities, but grant you no equity (like trading currency).
  2. The weeds for Bitcoin: basic intro (1:36), non-technical explanation (5:24), Bitcoin 101 – Andreas Antonopoulos (23:51).
  3. It is impossible to double-spend or create a fake transaction, as each ledger is confirmed against every other ledger.
  4. Some utility token blockchains use DAG networks or similar non-linear networks which don’t require mining.
  5. In practice, these are giant warehouses full of specialized computers constantly processing transactions. Miners locate to the cheapest electricity source, and the bulk of mining currently occurs in China.
  6. Centralized second-layer exchange websites have been hacked, but the core technology is untouched.
  7. This effect has been termed "bitcoinization".
  8. The Ethereum roadmap shows moving from a Proof of Work (PoW) to Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus model.
  9. At $2.62 per XRP token, Ripple already commands a $100B market cap.
  10. After a January 2017 update.
  11. Monero uses ring signatures while Zcash uses ZK-SNARKs to create anonymity. Both have pros and cons.
  12. Note: all signs point to this crypto being renamed “Nano” in the coming weeks: nano.co.
submitted by jhchawk to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Blockchain Wallets

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What a Blockchain Wallet is? What is its purpose?
Find the answer after reading this article.
Public/Private Key
The public key is the digital code you give to someone that wants to transfer ownership of a unit of cryptocurrency to you; and a private key is what you need to be able to unlock your own wallet to transfer a unit of a cryptocurrency to someone else. The encoding of information within a wallet is done by the private and public keys. That is the main component of the encryption that maintains the security of the wallet. Both keys function in simultaneous encryption systems called symmetric and asymmetric encryption. The former, alternatively known as private key encryption, makes use of the same key for encryption and decryption. The latter, asymmetric encryption, utilizes two keys, the public and private key, wherein a message-sender encrypts the message with the public key, and the recipient decodes it with their private key. The public key uses asymmetric algorithms that convert messages into an unreadable format. A person who possesses a public key can encrypt the message for a specific receiver.
Accessing wallets
Methods of wallet access vary depending on the type of wallet being used. Various types of currency wallets on an exchange will normally be accessed via the exchange’s entrance portal, normally involving a combination of a username/password and optionally, 2FA (Two factor authentication, which we explain in more detail later). Whereas hardware wallets need to be connected to an internet enabled device, and then have a pin code entered manually by the user in possession of the hardware wallet in order for access to be gained. Phone wallets are accessed through the device on which the wallet application has been downloaded. Ordinarily, a passcode and/or security pattern must be entered before entry is granted, in addition to 2FA for withdrawals.
Satoshi Nakamoto built the Satoshi client which evolved into Bitcoin in 2009. This software allowed users to create wallets and send money to other addresses. However, it proved to be a nightmarish user experience, with many transactions being sent to incorrect addresses and private keys being lost. The MtGox (Magic the Gathering Online exchange, named after the original intended use of the exchange) incident, which will be covered in greater detail later, serves as a reminder of the dangers present in the cryptosphere regarding security, and the need to constantly upgrade your defenses against all potential hacks. The resulting loss of 850k BTC is a still unresolved problem, weighing heavily on the victims and the markets at large. This caused a huge push for a constantly evolving and improving focus on security. Exchanges that developed later, and are thus considered more legitimate and secure, such as Gemini and Coinbase, put a much greater emphasis on vigilance as a direct result of the MtGox hacking incident. We also saw the evolution of wallet security into the physical realm with the creation of hardware wallets, most notable among them the Ledger and Trezor wallets.
Types of Wallets & Storage Methods
The simplest way to sift through the dozens of cryptocurrency storage methods available today, is to divide them up into digital and non-digital, software and hardware wallets. There are also less commonly used methods of storage of private keys, like paper wallets and brain wallets. We will examine them all at least briefly, because in the course of your interaction with cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology, it is essential to master all the different types of hardware and software wallets. Another distinction must be made between hot wallets and cold wallets. A hot wallet is one that is connected to the internet, and a cold wallet is one that is not. Fun fact: The level below cold storage, deep cold storage has just recently been implemented by the Regal RA DMCC, a subsidiary of an internationally renowned gold trading company licensed in the Middle East. After having been granted a crypto trading license, Regal RA launched their “deep cold” storage solution for traders and investors, which offers the ability to store crypto assets in vaults deep below the Almas Tower in Dubai. This storage method is so secure that at no point is the vault connected to a network or the internet; meaning the owners of the assets can be sure that the private keys are known only to the rightful owners.
Lets take a quick look at specific features and functionality of varieties of crypto wallets. Software wallets: wallet applications installed on a laptop, desktop, phone or tablet. Web Wallets: A hot wallet by definition. Web Wallets are accessible through the web browser on your phone or computer. The most important feature to recognize about any kind of web wallet, is that the private keys are held and managed by a trusted third party. MyEtherWallet is the most commonly used non-exchange web wallet, but it can only be used to store Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens.
Though the avenue of access to MEW is through the web, it is not strictly speaking a web wallet, though this label will suffice for the time being. The MEW site gives you the ability to create a new wallet so you can store your ETH yourself. All the data is created and stored on your CPU rather than their servers. This makes MEW a hybrid kind of web wallet and desktop wallet. Exchange Wallets: A form of Web Wallet contained within an exchange. An exchange will hold a wallet for each individual variety of cryptocurrency you hold on that exchange. Desktop Wallets: A software program downloaded onto your computer or tablet hard drive that usually holds only one kind of cryptocurrency. The Nano Wallet (Formerly Raiwallet) and Neon wallet for storage of NEO and NEP-5 tokens are notable examples of desktop wallets Phone Wallets: These are apps downloaded onto a mobile phone that function in the same manner as a desktop wallet, but actually can hold many different kinds of cryptocurrency. The Eidoo Wallet for storing Ethereum and its associated tokens and Blockchain Wallet which currently is configured to hold BTC, ETH and Bitcoin Cash, are some of the most widely used examples.
Hardware wallets — LedgeTrezoAlternatives
Hardware wallets are basically physical pathways and keys to the unique location of your crypto assets on the Blockchain. These are thought to be more secure than any variety of web wallet because the private key is stored within your own hard wallet, an actual physical device. This forcibly removes the risk your online wallet, or your exchange counter party, might be hacked in the same manner as MtGox. In hardware wallet transactions, the wallet’s API creates the transaction when a user requests a payment. An API is a set of functions that facilitates the creation of applications that interact and access features or data of an operating system. The hardware then signs the transaction, and produces a public key, which is given to the network. This means the signing keys never leave the hardware wallet. The user must both enter a personal identification number and physically press buttons on the hardware wallet in order to gain access to their Blockchain wallet address through this method, and do the same to initiate transfers.
Paper Wallets
Possibly the safest form of cryptocurrency storage in terms of avoiding hacking, Paper Wallets are an offline form of crypto storage that is free to set up, and probably the most secure way for users, from beginners to experts, to hold on to their crypto assets. To say it simply, paper wallets are an offline cold storage method of storing cryptocurrency. This includes actually printing out your public and private keys on a piece of paper, which you then store and save in a secure place. The keys are printed in the form of QR codes which you can scan in the future for all your transactions. The reason why it is so safe is that it gives complete control to you, the user. You do not need to worry about the security or condition of a piece of hardware, nor do you have to worry about hackers on the net, or any other piece of malware. You just need to take care of one piece of paper!
Real World Historical Examples of Different Wallet Types
Web Wallet: Blockchain.info Brief mechanism & Security Blockchain.info is both a cryptocurrency wallet, supporting Bitcoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin cash, and also a block explorer service. The wallet service provided by blockchain.info has both a Web Wallet, and mobile phone application wallet, both of which involve signing up with an email address, and both have downloadable private keys. Two Factor Authentication is enabled for transfers from the web and mobile wallets, as well as email confirmation (as with most withdrawals from exchanges). Phone Wallet: Eidoo The Eidoo wallet is a multi-currency mobile phone app wallet for storage of Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens. The security level is the standard phone wallet level of email registration, confirmation, password login, and 2 factor authentication used in all transfers out. You may find small volumes of different varieties of cryptocurrencies randomly turning up in your Eidoo wallet address. Certain projects have deals with individual wallets to allow for “airdrops” to take place of a particular token into the wallet, without the consent of the wallet holder. There is no need to be alarmed, and the security of the wallet is not in any way compromised by these airdrops.
Neon Wallet
The NEON wallet sets the standard for web wallets in terms of security and user-friendly functionality. This wallet is only designed for storing NEO, Gas, and NEP-5 tokens (Ontology, Deep Brain Chain, RPX etc.). As with all single-currency wallets, be forewarned, if you send the wrong cryptocurrency type to a wallet for which it is not designed, you will probably lose your tokens or coins. MyEtherWallet My Ether Wallet, often referred to as MEW, is the most widely used and highly regarded wallet for Ethereum and its related ERC-20 tokens. You can access your MEW account with a hardware wallet, or a different program. Or you can also get access by typing or copying in your private key. However, you should understand this method is the least safe way possible,and therefore is the most likely to result in a hack. Hardware: TrezoLedger Brief History Mechanism and Security A hardware wallet is a physical key to your on-chain wallet location, with the private keys contained within a secure sector of the device. Your private key never leaves your hardware wallet. This is one of the safest possible methods of access to your crypto assets. Many people feel like the hardware wallet strikes the right balance between security, peace of mind, and convenience. Paper Wallet Paper wallets can be generated at various websites, such as https://bitcoinpaperwallet.com/ and https://walletgenerator.net/. They enable wallet holders to store their private keys totally offline, in as secure a manner as is possible.
Real World Example — Poor Practices
MtGox Hack history effects and security considerations MtGox was the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world before it was hacked in 2014. They were handling over 70% of BTC transactions before they were forced to liquidate their business. The biggest theft of cryptocurrency in history began when the private keys for the hot wallets were stolen in 2011 from a wallet.dat file, possibly by hacking, possibly by a rogue employee. Over the course of the next 3 years the hot wallets were emptied of approximately 650000 BTC. The hacker only needed wallet.dat file to access and make transfers from the hot wallet, as wallet encryption was only in operation from the time of the Bitcoin 0.4.0 release on Sept 23rd 2011. Even as the wallets were being emptied, the employees at Mt Gox were apparently oblivious to what was taking place. It seems that Mt Gox workers were interpreting these withdrawals as large transfers being made to more secure wallets. The former CEO of the exchange, Mark Karpeles, is currently on trial for embezzlement and faces up to 5 years in prison if found guilty. The Mt Gox hack precipitated the acceleration of security improvements on other exchanges, for wallets, and the architecture of bitcoin itself. As a rule of thumb, no small-to-medium scale crypto holders should use exchange wallets as a long-term storage solution. Investors and experienced traders may do this to take advantage of market fluctuations, but exchange wallets are perhaps the most prone to hacking, and storing assets on exchanges for an extended time is one of the riskiest ways to hold your assets.
In a case strikingly similar to the MtGox of 2011–2014, the operators of the BitGrail exchange “discovered” that approximately 17 million XRB ($195 million worth in early 2018) were missing. The operators of the exchange were inexplicably still accepting deposits, long after they knew about the hack. Then they proceeded to block withdrawals from non-EU users. And then they even requested a hard fork of the code to restore the funds. This would have meant the entire XRB Blockchain would have had to accept all transactions from their first “invalid” transaction that were invalid, and rollback the ledger. The BitGrailexchange attempted to open operations in May 2018 but was immediately forced to close by order of the Italian courts. BitGrail did not institute mandatory KYC (Know your customer) procedures for their clients until after the theft had been reported, and allegedly months after the hack was visible. They also did not have 2 factor authentication mandatory for withdrawals. All big, and very costly mistakes.
Case Study: Good Practice Binance, the Attempted Hack
During the 2017 bull run, China-based exchange Binance quickly rose to the status of biggest altcoin exchange in the world, boasting daily volumes that surged to over $4 billion per day in late December. Unfortunately, this success attracted the attention of some crafty hackers. These hackers purchased domain names that were confusingly similar to “binance.com”. And then they created sufficiently convincing replica websites so they could phish traders for their login information. After obtaining this vital info, the scammers created API keys to place large buy orders for VIAcoin, an obscure, low volume digital currency. Those large buy orders spiked VIA’s price. Within minutes they traded the artificially high-priced VIA for BTC. Then they immediately made withdrawal requests from the hacked BTC wallets to wallets outside of the exchange. Almost a perfect fait accompli! But, Binance’s “automating risk management system” kicked in, as it should, and all withdrawals were temporarily suspended, resulting in a foiled hacking attempt.
Software Wallets Web/Desktop/Phone/Exchange Advantages and Limitations
As we said before, it is inadvisable to store crypto assets in exchange wallets, and, to a lesser extent, Web Wallets. The specific reason we say that is because you need to deliver your private keys into the hands of another party, and rely on that website or exchange to keep your private key, and thus your assets, safe. The advantages of the less-secure exchange or web wallets, are the speed at which you can transfer assets into another currency, or into another exchange for sale or for arbitrage purposes. Despite the convenience factor, all software wallets will at some point have been connected to the internet or a network. So, you can never be 100% sure that your system has not been infected with malware, or some kind of keylogging software, that will allow a third party to record your passwords or private keys. How well the type of storage method limits your contact with such hazards is a good way to rate the security of said variety of wallet. Of all the software wallets, desktop and mobile wallets are the most secure because you download and store your own private key, preferably on a different system. By taking the responsibility of private key storage you can be sure that only one person has possession of it, and that is you! Thereby greatly increasing the security of your crypto assets. By having their assets in a desktop wallet, traders can guard their private key and enjoy the associated heightened security levels, as well keep their assets just one swift transfer away from an exchange.
Hardware Wallets Advantages and Limitations
We briefly touched on the features and operation of the two most popular hardware wallets currently on the market, the Ledger and Trezor wallets. Now it will be helpful to take a closer look into the pros and cons of the hardware wallet storage method. With hardware wallets, the private keys are stored within a protected area of the microcontroller, and they are prevented from being exported out of the device in plain text. They are fortified with state-of-the-art cryptography that makes them immune to computer viruses and malware. And much of the time, the software is open source, which allows user validation of the entire performance of the device. The advantages of a hardware wallet over the perhaps more secure paper wallet method of crypto storage is the interactive user experience, and also the fact that the private key must at some stage be downloaded in order to use the paper wallet. The main disadvantage of a hardware wallet is the time-consuming extra steps needed to transfer funds out of this mode of storage to an exchange, which could conceivably result in some traders missing out on profits. But with security being the main concern of the vast majority of holders, investors and traders too, this slight drawback is largely inconsequential in most situations.
Paper Wallets Advantages and Limitations
Paper wallets are thought by some to be the safest way to store your crypto assets, or more specifically, the best method of guarding the pathways to your assets on the Blockchain. By printing out your private key information, the route to your assets on the Blockchain is stored 100% offline (apart from the act of printing the private key out, the entire process is totally offline). This means that you will not run the risk of being infected with malware or become the victim of keylogging scams. The main drawback of using paper wallets is that you are in effect putting all your eggs in one basket, and if the physical document is destroyed, you will lose access to your crypto assets forever.
Key things to keep in mind about your Wallet Security: Recovery Phrases/Private Key Storage/2FA/Email Security
Recovery phrases are used to recover the on-chain location for your wallet with your assets for hardware wallets like ledgers and Trezors that have been lost. When you purchase a new ledger for example, you just have to set it up again by entering the recovery phrase into the display and the lost wallets will appear with your assets intact. Private key storage is of paramount importance to maintain the safety of your on-chain assets! This should be done in paper wallet form, or stored offline on a different computer, or USB device, from the one you would typically use to connect to the 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) sometimes known as “two step authentication”. This feature offers an extra security layer when withdrawing funds from cryptocurrency wallets. A specialized app, most commonly Google Authenticator, is synced up to the exchange to provide a constantly changing code. This code must be entered within a short time window to initiate transfers, or to log into an exchange, if it has also been enabled for that purpose.
You must always consider the level of fees, or the amount of Gas, that will be needed to carry out the transaction. In times of high network activity Gas prices can be quite high. In fact, in December 2017 network fees became so high that some Bitcoin transactions became absolutely unfeasible. But that was basically due to the anomalous network congestion caused by frantic trading of Bitcoin as it was skyrocketing in value. When copying wallet addresses, double check and triple check that they are correct. If you make a mistake and enter an incorrect address, it is most likely your funds will be irretrievably lost; you will never see those particular assets again. Also check that you haven’t input the address of another one of your wallets that is designed to hold a different variety of cryptocurrency. You would similarly run the very great risk of losing your funds forever. Or, at the very least, if you have sent the wrong crypto to a large exchange wallet, for example on Coinbase, maybe you could eventually get those funds back, but it would still entail a long and unenjoyable wait.
How to Monitor Funds
There are two ways to monitor you funds and your wallets. The first is by searching for individual wallet addresses on websites specifically designed to let you view all the transactions on a particular Blockchain. The other is to store a copy of your wallet contents on an application that tracks the prices of all cryptocurrencies. Blockchain.info is the block explorer for Bitcoin, and it allows you to track all wallet movements so you can view your holdings and all the historical transactions within the wallet. The Ethereum blockchain’s block explorer is called Ether scanner, and it functions in the same way. There is a rival to Ether scanner produced by the Jibrel Network, called JSearch which will be released soon. JSearch will aim to offer a more streamlined and faster search method for Ethereum blockchain transactions. There are many different kinds of block explorer for each individual crypto currency, including nanoexplorer.io for Nano (formerly Rai Blocks) and Neotracker for NEO. If you simply want to view the value of your portfolio, the Delta and Blockfolio apps allow you to easily do that. But they are not actually linked to your specific wallet address, they just show price movements and total value of the coins you want to monitor.
That’s not all! You can learn how to transfer and monitor the funds in and out of your wallet by clicking on the link.
To be continued!
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Binance Launching Lending Platform in 2 Days! BTC Realized Market Cap Hits $100 Bln for First Time

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