It is no doubt Grayscale’s booming popularity as a mainstream investment has caused a lot of community hullabaloo lately. As such, I felt it was worth making a FAQ regarding the topic. I’m looking to update this as needed and of course am open to suggestions / adding any questions. The goal is simply to have a thread we can link to anyone with questions on Grayscaleand its products. Instead of explaining the same thing 3 times a day, shoot those posters over to this thread.My hope is that these questions are answered in a fairly simple and easy to understand manner. I think as the sub grows it will be a nice reference point for newcomers. Disclaimer: I do NOT work for Grayscale and as such am basing all these answers on information that can be found on their website / reports. (Grayscale’s official FAQ can be found here). I also do NOT have a finance degree, I do NOT have a Series 6 / 7 / 140-whatever, and I do NOT work with investment products for my day job. I have an accounting background and work within the finance world so I have the general ‘business’ knowledge to put it all together, but this is all info determined in my best faith effort as a layman. The point being is this --- it is possible I may explain something wrong or missed the technical terms, and if that occurs I am more than happy to update anything that can be proven incorrect Everything below will be in reference to ETHE but will apply to GBTC as well.If those two segregate in any way, I will note that accordingly.
ETHE is essentially a stock that intends to loosely track the price of ETH. It does so by having each ETHE be backed by a specific amount of ETH that is held on chain. Initially, the newly minted ETHE can only be purchased by institutions and accredited investors directly from Grayscale. Once a year has passed (6 months for GBTC) it can then be listed on the OTCQX Best Market exchange for secondary trading. Once listed on OTCQX, anyone investor can purchase at this point. Additional information on ETHE can be found here.
So ETHE is an ETF?
No. For technical reasons beyond my personal understandings it is not labeled an ETF. I know it all flows back to the “Securities Act Rule 144”, but due to my limited knowledge on SEC regulations I don’t want to misspeak past that. If anyone is more knowledgeable on the subject I am happy to input their answer here.
How long has ETHE existed?
ETHE was formed 12/14/2017. GBTC was formed 9/25/2013.
How is ETHE created?
The trust will issue shares to “Authorized Participants” in groups of 100 shares (called baskets). Authorized Participants are the only persons that may place orders to create these baskets and they do it on behalf of the investor. Source: Creation and Redemption of Shares section on page 39 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here Note – The way their reports word this makes it sound like there is an army of authorizers doing the dirty work, but in reality there is only one Authorized Participant. At this moment the “Genesis” company is the sole Authorized Participant. Genesis is owned by the “Digital Currency Group, Inc.” which is the parent company of Grayscale as well. (And to really go down the rabbit hole it looks like DCG is the parent company of CoinDesk and is “backing 150+ companies across 30 countries, including Coinbase, Ripple, and Chainalysis.”) Source: Digital Currency Group, Inc. informational section on page 77 of the “Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (BTC) Form 10-K (2019)” – Located Here Source: Barry E. Silbert informational section on page 75 of the “Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (BTC) Form 10-K (2019)” – Located Here
How does Grayscale acquire the ETH to collateralize the ETHE product?
An Investor may acquire ETHE by paying in cash or exchanging ETH already owned.
Cash: The investor pays the subscription amount in cash and the Authorized Participant will use that cash to purchase ETH.
ETH: The investor transfers the ETH to the Authorized Participant, which will contribute the ETH in-kind to the Trust.
Source: Creation and Redemption of Shares section on page 40 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Where does Grayscale store their ETH? Does it have a specific wallet address we can follow?
ETH is stored with Coinbase Custody Trust Company, LLC. I am unaware of any specific address or set of addresses that can be used to verify the ETH is actually there. As an aside - I would actually love to see if anyone knows more about this as it’s something that’s sort of peaked my interest after being asked about it… I find it doubtful we can find that however. Source: Part C. Business Information, Item 8, subsection A. on page 16 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Can ETHE be redeemed for ETH?
No, currently there is no way to give your shares of ETHE back to Grayscale to receive ETH back. The only method of getting back into ETH would be to sell your ETHE to someone else and then use those proceeds to buy ETH yourself. Source: Redemption Procedures on page 41 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Why are they not redeeming shares?
I think the report summarizes it best:
Redemptions of Shares are currently not permitted and the Trust is unable to redeem Shares. Subject to receipt of regulatory approval from the SEC and approval by the Sponsor in its sole discretion, the Trust may in the future operate a redemption program. Because the Trust does not believe that the SEC would, at this time, entertain an application for the waiver of rules needed in order to operate an ongoing redemption program, the Trust currently has no intention of seeking regulatory approval from the SEC to operate an ongoing redemption program.
Source: Redemption Procedures on page 41 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
What is the fee structure?
ETHE has an annual fee of 2.5%. GBTC has an annual fee of 2.0%. Fees are paid by selling the underlying ETH / BTC collateralizing the asset. Source: ETHE’s informational page on Grayscale’s website - Located Here Source: Description of Trust on page 31 & 32 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
What is the ratio of ETH to ETHE?
At the time of posting (6/19/2020) each ETHE share is backed by .09391605 ETH. Each share of GBTC is backed by .00096038 BTC. ETHE & GBTC’s specific information page on Grayscale’s website updates the ratio daily – Located Here For a full historical look at this ratio, it can be found on the Grayscale home page on the upper right side if you go to Tax Documents > 2019 Tax Documents > Grayscale Ethereum Trust 2019 Tax Letter.
Why is the ratio not 1:1? Why is it always decreasing?
While I cannot say for certain why the initial distribution was not a 1:1 backing, it is more than likely to keep the price down and allow more investors a chance to purchase ETHE / GBTC. As noted above, fees are paid by selling off the ETH collateralizing ETHE. So this number will always be trending downward as time goes on. Source: Description of Trust on page 32 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
I keep hearing about how this is locked supply… explain?
As noted above, there is currently no redemption program for converting your ETHE back into ETH. This means that once an ETHE is issued, it will remain in circulation until a redemption program is formed --- something that doesn’t seem to be too urgent for the SEC or Grayscale at the moment. Tiny amounts will naturally be removed due to fees, but the bulk of the asset is in there for good. Knowing that ETHE cannot be taken back and destroyed at this time, the ETH collateralizing it will not be removed from the wallet for the foreseeable future. While it is not fully locked in the sense of say a totally lost key, it is not coming out any time soon. Per their annual statement:
The Trust’s ETH will be transferred out of the ETH Account only in the following circumstances: (i) transferred to pay the Sponsor’s Fee or any Additional Trust Expenses, (ii) distributed in connection with the redemption of Baskets (subject to the Trust’s obtaining regulatory approval from the SEC to operate an ongoing redemption program and the consent of the Sponsor), (iii) sold on an as-needed basis to pay Additional Trust Expenses or (iv) sold on behalf of the Trust in the event the Trust terminates and liquidates its assets or as otherwise required by law or regulation.
Source: Description of Trust on page 31 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Grayscale now owns a huge chunk of both ETH and BTC’s supply… should we be worried about manipulation, a sell off to crash the market crash, a staking cartel?
First, it’s important to remember Grayscale is a lot more akin to an exchange then say an investment firm. Grayscale is working on behalf of its investors to create this product for investor control. Grayscale doesn’t ‘control’ the ETH it holds any more then Coinbase ‘controls’ the ETH in its hot wallet. (Note: There are likely some varying levels of control, but specific to this topic Grayscale cannot simply sell [legally, at least] the ETH by their own decision in the same manner Coinbase wouldn't be able to either.) That said, there shouldn’t be any worry in the short to medium time-frame. As noted above, Grayscale can’t really remove ETH other than for fees or termination of the product. At 2.5% a year, fees are noise in terms of volume. Grayscale seems to be the fastest growing product in the crypto space at the moment and termination of the product seems unlikely. IF redemptions were to happen tomorrow, it’s extremely unlikely we would see a mass exodus out of the product to redeem for ETH. And even if there was incentive to get back to ETH, the premium makes it so that it would be much more cost effective to just sell your ETHE on the secondary market and buy ETH yourself. Remember, any redemption is up to the investors and NOT something Grayscale has direct control over.
Yes, but what about [insert criminal act here]…
Alright, yes. Technically nothing is stopping Grayscale from selling all the ETH / BTC and running off to the Bahamas (Hawaii?). BUT there is no real reason for them to do so. Barry is an extremely public figure and it won’t be easy for him to get away with that. Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust creates SEC reports weekly / bi-weekly and I’m sure given the sentiment towards crypto is being watched carefully. Plus, Grayscale is making tons of consistent revenue and thus has little to no incentive to give that up for a quick buck.
That’s a lot of ‘happy little feels’ Bob, is there even an independent audit or is this Tether 2.0?
Actually yes, an independent auditor report can be found in their annual reports. It is clearly aimed more towards the financial side and I doubt the auditors are crypto savants, but it is at least one extra set of eyes. Auditors are Friedman LLP – Auditor since 2015. Source: Independent Auditor Report starting on page 116 (of the PDF itself) of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here As mentioned by user TheCrpytosAndBloods (In Comments Below), a fun fact:
The company’s auditors Friedman LLP were also coincidentally TetheBitfinex’s auditors until They controversially parted ways in 2018 when the Tether controversy was at its height. I am not suggesting for one moment that there is anything shady about DCG - I just find it interesting it’s the same auditor.
“Grayscale sounds kind of lame” / “Not your keys not your crypto!” / “Why is anyone buying this, it sounds like a scam?”
Welp, for starters this honestly is not really a product aimed at the people likely to be reading this post. To each their own, but do remember just because something provides no value to you doesn’t mean it can’t provide value to someone else. That said some of the advertised benefits are as follows:
Access to trading within a tax advantaged retirement account
Institutions can easily and safely get exposure to crypto in a more legal-friendly manner
Ease of use for those who are not very technologically savvy
Ease of access for someone who doesn’t want to set up a Coinbase account
Perceived trust in institutional platforms over something like Coinbase or Kraken
Degen traders who just want access to the volatility ETHE provides that have no interest in crypto beyond that
So for example, I can set up an IRA at a brokerage account that has $0 trading fees. Then I can trade GBTC and ETHE all day without having to worry about tracking my taxes. All with the relative safety something like E-Trade provides over Binance. As for how it benefits the everyday ETH holder? I think the supply lock is a positive. I also think this product exposes the Ethereum ecosystem to people who otherwise wouldn’t know about it.
Why is there a premium? Why is ETHE’s premium so insanely high compared to GBTC’s premium?
There are a handful of theories of why a premium exists at all, some even mentioned in the annual report. The short list is as follows:
ETHE is NOT redeeming shares and as such doesn’t have an effective arbitrage mechanism
ETHE has a 1 year wait to be sold on the secondary market, again negating the ability to effectively arbitrage the premium
People may simply be willing to pay a premium for the benefits stated above.
Why is ETHE’s so much higher the GBTC’s? Again, a few thoughts:
ETHE hasn’t been around as long, so there is less secondary market supply to go around
ETHE was listed at an insanely high premium to begin with
ETHE might simply be more popular at the moment
Could just be sheer stupidity (investors think ETHE is a 1:1 ratio not 1:11)
Are there any other differences between ETHE and GBTC?
I touched on a few of the smaller differences, but one of the more interesting changes is GBTC is now a “SEC reporting company” as of January 2020. Which again goes beyond my scope of knowledge so I won’t comment on it too much… but the net result is GBTC is now putting out weekly / bi-weekly 8-K’s and annual 10-K’s. This means you can track GBTC that much easier at the moment as well as there is an extra layer of validity to the product IMO.
I’m looking for some statistics on ETHE… such as who is buying, how much is bought, etc?
There is a great Q1 2020 report I recommend you give a read that has a lot of cool graphs and data on the product. It’s a little GBTC centric, but there is some ETHE data as well. It can be found here hidden within the 8-K filings.Q1 2020 is the 4/16/2020 8-K filing. For those more into a GAAP style report see the 2019 annual 10-K of the same location.
Is Grayscale only just for BTC and ETH?
No, there are other products as well. In terms of a secondary market product, ETCG is the Ethereum Classic version of ETHE. Fun Fact – ETCG was actually put out to the secondary market first. It also has a 3% fee tied to it where 1% of it goes to some type of ETC development fund. In terms of institutional and accredited investors, there are a few ‘fan favorites’ such as Bitcoin Cash, Litcoin, Stellar, XRP, and Zcash. Something called Horizion (Backed by ZEN I guess? Idk to be honest what that is…). And a diversified Mutual Fund type fund that has a little bit of all of those. None of these products are available on the secondary market.
Are there alternatives to Grayscale?
I know they exist, but I don’t follow them. I’ll leave this as a “to be edited” section and will add as others comment on what they know. Per user Over-analyser (in comments below):
As asked by pegcity - Okay so I was under the impression you can just give them your own ETH and get ETHE, but do you get 11 ETHE per ETH or do you get the market value of ETH in USD worth of ETHE?
I have always understood that the ETHE issued directly through Grayscale is issued without the premium. As in, if I were to trade 1 ETH for ETHE I would get 11, not say only 2 or 3 because the secondary market premium is so high. And if I were paying cash only I would be paying the price to buy 1 ETH to get my 11 ETHE. Per page 39 of their annual statement, it reads as follows:
The Trust will issue Shares to Authorized Participants from time to time, but only in one or more Baskets (with a Basket being a block of 100 Shares). The Trust will not issue fractions of a Basket. The creation (and, should the Trust commence a redemption program, redemption) of Baskets will be made only in exchange for the delivery to the Trust, or the distribution by the Trust, of the number of whole and fractional ETH represented by each Basket being created (or, should the Trust commence a redemption program, redeemed), which is determined by dividing (x) the number of ETH owned by the Trust at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the trade date of a creation or redemption order, after deducting the number of ETH representing the U.S. dollar value of accrued but unpaid fees and expenses of the Trust (converted using the ETH Index Price at such time, and carried to the eighth decimal place), by (y) the number of Shares outstanding at such time (with the quotient so obtained calculated to one one-hundred-millionth of one ETH (i.e., carried to the eighth decimal place)), and multiplying such quotient by 100 (the “Basket ETH Amount”). All questions as to the calculation of the Basket ETH Amount will be conclusively determined by the Sponsor and will be final and binding on all persons interested in the Trust. The Basket ETH Amount multiplied by the number of Baskets being created or redeemed is the “Total Basket ETH Amount.” The number of ETH represented by a Share will gradually decrease over time as the Trust’s ETH are used to pay the Trust’s expenses. Each Share represented approximately 0.0950 ETH and 0.0974 ETH as of December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
How To End The Cryptocurrency Exchange "Wild West" Without Crippling Innovation
In case you haven't noticed the consultation paper, staff notice, and report on Quadriga, regulators are now clamping down on Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges. The OSC and other regulatory bodies are still interested in industry feedback. They have not put forward any official regulation yet. Below are some ideas/insights and a proposed framework.
Typical securities frameworks will cost Canadians millions of dollars (ie Sarbanes-Oxley estimated at $5m USD/yr per firm). Implementation costs of this proposal are significantly cheaper.
Canadians can maintain a diverse set of exchanges, multiple viable business models are still fully supported, and innovation is encouraged while keeping Canadians safe.
Many of you have limited time to read the full proposal, so here are the highlights:
Effective standards to prevent both internal and external theft. Exchange operators are trained and certified, and have a legal responsibility to users.
Regular Transparent Audits
Provides visibility to Canadians that their funds are fully backed on the exchange, while protecting privacy and sensitive platform information.
Establishment of basic insurance standards/strategy, to expand over time. Removing risk to exchange users of any hot wallet theft.
Background and Justifications
Cold Storage Custody/Management After reviewing close to 100 cases, all thefts tend to break down into more or less the same set of problems: • Funds stored online or in a smart contract, • Access controlled by one person or one system, • 51% attacks (rare), • Funds sent to the wrong address (also rare), or • Some combination of the above. For the first two cases, practical solutions exist and are widely implemented on exchanges already. Offline multi-signature solutions are already industry standard. No cases studied found an external theft or exit scam involving an offline multi-signature wallet implementation. Security can be further improved through minimum numbers of signatories, background checks, providing autonomy and legal protections to each signatory, establishing best practices, and a training/certification program. The last two transaction risks occur more rarely, and have never resulted in a loss affecting the actual users of the exchange. In all cases to date where operators made the mistake, they've been fully covered by the exchange platforms. • 51% attacks generally only occur on blockchains with less security. The most prominent cases have been Bitcoin Gold and Ethereum Classic. The simple solution is to enforce deposit limits and block delays such that a 51% attack is not cost-effective. • The risk of transactions to incorrect addresses can be eliminated by a simple test transaction policy on large transactions. By sending a small amount of funds prior to any large withdrawals/transfers as a standard practice, the accuracy of the wallet address can be validated. The proposal covers all loss cases and goes beyond, while avoiding significant additional costs, risks, and limitations which may be associated with other frameworks like SOC II. On The Subject of Third Party Custodians Many Canadian platforms are currently experimenting with third party custody. From the standpoint of the exchange operator, they can liberate themselves from some responsibility of custody, passing that off to someone else. For regulators, it puts crypto in similar categorization to oil, gold, and other commodities, with some common standards. Platform users would likely feel greater confidence if the custodian was a brand they recognized. If the custodian was knowledgeable and had a decent team that employed multi-sig, they could keep assets safe from internal theft. With the right protections in place, this could be a great solution for many exchanges, particularly those that lack the relevant experience or human resources for their own custody systems. However, this system is vulnerable to anyone able to impersonate the exchange operators. You may have a situation where different employees who don't know each other that well are interacting between different companies (both the custodian and all their customers which presumably isn't just one exchange). A case study of what can go wrong in this type of environment might be Bitpay, where the CEO was tricked out of 5000 bitcoins over 3 separate payments by a series of emails sent legitimately from a breached computer of another company CEO. It's also still vulnerable to the platform being compromised, as in the really large $70M Bitfinex hack, where the third party Bitgo held one key in a multi-sig wallet. The hacker simply authorized the withdrawal using the same credentials as Bitfinex (requesting Bitgo to sign multiple withdrawal transactions). This succeeded even with the use of multi-sig and two heavily security-focused companies, due to the lack of human oversight (basically, hot wallet). Of course, you can learn from these cases and improve the security, but so can hackers improve their deception and at the end of the day, both of these would have been stopped by the much simpler solution of a qualified team who knew each other and employed multi-sig with properly protected keys. It's pretty hard to beat a human being who knows the business and the typical customer behaviour (or even knows their customers personally) at spotting fraud, and the proposed multi-sig means any hacker has to get through the scrutiny of 3 (or more) separate people, all of whom would have proper training including historical case studies. There are strong arguments both for and against using use of third party custodians. The proposal sets mandatory minimum custody standards would apply regardless if the cold wallet signatories are exchange operators, independent custodians, or a mix of both. On The Subject Of Insurance ShakePay has taken the first steps into this new realm (congratulations). There is no question that crypto users could be better protected by the right insurance policies, and it certainly feels better to transact with insured platforms. The steps required to obtain insurance generally place attention in valuable security areas, and in this case included a review from CipherTrace. One of the key solutions in traditional finance comes from insurance from entities such as the CDIC. However, historically, there wasn't found any actual insurance payout to any cryptocurrency exchange, and there are notable cases where insurance has not paid. With Bitpay, for example, the insurance agent refused because the issue happened to the third party CEO's computer instead of anything to do with Bitpay itself. With the Youbit exchange in South Korea, their insurance claim was denied, and the exchange ultimately ended up instead going bankrupt with all user's funds lost. To quote Matt Johnson in the original Lloyd's article: “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.” ShakePay's insurance was only reported to cover their cold storage, and “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held”. Physical theft has never, in the history of cryptocurrency exchange cases reviewed, been reported as the cause of loss. From the limited information of the article, ShakePay made it clear their funds are in the hands of a single US custodian, and at least part of their security strategy is to "decline to confirm the custodian’s name on the record". While this prevents scrutiny of the custodian, it's pretty silly to speculate that a reasonably competent hacking group couldn't determine who the custodian is. A far more common infiltration strategy historically would be social engineering, which has succeeded repeatedly. A hacker could trick their way into ShakePay's systems and request a fraudulent withdrawal, impersonate ShakePay and request the custodian to move funds, or socially engineer their way into the custodian to initiate the withdrawal of multiple accounts (a payout much larger than ShakePay) exploiting the standard procedures (for example, fraudulently initiating or override the wallet addresses of a real transfer). In each case, nothing was physically stolen and the loss is therefore not covered by insurance. In order for any insurance to be effective, clear policies have to be established about what needs to be covered. Anything short of that gives Canadians false confidence that they are protected when they aren't in any meaningful way. At this time, the third party insurance market does not appear to provide adequate options or coverage, and effort is necessary to standardize custody standards, which is a likely first step in ultimately setting up an insurance framework. A better solution compared to third party insurance providers might be for Canadian exchange operators to create their own collective insurance fund, or a specific federal organization similar to the CDIC. Such an organization would have a greater interest or obligation in paying out actual cases, and that would be it's purpose rather than maximizing it's own profit. This would be similar to the SAFU which Binance has launched, except it would cover multiple exchanges. There is little question whether the SAFU would pay out given a breach of Binance, and a similar argument could be made for a insurance fund managed by a collective of exchange operators or a government organization. While a third party insurance provider has the strong market incentive to provide the absolute minimum coverage and no market incentive to payout, an entity managed by exchange operators would have incentive to protect the reputation of exchange operators/the industry, and the government should have the interest of protecting Canadians. On The Subject of Fractional Reserve There is a long history of fractional reserve failures, from the first banks in ancient times, through the great depression (where hundreds of fractional reserve banks failed), right through to the 2008 banking collapse referenced in the first bitcoin block. The fractional reserve system allows banks to multiply the money supply far beyond the actual cash (or other assets) in existence, backed only by a system of debt obligations of others. Safely supporting a fractional reserve system is a topic of far greater complexity than can be addressed by a simple policy, and when it comes to cryptocurrency, there is presently no entity reasonably able to bail anyone out in the event of failure. Therefore, this framework is addressed around entities that aim to maintain 100% backing of funds. There may be some firms that desire but have failed to maintain 100% backing. In this case, there are multiple solutions, including outside investment, merging with other exchanges, or enforcing a gradual restoration plan. All of these solutions are typically far better than shutting down the exchange, and there are multiple cases where they've been used successfully in the past. Proof of Reserves/Transparency/Accountability Canadians need to have visibility into the backing on an ongoing basis. The best solution for crypto-assets is a Proof of Reserve. Such ideas go back all the way to 2013, before even Mt. Gox. However, no Canadian exchange has yet implemented such a system, and only a few international exchanges (CoinFloor in the UK being an example) have. Many firms like Kraken, BitBuy, and now ShakePay use the Proof of Reserve term to refer to lesser proofs which do not actually cryptographically prove the full backing of all user assets on the blockchain. In order for a Proof of Reserve to be effective, it must actually be a complete proof, and it needs to be understood by the public that is expected to use it. Many firms have expressed reservations about the level of transparency required in a complete Proof of Reserve (for example Kraken here). While a complete Proof of Reserves should be encouraged, and there are some solutions in the works (ie TxQuick), this is unlikely to be suitable universally for all exchange operators and users. Given the limitations, and that firms also manage fiat assets, a more traditional audit process makes more sense. Some Canadian exchanges (CoinSquare, CoinBerry) have already subjected themselves to annual audits. However, these results are not presently shared publicly, and there is no guarantee over the process including all user assets or the integrity and independence of the auditor. The auditor has been typically not known, and in some cases, the identity of the auditor is protected by a NDA. Only in one case (BitBuy) was an actual report generated and publicly shared. There has been no attempt made to validate that user accounts provided during these audits have been complete or accurate. A fraudulent fractional exchange, or one which had suffered a breach they were unwilling to publicly accept (see CoinBene), could easily maintain a second set of books for auditors or simply exclude key accounts to pass an individual audit. The proposed solution would see a reporting standard which includes at a minimum - percentage of backing for each asset relative to account balances and the nature of how those assets are stored, with ownership proven by the auditor. The auditor would also publicly provide a "hash list", which they independently generate from the accounts provided by the exchange. Every exchange user can then check their information against this public "hash list". A hash is a one-way form of encryption, which fully protects the private information, yet allows anyone who knows that information already to validate that it was included. Less experienced users can take advantage of public tools to calculate the hash from their information (provided by the exchange), and thus have certainty that the auditor received their full balance information. Easy instructions can be provided. Auditors should be impartial, their identities and process public, and they should be rotated so that the same auditor is never used twice in a row. Balancing the cost of auditing against the needs for regular updates, a 6 month cycle likely makes the most sense. Hot Wallet Management The best solution for hot wallets is not to use them. CoinBerry reportedly uses multi-sig on all withdrawals, and Bitmex is an international example known for their structure devoid of hot wallets. However, many platforms and customers desire fast withdrawal processes, and human validation has a cost of time and delay in this process. A model of self-insurance or separate funds for hot wallets may be used in these cases. Under this model, a platform still has 100% of their client balance in cold storage and holds additional funds in hot wallets for quick withdrawal. Thus, the risk of those hot wallets is 100% on exchange operators and not affecting the exchange users. Since most platforms typically only have 1%-5% in hot wallets at any given time, it shouldn't be unreasonable to build/maintain these additional reserves over time using exchange fees or additional investment. Larger withdrawals would still be handled at regular intervals from the cold storage. Hot wallet risks have historically posed a large risk and there is no established standard to guarantee secure hot wallets. When the government of South Korea dispatched security inspections to multiple exchanges, the results were still that 3 of them got hacked after the inspections. If standards develop such that an organization in the market is willing to insure the hot wallets, this could provide an acceptable alternative. Another option may be for multiple exchange operators to pool funds aside for a hot wallet insurance fund. Comprehensive coverage standards must be established and maintained for all hot wallet balances to make sure Canadians are adequately protected.
Current Draft Proposal
(1) Proper multi-signature cold wallet storage. (a) Each private key is the personal and legal responsibility of one person - the “signatory”. Signatories have special rights and responsibilities to protect user assets. Signatories are trained and certified through a course covering (1) past hacking and fraud cases, (2) proper and secure key generation, and (3) proper safekeeping of private keys. All private keys must be generated and stored 100% offline by the signatory. If even one private keys is ever breached or suspected to be breached, the wallet must be regenerated and all funds relocated to a new wallet. (b) All signatories must be separate background-checked individuals free of past criminal conviction. Canadians should have a right to know who holds their funds. All signing of transactions must take place with all signatories on Canadian soil or on the soil of a country with a solid legal system which agrees to uphold and support these rules (from an established white-list of countries which expands over time). (c) 3-5 independent signatures are required for any withdrawal. There must be 1-3 spare signatories, and a maximum of 7 total signatories. The following are all valid combinations: 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7. (d) A security audit should be conducted to validate the cold wallet is set up correctly and provide any additional pertinent information. The primary purpose is to ensure that all signatories are acting independently and using best practices for private key storage. A report summarizing all steps taken and who did the audit will be made public. Canadians must be able to validate the right measures are in place to protect their funds. (e) There is a simple approval process if signatories wish to visit any country outside Canada, with a potential whitelist of exempt countries. At most 2 signatories can be outside of aligned jurisdiction at any given time. All exchanges would be required to keep a compliant cold wallet for Canadian funds and have a Canadian office if they wish to serve Canadian customers. (2) Regular and transparent solvency audits. (a) An audit must be conducted at founding, after 3 months of operation, and at least once every 6 months to compare customer balances against all stored cryptocurrency and fiat balances. The auditor must be known, independent, and never the same twice in a row. (b) An audit report will be published featuring the steps conducted in a readable format. This should be made available to all Canadians on the exchange website and on a government website. The report must include what percentage of each customer asset is backed on the exchange, and how those funds are stored. (c) The auditor will independently produce a hash of each customer's identifying information and balance as they perform the audit. This will be made publicly available on the exchange and government website, along with simplified instructions that each customer can use to verify that their balance was included in the audit process. (d) The audit needs to include a proof of ownership for any cryptocurrency wallets included. A satoshi test (spending a small amount) or partially signed transaction both qualify. (e) Any platform without 100% reserves should be assessed on a regular basis by a government or industry watchdog. This entity should work to prevent any further drop, support any private investor to come in, or facilitate a merger so that 100% backing can be obtained as soon as possible. (3) Protections for hot wallets and transactions. (a) A standardized list of approved coins and procedures will be established to constitute valid cold storage wallets. Where a multi-sig process is not natively available, efforts will be undertaken to establish a suitable and stable smart contract standard. This list will be expanded and improved over time. Coins and procedures not on the list are considered hot wallets. (b) Hot wallets can be backed by additional funds in cold storage or an acceptable third-party insurance provider with a comprehensive coverage policy. (c) Exchanges are required to cover the full balance of all user funds as denominated in the same currency, or double the balance as denominated in bitcoin or CAD using an established trading rate. If the balance is ever insufficient due to market movements, the firm must rectify this within 24 hours by moving assets to cold storage or increasing insurance coverage. (d) Any large transactions (above a set threshold) from cold storage to any new wallet addresses (not previously transacted with) must be tested with a smaller transaction first. Deposits of cryptocurrency must be limited to prevent economic 51% attacks. Any issues are to be covered by the exchange. (e) Exchange platforms must provide suitable authentication for users, including making available approved forms of two-factor authentication. SMS-based authentication is not to be supported. Withdrawals must be blocked for 48 hours in the event of any account password change. Disputes on the negligence of exchanges should be governed by case law.
Continued review of existing OSC feedback is still underway. More feedback and opinions on the framework and ideas as presented here are extremely valuable. The above is a draft and not finalized. The process of further developing and bringing a suitable framework to protect Canadians will require the support of exchange operators, legal experts, and many others in the community. The costs of not doing such are tremendous. A large and convoluted framework, one based on flawed ideas or implementation, or one which fails to properly safeguard Canadians is not just extremely expensive and risky for all Canadians, severely limiting to the credibility and reputation of the industry, but an existential risk to many exchanges. The responsibility falls to all of us to provide our insight and make our opinions heard on this critical matter. Please take the time to give your thoughts.
A hybrid crypto exchange is a platform that provides users with access to their private keys and aims to solve the scalability issues of decentralized exchanges. *Disclaimer: I don’t insist that one have to store 100% of the portfolio on any kind of exchange. Why is it called Hybrid exchange? Hybrid crypto exchanges combine the pros of Centralized crypto exchanges and Decentralized crypto exchanges. The hybrid concept allows for certain cons to be remedied by implementing the advantages of the opposite. What are Centralized and Decentralized exchanges? Centralized(CEX) crypto exchanges provide massive volatility with the help of market-making activities. Occasional fiat gateways for its users, so everyone could quickly cash out gainings. Besides, substantial centralized crypto exchanges have a higher trust score within the community. Decentralized(DEX) crypto exchanges provide a solution to the security issues by letting users be in control of their private keys. This feature is a part of the real decentralization of trust philosophy, which is essential for the whole crypto economy. DEX vs CEX
Decentralized nature - in contrast to CEX, mostly DEXes are hosted on decentralized servers. This method of hosting makes them almost invulnerable to hacks;
Not restricted by law- because of its decentralized nature. There is no so-called single point of failure. It is nearly impossible to shut one down or regulate it. This is a strong point for users who live in countries that ban cryptocurrencies. But it’s really hard to find the independent Decentralized exchange. For example, IDEX which labels itself as DEX is a custodial exchange and is now sort of putting accounts and KYC into place. KYC is required for withdrawals of greater than 5,000$
Privacy - most CEXes requires users to go through a KYC process, which requires one to upload an ID. Without KYC procedure user can’t withdraw his funds. Unlike CEXes, DEXes requires an email address and nothing more, you even can think up a custom identity for it;
User responsibility - CEXes store all funds located on their platform on custody wallets which can potentially be a vulnerable target for hackers. However, DEXes allow users to be in full control over their funds. All that is needed to access a DEX is for a user to connect his wallet based on some mechanic (private key, metamask, json). This is the true nature of decentralization, blockchain is supposed to cut off third parties that collect fees for holding your funds.
On the one hand, DEX’s provide higher security and privacy for its users, but those aren't the only things we are looking for. On the other hand, CEX’s, as I told earlier, have a higher trust score, so what does this mean exactly?
Resources - currently CEX’s have more resources. Hence they can deliver a better user experience for its users. CEX’s are generally much more popular than DEXes. Though, DEXes are still an option B, and frequently used by those who do not trust the management of centralized exchanges due to human factors such as breach of internal controls and fraud..
But is their royalty deserved? “I definitely hope centralized exchanges go burn in hell as much as possible,” Vitalik Buterin stated in 2018. In particular, he thinks there’s no reason some projects need to pay $10 to $15 million(as per 2018) in listing fees to let people trade their tokens on centralized exchanges. This feels like a blood diamonds issue in the diamond industry. Most of those platforms were built on lies, some of them are currently building themselves out on falsehoods.
Ownership transparency - DEX’s were created to avoid regulatory pressure. Thus DEX founders' prefer to remain anonymous. Of course, this doesn't contradict decentralization, but users always have to remain skeptical when it comes to their funds.
CEXs have to be regulatory compliant, it’s impossible to be obedient without registering a company, submitting documents for proof of identity, etc. Most of the legal registries are opened to the public. Hence the founders are publicly known individuals. Besides, there is no need to hide while you are compliant and not involved in illegal activities.
Due diligence - Large CEX’s always do research on projects prior to listing, or even hosting an IEO for them. This leads to vast FOMO, users don't hesitate to do their own research and line up to for an investment opportunity. Currently, Binance is the most prosperous platform regarding IEO investments. DEXes dont host IEOs due to their decentralized nature and user anonymity. Usually, if one wants to participate in an IEO, a KYC process is required.
Easy to use - DEX’s frequently have convoluted interfaces, which is one of the considerable bottlenecks for new investors. In contrast, CEX’s are built for relative ease of use by experienced traders and newbies.
If you are new to this industry, or do not want to understand the intricacies of blockchains and came here to trade Bitcoin, I advise you to use a CEX. But If you came here for the tech, you will enjoy reading this more. What is the hybrid crypto exchange approach? Not so long ago, I decided to dive into the topic of hybrid exchanges as a potential game-changer in the cryptocurrency industry. The hybrid exchange philosophy builds on the strengths of decentralized and centralized exchanges. During my research, I came across a curious example - NEXT.exchange To further simplify the process of understanding the principles of hybrid exchanges, I propose to consider this topic by case. It’s worth noting that there is much to contemplate in regards to hybrid exchange platforms, their solutions and approaches may vary. There are also not many out there. DEX pros within NEXT:
Transparency - Unlike DEX’s that use decentralized or cloud servers, NEXT.exchange will use its own blockchain - NEXT.chain, based on SYS, DASH, and BTC, which in turn will allow the platform to expand on its transaction throughout (occasionally DEX’s majority of which are ETH based, experience hang time when the Ethereum network is overloaded with transactions).
Essentially NEXT.chain will be used by the exchange as an open database that stores information about all transactions and tokenized assets (assets created on NEXT.chain are dubbed 00X standard) within the exchange. To maintain the blockchain, investors will deploy 100 master nodes during the first year (79 out of 100 are already functioning).
Hybrid mining POW/POS - Each successfully executed order will be a transaction for mining. An interesting fact is that the issue of the exchange token will be carried out by mining, in a similar way to how it happens on the bitcoin network. Master nodes & miners will receive rewards for their contribution to the ecosystem.
Governance - the NEXT team is looking to provide Masternode operators with the opportunity to participate in the management of further development of the exchange and hybrid ecosystem by means of voting. How exactly this feature will be implemented remains a mystery, but sounds fair.
User confidence - the team plans on providing users with access to their wallet private keys. Additionally, they aim to involve an escrow services (similar to Kucoin) on their platform. Below is a brief schematic of their system and how NEXT.chain will factor in. Seems the goal is to tokenize assets using their chain, similar to Binance.
Privacy - Traders will be able to trade crypto-crypto without going through the KYC procedure, which is great for users. But the regulatory landscape may change over time. KYC will be needed for anything involving fiat.
CEX pros within NEXT:
Ownership transparency - Legal entity is registered in the Netherlands. All information about the team is publicly available on their site and on linkedin.
Fiat gateway - Presence of a legal entity allows the exchange to enable its users to withdraw their crypto assets to fiat and to trade several cryptocurrencies against fiat.
However, to do this, users will have to go through KYC (Yes, the guys from NEXT have some workings with banks to provide their users with access to USD and EUR. Other currencies will probably be available later). Thus, traders will be able to withdraw funds directly to Bank cards. As far as I am aware, they also plan to make PayPal available for withdrawals only.
High-quality community support - When I found myself in their community, I was surprised by the quality of support, I have not seen this even in TIER-1 exchanges. The team members eagerly answered all my questions. And the people in the chat were wonderful and kind.
It’s important to note that NEXT is just at its start, and will be releasing a huge update dubbed 2.0 (after a testing period with its community), so if hybrid cryptocurrency exchanges are interesting to you - then this is definitely one to keep an eye out for. Summing up Recently, the industry of centralized crypto-exchanges is literally filled with scammers. Teams of second-rate centralized exchanges "draw" trading volumes and even IEO results. Unfortunately, many blindly believe them. This is going to be a massive problem in the future, more important than you can imagine. Those scam exchanges will become more prominent and will swindle more people, this will lead to a severe outflow of defrauded people from the industry, which can not afford it. Hybrid cryptocurrency exchanges are a new trend that I think can improve the whole industry. Not all hybrid exchanges have their own blockchain, NEXT was considered as the project most suitable for the description of a hybrid cryptocurrency exchange. Don't FOMO and don't hesitate to do your own researches before depositing funds on the exchange wallets or participating in an IEO.
Anonymity & Cryptocurrency: A Few Tips On How To Keep Your Privacy
Unfortunately, anonymity isn’t something that you think about as being valuable. But as Edward Snowden points out in one of his interviews, “Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.” https://preview.redd.it/a2t5wii1wnj41.png?width=1024&format=png&auto=webp&s=df6889e510a2a0b231614636d0b6c1ac7be7e2c4 Many people are going up against online anonymity, mainly because it has the potential to enable and encourage undesirable behavior or illegal activity. State institutions and corporations are trying to limit the ability to use networks without authorization, allegedly in an attempt to increase security. Meanwhile, there is no doubt that private information that falls into the wrong hands can be used for mean purposes in many ways. Dozens of examples truly highlight the need for online anonymity today. Without it, people’s lives can easily be ruined forever. Financial and personal freedom are the main reasons why people started using cryptocurrencies. But using Bitcoin itself can not guaranty anonymity. They are not linked to a person or identity, so the name, e-mail or physical address can’t be found in the transaction. But public addresses we use publically recorded on the blockchain, so a person can be tracked down using this information and ID. Here are some methods to keep your identity safe. Use logless VPN Virtual Private Network encrypts all of your Internet traffic and routes it through multiple servers at different locations before arriving at the final location. Using a VPN is one of the simplest ways to cover your digital tracks. Logless VPN services don’t store the history of your activities, some of them provide one IP address for several users, making it difficult to isolate one person among them. It is highly recommended to avoid US/UK-based VPN services due to strict surveillance regimes in these countries. Also, you should keep in mind that some exchangers’ security systems treating logging into an account with numerous different country IPs as suspicious which can lead to blocking your account. Register a separate email Never use personal or working email for the needs of the crypto. If hackers gain access to it that can ruin your life in many aspects at once. A significant advantage will be the use of burner emails such as Guerrilla Mail and Temp Mail, or highly protected services like ProtonMail or Tutanota. Don’t forget about common security rules such as using a strong password that contains different case letters, numbers and symbols. Keeping passwords and keys on your devices is definitely not safe, better write it down in an old-fashioned pen-paper way. Create new blockchain address Make new addresses for every single transaction you make. More than half of all transactions in the BTC network go through wallets that have been in use at least once. Over time this practice will build up a list of transactions associated with one wallet. Using some manipulations those transactions could be easily associated with a real-world identity as well as your wallet could be simply hacked and robbed. Avoid KYC and AML using services Know Your Client is a policy used by many companies in which each client is required to provide credentials such as ID documents to use a company’s service. Anti-Money Laundry consists of KYC procedures and ongoing risk assessment and monitoring of transactions. Such actions are implemented in the best interest of protecting users of cryptocurrency platforms but left no chance to stay anonymous. Nowadays most of the crypto markets and exchanges require passing identity verification due to the growing control from the state institutions. However, there are some that allow you to remain anonymous unless you are withdrawing a large amount (Binance, Bitfinex, KuCoin, etc.). In such circumstances, decentralized exchanges seem like a good option. Use Anonymity-Centric Cryptocurrencies As mentioned earlier, blockchain analysis based on knowledge of the amount and time of the sent transaction allows hackers to attack user’s wallets and gain access to their data. As a reaction to this was developing coins with anonymity as the main priority. At the moment, Monero is the most popular of the anonymity-centric cryptocurrencies. It has a complex of cryptographical tools for obfuscating traces of the original transaction. Its RingCT Protocol hides the sender, recipient and transfers amounts. After the transaction is completed, it is signed and receives a time-stamp using a ring signature, where collected group’s public keys, but the private key of the specific sender is not displayed. Another private currency’s Dash work is based on the CoinJoin technology. The idea of the process is very simple: several transactions are mixed into one, so it is impossible to determine what amounts were transferred and by whom. Zcash currency uses the Zero-Knowledge Proof commitment scheme to validate transactions without revealing information about them. Protocol, called Zk-SNARKs, comprises three algorithms that generate proof and verification keys, calculate the proof and verify the authenticity of the secret information. The obvious drawback of this mechanism is extremely massive complex calculations that require enormous capacity. Even if complete anonymity seems not possible, following the above rules will help you avoid a lot of trouble. You should be extra meticulous in the process of choosing currency and an exchanger, keeping in mind where and what personal information you provide. If you need to exchange your coins private and without registration – StealthEX is here for you. Just go to http://stealthex.io and choose the pair and the amount for your exchange. Then follow these easy steps: ✔ Choose the pair and the amount for your exchange. For example ETH to BTC. ✔ Press the “Start exchange” button. ✔ Provide the recipient address to which the coins will be transferred. ✔ Move your cryptocurrency for the exchange. ✔ Receive your coins. Follow us onMedium,Twitter,Facebook, andRedditto getStealthEX.ioupdates and the latest news about the crypto world. For all requests message us via [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
originally posted by ankarlie https://steemit.com/blockchain/@ankarlie/decentralized-exchange-true-crypto-ownership-realized Introduction For over a decade we have seen blockchain technology developed into one of the most important technologies in recent history. Many visionaries, thought leaders, business gurus, and government authorities have recognized its immense potential that they have often associated it as one of the primary technologies that will drive Web 3.0 or even the 4th industrial revolution. Blockchain technology is so powerful that it has the capacity to disrupt any sector in our society where trust is a primary concern, which is pretty much is everything. As such we might consider businesses engaged in blockchain technology are in the business of trust. Business of Trust Blockchain technology has often been described as a trust layer that enables an individual to exchange value without having to rely on any central authority or third party intermediary. Often times transactions that are done using this technology are called trustless transactions, meaning, transacting parties do not have to trust each other to ensure that transactions will be consummated. In other words, the technology itself will guarantee that all transactions will push through, irreversible and immutable. Banks are good examples of business of trust. We entrust them with our money and valuables, but sometimes these very same banks restrict our access to our own money and valuables due to many reasons. These might be server maintenance, AML and KYC requirements, regulatory obligations or whatever reason they might deem applicable. This is the very reason why blockchain technology through its first application, Cryptocurrency, has gained enormous success. Cryptocurrencies enable everyone total and complete control of their money. Scams and Fake Blockchain Initiatives The awesome potential of the blockchain technology might have afforded us the necessary tools and infrastructure for more financial freedom, inclusivity, and mobility, but it is not immune to bad actors that try to exploit the advantages of this burgeoning industry. The excitement and demand for blockchain technology have opened the doors for scammers and con-artists who try to “sell” the technology to investors who are more than willing to invest huge amounts of money to get the piece of the action that has the potential to explode in value. One good example of a project that has been masquerading as blockchain technology is the $4 Billion fake crypto scam called OneCoin. The leader of this project, Dr. Ruja Ignatova aka Cryptoqueen have positioned OneCoin as the Bitcoin killer which she claims will become the biggest cryptocurrency in the world. Coming from an Oxford University graduate with a doctorate degree from Konstanz University in Germany and worked at McKinsey and Company who would have known that the project would turn out to be a scam. OneCoin exploited the idea of leveraging blockchain technology, the potential of hitting it big like bitcoin and played on the greed of investors who were fearful of missing out on a life-changing opportunity envisioned by Dr. Ruja. That was several years back, of course we all know now that there was never an underlying blockchain technology in the first place and what we have left are disgruntled investors some of which are financially ruined due to investing more than they can afford to lose. Sad to say this has been a common narrative in the crypto space. Blockchain is Real and Here To Stay The many scams and fake or failed blockchain projects in the space have not dampened the interest of investors into blockchain and its first use case, cryptocurrencies. Instead, it has been gaining traction as the industry begins to mature, gaining regulatory clarity and widespread acceptance as a valid and legitimate asset class and investment vehicle. They can serve as alternative investments that can be used to hedge against uncertainties in traditional finance and investments. There are now over four thousand cryptocurrencies in the world and this number will continue to increase well into the future. In fact, cryptocurrency proponents see a future where there will be hundreds of blockchains and thousands of digital assets. An integral part of this growing ecosystem will be cryptocurrency exchanges which serve as venues for open markets where cryptocurrency holders, traders, and investors interact. Not only there is an increasing number of digital assets in the space but also the places where you can trade. CEX vs DEX There are two general types of cryptocurrency exchanges: Centralized Exchange (CEX) and Decentralized Exchanges (DEX). Their functions are essentially the same but the way users interact with these types of exchanges differs significantly. CEX typically require their customers to undergo Know-Your-Customer (KYC) procedures and ID verification processes, DEX does not. In addition, CEX requires its customers to their cryptocurrencies deposit into its internal wallets while DEX allows its users to keep their wallets in non-custodial wallets. CEX is generally considered by the wider cryptocurrency community as the lesser secure venue for users due to the following reasons. First, CEX typically uses one single crypto wallet address per blockchain. This means users of all Ether and Ethereum based-tokens share (The same can be said with other blockchain platform) the same address and demarcated only using a Memo or a Tag. This creates a honeypot that is just waiting to be exploited by hackers. Second, users of CEX have limited access to their digital assets as they will have to ask permission from the CEX operator access to their digital assets. KYC procedures in CEX are also of great concern as users are typically required to submit supporting documents that can be used to verify their identity. This means users are relying on the security and competency of the CEX to secure their valuable information. Information that can be used for identity theft, false representation, and recovery of other online accounts. One good example of this is Binance where it found some of their customer information have been compromised. This is on top of the recent hack last May 2019. Although no user funds were lost by the hack as Binance shouldered all the lost funds amounting to $40M USD, users were not able to access their accounts for several days. One can only imagine the great stress and anxiety It might have brought its users, not knowing when they will be able to regain access to their digital assets. These risks do not exist when using DEX as users will not have to deposit or withdraw their Cryptocurrencies. Transactions are all done on-chain and directly transacted from their own non-custodial wallet and there is no risk of your information falling into the wrong hands as there is no need for KYC. Decentralized Exchange— Newdex DEXs were made possible through the evolution of blockchain technology. The first-generation blockchain tech like the one used by bitcoin simply does not have the capabilities to host decentralized exchanges. This was only made possible through the integration of smart contracts with Ethereum being the first one to incorporate such capabilities. While the technology has shown promise the limitations of Ethereum’s blockchain made it impossible and uneconomical to reach mass adoption. Decentralized exchanges (DEX) relies heavily on the blockchain where it has been built on. This is the primary reason why Newdex developers have decided to build their DEX on two of the most successful, scalable and used blockchain in the whole industry EOS and TRON. By doing so their DEX has the capacity to scale to mass adoption without having to worry that the underlying technology that hosts their DEX will not be able to cope up with the load and demand of their decentralized exchange. EOS and TRON both use Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPOS) consensus mechanism which has been described as a more power-efficient, scalable and democratic consensus protocol compared to Proof-of-Work. This enables them higher throughputs, consumes a whole lot less energy and secures its blockchain more efficiently. Aside from the scalability advantage, the absence of miners in DPOS makes transactions in EOS and TRON more cost-efficient and often times fee-less like. By offering a simple yet powerful trading venue for traders of EOS, TRON Newdex has become one of the world’s leading decentralized exchanges. To ensure that the digital assets of its customers are always safe Newdex, does not require its clients to input their private keys. Instead, Newdex opted to partner with all conceivable wallets for both EOS and TRON to enable its users to log in through their non-custodial wallets of choice. This is an additional layer of security and serves as a deterrent to phishing risk. Apart from not asking for the private key to login in, Newdex does not require its traders to deposit and withdraw their digital assets. This was made possible because all trades are transacted on-chain which means trades are triggered, executed and finalized using smart contracts making them irreversible, immutable and secure. This also makes them auditable and transparent as anyone can basically follow and inspect the transaction on the various blockchain explorer available online. Since users of Newdex never lose custody of their digital assets we can say it is the prime example of true digital asset ownership. Unlike centralized exchanges that require their customers to deposit and withdraw, Newdex executes transactions straight out of customers’ wallets which means there is no need to move digital assets in and out of the DEX. Hence there will be no chance for Newdex to lockdown user assets, there will also be no need to pay for deposits and withdrawals. World’s Leading Decentralized Exchange DEXs are the only trading venues where users have full custody and control of their cryptocurrencies through the use of blockchain technology. Newdex has emerged as the world’s leading DEX for not only offering all the advantages of decentralized exchanges but offering value-added services that set it above all other decentralized exchanges. These include an OTC market that enables its users to use Fiat currencies to trade with cryptocurrencies, a VIP membership for various trading and airdrops privileges and utilizing its own utility token called Newdex ecological Platform Token (NDX). Conclusion Cryptocurrencies have not yet reached mass adoption but through the power of blockchain technology and the many advantages that it brings it is only a matter of time when the masses come marching along searching for the proper venue where they can fully exercise their newfound financial freedom. Where there are no censorship, no restrictions, borderless and frictionless. More importantly, where true ownership of cryptocurrency is realized, decentralized exchanges and there is no better embodiment of this than Newdex, the world’s leading decentralized exchange. For more information about Newdex please follow its official links below: Website: https://newdex.vip/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/NewdexOfficial Medium: https://medium.com/@marketing\_27690 Let's Connect!!!
Hackers stole more than 7,000 bitcoin from crypto exchange Binance, the world’s largest by volume, the startup reported Tuesday. Binance announced that a “large scale security breach” was discovered earlier on May 7, finding that malicious actors were able to access user API keys, two-factor authentication codes and “potentially other info,” the exchange’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, said in a letter. As a result, they were able to withdraw roughly $41 million in bitcoin from the exchange, according to a transaction published in the security notice. The exchange may not yet have identified all impacted accounts, he said. And according to Binance’s statement, the breach only impacted Binance’s hot wallet, which contains roughly 2 percent of the exchange’s total bitcoin holdings.
Social media giant Facebook acquired the rights to the “Libra” trademark for its secretive cryptocurrency project. The Block claims that a source familiar with the matter confirmed that Facebook is recruiting financial firms to develop its own crypto and that the project’s codename and product name is Libra. Moreover, documents released by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and filed in June 2018 reveal that the company has evidently acquired the rights to the “Libra” trademark.
Bitcoin’s price rose above $6,000 on most cryptocurrency exchanges for the first time on Thursday in nearly six months. At 00:57 UTC on Thursday, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, which accounts for more than half of all other cryptocurrencies combined, picked up a bid and saw its price reach as high as $6,076 – its highest price since Nov. 14, 2018.
The owner of the TeslaJoy channel received an email purporting to be from YouTube support alerting that her channel was in violation of multiple policies of the platform. To solve the issue in a speedy manner, a more detailed analysis would be necessary and this required some information, including the access password. YouTube's policy infringement system allows users to report videos that are in violation of the platform rules. When a user is reported three times in just as many months, their account is deactivated. Scammers abusing this procedure extort money from content creators by reporting them for copyright infringement. After two reports, they contacted the victim asking for money in order to hold off a third violation report.
The Israel Defense Force (IDF) claims to have neutralized an "attempted" cyber attack by launching airstrikes on a building in Gaza Strip from where it says the attack was originated. However, the Israel Defense Force has not shared any information about the attempted cyber attack by the Hamas group, saying it would reveal the country's cyber capabilities. According to Judah Ari Gross of Times of Israel, the commander of the IDF's Cyber Division said, "We were a step ahead of them the whole time," and "this was one of the first times where Israeli soldiers had to fend off a cyber attack while also fighting a physical battle."The commander did not reveal the name of the target, but did say that the cyber attack by Hamas was aimed at "harming the way of life of Israeli citizens."
Let us know what your thoughts are on the above topics!
The biggest announcement of the month was the new kind of decentralized exchange proposed by @jy-p of Company 0. The Community Discussions section considers the stakeholders' response. dcrd: Peer management and connectivity improvements. Some work for improved sighash algo. A new optimization that gives 3-4x faster serving of headers, which is great for SPV. This was another step towards multipeer parallel downloads – check this issue for a clear overview of progress and planned work for next months (and some engineering delight). As usual, codebase cleanup, improvements to error handling, test infrastructure and test coverage. Decrediton: work towards watching only wallets, lots of bugfixes and visual design improvements. Preliminary work to integrate SPV has begun. Politeia is live on testnet! Useful links: announcement, introduction, command line voting example, example proposal with some votes, mini-guide how to compose a proposal. Trezor: Decred appeared in the firmware update and on Trezor website, currently for testnet only. Next steps are mainnet support and integration in wallets. For the progress of Decrediton support you can track this meta issue. dcrdata: Continued work on Insight API support, see this meta issue for progress overview. It is important for integrations due to its popularity. Ongoing work to add charts. A big database change to improve sorting on the Address page was merged and bumped version to 3.0. Work to visualize agenda voting continues. Ticket splitting: 11-way ticket split from last month has voted (transaction). Ethereum support in atomicswap is progressing and welcomes more eyeballs. decred.org: revamped Press page with dozens of added articles, and a shiny new Roadmap page. decredinfo.com: a new Decred dashboard by lte13. Reddit announcement here. Dev activity stats for June: 245 active PRs, 184 master commits, 25,973 added and 13,575 deleted lines spread across 8 repositories. Contributions came from 2 to 10 developers per repository. (chart)
Hashrate: growth continues, the month started at 15 and ended at 44 PH/s with some wild 30% swings on the way. The peak was 53.9 PH/s. F2Pool was the leader varying between 36% and 59% hashrate, followed by coinmine.pl holding between 18% and 29%. In response to concerns about its hashrate share, F2Pool made a statement that they will consider measures like rising the fees to prevent growing to 51%. Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 94.7 DCR (+3.4). The price was steadily rising from 90.7 to 95.8 peaking at 98.1. Locked DCR grew from 3.68 to 3.81 million DCR, the highest value was 3.83 million corresponding to 47.87% of supply (+0.7% from previous peak). Nodes: there are 240 public listening and 115 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 57% on v1.2.0 (+12%), 25% on v1.1.2 (-13%), 14% on v1.1.0 (-1%). Note: the reported count of non-listening nodes has dropped significantly due to data reset at decred.eu. It will take some time before the crawler collects more data. On top of that, there is no way to exactly count non-listening nodes. To illustrate, an alternative data source, charts.dcr.farm showed 690 reachable nodes on Jul 1. Extraordinary event: 247361 and 247362 were two nearly full blocks. Normally blocks are 10-20 KiB, but these blocks were 374 KiB (max is 384 KiB).
Update from Obelisk: shipping is expected in first half of July and there is non-zero chance to meet hashrate target. Another Chinese ASIC spotted on the web: Flying Fish D18 with 340 GH/s at 180 W costing 2,200 CNY (~340 USD). (asicok.com – translated, also on asicminervalue) dcrASIC team posted a farewell letter. Despite having an awesome 16 nm chip design, they decided to stop the project citing the saturated mining ecosystem and low profitability for their potential customers.
Changenow announced the option to buy DCR with fiat.
TokenPride: "We are seeking feedback on the general setup of our payment processor. We have tried to make it simple and user friendly. 10% of all purchases made in Decred will be donated to the Decred Development fund - and we will be releasing original Decred designs in the future".
BlueYard Capital announced investment in Decred and the intent to be long term supporters and to actively participate in the network's governance. In an overview post they stressed core values of the project:
There are a few other remarkable characteristics that are a testament to the DNA of the team behind Decred: there was no sale of DCR to investors, no venture funding, and no payment to exchanges to be listed – underscoring that the Decred team and contributors are all about doing the right thing for long term (as manifested in their constitution for the project). The most encouraging thing we can see is both the quality and quantity of high calibre developers flocking to the project, in addition to a vibrant community attaching their identity to the project.
The company will be hosting an event in Berlin, see Events below. Arbitrade is now mining Decred.
Campus Party in Brasilia, Brazil. @girino, @Rhama and @matheusd talked about Decred. Matheus was interviewed by a TV channel. Check this quick report about the event, click "Show newer" to continue reading. (photos: 123)
Blockchain Summit in London, UK. This was not a full blown presence with stand but rather investigation of opportunities by @kyle and @Ani. The resulting detailed report is a good example of a document advising to stakeholders whether it is worth spending project funds.
Meetup in Berlin, Germany on July 18. @jz will give a talk and Q&A about Decred and chat with Ele from @oscoin about incentivizing developers. Hosted by BlueYard Capital.
Hey guys! I'd like to share with you my latest adventure: Stakey Club, hosted at stakey.club, is a website dedicated to Decred. I posted a few articles in Brazilian Portuguese and in English. I also translated to Portuguese some posts from the Decred Blog. I hope you like it! (slack)
Decred Assembly - Ep20 - Governance: Driving the Future (youtube) @cburniske and @traceagain discuss the importance of governance protocols being foundational and problems with delegated proof of stake
"I think that developers in the future are going to base their decision on where to build on the basis of governance and community. And so I look for good governance mechanisms and strong communities in blockchains." (@decredproject)
What is on-chain cryptocurrency governance? Is it plutocratic? by Richard Red (medium)
Apples to apples, Decred is 20x more expensive to attack than Bitcoin by Zubair Zia (medium)
What makes Decred different and better from other cryptocurrencies? (cxihub.com)
Community stats: Twitter followers 40,209 (+1,091), Reddit subscribers 8,410 (+243), Slack users 5,830 (+172), GitHub 392 stars and 918 forks of dcrd repository. An update on our communication systems:
Matrix chat logs are nowviewable on the web with the exception of some channels that are not bridged. The new web logs means our chats are now fully public and indexed by search engines.
Slack had an outage on Jun 27 that disturbed communications for a few hours, discussions continued on Decred's bridged platforms.
Jake Yocom-Piatt did an AMA on CryptoTechnology, a forum for serious crypto tech discussion. Some topics covered were Decred attack cost and resistance, voting policies, smart contracts, SPV security, DAO and DPoS. A new kind of DEX was the subject of an extensive discussion in #general, #random, #trading channels as well as Reddit. New channel #thedex was created and attracted more than 100 people. A frequent and fair question is how the DEX would benefit Decred. @lukebp has put it well:
Projects like these help Decred attract talent. Typically, the people that are the best at what they do aren’t driven solely by money. They want to work on interesting projects that they believe in with other talented individuals. Launching a DEX that has no trading fees, no requirement to buy a 3rd party token (including Decred), and that cuts out all middlemen is a clear demonstration of the ethos that Decred was founded on. It helps us get our name out there and attract the type of people that believe in the same mission that we do. (slack)
Another concern that it will slow down other projects was addressed by @davecgh:
The intent is for an external team to take up the mantle and build it, so it won't have any bearing on the current c0 roadmap. The important thing to keep in mind is that the goal of Decred is to have a bunch of independent teams on working on different things. (slack)
A chat about Decred fork resistance started on Twitter and continued in #trading. Community members continue to discuss the finer points of Decred's hybrid system, bringing new users up to speed and answering their questions. The key takeaway from this chat is that the Decred chain is impossible to advance without votes, and to get around that the forker needs to change the protocol in a way that would make it clearly not Decred. "Against community governance" article was discussed on Reddit and #governance. "The Downside of Democracy (and What it Means for Blockchain Governance)" was another article arguing against on-chain governance, discussed here. Reddit recap: mining rig shops discussion; how centralized is Politeia; controversial debate on photos of models that yielded useful discussion on our marketing approach; analysis of a drop in number of transactions; concerns regarding project bus factor, removing central authorities, advertising and full node count – received detailed responses; an argument by insette for maximizing aggregate tx fees; coordinating network upgrades; a new "Why Decred?" thread; a question about quantum resistance with a detailed answer and a recap of current status of quantum resistant algorithms. Chats recap: Programmatic Proof-of-Work (ProgPoW) discussion; possible hashrate of Blake-256 miners is at least ~30% higher than SHA-256d; how Decred is not vulnerable to SPV leaf/node attack.
DCR opened the month at ~$93, reached monthly high of $110, gradually dropped to the low of $58 and closed at $67. In BTC terms it was 0.0125 -> 0.0150 -> 0.0098 -> 0.0105. The downturn coincided with a global decline across the whole crypto market. In the middle of the month Decred was noticed to be #1 in onchainfx "% down from ATH" chart and on this chart by @CoinzTrader. Towards the end of the month it dropped to #3.
Please note: we will not accept any kind of payment to list an asset.
Bithumb got hacked with a $30 m loss. Zcash organized Zcon0, an event in Canada that focused on privacy tech and governance. An interesting insight from Keynote Panel on governance: "There is no such thing as on-chain governance". Microsoft acquired GitHub. There was some debate about whether it is a reason to look into alternative solutions like GitLab right now. It is always a good idea to have a local copy of Decred source code, just in case. Status update from @sumiflow on correcting DCR supply on various sites:
To begin with, none of the below sites were showing the correct supply or market cap for Decred but we've made some progress. coingecko.com, coinlib.io, cryptocompare.com, livecoinwatch.com, worldcoinindex.com - corrected! cryptoindex.co, onchainfx.com - awaiting fix coinmarketcap.com - refused to fix because devs have coins too? (slack)
About This Issue
This is the third issue of Decred Journal after April and May. Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research. The new public Matrix logs look promising and we hope to transition from Slack links to Matrix links. In the meantime, the way to read Slack links is explained in the previous issue. As usual, any feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit, GitHub or #writers_room. Contributions are welcome too, anything from initial collection to final review to translations. Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee and Richard-Red. Special thanks to @Haon for bringing May 2018 issue to medium.
LTO Network - Hybrid blockchain built for business
📷 INTRODUCTION 📷 We're celebrating the 10th year of Blockchain technology. During that time, we had a lot of experience. The market is slowly starting to fix itself. One of the biggest reasons for this is the increase in confidence in the market. The market-free elimination of fraud and security holes has made blockchain technology more powerful every day. It is possible to say that there are some difficulties because it is a very new technology. But if you think like me, you accept that block-chain technology is a weapon capable of changing our lives. The blockchain has been used today in banking, artificial intelligence, entertainment, municipalities, shopping and much more. The Fiat that we know is slowly reaching the power to do everything that money can do. The blockchain not only facilitated the use of money, but it also allowed us to use it in a very functional way. In addition, it seems to have done a lot better job in the distribution of income than the fiat money. But the blockchain should go on its way. This amazing technology that changes the way we look at money and banks, comes for more. Problem Analysis 📷 Nowadays, many altcoin blockchains using a limited number of hybrid infrastructure. The most common and most known is Ethereum infrastructure. About 200 altcoins are using this infrastructure. In fact, Binance, the world's largest stock exchange, uses this infrastructure for its own coin, BNB. We should talk about Bitcoin's infrastructure, which dominates 52% of the market, according to Coinmarketcap data before going to the Ethereum. Compared to fiat money, Bitcoin's trading speed and commission fees are really incredible. Bitcoin operations can change blocks before 1 hour after the completion of the approval process. This means that the international fiat is much faster than monetary transactions and can be met with fewer commissions. But ten years after bitcoin's invention, we can say that we are now using much more advanced technology. For example, the Ethereum infrastructure can perform these operations in almost minutes. Projects such as EOS, which is also a blockchain, and other projects aim to shorten these times further. But it is a fact known by everyone that these infrastructures have problems with safety, speed and integration. Because of these vulnerabilities, the Crypto money worth millions of dollars each year is becoming the target of the attacks. This kind of situation that damages the blockchain technology also continues to be a serious obstacle to the realization of the blockchain Revolution. However, new projects, or rather projects that use a solid infrastructure, do not seem likely to encounter these problems in the future. 📷 What is the LTO network ? LTO network is a decentralized and highly efficient blockchain infrastructure that provides maximum efficiency to its users and enables the integration of blockchain Infrastructures into existing systems ready for production. The LTO network project is a very advanced technology product with 10 years of blockchain experience. I remember the days when the project was chosen as the Most Valuable ICO of the year when the ICO was made in 2018. This year, the project has proven itself by providing services to various customers from around the world. Business Process Modeling is a common strategy that small, medium and large enterprises use to maintain their business continuity. Creating a visual proof of a workflow process is a step by step to ensure that it is analyzed, developed and automated. Unlike procedures written in a native language or in a programming language, these models can be understood by both people and computers. For inter-organizational collaboration, there is no modelling to enhance communication. The parties concerned must indicate the process to be used as a binding agreement; it is called a live contract on the LTO platform. The LTO platform creates a temporary blockchain for each live contract. This type of blockchain is not designed as a literal book. 📷 Who are the actors on the LTO Network? 📷 There are 4 different token holders in the LTO network system and they are classified.
Collector and Partners –These people can be recognized as individuals who approve blocks in the system and enable transactions to take place. Not only in the LTO network, but also in the approval of blocks of all blockchain Projects works according to this system. These people make an income by making the approval of the transactions.
Customers - if you are not one of the above-mentioned persons, you are probably a customer. When you use the system to trade, you pay a very small amount of commission. These commission fees are almost nothing compared to other projects.
Active Holders – as with many other systems, you have the opportunity to generate passive income by running a node on the LTO network. It's kind of a passive income opportunity, actually. To run any node, you just hire a server and confirm the LTO network operations via this server.
Inactive Holders - such holders are those who continue their existence without any action on the network, without any block endorsement in any way.
LTO Network Award pool and operating system 📷 We mentioned above that you have a chance to earn passive income through LTO network. These stakes vary according to the token that the customers hold. There are a number of rewards available for keeping these tokens in the wallet. And token holders are rewarded within the framework of the ratios shown below.
If a user has 10% of the total number of tokens on the network and contributes 10% of the total transactions, this token holder's block validation rate will be 105%.
If a user has 10% of the total token supply but does not contribute to any authentication transition based on network operations, the block validation rate will be below 5%.
The stake pool calculation of the LTO network is calculated by the following formula: a number of tokens staked/contribution to the approval of blocks. This process determines your rate of the number of tokens staked. 📷 LTO Blockchain and ERC-20 Wallet 📷 LTO network has 2 different coins. Since these coins are used for different purposes, they may also be used for different purposes. These two different coins can be exchanged with each other through "bridge troll". Odds are 1:1. There is a system called “bridge” between the pools of the main net and ERC-20 tokens, and both pools serve different purposes.:
The LTO network blockchain is designed for the actual use of the network: it is designed for the functionality of the platform and to pay for transactions or payment. This network is used by holders. Or used to confirm transactions on the network.
ERC-20 is the nature of the companies that will make a more new entry into the system, to ensure faster entry into the system was established. This token is used to adapt the company to the LTO network because its liquid speed is faster.
📷 4 Main Dynamics of LTO Network 📷 LTO network has shaped the project according to 4 main dynamics. These are development, growth, shaking-out and maturity. The first of these stages, the relatively high level of Development, will be shared after token distribution. Those who buy this token early will be rewarded as a reward by bringing it to the "net zero" point mentioned in the chart. At the stage of Growth, the passive customer ratio will increase to the extent that it is adapted to the platform. The speed of transactions will increase as you go to the "net zero" point. "Net zero" incentives in the Shake-out will increase the founders. The entrance to the prize pool will be a bit narrower as the stakes increase. In the process of Maturing, the market will grow as the majority of customers become partners. However, passive holders will be rewarded by the system with a much wider expansion of the stock rewards. CONCLUSION 📷 Although the LTO network seems very complex, it is much more understandable when viewed closely. Since it has a much more advanced structure than other blockchain technologies, there are many opportunities to be gained from it. The system is already listed in Coinmarketcap and is traded on many stock markets. Anyone who wants to invest in this wonderful project and using the Node registered in the system can provide the opportunity to earn passive income. In addition, if you already have a cryptosystem, you can negotiate with the LTO network and get the chance to improve the quality of your business. TOKEN ALLOCATION 📷 📷 MEET THE TEAM 📷 📷 For more information: 📷 📷 WEBSITE:https://lto.network 📷 TELEGRAM:https://t.me/joinchat/AJWQTUDKtDlsuGHVFb40eQ 📷 WHITEPAPER:https://lto.network/documents/LTO%20Network%20-%20Technical%20Paper.pdf 📷 TWITTER:https://twitter.com/ltonetwork 📷 MEDIUM:https://medium.com/ltonetwork 📷 REDDIT:https://www.reddit.com/livecontracts/ 📷 YOUTUBE:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaHcF-xterKYTKSpY4xgKiw 📷 GITHUB:https://github.com/legalthings 📷 LTO Wallet Adress: 3Jkjdy2bViwGsML6emPDAGBF5XC7MwYCq4g MEW: 0x30Da745c024923B55f3a73E530e18382eF2130eB Telegram:@nuxxorcoin
Hydro AMA Q&A Roundup with BitcoinMarkets (Slack), 15 June 2018
I've taken the liberty of rounding up all the questions and answers provided from Hydro's most recent AMA hosted with BitcoinMarkets incase you missed it. Enjoy! Hydro Q&A’s Q (knonsu): How does Snowflake relate to other identity protocols out there like Civic and uPort ? A.1 (Anurag): We see snowflake as existing a layer below these types of projects. Even without blockchain, identity is a broad term. Different people around the world have different forms of identity (state ID, country ID, social media IDs, etc). Civic, uPort, and other blockchain projects help to build specific types of an on-chain identity for a user; however those IDs are meaningful in different ways to different observers. For instance, imagine that a government or business builds a system that accepts Civic as a form of identity while another government/business only recognizes uPort identities. On top of this, certain systems only care about information tied to a user’s social media profile. A user can maintain one standard Snowflake as a base layer and set each of these different forms of identity as a resolver. Snowflake eliminates the need for global unanimous adoption of a singular identity standard and rather allows systems to build business logic off of identity standards they themselves recognize. Follow up Q (knonsu): thats cool. so its totally depends on the person/ institute utilizing it . One problem I found is how easy its to create fake identities (in their basic system). A.2 (Anurag): Yup! So people can conduct off-chain verifications to prove that you own a snowflake, and then tie an on-chain verification to your Snowflake. This links real-world KYC to your on-chain ID, so sure you could mint another snowflake, but that same party won't validate it again for you. Anyone who trusts that party would be able to accept their validations, and people who don't trust that party can rely on a different validator they do trust. — Q (kat): How big is the team working specifically on Hydro products? Can we get a numbers breakdown of engineers, biz dev, etc? Do you have plans to scale this team as the Hydro project develops? A.1 (Andy): Our Hydro team is 8 people. Devlopers (Myself and Noah) Product (Anurag and Shane) Community (Nahom) Founders (Mike and Matt) Partnerships/BizDev (Gunjan) The nice thing about Hydrogen though is we have a team of 30 people who we can leverage for different things. For example, Noah and I do not build mobile apps, but we have a front end team that is well versed in mobile app development. So while they are not directly on the Hydro team they do have a direct impact on Hydro. Hydrogen as a company is working to grow pretty rapidly. As we grow we will be filling out more positions in both blockchain and non-blockchain rolls. A.2 (Anurag): To add to Andy's answer - pretty much everyone working for Hydrogen helps out with Hydro in some way, whether via design, front-end development, API support, business discussion, etc. Here's our full team: https://www.hydrogenplatform.com/about — Q (rocket man): So in the age of ICOs, what motivated your team to not pursue that funding model and instead have a token distribution for developers? A (Andy): This was something that we spent a very long time considering and discussing. We spent a lot of resources (time, money & energy) trying to find the best solution for us going forward. When it was all said and done, we decided on an airdrop because of two main things, getting the token into the hands of people who will actually use it and regulatory concerns. We feel as though our distribution was the fairest approach that allowed for people with actual interest in the Hydro community to get involved. Overall, we have been very pleased with the level of community engagement from people who are interested in the utility of the Hydro token and we feel that a lot of this can be credited to our distribution strategy. — Q (matheussiq8): How hydro tokens will be used is still vague in the Snowflake whitepaper draft. Would the amount required to hold depend on the volume of API calls or some other parameter? For example, if I decide to implement raindrop and later snowflake in my small webshop would I need to hold the same amount of tokens as Binance (if they ever implement it of course…)? A (Noah): as always, the permissionlessness of public blockchains is a double-edged sword. smart contracts partially solve the problem by letting us enforce certain things on-chain (minimum token balances, signature validity, etc.), but there are limits. so, re. your specific question: in raindrop we do not vary the staking requirement across users, because that would necessarily involve value judgements we are not comfortable making as a centralized entity. however, there are two types of staking required for raindrop:
“institutional staking” requires entities who wish to sign up raindrop users *on their behalf* (i.e. passing new users’ addresses to the smart contract as parameters rather than new users transacting directly from their accounts) to stake a significant amount of hydro. these are the players we want to ensure are acting in the best interests of the community. in this model, hydro is simply one of many institutional stakers (where we sign up users on our kickass mobile app, which will be out soon).
“user staking” requires individuals who wish to sign up for raindrop on their own, i.e. transact directly with the smart contract, are able to do so by staking a much smaller amount of hydro.
What this all means for you, as a potential customer of our API, is that you don’t actually have to worry about the staking requirement or signing up users at all, and can simply use our API in conjunction with the Hydro app. Looking ahead to Snowflake, we have big plans to integrate increasing sophisticated uses of the token into the product. to some extent these are still up in the air, but rest assured that we are very focused on building a strong tokenomics structure. At a high level, the core token mechanism for snowflake will involve depositing tokens into the snowflake smart contract. These deposits will allow native staking/payment/incentive functionality denominated in hydro, without the hassle and worry of using ether with every call. — Q (Hodlall): When is raindrop Android app is releasing A (Andy): It is currently under development. We have a bunch of android phones with different OS on the way. It is hard to give a set date as we don't know what unforeseen issues could come up during the process though. All I can say is it is literally all that our mobile development team is working on — Q (Jeff_We_Cannafi): To piggyback on matheussiq8’s question, how do these identity tokens compare to existing forms of identity authentication, and do you anticipate the tokens themselves will be traded on exchanges? A (Andy): In my opinion, the main difference between what we are working towards and others like civic and uport is the scope of what we are aiming to do. We understand the value of having KYC on the blockchain and "One click signup", but really I think blockchain identity can be so much more than that. We are aiming to create a completely extendable and modular protocol which will allow for people to link anything they desire to their blockchain identity. Other protocols can tend to lean towards centralization (more a fault of current KYC procedures than the projects themselves) and we feel like this doesn't have to be the case. At least for now, something like KYC needs to have central authorities to verify user information, but why can't I also link my crypto kitties to my blockchain id or my linkedin profile to my blockchain id? Overall, what we are trying to build will easily allow for other blockchain developers to create robust identity solutions for whatever application they feel fit with Snowflake being at the core of that. We feel that this is crucial to eventually creating a completely open and decentralized identity system. Anyone can join and anyone can add what THEY consider to be an identity, but I only have to accept what I consider to be an identity. As far as trading, Snowflake Identity tokens will never be tradable. We feel that you identity should always be linked to you. This would be a dangerous road to a very easy black market for people's identities — Q (Jrock): What do you find the hardest part of pitching icos to regular companies? Also what do you think needs to happen for widespread crypto adoption? A (Shane): If you mean pitching Hydro to regular companies (we're not an ICO :stuck_out_tongue:), I would say the hardest part is getting the larger companies to move faster than a snail's pace. There are too many chefs in the kitchen and sometimes there is a lack of top-down strategy on blockchain, and it leaves large enterprises paralyzed sometimes. We try to resolve this by pitching how easy Hydro is to use, and how it connects to our broader Hydrogen ecosystem which can add value in a lot of places. In my opinion, widespread crypto adoption is going to be dependent on how parallelization plays out. If crypto's only option is to create a new parallel economy, widespread adoption is going to be slow and arduous and will take decades. However, if blockchain is able to be infused or layered on some of the current systems we have in place, the adoption will be much faster and broader. Ultimately this comes down to the usage of private vs public chains - the more private and centralized chains that get implemented, the farther the mainstream adoption will get pushed out. — Q (Luke): One aspect of Hydro that is beginning to really intrigue me are the potential use cases and dapps that can be built by external developers ontop of the Hydro protocol layers for each phase.
Having held various dev meetups and networking at various conferences, how are you finding the process of attracting developers to start building dapps and products in your ecosystem?
I understand the HCDP is getting updated with various new rules and bounties for dapps to be built, have you approached any developers yet with this new offer, and if so, how has the reception been?
How else do you intend to attract developers towards building on the Hydro protocols?
Through our events, we're mainly focused on helping expand the blockchain-focused developer community. We help give exposure to projects we find to be doing neat, innovative work in the space and keep ongoing dialogue with these communities.
In particular, to provide impetus to developers in the Hydro ecosystem, we've established the HCDP. The new process will involve putting out specific task requests. In the next week or so we'll have published specifications for dApps that can be built on top of Snowflake. We ourselves will not be building these dApps (they have nothing to do with Hydrogen's space as a company). This helps the ecosystem expand outside of Hydrogen-specific use-cases.
^^Through the above process to get them started. Eventually, we want the Hydro development process to be community-driven, so people are building on Hydro because it benefits their own programs and applications.
— Q (elmer_FUD): Hey Hydro Team! Here's a few question I've got for you after checking out the Raindrop and Snowflake whitepapers: How has your experience working in the Ethereum ecosystem been so far? While you are currently focused on the financial sector, would you consider actively marketing to other sectors such as healthcare and education in the future? It seems like both Raindrop and Snowflake would be useful in any environment that processes or stores sensitive data. Do you have plans to release official Raindrop SDK packages in other languages in the future? A bit more of a specific question: Raindrop is looks like a great product to use in a PCI-DSS environment - do you have thoughts on whether or not it the product is ready for primetime and do you think the industry standards and government regulation is prepared to handle these kinds of systems? A (Andy): Thanks for the questions! I'm gonna answer each in a separate response in this thread Overall it has been pretty solid. There is still a ton of room for growth in terms of documentation and stuff like that, but it is miles ahead of basically every other blockchain platform I have worked with. By far the biggest pain has been handling gas costs when considering the user experience. When trying to build actual products that people will want to use we feel that making it user friendly is something that many blockchain projects have not focused on nearly enough. Yeah certainly. We focus on fintech as that is where the rest of our companies APIs focus and that is where we have the most connections, but much of what we are building is much further reaching than that. Just as far as authentication goes, it really can apply to any major field and we intend to market it as such. We currently have Python and JS SDKs and have had a few java ones submitted through our community dev program. We have been revamping that program, but I anticipate we will be putting up more bounties for most major languages. I have considered making a few more myself, but we feel that they could be better suited as community projects. I completely agree. Raindrop and blockchain authentication when handling anything around payments is a great application. I think the biggest thing is actually convincing regulatory bodies that the protocols we have build are secure (since many can still be scared of blockchain). I definitely see this as a direct use case though — Q.1 (khonsu): What kind of banking relations do you have as a company, do they (banks) understand what you are trying to do ? Any VCs approached you for funding ? explain your business model. A.1 (Shane): Hydrogen has existed since 2009 in the form of Hedgeable. Hedgeable is a consumer-facing online investing app, and the tech behind it eventually spawned the Hydrogen tech platform. The story of how the transition happened goes essentially like this: (1) Hedgeable was disrupting banks & investing firms, (2) banks & investing firms started contacting us and seeing if we would help them digitize & automate their own businesses, (3) we started packaging up our tech and selling it to the banks. There was so much demand for this from financial institutions that we spun out a new company (Hydrogen). So to get back to your original question: we have some long-standing relationships in the banking & finance world, and to this day we have inbound leads from that space coming in every week. The key thing to keep in mind is that these institutions move extremely slowly, but they do understand the core value prop of our platform. Many of these firms are still in the midst of basic digitization efforts (i.e. moving from really slow offline processes to simple digital infrastructure), and that is the primary thing we are helping them with in early stages. But they are also keen on blockchain tech and they will naturally turn to us for that once they reach that point. We do have a few relationships with big financial companies in which Hydro/blockchain are already part of the discussion. We have revenue and don't need to rely on VCs. It is our general philosophy that building a business sustainably with actual clients and revenue is a good approach, but we would consider working with the right VC if that came to be and we wanted to scale more quickly. Right now, that is not an immediate concern for us. Our business model is in charging developers and enterprises to access the Hydrogen technology platform, which currently consists of products like Atom, Ion, and Hydro. Developers pay a per-user fee to hit our core APIs, while large enterprises negotiate custom (usually multi-year) contracts with us that typically include recurring revenue. Hydro, specifically, is being offered for free right now, as we attempt to gain adoption. But it is important to note that Hydro is just one piece of our ecosystem. Q.2 (Joleen): When you say fee - is this fee HYDRO? And when do you envisage HYDRO to no longer be offered FOC? A**.2 (Shane):** Sorry if it wasn't clear, I meant free to use our Hydro tech/APIs. The usage of HYDRO tokens within that is a separate issue - they still need to have HYDRO and we do not give it away for free to clients — Q (guacam0le): Adoption of an identity management solution (etc) would potentially involve a lot of identities. Further, scalability is a hot topic w/ blockchain. Is this a potential bottleneck? What is or might be done to address such? Tackling a competitor like Google or Authy's 2FA is no small feat. Also, not everyone is yet to embrace blockchain-based solutions. Have you found it difficult to interface with enterprises & get them excited about the idea of an overhaul? A (Anurag): nowflake is designed to be relatively low-load on the blockchain. A user needs to conduct a single transaction to “mint” their Snowflake. Once this is complete, they would need to complete one-time transactions to set each of their different forms of identities as resolvers as needed. A Snowflake is designed to be built out via resolvers over the duration of a user’s lifetime, so there’s never a need for heavy, frequent transactional capability. Similarly, smart contracts simply need to be set as resolvers by users; they do not themselves transact. Network scalability improvements will increase the range of use-cases for smart contracts that can be tied to Snowflake, but they aren’t a necessary prerequisite to some important early use-cases such as KYC platforms, and a few basic user-interaction platforms. As far as competition, we feel that current adoption of 2FA is, in general far short of where it should be, and any 2FA is generally better than none. Many businesses use text-message based 2FA, etc. In the short-run we are aiming toward pilot implementations with small businesses. To further this, we have put out many integration resources, guides, and documentation and accordingly believe implementation of Raindrop is a more straightforward workflow. As far as large enterprises go, Hydrogen has clients, so it is helpful for our project to have those connections. Large institutions are generally relatively slow-moving, but have expressed interest in using Raindrop, in particular for securing employee accounts. As the product grows, we may eventually move in this direction with Client Raindrop, but resources will always be available for any site that wants to adopt it. Additionally, we are looking into making a wordpress plug-in to make implementation much more accessible for many developers. -- Q (Smithymethods): I know Hydro is a fintech company, hydro plan to curb phishing and hacking to the bearest minimum we know that hacking is very rampant these days on MEW and with other wallet. Is Hydro planning to create a wallet that support hydro and other tokens using their raindrop Technology? As this will put an end to the problem of phishing and also promote hydro A (Noah): like everyone in the crypto space, we’re very worried about phishing, both personally and on behalf of all hydro token holders. we first want to reemphasize that preventing scams and fraud has to be a community-driven effort: teams and users need to be vigilant and promote best practices (never trusting links in public chats, shunning fake accounts, etc.). we are excited about raindrop’s potential to help combat phishing, though. we actually talked with someone about mycrypto about integrating raindrop into their desktop app. we’ve forked their code and are researching how feasible an implementation would be, stay tuned for updates! — Q (Hodlall): What security measures in place for hydro , I see lot of tokens being hacked nowadays , and money is stolen.. how does hydro make sure their team tokens are completely secured or as much as possible A (Andy): We all have been in crypto for a while and are pretty well versed in securing our stuff. Our tokens that are currently locked are in cold storage. Others are held in hardware wallets — Q (Joleen): We know that the Hydrogen platform is going to be used by CI Investments, a large insurance firm and a world top 20 bank, have these companies already begun purchasing Hydro OTC? A (Andy): This is something that we feel is best to be hands off with. It is really up to the discretion of our partners — Q (khonsu’s mumaffi): Ill be honest i have not yet fully read the whitepaper but id like to know other than investor growth do you truly believe there is interest in a model where users have to pay each time for access? How big do u expect this fee to be...for large companies dont you believe this is an unscalable practice? This may be a question more about most technologies built on token based economics too. A (Andy): So we have 2 different authentication protocols. One happens less often and is in the same vein as OAuth. This is called Server-Side Raindrop. This requires tokens to be sent. This protocol would only happen once per day for a business when accessing something like an API. I don't feel that these values are extremely high for increased security. Our second protocol, Client-Side Raindrop, functions much more like google auth. This logic actually does not require any tokens or even a transaction by the end user. It is 100% free for them to use and they will never have to pay for a transaction. Here the responsibility is on the implementing party to stake tokens. This allows them to onboard users and authenticate them. We felt it was crucial to have an authentication that did not have a cost per user login as it is not scalable — Q (khonsu’s mumaffi): Also do u plan to tokenise atom and ion too and if not covered earlier how big of an impact do the market conditions have on your business A (Anurag): Tough to say we're going to "tokenize" them since that word can carry a lot of different meanings in different contexts, but we do plan on integrating the entire Hydrogen platform with Hydro. This will most likely take the form of enhancements to systems leveraging Hydro. You can find a more detailed breakdown on our Hydro roadmap: https://medium.com/hydrogen-api/project-hydro-features-in-depth-look-39faa29f0d61 Market conditions don't really have an impact - we're still building the same tech on a day-to-day basis — Q (ghost): As a company in the space, do you see the fact that tokens have to be acquired on exchanges as an issue? How would a company that wants to develop with you acquire tokens? A (Anurag): Depends on what they're developing. dApps developing using Hydro smart contracts to create native functionality to their applications would need to acquire those tokens on their own; however, companies using the Hydrogen API will not. Here's a detailed article outlining when a developer would need the token for the Client Raindrop smart contract: https://medium.com/hydrogen-api/how-to-use-client-raindrop-without-using-the-hydrogen-api-bb04934ae293 — Q (jarederaj): Can you describe your stakeholders and give me a better sense of the exigency of your products? Who are you focused on serving with your platform and why are they motivated to use your platform? A (Shane): The Hydrogen platform serves developers and enterprises who want to build applications. We are specifically targeting the financial services sector, including banks, investing firms, insurance providers, and financial advisors. This includes large enterprises, individual developers, and startups. Our products are Atom (core digital infrastructure & engine for finserv), Ion (AutoML & business intelligence capabilities), and Hydro (blockchain & decentralization layer). Each has a different use case but these products combine to form an ecosystem of tools for developers to build sophisticated applications with. The main pain point we are addressing is the resources required to build, launch, and run a digital financial application. These resources include both time and money. Large enterprises have resources, but they waste years and millions of dollars trying to launch digital platforms (we've seen this first-hand), often unsuccessfully. The motivation here is obvious. Startups and smaller developers, on the other hand, do not have access to huge resource pools, so they are forced to look for solutions that make the process more efficient. In the same way that Wordpress makes launching a blog easy and also allows for extended functionality, Hydrogen makes launching fintech application easy. — Q (shujjishah): When the app will be released??? A (Anurag): We're going through our mobile development very iteratively. Since we work very closely with the product, there are things we can't recognize until we've got people beta testing the app. As we started Beta testing and conducting user-research, we realized that one aspect of the UI for the app was not intuitive to about half of our testers. We decided to make a few API changes to enable the mobile app to display a "linked" vs "unlinked" status in order to improve the user experience. Our front-end team is finalizing these changes, so our Beta testers will receive a new build in their testflight apps within the next few days. This new build will require another round of Beta testing to ensure that none of the code changes causes any problems on devices; if this change goes smoothly, and our mainnet testing goes smoothly, we will be able to release the app this month. Since there isn't much precedent on releasing a product into the app store that connects users with the ethereum mainnet, our primary concern is making sure the product works fully as intended and provides an intuitive user experience. Misc Q&A’s Q (elmer_FUD): What's your favorite thing to drink? A.1 (Andy): Overall, I really love Baja Blast Mountain Dew. If I am drinking, I'm a big fan of fruity beers like Blue Moon and Shocktop. Also had a really good raspberry sour recently A.2 (Nahom): Primary=water but i do enjoy Jamaican ginger ale/beer. We keep honest tea in the office too, i love it because it brings me back from the dead:skull_and_crossbones:, @Hydro Andy drinks most of it behind my back though :triumph: A.3 (Noah): hard: tequila or picklebacks soft: any sour beer other: mango juice i also crush like 2 nalgene’s worth of water every day at work A.4 (Shane): For hard alcohol: whiskey/bourbon A.5 (Anurag): ooh, went to the finback brewery last weekend; was wonderful — Q (Joleen): Do you HODL any other tokens personally? A.1 (Andy): I do. I think it is probably best to not say which, but if you follow me enough in #altcoins I am sure you will see me talk about a few A.2 (Noah): im a bit of an eth maximalist actually :grimacing: i do dabble though — Q (Joleen): Who got who in the World Cup sweepstakes? A.1 (Andy): I'm going for Germany, but I know next to nothing about soccer A.2 (Shane): I'm rooting for Portugal, but I don't think they're going to win the cup — Q (Joleen): Who's got the best banter in the office? And who has the worst? A.1 (Andy): One of our backend devs, Paavan, typically has some great banter and even better hot takes A.2 (Noah): dont @ me for worst banter A.3 (Shane): Sabih (BA @ Hydrogen) banter is by far the best
Cryptocurrencies are largely negative as Bakkt announces official December launch of Bitcoin futures trading
Caspian, a fintech startup based in the Cayman Islands, has completed its initial coin offering (ICO) ahead of schedule and raised USD$19.5 million in the process. Caspian was founded earlier in 2018 and aims to consolidate the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges under one single interface while also offering a full-stack of cryptocurrency asset management tools, including features geared towards compliance, algorithms, portfolio management, risk, and reporting. 40% of the USD$19.5 million raised will go towards research and development for Caspian while 25% and 15% will go towards sales/marketing and application support, respectively. Specifically, Caspian is geared toward attracting institutional clients to use their application.
Fidelity Investments’ head of blockchain research and development, Hadley Stern, has left Fidelity after 17 years to serve as COO of blockchain software startup, Bloq. Stern’s departure comes just days after Fidelity announced the launch of a new arm, Fidelity Digital Asset Services. In regards to the career move, Stern said, “I’m glad to dig deeper into the blockchain technology beyond just financial services use cases: healthcare, identity, internet of things, cross-border transactions. It really gets to this notion of tokenization of things, that anything that can be tokenized will be, and potentially what can be decentralized will be.” In his new role at Bloq, a startup that provides blockchain solutions to enterprises, Stern will focus on broad blockchain applications and delivering products to clients.
HTC, the producer of Android smartphones, has announced that their HTC Exodus is available for pre-order and must be purchased using cryptocurrency. Customers across 30 countries, including the United States, Hong Kong, and the UK can purchase the new phone, dubbed the EXODUS 1, using either Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH). The EXODUS 1 includes a ‘secret enclave’ within the device to store a user’s cryptocurrency wallet keys -- the ‘secret enclave’ is also kept separate from the Android operating system. The EXODUS 1 is known as the ‘world’s first native blockchain phone’, and features support for decentralized applications (DApps).
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange and new cryptocurrency venture, Bakkt, has announced the launch date for Bitcoin (BTC) futures on Bakkt. Bakkt is a platform meant to facilitate the trading, storing, and spending of cryptocurrencies. According to a document posted on ICE’s website, Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contracts will begin trading on December 12th, 2018. The document goes on to read, “Each futures contract calls for delivery of one bitcoin held in the Bakkt Digital Asset Warehouse, and will trade in US Dollar terms. One daily contract will be listed for trading each Exchange Business Day.”
Square, the popular mobile payments startup, has open-sourced its solution for Bitcoin (BTC) cold storage, releasing the company’s documentation, code, and tools for Square’s ‘Subzero’ Bitcoin cold storage solution. Alok Menghranjani, a security engineer with Square, said in a blog post this morning that Square utilizes the Subzero solution to hold Bitcoin on behalf of its users in an offline environment based on a hardware security module -- this hardware security module is programmable, said Menghranjani, which allows Square and users of Subzero to send BTC from a hot wallet to storage in a cold wallet at any time.
The National Bank of Canada (NBC) is partnering with IT and business consulting firm, CGI, and blockchain startup, Skuchain, to simplify the process banks use to issue transactions by leveraging smart contracts to replace current email-based procedures. The partnership will combine CGI’s Trade360 trade finance platform with Skuchain’s software to create smart contracts in order to accomplish their goal. Patrice Roy, vice president of payments, cash management, and international solutions at the National Bank of Canada said about the partnership, “This will enable us to offer a simple, fast and efficient experience to our commercial clients which facilitates managing their business.”
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has suspended trading for American Retail Group, Inc. (OTC: ARBG) after allegations surfaced that the company issued false statements involving cryptocurrencies -- the company allegedly said that it had partnered with an “SEC-qualified custodian”. The US SEC cited two August 2018 press releases by American Retail Group where the company claimed its cryptocurrency products would be offered “under SEC regulations” and that its token sale was “officially registered in accordance with SEC requirements”. The US SEC is legally allowed to suspend the trading of a stock for 10 days or until reporting requirements are met. Earlier this month, the US SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) noted concerns of companies issuing fraudulent claims referencing the regulating bodies.
Vertex Ventures, a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, a government-owned investment company, announced in a press release of an investment in Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, to facilitate Binance’s expansion into Singapore. Founded in 2015, Vertex Ventures manages portfolios in the United States, Cina, Israel, India, and Southeast Asia and is responsible for USD$2.5 billion of assets under management. Binance previously announced plans to expand operations into Singapore early in September. Wei Zhou, CFO of Binance, said in regards to the expansion that Binance, “look[s] forward to building up the blockchain ecosystem and working with all stakeholders in Singapore to support continued innovation in the local fintech space.”
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