Summary: Everyone knows that when you give your assets to someone else, they always keep them safe. If this is true for individuals, it is certainly true for businesses. Custodians always tell the truth and manage funds properly. They won't have any interest in taking the assets as an exchange operator would. Auditors tell the truth and can't be misled. That's because organizations that are regulated are incapable of lying and don't make mistakes. First, some background. Here is a summary of how custodians make us more secure: Previously, we might give Alice our crypto assets to hold. There were risks:
Alice might take the assets and disappear.
Alice might spend the assets and pretend that she still has them (fractional model).
Alice might store the assets insecurely and they'll get stolen.
Alice might give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force.
Alice might lose access to the assets.
But "no worries", Alice has a custodian named Bob. Bob is dressed in a nice suit. He knows some politicians. And he drives a Porsche. "So you have nothing to worry about!". And look at all the benefits we get:
Alice can't take the assets and disappear (unless she asks Bob or never gives them to Bob).
Alice can't spend the assets and pretend that she still has them. (Unless she didn't give them to Bob or asks him for them.)
Alice can't store the assets insecurely so they get stolen. (After all - she doesn't have any control over the withdrawal process from any of Bob's systems, right?)
Alice can't give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force. (Bob will stop her, right Bob?)
Alice can't lose access to the funds. (She'll always be present, sane, and remember all secrets, right?)
See - all problems are solved! All we have to worry about now is:
Bob might take the assets and disappear.
Bob might spend the assets and pretend that he still has them (fractional model).
Bob might store the assets insecurely and they'll get stolen.
Bob might give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force.
Bob might lose access to the assets.
It's pretty simple. Before we had to trust Alice. Now we only have to trust Alice, Bob, and all the ways in which they communicate. Just think of how much more secure we are! "On top of that", Bob assures us, "we're using a special wallet structure". Bob shows Alice a diagram. "We've broken the balance up and store it in lots of smaller wallets. That way", he assures her, "a thief can't take it all at once". And he points to a historic case where a large sum was taken "because it was stored in a single wallet... how stupid". "Very early on, we used to have all the crypto in one wallet", he said, "and then one Christmas a hacker came and took it all. We call him the Grinch. Now we individually wrap each crypto and stick it under a binary search tree. The Grinch has never been back since." "As well", Bob continues, "even if someone were to get in, we've got insurance. It covers all thefts and even coercion, collusion, and misplaced keys - only subject to the policy terms and conditions." And with that, he pulls out a phone-book sized contract and slams it on the desk with a thud. "Yep", he continues, "we're paying top dollar for one of the best policies in the country!" "Can I read it?' Alice asks. "Sure," Bob says, "just as soon as our legal team is done with it. They're almost through the first chapter." He pauses, then continues. "And can you believe that sales guy Mike? He has the same year Porsche as me. I mean, what are the odds?" "Do you use multi-sig?", Alice asks. "Absolutely!" Bob replies. "All our engineers are fully trained in multi-sig. Whenever we want to set up a new wallet, we generate 2 separate keys in an air-gapped process and store them in this proprietary system here. Look, it even requires the biometric signature from one of our team members to initiate any withdrawal." He demonstrates by pressing his thumb into the display. "We use a third-party cloud validation API to match the thumbprint and authorize each withdrawal. The keys are also backed up daily to an off-site third-party." "Wow that's really impressive," Alice says, "but what if we need access for a withdrawal outside of office hours?" "Well that's no issue", Bob says, "just send us an email, call, or text message and we always have someone on staff to help out. Just another part of our strong commitment to all our customers!" "What about Proof of Reserve?", Alice asks. "Of course", Bob replies, "though rather than publish any blockchain addresses or signed transaction, for privacy we just do a SHA256 refactoring of the inverse hash modulus for each UTXO nonce and combine the smart contract coefficient consensus in our hyperledger lightning node. But it's really simple to use." He pushes a button and a large green checkmark appears on a screen. "See - the algorithm ran through and reserves are proven." "Wow", Alice says, "you really know your stuff! And that is easy to use! What about fiat balances?" "Yeah, we have an auditor too", Bob replies, "Been using him for a long time so we have quite a strong relationship going! We have special books we give him every year and he's very efficient! Checks the fiat, crypto, and everything all at once!" "We used to have a nice offline multi-sig setup we've been using without issue for the past 5 years, but I think we'll move all our funds over to your facility," Alice says. "Awesome", Bob replies, "Thanks so much! This is perfect timing too - my Porsche got a dent on it this morning. We have the paperwork right over here." "Great!", Alice replies. And with that, Alice gets out her pen and Bob gets the contract. "Don't worry", he says, "you can take your crypto-assets back anytime you like - just subject to our cancellation policy. Our annual management fees are also super low and we don't adjust them often". How many holes have to exist for your funds to get stolen? Just one. Why are we taking a powerful offline multi-sig setup, widely used globally in hundreds of different/lacking regulatory environments with 0 breaches to date, and circumventing it by a demonstrably weak third party layer? And paying a great expense to do so? If you go through the list of breaches in the past 2 years to highly credible organizations, you go through the list of major corporate frauds (only the ones we know about), you go through the list of all the times platforms have lost funds, you go through the list of times and ways that people have lost their crypto from identity theft, hot wallet exploits, extortion, etc... and then you go through this custodian with a fine-tooth comb and truly believe they have value to add far beyond what you could, sticking your funds in a wallet (or set of wallets) they control exclusively is the absolute worst possible way to take advantage of that security. The best way to add security for crypto-assets is to make a stronger multi-sig. With one custodian, what you are doing is giving them your cryptocurrency and hoping they're honest, competent, and flawlessly secure. It's no different than storing it on a really secure exchange. Maybe the insurance will cover you. Didn't work for Bitpay in 2015. Didn't work for Yapizon in 2017. Insurance has never paid a claim in the entire history of cryptocurrency. But maybe you'll get lucky. Maybe your exact scenario will buck the trend and be what they're willing to cover. After the large deductible and hopefully without a long and expensive court battle. And you want to advertise this increase in risk, the lapse of judgement, an accident waiting to happen, as though it's some kind of benefit to customers ("Free institutional-grade storage for your digital assets.")? And then some people are writing to the OSC that custodians should be mandatory for all funds on every exchange platform? That this somehow will make Canadians as a whole more secure or better protected compared with standard air-gapped multi-sig? On what planet? Most of the problems in Canada stemmed from one thing - a lack of transparency. If Canadians had known what a joke Quadriga was - it wouldn't have grown to lose $400m from hard-working Canadians from coast to coast to coast. And Gerald Cotten would be in jail, not wherever he is now (at best, rotting peacefully). EZ-BTC and mister Dave Smilie would have been a tiny little scam to his friends, not a multi-million dollar fraud. Einstein would have got their act together or been shut down BEFORE losing millions and millions more in people's funds generously donated to criminals. MapleChange wouldn't have even been a thing. And maybe we'd know a little more about CoinTradeNewNote - like how much was lost in there. Almost all of the major losses with cryptocurrency exchanges involve deception with unbacked funds. So it's great to see transparency reports from BitBuy and ShakePay where someone independently verified the backing. The only thing we don't have is:
ANY CERTAINTY BALANCES WEREN'T EXCLUDED. Quadriga's largest account was $70m. 80% of funds are in 20% of accounts (Pareto principle). All it takes is excluding a few really large accounts - and nobody's the wiser. A fractional platform can easily pass any audit this way.
ANY VISIBILITY WHATSOEVER INTO THE CUSTODIANS. BitBuy put out their report before moving all the funds to their custodian and ShakePay apparently can't even tell us who the custodian is. That's pretty important considering that basically all of the funds are now stored there.
ANY IDEA ABOUT THE OTHER EXCHANGES. In order for this to be effective, it has to be the norm. It needs to be "unusual" not to know. If obscurity is the norm, then it's super easy for people like Gerald Cotten and Dave Smilie to blend right in.
It's not complicated to validate cryptocurrency assets. They need to exist, they need to be spendable, and they need to cover the total balances. There are plenty of credible people and firms across the country that have the capacity to reasonably perform this validation. Having more frequent checks by different, independent, parties who publish transparent reports is far more valuable than an annual check by a single "more credible/official" party who does the exact same basic checks and may or may not publish anything. Here's an example set of requirements that could be mandated:
First report within 1 month of launching, another within 3 months, and further reports at minimum every 6 months thereafter.
No auditor can be repeated within a 12 month period.
All reports must be public, identifying the auditor and the full methodology used.
All auditors must be independent of the firm being audited with no conflict of interest.
Reports must include the percentage of each asset backed, and how it's backed.
The auditor publishes a hash list, which lists a hash of each customer's information and balances that were included. Hash is one-way encryption so privacy is fully preserved. Every customer can use this to have 100% confidence they were included.
If we want more extensive requirements on audits, these should scale upward based on the total assets at risk on the platform, and whether the platform has loaned their assets out.
There are ways to structure audits such that neither crypto assets nor customer information are ever put at risk, and both can still be properly validated and publicly verifiable. There are also ways to structure audits such that they are completely reasonable for small platforms and don't inhibit innovation in any way. By making the process as reasonable as possible, we can completely eliminate any reason/excuse that an honest platform would have for not being audited. That is arguable far more important than any incremental improvement we might get from mandating "the best of the best" accountants. Right now we have nothing mandated and tons of Canadians using offshore exchanges with no oversight whatsoever. Transparency does not prove crypto assets are safe. CoinTradeNewNote, Flexcoin ($600k), and Canadian Bitcoins ($100k) are examples where crypto-assets were breached from platforms in Canada. All of them were online wallets and used no multi-sig as far as any records show. This is consistent with what we see globally - air-gapped multi-sig wallets have an impeccable record, while other schemes tend to suffer breach after breach. We don't actually know how much CoinTrader lost because there was no visibility. Rather than publishing details of what happened, the co-founder of CoinTrader silently moved on to found another platform - the "most trusted way to buy and sell crypto" - a site that has no information whatsoever (that I could find) on the storage practices and a FAQ advising that “[t]rading cryptocurrency is completely safe” and that having your own wallet is “entirely up to you! You can certainly keep cryptocurrency, or fiat, or both, on the app.” Doesn't sound like much was learned here, which is really sad to see. It's not that complicated or unreasonable to set up a proper hardware wallet. Multi-sig can be learned in a single course. Something the equivalent complexity of a driver's license test could prevent all the cold storage exploits we've seen to date - even globally. Platform operators have a key advantage in detecting and preventing fraud - they know their customers far better than any custodian ever would. The best job that custodians can do is to find high integrity individuals and train them to form even better wallet signatories. Rather than mandating that all platforms expose themselves to arbitrary third party risks, regulations should center around ensuring that all signatories are background-checked, properly trained, and using proper procedures. We also need to make sure that signatories are empowered with rights and responsibilities to reject and report fraud. They need to know that they can safely challenge and delay a transaction - even if it turns out they made a mistake. We need to have an environment where mistakes are brought to the surface and dealt with. Not one where firms and people feel the need to hide what happened. In addition to a knowledge-based test, an auditor can privately interview each signatory to make sure they're not in coercive situations, and we should make sure they can freely and anonymously report any issues without threat of retaliation. A proper multi-sig has each signature held by a separate person and is governed by policies and mutual decisions instead of a hierarchy. It includes at least one redundant signature. For best results, 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7. History has demonstrated over and over again the risk of hot wallets even to highly credible organizations. Nonetheless, many platforms have hot wallets for convenience. While such losses are generally compensated by platforms without issue (for example Poloniex, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Gatecoin, Coincheck, Bithumb, Zaif, CoinBene, Binance, Bitrue, Bitpoint, Upbit, VinDAX, and now KuCoin), the public tends to focus more on cases that didn't end well. Regardless of what systems are employed, there is always some level of risk. For that reason, most members of the public would prefer to see third party insurance. Rather than trying to convince third party profit-seekers to provide comprehensive insurance and then relying on an expensive and slow legal system to enforce against whatever legal loopholes they manage to find each and every time something goes wrong, insurance could be run through multiple exchange operators and regulators, with the shared interest of having a reputable industry, keeping costs down, and taking care of Canadians. For example, a 4 of 7 multi-sig insurance fund held between 5 independent exchange operators and 2 regulatory bodies. All Canadian exchanges could pay premiums at a set rate based on their needed coverage, with a higher price paid for hot wallet coverage (anything not an air-gapped multi-sig cold wallet). Such a model would be much cheaper to manage, offer better coverage, and be much more reliable to payout when needed. The kind of coverage you could have under this model is unheard of. You could even create something like the CDIC to protect Canadians who get their trading accounts hacked if they can sufficiently prove the loss is legitimate. In cases of fraud, gross negligence, or insolvency, the fund can be used to pay affected users directly (utilizing the last transparent balance report in the worst case), something which private insurance would never touch. While it's recommended to have official policies for coverage, a model where members vote would fully cover edge cases. (Could be similar to the Supreme Court where justices vote based on case law.) Such a model could fully protect all Canadians across all platforms. You can have a fiat coverage governed by legal agreements, and crypto-asset coverage governed by both multi-sig and legal agreements. It could be practical, affordable, and inclusive. Now, we are at a crossroads. We can happily give up our freedom, our innovation, and our money. We can pay hefty expenses to auditors, lawyers, and regulators year after year (and make no mistake - this cost will grow to many millions or even billions as the industry grows - and it will be borne by all Canadians on every platform because platforms are not going to eat up these costs at a loss). We can make it nearly impossible for any new platform to enter the marketplace, forcing Canadians to use the same stagnant platforms year after year. We can centralize and consolidate the entire industry into 2 or 3 big players and have everyone else fail (possibly to heavy losses of users of those platforms). And when a flawed security model doesn't work and gets breached, we can make it even more complicated with even more people in suits making big money doing the job that blockchain was supposed to do in the first place. We can build a system which is so intertwined and dependent on big government, traditional finance, and central bankers that it's future depends entirely on that of the fiat system, of fractional banking, and of government bail-outs. If we choose this path, as history has shown us over and over again, we can not go back, save for revolution. Our children and grandchildren will still be paying the consequences of what we decided today. Or, we can find solutions that work. We can maintain an open and innovative environment while making the adjustments we need to make to fully protect Canadian investors and cryptocurrency users, giving easy and affordable access to cryptocurrency for all Canadians on the platform of their choice, and creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and problem solvers can bring those solutions forward easily. None of the above precludes innovation in any way, or adds any unreasonable cost - and these three policies would demonstrably eliminate or resolve all 109 historic cases as studied here - that's every single case researched so far going back to 2011. It includes every loss that was studied so far not just in Canada but globally as well. Unfortunately, finding answers is the least challenging part. Far more challenging is to get platform operators and regulators to agree on anything. My last post got no response whatsoever, and while the OSC has told me they're happy for industry feedback, I believe my opinion alone is fairly meaningless. This takes the whole community working together to solve. So please let me know your thoughts. Please take the time to upvote and share this with people. Please - let's get this solved and not leave it up to other people to do. Facts/background/sources (skip if you like):
The inspiration for the paragraph about splitting wallets was an actual quote from a Canadian company providing custodial services in response to the OSC consultation paper: "We believe that it will be in the in best interests of investors to prohibit pooled crypto assets or ‘floats’. Most Platforms pool assets, citing reasons of practicality and expense. The recent hack of the world’s largest Platform – Binance – demonstrates the vulnerability of participants’ assets when such concessions are made. In this instance, the Platform’s entire hot wallet of Bitcoins, worth over $40 million, was stolen, facilitated in part by the pooling of client crypto assets." "the maintenance of participants (and Platform) crypto assets across multiple wallets distributes the related risk and responsibility of security - reducing the amount of insurance coverage required and making insurance coverage more readily obtainable". For the record, their reply also said nothing whatsoever about multi-sig or offline storage.
In addition to the fact that the $40m hack represented only one "hot wallet" of Binance, and they actually had the vast majority of assets in other wallets (including mostly cold wallets), multiple real cases have clearly demonstrated that risk is still present with multiple wallets. Bitfinex, VinDAX, Bithumb, Altsbit, BitPoint, Cryptopia, and just recently KuCoin all had multiple wallets breached all at the same time, and may represent a significantly larger impact on customers than the Binance breach which was fully covered by Binance. To represent that simply having multiple separate wallets under the same security scheme is a comprehensive way to reduce risk is just not true.
Private insurance has historically never covered a single loss in the cryptocurrency space (at least, not one that I was able to find), and there are notable cases where massive losses were not covered by insurance. Bitpay in 2015 and Yapizon in 2017 both had insurance policies that didn't pay out during the breach, even after a lengthly court process. The same insurance that ShakePay is presently using (and announced to much fanfare) was describe by their CEO himself as covering “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held,” which is something that has never historically happened. As was said with regard to the same policy in 2018 - “I don’t find it surprising that Lloyd’s is in this space,” said Johnson, adding that to his mind the challenge for everybody is figuring out how to structure these policies so that they are actually protective. “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.”
The most profitable policy for a private insurance company is one with the most expensive premiums that they never have to pay a claim on. They have no inherent incentive to take care of people who lost funds. It's "cheaper" to take the reputational hit and fight the claim in court. The more money at stake, the more the insurance provider is incentivized to avoid payout. They're not going to insure the assets unless they have reasonable certainty to make a profit by doing so, and they're not going to pay out a massive sum unless it's legally forced. Private insurance is always structured to be maximally profitable to the insurance provider.
The circumvention of multi-sig was a key factor in the massive Bitfinex hack of over $60m of bitcoin, which today still sits being slowly used and is worth over $3b. While Bitfinex used a qualified custodian Bitgo, which was and still is active and one of the industry leaders of custodians, and they set up 2 of 3 multi-sig wallets, the entire system was routed through Bitfinex, such that Bitfinex customers could initiate the withdrawals in a "hot" fashion. This feature was also a hit with the hacker. The multi-sig was fully circumvented.
Bitpay in 2015 was another example of a breach that stole 5,000 bitcoins. This happened not through the exploit of any system in Bitpay, but because the CEO of a company they worked with got their computer hacked and the hackers were able to request multiple bitcoin purchases, which Bitpay honoured because they came from the customer's computer legitimately. Impersonation is a very common tactic used by fraudsters, and methods get more extreme all the time.
A notable case in Canada was the Canadian Bitcoins exploit. Funds were stored on a server in a Rogers Data Center, and the attendee was successfully convinced to reboot the server "in safe mode" with a simple phone call, thus bypassing the extensive security and enabling the theft.
The very nature of custodians circumvents multi-sig. This is because custodians are not just having to secure the assets against some sort of physical breach but against any form of social engineering, modification of orders, fraudulent withdrawal attempts, etc... If the security practices of signatories in a multi-sig arrangement are such that the breach risk of one signatory is 1 in 100, the requirement of 3 independent signatures makes the risk of theft 1 in 1,000,000. Since hackers tend to exploit the weakest link, a comparable custodian has to make the entry and exit points of their platform 10,000 times more secure than one of those signatories to provide equivalent protection. And if the signatories beef up their security by only 10x, the risk is now 1 in 1,000,000,000. The custodian has to be 1,000,000 times more secure. The larger and more complex a system is, the more potential vulnerabilities exist in it, and the fewer people can understand how the system works when performing upgrades. Even if a system is completely secure today, one has to also consider how that system might evolve over time or work with different members.
By contrast, offline multi-signature solutions have an extremely solid record, and in the entire history of cryptocurrency exchange incidents which I've studied (listed here), there has only been one incident (796 exchange in 2015) involving an offline multi-signature wallet. It happened because the customer's bitcoin address was modified by hackers, and the amount that was stolen ($230k) was immediately covered by the exchange operators. Basically, the platform operators were tricked into sending a legitimate withdrawal request to the wrong address because hackers exploited their platform to change that address. Such an issue would not be prevented in any way by the use of a custodian, as that custodian has no oversight whatsoever to the exchange platform. It's practical for all exchange operators to test large withdrawal transactions as a general policy, regardless of what model is used, and general best practice is to diagnose and fix such an exploit as soon as it occurs.
False promises on the backing of funds played a huge role in the downfall of Quadriga, and it's been exposed over and over again (MyCoin, PlusToken, Bitsane, Bitmarket, EZBTC, IDAX). Even today, customers have extremely limited certainty on whether their funds in exchanges are actually being backed or how they're being backed. While this issue is not unique to cryptocurrency exchanges, the complexity of the technology and the lack of any regulation or standards makes problems more widespread, and there is no "central bank" to come to the rescue as in the 2008 financial crisis or during the great depression when "9,000 banks failed".
In addition to fraudulent operations, the industry is full of cases where operators have suffered breaches and not reported them. Most recently, Einstein was the largest case in Canada, where ongoing breaches and fraud were perpetrated against the platform for multiple years and nobody found out until the platform collapsed completely. While fraud and breaches suck to deal with, they suck even more when not dealt with. Lack of visibility played a role in the largest downfalls of Mt. Gox, Cryptsy, and Bitgrail. In some cases, platforms are alleged to have suffered a hack and keep operating without admitting it at all, such as CoinBene.
It surprises some to learn that a cryptographic solution has already existed since 2013, and gained widespread support in 2014 after Mt. Gox. Proof of Reserves is a full cryptographic proof that allows any customer using an exchange to have complete certainty that their crypto-assets are fully backed by the platform in real-time. This is accomplished by proving that assets exist on the blockchain, are spendable, and fully cover customer deposits. It does not prove safety of assets or backing of fiat assets.
If we didn't care about privacy at all, a platform could publish their wallet addresses, sign a partial transaction, and put the full list of customer information and balances out publicly. Customers can each check that they are on the list, that the balances are accurate, that the total adds up, and that it's backed and spendable on the blockchain. Platforms who exclude any customer take a risk because that customer can easily check and see they were excluded. So together with all customers checking, this forms a full proof of backing of all crypto assets.
However, obviously customers care about their private information being published. Therefore, a hash of the information can be provided instead. Hash is one-way encryption. The hash allows the customer to validate inclusion (by hashing their own known information), while anyone looking at the list of hashes cannot determine the private information of any other user. All other parts of the scheme remain fully intact. A model like this is in use on the exchange CoinFloor in the UK.
A Merkle tree can provide even greater privacy. Instead of a list of balances, the balances are arranged into a binary tree. A customer starts from their node, and works their way to the top of the tree. For example, they know they have 5 BTC, they plus 1 other customer hold 7 BTC, they plus 2-3 other customers hold 17 BTC, etc... until they reach the root where all the BTC are represented. Thus, there is no way to find the balances of other individual customers aside from one unidentified customer in this case.
Proposals such as this had the backing of leaders in the community including Nic Carter, Greg Maxwell, and Zak Wilcox. Substantial and significant effort started back in 2013, with massive popularity in 2014. But what became of that effort? Very little. Exchange operators continue to refuse to give visibility. Despite the fact this information can often be obtained through trivial blockchain analysis, no Canadian platform has ever provided any wallet addresses publicly. As described by the CEO of Newton "For us to implement some kind of realtime Proof of Reserves solution, which I'm not opposed to, it would have to ... Preserve our users' privacy, as well as our own. Some kind of zero-knowledge proof". Kraken describes here in more detail why they haven't implemented such a scheme. According to professor Eli Ben-Sasson, when he spoke with exchanges, none were interested in implementing Proof of Reserves.
And yet, Kraken's places their reasoning on a page called "Proof of Reserves". More recently, both BitBuy and ShakePay have released reports titled "Proof of Reserves and Security Audit". Both reports contain disclaimers against being audits. Both reports trust the customer list provided by the platform, leaving the open possibility that multiple large accounts could have been excluded from the process. Proof of Reserves is a blockchain validation where customers see the wallets on the blockchain. The report from Kraken is 5 years old, but they leave it described as though it was just done a few weeks ago. And look at what they expect customers to do for validation. When firms represent something being "Proof of Reserve" when it's not, this is like a farmer growing fruit with pesticides and selling it in a farmers market as organic produce - except that these are people's hard-earned life savings at risk here. Platforms are misrepresenting the level of visibility in place and deceiving the public by their misuse of this term. They haven't proven anything.
Fraud isn't a problem that is unique to cryptocurrency. Fraud happens all the time. Enron, WorldCom, Nortel, Bear Stearns, Wells Fargo, Moser Baer, Wirecard, Bre-X, and Nicola are just some of the cases where frauds became large enough to become a big deal (and there are so many countless others). These all happened on 100% reversible assets despite regulations being in place. In many of these cases, the problems happened due to the over-complexity of the financial instruments. For example, Enron had "complex financial statements [which] were confusing to shareholders and analysts", creating "off-balance-sheet vehicles, complex financing structures, and deals so bewildering that few people could understand them". In cryptocurrency, we are often combining complex financial products with complex technologies and verification processes. We are naïve if we think problems like this won't happen. It is awkward and uncomfortable for many people to admit that they don't know how something works. If we want "money of the people" to work, the solutions have to be simple enough that "the people" can understand them, not so confusing that financial professionals and technology experts struggle to use or understand them.
For those who question the extent to which an organization can fool their way into a security consultancy role, HB Gary should be a great example to look at. Prior to trying to out anonymous, HB Gary was being actively hired by multiple US government agencies and others in the private sector (with glowing testimonials). The published articles and hosted professional security conferences. One should also look at this list of data breaches from the past 2 years. Many of them are large corporations, government entities, and technology companies. These are the ones we know about. Undoubtedly, there are many more that we do not know about. If HB Gary hadn't been "outted" by anonymous, would we have known they were insecure? If the same breach had happened outside of the public spotlight, would it even have been reported? Or would HB Gary have just deleted the Twitter posts, brought their site back up, done a couple patches, and kept on operating as though nothing had happened?
In the case of Quadriga, the facts are clear. Despite past experience with platforms such as MapleChange in Canada and others around the world, no guidance or even the most basic of a framework was put in place by regulators. By not clarifying any sort of legal framework, regulators enabled a situation where a platform could be run by former criminal Mike Dhanini/Omar Patryn, and where funds could be held fully unchecked by one person. At the same time, the lack of regulation deterred legitimate entities from running competing platforms and Quadriga was granted a money services business license for multiple years of operation, which gave the firm the appearance of legitimacy. Regulators did little to protect Canadians despite Quadriga failing to file taxes from 2016 onward. The entire administrative team had resigned and this was public knowledge. Many people had suspicions of what was going on, including Ryan Mueller, who forwarded complaints to the authorities. These were ignored, giving Gerald Cotten the opportunity to escape without justice.
There are multiple issues with the SOC II model including the prohibitive cost (you have to find a third party accounting firm and the prices are not even listed publicly on any sites), the requirement of operating for a year (impossible for new platforms), and lack of any public visibility (SOC II are private reports that aren't shared outside the people in suits).
Securities frameworks are expensive. Sarbanes-Oxley is estimated to cost $5.1 million USD/yr for the average Fortune 500 company in the United States. Since "Fortune 500" represents the top 500 companies, that means well over $2.55 billion USD (~$3.4 billion CAD) is going to people in suits. Isn't the problem of trust and verification the exact problem that the blockchain is supposed to solve?
To use Quadriga as justification for why custodians or SOC II or other advanced schemes are needed for platforms is rather silly, when any framework or visibility at all, or even the most basic of storage policies, would have prevented the whole thing. It's just an embarrassment.
We are now seeing regulators take strong action. CoinSquare in Canada with multi-million dollar fines. BitMex from the US, criminal charges and arrests. OkEx, with full disregard of withdrawals and no communication. Who's next?
We have a unique window today where we can solve these problems, and not permanently destroy innovation with unreasonable expectations, but we need to act quickly. This is a unique historic time that will never come again.
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.
EXTONS.IO EXCHANGE PLATFORM - AN EVOLUTION IN CRYPTOCURRENCY AND DIGITAL ASSETS TRADING WITH FIAT.
https://ibb.co/BGD1YnW The need for cryptocurrency exchange platforms started arising from the time when cryptocurrencies were created, because they are a crucial part of the cryptocurrency industry, since most of the crypto-related operations take place on it. An exchange is a platform, either decentralized or centralized, where users of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, can readily exchange or even trade their assets to fiat currency or other digital assets of choice. These exchange platforms are developed using improved technologies like the Blockchain, so as to help it efficiently manage the complex trading activities of users, and aid these users in maximizing profits. Since the number of cryptocurrencies in the digital assets market has been growing uncontrollably, these cryptocurrency exchange platforms need to be present to meet the demands of users. EXTONS.IO EXCHANGE WAS CREATED EXTONS.IO exchange is a cryptocurrency exchange platform built by the Thisoption ecosystem, to help make the trade in cryptocurrency seamless. EXTONS as a cryptocurrency exchange is a product part of Thisoption Limited's ecosystem and is available as a trading engine for cryptocurrency and other digital assets trading. EXTONS.IO was made to be a centralized exchange type and as such, make cryptocurrency trading effortless, easy and smooth. The Extons platform has several benefits that makes it beffiting of a modern day trading platform. In order to perform with full force, the EXTONS.IO exchange system will also make use of the Blockchain technology and its smart contract, in executing transactions and other operations. The Blockchain will be helpful in a lot of ways, just to make the EXTONS.IO exchange, the best of its kind, as it helps guarantee security of every transaction and data on the system. Whenever user data is generated, the system stores it on its unalterable Blockchain technology, which is as well viewable for the users. This means that transactions on the EXTONS.IO exchange will be transparent as they can be monitored and its details seen on the Blockchain, at any time. These is just a tip of the iceberg, when it comes to the benefits of using the EXTONS.IO exchange over others. EXTONS.IO EXCHANGE BENEFITS There is always high liquidity as one of the advantages of trading on the EXTONS.IO exchange, as it is always endowed with a great amount of liquidity, providing a fully functioning system for users to trade efficiently. Extons will employ high end technology based on artificial intelligence to at every point in time offer top level liquidity on its exchange to ensure comfort and decent quality experience for all users. EXTONS.IO is designed to be user-intuitive which makes it very easy to use. So it's not very technical for users to carry out activities on the system, and there is an available customer care system, which will help users on the system seamlessly navigate their way through. To meet the need of different traders, it is important to have multiple currencies on the system, and the EXTONS.IO exchange understands this, so it allows the listing of different cryptocurrencies on its system, showing you that it's all about giving great benefits to its users. Several cryptocurrencies are listed on the extons exchange including the top rated cryptocurrencies like; Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance BNB, TRX, USDT, LTC, XRP and the team intends to add to the ever growing list of assets in the future as the need arises. Security on the EXTONS.IO exchange is indeed unbreakable, as it has put up firewalls coupled with its modal-structured design, just to make sure that the user's funds and trading data remains safe. Extons is fully integrated with over 15 international banks and payment gateway processors worldwide, giving intending users different ways to seamlessly and efficiently deposit and withdraw funds from the Extons trading exchange. Clients and users can easily buy packages on the platform and trade conveniently in the way they please. This will serve as a great tool in bringing more users into the crypto industry leading to market expansion, partnerships and the overall growth of the blockchain technology. Some of these banks and gateways include reputable financial institutions like PayPal, Perfect Money, Zotapay etc. As a way of encouraging participation and help introduce new users into the Extons platform, the team has concluded plans to offer "A NO Fee on Deposits" initiative spanning through the months of August, September and October through the integrated payment gateways for traders and investors globally. EXTONS TOKEN DESCRIPTION EXTONS.IO has a cryptocurrency developed on its system, for use in carrying out operations on the exchange platform. This token which is called the TONS token is built as a TRON Request for Comment TRC-20 standard token, as the native token of the platform. So, it facilitates every transaction and payment on the system. TOKEN INFORMATION Ticker: TONS Token Type: TRC20 Token Price: $0.20 Token Supply: 180,000,000 Currently the TONS token is listed on the EXTONS.IO site and freely trading as well, investors and traders can easily obtain the asset on the exchange for their use. TO CONCLUDE, EXTONS.IO exchange has all the desirable features of safety, efficiency, flexibility, variety, fluidity, stability required of an advanced cryptocurrency exchange platform, seeing as its structure and Blockchain technologies makes it different from others in the same category. Upon its total adoption, the trade in digital assets with fiat will become effortless for every user across the world. For more information about the Extons project, its parent project ThisOption and its revolutionary technology, kindly access the official resource channels for more information; website: Parent Website: Whitepaper: Twitter: Facebook: Telegram: Medium: YouTube: Article Written By: Sundilhan Bitcointalk Profile Link:
In today's world of heavily nascent and volatile cryptocurrency, one point or factor stands out. That is exchanges. Cryptocurrency exchanges are sites(whether physical or virtual) where cryptocurrencies are traded for each other or traditional fiat currencies like Euro, Pound Sterling or US Dollar. They may be divided by many criteria, chief of which may be Modus Operandi or Central Control. The Degree of Control suggests a central control of exchange management and resources. There are Centralized, Decentralized and Hybrid exchanges. Now we can narrow down to Centralized Exchanges. These are where transactions are monitored and controlled by the owners of the exchange. Transactions can be made only through mechanisms provided and approved by the central body. Also there is no access to private keys by traders. Examples include Koinpro, Binance, Kucoin, Bittrex etc. About Koinpro This is a Smart Bitcoin Futures Exchange. KoinPro, your new fangled crypto exchange, that goes beyond crypto and boasts of multiple futures contracts, with its own unique features and benefits. Bitcoin Futures, Contracts for Difference are complex instruments. Trading these financial products carries a high level of risk since leverage can work both to your advantage and disadvantage. There are a lot of exchanges, both crypto and fiat(mainstream and otherwise) trading tools like CFD, oil, futures etc; but not one of them Integrates CFDs like Koinpro. Its a no-brainer choice, since going for KoinPro’s unique double-UP contract, customers can simply enter into a predefined order position that will automatically terminate when the position either gains or loses 100% of its value, or when the contract expires — whichever comes first. insurance coverage is provided as a courtesy to BitGo Prime, which is a sole counterparty Prices derived from a wide range of Tier 1 institutions such as exchanges and professional market makers Trading on a fully non-disclosed basis Fully integrated with BitGo Portfolio & Tax. At KoinPro, we take the safety and security of our clients extremely seriously. To help make KoinPro one of the safest places to trade, we store our customer funds in cold storage wallets provided by BitGo—the world leader in secure digital asset storage. BitGo custody includes a $100 million insurance plan underwritten by Lloyd’s of London—one of the UK’s largest insurance markets. This insurance coverage is provided as a courtesy to KoinPro users and hence comes at no additional cost. This insurance coverage protects digital assets held by BitGo, Inc. or BitGo Trust Company in the event of; Third-party hacks or theft of private keys Insider theft by employees of private keys Physical loss or damage of private keys BitGo has delivered institution-grade security for digital assets since 2013, and features state-of-the-art cold storage technology, which includes a bank-grade Class III vault and stringent controls designed to practically eliminate the risk of loss. Full details about the BitGo custody and insurance protection can be found here. https://koinpro.com/ https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5219842
AMA Recap of CEO and Co-founder of Chromia, Henrik Hjelte in the @binancenigeria Telegram group on 03/05/2020.
Occasion Booking Organization EzyStayz to Offer Lower Charges by Coordinating Blockchain Innovation
EzyStayz, an Australian possessed worldwide excursion rental stage, is using blockchain innovation to cut down expenses and improve its home rental administrations. EzyStayz is as of now a settled brand that has been doing business for a long time with in excess of 155,000 properties in 34,000 urban communities and 190 nations around the world. Presently, the organization is looking to the future by moving its administrations onto the blockchain. This move will give its clients (hosts and explorers) a progressively straightforward, less expensive, and more secure methods for sorting out movement occasions and get-aways. The Home Rental Duopoly Issue As of now, two tremendous organizations, Airbnb and Expedia, command the home rental specialty, both representing 72% of the appointments in this market. This duopoly makes an incorporated framework that places numerous clients in a case since they will doubtlessly be offered similar properties and administrations with practically zero space for decent variety. This outcomes in poor occasion rental experience and low-net revenues for has. EzyStayz Blockchain Arrangement With the reconciliation of blockchain into EzyStayz tasks, the organization will have the option to offer its clients a heap of shared administrations not at present accessible in the home rental market. EzyStayz blockchain framework utilizes a profoundly secure multi-signature advanced wallet equipped for putting away an assortment of cryptographic forms of money. EzyStayz clients will currently have the option to make secure crypto installments on its foundation without the requirement for check cards, or financial balances. This element will permit the organization to release another time of moment installments, encouraging settlement of land exchanges on a worldwide scale. As per James Moses, CEO of EzyStayz: "We are eager to be Australia's just worldwide occasion rental site that is Australian claimed and we are intending to take on the bigger players like Airbnb that have existed in the market for some time. It will be acceptable to see Australian dollars remaining coastal rather being sent across to the US." Blockchain is immensely worthwhile in light of the fact that its distributed design makes a situation that constructs trust among its clients. EzyStayz will use this to construct blockchain-based computerized personalities for its clients; this dispenses with delegates and permits clients to impart legitimately and complete exchanges by means of brilliant agreements. This methodology advances trust as well as essentially lessens costs. The local EZT tokens power EzyStayz blockchain eco-framework. Appointments on EzyStayz site (a stage that as of now has 44,000 hosts, including around 500 extraordinary has week by week) help produce the interest for these token. With each setting up for the site, the installment money is in a split second changed over to EZT and put away as escrow on the booking savvy contract, which executes when the client finishes the booking. With this framework set up, land owners just need to pay a token to the stage, and they will acquire introduction and make more benefit while giving less expensive convenience to voyagers. The EzyStayz Consultants The EzyStayz blockchain consultants incorporate Nikolay Shkilev PhD, Vladimir Nikitin, and Jason Hung. The group includes sharp business visionaries and pioneers in different fields with a joined business experience of more than 25 years. They have worked with significant organizations in the past including firms supported by funding monster, Sequoia Capital. EzyStayz unites with DexOne to dispatch new tokens on Korean trading platform Foblgate The main Australian-possessed worldwide occasion rental site "EzyStayz" has discharged their own crypto money "EZY" which will dispatch on the Korean trading platform Foblgate on the 21 April at a basic cost of 0.005 USD. EzyStayz has 1 million postings in 205 nations around the world, which incorporate 80,000 + goals worldwide and 1982+ Inns Chains and Boutique resorts. EzyStayz has improved its movement experience by acquainting gaming components with its item offering an alternate advertising approach towards their clients permitting them to play and win their settlement reserving for nothing. Foblgate is perhaps the biggest trading platform in South Korea, a nation that is answerable for around 35% of all worldwide crypto exchanging. Foblgate is soon to report an association with Binance, so it is an extraordinary fit for EzyStayz's first trade to list on. For additional media data, talk with circumstances and pictures please email; Author : Raman Pandwar BitcoinTalk: Rummypandwar Bitcointalk link: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=2573063 Telergram: https://t.me/ramanpandwar Eth: 0x82fea37776643bc0c80eb1e726cff2dc37a64eca
Exchanges The best way to support XRP is to buy/sell XRP directly with your local currency, not with USDT, ETH, LTC, or BTC. Available XRP pairs - AUD, BRL, CAD, CNY, EUR, GBP, IDR, INR, JPY, KRW, MXN, PHP, RUB, THB, TRY, UAH, USD, ZAR. You can find the complete list of XRP exchanges and supported XRP/fiat pairs Here.
Can ParamountDax Challenge Binance, Poloniex, and Bitfinex?
https://preview.redd.it/cmgzvivop8y31.png?width=540&format=png&auto=webp&s=efae868fb8d23b08d126359e06ee28be02350325 Dear Community, ParamountDax’s dream of becoming a cryptocurrency giant seems to become more achievable day by day, however, cryptocurrencies have noticeable challenges both at the technical and the social level, so let’s dive in. The majority of well-known large exchanges have encountered unforeseen problems, for example, Binance, Bittrex, Poloniex. ParamountDax is a promising platform for cryptocurrency exchange, which took into account all the flaws of its competitors and created a unique and comfortable platform for its users. A few important steps before joining an exchange: Reputation — reputation is always the major point, which defines the brand in general. Security — is the second and very important way to identify the right platform, as it’s important to know your money is safe. Fees — some bitcoin exchanges are taking a fee on every transaction like withdrawal, deposit, or trading, some of them are not. Choose the platform according to the kind of trader you are. Payment Methods — every platform has different methods, make your own analysis and find out what fits you more. Verification Requirements and Geographical Restrictions — are also important. Pay attention to this part before completing the registration. Support — The best services offer 24/7 support.
About: Binance is a China-based cryptocurrency exchange that gives users access to a robust set of trading tools, charts, and security features. Following a successful initial coin offering (ICO), Binance began live trading in July 2017. By offering both Basic and Advanced exchange interfaces, Binance makes it easy for beginners to use. Claims that: Low fees on transactions and withdrawals, Capable of processing 1.4 million transactions per second. Binance has a Basic and Advanced exchange view. Security: 2-FA and Google Authenticator to verify withdrawals. However, only Chinese phone numbers are supported for SMS 2-FA. View MVP: f the few crypto exchanges licensed before its launch date, ParamountDax serves the real needs of the crypto community. In this respect, we created a highly proficient, stable and secure centralized hub for crypto assets. ParamountDax is a Fully — Developed from the scratch, ready-to-use product implemented as a modern-age crypto trading exchange. ParamountDax gives users access to a robust set of trading tools, Trading from the charts, Advanced Market Detector, Daily profit up to 46%, Unique Trading Interface, The simplicity and depth chart are certain to satisfy the needs of any trader at any experience level and security features. About: As one of the few crypto exchanges licensed before its launch date, ParamountDax serves the real needs of the crypto community. In this respect, we created a highly proficient, stable and secure centralized hub for crypto assets. ParamountDax is a Fully — Developed from the scratch, ready-to-use product implemented as a modern-age crypto trading exchange. ParamountDax gives users access to a robust set of trading tools, Trading from the charts, Advanced Market Detector, Daily profit up to 46%, Unique Trading Interface,The simplicity and depth chart are certain to satisfy the needs of any trader at any experience level and security features. Claims that: all features are on a single page without having to scroll down to the access order book, trade history, depth chart or other important information. Increase TPS from 100.000 to 1 million transactions per second, Low fees. Multi-language capabilities (it is does not matter what nationality a consumer is). Security: Risk-Free, Unique security measurements for all users including insurances against hack and employee mistakes, cold wallet storage POLONIEX About: Poloniex launched in 2014 and is based out of Wilmington, Delaware, in the United States. Poloniex is a widely used exchange based in the US. It is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of volume. Users can trade almost every crypto coin. It also presents unrestricted access to previous charts of cryptocurrencies. Claims that: there are many features that experienced traders will appreciate. You can find a range of efficient data-analysis tools, along with very detailed charts that let you make educated decisions regarding trades. The high-volume nature of Poloniex also appeals to traders, particularly the ability to do lending and margin trading. Security: Poloniex takes care of security in multiple ways. To keep hackers out, it stores the majority of customers’ deposits in air-gapped cold storage offline.
About: since 2014, Bitfinex has emerged as one of the world’s leading bitcoin exchanges. Based in Hong Kong, the company first entered the market in 2012 and has enjoyed steady expansion ever since. In addition to bitcoin, it provides access to the world’s leading altcoins as well as full-spec wallet services. Claims that: in addition to being widely recognized as the world’s largest bitcoin exchange, Bitfinex offers a customizable interface that allows you to personalize your workstation. The platform is fully equipped with margin trading and ten different order types that give you the opportunity to trade the market without limitation. Security: because Bitfinex gets a lot of its liquidity from Tether, many people are concerned that the exchange might not be as financially secure as it claims to be. But it was not any precedents yet. In Conclusion, ParamountDax offers new tools that satisfy the needs of any trader, which will set its standards for ideal trading. ParamountDax clients are able to count on the answer at their requests 24 hours 7 days a week. Other exchanges could keep silence a few months and the user will stay without helpful information. The aim of the ParamountDax team is to meet worldwide demand. Good luck! And see you soon! Website : https://paramountdax.io/ View MVP : https://staging.paramountdax.com And here’s how to get involved with the ParamountDax community: Telegram : https://t.me/joinchat/LNehJxUX9sVoZabNrnaEZA Twitter : https://twitter.com/ParamountDax Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Paramountdax-2024636494500768 Bitcointalk: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5137789.0 Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/ParamountDax/
Weekly Update: 10k ParJar users, PAR on Mercatox, BOMB Announcement, FTM on OKEx... – 28 Jun - 4 Jul'19
Hiya folks! With this update we will be totally caught up with the latest Parachute weekly. Whew! Told ya it will be fun. Thanks for sticking by. Here’s your week at Parachute (28 Jun – 4 Jul’19): ParJar crossed 10k users this week (with 120k total transactions till now). The growth is real! PAR got listed on Mercatox as well. The first Cex listing. Woot! Remember how well researched Benjamin’s BOMB metrics reports were? You are in for a treat. He made a deep dive report on the PAR token metrics as well. Enjoy! CoinsOnFire’s review of Parachute is out too. Have a read! Cap’s Parachute journey article was translated to Spanish by Roberto. The milestone items for July are pargas, new projects, more coverage. Cap announced a competition to design a logo for the Parachute News/Announcement channel. Tons of solid entries. 300k PAR were given out to the top picks. Pedro’s logo was simple yet clear in its message and was the winner of the comp with it becoming the Ann channel logo. Great work on the logos, guys! These look super fresh Ice and Chris rocking that Parachute swag The latest ParJar feature allows you to see price of any coin/token/USD/CAD/EUGBP/PLN/RUB amount to another coin/token/USD/CAD/EUGBP/PLN/RUB. So if you want to see price of 5000 PAR in AXPR or USD, just type /convert 5000 PAR AXPR or /convert 5000 PAR USD. Try it out in PM with the bot. Ketan won this week’s Parena and laid claim to the lion’s share of the 100k PAR pot. Victor’s trivia this week in ParJar was on Animals. 10 questions, 50k PAR. Dayum! Ian hosted an art quiz in ParJar as well. Another 50k PAR given out. The OG Parachute items were finally phased out of the parachute shop this week. Check out the latest gear that arrived in the shop. The Big Chili Race Standings as on 2-July Alexis receiving one of the last shipments of the OG gear aXpire submitted its proposal to be listed on Binance Dex this week. The 100k monthly AXPR burn can be tracked here. Weekly update video is up as well. Have a look. Co-Founder of Huddl, Vishal Karir, wrote about BOMB as deflationary gold in an article on scarce assets. Jason Choi, researcher at The Spartan Group, talked about two "fascinating & underexposed economic experiments in crypto" in a tweet thread this week. One of them was BOMB. Benjamin’s latest BOMB Report is out as well. You can also watch him elaborate on it in this video. Remember, the BOMB video contest that has been ongoing for a few weeks now? Here’s a compilation of 100 submissions. The winners have been selected. A new market stats dashboard will be going live soon. And finally, don’t forget to mark your calendars for July 15th. Zachary will be announcing the next big step for BOMB. This chart from Benjamin’s report seems to back up BOMB’s core idea Horizon State was featured in the blockchain showcase series by Micky News with a detailed background on the project and where they are heading. HST got added to the FlashCoin mobile wallet and its P2P marketplace. The Hydro Pay app’s official video was released this week. Plus, check out the latest app updates here, here and here. The project was also covered in a publish0x article about 3 promising projects in H2 2019. HYDRO has taken the lead in a vote-for-listing competition to get listed on ChangeNOW. Read more about DeFi and how Molecule is a positive force in the DeFi space in Hydro’s article. In District0x-verse, read up on the latest from the District Weekly. Meme Factory’s newest meme contest is underway. Hearthstone fans, don’t forget to catch the gameplay recording of Game of Memes (which uses Meme Factory assets for game cards). Project Manager Alexander wrote about the journey of Meme Factory so far in his blog article. Meme Factory's dankest meme as of 4th July :p Fantom’s FTM token was listed on OKEx, OKEx Korea and Bittrex International this week. If you’ve been living under a rock for the first half of 2019, CMO Michael Chen’s got your back. His half yearly recap article covers all things Fantom. Michael's presentation at ZKLux#1 was featured in Sikoba's blog post. PaperCoins’ review of Fantom was published this week. Check it out! The team also had an AMA with the latest partner, Xangle. Click here for the transcript. Opacity (and Hydro Pay) were added to dApp browser on dapp.com. June recap for Opacity was out this week. Bounty hunters, have a read of the weekly Bounty0x distribution report. Bloom partnered with the platform to provide Bloom verified accounts for Bounty0x users. Bloom verified accounts are more trustworthy and hence get access to higher value bounties compared to unverified accounts. Bloom takes data privacy seriously 1UP will be seeing a major burn of its tokens in the near future. Read more about the updated tokenomics here. Another project will get a chance to be reviewed in detail for free by Uptrennd. Voting started this week. Have a question to ask Enjin CTO Witek Radomski? Uptrennd will be interviewing him soon and your question could make it to the interview. The ETHOS Universal Wallet turned 1 this week. Happy Birthday! Switch’s press releases went live simultaneously on Reuters, The Merkle, Bitcoin PR Buzz, Coinspeaker, Blockmanity and ZyCrypto. ESH was listed on Mercatox and ZooomEx. One of the coolest features on Switch is the option to buy gift cards with altcoins. Catch up with the latest at Switch from their update article. In Birdchain news, get an early preview of the of the SMS feature on the app and its testing snapshots. Details of the 2gether referral program were released this week. Here’s a link for Spanish speakers. And with that, it’s a wrap for the rapid catch up series and for this week at Parachute. Thank you again for being here and God Bless Parachute! See you again with another update. Ciao!
I’ve been seeing a lot of repeated questions being asked every day so an updated FAQ/Megathread to address all of those questions will be detailed here. If we are missing something, please feel free to let us know and we will add it. We will try to edit this posting as more information becomes available. Keep in mind the official Bitcoin Private Support portal has now been launched. We have a live chat feature to chat with support, as well as a knowledge base. Please visit the portal at support.btcprivate.org and use the knowledge base’s search function before asking other users. Snapshot/Fork FAQ
When is the snapshot date? Snapshot date will take place on February 28th 2018. The exact moment the snapshot will be taken WILL NOT be announced as a TIME, rather it will be announced as a specific block height. Whatever time happens to be when the block height occurs is whatever time the snapshot is taken. This is to address users who are asking for a specific time or time zone. Once the block height has been mined, the snapshot would have been successfully completed instantly. Users can choose to wait until the NEXT block after the snapshot block has been mined for peace of mind. Once again, the exact block height has not been announced yet. We can only estimate the exact block height as we get closer to the snapshot date. Announcements will come via posts on Reddit, Discord, TwitteFacebook, Telegram and the official BitcoinPrivate Twitter account which is the primary source of all official announcements.
Why can't we announce a block height instead? Why did we choose to announce a date? Block height is not announced for a reason. Keep in mind this is a DOUBLE FORK. BTC and ZCL. 2 Block heights need to be announced. It's impossible to determine the exact block heights so far away from the snapshot date, because BTC and ZCL both have different block time intervals, and the total hashing power of the entire network of BTC and ZCL are changing so rapidly that it is extremely hard to determine a block height in advance, so we decided to pick a date for when we expect the snapshot block to occur instead. We need to determine the exact moment both block heights of BTC and ZCL will coincide in order to get an accurate and successful snapshot. Also, do not forget that 2 simulated snapshot runs have already been completed and validated by the team some time ago, so the process has already been proven.
When is the Hard fork date? The Hard fork will occur approximately 2 days after the snapshot, on March 2nd, 2018.
Is the snapshot on the 28th for ZClassic or for Bitcoin? The snapshot will be taken simultaneously for both ZCL and BTC. Block heights will be announced for both.
Do I need to hold my ZCL until the snapshot or fork? Snapshot. As soon as the snapshot occurs you are free to do whatever you like with your ZCL and you will still receive your BTCP.
What will happen to ZCL after the Bitcoin Private Fork? Current ZClassic's wallet server nodes (Electrum) will still continue to be supported after the fork, and the core dev team will be actively supporting BTCP, whereas the community can choose to further support development for ZCL.
How does Bitcoin Private rewards/claims work? BTCP Coins will be distributed on a 1:1 ratio. Example: (1 ZCL = 1 BTCP.) (1 Bitcoin = 1 BTCP.) (1 ZCL & 0.5 BTC = 1.5 BTCP.) The total combined amount of ZCL and BTC you own at the time of the snapshot will grant you eligibility to claim the same combined amount in Bitcoin Private. You do NOT need to hold a full amount of a coin. You can own partial amounts of ZCL/BTC.
Do I have to store my ZCL in transparent addresses or private addresses to participate in the fork? Any kind of address will be supported through the fork. However, as of Feb. 13, the ZCL electrum wallet only supports transparent addresses.
Are Segwit-enabled wallet addresses for Bitcoin (BTC) supported for the fork? We have confirmation that BTC being held on Segwit enabled addresses WILL BE supported through the fork.
How do I claim my BTCP? More information will become available as we get closer to the snapshot date. An official dedicated guide will be released. In summary, users will need to export a copy of their private key for the corresponding wallet/wallet addresses that hold their ZCL funds at the time of the snapshot. Users can then take the private key and import it into the Bitcoin Private Electrum wallet once it is released in order to claim their BTCP coins. The same goes for Bitcoin holders. **In case exchange(es) support will be announced, users will not need to do anything. The exchanges will automatically credit your account with BTCP. This may vary, so again, please stay tuned for official news regarding this.
BTCP/ZCL Exchange and Wallet Support
Which exchanges will support the fork? The team CANNOT talk about exchange support at this time. Once the support is announced, we will let users know ASAP. All we can say is that the BTCP team has already applied to Binance, as posted on BTCP's Twitter. This is the only thing we can discuss. Binance strictly forbids teams from disclosing IF or WHEN/DATE they will list on Binance. But they allow teams to announce that they HAVE applied for listing, to ease the urge to talk about it. See the official tweet from the CEO of binance. Please do not spam and repeatedly ask this question. News will come as time passes.
Is Bitcoin Private supported by LedgeTrezor Hardware wallets? Currently it is not supported yet because of a technical implementation that the team has not worked on yet because it doesn't take priority. However, the team will be working on BTCP with regards to hardware wallets after the fork, so stay tuned for announcements.
When is the Bitcoin Private wallet being released? Currently the Bitcoin Private Electrum wallet is being developed and rigorously tested by the team. We expect the BTCP Electrum wallet beta to be released slightly before or slightly after the fork occurs. Stay tuned for news.
What other wallets will support Bitcoin Private? The Bitcoin Private Electrum wallet will serve as the “Lite-Client” without having to download the entire blockchain. The team will be working on a GUI version of the BTCP wallet (similar to the java based ZClassic Swing wallet) shortly after the fork. More announcements to come in the future. Coinomi will also support Bitcoin Private.
Issues withdrawing from Cryptopia exchange? As of the week of February 13th 2018, users are reporting issues regarding withdrawing ZCL from Cryptopia. Cryptopia’s coininfo page is showing 0 connections/nodes available. The BTCP team has already tweeted, emailed, called and left voicemails to Cryptopia reaching out to help. It is up to Cryptopia to handle things on their part now. Stay tuned for news regarding this. We have made a separate post addressing this topic.Cryptopia Edit 2: As of February 15 2018, Cryptopia has fixed their node connections. Their backlog is incredibly full and withdrawals are being queued. This may take another few days before your transactions go through.
Where can I buy ZClassic? Currently there are 4 main exchanges that support ZClassic, ranked from ascending order in terms of volume. Bittrex, Cryptopia, Coinexchange.io and TradeSatoshi. Keep in mind as of February 13th, Bittrex is not currently accepting any new registrations. This will hopefully change very shortly.
Why can't we simply pay/donate the team ZCL in return be rewarded BTCP after the fork? By definition, this is illegal. Doing so would make BTCP act as an ICO. Instead donations to the team directly to support us voluntarily without the expectation of BTCP, or contributing to the ZCL mining pool fund is the only way to support the team.
Can Bitcoin Private be mined, if so, could you provide details? Of course! It will be very similar to ZClassic. Bitcoin Private runs on the Equihash PoW algorithm. Because BTCP runs on Equihash, there WILL be ASIC resistance. The privacy algorithm will be run on zk-snarks. Block time will be every 2.5 Minutes (150 Seconds) with a block size of 2MB. Difficulty Adjustments will be made after every block. Replay Protection is also supported. There will be a 21 Million BTCP Supply WITHOUT a pre-mine.
Which pools can we mine Bitcoin Private on? Currently there are no announcements for pool support yet. More news will become available as we get closer to fork date. Most likely, majority of current pools that support mining ZClassic will support mining BTCP. Yet to be confirmed, stay tuned for announcements.
Is the team releasing any video/article tutorials to prepare for the fork? Yes, our content creation team is working hard to produce high quality video/article tutorials to assist users in preparing for the fork. The official BTCP Youtube channel can be found here. This is also where we stream our conferences live. More announcements on this is forthcoming.
What will be the opening price of Bitcoin Private? Just like every other coin (besides tether), the price will depend on the market and what people value it at.
Details about press inquiries? To reach out to the primary coordinators of the team for any inquiries related to press, please contact us on Twitter!
Donate towards the BTCP contribution team, Your donations are 100% voluntary but they are much appreciated! ZCL: t1gsePJZ6ojJYygj3PWMGJfojPUoMd5AVfU BTC: 14Xmfm9jf4h1h4RXZBQCFK6i4LWibqWVPu LTC: LNYzDrUeX6PSecu4sL4eZkuJGaSXnf8GUH BTCP Related Important Links
For the official list of links from the BTCP Github, refer to the repo. Just a re-iteration, the BTCP team has launched the support portal offering resources ranging from live support from our teams, as well as a knowledge base that is constantly being updated. https://support.btcprivate.org Again, please feel free to let me know any questions that’s not currently listed above and we will do our best to answer and include it in the megathread.
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