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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 buy Bitcoin and Deposit on Roobet Full Tutorial
Hello! In this thread I will do my very best to explain how to purchase Bitcoin safely and deposit it onto Roobet.com ! If anything is too confusing or you need further instructions feel free to message a mod for help!Be very aware of other users offering to sell you bitcoin or purchase on your behalf.If you are new to Bitcoin in general I strongly recommend watching this quick video on the basics of bitcoin safety https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2z2xggmeW1AAfter you have watched that or you already understand bitcoin skip to down below! Buying Bitcoin Step 1 Chosing an exchange Ok so you want to buy bitcoin to play on roobet? No problem! Bitcoin is super easy to use once you understand it! The first thing you need to do is pick an exchange to purchase from. I would recommendcoinbaseas it is a very large and trusted exchange.If coinbase does not work in your region then I would recommendBinance The last option if buying online doesn't work would be a local Bitcoin ATM use google to find one close to you. Step 2 Signing up -coinbase Sign up using https://www.coinbase.com/join/carava_zo to get a bonus 10$ btc on your first purchase Once you create an account you will be prompt to verify both a Email & Phone Number *Sometimes a photo id is required* *(It is recommend to add one as it will improve account security and increase your buying limit)* Follow the on screen prompts until you get to Add Payment Method Add your method of payment Once you link a Bank/Credit Card you will now be in the main page https://preview.redd.it/a58hftutv8d51.png?width=1892&format=png&auto=webp&s=9ce87ba198fdcaad10a2da4725c1030fca4d1741
Copy the Bitcoin Address (Your bitcoin address not the one in the screenshot)
Head back to coinbase
You should still have the Sent/Receive tab open if not open it back up
Put in the amount of BTC you wish to send
I like to add a note to keep my purchases organized this is optional
PASTE THE ROOBET DEPOSIT ADDRESS WE COPIED FROM STEP 1
DOUBLE TRIPLE QUADRUPLE CHECK THE ADDRESS IS CORRECT YOU ONLY GET 1 SHOT AT THIS GO SLOW
If everything looks good click send
TRIPLE CHECK BEFORE CLICKING SEND You will be given a confirmation screen again take note of the fees It is easy to get confused especially with currency conversion its always best to look at the BTC amount not the $ amount. (pro tip) Last chance to check everything Once you confirmed everything click send and the BTC is on its way! Go back to roobet and keep an eye on your notifications. Thanks to Roobet Instant funding you only need 1 confirmation before your funds are ready to go! https://preview.redd.it/14x2wwmo59d51.png?width=524&format=png&auto=webp&s=d40212fd1b67555fecb6e7f69c78d47c1abe569f Thats it!!!!You have successfully purchased and added BTC to your roobet account! Things to note Bitcoin is risky be safe take time to learn it Gambling is risky... Crpto is risky this website combines both please take the appropriate steps to ensure not only your financial safety but also your metal health Play Smart Play Safe Thank you for reading!if this helped you at all I would love it if you used my links above when signing up This was my first reddit guide I apologize if it is messy/confusing I will work on the formatting any Feedback is appreciated -Dom
The events of a SIM swap attack (and defense tips)
Posted this on Coinbase and someone recommend it also be posted here. The information below on an attempted SIM swap attack was pieced together through a combination of login and security logs, recovering emails initiated by the attacker that were deleted and then deleted again from the trash folder, and learning from AT&T’s fraud representatives. The majority if this is factual, and we do our best to note where we are speculating or providing a circumstantial suspicion. TLDRs at the bottom. The full story: We were going about our business and received a text from AT&T that says “…Calls & texts will go to your new phone/SIM card. Call 866-563-4705 if you did not request.” We did not request this, and were suspicious that the text itself could be a phishing scam since we searched the phone number and it wasn’t overtly associated with AT&T. Thus, we tried calling AT&T’s main line at 611 but all we hear is beep beep beep. The phone number is already gone. We use another phone to call AT&T and at the same time start working on our already compromised email. While we didn’t see everything real time, this is what the recovered emails show. In less than 2 minutes after receiving the text from AT&T, there is already an email indicating that the stolen phone number was used to sign into our email account associated with Coinbase. 2 minutes after that, there is an email from Coinbase saying: "We have received your request for password reset from an unverified device. As a security precaution, an e-mail with a reset link will be sent to you in 24 hours. Alternatively, if you would like your password reset to be processed immediately, please submit a request using a verified device. This 24 hour review period is designed to protect your Coinbase account." This is where Coinbase got it right to have a 24 hour review period (actually a recovery period) before allowing the password to be reset. However, the attackers knew this and planned to steal the second email from Coinbase by setting email rules to forward all emails to a burner address and also have any emails containing “coinbase” re-routed so they don’t appear in the Inbox. 5 minutes later, they request a password reset from Gemini and the password was reset to the attacker’s password within a minute after that. The next minute they target and reset DropBox’s password followed immediately with Binance. Less than 2 minutes later, an email from Binance indicates that the password has been reset and another email arrives a minute later indicating a new device has been authorized. It’s at this point that we begin locking the attacker out by (1) removing the phone number as 2FA (2) changing the email password, (3) and three forcing a logout of all sessions from the email. There was a bit of back and forth where they still had an active login and re-added the stolen phone number as 2FA. They added only one more password reset to a gaming account that was not deleted. I can only suspect that was a decoy to make it look like the attack was directed at gaming rather than finances. The Gemini and Binance accounts were empty and effectively abandoned, with no balances and inactive bank accounts (if any), and no transactions in 1-3 years. DropBox had no meaningful files (they probably look for private keys and authenticator backups) and the phone number they stole from us was suspended, so as far as the attacker is concerned, there is no meat on this bone to attack again… unless they had inside information. This is where I suspect someone internal at Coinbase receiving wire deposits has been compromised in tipping off ripe accounts – accounts with new and somewhat large balances. We had completed a full withdrawal of funds from Coinbase earlier in the year, and had a balance of less than $20 heading into May. Deposits to Coinbase staggered in to get above six figures through mid-May then stopped. The attack occurred 7 days after the last large wire deposit was made to Coinbase. From the perspective of an attacker that had no inside information, we were a dead end with abandoned Gemini and Binance accounts with zero balances and stale transactions, no DropBox information, and the suspended phone number access. Our Coinbase deposits were known to no one except us, Coinbase, and our bank. We were also able to stop the hacker’s email forwarding before Coinbase’s 24 hour period to send the password reset, so this one didn’t work out for the attackers and it would make sense for them to move on to the next rather than put efforts into a second attack only for Coinbase - for what would appear to be a zero-balance Coinbase account based on the other stale accounts. Then…23 hours and 42 minutes after the first attack, another message from AT&T “…Calls & texts will go to your new phone/SIM card. Call 866-563-4705 if you did not request.” Here we go again. We had been confident in AT&T’s assurances that our account had been locked and would not be SIM swapped again, so we unwisely added the phone number back to our email account as a backup (it’s now removed permanently and we use burner emails for account recovery like we should have all along). Upon seeing that our phone number had been stolen again I knew they were after the Coinbase reset email that was delayed by 24 hours from Coinbase as part of their security. We did 4 things within 2 minutes of that text: (1) removed the phone number again from the email account – this time for good, (2) market sell all Bitcoin on Coinbase, (3) withdraw from Coinbase, (4) have AT&T suspend service on the phone line. In speaking with AT&T, they were floored that our SIM would be transferred again in light of all the notes about fraud on the account and the PIN being changed to random digits that had never been used by us before. Based on the response of disbelief from AT&T on the second port, I suspect that this attack also involved a compromised AT&T employee that worked with the attacker to provide timely access to the Coinbase password reset email. Apparently, this has been going on for years: https://www.flashpoint-intel.com/blog/sim-swap-fraud-account-takeove with phone carrier employees swapping SIMs for $80s a swap. Remember that most of this was hidden in real time, and was only known because we were able to recover emails deleted from Trash by the attacker. Since we require any withdrawals to use Google Authenticator on Coinbase, our funds may have been secure nonetheless. However, under the circumstances with attackers that were apparently working with insiders to take our phone number twice in attempts to steal Bitcoin, and it being unknown if they had additional tools related to our Google Authenticator, we decided it was safer on the sidelines. The coins were held on the exchange for a quick exit depending on whether Bitcoin was going to break up or down from $10,000. A hardware wallet is always safest, but we were looking to time the market and not have transaction delays. For some some security recommendations: AT&T: If you are going to send a text saying that calls and texts are moving to a new number, provide a 10 minute window for the phone number to reply with a “NO” or “STOP” to prevent the move. This can escalate the SIM dispute to more trusted employees to determine who actually owns the line. Don’t let entry level employees swap SIMs. Coinbase: Do not default to phone numbers as 2FA. Also, if someone logs in successfully with the password before the 24 hours are up, the password is known and there is no need to send the password reset email again for attacker to have forwarded to them. At least have an option to stop the password reset email from being sent. We did not tag our account at Coinbase with fraud because of the stories of frozen funds once an account is tagged. I’m not sure what the solution is there, but that is another problem. Being a trader, it would be nice to think of Coinbase as any other type of security brokerage where your assets are yours (someone can’t steal your phone number and transfer your stocks to their account). We fell into that mindset of security, yet this experience has reminded us of the uniqueness of cryptocurrency and the lack of custodial assurance and insurance from exchanges because of the possession-is-everything properties of cryptocurrency. As many have said before, 2FA with a phone number quickly becomes 1-factor authentication as soon as that phone number is associated with password recovery on your email or other accounts. Our overall recommendation is to avoid having a phone number associated with any recovery options across all your accounts. TLDR on the process: Scammers will steal your phone number (in our case twice in 24 hours) and use your phone number to access your email and accounts. They will use your email to reset passwords at financial accounts and file hosting such as DropBox. They will then use that combination to transfer any assets they can access from your accounts to theirs. They will do their best to hide this from you by (1) not resetting your email password so as to raise suspicion, (2) immediately delete any password reset emails you may receive from financial accounts to hide them from you, (3) attempt to forward all emails sent to your address to a burner email, and (4) set email rules to forward emails containing “coinbase” to an email folder other than your Inbox so that you don’t see the transactions and password reset emails that arrive to your inbox. TLDR on defense tips: If your phone stops working or you receive a text of your number being ported do the following as soon as possible: (1) log into your email account(s) associated with your financial accounts and remove your phone number as 2FA immediately (2) change your email password, (3) force a logout of all sessions from your email (at this point you have locked them out), then (4) check your mail forwarding settings for forwards to burner addresses, (5) check your mail rules for rerouting of emails from accounts such as Coinbase, and (6) call your carrier to have them suspend service on your lost phone number and ask them to reinstate your SIM or get a new SIM. This will require a second phone because your personal phone number has been stolen. We hope this helps some others be safe out there in protecting their coins. The more we know, the more we can protect ourselves. Wishing you all the best!
The events of a SIM swap attack directed at Coinbase (and defense tips)
The information below on an attempted SIM swap attack was pieced together through a combination of login and security logs, recovering emails initiated by the attacker that were deleted and then deleted again from the trash folder, and learning from AT&T’s fraud representatives. The majority if this is factual, and we do our best to note where we are speculating or providing a circumstantial suspicion. TLDRs at the bottom. The full story: We were going about our business and received a text from AT&T that says “…Calls & texts will go to your new phone/SIM card. Call 866-563-4705 if you did not request.” We did not request this, and were suspicious that the text itself could be a phishing scam since we searched the phone number and it wasn’t overtly associated with AT&T. Thus, we tried calling AT&T’s main line at 611 but all we hear is beep beep beep. The phone number is already gone. We use another phone to call AT&T and at the same time start working on our already compromised email. While we didn’t see everything real time, this is what the recovered emails show. In less than 2 minutes after receiving the text from AT&T, there is already an email indicating that the stolen phone number was used to sign into our email account associated with Coinbase. 2 minutes after that, there is an email from Coinbase saying: "We have received your request for password reset from an unverified device. As a security precaution, an e-mail with a reset link will be sent to you in 24 hours. Alternatively, if you would like your password reset to be processed immediately, please submit a request using a verified device. This 24 hour review period is designed to protect your Coinbase account." This is where Coinbase got it right to have a 24 hour review period (actually a recovery period) before allowing the password to be reset. However, the attackers knew this and planned to steal the second email from Coinbase by setting email rules to forward all emails to a burner address and also have any emails containing “coinbase” re-routed so they don’t appear in the Inbox. 5 minutes later, they request a password reset from Gemini and the password was reset to the attacker’s password within a minute after that. The next minute they target and reset DropBox’s password followed immediately with Binance. Less than 2 minutes later, an email from Binance indicates that the password has been reset and another email arrives a minute later indicating a new device has been authorized. It’s at this point that we begin locking the attacker out by (1) removing the phone number as 2FA (2) changing the email password, (3) and three forcing a logout of all sessions from the email. There was a bit of back and forth where they still had an active login and re-added the stolen phone number as 2FA. They added only one more password reset to a gaming account that was not deleted. I can only suspect that was a decoy to make it look like the attack was directed at gaming rather than finances. The Gemini and Binance accounts were empty and effectively abandoned, with no balances and inactive bank accounts (if any), and no transactions in 1-3 years. DropBox had no meaningful files (they probably look for private keys and authenticator backups) and the phone number they stole from us was suspended, so as far as the attacker is concerned, there is no meat on this bone to attack again… unless they had inside information. This is where I suspect someone internal at Coinbase receiving wire deposits has been compromised in tipping off ripe accounts – accounts with new and somewhat large balances. We had completed a full withdrawal of funds from Coinbase earlier in the year, and had a balance of less than $20 heading into May. Deposits to Coinbase staggered in to get above six figures through mid-May then stopped. The attack occurred 7 days after the last large wire deposit was made to Coinbase. From the perspective of an attacker that had no inside information, we were a dead end with abandoned Gemini and Binance accounts with zero balances and stale transactions, no DropBox information, and the suspended phone number access. Our Coinbase deposits were known to no one except us, Coinbase, and our bank. We were also able to stop the hacker’s email forwarding before Coinbase’s 24 hour period to send the password reset, so this one didn’t work out for the attackers and it would make sense for them to move on to the next rather than put efforts into a second attack only for Coinbase - for what would appear to be a zero-balance Coinbase account based on the other stale accounts. Then…23 hours and 42 minutes after the first attack, another message from AT&T “…Calls & texts will go to your new phone/SIM card. Call 866-563-4705 if you did not request.” Here we go again. We had been confident in AT&T’s assurances that our account had been locked and would not be SIM swapped again, so we unwisely added the phone number back to our email account as a backup (it’s now removed permanently and we use burner emails for account recovery like we should have all along). Upon seeing that our phone number had been stolen again I knew they were after the Coinbase reset email that was delayed by 24 hours from Coinbase as part of their security. We did 4 things within 2 minutes of that text: (1) removed the phone number again from the email account – this time for good, (2) market sell all Bitcoin on Coinbase, (3) withdraw from Coinbase, (4) have AT&T suspend service on the phone line. In speaking with AT&T, they were floored that our SIM would be transferred again in light of all the notes about fraud on the account and the PIN being changed to random digits that had never been used by us before. Based on the response of disbelief from AT&T on the second port, I suspect that this attack also involved a compromised AT&T employee that worked with the attacker to provide timely access to the Coinbase password reset email. Apparently, this has been going on for years: https://www.flashpoint-intel.com/blog/sim-swap-fraud-account-takeove with phone carrier employees swapping SIMs for $80s a swap. Remember that most of this was hidden in real time, and was only known because we were able to recover emails deleted from Trash by the attacker. Since we require any withdrawals to use Google Authenticator on Coinbase, our funds may have been secure nonetheless. However, under the circumstances with attackers that were apparently working with insiders to take our phone number twice in attempts to steal Bitcoin, and it being unknown if they had additional tools related to our Google Authenticator, we decided it was safer on the sidelines. The coins were held on the exchange for a quick exit depending on whether Bitcoin was going to break up or down from $10,000. A hardware wallet is always safest, but we were looking to time the market and not have transaction delays. For some some security recommendations: AT&T: If you are going to send a text saying that calls and texts are moving to a new number, provide a 10 minute window for the phone number to reply with a “NO” or “STOP” to prevent the move. This can escalate the SIM dispute to more trusted employees to determine who actually owns the line. Don’t let entry level employees swap SIMs. Coinbase: Do not default to phone numbers as 2FA. Also, if someone logs in successfully with the password before the 24 hours are up, the password is known and there is no need to send the password reset email again for attacker to have forwarded to them. At least have an option to stop the password reset email from being sent. We did not tag our account at Coinbase with fraud because of the stories of frozen funds once an account is tagged. I’m not sure what the solution is there, but that is another problem. Being a trader, it would be nice to think of Coinbase as any other type of security brokerage where your assets are yours (someone can’t steal your phone number and transfer your stocks to their account). We fell into that mindset of security, yet this experience has reminded us of the uniqueness of cryptocurrency and the lack of custodial assurance and insurance from exchanges because of the possession-is-everything properties of cryptocurrency. As many have said before, 2FA with a phone number quickly becomes 1-factor authentication as soon as that phone number is associated with password recovery on your email or other accounts. Our overall recommendation is to avoid having a phone number associated with any recovery options across all your accounts. TLDR on the process: Scammers will steal your phone number (in our case twice in 24 hours) and use your phone number to access your email and accounts. They will use your email to reset passwords at financial accounts and file hosting such as DropBox. They will then use that combination to transfer any assets they can access from your accounts to theirs. They will do their best to hide this from you by (1) not resetting your email password so as to raise suspicion, (2) immediately delete any password reset emails you may receive from financial accounts to hide them from you, (3) attempt to forward all emails sent to your address to a burner email, and (4) set email rules to forward emails containing “coinbase” to an email folder other than your Inbox so that you don’t see the transactions and password reset emails that arrive to your inbox. TLDR on defense tips: If your phone stops working or you receive a text of your number being ported do the following as soon as possible: (1) log into your email account(s) associated with your financial accounts and remove your phone number as 2FA immediately (2) change your email password, (3) force a logout of all sessions from your email (at this point you have locked them out), then (4) check your mail forwarding settings for forwards to burner addresses, (5) check your mail rules for rerouting of emails from accounts such as Coinbase, and (6) call your carrier to have them suspend service on your lost phone number and ask them to reinstate your SIM or get a new SIM. This will require a second phone because your personal phone number has been stolen. We hope this helps some others be safe out there in protecting their coins. The more we know, the more we can protect ourselves. Wishing you all the best!
Re-Launching The Borderless, Unkillable Crypto-Fiat Gateway, DAIHard. Enter or Exit Crypto via Any Fiat and Any Payment Method, Anywhere in the World, Without KYC. All you need is a little Dai.
Some of you might recall recall our initial facepalm failed launch about 3 months ago (post-mortem here). Well, we're back--this time with an audit and some new features. This version of DAIHard should should die a little harder this time ;)
After shopping around a bit in the auditor space, we decided to go with Adam Dossa--the very same Adam Dossa that actually found our launch vulnerability and responsibly disclosed it to us! You can see his report here. By the way, Adam has been a gem: friendly, professional, timely, and flexible. Definitely keep him in mind if you need an audit!
Following is an updated version of our original launch post. If you've already read that, you might want to skip to the heading What's New in v0.9.2. Or you can go straight to the app or go to our info site for more info! Here is a legitimate concern most of us are familiar with:
To enter or exit the crypto economy, we rely on centralized exchanges such as Coinbase, which track their users, impose limits, and are tightly coupled to their jurisdiction and its banking system. And for all we know, any day now regulations could start tightening these controls further (*we've actually seen some of this play out in the two months since our first launch post). In light of this, can we say in any meaningful sense that crypto is anonymous, limtiless, borderless, immune to regulation, and (most importantly) unstoppable?
To really address this concern, we need a completely decentralized gateway between fiat and crypto: something that extends the benefits of crypto to the very act of moving between the old and new economies. But the design of such a platform is far from obvious. (Localethereum comes close, but as discussed under Unkillable, it doesn't quite cut it. And Bisq is decentralized, but has significant UX hurdles.) We believe we've found a solution. We are proud to present:
DAIHard v0.9.2 - Almost Definitely Not Broken This Time
If you want to jump right in, we recommend first watching our latest usage demo (7 min), then diving in and giving it a shot with a small amount of Dai. (Try it on Kovan first if mainnet is too scary!) DAIHard extends many of the promises of crypto (borderless, anonymous, limitless, unstoppable) into the exchange mechanism itself, allowing anyone, anywhere to bypass centralized exchanges and the control they impose. More concretely, DAIHard is a platform, run on smart contracts, for forming one-off crypto/fiat exchanges with other users, in which:
The method of fiat transfer is open-ended, but agreed upon up-front (for example: bank transfer, cash handoff, transfer of online credit, cash drop...).
You and the counterparty can communicate via end-to-end encrypted chat to coordinate the fiat transfer (i.e. communicate bank account number or reveal a cash drop location).
Crucially, in the last phase, the Seller can choose to burn the Dai instead of releasing it to the Buyer (but he can't get it back). This credible threat of burn is what makes the platform reliable in the absence of a centralized group of arbitrators or moderators. For more on this see the DAIHard Game Theory medium article (10 min read).
You Need either xDai, or both Dai and Ether, to Use The Tool (At Least For Now)
If you want to buy Dai on DAIHard, you must already have Dai--1/3 of the amount you want to purchase--to put up as a burnable deposit. For example, if you only have 10 Dai now, you can only commit to buying 30 Dai, and must complete that trade before using the newly bought Dai to open up a bigger offer (for up to 120 Dai that time). Most tragically of course, this means that if you don't already have some crypto, you can't use this tool to get crypto--this is why we avoid calling DAIHard an onramp specifically. This comes from the fact that both parties must have "skin in the game" for the game theory to work, and a smart contract can only threaten to burn crypto. We have some ideas on how to address this drawback in the not-too-distant future, which we'll write about soon. For now it's time to launch this thing and get some users!
Dangerous and Scary To Use
In rare cases, a user may have to burn Dai and face a loss on the entire trade amount. The necessity of this ever-present risk is explained in detail in DAIHard Game Theory. However, a cautious, rational user can gather information (possibly via our [subreddit](daihard)!) about how people have used the tool, successfully and unsuccessfully. They can then create a buy or sell offer with wisely chosen settings based on what has worked for others. Other cautious, rational users can find this offer and commit to the trade if they dare. We expect the vast majority of committed trades should involve rational, cautious users, and should therefore resolve happily. Still, inevitably there will be sloppy trades that result in burns. As the tool is used, we'll be keeping a close eye on the frequency of burns and keeping you guys updated (perhaps via a "System Status" utility similar to the one found on MakerDao's explorer). In the end, though, we expect the risk in using DAIHard to be comparable to the risk of using any exchange or DNM: ever-present but low enough for the platform to be useful as whole. So, while DAIHard will never shut down and can't perform an exit scam, the bad news is it's not risk-free. Users will have to approach DAIhard with the same level of caution they would with any new exchange (albeit for different reasons and with a different approach). So what's the good news?
The Good News
While these drawbacks are significant, they enable some remarkable features that no other crypto/fiat exchange mechanism can boast.
(Correction: Bisq seems to have a decentralized arbitration system) We are aware of no other crypto/fiat exchange platform that is truly unkillable. Bisq and localethereum comes close, but both localethereum relies on centralized processes of arbitration. This means their fraud-and-scam-prevention system can be sued, jailed, or otherwise harrassed--and if that part stops working, it doesn't matter how decentralized the rest of the system was. DAIHard, in contrast, gives the users the power to police and punish each other, via the aforementioned credible threat of burn. This is simple game theory, and the rules of this game are etched permanently into the DAIHard Factory and Trade contract code: impervious to litigation, regulation, and political pressure. This Factory contract has no owner and no suicide or pause code. It cannot be stopped by us or anyone else. Like Toastycoin, this thing was immortal the moment it was deployed (even more immortal than RadarRelay, for example, which does rely on an ownership role). Both DAIHard and Toastycoin (and probably whatever we build next) will last for as long as a single Ethereum node continues mining, and it will remain easy to use as long as someone can find the HTML/JS front-end and a web3 wallet. (The HTML/JS front-end (built in Elm, by the way, with the lovely elm-ethereum!) is currently hosted on Github pages, which is centralized--but even if Github takes down the page and deletes the code, it's a minor step to get the page hosted on IPFS, something that is on our near-term roadmap in any case)
No KYC, No Limits
It's smart contracts all the way down, so DAIHard never asks any nosy questions--if you have Metamask or some other web3 wallet installed and set up, with some ETH and Dai (or just xDai), you can immediately open or commit to a trade. You don't even need a username! (In fact, we're so inclusive, even machines are allowed--no CAPTCHA here!) You're limited only by the collateral you put up, so if you have 10,000 Dai you could open up a buy offer for 30,000 Dai (or a sell offer for 10,000 Dai) right now. We do reccommend trying the tool out first with a small amount of Dai... But we're not your mom! Do what you want!
It simply doesn't matter where you are, because DAIHard doesn't need to interface with any particular jurisdiction or payment system to work. DIAHard works by incentivizing people (or robots?) to navigate the particular real-world hurdles of bank transfers, cash drops, or other fiat transfer methods. These incentives work whether you're in America, Zimbabwe, or the Atlantic; they work whether the fiat is USD, EUR, ZAR, seashells, or Rai Stones; and they work whether your counterparty is a human, an organization, a script, or a particularly intelligent dog with Internet access.
Any Fiat Type, and Highly Customizeable
Here are some examples of the types of trades you might create or find on DAIHard.
Sell 5 xDai for $5 USD, sent via TransferWise.
Sell 200 Dai for $180 USD, granted they bring the cash to you by tomorrow afternoon in Central Park, NYC.
Buy 20 Dai with a $30 gift card for Amazon AWS that you were never going to use.
Sell 20 Dai in exchange for a $20 Steam game.
While in Vietnam, sell 200 Dai to someone for €180 anytime in the next two weeks, provided they deposit it into your German bank account.
While in Germany, sell 20 Dai to someone in exchange for them refilling your pre-paid Vietnamese phone plan.
Buy 500 Dai for $550 via PayPal, but wait 3 weeks for before the Dai is released (so the paypal transaction can't be reversed).
As the DAIHard community grows, users will doubtless find much more creative ways to use the system, and we will discover together which types of trades are reliable and which are more risky. Because users can set their own prices and phase timeout settings, we expect the risky trades to charge a premium or have longer time windows, while the reliable ones rapidly multiply at close to a 1:1 price ratio, with quick turnaround times.
Extensible (with profit) by Third Parties
Not satisfied with our interface? Do you have some nifty idea for how to display and organize user reputation? Or maybe some idea for how trades could be chained togeher? Maybe you'd like to design a notification system for DAIHard? Maybe you just want a different color scheme! Well, you won't need our permission to do any of this. Any tool that watches the same Factory contract will share the pool of trades, regardless of which tool actually creates the trade. This means we don't even have to fight over network effects! And if you look closely at our fee structure, you might notice that only half of the 1% DAIHard fee is "hardcoded" into the Factory contract. The other half is set and charged by our interface. What does this mean for you? If you go out and make a better interface, you can essentially replace half of our 1% fee with your own fee--it's up to you whether it's smaller or larger than the replaced 0.5%. The reason for this is to explicitly welcome other developers to extend what we've built. For as long as our team is the only one improving the platform, a threat to us is a threat to future upgrades. But if others begin extending the DAIHard platform too, then DAIHard will not only be unstoppable as it is today, but also grow unstoppably.
(For Real This Time) This Is a Big Fucking Deal
DAIHard is a turning point in crypto and a breakthrough in decentralized markets, and is an irreversible augmentation of the Ethereum platform. What we've built is a gateway to crypto completely devoid of centralized components--rendering entry and exit to crypto unkillable, flexible, borderless, and private. Centralized exchanges, and the control they impose, can now be bypassed by anyone with Dai and a web3 wallet.
What's New in v0.9.2
There have been many changes made since our first failed launch, but there are two rather important ones: xDai support and reputation tools.
DAIHard is now operational on xDai, a sidechain whose native token (xDai) is pegged to the Dai (and therefore $1). Add the xDai network to your Metamask (or just install Nifty Wallet), then switch to the xDai network in your wallet, to try it out. xDai has some pretty incredible benefits, compared to vanilla Ethereum:
Price: On xDai, a single DAIHard trade costs on the order of $0.01 to run start-to-finish, rather than the accumulated $2.40 (with the best-case-scenario 1gwei gas price) you'll spend on vanilla Ethereum.
Speed: Trade actions mine much faster, and don't require ERC20 'approve' transactions, making the whole process way snappier.
Gas priced in xDai: the main benefit here is that you only need one token (xDai) rather than two (Dai and Eth). Also, it's just nice having the gas cost expressed in (essentially) USD!
We now have a few reputation tools. First, on any open trade, there is a widget showing the number of releases, aborts, and burns the given address has been involved in as that role (buyer or seller). Clicking on this expands the widget to show more detailed information, and also provides a link to a page that lists each trade this user has been or is involved in.
We have tons of ideas on how to improve the product--too many, in fact, to commit to any before we get a good chunk of user feedback. Here are some of our favorite ideas:
A "QuickTrade" page, offering Trade Templates as an alternative to the current Create Offer page.
Big Exciting Features
Bootstrapping people with no DAI via other mechanisms and community outreach.
Partial commits to trades. eg. Place a 10,000 DAI trade and allow it to be picked up in blocks larger than 500 DAI at a time.
More chains, get this thing working on Bitcoin via Rootstock, on Ethereum Classic and Binance Chain.
A lot of the above features will be prioritized more clearly as we get user feedback, and we will be posting fairly frequent updates and articles on our info site. If you don't want to miss anything, note the subscribe widget and sign up!
04-05 16:04 - 'Forsage // Earn ETH Daily!' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/4ndym4c removed from /r/Bitcoin within 5-15min
''' 🔥🔥🔥 maximize your income in Ethereum with Forsage leveraging first ever decentralized matrixes built on ETH smart contract. This is Forsage Link To Get Started: [link]1 Small Starting Capital - You Can Get Started With As Little As 0.05ETH or $6! 100% Of The Income Comes To Members! The Project Doesn't Take or Keep Any People's Money! The Project Is Completely Decentralised! Based On Ethereum Smart Contract - No Admin Needed! Great Income Potential! Completely Transparent - All The Income Of All The People In The Project Is Verifiable On Blockchain! ➡️ To get started you need to Download the Trust Crypto Wallet App on your mobile phone OR install Metamask On Google Chrome. Sign up here ➡️ [link]1 Forsage can generate you unlimited amount of income in ETH with Forsage X3 and Forsage X4 matrixes. It's ETH money making machine on steroids. Everything is based on Smart Contract, no admin required. 100% of the funds go to the members, project creators never take or touch the members funds. You can check everyone how much income they are making transparently on the blockchain! Everyone can earn here, you can get started with as little as 0.05ETH. It's recommended to get at least 3-6 slots in both of the Matrixes upon getting started, to do so after you register with 0.05 ETH, you upgrade to slots 2-6 in Forsage X3 and Forsage X4. To get started you need to download the Trust Crypto Wallet on your mobile phone OR install Metamask On Google Chrome, create wallet – set up a password and write down on a piece of paper 12 words mnemonic password and keep it in a safe place, and transfer ETH to your ETH wallet. To unlock 3 slots in both matrixes you need about 0.37ETH (0.35ETH plus gas fees). To unlock 4 earning slots in both matrixes you need 0.77ETH, to unlock 5 earning slots you need 1.55ETH. to unlock 6 earning slots in both matrixes you need 3.15 ETH. If you don’t have ETH you can buy it with credit card on Binance.com best rates and withdraw from there to your Trust Wallet or Metamask wallet. After you fund your ETH wallet, click on the link that was given to you by your referral partner. Then Click on the Green Button “Automatic Login/Registration”, click Confirm on the next page (make sure you have the correct login ID of your upline) and then approve the 0.05 ETH to interact with the smart contract. You will see a pop up window if you are using Metamask, or if you are using Trust Wallet then in Dapps section in URL enter the link and click on “Registration” -> “Confirm” and Approve. After that you will be inside Forsage and if not you can click on [link]1 and Login. Then you click on the next slot by clicking on the pink “Shopping Cart” illustration, click on “confirm purchase” and approve, and activate the next slots in the Forsage X3 and Forsage X4 matrixes. For instructions on how to set up your account with Metamask watch this video [link]4 and for instructions on how to register with Trust Wallet watch this video - [link]4 Sign up here ➡️ [link]1 📣 Join Channel: @ForsageEthSmartContract 📣 Join Chat: @ForsageEthSmartContractTeam 💭For questions contact: @dxwif ''' Forsage // Earn ETH Daily! Go1dfish undelete link unreddit undelete link Author: 4ndym4c 1: fo*s**e.io/i/r**fsc/ 2: f*r*ag*.**/i/r2gfsc/ 3: fo*sage.*o*i/r2*fs*/ 4: vimeo.*om*400***817 5: vi*eo.com*4*0*9081* 6: **rsage.*o/i/r**fsc/ Unknown links are censored to prevent spreading illicit content.
Last year Bitfury’s multidisciplinary Blockchain specialists announced the possibility of revealing the identities of more than 16% of all owners of Bitcoin addresses. Several years ago, a team of CryptoLux developers, having conducted a study of transaction privacy on the Bitcoin network, concluded that 60% of all addresses can be deanonymized. Summarizing all this, it’s worth highlighting three existing methods that can successfully deanonymize private transactions.
The easiest way to cluster (link Bitcoin addresses) is by analyzing transactional networks. In other words, this is a method that allows finding several inputs combined in one transaction. The second clustering method is “distribution analysis”. It allows calculation the percentage of cryptocurrency at the certain address that comes from another specific address and it becomes clear whether these addresses are connected by one direct transaction or a chain of transactions or not.
It consists of quantitative and temporal analyzes. Quantitative analysis studies not certain transactions, but amounts. Time analysis tracks specific periods.
Memory Pool Method
When a transaction is made through the user’s wallet, the input nodes send information about the transaction to the Blockchain network. The purpose of this method is to identify the set of input nodes through the wallet and the user. In this case, the IP address of the client can be associated with its transactions. There are certain private cryptocurrency-leaders which are popular and trusted among users. Using one feature-privacy, they have different ways of functioning.
Basic principles of work: anonymous cryptocurrencies (Monero, Dash, Zcash)
The platform focuses on privacy and decentralization. The coin uses three levels of protection: • Ring signatures, that hide the origin of the sender by mixing the user’s address with the addresses of other group members. • Ring confidential transactions, which hide the amount of the transaction. • Stealth addresses, that allow a user to hide the recipient’s address. Such way guarantees the privacy of the sender and the recipient. Monero can be bought on Poloniex, Bitfinex, Livecoin, and Kraken crypto exchanges. It is possible to store Monero via an online wallet. More secure is its computer wallet. Due to its privacy, the popularity of the coin is expected to grow, so it makes sense to add a coin to an investment portfolio. Advantages • Increased privacy. Cryptocurrency is suitable for those who are afraid of deanonymizing network transactions. • Unlimited and difficult mining. • It takes less time to find blocks. • Resistance to the centralization of mining capacities. Disadvantages • Resources. All currency protection technologies require impressive machine performance for normal operation. The Monero block size is constantly growing, and this requires additional resources of network participants. • The popularity in the dark web leads to problems in working with regulatory authorities, exchanges often delist it. Speaking of reputation, Monero’s reputation is far from the best. The coin is often used on the dark web as payment for various illegal services. It happens to almost all crypto coins that provide privacy. • Large transaction sizes. Since Monero Blockchain is five times larger than the Bitcoin Blockchain in terms of one transaction. • Problems with scalability.
The Dash platform is a classic decentralized Blockchain-based payment system and the most technologically advanced cryptocurrency. It implements multi-off-chain money transfers without loss of reliability and overall security of the Blockchain. Its confidentiality is rather an additional option that can be used optionally. In the case of anonymity, it is possible to send a hidden transaction, but at a more expensive cost, which also requires additional time. Dash developed a hashing algorithm with eleven cryptographic functions-X 11 for the first time. The coin developers have released apps for other platforms. Today it is possible to use Dash for IOS, Zeal for Linux, LovelyDocs for Android and Velocity for Windows. As well known, the CoinJoin is an anonymization method for crypto transactions, which is used by Dash as an improved version called the PrivateSend. Its mixing sessions are limited to 1,000 DASH for each session and will require multiple mixing sessions to anonymize a large amount of money. Advantages • High transaction speed. It is achieved via InstantX technology, which enables the confirmation of operations in less than 4 seconds. • Law transaction fees. • Energy consumption. Unlike Monero, it does not require a lot of power or high commission costs. Disadvantages • “Transparency” of the network. Without triggering the “mixing” mechanism, the directions of transactions and their balances are publicly visible to everyone. • Lack of proper cryptographic technologies that provide privacy, but can provide a sufficiently high level of protection. • Transaction visibility to the founders and the team.
An open-source decentralized cryptocurrency that provides users with maximum privacy. Zcash is the first private cryptocurrency, using cryptographic protocol zk-SNARKS, a zero-knowledge security layer. It allows users to make hidden and open transactions. Mathematically guaranteed privacy is something cryptocurrency can not be proud of. This fact makes the currency specific. All Zcash coins are identical, it means that interchangeable coins do not contain information about past use created. In this regard, the connection of coins with their history on the Blockchain is broken, which makes them universal and identical to each other. Zcash blocks are generated 4 times faster than Bitcoin. The currency trades on Huobi, Bitfinex and Binance exchanges, and after purchase, it can be stored on the exchange’s internal wallet, as well as transferred to Jaxx, Cryptonator and Coinomi multi-currency wallets. Coins can also be stored on hardware wallets like Ledger and Trezor. Advantages • Privacy. Since no information except the time stamp, is recorded in the Blockchain, transactions cannot be tracked, and the identity of the sender and recipient is almost impossible to establish. • Interchangeability. Due to interchangeability, all coins have a “clean” history. This means that it is practically impossible to determine which transactions coin was used. • Security. Lack of information about user keys, which protects user wallets and the network.Mining energy efficiency. Zcash mining hardware consumes less electricity than Bitcoin mining ASICs. • The difficulty of mining. Zcash is beneficial for those who want to get coins for block creation. Bitcoin mining becomes more and more complicated, so miners cannot earn enough money via their computers with high capacity. Disadvantages • 6 users can decide to leave the transferred data completely open. • It takes a lot of calculations to complete a transaction. • Insecurity. There are fears that the system could be hacked, or users may accidentally open the data. • Legally ZCash is supported only by Linux, however, it provides users with wallets for other platforms: Jaxx, Ledger, Trezor, Trust, Zecwallet, Ibitcome, Exodus, Guarda, Coinomi, Cobowallet, and Bitgo. Private cryptocurrencies are necessary for anyone who values the privacy and confidentiality of financial transactions. Privacy can generate more value, than danger, as Eric Hughes says: “Privacy is necessary for an open society in the electronic age. Privacy is not secrecy. A private matter is something one doesn’t want the whole world to know, but a secret matter is something one doesn’t want anybody to know. Privacy is the power to selectively reveal oneself to the world”.
Tezos is a decentralized blockchain that simplifies formal verification, a method that mathematically proves the accuracy of the code controlling transactions. The Tezos blockchain has its own cryptocurrency called Tezos (XTZ), a cryptocurrency with two main functions – a self-administration system and the ability to form launch contracts using its own programming language – Michelson. If you decide to convert your fiat savings into Tezos or exchange other cryptocurrencies for XTZ, you may have to make a choice among reliable wallets for this. In this article we will look into the best Tezos Wallets so that can help you understand them better.
Nano S is a hard wallet from the product line of Ledger, a French manufacturer company. As all other Ledger products, Nano S traditionally looks like a USB flash drive. But this time, you will need to use the USB cable that comes with the wallet to connect to a computer. Ledger Nano S has a chip that is similar with chips on bank cards or biometric passports. Your private key is stored in an isolated environment and is effectively protected. Ledger Nano S also has a screen on it where you can see each transaction made. In case you lose your Nano S wallet, the account can be easily restored on any other Ledger device. Ledger Nano S supports over 20 cryptocurrencies including Tezos (XTZ).
Trezor Model T
Trezor T is the flagship model from the well-known Czech manufacturer SatoshiLabs. Model T has a color Touch-Screen display, an SD port and a quantity of supported coins – XTZ is among those coins. When Trezor T is not connected to the computer, it turns off and disconnects from the Internet. Thus, user funds are stored on the device beyond the reach of attackers. Trezor hardware case is ultrasonically soldered, making it difficult to be restored after being damaged.
Web wallets can be a simple way to get started investing in cryptocurrency. All web wallets can be used right from a browser without the need of downloading software. Beyond that, many of web wallets offer free mobile apps.
Guarda Wallet is available as a Web, Mobile and Desktop Wallet and a Chrome extension. It supports more than 40 coins and 10,000 tokens as well as XTZ. The web wallet enables to access cryptocurrency from any modern browser, the website itself looks presentable and made convenient to use. Using the mobile wallet, you can create a new wallet or import an existing one. Besides the common functions such as storage, deposit/withdrawal of cryptocurrency, users can instantly buy the exact amount of cryptocurrency using a bank card or exchange coins and tokens.
While Magnum is a multi-asset wallet, one of the best known assets it supports is Tezos (XTZ). Being a light wallet, you do not need to download the full blockchain of any of the cryptocurrencies it works with. The wallet does not keep users’ personal information. As Magnum is a web wallet, it has the extra benefit of being available for nearly any platform, easy of access from any kind of device with an internet browser. Magnum wallet also supports Ledger devices so those can be easily linked to the app.
Mobile wallets are used on your smartphone via an app. Similar to Apple or Google Pay, you can use mobile wallets when shopping in physical shops as cryptocurrencies become more popular and acceptable. Mobile wallets may be safer compared to online wallets and also be easy to use on the go.
AirGap is a wallet, that allows you to keep your cryptocurrency securely on your mobile. AirGap is a system with two device access: you can use your old mobile device as a hardware wallet using the AirGap Vault app to keep the private key there; while your working smartphone will have the wallet itself. The connection occurs with QR codes, this ensures a genuine one-way communication between AirGap Wallet and AirGap Vault. This implies that no private information ever leaves the air-gapped old phone. Besides Tezos, AirGap supports diverse amount of cryptocurrencies.
In spite of being a lightweight wallet, Tezos.Blue does not scant on security or its features. It is an original app and that is why it gets strong protection straight from the operating system. Using the Tezos.Blue you will have actual updates from the network for a truly live operational comfort. Tezos.Blue is also available in a desktop version. Tezos.Blue is also available in a desktop version.
Desktop wallet can be downloaded and installed on a computer. Desktop wallets may be safer if your computer is not, or more preferably, has never used the Internet connection. Desktop Wallets are perfect for storing large amounts of crypto that you don’t want to use on an everyday basis.
HD wallets (hierarchical deterministic wallet) are the wallets that use a single 12 or 18-word mnemonic phrase that is used to identify following addresses and private keys in a wallet software. Atomix is HD wallet that supports Tezos, it merges benefits of decentralized and centralized exchanges. With Atomix, all private keys are kept encoded on the computer. No identity verification or registration is required to use the wallet.
Simplestaking is Tezos focused wallet being a web app and desktop app with support for hardware wallet Trezor Model T. The wallet is developed using NgRx state management and Angular framework.
Galleon Tezos Wallet (Tezori)
Galleon is a smart open source wallet for XTZ that supports both hardware and software wallets on Windows, Linux and Mac. It was developed by Cryptonomic and funded by the Tezos Foundation.
Tezos CLI Wallet
The Tezos CLI wallet can be used by those users who have some coding understanding while it requires the use of command lines. Tezos has mentioned the wallet on its website and has been audited by an independent external security inspector. As the Tezos CLI needs some level of command line knowledge, it can be quite difficult to use.
How to keep your wallet safe
A cryptocurrency wallet can be regarded as a regular wallet with money, but it has advanced features, which increases the level of risk. Simple rules will help prevent the loss of your own savings:
Do not store large amounts for long periods on wallets that do not provide full control. It is better to store large amounts for a long time only in wallets that provide full control over the private key and, accordingly, over digital assets. This will help protect your coins against fraud and cyber attacks.
Encrypt information and back up private keys. In case of reinstalling the PC or the occurrence of force majeure situations, this will help to restore access to the wallet quickly.
Store secret keys on an offline device. It is preferable to use a platform that is not accessible for hacking via the Internet.
Use reliable antivirus software and update it regularly. This will prevent the leakage of personal data that hackers can use to crack passwords.
Register several types of wallets. It will allow you to distribute your funds and use the most suitable wallet depending on the situation.
If you use your Tezos wallet wisely and do not neglect the precautions, the risk of funds loss will be minimized.
NEO LIVE - Week 1 Featuring Travala.com AMA summary.
Travala.com / $AVA was the first project to participate in the Weekly "NEO LIVE" Event being run by the NEO Global development: https://neonewstoday.com/events/neo-live-telegram-series-to-feature-ecosystem-projects-in-weekly-event/ I have gone through and cleaned up the Telegram chat and formatted the questions to make them more readable. Due to the fast moving chat some questions got mixed up a little but i've done my best to remove spam/ emojis and make it readable. The full archive can be found on the NEO Telegram: @NEO_EN Introduction: Host, NGD :
Our first guest for NEO Live is Matt Luczynski, CEO and co-founder of Travala.com. A seasoned marketing and technology entrepreneur, Matthew is a veteran in the travel industry, having worked on a number of enterprising startups within the space. Compelled by the aim of driving real-world blockchain adoption, he co-founded Travala.com, a travel ecosystem which leverages on the token economy to provide consumers with a fair, trusted, and transparent platform. In addition, Matthew is also the founder of the Wanderlust application, a location-based meet-up travel application designed for users to connect based on their specific interests.
Hi Matt, first question, when is Travala coming to Binance if at all any plans ?
Exchange listings are something as business we aren't able to discuss due to NDA’s we sign. We aim to continue pushing in all areas to make AVA more accessible to all users for usage on the travala.com platform
Should we be expecting 15 suppliers integration by Aug 15th?
We have currently connected 17 suppliers in total through our tech partner. This will give Travala.com in excess of 1.5 mill
Why should I use Travala instead of Orbitz or other popular travel sites?
Price - Our prices are on average 15% cheaper than other travel sites and our mainstream competitors. Our business plan is focused on this as we form a disruptive models targeting consumer adoption.
Room availability - We have a large inventory of hotels and accommodation in 210 different countries which is only going to increase as we roll out future updates.
Loyalty rewards program (SMART) - Earn AVA for every booking you make.
SMART discounts - Hold AVA to access up to 10% discount on our already low cost prices. Save even more on your bookings.
Access with multiple crypto currencies and fiat currencies
Following on from this, Travala SMART program is the first in the travel industry which provides users with a real world value reward.
Hi Matt, when the beta version goes live, travala can expect an Increase of booking numbers I think. Are you considering to hire more people for costumers service before or around that time?
With an increased UX/UI along with more availablity we expect the platform to maintain its growth as we have seen over the past 7 months.
** Due to fast moving chat this question got messed up. The team later commented the following regarding this question:
"Due to increased users and bookings customer service & support is fast becoming a priority so there will be new hires happening in this department."
Is the ava token able to be purchased directly on the Travala website? Or will a third party have to handle this? Is there a fiat gateway plan? Will Nash handle this?
We are waiting to see how the NASH system will work, there are also legal issues around use providing direct purchases of AVA via the platform. All things we are looking into as we develop to make it easier for anyone to join the travala smart program on the platform
First of all congratulations matt for your crowdfunding on crowdcube my question is when we see travala application on both platform means app is more easy and user friendly as comapre to website so any approximately time frame ?
Thanks it was a great moment when we sucessful completed the crowdfund, something i have always wanted to complete. Mobile app development will start in October this year.
Will you list travala at some point at kayak or is this plan cancelled?
we still have open discussions with Kayak and other platforms with similar models. They wont happen right away but are still aims we have
what's your vision for travala by end of 2020 and beyond?
Growth. We want more bookings and to dominate the crypto space for travel bookings. (Which we are already doing). Along side this we will begin pushing into the mainstream market.
Hello Matt! Could you tell about your goals in the future in terms of market share? Do you see having 0.1-1% of Market share of current giants like Booking.com, Hotels.com as a realistic goal?
Our goal is to achieve a 1% market share by 2023. That said its hard to predict at this early stage due to the estimated growth of the total online travel market.
Within the crypto space we are predicting to maintain our dominance.
Along with the August update, will search improvements be also in place, so its easily to locate countries, etc, currently difficult to find all places in the Maldives for example, which we will need for the Travala knees up sometime soon
yes we are constantly tweeking and updating the search improvements on the site. We understand the issue you have mentioned and are making changes for future updates
What other (other than the SMART rewards) ways are there that have been implemented to encourage the usage of AVA on the platform instead of the other many payment options?
Rewards, discounts, Refferals, payments and reviews. other areas will be added as the platform develops
can you elaborate on the Key Opinion Leaders? Is this an affiliate marketing program outside of the $20 invite reward?
Yes that is correct, we have a unique partner program which we have began to roll out. For example bitcoin.com and Litecoin foundation have joined us on this.
Travala does already accept several cryptocurrencies as a mean of payment. Do you plan to add GAS at some point?
We are looking into this as we speak along side our partnership and collaborations with NEO
When do you expect the review giveback program to be put in place and what are the projections on % of people making reviews vs total bookings.
Will be towards the start of Q1 2020. Estimated between 0.5-1% of total booking value. This is subject to change and isnt yet set in stone.
when do you expect beta site to go live?
Beta will be a constantly rolled out version and not a one off update. First update will be in Aug.
context: 1/3 reviews can be considered as fake on TripAdvisor. How will you guys handling reviews on your platform. Can you elaborate more about this topic, because it is very vital problem in Travel industry.
We will be using our booking smart contract to verify that the user has actually stayed at the property before they are able to write the review.
I remember business accounts went live during the last update, but this isnt obvious anywhere on the site, is this something you are handling privately at the moment?
Yes its handled privately
Are there more partnerships planned for Q3 that you can't tell us yet?
Yes, we have a number of confirmed partnerships to be released. As you can tell by our past partnerships with Dash, litecoin & bitcoin.com they will always be top level collaborations.
the commission fee is said to range between 5-10% depending on maturity of the platform. Can you confirm what % the current fee is?
Currently we operate at a 10% fee. While still maintaining a 15% on average discount on our available inventory for users.
Are qualifying crowdcube contributors still receiving t-shirts and goody bag etc at some point?
only if they invested the right amounts to recieve them
when will flight booking will be avalible on travala?
Flights will be added when we are happy with the growth of the hotel bookings. It’s important to not spread yourself to thin, going down to many vertical to soon means that other products dont get the attention they need. We constantly assess how we are performing before pushing on new products and verticals
what’s your favorite part of working at Travala?
I dont work at travala, this isnt work for me. Its a lifestyle. I enjoy it all.
how would a buyout of Travala affect the tokens?
Due to AVA being such a key part in the way travala.com operates it will be a very good thing if a buyout took place. Also when a buyout happens typically the company is bought for the team.
Any plans to have a bug bountry programs as many crypto project have ,?
Along side our secuity and auditing team. We do rely on our awesome community, token holders and share holders to help us out when they see something abnormal.
You already been approached by one of the big OTA’s for an cooperation or maybe for a business level account?
our business development department is constantly pushing forward with our business level accounts
what would be the primary driver to decrease the required 5.000 token amount to become lvl 5 SMART?
Depends, we have no plans to change the program at this stage.
What are the costs to maintain Travala system and how those costs are covered? What are biggest costs?
Staff wages, servers, rent, costs of bookings, users aquisition. We gennerate revenue and our burn rate is reletivly low right now. We have just completed a crowdfund and will continue to do investment rounds as we push more capital into the growth of the platform.
is there any way to have a sneak peak of the new website :grin: ?
how many employees do you expect to have by end of Q3?
No more than 30
Are you satisfied with the development of travala so far?
Yes, our team has over delievered on all areas. Our team is world class, i look forward to continuing to over achieve
if the selected booking date is not available, can the result provide 'next available date'. Or is this already coming?
right now the platform doesnt work like this but something we may add. However it’s important that as a user you are notified clearly that those dates arent avaialble before we push another date to you. You may not noticed and think your booking for the day you selected.
With NEO’s EcoFund investment, what are Travala.com’s new strategic growth targets?
At Travala.com we continue to push our strategy towards global adoption of cryptocurrency usage for hotel and accommodation bookings. The investment falls alongside our recently completed crowdfunding and at the commencement of our series A investment round which will continue to accelerate the growth of the travala.com platform.
can we expect greater marketing in terms of adspend once beta comes online in August, or is the marketing campaign going to increase later in Q3 or Q4?
ad spends will increase at a later stage, we are currently working closely with a team at google as to how we will strategically roll this out.
how much does the crypto market dropping effect your model, and are you well prepared for a long crypto winter should that eventuate and how much do you rely on the crypto prices for stability vs getting revenue elsewhere?
We provide access to our listings with credit/debt cards, paypal and other fiat methods, along with multiple crypto currencies. We dont rely on the crypto market or the price of cryptos to operate.
do you personally believe that we will be listed on kayak in 2019?
It really depends on how quickly we can grow, if we meet our targets then yes i do believe it will happen late 2019/early 2020
What do u think about NEO blockchain
Its improving and i look forward to seeing how 3.0 is rolled out.
Will Libra be accepted as a payement method in the far future ?
If its possible to accept we will accept it.
are you guys attending more events this year?
Yes, well be at consensus Singapore and the litecoin summit (Travala.com is the official accommodation provider for these events). And potentially some others to be confirmed.
Can you share something about the plans to boost the smart memberships ?
SMART is growing monthly from our organic reach, we will continue pushing this to new users than come to travala.com
we’ve seen you guys do great work with BCH, LTC and DASH, has other top 20 coins approached you and showed interest? Will Travala harness the Seraph ID solution
Not unless its more userfriendly than how travala.com already operates
Does Travala.com have any plans in the future to work together with other NEO ecosystem projects? :laughing:
Travala already has a partnership with Nos and we look to further that once our production release of the site is released in
We also will be looking very closely at the Nash Pay feature to allow more crypto payment methods. We are always open to collaborations with other ecosystem projects that we can both benefit.
In addition to financial assistance, in what other ways will NEO’s EcoFund benefit Travala.com and help it reach its goals? Moving forward, in what capacities will NEO and Travala.com work together? How does it differ from your prior relationship?
There are a number of areas; marketing and technical support as well as harnessing the ecoboost partners with liquidity for the AVA token and more accessibility with wallet partners.
Neo intend to support travala.com with marketing & technical support as per the last question. We now have open discussions about how the relationship will develop and we look forward to working more closely with NEO moving forward. We are already working on adding GAS as a native payment on the platform and we look to become the official travel partner for NEO in the near future
Will it be possible one day to buy a smart membership directly with fiat with the nash app like buying a Prime membership on Amazon ?
Is it possible that Travala helps Airbnb to go blockchain?
Note: the URLs below are intentionally not links, because reddit blocks posts with some links; copy & paste the URL into a new browser window. Let me know if one of the offers is expired; I can probably get a new one. American Express Platinum, or any other Amex card: refer.amex.us/STEPHGa64I That's a universal Amex link; click "View all Cards with a Referral Offer" or "Explore other options" to see all the cards; or see direct links below. Chase Freedom Unlimited or Chase Freedom Flex: referyourchasecard.com/18f/9J0WMSJMOF Discover It: refer.discover.com/s/aajw3s Discover It Miles: refer.discover.com/s/discoverp Service Credit Union $75 bonus: servicecu.royalreferralcenter.com/register?token=5fa459925bc23&via=tw (first join ACC (use code "SERVICE" to waive $5 fee) to be eligible: americanconsumercouncil.org/membership.asp) One Finance (savings accounts, get $20 when deposit $100, $5 when install app, $5 when use debit card first time): share.onefinance.com/invite/StephenG/c826f427 SoFi Money: sofi.com/invite/money?gcp=4c18ffe3-fa7c-4d78-8683-d6376e8fa364 SoFi student loan refi, or personal loan: sofi.com/share/3156511 Yotta Savings: withyotta.page.link/akhdD5RZ2QYsnyBx5 code: STEPHEN8 PrizePool Savings: links.getprizepool.com/Nq6wtv7Wvab code: MB13B (gives you 10% bonus on winnings; enter the code in the app when creating an account, on the page that asks for your date of birth) Fluz: joinfluz.app.link/FLUZ77 Chase Checking account: accounts.chase.com/raf/share/355088785 Plastiq: try.plastiq.com/1048197 DCU (Digital Federal Credit Union): send me a message with your email address E*TRADE brokerage: refer.etrade.net/etrade7 Webull brokerage app: act.webull.com/promotion/invitation/share.html?inviteCode=GtykbApaHMKm Robinhood: share.robinhood.com/stepheg643 Firstrade brokerage (get a free stock): share.firstrade.com/StephenVKOZ Juno Bank: bankonjuno.com/referral/STEPsLeD Schwab Brokerage: schwab.com/public/schwab/nn/promo/refer-prospect.html?refrid=REFER3S78B or code: REFER3S78B TurboTax Online 20% off: fbuy.io/qv59t76z tastyworks brokerage: start.tastyworks.com/#/login?referralCode=ZHB8MT9VT4 Instacart: inst.ct/Y3BSZzgzb3FQ or code: IUSER54F18E Uber: uber.com/invite/pezyj or code: pezyj Uber Eats promo code ($7 off first order): eats-pezyj Lyft: sg1234567 Square Cash (Cash App): cash.me/app/XXTBXJR (get $15 when you send $5 to someone) Away (luggage): refer.awaytravel.com/v/away_11 Brinks prepaid mastercard & 5% savings account: brinksprepaidmastercard.com/get-a-prepaid-card/?aid=B_RAF_1&site_id=RAF_OAC_URL&uref=9079942135 ACE Elite prepaid card & 5% savings account: aceelitecard.com/get-a-prepaid-card/?aid=ACE_RAF_1&site_id=RAF_OAC_URL&uref=8304960094 Netspend prepaid card & 5% savings account: mynetspendcard.com?uref=1394182596 Personal Capital: share.personalcapital.com/x/XD87nM TradingView: tradingview.com/chart?offer_id=10&aff_id=13733 Pei app: getpei.com/invite enter code: imkbip Dosh app: link.dosh.cash/STEPHEG1 or code: STEPHEG1 Drop app: b.ewd.io/code?c=0us2i or code: 0us2i Ibotta app: ibotta.com/az36ka or code: az36ka Checkout 51 app: checkout51.app.link/OhdB48ik8Q Fetch Rewards app: fetchrewards.com code: J5BCY (enter in app) Shopkick app: getsk.co/cool014385 or code: COOL014385 ReceiptPal app: app.adjust.com/oqlq9t9?label=8RT7PR2 Grubhub: fbuy.me/kT5Mu DoorDash: drd.sh/CFo8LW/ Freshly: send me a message and I'll give you a link OhmConnect: ohm.co/ohmg1 BeFrugal: befrugal.com/referral/?ref=GASGOAF Affinityy: affinityy.com/?ref=MTY2ODM= TopCashBack: topcashback.com/ref/sgt7 Extrabux: extrabux.com/5cb27229d7 MrRebates: mrrebates.com?refid=484053 Rakuten / Ebates rakuten.com/717813?eeid=28187 Giving Assistant: givingassistant.org/?rid=QjGx2mHU9l iConsumer: iconsumer.com/tkJgfiO or code: tkJgfiO Swagbucks: swagbucks.com/refesg77 SimplyBestCoupons: simplybestcoupons.com/?refid=60199 rebatesme: rebatesme.com/refer?uid=134250 Fuel Rewards (Shell): fuelrewards.com/fuelrewards/welcome.html?RefId=e7908f3dce4d47f39bbd46ff4e38acb6 GoCashBack: www.gocashback.com/1860530 or code JBYYVF Fold: use.foldapp.com/Cv9HMujj (buy gift cards and get bitcoin back) Lolli: lolli.com/ref/PjzxLWQJNg (portal that pays bitcoin) Goodshop (cashback portal): www.goodshop.com/invite/4505068 (gives you a bonus based on cashback that people you refer earn) Groupon: groupon.com/visitor_referral/h/4d0155fb-db60-413e-87ac-4fc26ef7fe05 Zola (create a registry and buy $50 from it, get $50 credit): www.zola.com/invite/zola20200414031329708 AwardWallet: awardwallet.com/?refCode=3cdbq14qs7 Supercuts (we each get $5 off): supercutsrewards.com/short.php?code=1H1F DraftKings: draftkings.com/sgdrk Ace Rewards (Ace Hardware): acehardwareapp.page.link/Fc9u Dropbox: db.tt/OQV2OLnKdR Boxed: boxed.com/invite/6IG3R simplehuman.com ($10 off $20): rwrd.io/hi6ci9l?c Purple mattress: share.purple.com/x/pGCY9k PlushBeds: refer.plushbeds.com/Stephen6 Gemini exchange: gemini.com/share/o24jdk Coinbase: send me a message Coinbase Earn (free EOS): coinbase.com/earn/eos/invite/pm1695kv Coinbase Earn (free XLM): coinbase.com/earn/xlm/invite/vr821z4m Voyager: go.onelink.me/4gTreferral?af_sub5=STESS7 or code: STESS7 (crypto broker; trade $100 and both people get $25 in BTC) LVL exchange ($10 free bitcoin): lvl.co/qswwx6qb or invite code qswwx6qb bitFlyer exchange (no bonus for you, gives me a small bonus): bitflyer.com/en-us?affi=n5sshohk Binance.US exchange (for US residents): binance.us/?ref=35012844 or Referral ID: 35012844 ShapeShift: signup.shapeshift.com/?mwr=8589-e0bb8d9b Bittrex exchange (no bonus for you, gives me 10% of your commissions): bittrex.com/Account/Register?referralCode=FYS-2DK-G23 or code FYS-2DK-G23 Paxful (trade bitcoin for discounted gift cards, etc): paxful.com/?r=VX5Ywx44LkA Purse.io: purse.io/?_r=5MyAl0 (discounts at amazon if pay with bitcoin; referral bonus $5 if spend $100) p2pb2b exchange: p2pb2b.io/referral/1a955c5a-7f08-43f5-8367-bfa524c4bd88 freebitcoin (faucet / dice game): freebitco.in/?r=9293862 TREZOR hardware wallets: shop.trezor.io/?offer_id=10&aff_id=1230 Ledger hardware wallets: ledger.com?r=4ef2e7aeee27 Or if you just want to send me a donation: BTC: 3G4JZx3KgT7djgGk6KUbUn7cZ31BbtYf2r LTC: LR6hgNSy2ZkS7PHtAm1xcJmPy6YyQJha7d ETH: 0x6fb827db4969d762b62345168ef559CF8194680B XMR: 48WwtRnERgMA3pHjDVp1PpZn1eDs4tYL2adghbBJ8zdp3MjoyMZtTXQ2dKAq465jVgJdQvDp5eShkbnCmfj8vJB1MqJmPRZ Card-specific American Express links (also see universal Amex link above, if one of these doesn't work): Personal Amex cards: Amex Blue Cash Preferred Amex Blue Cash Everyday Amex Cash Magnet Amex Everyday Amex Everyday Preferred Amex Gold Amex Platinum Amex Delta Gold SkyMiles Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex Green Amex Delta Platinum SkyMiles Amex Hilton Surpass Amex Hilton Honors Aspire Amex Hilton Honors Amex Delta Blue SkyMiles Amex Delta Reserve Business Amex cards: Amex Business Gold Rewards Amex Business Platinum Amex Blue Business Plus (BBP) Amex Blue Business Cash Amex Business Green Rewards Amex Delta Platinum Business Amex Delta Gold Business Amex Delta Reserve Business Amex Hilton Honors Business Amex Plum Amex Lowe's Business Rewards Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex Amazon Business Prime (I no longer have this card open, but the link still shows a bonus for you)
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