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Bob The Magic Custodian
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.
A HISTORY OF HUOBI Huobi was founded in 2013 by their current CEO and chairman, Leon Li. Li’s background includes having attended Tshingua University, specializing in Automation. Before starting the Huobi Group, Li spent time as a computer engineer at Oracle. In December of 2013, Huobi was named as the largest digital asset exchange operating in China. 2017 saw Huobi extend their limbs into Korea, Singapore, and Japan. Currently, Huobi has headquarters of various financial sectors based in: Singapore; South Korea; Japan; Australia; Indonesia; Russia; Argentina; Thailand; and China. The company has strived to give customers not only a great exchange, but a great resource for any service one may need. Despite the many difficulties faced with Chinese government in regards to cryptocurrency laws, Huobi has managed to adapt to the changes and thrive globally, eventually branching off into various sectors including venture capital, a cryptocurrency wallet project, and a division dedicated to working with mining pools. HUOBI'S PLATFORM spot trading : Huobi offers several different platforms to serve any customer’s needs. For starters, Huobi offers a standard spot trading platform that operates similarly to many other spot trading platforms in the industry. The platform features a multi-timeframe chart, a depth chart, and integration with TradingView (including their tools). Customers are able to view the order book and the asset trading history, as well as their own personal order history. Limit orders, Market orders, and Stop-Limit orders are all available options for traders. margin trading : For the trader that prefers to trade with a little more volume or risk, Huobi offers a Margin trading platform. Customers can apply for loans through Huobi to trade a greater quantity of cryptocurrencies and profit from the price spread. The original loan must be paid back, and accounts can be liquidated if the risk ratio falls below 110% (calculated as: [(Loaned Amount + Tradable Balance) Total Asset] / [(Interest Payable + Loaned Amount)] x 100%.) Traders can margin trade with Bitcoin; Ethereum; XRP; Litecoin; Bitcoin Cash; and EOS. These assets can be traded with USDT or BTC. futures trading : Huobi also offers a Futures trading platform. While margin trading can be risky, trading contracts is said to be very high-risk. With that being said, Huobi offers Weekly, Bi-Weekly, and Quarterly contracts in Bitcoin; Ethereum Classic; Ethereum; EOS; Litecoin; Bitcoin Cash; XRP; TRX; and Bitcoin SV. OTC(P2P) - The OTC, or over-the-counter, section of Huobi offers potential buyers and sellers a way to move large quantities of coins without exposure to the fickle exchange market. Certified merchants can register here, and slippage can be minimized by matching buyers and sellers directly instead of creating market orders. HUOBI APPS While you do have the online trading interface, Huobi does have computer programs and mobile apps that you can use. I found that the PC programmes were more functional as they did not have to rely on the PC browser and were hence much faster. They also have better charting and you are in more control of your trading parameters. These programs are available on Windows and Mac devices. However, if you are a trader that is always on the go, that is where the Huobi mobile apps come in. These were developed for the main exchange but you can switch to the derivative markets on the futures and swaps platform. This was a pretty well designed application and you have one-touch ordering as well as some basic charting functionality. The app is available in iOS and Android and you can head on over to the respective app stores to get a sense of the feedback. EXCHANGE SECURITY Huobi operates a hot and cold wallet storage procedure. This means that they keep the vast amount of their coin holdings in an offline environment away from hackers. They then have a smaller percentage in “hot” wallets with multisig capability. They also operate a decentralized server structure around the world which can ensure uptime irrespective of whether one of the servers goes down. You can think of this as effective load balancing. Finally, they have anti DDoS measures in place. We all know that crypto exchanges are prime targets for Denial of Service attacks and it can be quite frustrating when these are perpetrated in peak market times. IS HUOBI TRUSTWORTHY? Huobi, like many exchanges in the space, has had, at one time, some shady history, but for the most part, has managed to maintain a clean reputation. Historically, Chinese exchanges have shown to operate in accordance with different standards, with many exchanges having to suffer at the will and whim of the Chinese government. Some of the controversy Huobi has seen in the past has been a result of this (particularly with the Chinese ban on ICO tokens). It should be noted that in 2017, the exchange did invest into “wealth-management products” using idle customer funds. This sort of activity shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, with that being said, the exchange continues to turn over a large amount of volume. For the most part, the exchange can be considered a trustworthy platform to trade popular and exotic cryptocurrencies. This does not mean it is entirely safe to store user funds on the exchange, as the exchange (or the user funds) can be susceptible to risk at any given moment. No matter how comfortable one may be with the internet, one should always remember that the internet is not as safe as many would like to believe. Huobi does have measures in place in the unfortunate event that an account is breached, and if verifiable, the customer may be able to retrieve lost funds. A unique feature offered on Huobi is their Official Media Authenticator. This essentially lets users enter the URL of a content channel to see if the channel is authentic. A feature like this, while seemingly simple, could save anyone from potentially losing their funds due to a scam or phishing website. HUOBI REVIEW VERDICT Huobi Global offers a signficant host of features to its users and has maintained its credibility over a long period of time. This is largely one of the main reasons it a ranked as a top 4 exchange by liquidity as its users trust their funds there. After establishing itself in Asia, Huobi is trying to branch out and take on other areas of the globe which is great news for Western traders. Additionally, the Huobi prime platform could provide some great opportunities for the exchange users moving forward. Huobi Website: https://www.huobi.com/topic/invited/?invite_code=q7g23 Huobi Indian Community: https://t.me/huobiglobalindia Huobi Global Community: https://t.me/huobiglobalofficial
Join the Reward program;
Create and confirm an account on Uphold;
How to withdraw BAT from Brave;
Convert BAT to BitBay and convert it to your local currency.
Start the Brave browser and enable "Brave Rewards". You can do this by typing " brave: // rewards / " in a browser window
Click the BAT cryptocurrency icon (triangle). If any tokens are available, a message will be shown, otherwise repeat this action in 30 days.
Click on "Rewards Settings", then click on the "Get" button. The number of tokens is limited, so if you don't see a "Claim" button, it means you don't have any funds available. They will be available soon if you are using Brave.
20 BAT tokens you received can be donated as a "tip".
Now you have to register as a" publisher " to get your referral link. To do this, select the "Publishers" option. For each recommended user you can get $ 5 in equivalent of BAT currency.
In the URL input field, type: "brave://rewards/" and start watching ads for BAT tokens (option will be available soon).
Browsing the Internet with Brave, you can earn free BAT tokens.
Create and verify an account on Uphold Creating and verifying an account with Uphold is a very important step. If you've completed all the steps above, you should already be a verified Brave publisher. What is Uphold? Uphold is a cloud-based financial services platform that allows its users to convert, store and execute transactions anywhere in any form of currency or goods immediately and securely. Website contributed more than 1 billion dollars for transactions made by participants from 181 countries. The platform maintains companies, programmers, non-governmental organizations, non-profit organizations, and private citizens. For companies and programmers, Uphold is a platform where cloud benefits can be extended to their own company or customers. For individuals, Uphold serves as a wallet for simple, fast, secure and affordable financial services. Your Brave Rewards wallets will be transferred to your Uphold wallet. Payments are made once a month; you will be notified by email about the transfer from Brave to Uphold. The mail looks like on the picture below: https://preview.redd.it/wu95q11oqkp31.jpg?width=560&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=168c9ae0c7fcecb2059118dcdb44f6c084058585 How to create an Uphold account? To create an Uphold account, go to "uphold.com/signup" and follow the three-step registration process:
Enter your email address, password, account type, and country of residence.
Enter your name, status (if applicable), date of birth, set a username for your account, and phone number.
Enable two-step verification.
Uphold account verification To become a verified platform member and gain access to the full range of Uphold services, you must complete the verification process. This process includes the provision of confidential information. To become a verified member:
Take a photo of your valid ID, every detail should be clear, without glare. To do this, take a photo of one of the following documents:
Make a live photo (selfie) / photo of your face.
Tips for successful verification:
Take a photo of your valid ID where every detail is legible without glare or particles.
Take all photos in a brightly lit place.
Turn off the flash to avoid glare on the document.
Make sure the credentials match those in your Uphold account (official name, no pseudonyms).
Make sure your legal document is valid for at least 3 months more.
No photos. When taking a picture, it should be a "live selfie".
Verification is usually completed within a few minutes, and after confirmation, you get instant access to all resources. Here is an example of verifying your identity using the Uphold web app: https://i.redd.it/9wx912rwqkp31.gif How do I link my Brave Rewards account to Uphold? If you already have a verified Uphold account, it's time to link it to your Brave Rewards account. For this:
Find the "Your Uphold wallet" field on the left side of the publisher's panel
To connect your account with Uphold, click corresponding button.
If everything was fine, you will see a green sign "Connected".
https://preview.redd.it/ibysmap1rkp31.jpg?width=600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=c1a144c51ceffd93173e8dad8ac39bc7fb735371 From now on, your funds in the form of BAT cryptocurrency, Brave browser will send directly to your Uphold wallet. This will happen 08th of every month. If you have received a verified publisher status, you can transfer BAT cryptocurrency from Uphold wallet to any Bitcoin wallet, such as Exodus, or directly to exchange cryptocurrencies, for example, Binance. ATTENTION! The steps in the guide above don't guarantee 100% free BAT (Basic Attention Token) from brave.com. The pool of tokens intended for the campaign is limited in number. When registering on all sites described in the manual, you must provide confidential personal information, you do so at your own risk. I also recommend you to read all the terms of the contract. Cryptocurrencies and their trading are complex instruments and involve a high risk of rapid money loss. The vast majority of retail investor accounts record losses as a result of cryptocurrency trading. Consider whether you understand how cryptocurrency works, and whether you can afford the high risk of losing money. When making investment decisions, you should be guided by your own opinion.
General info and list of exchanges for FantasyGold
Sports Betting and Esports Cryptocurrency FGC SPECS WHY FGC? MASTERNODES BUY FGC WALLETS OUR TEAM NEWS EXPLORER WHITE PAPER AFFILIATE PROGRAM CONTACT BITCOIN MEETS FANTASY SPORTS & ESPORTS FANTASY GOLD Fantasy Gold is the official crypto currency for the $7 Billion Fantasy Sports industry with decentralized Masternodes to power InstantSend and PrivateSend functions. FANTASY GOLD SPECS PEER TO PEER CRYPTO FANTASY SPORTS THE PROBLEM Daily Fantasy Sports sites earn a 10% commission for each contest, however credit card processing is as high as 5%…cutting profits in half. Player Deposits can be frozen or worse stolen. Combined with the risk of Fraudulent Deposits & Charge Backs, a more secure and cost effective solution is needed. THE SOLUTION To solve these & other problems we have created Fantasy Gold. Our coin is more secure for both the end user & fantasy sports sites. Transaction costs are drastically lowered. With our Blockchain & open ledger, players can be confident their deposited funds are safe & are used only to payout prize pools. Ticker FGC Algorithm NIST5 Type POW / POS Max Coin Supply 21,000,000 Target Spacing 90 Seconds Block Reward 47 FGC What is Fantasy Gold? Fantasy Gold is a peer to peer crypto currency and blockchain serving the $7Billion fantasy sports industry in both the B2B and B2C spaces as well as the $1.5 billion competitive eSports industry. Fantasy Gold acts as in-game currency used to enter contests and pay prizes as well as a payment processing network. Fantasy Gold Coin is more secure for both the end user and fantasy sports sites. Transaction costs are fractions of a penny and our blockchain and open ledger players can be confidant their deposited funds are safe and used only to pay out prize pools. Unlike using traditional centralized payment processing the Fantasy Gold project does not charge any addition transaction or service fees to use the payment network. Senders pay a small transaction fee that is awarded to miners who process the transactions and Masternodes who verify the transactions. Anyone with access to standard desktop graphics cards can act as a miner and anyone who holds 10,000 Fantasy Gold coins can run a Masternode on a basic VPS server or even a Raspberry Pi. Fantasy Sports Fantasy Gold will host daily fantasy sports contests on its own branded site DraftDaily.com using the Company’s proprietary Daily Fantasy Sports (“DFS”) platform. DraftDaily.com allows users compete against one another to win prizes awarded in Fantasy Gold Coin (FGC). The site currently offers daily and weekly fantasy sports contests for the following sports leagues: NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL. We anticipate lunching Fantasy Cricket in May 2018 followed by Fantasy Soccer. Esports eSports tournaments and 1v1 contests will be hosted on the Company’s proprietary eSports platform, FGCArena.com. Fantasy Gold will hold monthly live tournament events starting in May 2018 in Las Vegas with a minimum of 300,000 expected viewers per event. Fantasy Gold Coin will be the in game currency used for tournament entries and prize pools. Live events may also include additional cash prizes provided by sponsors and from crowd sourcing. FantasyGold has partnered with Millennial eSports to organize the events to be held at their eSports Arena in Las Vegas. FantasyGold Masternodes Masternodes help secure the Fantasy Gold network by making it more decentralized, providing a consensus for every transaction. Masternodes are nodes (servers) that run the Fantasy Gold wallet software that provide additional services to the network including instant and private transactions. However the one of the more important features are decentralized community governance and budgeting systems and the ability to publish immutable proposals to the community with the means to vote on proposals. For providing these important services, Masternode owners are rewarded a portion of each block. Block Rewards will be split between POS and Masternodes as follows: 20% POS / 80% Masternodes The block reward is 90% to Masternodes and 10% to Miners. After block 43200 the reward is split 80% to Masternodes and 20% to staking. Buy FGC & Download a Wallet “Now is the time to buy Fantasy Gold” Fantasy Gold acts as in-game currency used to enter contests and pay prizes as well as a payment processing network. — FANTASY GOLD TEAM Windows Wallet Mac Wallet Linux Wallet FANTASY GOLD DEVELOPMENT TEAM Meet Our Awesome Team Members! Nicolas Hernandez FGC COIN LEAD & DEVELOPER Jason DraftDaily SR. VICE PRES. BUSINESS OP. Alok Kumar Saxena CTO & LEAD WEBSITE DEVELOPER Mark Petrozzella DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Steven Spooner COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR Craig Williams COMMUNITY DIRECTOR Tim Baker FGC Coin Developer Spencer W. GRAPHICS & DESIGN Prince Dwivedi APPLICATION DEVELOPER Kevin Browne EU BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Colton ESPORTS DIRECTOR LATEST NEWS VIA TWITTER CONTACT US Your name Your email Subject Your message OUR PARTNERS FOLLOW US EXCHANGE LIST Kucoin Binance Bit-Z Bibox Linkcoin Qryptos Bitrue
Cloud Mining: Diese Bitcoin Mining Art bezeichnet Internet Dienstleister, bei denen man Cloud Mining Pakete kaufen oder mieten kann. Browser Mining: Mit dem Browser einfach Bitcoins schürfen beim Surfen oder Spielen. Mining Pool: Bitcoin Miner schließen sich in Pools zusammen, um die Rechenaufgaben gemeinsam besser lösen zu können. Slush Pool is the first publicly available mining pool, first annouced in 2010 under the name Bitcoin Pooled Mining Server. Slush Pool allows users to mine BTC and ZEC. Bitcoin can be mined for a 2% fee, while ZEC is mined for free. The pool shares the transaction fees earned with miners. Unique Voting System – Our pool stays politically ... Binance is looking to consolidate more bitcoin mining hashrate to its pool in Russia and the Central Asia region. The world’s largest crypto exchange is deploying a physical server node for its pool at BitRiver, the largest bitcoin mining hosting provider in Bratsk, Russia. The move would give miner owners at BitRiver who choose to […] Besides Bitcoin (BTC) mining, Binance Pool also supports Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) mining. The 24h earnings are deposited directly into the Binance Mining Pool wallet at 08:00 (UTC+8) on the current day. The fees are from 0.5% to 2.5%. The payout reward scheme used on Binance Pool is FPPS. For Windows, at your own discretion, you may use a tool like "Atomic Clock". Linux and Mac maybe synced using "ntpdate" via command line. Linux and Mac maybe synced using "ntpdate" via command line. If unable to resolve, it may be latency-related (a network issue) and adjusting your recvWindow may be required. Fazit zum Mining von Bitcoin. Wenn Sie am Mining von Bitcoin interessiert sind, kann das auf lange Sicht eine sich lohnende Entscheidung sein. Sie haben die Wahl zwischen Mining mit eigener Hardware oder im Pool oder durch Cloud-Mining.Beide haben ihre Vor- und Nachteile gegenüber den Bitcoin Kauf.Grundsätzlich profitieren Sie als Miner von steigenden und stagnierenden Kursen und damit ... Beim Bitcoin Cloud Mining nutzt der Miner zur Verfügung gestellte Server. Bitcoin Mining Hardware. Um erfolgreich minen zu können, benötigt man also einiges an Rechenleistung. Möchte man das Mining ausprobieren, benötigt man hierfür aber nicht gleich einen teuren ASIC-Miner. Auch der hauseigene PC bringt ja schon Rechenleistung mit. Quelle: Screenshot Handelsblatt. Anfang 2018 stieg ... Für Windows kannst du nach deinem eigenen Ermessen ein Programm verwenden wie "Atomic Clock". Linux und Mac können über den Befehl "ntpdate" synchronisiert werden. Sollte das Problem immer noch bestehen, ist es möglicherweise latenzbezogen (ein Netzwerk Problem) und die Anpassung von recvWindow mag notwendig sein. Einfachste Bedienung: MultiMiner (Bitcoin Mining Software – Windows & Mac) Wenn Ihnen das ganze Konzept der Kryptowährung völlig neu ist, kann es ein wenig entmutigend sein, mit dem Minen Ihrer eigenen Bitcoin zu beginnen. Auch die Tatsache, dass die meisten der Minen-Dienstprogramme auf der Kommandozeile basieren, ist nicht gerade hilfreich. Aber es gibt eine Lösung, und die heißt ... Slush Pool war der erste Bitcoin Mining Pool. Dieser wurde im Jahr 2010 unter dem Namen „Bitcoin Pooled Mining Server“ eröffnet. Slush Pool wird von Satoshi Labs, dem tschechischen Technologieunternehmen, betrieben. Der Pool steht für seine einzigartige Score-basierte Methodik. Diese vermeidet das Risiko, von anderen Minern betrogen zu werden, wenn sie innerhalb einer Runde einen Pool ...
Mining pools - bitcoin mining pools: how to generate ...
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