Die 5 größten Bitcoin-Börsen-Hacks - BTC-ECHO

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:

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:
See - all problems are solved! All we have to worry about now is:
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:
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:
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):



Thoughts?
submitted by azoundria2 to QuadrigaInitiative [link] [comments]

Does anyone have any experience using Casa to buy and hold BTC?

Does anyone have any experience using Casa to buy and hold BTC?
The multisig feature seems really interesting but I can't find any reviews online. For either, the multisig or newly launched custodian app. I am guessing this is due to how new the service is. Everything I can find refers to the node product they sell
I used Mt. Gox in the past and got hacked, which put me off bitcoin for many years. I was tempted back to BTC when Goldmoney started providing offline custodianship than after a few months of them offering the service they closed down their crypto department.
Recently I have been stacking sats buying from coinbase and sending them to a Trezor. Which has been good but the high CB fees and the worry of having my keys in a lockbox at home has left me looking for other ways to buy and securely hold my crypto.
Would anyone recommend them?
submitted by JeffreyBeaumont89 to BitcoinBeginners [link] [comments]

XT.COM CEO Weber was invited to attend Hacken’s online AMA Event

XT.COM CEO Weber was invited to attend Hacken’s online AMA Event
At 10:00 on the evening of September 24, XT.COM CEO Weber WOO and Haken, the world's leading cyber security consulting company, launched an online AMA with the theme of "Future Development of XT.COM". Weber talked about XT.COM's history, team, business development and attitude towards the development of the blockchain industry. When talking about the future market trend of XT.COM, Weber said, "XT will continue to explore markets in Europe, Southeast Asia, South Asia and South America in the future, and further strengthen XT's international market."
The community members actively presented their questions following the event. Congratulations to the four users u/Nos Tha u/brucelee199 u/DanielleStelle u/brunoiat, getting rewards for putting up questions.

https://preview.redd.it/dp6zmy7fv8p51.png?width=1280&format=png&auto=webp&s=e76a3bb2da20084b5074ee077347ab0446d5e430
For those missing the broadcast, Mr.XT has compiled the content for everyone~ Let’s get a review~
Host: Dyma Budorin | Hacken CEO
Guest: Weber WOO | XT.COM CEO
Dyma:Please introduce yourself a little.Where are you from?When were you involved in crypto?
Weber:Hello Hackeners. I am Weber Woo from the XT.COM exchange. I am glad to be invited here to share something about the XT exchange, XT team, and also myself. I am from Shanghai, China. When I was studying MBA at school in 2012, I read an article in Business Week about Bitcoin being very popular in Iran. Because of sanctions, many Iranians bought bitcoin to transfer their assets to overseas. That was the first time I heard about crypto.
Dyma:What experience do you have in crypto? Trading? Mining? Investing? Holding? Only positive experience or negative, too?
Weber:I will talk about my experience in Blockchain, and also my team.
In 2013, after my friends involved in Bitcoin, I also started to pay more attention to it. We began to mine Bitcoin.
From 2013-2016, we are more focused on mining and trading. We have 100,000 mining machines in our mining factory, located in Yunnan, Sichuan province in China. Of course, most of them are owned by our customers.
At the end of 2016, we started our mining pool business. Our mining portfolio included BTC, ETH, ETC, ZEC, SC, DCR. We had 5%of ETH computing power at the peak.
At the beginning of 2017, we invested a crypto exchange in China. But it was stopped in September 2017, because of China's new policies.
In the middle of 2018, we started the XT exchange in Seychelles, headquartered in HongKong.
Dyma:Have you ever been hacked?
Weber:I've never been hacked directly But lost my Bitcoin from the MT. Gox hack in 2014. That taught me a lot to keep crypto-assets safe.
The MT. Gox incident also reminded our team and me to take security measures very seriously when running the XT exchange.
Business
1.We know that XT has more than 1 millionn global users. You might have a big team. How many people? What idea does unite them?
Currently, XT has more than 80 employees comprised of the C-level team, technical developers, marketers, and business developers. More than 40% of our team have Postgraduate educational background. Our team comes from previous companies like Alibaba, Tencent, China Unicoin, Bosch, LG, and more.
Everyone on the team has a high level of understanding of what opportunities blockchain can and does provide for the world.
2.XT was introduced in 2018 — just in the beginning of crypto winter. Was it hard to start in such conditions? How did you motivate yourself and your colleagues?
Since XT started in a bear market, it was easier for us than other exchanges to stay agile and motivated.
We continued to grow our team and focus on building an exchange that protects its users and listens to what they want.
Understanding that just like any market, crypto goes through market cycles too. We stayed motivated and focused on being ready for the next bull market.
We already spend seven years in the blockchain industry. The bear market is an excellent opportunity to start a new business to save costs and talent recruits.
3.Is it really hard to be a Chinese crypto exchange nowadays?
As I said before, the XT exchange was registered in Seychelles, headquartered in HongKong. We are not officially a Chinese crypto exchange.
Half of our users are from other global markets than China. We are the most popular in Korea and Japan.
Of course, Crypto is still very popular in China, especially recently, with the rise of DeFi. Investors are smarter than 2017, but everyone is excited about all the new blockchain space developments.

https://preview.redd.it/91rmlsidv8p51.png?width=693&format=png&auto=webp&s=debd3e9f3c6bd5efad4b58589fe5e988179d7e19
4.Are your developers working on some new features? What should we expect?
Currently, XT is working on bringing new features to the exchange.
XT is the first social infused exchange that launched a Group Trading function in the BiYong App. BiYong is a social application focused on the Chinese market.
BiYong has more than 5 million users in total. We are the only partner for BiYong in Group trading. Users can trade within the social chatting app together as a collective.
I want to share some benefits for Group Trading.

https://preview.redd.it/4ephtzbcv8p51.png?width=753&format=png&auto=webp&s=191ca9c7e4d294159347d549b6ecd8cdb66ebbfe
This is how Group Trading typically works.

https://preview.redd.it/50opietbv8p51.png?width=753&format=png&auto=webp&s=aaddfb7071da6cb75f249927bbd8ae3591b39793
XT.com is launching a DEX.
We will launch DEX in quarter four this year. The product is still developing, so I cannot share more about it. We are glad to share it when it's ready.
Crypto future
1.Do you think the crypto winter is over?
With everything going on in the world currently, it is difficult to predict the future. I believe we are now in a bull market cycle, but things can change very quickly. We see different lengths of bear markets in the space as it grows. We must all pay attention to the trends and proceed accordingly.
2.Do you believe in the DeFi’s potential to make mass adoption closer? Why do you think it is so popular today?
The rise of DeFi has been incredible this year. Projects like LINK, UNI, YFI caught the attention of millions. The technology for real use cases has been implemented, and there is a real opportunity to get in on the ground floor for eager investors.
With the recent airdrop from Uniswap with their new token, UNI has only driven interest within the DeFi space. I believe it will take time, but DeFi is here to stay regardless if the market decides to cycle again.
We can see DeFi Locked Value in the past three years in the following pic. It's popular and here to stay.
https://preview.redd.it/utk4j4aav8p51.png?width=753&format=png&auto=webp&s=6a9d785c7e854ecc258c2c75f2458b5eceff20ac

3.What could you advise your users? What are the main risks in trading and investing today?
I advise anyone trading or investing in crypto to be smart.
The crypto market is a very volatile place. Using good risk management is critical to ensure the security of their funds.
Do not put all your eggs and one basket and only invest what you are willing to lose would be my recommendation, especially when it comes to altcoins.
I think that Bitcoin and Etheruem are the best low-risk long term investment options.
So I suggest you can divide your investment into 3 sections. For example, 40% in BTC and ETH, 30% for Top 50 altcoins, and 30% for HIGH risk projects if you are willing to take the risk.
We can see the risk from this picture.
https://preview.redd.it/8j9hvng5v8p51.png?width=753&format=png&auto=webp&s=e2ea47fa1cae0940e80048405d064d7726e6c6dc
4. What are your and your company long-term plans? Where will you be in 5 years?
Regarding the market, XT will continue to grow as we expand to more world markets like Europe, SE Asian, South Asian, and South America.
For compliance, we already had our MSB license approved in the US and will apply for more in different markets in the future.
On the business side, we will still focus on mining and the exchange. Of course, our CEX and DEX will be our primary focus in the years to come.
About Hacken
Hacken is a premier cybersecurity consulting company with an essential focus on cryptocurrency exchanges and blockchain security.
Website: https://hacken.io/
About XT.COM
XT.COM is the world's first social infused exchange. Users can chat in communities while knowing the market trend to invest. In XT communities, users explore valuable coins together.
XT.COM is building towards garnering loyalty and bring new potential for the development of the entire blockchain industry. To achieve better development, it is necessary to break the tradition with a fresh model.
XT Exchange not only empowers the blockchain industry but leads the industry with its innovation.
submitted by okoAlderman to XTExchange [link] [comments]

HOW TO MANAGE AND STORE YOUR CRYPTO: CRYPTO WALLETS – By Mickael Mosse

Since Bitcoin is a relative new topic and not everybody looks to invest in cryptocurrencies, for most it remains a theoretical matter of our modern world. But to make cryptocurrencies a reality closer to our daily lives than we believe, I’d like to talk about crypto wallets.
A crypto wallet is the specific tool that allow anyone who owns cryptocurrencies to access them and make use of them in the real world. As the word says, a crypto wallet has the function to store and make available our crypto. However, more than storing our crypto -which is completely digital -, crypto wallets hold the private keys that protect and authorize access to the digital coins.
Whoever controls the private keys controls the crypto attached to those keys. This is why one of the main steps to owning crypto: choosing the right wallet for you. A crypto wallet manages the private keys for you and, for that reason, the coins you possess. But not all wallets are made the same. In the market it exists several types of crypto wallet. It can be an app, a website, or a physical device that manages the private keys for you. The main thing to consider when choosing a wallet is level of safety they offer in the management of your private keys.
While with hardware wallets you have total control of your private keys, online wallets are the ones who have control over your keys. Wallet apps also allow you to have complete access to your keys but having to depend on devices connected to the internet make them more vulnerable to hackers than a hardware wallet but are more safe than online wallets, which are the most prone to these attacks. The digital aspect of cryptocurrency makes the need to be connected to the internet in order to have access to your coins. Of course, there will always be people trying to take advantage to any weaknesses existent. Not only hackers you have to be aware of, but shady applications that claim to be crypto wallets to just have access to your private keys. As easy to wanting to download an app from Playstore or Apple store, you unknowingly be leaded to possibility of a hack.
Also, you have to be aware that crypto exchanges are not wallets. Some of them offer to store your private keys, and although they’re safe exchanges, they don’t specialize in the storage of keys. The most famous case of crypto loss due to this is the case of Mt. Gox. People placed their trust in this exchange for storing their private keys and billions of dollars in Bitcoins were irrecoverable. Even if you choose the safest wallet by your own terms, you can lose the keys, which are a series of numbers of letters, if you don’t have a backup. People have the option to rely even on a piece of paper to store their private key, as long as it remains out of destructive elements. Remember that the private keys protect your assets in crypto but, if you are not careful, you can be locked out from ever seeing them again.
So it’s good your considering all the pros and cons of investing in crypto and how much it would serve your own interest, but crypto wallets are another not-so-known aspect that require a good amount of investment in time and searching about. Although this article is by far a guideline to choose a crypto wallet, I hope it is a good start, and an awakening one, to your searching quest and your plans to make owning crypto a reality.
Mickael Mosse — Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Expert
submitted by williamsouza10 to u/williamsouza10 [link] [comments]

How To End The Cryptocurrency Exchange "Wild West" Without Crippling Innovation


In case you haven't noticed the consultation paper, staff notice, and report on Quadriga, regulators are now clamping down on Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges. The OSC and other regulatory bodies are still interested in industry feedback. They have not put forward any official regulation yet. Below are some ideas/insights and a proposed framework.



Many of you have limited time to read the full proposal, so here are the highlights:

Offline Multi-Signature

Effective standards to prevent both internal and external theft. Exchange operators are trained and certified, and have a legal responsibility to users.

Regular Transparent Audits

Provides visibility to Canadians that their funds are fully backed on the exchange, while protecting privacy and sensitive platform information.

Insurance Requirements

Establishment of basic insurance standards/strategy, to expand over time. Removing risk to exchange users of any hot wallet theft.


Background and Justifications


Cold Storage Custody/Management
After reviewing close to 100 cases, all thefts tend to break down into more or less the same set of problems:
• Funds stored online or in a smart contract,
• Access controlled by one person or one system,
• 51% attacks (rare),
• Funds sent to the wrong address (also rare), or
• Some combination of the above.
For the first two cases, practical solutions exist and are widely implemented on exchanges already. Offline multi-signature solutions are already industry standard. No cases studied found an external theft or exit scam involving an offline multi-signature wallet implementation. Security can be further improved through minimum numbers of signatories, background checks, providing autonomy and legal protections to each signatory, establishing best practices, and a training/certification program.
The last two transaction risks occur more rarely, and have never resulted in a loss affecting the actual users of the exchange. In all cases to date where operators made the mistake, they've been fully covered by the exchange platforms.
• 51% attacks generally only occur on blockchains with less security. The most prominent cases have been Bitcoin Gold and Ethereum Classic. The simple solution is to enforce deposit limits and block delays such that a 51% attack is not cost-effective.
• The risk of transactions to incorrect addresses can be eliminated by a simple test transaction policy on large transactions. By sending a small amount of funds prior to any large withdrawals/transfers as a standard practice, the accuracy of the wallet address can be validated.
The proposal covers all loss cases and goes beyond, while avoiding significant additional costs, risks, and limitations which may be associated with other frameworks like SOC II.

On The Subject of Third Party Custodians
Many Canadian platforms are currently experimenting with third party custody. From the standpoint of the exchange operator, they can liberate themselves from some responsibility of custody, passing that off to someone else. For regulators, it puts crypto in similar categorization to oil, gold, and other commodities, with some common standards. Platform users would likely feel greater confidence if the custodian was a brand they recognized. If the custodian was knowledgeable and had a decent team that employed multi-sig, they could keep assets safe from internal theft. With the right protections in place, this could be a great solution for many exchanges, particularly those that lack the relevant experience or human resources for their own custody systems.
However, this system is vulnerable to anyone able to impersonate the exchange operators. You may have a situation where different employees who don't know each other that well are interacting between different companies (both the custodian and all their customers which presumably isn't just one exchange). A case study of what can go wrong in this type of environment might be Bitpay, where the CEO was tricked out of 5000 bitcoins over 3 separate payments by a series of emails sent legitimately from a breached computer of another company CEO. It's also still vulnerable to the platform being compromised, as in the really large $70M Bitfinex hack, where the third party Bitgo held one key in a multi-sig wallet. The hacker simply authorized the withdrawal using the same credentials as Bitfinex (requesting Bitgo to sign multiple withdrawal transactions). This succeeded even with the use of multi-sig and two heavily security-focused companies, due to the lack of human oversight (basically, hot wallet). Of course, you can learn from these cases and improve the security, but so can hackers improve their deception and at the end of the day, both of these would have been stopped by the much simpler solution of a qualified team who knew each other and employed multi-sig with properly protected keys. It's pretty hard to beat a human being who knows the business and the typical customer behaviour (or even knows their customers personally) at spotting fraud, and the proposed multi-sig means any hacker has to get through the scrutiny of 3 (or more) separate people, all of whom would have proper training including historical case studies.
There are strong arguments both for and against using use of third party custodians. The proposal sets mandatory minimum custody standards would apply regardless if the cold wallet signatories are exchange operators, independent custodians, or a mix of both.

On The Subject Of Insurance
ShakePay has taken the first steps into this new realm (congratulations). There is no question that crypto users could be better protected by the right insurance policies, and it certainly feels better to transact with insured platforms. The steps required to obtain insurance generally place attention in valuable security areas, and in this case included a review from CipherTrace. One of the key solutions in traditional finance comes from insurance from entities such as the CDIC.
However, historically, there wasn't found any actual insurance payout to any cryptocurrency exchange, and there are notable cases where insurance has not paid. With Bitpay, for example, the insurance agent refused because the issue happened to the third party CEO's computer instead of anything to do with Bitpay itself. With the Youbit exchange in South Korea, their insurance claim was denied, and the exchange ultimately ended up instead going bankrupt with all user's funds lost. To quote Matt Johnson in the original Lloyd's article: “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.”
ShakePay's insurance was only reported to cover their cold storage, and “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held”. Physical theft has never, in the history of cryptocurrency exchange cases reviewed, been reported as the cause of loss. From the limited information of the article, ShakePay made it clear their funds are in the hands of a single US custodian, and at least part of their security strategy is to "decline[] to confirm the custodian’s name on the record". While this prevents scrutiny of the custodian, it's pretty silly to speculate that a reasonably competent hacking group couldn't determine who the custodian is. A far more common infiltration strategy historically would be social engineering, which has succeeded repeatedly. A hacker could trick their way into ShakePay's systems and request a fraudulent withdrawal, impersonate ShakePay and request the custodian to move funds, or socially engineer their way into the custodian to initiate the withdrawal of multiple accounts (a payout much larger than ShakePay) exploiting the standard procedures (for example, fraudulently initiating or override the wallet addresses of a real transfer). In each case, nothing was physically stolen and the loss is therefore not covered by insurance.
In order for any insurance to be effective, clear policies have to be established about what needs to be covered. Anything short of that gives Canadians false confidence that they are protected when they aren't in any meaningful way. At this time, the third party insurance market does not appear to provide adequate options or coverage, and effort is necessary to standardize custody standards, which is a likely first step in ultimately setting up an insurance framework.
A better solution compared to third party insurance providers might be for Canadian exchange operators to create their own collective insurance fund, or a specific federal organization similar to the CDIC. Such an organization would have a greater interest or obligation in paying out actual cases, and that would be it's purpose rather than maximizing it's own profit. This would be similar to the SAFU which Binance has launched, except it would cover multiple exchanges. There is little question whether the SAFU would pay out given a breach of Binance, and a similar argument could be made for a insurance fund managed by a collective of exchange operators or a government organization. While a third party insurance provider has the strong market incentive to provide the absolute minimum coverage and no market incentive to payout, an entity managed by exchange operators would have incentive to protect the reputation of exchange operators/the industry, and the government should have the interest of protecting Canadians.

On The Subject of Fractional Reserve
There is a long history of fractional reserve failures, from the first banks in ancient times, through the great depression (where hundreds of fractional reserve banks failed), right through to the 2008 banking collapse referenced in the first bitcoin block. The fractional reserve system allows banks to multiply the money supply far beyond the actual cash (or other assets) in existence, backed only by a system of debt obligations of others. Safely supporting a fractional reserve system is a topic of far greater complexity than can be addressed by a simple policy, and when it comes to cryptocurrency, there is presently no entity reasonably able to bail anyone out in the event of failure. Therefore, this framework is addressed around entities that aim to maintain 100% backing of funds.
There may be some firms that desire but have failed to maintain 100% backing. In this case, there are multiple solutions, including outside investment, merging with other exchanges, or enforcing a gradual restoration plan. All of these solutions are typically far better than shutting down the exchange, and there are multiple cases where they've been used successfully in the past.

Proof of Reserves/Transparency/Accountability
Canadians need to have visibility into the backing on an ongoing basis.
The best solution for crypto-assets is a Proof of Reserve. Such ideas go back all the way to 2013, before even Mt. Gox. However, no Canadian exchange has yet implemented such a system, and only a few international exchanges (CoinFloor in the UK being an example) have. Many firms like Kraken, BitBuy, and now ShakePay use the Proof of Reserve term to refer to lesser proofs which do not actually cryptographically prove the full backing of all user assets on the blockchain. In order for a Proof of Reserve to be effective, it must actually be a complete proof, and it needs to be understood by the public that is expected to use it. Many firms have expressed reservations about the level of transparency required in a complete Proof of Reserve (for example Kraken here). While a complete Proof of Reserves should be encouraged, and there are some solutions in the works (ie TxQuick), this is unlikely to be suitable universally for all exchange operators and users.
Given the limitations, and that firms also manage fiat assets, a more traditional audit process makes more sense. Some Canadian exchanges (CoinSquare, CoinBerry) have already subjected themselves to annual audits. However, these results are not presently shared publicly, and there is no guarantee over the process including all user assets or the integrity and independence of the auditor. The auditor has been typically not known, and in some cases, the identity of the auditor is protected by a NDA. Only in one case (BitBuy) was an actual report generated and publicly shared. There has been no attempt made to validate that user accounts provided during these audits have been complete or accurate. A fraudulent fractional exchange, or one which had suffered a breach they were unwilling to publicly accept (see CoinBene), could easily maintain a second set of books for auditors or simply exclude key accounts to pass an individual audit.
The proposed solution would see a reporting standard which includes at a minimum - percentage of backing for each asset relative to account balances and the nature of how those assets are stored, with ownership proven by the auditor. The auditor would also publicly provide a "hash list", which they independently generate from the accounts provided by the exchange. Every exchange user can then check their information against this public "hash list". A hash is a one-way form of encryption, which fully protects the private information, yet allows anyone who knows that information already to validate that it was included. Less experienced users can take advantage of public tools to calculate the hash from their information (provided by the exchange), and thus have certainty that the auditor received their full balance information. Easy instructions can be provided.
Auditors should be impartial, their identities and process public, and they should be rotated so that the same auditor is never used twice in a row. Balancing the cost of auditing against the needs for regular updates, a 6 month cycle likely makes the most sense.

Hot Wallet Management
The best solution for hot wallets is not to use them. CoinBerry reportedly uses multi-sig on all withdrawals, and Bitmex is an international example known for their structure devoid of hot wallets.
However, many platforms and customers desire fast withdrawal processes, and human validation has a cost of time and delay in this process.
A model of self-insurance or separate funds for hot wallets may be used in these cases. Under this model, a platform still has 100% of their client balance in cold storage and holds additional funds in hot wallets for quick withdrawal. Thus, the risk of those hot wallets is 100% on exchange operators and not affecting the exchange users. Since most platforms typically only have 1%-5% in hot wallets at any given time, it shouldn't be unreasonable to build/maintain these additional reserves over time using exchange fees or additional investment. Larger withdrawals would still be handled at regular intervals from the cold storage.
Hot wallet risks have historically posed a large risk and there is no established standard to guarantee secure hot wallets. When the government of South Korea dispatched security inspections to multiple exchanges, the results were still that 3 of them got hacked after the inspections. If standards develop such that an organization in the market is willing to insure the hot wallets, this could provide an acceptable alternative. Another option may be for multiple exchange operators to pool funds aside for a hot wallet insurance fund. Comprehensive coverage standards must be established and maintained for all hot wallet balances to make sure Canadians are adequately protected.

Current Draft Proposal

(1) Proper multi-signature cold wallet storage.
(a) Each private key is the personal and legal responsibility of one person - the “signatory”. Signatories have special rights and responsibilities to protect user assets. Signatories are trained and certified through a course covering (1) past hacking and fraud cases, (2) proper and secure key generation, and (3) proper safekeeping of private keys. All private keys must be generated and stored 100% offline by the signatory. If even one private keys is ever breached or suspected to be breached, the wallet must be regenerated and all funds relocated to a new wallet.
(b) All signatories must be separate background-checked individuals free of past criminal conviction. Canadians should have a right to know who holds their funds. All signing of transactions must take place with all signatories on Canadian soil or on the soil of a country with a solid legal system which agrees to uphold and support these rules (from an established white-list of countries which expands over time).
(c) 3-5 independent signatures are required for any withdrawal. There must be 1-3 spare signatories, and a maximum of 7 total signatories. The following are all valid combinations: 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7.
(d) A security audit should be conducted to validate the cold wallet is set up correctly and provide any additional pertinent information. The primary purpose is to ensure that all signatories are acting independently and using best practices for private key storage. A report summarizing all steps taken and who did the audit will be made public. Canadians must be able to validate the right measures are in place to protect their funds.
(e) There is a simple approval process if signatories wish to visit any country outside Canada, with a potential whitelist of exempt countries. At most 2 signatories can be outside of aligned jurisdiction at any given time. All exchanges would be required to keep a compliant cold wallet for Canadian funds and have a Canadian office if they wish to serve Canadian customers.
(2) Regular and transparent solvency audits.
(a) An audit must be conducted at founding, after 3 months of operation, and at least once every 6 months to compare customer balances against all stored cryptocurrency and fiat balances. The auditor must be known, independent, and never the same twice in a row.
(b) An audit report will be published featuring the steps conducted in a readable format. This should be made available to all Canadians on the exchange website and on a government website. The report must include what percentage of each customer asset is backed on the exchange, and how those funds are stored.
(c) The auditor will independently produce a hash of each customer's identifying information and balance as they perform the audit. This will be made publicly available on the exchange and government website, along with simplified instructions that each customer can use to verify that their balance was included in the audit process.
(d) The audit needs to include a proof of ownership for any cryptocurrency wallets included. A satoshi test (spending a small amount) or partially signed transaction both qualify.
(e) Any platform without 100% reserves should be assessed on a regular basis by a government or industry watchdog. This entity should work to prevent any further drop, support any private investor to come in, or facilitate a merger so that 100% backing can be obtained as soon as possible.
(3) Protections for hot wallets and transactions.
(a) A standardized list of approved coins and procedures will be established to constitute valid cold storage wallets. Where a multi-sig process is not natively available, efforts will be undertaken to establish a suitable and stable smart contract standard. This list will be expanded and improved over time. Coins and procedures not on the list are considered hot wallets.
(b) Hot wallets can be backed by additional funds in cold storage or an acceptable third-party insurance provider with a comprehensive coverage policy.
(c) Exchanges are required to cover the full balance of all user funds as denominated in the same currency, or double the balance as denominated in bitcoin or CAD using an established trading rate. If the balance is ever insufficient due to market movements, the firm must rectify this within 24 hours by moving assets to cold storage or increasing insurance coverage.
(d) Any large transactions (above a set threshold) from cold storage to any new wallet addresses (not previously transacted with) must be tested with a smaller transaction first. Deposits of cryptocurrency must be limited to prevent economic 51% attacks. Any issues are to be covered by the exchange.
(e) Exchange platforms must provide suitable authentication for users, including making available approved forms of two-factor authentication. SMS-based authentication is not to be supported. Withdrawals must be blocked for 48 hours in the event of any account password change. Disputes on the negligence of exchanges should be governed by case law.

Steps Forward

Continued review of existing OSC feedback is still underway. More feedback and opinions on the framework and ideas as presented here are extremely valuable. The above is a draft and not finalized.
The process of further developing and bringing a suitable framework to protect Canadians will require the support of exchange operators, legal experts, and many others in the community. The costs of not doing such are tremendous. A large and convoluted framework, one based on flawed ideas or implementation, or one which fails to properly safeguard Canadians is not just extremely expensive and risky for all Canadians, severely limiting to the credibility and reputation of the industry, but an existential risk to many exchanges.
The responsibility falls to all of us to provide our insight and make our opinions heard on this critical matter. Please take the time to give your thoughts.
submitted by azoundria2 to QuadrigaInitiative [link] [comments]

HOW TO MANAGE AND STORE YOUR CRYPTO: CRYPTO WALLETS – By Mickael Mosse

Since Bitcoin is a relative new topic and not everybody looks to invest in cryptocurrencies, for most it remains a theoretical matter of our modern world. But to make cryptocurrencies a reality closer to our daily lives than we believe, I’d like to talk about crypto wallets. A crypto wallet is the specific tool that allow anyone who owns cryptocurrencies to access them and make use of them in the real world. As the word says, a crypto wallet has the function to store and make available our crypto. However, more than storing our crypto -which is completely digital -, crypto wallets hold the private keys that protect and authorize access to the digital coins. Whoever controls the private keys controls the crypto attached to those keys. This is why one of the main steps to owning crypto: choosing the right wallet for you. A crypto wallet manages the private keys for you and, for that reason, the coins you possess. But not all wallets are made the same. In the market it exists several types of crypto wallet. It can be an app, a website, or a physical device that manages the private keys for you. The main thing to consider when choosing a wallet is level of safety they offer in the management of your private keys. While with hardware wallets you have total control of your private keys, online wallets are the ones who have control over your keys. Wallet apps also allow you to have complete access to your keys but having to depend on devices connected to the internet make them more vulnerable to hackers than a hardware wallet but are more safe than online wallets, which are the most prone to these attacks. The digital aspect of cryptocurrency makes the need to be connected to the internet in order to have access to your coins. Of course, there will always be people trying to take advantage to any weaknesses existent. Not only hackers you have to be aware of, but shady applications that claim to be crypto wallets to just have access to your private keys. As easy to wanting to download an app from Playstore or Apple store, you unknowingly be leaded to possibility of a hack. Also, you have to be aware that crypto exchanges are not wallets. Some of them offer to store your private keys, and although they’re safe exchanges, they don’t specialize in the storage of keys. The most famous case of crypto loss due to this is the case of Mt. Gox. People placed their trust in this exchange for storing their private keys and billions of dollars in Bitcoins were irrecoverable. Even if you choose the safest wallet by your own terms, you can lose the keys, which are a series of numbers of letters, if you don’t have a backup. People have the option to rely even on a piece of paper to store their private key, as long as it remains out of destructive elements. Remember that the private keys protect your assets in crypto but, if you are not careful, you can be locked out from ever seeing them again. So it’s good your considering all the pros and cons of investing in crypto and how much it would serve your own interest, but crypto wallets are another not-so-known aspect that require a good amount of investment in time and searching about. Although this article is by far a guideline to choose a crypto wallet, I hope it is a good start, and an awakening one, to your searching quest and your plans to make owning crypto a reality.
Mickael Mosse — Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Expert
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We are sending a clear message of integrity and justice, louder than the slander our oppressors can push into the news.

We are almost there.
In less than thirty days I will be drafting an unprecedented announcement that your resilience made possible: the announcement that Silk Road has repaid all victims of our February hack.
As of today, May 27th 2014, 82.09% of all victims of the Feburary hack have been fully repaid.
In June the world will be reminded that when faced with adversity, Silk Road's community doesn't run. We unite.
Our enemies may seize our servers, impound our coins, and arrest our friends, but they cannot stop you: our people.
You write history with every coin transacted here.
It is unprecedented for any entity, darknet or clearnet, to completely repay the victims of a Bitcoin hack.
We are sending a clear message of integrity and justice, louder than the slander our oppressors can push into the news. History will prove that we are not criminals, we are revolutionaries.
We are slaving to transform a notoriously-violent industry into a safe online marketplace, removing the risk of face-to-face transactions.
We do not steal the People's money like Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley. We bail each other out with our own sweat. We are not puppets of fear or greed. We do not run like the cowards at MtGox, TorMarket, or Sheep. Silk Road is not here to scam, we are here to end economic oppression. Silk Road is not here to promote violence, we are here to end the unjust War on Drugs. Silk Road is not here to submit to authority, we are here to defend a foundational human right: freedom of choice. Silk Road is not a marketplace, Silk Road is a global revolt.
When the news hits that everyone has been repaid, do your part to help tear down the world's misimpressions about what our movement stands for.
Four months of everyone's hard work has almost generated one spark. Throw it into the petrol. Be prepared with your throwaway accounts. Tweet. Upvote. Blog. Email editors.
It is an honor to serve you. Defcon
From the front page of the Silk Road six years ago....
submitted by MemoryDealers to btc [link] [comments]

Crypto-Powered: Understanding Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DeFi

Crypto-Powered: Understanding Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DeFi
Until one understands the basics of this tech, they won’t be able to grasp or appreciate the impact it has on our digital bank, Genesis Block.
https://reddit.com/link/ho4bif/video/n0euarkifu951/player
This is the second post of Crypto-Powered — a new series that examines what it means for Genesis Block to be a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain, and decentralized protocols.
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Our previous post set the stage for this series. We discussed the state of consumer finance and how the success of today’s high-flying fintech unicorns will be short-lived as long as they’re building on legacy finance — a weak foundation that is ripe for massive disruption.
Instead, the future of consumer finance belongs to those who are deeply familiar with blockchain tech & decentralized protocols, build on it as the foundation, and know how to take it to the world. Like Genesis Block.
Today we begin our journey down the crypto rabbit hole. This post will be an important introduction for those still learning about Bitcoin, Ethereum, or DeFi (Decentralized Finance). This post (and the next few) will go into greater detail about how this technology gives Genesis Block an edge, a superpower, and an unfair advantage. Let’s dive in…
https://preview.redd.it/1ugdxoqjfu951.jpg?width=650&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=36edde1079c3cff5f6b15b8cd30e6c436626d5d8

Bitcoin: The First Cryptocurrency

There are plenty of online resources to learn about Bitcoin (Coinbase, Binance, Gemini, Naval, Alex Gladstein, Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon). I don’t wanna spend a lot of time on that here, but let’s do a quick overview for those still getting ramped up.
Cryptocurrency is the most popular use-case of blockchain technology today. And Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to be invented.
Bitcoin is the most decentralized of all crypto assets today — no government, company, or third party can control or censor it.
Bitcoin has two primary features (as do most other cryptocurrencies):
  1. Send Value You can send value to anyone, anywhere in the world. Nobody can intercept, delay or stop it — not even governments or financial institutions. Unlike with traditional money transfers or bank wires, there are no layers of middlemen. This results in a process that is much more cost-efficient. Some popular use-cases include remittances and cross-border payments.
  2. Store Value With nothing but a smartphone, you can become your own bank and store your own funds. Nobody can seize your assets. The funds are digital and stored on a blockchain. Your money no longer needs to be stored at a bank, in a vault, or under your mattress. I covered a few inspiring use-cases in a previous post. They include banking the unbanked, protecting assets from government seizure, mitigating the risk of a bank run, and protection against hyperinflation (like what recently happened in Venezuela).
The fact that there are so few things one can do with Bitcoin is one of its greatest strengths.
Its design is simple, elegant, and focused. It has been 10+ years since Satoshi’s white paper and no one has been able to crack or hack the Bitcoin network. With a market cap of $170B, there is plenty of incentive to try.
https://preview.redd.it/bizndfpkfu951.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=456c53b798248e60456a65835a33c69b2fe8daf0

Public Awareness

A few negative moments in Bitcoin’s history include the collapse of Mt. Gox — which resulted in hundreds of millions of customer funds being stolen — as well as Bitcoin’s role in dark markets like Silk Road — where Bitcoin arguably found its initial userbase.
However, like most breakthrough technology, Bitcoin is neither good nor bad. It’s neutral. People can use it for good or they can use it for evil. Thankfully, it’s being used less and less for illicit activity. Criminals are starting to understand that transactions on a blockchain are public and traceable — it’s exactly the type of system they usually try to avoid. And it’s true, at this point “a lot more” crimes are actually committed with fiat than crypto.
As a result, the perception of bitcoin and cryptocurrency has been changing over the years to a more positive light.
Bitcoin has even started to enter the world of media & entertainment. It’s been mentioned in Hollywood films like Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse and in songs from major artists like Eminem. It’s been mentioned in countless TV shows like Billions, The Simpsons, Big Bang Theory, Gray’s Anatomy, Family Guy, and more.
As covid19 has ravaged economies and central banks have been printing money, Bitcoin has caught the attention of many legendary Wall Street investors like Paul Tudor Jones, saying that Bitcoin is a great bet against inflation (reminding him of Gold in the 1970s).
Cash App already lets their 25M users buy Bitcoin. It’s rumored that PayPal and Venmo will soon let their 325M users start buying Bitcoin. Bitcoin is by far the most dominant cryptocurrency and is showing no signs of slowing down. For more than a decade it has delivered on its core use-cases — being able to send or store value.
At this point, Bitcoin has very much entered the zeitgeist of modern pop culture — at least in the West.
https://preview.redd.it/dnuwbw8mfu951.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=6f1f135e3effee4574b5167901b80ced2c972bda

Ethereum: Programmable Money

When Ethereum launched in 2015, it opened up a world of new possibilities and use-cases for crypto. With Ethereum Smart Contracts (i.e. applications), this exciting new digital money (cryptocurrency) became a lot less dumb. Developers could now build applications that go beyond the simple use-cases of “send value” & “store value.” They could program cryptocurrency to have rules, behavior, and logic to respond to different inputs. And always enforced by code. Additional reading on Ethereum from Linda Xie or Vitalik Buterin.
Because these applications are built on blockchain technology (Ethereum), they preserve many of the same characteristics as Bitcoin: no one can stop, censor or shut down these apps because they are decentralized.
One of the first major use-cases on Ethereum was the ability to mint and create your own token, your own cryptocurrency. Many companies used this as a way to fundraise from the public. This led to the 2017 ICO bubble (Initial Coin Offerings). Some tokens — and the apps/networks they powered — were fascinating and innovative. Most tokens were pointless. And many tokens were outright scams. Additional token reading from Fred Ehrsam, Balaji, and Naval.
https://reddit.com/link/ho4bif/video/b5b1jh9ofu951/player

Digital Gold Rush

Just as tokens grew in popularity in 2017–2018, so did online marketplaces where these tokens could be bought, sold, and traded. This was a fledgling asset class — the merchants selling picks, axes, and shovels were finally starting to emerge.
I had a front-row seat — both as an investor and token creator. This was the Wild West with all the frontier drama & scandal that you’d expect.
Binance — now the world’s largest crypto exchange —was launched during this time. They along with many others (especially from Asia) made it really easy for speculators, traders, and degenerate gamblers to participate in these markets. Similar to other financial markets, the goal was straightforward: buy low and sell high.
https://preview.redd.it/tytsu5jnfu951.jpg?width=600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=fe3425b7e4a71fa953b953f0c7f6eaff6504a0d1
That period left an embarrassing stain on our industry that we’ve still been trying to recover from. It was a period rampant with market manipulation, pump-and-dumps, and scams. To some extent, the crypto industry still suffers from that today, but it’s nothing compared to what it was then.
While the potential of getting filthy rich brought a lot of fly-by-nighters and charlatans into the industry, it also brought a lot of innovators, entrepreneurs, and builders.
The launch and growth of Ethereum has been an incredible technological breakthrough. As with past tech breakthroughs, it has led to a wave of innovation, experimentation, and development. The creativity around tokens, smart contracts, and decentralized applications has been fascinating to witness. Now a few years later, the fruits of those labors are starting to be realized.

DeFi: Decentralized Finance

So as a reminder, tokens are cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies can carry value. And value is a lot like money. Because tokens are natively integrated with Ethereum, it’s been natural for developers to build applications related to financial services — things like lending, borrowing, saving, investing, payments, and insurance. In the last few years, there has been a groundswell of developer momentum building in this area of financial protocols. This segment of the industry is known as DeFi (Decentralized Finance).
https://preview.redd.it/f0sjzqspfu951.png?width=461&format=png&auto=webp&s=8e0a31bf29250fc624918fbd8514b008762f379e
In Q2 of 2020, 97% of all Ethereum activity was DeFi-related. Total DeFi transaction volume has reached $11.5B. The current value locked inside DeFi protocols is approaching $2 Billion (double from a month ago). DeFi’s meteoric growth cannot be ignored.
Most of that growth can be attributed to exciting protocols like Compound, Maker, Synthetix, Balancer, Aave, dYdX, and Uniswap. These DeFi protocols and the financial services they offer are quickly becoming some of the most popular use-cases for blockchain technology today.
https://preview.redd.it/wn3phnkqfu951.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=02f56caa6b94aa59eadd6e368ef9346ba10c7611
This impressive growth in DeFi certainly hasn’t come without growing pains. Unlike with Bitcoin, there are near-infinite applications one can develop on Ethereum. Sometimes bugs (or typos) can slip through code reviews, testing, and audits — resulting in loss of funds.
Our next post will go much deeper on DeFi.

Wrap Up

I know that for the hardcore crypto people, what we covered today is nothing new. But for those who are still getting up to speed, welcome! I hope this was helpful and that it fuels your interest to learn more.
Until you understand the basics of this technology, you won’t be able to fully appreciate the impact that it has on our new digital bank, Genesis Block. You won’t be able to understand the implications, how it relates, or how it helps.
After today’s post, some of you probably have a lot more questions. What are specific examples or use-cases of DeFi? Why does it need to be on a blockchain? What benefits does it bring to Genesis Block and our users?
In upcoming posts, we answer these questions. Today’s post was just Level 1. It set the foundation for where we’re headed next: even deeper down the crypto rabbit hole.
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Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
We have a lot more content coming. Be sure to follow our channels: https://genesisblock.com/follow/
Have you already downloaded the app? We're Genesis Block, a new digital bank that's powered by crypto & decentralized protocols. The app is live in the App Store (iOS & Android). Get the link to download at https://genesisblock.com/download
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The Decade in Blockchain — 2010 to 2020 in Review

2010

February — The first ever cryptocurrency exchange, Bitcoin Market, is established. The first trade takes place a month later.
April — The first public bitcoin trade takes place: 1000BTC traded for $30 at an exchange rate of 0.03USD/1BTC
May — The first real-world bitcoin transaction is undertaken by Laszlo Hanyecz, who paid 10000BTC for two Papa John’s pizzas (Approximately $25 USD)
June — Bitcoin developer Gavin Andreson creates a faucet offering 5 free BTC to the public
July — First notable usage of the word “blockchain” appears on BitcoinTalk forum. Prior to this, it was referred to as ‘Proof-of-Work chain’
July — Bitcoin exchange named Magic The Gathering Online eXchange—also known as Mt. Gox—established
August —Bitcoin protocol bug leads to emergency hard fork
December — Satoshi Nakamoto ceases communication with the world

2011

January — One-quarter of the eventual total of 21M bitcoins have been generated
February — Bitcoin reaches parity for the first time with USD
April — Bitcoin reaches parity with EUR and GBP
June — WikiLeaks begins accepting Bitcoin donations
June — Mt. Gox hacked, resulting in suspension of trading and a precipitous price drop for Bitcoin
August — First Bitcoin Improvement Proposal: BIP Purpose and Guidelines
October — Litecoin released
December — Bitcoin featured as a major plot element in an episode of ‘The Good Wife’ as 9.45 million viewers watch.

2012

May — Bitcoin Magazine, founded by Mihai Alisie and Vitalik Buterin, publishes first issue
July — Government of Estonia begins incorporating blockchain into digital ID efforts
September — Bitcoin Foundation created
October — BitPay reports having over 1,000 merchants accepting bitcoin under its payment processing service
November — First Bitcoin halving to 25 BTC per block

2013

February — Reddit begins accepting bitcoins for Gold memberships
March — Cyprus government bailout levies bank accounts with over $100k. Flight to Bitcoin results in major price spike.
May —Total Bitcoin value surpasses 1 billion USD with 11M Bitcoin in circulation
May — The first cryptocurrency market rally and crash takes place. Prices rise from $13 to $220, and then drop to $70
June — First major cryptocurrency theft. 25,000 BTC is stolen from Bitcoin forum founder
July — Mastercoin becomes the first project to conduct an ICO
August — U.S. Federal Court issues opinion that Bitcoin is a currency or form of money
October — The FBI shuts down dark web marketplace Silk Road, confiscating approximately 26,000 bitcoins
November — Vitalik Buterin releases the Ethereum White Paper: “A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform
December — The first commit to the Ethereum codebase takes place

2014

January — Vitalik Buterin announces Ethereum at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami
February — HMRC in the UK classifies Bitcoin as private money
March — Newsweek claims Dorian Nakamoto is Bitcoin creator. He is not
April — Gavin Wood releases the Ethereum Yellow Paper: “Ethereum: A Secure Decentralised Generalised Transaction Ledger
June — Ethereum Foundation established in Zug, Switzerland
June — US Marshals Service auctions off 30,000 Bitcoin confiscated from Silk Road. All are purchased by venture capitalist Tim Draper
July — Ethereum token launch raises 31,591 BTC ($18,439,086) over 42 days
September — TeraExchange launches first U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission approved Bitcoin over-the-counter swap
October — ConsenSys is founded by Joe Lubin
December — By year’s end, Paypal, Zynga, u/, Expedia, Newegg, Dell, Dish Network, and Microsoft are all accepting Bitcoin for payments

2015

January — Coinbase opens up the first U.S-based cryptocurrency exchange
February — Stripe initiates bitcoin payment integration for merchants
April — NASDAQ initiates blockchain trial
June — NYDFS releases final version of its BitLicense virtual currency regulations
July — Ethereum’s first live mainnet release—Frontier—launched.
August — Augur, the first token launch on the Ethereum network takes place
September — R3 consortium formed with nine financial institutions, increases to over 40 members within six months
October — Gemini exchange launches, founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss
November — Announcement of first zero knowledge proof, ZK-Snarks
December — Linux Foundation establishes Hyperledger project

2016

January — Zcash announced
February — HyperLedger project announced by Linux Foundation with thirty founding members
March — Second Ethereum mainnet release, Homestead, is rolled out.
April — The DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) launches a 28-day crowdsale. After one month, it raises an Ether value of more than US$150M
May — Chinese Financial Blockchain Shenzhen Consortium launches with 31 members
June — The DAO is attacked with 3.6M of the 11.5M Ether in The DAO redirected to the attacker’s Ethereum account
July — The DAO attack results in a hard fork of the Ethereum Blockchain to recover funds. A minority group rejecting the hard fork continues to use the original blockchain renamed Ethereum Classic
July — Second Bitcoin halving to 12.5BTC per block mined
November — CME Launches Bitcoin Price Index

2017

January — Bitcoin price breaks US$1,000 for the first time in three years
February — Enterprise Ethereum Alliance formed with 30 founding members, over 150 members six months later
March — Multiple applications for Bitcoin ETFs rejected by the SEC
April — Bitcoin is officially recognized as currency by Japan
June — EOS begins its year-long ICO, eventually raising $4 billion
July — Parity hack exposes weaknesses in multisig wallets
August — Bitcoin Cash forks from the Bitcoin Network
October — Ethereum releases Byzantium soft fork network upgrade, part one of Metropolis
September — China bans ICOs
October — Bitcoin price surpasses $5,000 USD for the first time
November — Bitcoin price surpasses $10,000 USD for the first time
December — Ethereum Dapp Cryptokitties goes viral, pushing the Ethereum network to its limits

2018


January — Ethereum price peaks near $1400 USD
March — Google bans all ads pertaining to cryptocurrency
March — Twitter bans all ads pertaining to cryptocurrency
April — 2018 outpaces 2017 with $6.3 billion raised in token launches in the first four months of the year
April — EU government commits $300 million to developing blockchain projects
June — The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission states that Ether is not a security.
July — Over 100,000 ERC20 tokens created
August — New York Stock Exchange owner announces Bakkt, a federally regulated digital asset exchange
October — Bitcoin’s 10th birthday
November — VC investment in blockchain tech surpasses $1 billion
December — 90% of banks in the US and Europe report exploration of blockchain tech

2019

January — Coinstar machines begin selling cryptocurrency at grocery stores across the US
February — Ethereum’s Constantinople hard fork is released, part two of Metropolis
April — Bitcoin surpasses 400 million total transactions
June — Facebook announces Libra
July — United States senate holds hearings titled ‘Examining Regulatory Frameworks for Digital Currencies and Blockchain”
August — Ethereum developer dominance reaches 4x that of any other blockchain
October — Over 80 million distinct Ethereum addresses have been created
September — Santander bank settles both sides of a $20 million bond on Ethereum
November — Over 3000 Dapps created. Of them, 2700 are built on Ethereum
submitted by blockstasy to CryptoTechnology [link] [comments]

kraken.us Customer Support Number +1(888)-780-0222 Get Help Now If any Issues u/WeirdAcanthocephala6

📷 kraken Customer Support Number +1-888-780-0222
In this guide, we’ll learn everything there is to know about the Coinbase vs Kraken rivalry!
So, you’re on our way to becoming a crypto buff and you’re ready to get trading! But, where do you start?!
Cryptocurrencies aren’t like bread, eggs, and milk. We can’t go down to our local store to get them, and Amazon definitely isn’t sending them with next-day delivery! Instead, we need to go to an online cryptocurrency exchange.
Essentially, these exchanges help us swap our local currency into cryptocurrency. They also provide a platform for trading cryptocurrencies, selling them and storing them. But with so many options available, which should you choose?
Kraken and Coinbase are some of the largest and most reputable online currency exchanges. However, it’s also important to understand their differences.
Back in 2011, the founder of Kraken, Jesse Powell, was working at the largest cryptocurrency exchange of its time, Mt. Gox. There had just been two major hacks, and security was becoming difficult to manage. Bitcoins were going missing. If this continued, the future of crypto was bleak.
Jesse thought that he could do a better job. He knew he could create a secure cryptocurrency exchange which would help people trust in the system and bring crypto into the mainstream!
So, he created Kraken. He focussed on security when creating Kraken; hackers were never going to get past his security system. And so far, it has worked — Kraken has never been hacked.
Now, Kraken aims to be the exchange that offers the widest range of cryptocurrencies that you can buy using fiat currencies (USD, EUR, JPY, etc.).
After its public refusal, Kraken expressed an intentionto return service to New York residence pending the removal of what it perceived as unfair and counterproductive licensing.
Coinsetter, announced to clients in December 2015 that it would thenceforth impose a $65 fee to offset the cost of the very same BitLicense Kraken refused to afford.
In absorbing Coinsetter, and by extension Cavirtex, the following month, Kraken opened up its platform to residents of 37 other states, and to all Canadian residents.
Alongside this deal, Kraken announced partnerships with payment providers SynapsePay in the U.S. and Vogogo in Canada, in order to provide its newest clients with access to fiat deposits and withdrawals respectively.
One month later, Kraken announced the completion of its Series B round of investment lead by SBI Investment, a prominent Japanese venture capitalist firm under SBI Holdings. Following this investment round,
Kraken announced two major acquisitions that year: Dutch exchange CleverCoin, which was acquired in June, and Glidera, a wallet service allowing users to directly fund Glidera bank accounts with fiat for the purchase of cryptocurrencies on the Kraken exchange.
Kraken's reputation for security was challenged amidst 2016's buildout of partnerships and acquisitions.
Multiple claims emerged in the latter half of July via news media and social networks that clients’ accounts had been compromised and funds stolen.
As Kraken went silent reportedly for investigation, users threatened to alert and petition the FBI's Cyber Crimes Division for redress. Within a month,
Kraken presented clarification that ‘Kraken’ was never compromised; that is, after internal investigation, the
security team reached the conclusion that Kraken systems, servers, and databases were not accessed by malicious attackers due to any identifiable vulnerability for which they would be responsible.
The company attributed affected users’ missing funds to phishing and man-in-the-middle attacks, and stressed the importance of enabling
Kraken websites security features, such as two-factor authentication for withdrawals or the Global Settings Lock to restrict unfamiliar IP access.
In the aftermath of the hack that wasn't, Kraken asserted recognition of their continued responsibility to protect clients, and stressed equally so, the client's responsibility in protecting him- or herself.
submitted by WeirdAcanthocephala6 to u/WeirdAcanthocephala6 [link] [comments]

Happy Halloween! Audit Statuses of Canadian Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Halloween is a wonderful time of year!
Businesses and consumers alike dress up, children go door to door naively asking strangers for candy, and everyone parties celebrating things like death and evil.
In the spirit of Halloween storytelling, let me tell you a scary story.
There once was a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange. It had one of the simplest user interfaces, the CEO was well known in person and trusted throughout the country for over half a decade, and it had several deposit and withdrawal methods. It was the first to register as a money services business and for much of its history, it was one of the most legally compliant exchanges. It even looked to be headed for public listing on the TSX. The exchange operated for 6 years, assuring users that all funds “are stored in cold storage, using some of the most secure cryptographic procedures possible.” Unfortunately, while we celebrate Halloween by dressing up and wearing masks once a year, the wonderful people who brought us this exchange played “dress up” for over half a decade and time will only tell if there are any more “masks” to come off in this story.
There’s no better or more fitting time to explore one of the darkest realities of the Canadian cryptocurrency space - exactly what is backing any of the cryptocurrency on Canadian exchanges. It’s easy to lose sight that there are real people behind these funds. Most people spend most waking hours working for their money. It literally is their lives. Impacts to victims are not just financial, but psychological and social as well. Victims of exchange fraud go through depression, anxiety, and trauma. They lose their trust and faith in humanity. They withdraw from friends and family in shame and humility.
In the spirit of exploring dark and evil things, let’s examine exactly what evidence there is that any of your crypto is backed on any Canadian exchange. This is a continuation of research I’ve been working on since May/June. I hope it will be enlightening and help you better protect your funds that you worked hard for.

I’ve done a detailed analysis of all Canadian exchanges I could find that handle any sort of custody of funds, and grouped them into 3 categories:

Non-Audited Exchanges (“trust us, we haven't spent your money, we promise")

Bitvo - The service “utilizes a proprietary cold storage solution”. Proprietary, as in, definitely better than established non-proprietary solutions. If you can’t withdraw, they “will credit your account for [their] withdrawal fee”. They’re not an MSB that I could find, nor are they audited.
Coinfield - MSB. No audit. Luckily it’s the "most secure trading platform in Canada" - though apparently not the other 150+ countries, including Estonia where they’re based. No matter which country you pick, the “Security” page still says "most secure trading platform in Canada".
Coinsmart - MSB. Not sure what "[i]ndustry leading cold storage" is, but luckily they’re so "accountable to [their] clients, community and to each other" and "committed to being open and honest" that they don’t need any audit.
Coinut - MSB. Also "the most secure cryptocurrency exchange platform". In addition to not using multi-sig and "not us[ing] USB drives, as the online computer may be infected with virus", they also don’t use audits.
Einstein - You can get “your money deposited and withdrawn faster than any other exchange”. As one customer said "With so many hacks and exit scams, it gives me confidence knowing Einstein is backed by hard-working people just like me." Just check the user experience on their subreddit from their "220,000+ satisfied customers".
EZ-BTC - As they said, “All your coins are kept in cold storage. They’re safe.” They have “strong security”. The supposed presence of physical ATMs was one of the strategies to build customer confidence and they promised 9% annual return on stored funds.
NDAX - MSB. Luckily also “Canada’s most secure trading platform” with "fast withdrawals". I couldn’t find any audit but at least there’s a full page risk disclosure and disclaimer. You can sleep peacefully knowing that they’re legally protected.
Netcoins - MSB. The best assurance I could find of solvency is that they “can process large transactions”. Although they don’t waste time with audits or links at the bottom of their website, apparently “[a]ll transactions happen quickly and securely” “within the same day”.
Newton - MSB. “No-fees”! Your funds are stored in the "professional custody" of Balance, which doesn’t appear to be a registered MSB. I couldn't find any audit of the funds but they "audit [their] policies and controls". They "publish the reports", but I couldn't find any reports. Simply storing funds somewhere else doesn’t give any assurance they cover customer balances.
QuadrigaCX - Operated since 2013, with “vast cryptocurrency reserves” right up to the end. "Bitcoins that are funded in QuadrigaCX are stored in cold storage, using some of the most secure cryptographic procedures possible." Their "cryptographic" procedures are so secure that nobody can access any funds, even now!
Shakepay - MSB. Many will trust the raccoon mascot promising “commission-free” trading. No audit found but the “majority of all digital assets on Shakepay are stored securely offline”. Whatever this means, it’s good to know that up to half might not be.

Audited Exchanges ("so and so swears we didn't spend your money, you can trust them, we showed them once before")

Bitbuy - MSB
Coinberry - MSB
Coinsquare - MSB
Kraken - Not a registered MSB in Canada (that I could find)

Proof of Reserves ("here's your money, right here right now on the blockchain, and here's a proof that we included your balance in that total")

Rather than depend on outdated audits (or lack thereof), it’s actually possible to use the blockchain and cryptography to enable a public real-time audit. This can give assurance to every customer that their balances are fully backed. Giving everyone the ability to check the integrity of balances will keep us all safer. It immediately exposes any fraud, and in most major hacking cases there was advanced hacking that went unnoticed ranging from months (Bitgrail), or years (Mt. Gox). Having an aware public reduces the number of people trading on fraudulent exchanges, and can pressure the exchange to shut down trading or resolve the hack faster, so less funds are permanently lost.
To help explain exactly what this is and how it works, I’ve started a detailed tutorial. I did not come up with this algorithm - it was created in 2014 by a guy named Gregory Maxwell. Sometimes cryptography can be hard to understand. Hopefully this tutorial is simple:

< < Take Our Proof of Reserves Tutorial > >


Given what can often be at stake, I had hoped that maybe one of the “audited” exchanges might embrace Proof of Reserves. Sadly I haven’t had any such luck.
Bitbuy:
Coinberry:
Kraken:
As such, the bottom line is that present exchanges don’t want to share public keys and offer the kind of transparency which is necessary to enable customers to know their funds are backed. Attempting to get answers doesn’t reveal them, and I’m left with an unnerving silence not unlike the end of Halloween night, like I’m asking questions nobody should ask.

Having spent the last 8 months of my life watching and being part of a large group of people suffer through a grueling bankruptcy, where we’ll be “lucky” to only lose 90% of our funds, I want this fixed. I don’t want to live in a reality where fraud can happen just buying/selling on the largest and most trusted exchanges. Especially now that I’ve learned blockchain provides the capability for even greater transparency and a level of public audit far beyond even what's possible with fiat.
If you feel the same way, I invite you to join Quadriga Initiative, where we are fighting for a Proof of Reserves future and also enabling businesses to help Quadriga victims with an innovative token recovery project. Every sign-up helps us reach our goal and launch the project!

If any information in this post is incorrect, please let me know so I can fix it! Thanks! I’m happy to update the audit status of any exchange given reasonable evidence, or provide a review of any other custodial exchange I might have missed.
submitted by azoundria2 to QuadrigaInitiative [link] [comments]

Plan To Recover Our Losses


Background on the Initiative

My name is Matt. I’ve lived in Calgary my whole life, and been running businesses and programming since I was 10 years old. I’m a recent graduate of the University of Calgary in a business and computer science double major, and I currently manage the software team (6 students) at a small Calgary IoT startup. My past business experiences include running a window cleaning franchise across 6 communities, a popular concession stand, and a free web hosting service with over 10,000 clients.
I first got involved with cryptocurrency in 2017, when we had the big run up. Prior to that, I’d done a ton of research but never actually invested. While my losses in Quadriga are significant, they’re nowhere near some of the losses I’ve been hearing about. I’m fortunate to be in a “walk away” position if I so choose and I more or less did for the first week. But I couldn’t stay away. It isn’t right. Especially not now when the solution is so close and the potential impact is so significant.
Quadriga Initiative is the result of 6-7 months of on and off brainstorming, collaboration, and iteration around the central goal of recovering what's been lost.
The money is almost certainly not accessible. (I'm pretty sure it would have been found already.) We'll all get something from the bankruptcy, and I appreciate the legal team and official committee working hard on our behalf, but I fear it won't even come close to making up for what was lost. For many people - their whole life savings. It's not a very satisfying recovery. It doesn't leave anyone whole. It leaves a lot of people behind.
Without funds to pull from, any full recovery solution has to center around creating new value. Entrepreneurs and business leaders are creating value every day, and this is where the idea comes from.
We take advantage of the fact we have a large affected user community, tons of economic bargaining power, and a vast network. Many in the business community were affected, know someone who was affected, or feel horrible about what happened. My discussions with business leaders have shown that they generally desire to make this right, and businesses regularly do "goodwill" donations or gestures for marketing. The Quadriga Initiative provides a way businesses can help easily and in a "win win" way by running token-accepting promotions. We then provide a competitive framework that helps to promote businesses which make the biggest impact, highly incentivizing a faster recovery.
At this stage, everything is more or less ready. We have a primary exchange partner, a growing team of affected users, and multiple business connections. What remains is the incredibly tough challenge of creating trust and understanding among a community that's been completely devastated in the worst way. This is no easy task.
We need your help! If things don't make sense, or you still have questions, or you don't understand something, please take the time to ask and reach out! In addition to commenting here, please feel free to chat with us on Telegram: https://t.me/QuadrigaInitiative



Where Does the Money Come From?

The money (value) comes out of the profit margin of businesses. Businesses normally sell a product or service at a profit over the cost of production. Instead, a business would sell the product or service at a discount (less profit), accepting tokens in place of the difference.
While this may seem generous, like the business is giving something away, it also benefits the business as well:
Once a successful marketplace is established, affected users will have a multitude of businesses where they can spend tokens and get good deals. As well, other consumers can buy the tokens at a discount (supporting affected users), then use them to save money.
The leaderboard and large affected user community give a strong advantage to businesses to participate and offer the best deals. Businesses that have recovered the most are rewarded with more people seeing their promotion (free advertising).



The Various Uses For Tokens

Our Partner Exchange: Tokens will be tradable and accepted at face value towards the trading fees on the partner exchange. A trader who wants to save money on trades can stock up on the tokens to gain a discount over other customers who don't bother. The tokens can be used towards 50%-100% of the trading fees depending on the calendar date. This means a heavy discount for affected users and is essentially a price segment for the exchange.
In addition, the primary exchange partner we have is looking into giving back a small portion (15%) of gross trading revenue towards cashing tokens. This is done to incentivize the affected user community to spread the word about the exchange.
Participating Businesses: Businesses in the community accept the tokens towards purchases to promote to Quadriga victims, supporters, and deal seekers. It functions similar to a discount, where the tokens are applied as a portion of the sale price, with a few additional advantages for the business:
Businesses sell promotions for tokens, and send the tokens to a burn address that encodes the business website URL. To further encourage business participation, a leaderboard is set up to promote those businesses which have burned the most tokens. The leaderboard is a useful place to go shopping if you have tokens. You can find businesses who take them and get the best deals. All information is on the blockchain, enabling anyone to set up a leaderboard or start accepting tokens.



Token Flow Diagram

The linked diagram is a handy visualization of the initiative and how the various parties interact:
https://www.quadrigainitiative.com/Quadriga%20Initiative%20Diagram.pdf
The complete initiative is a full marketplace, enabling the beneficial (win win) interaction of all parties and the gradual recovery of losses over time. The token supply is finite, limited by the amount of losses we can verify, and all tokens eventually get cashed for $1 worth of products/services (or primary exchange gross trading revenue) as the program runs.


Our Primary Exchange Partner

Since the primary exchange is handling validation and distributing the tokens, it's important they be trustworthy. Given the history with Quadriga, most affected users (including every member of our team) are legitimately concerned about anyone losing their funds again. This is the primary reason we've selected to work with TxQuick.


Proof of Reserves and Why It Matters

In case you missed them, so far this year we've seen 3 large scale exchange collapses:
Each one represents massive losses for those involved - hundreds and thousands of affected lives. These are real people and families at the other ends, with hopes and dreams, who worked hard for their money.
In the case of QuadrigaCX, it took the freezing of the bank accounts, the death/disappearance of the CEO, and concerted legal action to even realize it was insolvent.
Exchanges can easily continue to operate for years with whatever level of reserves they like. Third party audits are riddled with holes like:
On top of that - most exchange platforms still don't even bother to audit. Despite the warnings about storing funds on exchanges, people still do. And remember that many affected users weren't storing funds on Quadriga - they simply got stuck with no way to withdraw.
Proof of Reserves asks exchanges to:
What it doesn't prevent:
What it does prevent:
Check this link for more details on Proof of Reserves, including the full hash tree algorithm.
Despite the relative simplicity of publishing wallet keys, the vast selection of exchanges we have in Canada, and the many millions of dollars stored, not a single exchange has done so. The hash tree algorithm has existed since 2014. It's presently on one exchange (last audited in 2014).
We feel that Proof of Reserves is key to preventing future exchange collapses, which is why we are so pleased to have a primary exchange partner which will be implementing the full algorithm. While we can't control other exchanges, traders now have an option to use an exchange which proves full backing of all deposits and we hope this will encourage wider adoption and greater industry transparency.


Timeline for the Initiative

The initiative process breaks down into roughly 3 stages:
Pre-Claim Stage - We are working to save affected user balances for later validation, as well as determine if there is sufficient interest in the project. This is ongoing.
Exchange Stage - We bring the primary exchange online, and process claims. Recovery starts through exchange trading fee discounts and eventually gross trading revenue. The exchange platform is expected to launch within a few months.
Marketplace Stage - Once we have enough individuals with tokens, we bring in the first businesses from the wider community. After we have several initial businesses, the marketplace grows organically as more businesses sign up over time. This is approximately a year after launching the exchange.
Full recovery (all losses) is likely to take multiple years, anywhere from 2 to 25 years. There are a lot of factors to consider.


Verification of Claims

Accurately capturing losses is key. Businesses are interested in helping honest victims of a crime who had their money stolen from them, and not too interested in supporting any fraud. We've been working hard to make our process as easy as possible for affected users, while being as hard as possible for false claims (claiming wrong amounts, losses of others, or fake claims).


How To Sign Up

If you wish to participate, please sign up at https://www.quadrigainitiative.com/.
You can do a pre-claim to save your balance, or an email only sign up just to show interest and get the launch email.



How You Can Help

We are stronger together!


Thanks so much!
submitted by azoundria2 to QuadrigaCX [link] [comments]

Technical: A Brief History of Payment Channels: from Satoshi to Lightning Network

Who cares about political tweets from some random country's president when payment channels are a much more interesting and are actually capable of carrying value?
So let's have a short history of various payment channel techs!

Generation 0: Satoshi's Broken nSequence Channels

Because Satoshi's Vision included payment channels, except his implementation sucked so hard we had to go fix it and added RBF as a by-product.
Originally, the plan for nSequence was that mempools would replace any transaction spending certain inputs with another transaction spending the same inputs, but only if the nSequence field of the replacement was larger.
Since 0xFFFFFFFF was the highest value that nSequence could get, this would mark a transaction as "final" and not replaceable on the mempool anymore.
In fact, this "nSequence channel" I will describe is the reason why we have this weird rule about nLockTime and nSequence. nLockTime actually only works if nSequence is not 0xFFFFFFFF i.e. final. If nSequence is 0xFFFFFFFF then nLockTime is ignored, because this if the "final" version of the transaction.
So what you'd do would be something like this:
  1. You go to a bar and promise the bartender to pay by the time the bar closes. Because this is the Bitcoin universe, time is measured in blockheight, so the closing time of the bar is indicated as some future blockheight.
  2. For your first drink, you'd make a transaction paying to the bartender for that drink, paying from some coins you have. The transaction has an nLockTime equal to the closing time of the bar, and a starting nSequence of 0. You hand over the transaction and the bartender hands you your drink.
  3. For your succeeding drink, you'd remake the same transaction, adding the payment for that drink to the transaction output that goes to the bartender (so that output keeps getting larger, by the amount of payment), and having an nSequence that is one higher than the previous one.
  4. Eventually you have to stop drinking. It comes down to one of two possibilities:
    • You drink until the bar closes. Since it is now the nLockTime indicated in the transaction, the bartender is able to broadcast the latest transaction and tells the bouncers to kick you out of the bar.
    • You wisely consider the state of your liver. So you re-sign the last transaction with a "final" nSequence of 0xFFFFFFFF i.e. the maximum possible value it can have. This allows the bartender to get his or her funds immediately (nLockTime is ignored if nSequence is 0xFFFFFFFF), so he or she tells the bouncers to let you out of the bar.
Now that of course is a payment channel. Individual payments (purchases of alcohol, so I guess buying coffee is not in scope for payment channels). Closing is done by creating a "final" transaction that is the sum of the individual payments. Sure there's no routing and channels are unidirectional and channels have a maximum lifetime but give Satoshi a break, he was also busy inventing Bitcoin at the time.
Now if you noticed I called this kind of payment channel "broken". This is because the mempool rules are not consensus rules, and cannot be validated (nothing about the mempool can be validated onchain: I sigh every time somebody proposes "let's make block size dependent on mempool size", mempool state cannot be validated by onchain data). Fullnodes can't see all of the transactions you signed, and then validate that the final one with the maximum nSequence is the one that actually is used onchain. So you can do the below:
  1. Become friends with Jihan Wu, because he owns >51% of the mining hashrate (he totally reorged Bitcoin to reverse the Binance hack right?).
  2. Slip Jihan Wu some of the more interesting drinks you're ordering as an incentive to cooperate with you. So say you end up ordering 100 drinks, you split it with Jihan Wu and give him 50 of the drinks.
  3. When the bar closes, Jihan Wu quickly calls his mining rig and tells them to mine the version of your transaction with nSequence 0. You know, that first one where you pay for only one drink.
  4. Because fullnodes cannot validate nSequence, they'll accept even the nSequence=0 version and confirm it, immutably adding you paying for a single alcoholic drink to the blockchain.
  5. The bartender, pissed at being cheated, takes out a shotgun from under the bar and shoots at you and Jihan Wu.
  6. Jihan Wu uses his mystical chi powers (actually the combined exhaust from all of his mining rigs) to slow down the shotgun pellets, making them hit you as softly as petals drifting in the wind.
  7. The bartender mutters some words, clothes ripping apart as he or she (hard to believe it could be a she but hey) turns into a bear, ready to maul you for cheating him or her of the payment for all the 100 drinks you ordered from him or her.
  8. Steely-eyed, you stand in front of the bartender-turned-bear, daring him to touch you. You've watched Revenant, you know Leonardo di Caprio could survive a bear mauling, and if some posh actor can survive that, you know you can too. You make a pose. "Drunken troll logic attack!"
  9. I think I got sidetracked here.
Lessons learned?

Spilman Channels

Incentive-compatible time-limited unidirectional channel; or, Satoshi's Vision, Fixed (if transaction malleability hadn't been a problem, that is).
Now, we know the bartender will turn into a bear and maul you if you try to cheat the payment channel, and now that we've revealed you're good friends with Jihan Wu, the bartender will no longer accept a payment channel scheme that lets one you cooperate with a miner to cheat the bartender.
Fortunately, Jeremy Spilman proposed a better way that would not let you cheat the bartender.
First, you and the bartender perform this ritual:
  1. You get some funds and create a transaction that pays to a 2-of-2 multisig between you and the bartender. You don't broadcast this yet: you just sign it and get its txid.
  2. You create another transaction that spends the above transaction. This transaction (the "backoff") has an nLockTime equal to the closing time of the bar, plus one block. You sign it and give this backoff transaction (but not the above transaction) to the bartender.
  3. The bartender signs the backoff and gives it back to you. It is now valid since it's spending a 2-of-2 of you and the bartender, and both of you have signed the backoff transaction.
  4. Now you broadcast the first transaction onchain. You and the bartender wait for it to be deeply confirmed, then you can start ordering.
The above is probably vaguely familiar to LN users. It's the funding process of payment channels! The first transaction, the one that pays to a 2-of-2 multisig, is the funding transaction that backs the payment channel funds.
So now you start ordering in this way:
  1. For your first drink, you create a transaction spending the funding transaction output and sending the price of the drink to the bartender, with the rest returning to you.
  2. You sign the transaction and pass it to the bartender, who serves your first drink.
  3. For your succeeding drinks, you recreate the same transaction, adding the price of the new drink to the sum that goes to the bartender and reducing the money returned to you. You sign the transaction and give it to the bartender, who serves you your next drink.
  4. At the end:
    • If the bar closing time is reached, the bartender signs the latest transaction, completing the needed 2-of-2 signatures and broadcasting this to the Bitcoin network. Since the backoff transaction is the closing time + 1, it can't get used at closing time.
    • If you decide you want to leave early because your liver is crying, you just tell the bartender to go ahead and close the channel (which the bartender can do at any time by just signing and broadcasting the latest transaction: the bartender won't do that because he or she is hoping you'll stay and drink more).
    • If you ended up just hanging around the bar and never ordering, then at closing time + 1 you broadcast the backoff transaction and get your funds back in full.
Now, even if you pass 50 drinks to Jihan Wu, you can't give him the first transaction (the one which pays for only one drink) and ask him to mine it: it's spending a 2-of-2 and the copy you have only contains your own signature. You need the bartender's signature to make it valid, but he or she sure as hell isn't going to cooperate in something that would lose him or her money, so a signature from the bartender validating old state where he or she gets paid less isn't going to happen.
So, problem solved, right? Right? Okay, let's try it. So you get your funds, put them in a funding tx, get the backoff tx, confirm the funding tx...
Once the funding transaction confirms deeply, the bartender laughs uproariously. He or she summons the bouncers, who surround you menacingly.
"I'm refusing service to you," the bartender says.
"Fine," you say. "I was leaving anyway;" You smirk. "I'll get back my money with the backoff transaction, and posting about your poor service on reddit so you get negative karma, so there!"
"Not so fast," the bartender says. His or her voice chills your bones. It looks like your exploitation of the Satoshi nSequence payment channel is still fresh in his or her mind. "Look at the txid of the funding transaction that got confirmed."
"What about it?" you ask nonchalantly, as you flip open your desktop computer and open a reputable blockchain explorer.
What you see shocks you.
"What the --- the txid is different! You--- you changed my signature?? But how? I put the only copy of my private key in a sealed envelope in a cast-iron box inside a safe buried in the Gobi desert protected by a clan of nomads who have dedicated their lives and their childrens' lives to keeping my private key safe in perpetuity!"
"Didn't you know?" the bartender asks. "The components of the signature are just very large numbers. The sign of one of the signature components can be changed, from positive to negative, or negative to positive, and the signature will remain valid. Anyone can do that, even if they don't know the private key. But because Bitcoin includes the signatures in the transaction when it's generating the txid, this little change also changes the txid." He or she chuckles. "They say they'll fix it by separating the signatures from the transaction body. They're saying that these kinds of signature malleability won't affect transaction ids anymore after they do this, but I bet I can get my good friend Jihan Wu to delay this 'SepSig' plan for a good while yet. Friendly guy, this Jihan Wu, it turns out all I had to do was slip him 51 drinks and he was willing to mine a tx with the signature signs flipped." His or her grin widens. "I'm afraid your backoff transaction won't work anymore, since it spends a txid that is not existent and will never be confirmed. So here's the deal. You pay me 99% of the funds in the funding transaction, in exchange for me signing the transaction that spends with the txid that you see onchain. Refuse, and you lose 100% of the funds and every other HODLer, including me, benefits from the reduction in coin supply. Accept, and you get to keep 1%. I lose nothing if you refuse, so I won't care if you do, but consider the difference of getting zilch vs. getting 1% of your funds." His or her eyes glow. "GENUFLECT RIGHT NOW."
Lesson learned?

CLTV-protected Spilman Channels

Using CLTV for the backoff branch.
This variation is simply Spilman channels, but with the backoff transaction replaced with a backoff branch in the SCRIPT you pay to. It only became possible after OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY (CLTV) was enabled in 2015.
Now as we saw in the Spilman Channels discussion, transaction malleability means that any pre-signed offchain transaction can easily be invalidated by flipping the sign of the signature of the funding transaction while the funding transaction is not yet confirmed.
This can be avoided by simply putting any special requirements into an explicit branch of the Bitcoin SCRIPT. Now, the backoff branch is supposed to create a maximum lifetime for the payment channel, and prior to the introduction of OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY this could only be done by having a pre-signed nLockTime transaction.
With CLTV, however, we can now make the branches explicit in the SCRIPT that the funding transaction pays to.
Instead of paying to a 2-of-2 in order to set up the funding transaction, you pay to a SCRIPT which is basically "2-of-2, OR this singlesig after a specified lock time".
With this, there is no backoff transaction that is pre-signed and which refers to a specific txid. Instead, you can create the backoff transaction later, using whatever txid the funding transaction ends up being confirmed under. Since the funding transaction is immutable once confirmed, it is no longer possible to change the txid afterwards.

Todd Micropayment Networks

The old hub-spoke model (that isn't how LN today actually works).
One of the more direct predecessors of the Lightning Network was the hub-spoke model discussed by Peter Todd. In this model, instead of payers directly having channels to payees, payers and payees connect to a central hub server. This allows any payer to pay any payee, using the same channel for every payee on the hub. Similarly, this allows any payee to receive from any payer, using the same channel.
Remember from the above Spilman example? When you open a channel to the bartender, you have to wait around for the funding tx to confirm. This will take an hour at best. Now consider that you have to make channels for everyone you want to pay to. That's not very scalable.
So the Todd hub-spoke model has a central "clearing house" that transport money from payers to payees. The "Moonbeam" project takes this model. Of course, this reveals to the hub who the payer and payee are, and thus the hub can potentially censor transactions. Generally, though, it was considered that a hub would more efficiently censor by just not maintaining a channel with the payer or payee that it wants to censor (since the money it owned in the channel would just be locked uselessly if the hub won't process payments to/from the censored user).
In any case, the ability of the central hub to monitor payments means that it can surveill the payer and payee, and then sell this private transactional data to third parties. This loss of privacy would be intolerable today.
Peter Todd also proposed that there might be multiple hubs that could transport funds to each other on behalf of their users, providing somewhat better privacy.
Another point of note is that at the time such networks were proposed, only unidirectional (Spilman) channels were available. Thus, while one could be a payer, or payee, you would have to use separate channels for your income versus for your spending. Worse, if you wanted to transfer money from your income channel to your spending channel, you had to close both and reshuffle the money between them, both onchain activities.

Poon-Dryja Lightning Network

Bidirectional two-participant channels.
The Poon-Dryja channel mechanism has two important properties:
Both the original Satoshi and the two Spilman variants are unidirectional: there is a payer and a payee, and if the payee wants to do a refund, or wants to pay for a different service or product the payer is providing, then they can't use the same unidirectional channel.
The Poon-Dryjam mechanism allows channels, however, to be bidirectional instead: you are not a payer or a payee on the channel, you can receive or send at any time as long as both you and the channel counterparty are online.
Further, unlike either of the Spilman variants, there is no time limit for the lifetime of a channel. Instead, you can keep the channel open for as long as you want.
Both properties, together, form a very powerful scaling property that I believe most people have not appreciated. With unidirectional channels, as mentioned before, if you both earn and spend over the same network of payment channels, you would have separate channels for earning and spending. You would then need to perform onchain operations to "reverse" the directions of your channels periodically. Secondly, since Spilman channels have a fixed lifetime, even if you never used either channel, you would have to periodically "refresh" it by closing it and reopening.
With bidirectional, indefinite-lifetime channels, you may instead open some channels when you first begin managing your own money, then close them only after your lawyers have executed your last will and testament on how the money in your channels get divided up to your heirs: that's just two onchain transactions in your entire lifetime. That is the potentially very powerful scaling property that bidirectional, indefinite-lifetime channels allow.
I won't discuss the transaction structure needed for Poon-Dryja bidirectional channels --- it's complicated and you can easily get explanations with cute graphics elsewhere.
There is a weakness of Poon-Dryja that people tend to gloss over (because it was fixed very well by RustyReddit):
Another thing I want to emphasize is that while the Lightning Network paper and many of the earlier presentations developed from the old Peter Todd hub-and-spoke model, the modern Lightning Network takes the logical conclusion of removing a strict separation between "hubs" and "spokes". Any node on the Lightning Network can very well work as a hub for any other node. Thus, while you might operate as "mostly a payer", "mostly a forwarding node", "mostly a payee", you still end up being at least partially a forwarding node ("hub") on the network, at least part of the time. This greatly reduces the problems of privacy inherent in having only a few hub nodes: forwarding nodes cannot get significantly useful data from the payments passing through them, because the distance between the payer and the payee can be so large that it would be likely that the ultimate payer and the ultimate payee could be anyone on the Lightning Network.
Lessons learned?

Future

After LN, there's also the Decker-Wattenhofer Duplex Micropayment Channels (DMC). This post is long enough as-is, LOL. But for now, it uses a novel "decrementing nSequence channel", using the new relative-timelock semantics of nSequence (not the broken one originally by Satoshi). It actually uses multiple such "decrementing nSequence" constructs, terminating in a pair of Spilman channels, one in both directions (thus "duplex"). Maybe I'll discuss it some other time.
The realization that channel constructions could actually hold more channel constructions inside them (the way the Decker-Wattenhofer puts a pair of Spilman channels inside a series of "decrementing nSequence channels") lead to the further thought behind Burchert-Decker-Wattenhofer channel factories. Basically, you could host multiple two-participant channel constructs inside a larger multiparticipant "channel" construct (i.e. host multiple channels inside a factory).
Further, we have the Decker-Russell-Osuntokun or "eltoo" construction. I'd argue that this is "nSequence done right". I'll write more about this later, because this post is long enough.
Lessons learned?
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Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange goes offline after $350 million hack Kim Nilsson - Cracking MtGox - YouTube Bitcoin News and the MtGox Hack on BBC News Mt. Gox: Solving the Mystery of Bitcoin’s Biggest Disaster I Fortune Cryptocurrency News - Mt. Gox Bitcoin Hack - Craig Wright

Amount Hacked: 2609 BTC +750,000 BTC; Mt.Gox is the most famous Bitcoin hack. Japan-based Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox had been operating since 2010 and was the biggest Bitcoin exchange at the time. But very few know that this big exchange was not hacked only once, but twice. The first one happened in June 2011 when the hacker was able to get ahold of Mt.Gox’s auditor’s credentials and ... Bitcoin is a distributed, worldwide, decentralized digital money … Press J to jump to the feed. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. r/Bitcoin. log in sign up. User account menu. 28. MtGox update: Not hacked, database stolen from a compromised computer. To come back online at 8AM GMT. Close. 28. Posted by. u/Timbukthree. 8 years ago. Archived. MtGox update: Not ... Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy last week, saying hackers had stolen the equivalent of $460 million from its online coffers. The news rocked the bitcoin world, and it ... Mt. Gox, called "Mount Gox" or simply "Gox", was the most widely used bitcoin currency exchange market from shortly after its inception in 2010 to its insolvency late 2013. The market was closed February 25, 2014 and has since filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan and the United States, after losing 640 thousand bitcoins.. A registrant on Mt. Gox had at least two sub-accounts: one for ... Mt.Gox: Über 750.000 BTC. In einer Liste mit den größten fünf Bitcoin-Börsen-Hacks darf natürlich Mt.Gox nicht fehlen. Das Versagen der Betreiber der bis dato größten Exchange der Welt, ist fast schon legendär. In mehreren Anläufen gelang es den Angreifern, die astronomische Summe von über 750.000 BTC von den Wallets des japanischen Bitcoin-Handelsplatzes zu stehlen. Bereits zum ...

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Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange goes offline after $350 million hack

1300 Dollar pro Bitcoin! Mt.Gox Entschädigung - IOTA News nach Hack - BTC Chart Mt.Gox Entschädigung - IOTA News nach Hack - BTC Chart Finanzielle Freiheit dank Kryptowährungen Kim Nilsson - Cracking MtGox Information on how mtgox got hacked from the breaking bitcoin meet up 2017 subscribe to TheBitcoinArmy youtube channel Mt. Gox, once the world's largest bitcoin exchange, is now offline after losing about $350 million to a two year-long hack that went undetected by the compan... Mt.Gox Missing Bitcoin's Update - Duration: 4:20. GamersGoneTech 986 views. 4:20 . The risks of bitcoin trading - Duration: 5:54. CNN Business 13,760 views. 5:54. Bitcoin jumps 1000% this year ... Mt. Gox’s Mark Karpelès is dedicating his life to righting the wrongs of his company’s collapse in 2014. Subscribe to Fortune - http://www.youtube.com/subscr...

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