The power players of consumer finance in the 21st century will be crypto-native companies who build with blockchain technology at their core.
The crypto landscape is still nascent. We’re still very much in the fragmented, unbundled phase of the industry lifecycle. Beyond what Genesis Block is doing, there are signs of other companies slowly starting to bundle financial services into what could be an all-in-one bank replacement. So the key question that this series hopes to answer:
Which crypto-native company will successfully become the bank of the future?
We obviously think Genesis Block is well-positioned to win. But we certainly aren’t the only game in town. In this series, we’ll be doing an analysis of who is most capable of thwarting our efforts. We’ll look at categories like crypto exchanges, crypto wallets, centralized lending & borrowing services, and crypto debit card companies. Each category will have its own dedicated post. Today we’re analyzing big crypto exchanges. The two companies we’ll focus on today are Coinbase (biggest American exchange) and Binance (biggest global exchange). They are the top two exchanges in terms of Bitcoin trading volume. They are in pole position to winning this market — they have a huge existing userbase and strong financial resources. Will Coinbase or Binance become the bank of the future? Can their early success propel them to winning the broader consumer finance market? Is their growth too far ahead for anyone else to catch up? Let’s dive in. https://preview.redd.it/lau4hevpm7f51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=2c5de1ba497199f36aa194e5809bd86e5ab533d8
The most formidable exchange on the global stage is Binance (Crunchbase). All signs suggest they have significantly more users and a stronger balance sheet than Coinbase. No other exchange is executing as aggressively and relentlessly as Binance is. The cadence at which they are shipping and launching new products is nothing short of impressive. As Tushar Jain from Multicoin argues, Binance is Blitzscaling. Here are some of the products that they’ve launched in the last 18 months. Only a few are announced but still pre-launch.
Binance is well-positioned to become the crypto-powered, all-in-one, bundled solution for financial services. They already have so many of the pieces. But the key question is:
Can they create a cohesive & united product experience?
Binance is strong, but they do have a few major weaknesses that could slow them down.
Traders & Speculators Binance is currently very geared for speculators, traders, and financial professionals. Their bread-and-butter is trading (spot, margin, options, futures). Their UI is littered with depth charts, order books, candlesticks, and other financial concepts that are beyond the reach of most normal consumers. Their product today is not at all tailored for the broader consumer market. Given Binance’s popularity and strength among the pro audience, it’s unlikely that they will dumb down or simplify their product any time soon. That would jeopardize their core business. Binance will likely need an entirely new product/brand to go beyond the pro user crowd. That will take time (or an acquisition). So the question remains, is Binance even interested in the broader consumer market? Or will they continue to focus on their core product, the one-stop-shop for pro crypto traders?
Controversies & Hot Water Binance has had a number of controversies. No one seems to know where they are based — so what regulatory agencies can hold them accountable? Last year, some sensitive, private user data got leaked. When they announced their debit card program, they had to remove mentions of Visa quickly after. And though the “police raid” story proved to be untrue, there are still a lot of questions about what happened with their Shanghai office shut down (where there is smoke, there is fire). If any company has had a “move fast and break things” attitude, it is Binance. That attitude has served them well so far but as they try to do business in more regulated countries like America, this will make their road much more difficult — especially in the consumer market where trust takes a long time to earn, but can be destroyed in an instant. This is perhaps why the Binance US product is an empty shell when compared to their main global product.
Disjointed Product Experience Because Binance has so many different teams launching so many different services, their core product is increasingly feeling disjointed and disconnected. Many of the new features are sloppily integrated with each other. There’s no cohesive product experience. This is one of the downsides of executing and shipping at their relentless pace. For example, users don’t have a single wallet that shows their balances. Depending on if the user wants to do spot trading, margin, futures, or savings… the user needs to constantly be transferring their assets from one wallet to another. It’s not a unified, frictionless, simple user experience. This is one major downside of the “move fast and break things” approach.
BNB token Binance raised $15M in a 2017 ICO by selling their $BNB token. The current market cap of $BNB is worth more than $2.6B. Financially this token has served them well. However, given how BNB works (for example, their token burn), there are a lot of open questions as to how BNB will be treated with US security laws. Their Binance US product so far is treading very lightly with its use of BNB. Their token could become a liability for Binance as it enters more regulated markets. Whether the crypto community likes it or not, until regulators get caught up and understand the power of decentralized technology, tokens will still be a regulatory burden — especially for anything that touches consumers.
Binance Chain & Smart Contract Platform Binance is launching its own smart contract platform soon. Based on compatibility choices, they have their sights aimed at the Ethereum developer community. It’s unclear how easy it’ll be to convince developers to move to Binance chain. Most of the current developer energy and momentum around smart contracts is with Ethereum. Because Binance now has their own horse in the race, it’s unlikely they will ever decide to leverage Ethereum’s DeFi protocols. This could likely be a major strategic mistake — and hubris that goes a step too far. Binance will be pushing and promoting protocols on their own platform. The major risk of being all-in on their own platform is that they miss having a seat on the Ethereum rocket ship — specifically the growth of DeFi use-cases and the enormous value that can be unlocked. Integrating with Ethereum’s protocols would be either admitting defeat of their own platform or competing directly against themselves.
The crypto-native company that I believe is more likely to become the bank of the future is Coinbase (crunchbase). Their dominance in America could serve as a springboard to winning the West (Binance has a stronger foothold in Asia). Coinbase has more than 30M users. Their exchange business is a money-printing machine. They have a solid reputation as it relates to compliance and working with regulators. Their CEO is a longtime member of the crypto community. They are rumored to be going public soon.
Let’s look at what makes them strong and a likely contender for winning the broader consumer finance market.
Different Audience, Different Experience Coinbase has been smart to create a unique product experience for each audience — the pro speculator crowd and the common retail user. Their simple consumer version is at Coinbase.com. That’s the default. Their product for the more sophisticated traders and speculators is at Coinbase Pro (formerly GDAX). Unlike Binance, Coinbase can slowly build out the bank of the future for the broad consumer market while still having a home for their hardcore crypto traders. They aren’t afraid to have different experiences for different audiences.
Brand & Design Coinbase has a strong product design team. Their brand is capable of going beyond the male-dominated crypto audience. Their product is clean and simple — much more consumer-friendly than Binance. It’s clear they spend a lot of time thinking about their user experience. Interacting directly with crypto can sometimes be rough and raw (especially for n00bs). When I was at Mainframe we hosted a panel about Crypto UX challenges at the DevCon4 Dapp Awards. Connie Yang (Head of Design at Coinbase) was on the panel. She was impressive. Some of their design philosophies will bode well as they push to reach the broader consumer finance market.
Early Signs of Bundling Though Coinbase has nowhere near as many products & services as Binance, they are slowly starting to add more financial services that may appeal to the broader market. They are now letting depositors earn interest on USDC (also DAI & Tezos). In the UK they are piloting a debit card. Users can now invest in crypto with dollar-cost-averaging. It’s not much, but it’s a start. You can start to see hints of a more bundled solution around financial services.
Let’s now look at some things that could hold them back.
Slow Cadence In the fast-paced world of crypto, and especially when compared to Binance, Coinbase does not ship very many new products very often. This is perhaps their greatest weakness. Smaller, more nimble startups may run circles around them. They were smart to launch Coinbase Ventures where tey invest in early-stage startups. They can now keep an ear to the ground on innovation. Perhaps their cadence is normal for a company of their size — but the Binance pace creates quite the contrast.
Institutional Focus As a company, we are a Coinbase client. We love their institutional offering. It’s clear they’ve been investing a lot in this area. A recent Coinbase blog post made it clear that this has been a focus: “Over the past 12 months, Coinbase has been laser-focused on building out the types of features and services that our institutional customers need.” Their Tagomi acquisition only re-enforced this focus. Perhaps this is why their consumer product has felt so neglected. They’ve been heavily investing in their institutional services since May 2018. For a company that’s getting very close to an IPO, it makes sense that they’d focus on areas that present strong revenue opportunities — as they do with institutional clients. Even for big companies like Coinbase, it’s hard to have a split focus. If they are “laser-focused” on the institutional audience, it’s unlikely they’ll be launching any major consumer products anytime soon.
Coinbase Wrap Up
At Genesis Block, we‘re proud to be working with Coinbase. They are a fantastic company. However, I don’t believe that they’ll succeed in building their own product for the broader consumer finance market. While they have incredible design, there are no signs that they are focused on or capable of internally building this type of product. Similar to Binance, I think it’s far more likely that Coinbase acquires a promising young startup with strong growth.
Other US-based exchanges worth mentioning are Kraken, Gemini, and Bittrex. So far we’ve seen very few signs that any of them will aggressively attack broader consumer finance. Most are going in the way of Binance — listing more assets and adding more pro tools like margin and futures trading. And many, like Coinbase, are trying to attract more institutional customers. For example, Gemini with their custody product.
Coinbase and Binance have huge war chests and massive reach. For that alone, they should always be considered threats to Genesis Block. However, their products are very, very different than the product we’re building. And their approach is very different as well. They are trying to educate and onboard people into crypto. At Genesis Block, we believe the masses shouldn’t need to know or care about it. We did an entire series about this, Spreading Crypto. Most everyone needs banking — whether it be to borrow, spend, invest, earn interest, etc. Not everyone needs a crypto exchange. For non-crypto consumers (the mass market), the differences between a bank and a crypto exchange are immense. Companies like Binance and Coinbase make a lot of money on their crypto exchange business. It would be really difficult, gutsy, and risky for any of them to completely change their narrative, messaging, and product to focus on the broader consumer market. I don’t believe they would ever risk biting the hand that feeds them. In summary, as it relates to a digital bank aimed at the mass market, I believe both Coinbase and Binance are much more likely to acquire a startup in this space than they are to build it themselves. And I think they would want to keep the brand/product distinct and separate from their core crypto exchange business. So back to the original question, is Coinbase and Binance a threat to Genesis Block? Not really. Not today. But they could be, and for that, we want to stay close to them. ------ Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
Coinbase Tutorial. A Definitive Guide for Newcomers.
Coinbase Tutorial. A Definitive Guide for Newcomers.
As cryptocurrencies become more abundant throughout our society, more information must be prevalent to educate the newcomers into the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. If you’re new to cryptocurrencies, then you’ve come to the right place as Coinbase is one of the simplest cryptocurrency trading platforms to get started on. Once you understand Coinbase, more advanced trading platforms such as Binance won’t seem as intimidating.
What is Coinbase?
Coinbase is a cryptocurrency trading platform which allows you to buy and sell five different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin. Note that there are over thousands of different cryptocurrencies but these four are what Coinbase specializes in.
Making a Coinbase account
Creating a Coinbase account is very simple but there’s much more to it compared to something like creating a Reddit account. Be sure to have either your driver’s license, passport, or identification card at hand as you’ll be asked to provide this information via upload. Coinbase currently has a sign-up promotion going on. If you haven't signed up yet, sign up using this link and you'll receive $10 free in bitcoin (after you spend $100).
Why does Coinbase need to see my ID?
Coinbase needs to be able to verify your identify because they are a regulated financial service company operating in the US. As they state on their website:
As a regulated financial service company operating in the US we are periodically required to identify users on our platform. This ensures we remain in compliance with KYC/AML laws in the jurisdictions in which we operate, something that is necessary for us to be able to continue to offer digital currency exchange services to our customers.
Once you’ve created your account, you’ll have to wait until you get approved before you’re allowed to start buying and trading on the platform. This can take upwards of 7 days till approval. Coinbase will also make two distinct small charges towards your bank account. You will need to find these charges and register them into Coinbase as a part of the approval process. The time in which it’ll take to get approved will vary person to person, just be patient and you eventually will get approved. In the mean-time I highly recommend taking some extra steps done to ensure the security, and longevity of your account.
Securing Your Coinbase Account
Two Factor Authentication
Upon signing into your Coinbase account, you’ll be sent a text message containing a code in which you will have to input allowing you to access your account. This is a security measure done to ensure it is specifically you trying to access your account, it’s important to note that a hacker could still compromise your account through a social engineering attack with what is known as a phone porting attack. This attack is done after obtaining your phone number and various other personal information, the hacker will then call up your phone carrier impersonating you, and then attempt to port your number over to a new device. Once a hacker has access to your text messages, they can then access your account with your SMS two-factor authentication code. If you’d like to see a real example of how this can play out, Cody Brown shares his example of how he lost $8k worth of bitcoin to this attack. Anyways, the best way to prevent this is through the use of an authenticator. The most common being Google Authenticator. I don’t want to get into too much technical details as to how authenticators work. Think of it as a digital key, stored on a device that changes every 30 seconds. In order to enable authenticator for Coinbase, go to Settings > Security and Enable Authenticator as shown here. After that a prompt will appear along with a QR code and a secret code (comprised of a random string of 16 letters & numbers). You will need to open up your Google Authenticator app and scan in your QR code. You will also need to write down your secret code and keep it in a safe place such as a safe and/or security deposit box. Once enabled, any time you wish to access your Coinbase account or make trades/transfers, you will need access to the 6-digit code provided by your authenticator. IMPORTANT: If you lose access to the device you’ve enacted authenticator on, you ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT be able to recover your account UNLESS you have that 16 digit secret code. This is a serious matter that should be taken with serious caution. It is important you take preventative security measures to ensure the security of your cryptocurrency. I highly recommend calling your bank and opening a security deposit box. This will mostly likely cost a yearly fee but the peace of mind alone is worth it IMO.
I’d like to briefly touch on phishing schemes. Phishing is the act of attempting to obtain personal information through the use of social engineering. Common phishing schemes/methods include: fraudulent e-mails in which the sender tries to impersonate an entity of authority (we’ve all received these sketchy e-mails before) and websites registered under the misspelling of a popular domain. In the world of crypto, it is essential to be attentive to schemes like these as it is much easier to fall victim than you may think. The anonymity of crypto alone makes it very appealing to hackers & scammers. You should always be on the lookout for fraudulent schemes. Some preventative actions you may want to consider taking:
Creating a bookmarks folder of all the popular crypto-related sites you visit
Creating email inbox rules to distinguish trusted entities.
As a safety precaution, ensure you have authenticator enabled throughout all your crypto-related accounts with the security keys kept in a safety deposit box.
Use a hardware wallet to store your cryptocurrency instead of keeping them on exchanges (I’ll touch more on this later)
Funding Your Coinbase Account
Congratulations, your Coinbase account got approved! You can now start funding your account… or so you thought. Upon your first cryptocurrency purchase with Coinbase, it is very likely your bank will automatically flag the purchase as fraudulent. If this happens to you (which it most likely will), you will need to call up your bank and let them know to let the purchase go through. Once you’ve taken care of that, buying and selling cryptocurrency is relatively self-explanatory. Just go to Buy/Sell in the menu and choose which currency you’d like to buy/sell as shown below. https://imgur.com/isNuaSJ
Coinbase has weekly limits as to how much cryptocurrency you may purchase. Your limits will not start out this high but increase with proper verification and the longer you have an account. Weekly Buy Limits
Bank Account: $25,000
Credit/Debit Card: $7,500
Weekly Sell Limits
Credit/Debit Card and bank account purchases are both instantaneous, however, for bank account purchases, it'll take 5-7 business days for you to see the charge in your account. For information see:
There’s three distinct fee’s you will encounter with Coinbase.
Conversion & Exchange Fees: These are fees you’ll encounter through the buying, selling or exchanging of crypto. A fee is charged when you convert fiat to crypto.
Transfer Fees: A fee is charged if you’re transferring crypto to a different wallet (IE: Crypto Binance). Note that if this wallet happens to be another Coinbase wallet, there is no fee.
Mining Fees: These's are inherent fee's you'll encounter with any sort of crypto transaction. Mining fee's will also change depending on which cryptocurrency you are purchasing. I don't want to delve to much into the technical aspects as to why this is (as it can get very technical). I'll have to save this for a later post.
Note that the Bitcoin network is notorious for insanely high fee's. Purchase and transaction fee's upwards of $50+ are not uncommon during periods of high network congestion. Using Bitcoin to purchase something like a cup of coffee is completely trivial, and as we advance forward into the space, it's becoming more apparent that Bitcoin's main use case will be that of a digital gold rather than a global payment network.
Lowest Possible Fee With Coinbase
If you're going to be making large crypto purchases through Coinbase, ideally you'd want to get the lowest fee possible. I have found that the best way to do this is by your linking a bank account rather then by purchasing through debit/credit card. See photo.
Funding via bank account: 1.46% fee
Funding via debit/credit card: 3.83% fee
See photo. As you can see, both allow instantaneous availability of funds. However, it'll take 5-7 business days for the bank account transfer charge to appear in your account. Note: The fee you receive will also depend on how large of an amount you are purchasing. Expect fees to be a bit higher for smaller purchasing amounts and lower for larger amounts.
It's important to know that fees will change depending on what country you're from and what cryptocurrency you happen to be purchasing. For more information on Coinbase fees I highly recommend visiting their fee disclosure page.
Avoiding Coinbase Transfer Fees Using GDAX
There is a bit of loophole to avoid Coinbase transfer fees. This is done through Coinbase’s advanced trading platform known as GDAX. It looks intimidating, but it’s a lot easier to use than they make it seem. Luckily, as Coinbase user, you technically already have a GDAX account. Simply follow the sign-up steps for GDAX, and you’ll find your information pre-populated. No need for long wait-times for verification etc. To mitigate Coinbase transfer fees, send your money: Coinbase - GDAX - wallet of your choice
Sending & Receiving Cryptocurrency
Sending and receiving crypto with Coinbase is super easy…
Go to Accounts in the menu, look for the currency you’d like to send, then click Send. A prompt will come up instructing you to put in the recipients address and the amount you’d like to send. Ethereum example.
Go to Accounts in the menu, look for the currency you’d like to receive, then click Receive. A QR code and random string of numbers will appear. That random string of letters & numbers is your wallet address. This string is what you’d give to someone if you were looking to receive crypto. Your wallet address is also crypto specific. This means that if you try to send Litecoin to your Bitcoin wallet address, the transaction will fail. Random LPT: If you’re ever needing to transfer a large amount of crypto to another wallet, I recommend sending a test amount which is basically just a small amount of crypto. If said small amount appears in the wallet, you know you have the correct address. If not… you may need to just wait a bit longer and hopefully it will appear, or you’ve sent it to the wrong wallet address.
Securing Your Cryptocurrency
There are many ways you could go about securing your cryptocurrency. I’m going to discuss two.
The Vault is a feature Coinbase offers free of charge to safeguard your funds by adding multiple layers of security. With the vault, there is a designated time frame for withdrawals. This helps to safeguard against hackers getting into and emptying your account. Additionally, you can have other people (or email addresses) needed to confirm these withdrawals for an added layer of security. Warning: The vault is a feature you should use if you are planning on holding your cryptocurrency for a longer period of time. It is not recommended if you are looking to turn quick profits through buying and selling often due to the 3 day waiting period for withdrawals.
Ledger Nano S
The Ledger Nano S is a cryptocurrency hardware wallet. It allows you to store your cryptocurrency in physical device akin to that of a USB drive. You would then ideally keep this in a safe at home. This is my personal preferred method of storing cryptocurrency because I don’t have to worry about hackers potentially gaining access to my cryptocurrency online, rather, that security falls into my own hand. I just have to make sure I don’t lose or damage my Ledger, and even if I managed to do that, there is a 16 word recovery phrase provided by the Ledger in the event of a lost, damaged, or stolen Ledger. As long as you have the recovery phrase, you can recover all your cryptocurrency. So after purchasing crypto through Coinbase, instead of leaving my digital goods on the exchange, I transfer it to cold storage (which is another word for hardware wallet IE: Ledger Nano S).
My Primary use of Coinbase
I primarily use Coinbase as an easy access point into the crypto world. Coinbase makes it very easy to purchase the largest of cryptocurrencys and once you have access to these, you can start purchasing more niche cryptocurrencies such as Ripple, EOS, IOTA, NEO, etc... You would do this through the use of much larger exchange such as Binance. You cannot directly convert fiat to crypto with Binance yet. So in order to fund a Binance account, you need to convert your fiat to crypto through an exchange that allows you to do so, (this is where Coinbase comes into play) send that crypto to your Binance account, then make a purchase. The way I go about doing this is:
1st I purchase Ethereum through Coinbase. I purchase Ethereum instead of Bitcoin, because as I mentioned before, Bitcoin is notorious for insanely mining and transaction fees. Ethereum has much lower fees.
2nd I send said Ethereum to my Binance account
3rd Once I receive that Ethereum on my Binance account, I make my niche cryptocurrency purchase through the Binance exchange.
I have a step-by-step guide that details out this process. You can view it here. PHEWWWW. That was a lot of words... Anyways, I hope this was beneficial to you crypto newbies out there. I plan on making more tutorials like this in the future :) If you have any questions, just leave them in the comments sections down below. I’m sure either myself or the community would be able to respond.
A cryptoforker's guide to free money - Part 1 (The holy ymgve script + what and where to exchange)
EDIT: a new version of this guide, multilingual and featuring a wallet checker (input your IP, see what you can fork and how much it is worth) is available at https://cryptodom.org
Hello my lovely forkers! A while ago I made a post A cryptoforker's guide to free money - Part 2 (Coinomi, Bither, Bitpie, Walleting Services) where I explained how I used a combination of COINOMI and BITPIE (together with DIG WALLETING SERVICES) to get hold of most forked coins - And then how I sold them (main sites used: GATE.IO / BTCTRADE.COM / BIT-Z.COM / EXRATES.ME / COINEX.COM). Please refer to that for the instructions regarding Bither and Coinomi. QUICK NOTE: If you are a seasoned forker, just look at point 4 and see if your pokem… I mean fork coins collection is complete :-p / If instead you are a total newbie, remember you can just do the “PREPARATION” part and then claim through DIG WALLETING (affiliate link: https://dig.walleting.services/#/aff/o5YP75ALDORdaAbmrJJx NON affiliate link: https://dig.walleting.services/# ) if the process is too hard/long/risky - these guys are reliable and provide a great service, especially for those who have a plethora of transactions and would need to hunt down every last key manually - they have a Reddit, too: you can reach them at Walleting_Services . BEFORE YOU START: What is a fork? Is it really free money? Imagine you had a bank account at BTCbank and a card for it. Tomorrow BTCbank splits and half of its branches become BTC2bank. Nothing changes for you as a client of BTCbank, however there is something you can now do. You can move your money from your BTCbank account to a new BTCbank account, in practice making the card for your former account useless in the BTNbank branches but… NOT IN THE BTN2bank branches! So you can go there and get the equivalent of what you had in “free” money. Nothing illegal, nothing shady, no bugs or exploits: it’s all there by design. Keeping with the example though, it should be specified that you must have the “card” of your BTCbank, which in this case is a private key. If you have your BTC stored on papehardware wallet or anywhere else where you are in direct control of your private keys, well done! Those keys are your BTCbank card(s). If, on the other hand, you held your money on an exchange (Binance, Bitfinex, Bittrex, you name it), then your only chance is to wait and hope that the exchange decides to support the coin and gives you your share. It’s not impossible but it introduces a middleman. It’s like you are asking your uncle to have an account in his name at BTCbank and there is no guarantee that uncle will go to a new branch of BTNbank2 and use the card trick to get the free money and give it to you, no matter how much you ask him to. He could do it, he could not: it’s uncle’s call. PREPARATION: First of all, a question: are you after the fork money to exchange it yourself or do you just want to claim it but want someone else to do all the exchange part for you? If you want to squeeze every last bit out of it, get ready to sign up to a few Chinese exchanges! You might as well do this now before you start, otherwise you’ll get stuck at the cashing part. Same goes for the script. No target address, no script. I warned you :) Anyway, here’s the list: • GATE.IO • BTCTRADE.IM • COINEX.COM • EXRATES.ME • TRADESATOSHI.COM • BIT-Z.COM My personal favourite is GATE.IO, despite the 60 confirmations (up to 14 hours), but they all helped me one way or another, and most importantly they all allow withdrawal (BTCTRADE.IM wanted verification papers, the others didn’t). Also, make sure to have Coinomi, Bither and Bitpie installed on an Android phone. STEP 1 - THE GOLDEN RULE Just like in the previous post, let me start off by warning everyone: what are you about to do is dangerous. You could lose your bitcoins. Are you scared? You should be, cause the threat is real. Nobody wants to lose 1 BTC to try and claim a few tens/hundreds of dollars, right? So, first and foremost, make sure that you MOVE your coins from wherever they are (ideally, an offline wallet like a ledger or a trezor), and then, once the wallet is empty, feel free to play around with its private keys, that will hopefully show some transferrable balance at the time of the fork. STEP 2 - GETTING YOUR KEYS - https://iancoleman.io/bip39/ For getting the keys, this is your number one option - with an offline version for paranoid available, no less. Use the seed (those 24 words in the case of ledger, for example) and after the calculation go get your keys in the chart at the end of the page. In case you have segwit addresses or special scenarios (like a wallet with a lot of operations over a long time), getting the keys, or the “right” keys, might take a while. Anyway: let’s look at the first line of the chart. In the first column you will find the address: copy and paste it onto https://blockchain.info/ and press enter to get the transaction history for that given address. Let’s suppose for the sake of this example that our address shows 2 transactions: one inbound for 2 BTC 1 year ago and anther one for the outgoing BTC 5 minutes ago (because before we started this we DID move them out, right?!?). What that means is that at the time of the forkS (in this case we’d get money from most of them) we had 2 BTC on that address. Great, so it’s loaded, and we need its key. Let’s go back to the chart on line one and let’s have a look at the third column: this is our private key. We will use it later to sweep or import in the various method outlined. STEP 3 - THE SCRIPT - https://github.com/ymgve/bitcoin_fork_claimer If you have ben around this subreddit long enough you surely read about the script… And spared a tender thought for ymgve who made this possible. Yet, no one really explains properly how to use it. Unfortunately I do not have the time to explain how to get python installed and running on a machine, you will have to figure it out on your own. Same goes for the fact that you might need to write “py” or “python” before the actual “claimer.py (…)” command. Let’s say you somehow get ready to run the script - now you do have a series of examples on the github page, but they are not so easy to understand for the uninitiated. Here is the relevant quote: In blockchain.info mode it uses the blockchain.info API to query and validate information about the transaction you're spending from. This only works for transferring/claiming coins that existed on the BTC main chain pre-fork. SYNTAX: * claimer.py
Hello! My name is Inna Halahuz, I am a sales manager at Platinum, the largest listing service provider for the STO and ICO projects. We know all about the best and most useful STO and ICO marketing services. By the way, we developed the best blockchain platform: [Platinum.fund] (https://platinum.fund/sto/) We also created the UBAI, the unique educational project with the best and most useful online courses. We not only share our knowledge but also help the best graduates to find a job! After finishing our courses you will know all about crypto securities, ICO and STO advertizing and best blockchain platforms. What a Blockchain Wallet is? What is its purpose? Find the answer after reading this article. Public/Private Key The public key is the digital code you give to someone that wants to transfer ownership of a unit of cryptocurrency to you; and a private key is what you need to be able to unlock your own wallet to transfer a unit of a cryptocurrency to someone else. The encoding of information within a wallet is done by the private and public keys. That is the main component of the encryption that maintains the security of the wallet. Both keys function in simultaneous encryption systems called symmetric and asymmetric encryption. The former, alternatively known as private key encryption, makes use of the same key for encryption and decryption. The latter, asymmetric encryption, utilizes two keys, the public and private key, wherein a message-sender encrypts the message with the public key, and the recipient decodes it with their private key. The public key uses asymmetric algorithms that convert messages into an unreadable format. A person who possesses a public key can encrypt the message for a specific receiver. Accessing wallets Methods of wallet access vary depending on the type of wallet being used. Various types of currency wallets on an exchange will normally be accessed via the exchange’s entrance portal, normally involving a combination of a username/password and optionally, 2FA (Two factor authentication, which we explain in more detail later). Whereas hardware wallets need to be connected to an internet enabled device, and then have a pin code entered manually by the user in possession of the hardware wallet in order for access to be gained. Phone wallets are accessed through the device on which the wallet application has been downloaded. Ordinarily, a passcode and/or security pattern must be entered before entry is granted, in addition to 2FA for withdrawals. Satoshi Nakamoto built the Satoshi client which evolved into Bitcoin in 2009. This software allowed users to create wallets and send money to other addresses. However, it proved to be a nightmarish user experience, with many transactions being sent to incorrect addresses and private keys being lost. The MtGox (Magic the Gathering Online exchange, named after the original intended use of the exchange) incident, which will be covered in greater detail later, serves as a reminder of the dangers present in the cryptosphere regarding security, and the need to constantly upgrade your defenses against all potential hacks. The resulting loss of 850k BTC is a still unresolved problem, weighing heavily on the victims and the markets at large. This caused a huge push for a constantly evolving and improving focus on security. Exchanges that developed later, and are thus considered more legitimate and secure, such as Gemini and Coinbase, put a much greater emphasis on vigilance as a direct result of the MtGox hacking incident. We also saw the evolution of wallet security into the physical realm with the creation of hardware wallets, most notable among them the Ledger and Trezor wallets. Types of Wallets & Storage Methods The simplest way to sift through the dozens of cryptocurrency storage methods available today, is to divide them up into digital and non-digital, software and hardware wallets. There are also less commonly used methods of storage of private keys, like paper wallets and brain wallets. We will examine them all at least briefly, because in the course of your interaction with cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology, it is essential to master all the different types of hardware and software wallets. Another distinction must be made between hot wallets and cold wallets. A hot wallet is one that is connected to the internet, and a cold wallet is one that is not. Fun fact: The level below cold storage, deep cold storage has just recently been implemented by the Regal RA DMCC, a subsidiary of an internationally renowned gold trading company licensed in the Middle East. After having been granted a crypto trading license, Regal RA launched their “deep cold” storage solution for traders and investors, which offers the ability to store crypto assets in vaults deep below the Almas Tower in Dubai. This storage method is so secure that at no point is the vault connected to a network or the internet; meaning the owners of the assets can be sure that the private keys are known only to the rightful owners. Lets take a quick look at specific features and functionality of varieties of crypto wallets. Software wallets: wallet applications installed on a laptop, desktop, phone or tablet. Web Wallets: A hot wallet by definition. Web Wallets are accessible through the web browser on your phone or computer. The most important feature to recognize about any kind of web wallet, is that the private keys are held and managed by a trusted third party. MyEtherWallet is the most commonly used non-exchange web wallet, but it can only be used to store Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens. Though the avenue of access to MEW is through the web, it is not strictly speaking a web wallet, though this label will suffice for the time being. The MEW site gives you the ability to create a new wallet so you can store your ETH yourself. All the data is created and stored on your CPU rather than their servers. This makes MEW a hybrid kind of web wallet and desktop wallet. Exchange Wallets: A form of Web Wallet contained within an exchange. An exchange will hold a wallet for each individual variety of cryptocurrency you hold on that exchange. Desktop Wallets: A software program downloaded onto your computer or tablet hard drive that usually holds only one kind of cryptocurrency. The Nano Wallet (Formerly Raiwallet) and Neon wallet for storage of NEO and NEP-5 tokens are notable examples of desktop wallets Phone Wallets: These are apps downloaded onto a mobile phone that function in the same manner as a desktop wallet, but actually can hold many different kinds of cryptocurrency. The Eidoo Wallet for storing Ethereum and its associated tokens and Blockchain Wallet which currently is configured to hold BTC, ETH and Bitcoin Cash, are some of the most widely used examples. Hardware wallets — LedgeTrezoAlternatives Hardware wallets are basically physical pathways and keys to the unique location of your crypto assets on the Blockchain. These are thought to be more secure than any variety of web wallet because the private key is stored within your own hard wallet, an actual physical device. This forcibly removes the risk your online wallet, or your exchange counter party, might be hacked in the same manner as MtGox. In hardware wallet transactions, the wallet’s API creates the transaction when a user requests a payment. An API is a set of functions that facilitates the creation of applications that interact and access features or data of an operating system. The hardware then signs the transaction, and produces a public key, which is given to the network. This means the signing keys never leave the hardware wallet. The user must both enter a personal identification number and physically press buttons on the hardware wallet in order to gain access to their Blockchain wallet address through this method, and do the same to initiate transfers. Paper Wallets Possibly the safest form of cryptocurrency storage in terms of avoiding hacking, Paper Wallets are an offline form of crypto storage that is free to set up, and probably the most secure way for users, from beginners to experts, to hold on to their crypto assets. To say it simply, paper wallets are an offline cold storage method of storing cryptocurrency. This includes actually printing out your public and private keys on a piece of paper, which you then store and save in a secure place. The keys are printed in the form of QR codes which you can scan in the future for all your transactions. The reason why it is so safe is that it gives complete control to you, the user. You do not need to worry about the security or condition of a piece of hardware, nor do you have to worry about hackers on the net, or any other piece of malware. You just need to take care of one piece of paper! Real World Historical Examples of Different Wallet Types Web Wallet: Blockchain.info Brief mechanism & Security Blockchain.info is both a cryptocurrency wallet, supporting Bitcoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin cash, and also a block explorer service. The wallet service provided by blockchain.info has both a Web Wallet, and mobile phone application wallet, both of which involve signing up with an email address, and both have downloadable private keys. Two Factor Authentication is enabled for transfers from the web and mobile wallets, as well as email confirmation (as with most withdrawals from exchanges). Phone Wallet: Eidoo The Eidoo wallet is a multi-currency mobile phone app wallet for storage of Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens. The security level is the standard phone wallet level of email registration, confirmation, password login, and 2 factor authentication used in all transfers out. You may find small volumes of different varieties of cryptocurrencies randomly turning up in your Eidoo wallet address. Certain projects have deals with individual wallets to allow for “airdrops” to take place of a particular token into the wallet, without the consent of the wallet holder. There is no need to be alarmed, and the security of the wallet is not in any way compromised by these airdrops. Neon Wallet The NEON wallet sets the standard for web wallets in terms of security and user-friendly functionality. This wallet is only designed for storing NEO, Gas, and NEP-5 tokens (Ontology, Deep Brain Chain, RPX etc.). As with all single-currency wallets, be forewarned, if you send the wrong cryptocurrency type to a wallet for which it is not designed, you will probably lose your tokens or coins. MyEtherWallet My Ether Wallet, often referred to as MEW, is the most widely used and highly regarded wallet for Ethereum and its related ERC-20 tokens. You can access your MEW account with a hardware wallet, or a different program. Or you can also get access by typing or copying in your private key. However, you should understand this method is the least safe way possible,and therefore is the most likely to result in a hack. Hardware: TrezoLedger Brief History Mechanism and Security A hardware wallet is a physical key to your on-chain wallet location, with the private keys contained within a secure sector of the device. Your private key never leaves your hardware wallet. This is one of the safest possible methods of access to your crypto assets. Many people feel like the hardware wallet strikes the right balance between security, peace of mind, and convenience. Paper Wallet Paper wallets can be generated at various websites, such as https://bitcoinpaperwallet.com/ and https://walletgenerator.net/. They enable wallet holders to store their private keys totally offline, in as secure a manner as is possible. Real World Example — Poor Practices MtGox Hack history effects and security considerations MtGox was the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world before it was hacked in 2014. They were handling over 70% of BTC transactions before they were forced to liquidate their business. The biggest theft of cryptocurrency in history began when the private keys for the hot wallets were stolen in 2011 from a wallet.dat file, possibly by hacking, possibly by a rogue employee. Over the course of the next 3 years the hot wallets were emptied of approximately 650000 BTC. The hacker only needed wallet.dat file to access and make transfers from the hot wallet, as wallet encryption was only in operation from the time of the Bitcoin 0.4.0 release on Sept 23rd 2011. Even as the wallets were being emptied, the employees at Mt Gox were apparently oblivious to what was taking place. It seems that Mt Gox workers were interpreting these withdrawals as large transfers being made to more secure wallets. The former CEO of the exchange, Mark Karpeles, is currently on trial for embezzlement and faces up to 5 years in prison if found guilty. The Mt Gox hack precipitated the acceleration of security improvements on other exchanges, for wallets, and the architecture of bitcoin itself. As a rule of thumb, no small-to-medium scale crypto holders should use exchange wallets as a long-term storage solution. Investors and experienced traders may do this to take advantage of market fluctuations, but exchange wallets are perhaps the most prone to hacking, and storing assets on exchanges for an extended time is one of the riskiest ways to hold your assets. In a case strikingly similar to the MtGox of 2011–2014, the operators of the BitGrail exchange “discovered” that approximately 17 million XRB ($195 million worth in early 2018) were missing. The operators of the exchange were inexplicably still accepting deposits, long after they knew about the hack. Then they proceeded to block withdrawals from non-EU users. And then they even requested a hard fork of the code to restore the funds. This would have meant the entire XRB Blockchain would have had to accept all transactions from their first “invalid” transaction that were invalid, and rollback the ledger. The BitGrailexchange attempted to open operations in May 2018 but was immediately forced to close by order of the Italian courts. BitGrail did not institute mandatory KYC (Know your customer) procedures for their clients until after the theft had been reported, and allegedly months after the hack was visible. They also did not have 2 factor authentication mandatory for withdrawals. All big, and very costly mistakes. Case Study: Good Practice Binance, the Attempted Hack During the 2017 bull run, China-based exchange Binance quickly rose to the status of biggest altcoin exchange in the world, boasting daily volumes that surged to over $4 billion per day in late December. Unfortunately, this success attracted the attention of some crafty hackers. These hackers purchased domain names that were confusingly similar to “binance.com”. And then they created sufficiently convincing replica websites so they could phish traders for their login information. After obtaining this vital info, the scammers created API keys to place large buy orders for VIAcoin, an obscure, low volume digital currency. Those large buy orders spiked VIA’s price. Within minutes they traded the artificially high-priced VIA for BTC. Then they immediately made withdrawal requests from the hacked BTC wallets to wallets outside of the exchange. Almost a perfect fait accompli! But, Binance’s “automating risk management system” kicked in, as it should, and all withdrawals were temporarily suspended, resulting in a foiled hacking attempt. Software Wallets Web/Desktop/Phone/Exchange Advantages and Limitations As we said before, it is inadvisable to store crypto assets in exchange wallets, and, to a lesser extent, Web Wallets. The specific reason we say that is because you need to deliver your private keys into the hands of another party, and rely on that website or exchange to keep your private key, and thus your assets, safe. The advantages of the less-secure exchange or web wallets, are the speed at which you can transfer assets into another currency, or into another exchange for sale or for arbitrage purposes. Despite the convenience factor, all software wallets will at some point have been connected to the internet or a network. So, you can never be 100% sure that your system has not been infected with malware, or some kind of keylogging software, that will allow a third party to record your passwords or private keys. How well the type of storage method limits your contact with such hazards is a good way to rate the security of said variety of wallet. Of all the software wallets, desktop and mobile wallets are the most secure because you download and store your own private key, preferably on a different system. By taking the responsibility of private key storage you can be sure that only one person has possession of it, and that is you! Thereby greatly increasing the security of your crypto assets. By having their assets in a desktop wallet, traders can guard their private key and enjoy the associated heightened security levels, as well keep their assets just one swift transfer away from an exchange. Hardware Wallets Advantages and Limitations We briefly touched on the features and operation of the two most popular hardware wallets currently on the market, the Ledger and Trezor wallets. Now it will be helpful to take a closer look into the pros and cons of the hardware wallet storage method. With hardware wallets, the private keys are stored within a protected area of the microcontroller, and they are prevented from being exported out of the device in plain text. They are fortified with state-of-the-art cryptography that makes them immune to computer viruses and malware. And much of the time, the software is open source, which allows user validation of the entire performance of the device. The advantages of a hardware wallet over the perhaps more secure paper wallet method of crypto storage is the interactive user experience, and also the fact that the private key must at some stage be downloaded in order to use the paper wallet. The main disadvantage of a hardware wallet is the time-consuming extra steps needed to transfer funds out of this mode of storage to an exchange, which could conceivably result in some traders missing out on profits. But with security being the main concern of the vast majority of holders, investors and traders too, this slight drawback is largely inconsequential in most situations. Paper Wallets Advantages and Limitations Paper wallets are thought by some to be the safest way to store your crypto assets, or more specifically, the best method of guarding the pathways to your assets on the Blockchain. By printing out your private key information, the route to your assets on the Blockchain is stored 100% offline (apart from the act of printing the private key out, the entire process is totally offline). This means that you will not run the risk of being infected with malware or become the victim of keylogging scams. The main drawback of using paper wallets is that you are in effect putting all your eggs in one basket, and if the physical document is destroyed, you will lose access to your crypto assets forever. Key things to keep in mind about your Wallet Security: Recovery Phrases/Private Key Storage/2FA/Email Security Recovery phrases are used to recover the on-chain location for your wallet with your assets for hardware wallets like ledgers and Trezors that have been lost. When you purchase a new ledger for example, you just have to set it up again by entering the recovery phrase into the display and the lost wallets will appear with your assets intact. Private key storage is of paramount importance to maintain the safety of your on-chain assets! This should be done in paper wallet form, or stored offline on a different computer, or USB device, from the one you would typically use to connect to the 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) sometimes known as “two step authentication”. This feature offers an extra security layer when withdrawing funds from cryptocurrency wallets. A specialized app, most commonly Google Authenticator, is synced up to the exchange to provide a constantly changing code. This code must be entered within a short time window to initiate transfers, or to log into an exchange, if it has also been enabled for that purpose. You must always consider the level of fees, or the amount of Gas, that will be needed to carry out the transaction. In times of high network activity Gas prices can be quite high. In fact, in December 2017 network fees became so high that some Bitcoin transactions became absolutely unfeasible. But that was basically due to the anomalous network congestion caused by frantic trading of Bitcoin as it was skyrocketing in value. When copying wallet addresses, double check and triple check that they are correct. If you make a mistake and enter an incorrect address, it is most likely your funds will be irretrievably lost; you will never see those particular assets again. Also check that you haven’t input the address of another one of your wallets that is designed to hold a different variety of cryptocurrency. You would similarly run the very great risk of losing your funds forever. Or, at the very least, if you have sent the wrong crypto to a large exchange wallet, for example on Coinbase, maybe you could eventually get those funds back, but it would still entail a long and unenjoyable wait. How to Monitor Funds There are two ways to monitor you funds and your wallets. The first is by searching for individual wallet addresses on websites specifically designed to let you view all the transactions on a particular Blockchain. The other is to store a copy of your wallet contents on an application that tracks the prices of all cryptocurrencies. Blockchain.info is the block explorer for Bitcoin, and it allows you to track all wallet movements so you can view your holdings and all the historical transactions within the wallet. The Ethereum blockchain’s block explorer is called Ether scanner, and it functions in the same way. There is a rival to Ether scanner produced by the Jibrel Network, called JSearch which will be released soon. JSearch will aim to offer a more streamlined and faster search method for Ethereum blockchain transactions. There are many different kinds of block explorer for each individual crypto currency, including nanoexplorer.io for Nano (formerly Rai Blocks) and Neotracker for NEO. If you simply want to view the value of your portfolio, the Delta and Blockfolio apps allow you to easily do that. But they are not actually linked to your specific wallet address, they just show price movements and total value of the coins you want to monitor. That’s not all! You can learn how to transfer and monitor the funds in and out of your wallet by clicking on the link. To be continued! UBAI.co Contact me via Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to learn more about the best online education: LinkedInFacebookInstagram
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My previous binance tuturial was a bit long, this is my redemption. Check out my binance walkthrough, how to buy crypto on binance and my top cryptocurrency picks of 2018. Don't forget to like! MY ALL-ENCOMPASSING GUIDE TO GETTING STARTED WITH BITCOIN: https://www.btcsessions.ca/post/how-to-buy-sell-and-use-bitcoin-in-canada Today I take a look at t... I am not a financial adviser and you should not make financial decisions based on my videos. This video is for entertainment and should NOT be used for and is not intended to be investment advice ... Just announced, Binance was hacked today, 7000 BTC stolen, which is around $40 mil. Earlier today CZ tweeted: "Have to perform some unscheduled server mainte... #MyTwoSatoshis #Binance #Bitcoin #Stablecoin Topics today: Chainalysis: Most Mixed Bitcoin Not Used for Illicit Purposes, Brave Crypto Wallets’ update to support Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens ... Welcome, Bytecoin Enthusiasts! In this video we discuss the Delisting announcements made by Binance. A lot of things need to be considered, on all parties involved, and hope that this is just a ...