Whether you consider yourself a newcomer to cryptocurrency, an amateur investor, or an expert, it’s always helpful to get a download on the latest perspectives on keeping your crypto assets secure.
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It’s also important to understand that everything in cryptocurrency revolves around keys. When it comes to transacting with cryptocurrency, everyone needs a public key. Public keys are essentially what connect you and your cryptocurrency to the blockchain ledger. Alternatively, private keys are known only to you, and are the tool that you must use to verify or sign transactions involving your cryptocurrency.
Paul Puey is the CEO and founder of Edge, a multi-currency crypto wallet. He elaborates on the nature of blockchain security and the need for these keys, “One of the biggest misconceptions about blockchain technology is the belief that it helps make data secure. In actuality, data on a blockchain is inherently public and visible to everyone. However, the keys used to access a blockchain need to be very secure, as those keys are now money. Therefore, blockchains have not created a new form of security, they have motivated its creation.”
This “cryptographic achievement” as Erik Schmidt, Executive Chairman for Google once called Bitcoin and its underlying technology, helps keep your assets secure, allowing you to use them freely without fear of getting hacked or losing your funds. Another critical thing to keep in mind is that all of these keys are usually lengthy strings of numbers, so it’s essential to have a secure place to keep them, so they don’t get stolen, and so you don’t forget them.
People rely on various types of wallets to store and secure their cryptocurrency. There are a number of options for this, including hardware, paper, desktop, online, and mobile. No matter which option you chose it’s important to make sure it has some key traits to keep your assets secure. Puey shared some of the top features to consider when evaluating cryptocurrency storage options:
First and foremost you have to assess the safety of the storage option you’re considering. In most cases, decentralized options are going to be your best bet. Puey explains, “The problem with centralized security is that it takes everyone’s data and puts it in one place. This puts a massive bullseye on that central location for hackers and attackers to target. It’s a lot like a city or a castle. You might have really thick walls, but you’re still at the top of a hill waving a flag, and all it takes is one person, breaking one brick, to start a chain reaction that allows them to get in. It’s the same with centralized security.”
Wallet options that encrypt data on the user’s side are more secure than those that hold assets in a centralized location. Puey continues, “When it comes to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, we’ve seen this create a huge loss of assets. Any time a wallet is hacked, those funds are lost for good, and there is no crypto version of the FDIC to restore them. So, it’s vital that funds are always secure.” The Mt Gox hack in 2014 is a prime example of how costly security errors can be.
With the diversity of currencies available on the market these days it’s essential to work with wallets that will allow you to quickly exchange your currency in case you have a desire to invest in one that is up and coming, or sell when prices start to get volatile. Puey shares, “We found that our users all around the world were clamoring for a private, secure, open-source, and easy to use multi-asset wallet they could depend on.”
That demand is driven not only by an increase in the volume of cryptocurrencies, but also the increased number of applications in which cryptocurrencies can be used. With the rapid growth of the dApp industry, has come an increased need for flexible, multi-currency storage.
Finally, any storage option you use must meet your needs and feel convenient. Otherwise, you aren’t likely to manage it as frequently as you should. A cryptocurrency wallet is just like your regular wallet: it holds your money and (if you are active in the cryptocurrency space) you will be using it frequently. If you will be using something so often, it’s reasonable to demand that it provide a certain amount of convenience.
Any good wallet should have simple, secure options for authenticating your identity. Puey explains how his company worked toward this goal, “We worked to provide an integration of three core offerings: a hyper-secure and private personal vault, a friendly user interface for blockchain networks and services, and an encrypted single sign-on solution for decentralized applications.” Any wallet you use should have these functions to make it easy for you to use on a regular basis.
When it comes to securing your cryptocurrency, be sure to work with reputable companies, ones that have been recognized as trustworthy by both media experts, and industry influencers. Be sure to vet every option and verify that the company is transparent about their technology, and participating in the community at large.
Paxos Standard Emerges as Early Leader in Stablecoin Sprint
Tether is experiencing an unprecedented challenge to its status as undisputed stablecoin market lodestar.
With over 50 active stablecoin projects emerging around the world and even more set to debut in the weeks and months to come, these are fraught times for the stablecoin founded in 2014, as the market explores alternatives to USDT amid suspicions of overstated US Dollar reserves and lack of transparency. CCN recently reported that four stablecoins were added to OKEx and Huobi namely, Paxos Standard Token (PAX), Gemini Dollar (GUSD), TrustToken’s True USD (TUSD) and Circle’s USD Coin (USDC).
PAX Takes The Lead
According to data from CoinMarketCap, of the chasing pack behind Tether, PAX is in the lead with a market capitalisation of $21.72 million, followed by TUSD at $19.62 million, GUSD caps $3.47 million, leaving USDC in the rear with $1.16 million. In only a few weeks of trading, PAX boasts of 63,206,483.08 PAX ($64,244,109.41) of total supply.
Built on an Ethereum framework, PAX is designed to offer all of Tether’s capabilities in addition to a decentralised accounting function and the supervision of financial regulators as a fully regulated asset, which gives investors greater confidence than the somewhat murky nature of Tether.
In an interview with Forbe, Charles Cascarilla, CEO and co-founder of Paxos said:“Paxos Standard gives financial markets the power to transact in a fully USD-collateralized asset with the benefits of blockchain technology and oversight from financial regulators. We believe that Paxos Standard represents a significant advancement in digital assets, leveraging the oversight and stability of the traditional financial system and enabling a frictionless global economy…In the current marketplace, the biggest hindrances to digital asset adoption is trust and volatility. As a regulated trust with a one-to-one dollar-collateralized stablecoin, we believe we are offering an asset that improves on the utility of money.”
Crypto Community Ditches Tether, Backs PAX
Amidst investor fears fueled by the Tether Foundation’s perceived lack of transparency, USDT recently experienced a downturn followed by a sudden investor exodus that took more than $300 million out of the market. As a result, Tether is currently in a very uncomfortable position as many USDT holders panic-sell and look for alternative assets to hold value.
Following the sudden exodus, Tether hit a record low of 85 cents to the dollar on Kraken and 96 cents on Binance, both of which are hugely significant events for an asset whose value rests almost entirely on its tight USD peg. Bitcoin meanwhile jumped nearly 9 percent as USDT holders pumped funds into it and other cryptos viewed as less of an exposure risk than Tether.
In the midst of all this, a number of exchanges are also quietly dropping USDT in favour of alternative stablecoins. Last month, Digifinex, a top-20 exchange announced that it was replacing Tether with TUSD, citing trust issues. According to Digifinex co-founder Kiana Shek, the platform had been “looking to get rid of Tether for a hile”.
A number of prominent crypto industry figures have contributed to the continued USDT selloff with pronouncements promoting alternatives to Tether and highlighting PAX as a key alternative.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao recently tweeted:
Current fiat backed stable coin global 24hr volumes:
PAXOS: $3.7M (Regulated, and only recently listed on Binance for a few days)
Gemini Dollar: $79K
Learn about them and choose for yourself.
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) October 7, 2018
Whether all of this will actually result in PAX taking Tether’s position is still mere speculation at this point, especially given that even after last week’s exodus, Tether still has a market capitalisation of $2 billion, which is several times more than its nearest challenger. What is clear however is that in the event that rumours of Tether’s death are not exaggerated, PAX seems best-placed to inherit the stablecoin throne.
LEDGER CEO WINS FRENCH AWARD FOR STARTUP WITH INTERNATIONAL POTENTIAL
Eric Larchevêque, CEO and co-founder of cryptocurrency hardware wallet-maker Ledger, has won a French award for the startup leader whose model has the greatest potential internationally.
The prestigious regional prize in Ernst & Young’s (EY) 26th Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 awards, located in France, is “Startup of the Year.” Ledger’s Eric Larchevêque can lay claim to this award, as well as the “Born Global Award” for the international potential of his startup Ledger.
INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS FOR LEDGER
Ledger’s potential has already turned into an international success. A few days ago, the reputable cryptocurrency hardware wallet manufacturer announced that it had achieved sales of 1.3 million units.
The ledger startup, created in January 2015, was formed from an amalgamation of companies including Chronicon-RadioceRos and BTChip.
In the first round of funding in 2015, Ledger raised the equivalent of over $6 million USD. The company then went on to raise a further $75 million in 2017. Today Ledger has 150 employees on three continents, generating over $50 million in sales revenue in 2017.
Regarding the success of the Ledger cryptocurrency wallets, Larchevêque recently pointed to a combination of security and affordability. Ledger has a handful of competitors in the market including TREZOR and KeepKey. TREZOR is also popular, with reports suggesting it had sold around 800,000 units by January 2018.
EY’s national awards in France have a serious process behind them, the same as with its equivalent awards programs in other countries. In France, juries meet in seven French regions to analyze the nomination applications received. Regional winners are selected, meeting in a national final for the overall category winners to be selected. The national awards ceremony then happened this year on October 18, 2018.
Larchevêque and Ledger won the regional round for Paris, as “Startup of the Year” before winning the national “Born Global Award.”
Larchevêque is a serial entrepreneur who opened a French Bitcoin Center, “La Maison du Bitcoin,” before going on to co-found Ledger. He’s reportedly giving himself five years to make Ledger “ […] a European technology giant of blockchain applications.” The entrepreneur may be well on the way to his goal.
Sberbank’s CEO Says It Will Be 10 Years Before Governments Give Up Centralized Control
Sberbank’s CEO Says That Global Governments Will Be Waiting Another Ten Years Before They Allow Decentralized Systems In
Anyone in the cryptocurrency industry has seen the way that traditional banks and institutions haven’t exactly welcomed them. However, there have been countries around the world that are working on regulatory measures to make their economies more welcome. Sberbank in Russia has been taking action to make cryptocurrency more of an available option, but they have a different view on how the rest of the world will perform.
According to the CEO of Sberbank, Herman Gref, the rest of the governments around the world will not likely “let go” of their current models, which thrive on centralization, for quite a while. Without this departure from centralization, they won’t be able to get all of the benefits that decentralized currency offers.
Based on the report from RIA Novosti on October 18th, Gref said,
“The future of cryptocurrencies is not clear so far as the state will not give up its central role, won’t allow decentralized cryptocurrencies. Though this might be the proper model – as for me, I’m for a distributed model, including in money supply. But it seems like that is not in the cards for the next — well, let’s be optimistic – ten years.”
However, Gref commented that it is important to remain optimistic, saying that the technology itself should be prepared for the world to adapt it within just three to five years. He added,
“The technology blockchain isn’t ready right now. When will it be ready? In my view, in 3-5 years […] Blockchain’s potential is huge. The philosophy embodied in it could drastically change approaches in many areas. Improving this technology could bring huge value both to business and society.”
In the meantime, Gref seems to be pushing for the governments around the world to find a balance between policing the fraud in the industry and taking down cryptocurrencies. With a ban on cryptocurrency, there’s many companies that would suffer, due to the fact that they’ve already established distributed ledger technologies like blockchain.
Many of the comments made by Gref happened during the FINOPOLIS forum, which is hosted in a Russia city named Sochi. This forum also welcomed the head of the Russian central bank, Elvira Nabiullina, who has a much more pessimistic and cynical approach to cryptocurrency. She’s gone as far as to call it a “fever” that consumers are even interested in it. Though Gref maintains a positive stance on the technology of cryptocurrency, he also believes that the initial boost of interest is over.
Sberbank has been working to promote advancements and adoption of the blockchain tech, though it has also demonstrated plenty of interest in the way that they’ve approached cryptocurrency. Along with Sberbank, Alfa-Bank has also begun working on bringing in crypto investment options, which they are testing out for use with retail investors.
To venture into implementing blockchain, Sberbank has taken the initiative to get together with Rossetti in a new partnership that will explore the technology.