Litecoin’s Franklyn Richards Says Cryptocurrency Will Be Institutionalized — And That’s OK

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Everyone’s heard of Litecoin. Not to mention its charismatic creator Charlie Lee who sold all his LTC at the end of last year. A surprise move. Yet one that was meant to remove any conflict of interest between his active social media presence and the price of the coin he created.

But did you know that Charlie Lee, as revered as he is in the crypto world, hasn’t actively developed code for Litecoin in years? Or that another man, Franklyn Richards, is working tirelessly behind the scenes to keep the Litecoin banner flying high?

Franklyn Richards
Franklyn Richards

As founding director of the Litecoin Foundation, operator of Litecoin.com, and COO of Zulu Republic, a blockchain company that develops a suite of products for Litecoin, you would think that Franklyn would be a little higher on the radar.

But a cursory search for information on the Litecoin pioneer brings up few results. He doesn’t use LinkedIn, he hasn’t appeared in many interviews, and you’d have a hard time trying to guess his Twitter handle.

So, who is Franklyn Richards? What’s his role with Litecoin? How did he meet Charlie Lee? What are his views on mass adoption, atomic swaps, and Bitcoin Cash? And where does he see the future of the “silver to bitcoin’s gold?” (an expression he vehemently hates by the way).

I caught up with the mysterious Litecoin.com COO (and his mom) at Web Summit in Lisbon last week to find out.

You’re a hard man to get information about. Is privacy important to you?

“Umm, maybe,” he ponders. “I’m very active. I’m just not necessarily interested [in social media]. If it’s business-related, I’ll be there, if it interests me.

But I’m generally not a big fan of wasting time on Twitter… I’m not interested in a lot of speculation. I’m much more interested in putting my head down and working on building the stuff that’s going to be big next time around.”

Why do you believe in cryptocurrency, and how did it all start for you?

“Honestly, I first got involved as most people did in just a “what’s the hype of this new thing?” Part of it is “I can make money from this,” but the more I looked into it beyond just the surface level of digital money, the more interested I became.

I saw it as the next big stepping stone in finance. And I believe that we’re just at the beginning of that. I’m looking forward to spending time building the future of money.”

Interesting. So, how does a newly-turned crypto enthusiast from Nottingham, UK (“the land of Robinhood,” he jokes) get involved with an ex-Google employee and Litecoin founder all the way over in Silicon Valley? The internet is a powerful tool for making the right connections, even back in 2013.

Franklyn didn’t rub shoulders with Charlie at some star-studded crypto event or even meet while working in person. He reached out to him on Reddit.

paddy_cosgrave_websummit
Web Summit Lisbon, Source: Web Summit

So, why Litecoin in particular?

“Really, Litecoin was just because Bitcoin was too expensive… It’s a bad thing to say, but it’s a psychological thing that affects most people, and I don’t think we should ignore that. People look at something like Bitcoin, and they say, “this is so much money.”

At the time, bitcoin was just breaking past $100, and I was sitting down with my mother in a pub [points to her at the other end of the interview table], and I said: “We should get one of these!”

The kindly lady accompanying Franklyn (whom I had wrongly assumed was his PR) smiles and lets out a chuckle. I turn to her and ask what her reaction was, knowing full well the kind of response I could expect from my own parents about buying something you can’t see (especially after a few pints).

But she calmly says, “I listened to his explanation of his understanding and belief of where this technology was going, and I put faith in him. I trusted him, and I actually invested some money,” she reveals, before pausing, “which we lost.” And then lets out a belly laugh, the kind that the British do so well when things aren’t going their way.

Franklyn looks at his mother without annoyance. It’s clear the strength of the dynamic this mother-son duo has going on. I get the suspicion that she would support him through thick and thin, even if crypto and Litecoin were to implode on themselves.

He strokes his beard briefly and says, “well, you didn’t really understand the technology, but you had the trust in me to join me and put some money into it. Price is a huge part of that, but I think we should try to move away from it.

I believe that in the future people will be using Bitcoin, and they won’t know they’re using it. Because, why do we use any of the fiat currencies? We don’t use it because we’re going to make money from it, we use it because it’s forced on us.”

He quickly counters, understanding the weight of his words:

“Not that Bitcoin will be forced on people! It’s just better for institutions to use the technology, so people will be using it without knowing it, and I think that is going to be a huge driver for the price. A lot of people won’t know they’re using it, but they will certainly reap the benefits from it. I think that’s basically the future of cryptocurrencies.”

So, cryptocurrencies will be taken over by centralized authorities in the end?

Franklyn nods his head and says, “We have to be realistic, I think centralized institutions have a great benefit to derive from it, and they will pass that benefit onto their users. It’s a race. It’s capitalism. If I can offer my users something better and cheaper, more users will come to me. We’re currently seeing an institutional race to accept this.

The New York Stock Exchange parent company Ice Markets recently launched Bakkt and another one–is it the CME?–is also launching institutional trading and security of these assets. Gemini is also getting into this. People realize that it doesn’t matter whether the customers know anything about this technology. We don’t know necessarily how cards or banks work, but we know that they provide us a service.

If businesses provide a better service using a decentralized currency like Litecoin or Bitcoin, then it’s just better for them [the customers], and I think that’s how it’s going to work…

Bitcoin and Litecoin on Lightning Network
Charlie Lee, Twitter

Most of the value will be derived from people invisibly using it without knowing. There’s only a certain section of us that are hardcore into it, like “I’m going to hold my private keys,” “it’s the future,” “down with the government!” His eyes light up.

“I like to distance myself from those people. I think we should be working together, instead of slapping down these things, we should be showing them there is a better way.”

Considering Franklyn’s strong stance on capitalism and institutions taking over cryptocurrency, presumably, he’s in favor of regulation?

I don’t think regulation is necessarily needed,” he states, catching me off guard. Since so many people point to lack of regulation as the single biggest barrier to institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies, Franklyn’s answer is unexpected. But he continues to justify his response in his delightfully British and articulate manner.

“You can’t regulate something without controlling it. All it will do is inhibit its growth. If states are very friendly and welcoming to it (which they should be) that would be better, but even if they put a ban on bitcoin, people will still use bitcoin.

There’s a saying which I don’t think is passed around enough anymore and that’s “You can take your country out of bitcoin, but you can’t take bitcoin out of your country.” And it’s very true.

What about those who believe that Litecoin will replace Bitcoin or see it is Bitcoin 2.0?

“I think Bitcoin will always have its place as number one, at least for the foreseeable future. Part of it is the provenance, being the first of its kind. The brand is very strong. That’s why I think people like Roger Ver and those who are big into Bitcoin Cash just say, “Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Cash,” and they push the word “Bitcoin” because they know how strong that association is.”

His face flushes with indignance as he states: “If they didn’t have that association in its name, Bitcoin Cash would not be worth anywhere near its value currently, even with Roger and his billions backing to push and promote this thing.

Bitcoin Cash is fine to exist, but I’m not too fond or welcoming of t   he social attacks. We should be more open. If you can’t stand on your own two feet without riding on the coattails of something else, then that’s a very weak asset I believe.”

He continues, clearly gaining momentum and fully in his stride:

“Litecoin doesn’t use the Bitcoin name. We never say it’s Bitcoin 2.0, a lot of these things that have come out use this kind of hype. We like to stay away from using that terminology because it shows how dependent you are on being linked to something so much stronger. Litecoin stands on its own. And it has for a long time.

You’ve heard the phrase ‘silver to bitcoin’s gold.’ I’m not a fan of it. People use it because it’s a fun, easy thing, but it’s died down a lot, and the community and Litecoin understand why you shouldn’t really use that.”

What are Litecoin’s main advantages then?

“We have lower fees and faster block times,” he says, and then pauses, “but let’s be honest with ourselves, we may do faster block times, but having faster block times means that those blocks are less secure because it takes 2.5 minutes to roll back a block rather than those 10 minutes…

But Litecoin is very strong and is very much a complement rather than a competitor. Bitcoin will be number 1 for a very long time, but these two things strengthen each other. We don’t compete, we benefit, especially with the Lightning Network and atomic swaps.”

Let’s talk a little about the Lightning Network and Atomic Swaps…

“With the Lightning Network coming out if you want to send money over it and atomic swaps I can send my litecoin, and I can pay you in bitcoin, and it’s just done all automatically and seamlessly.

It’s not completely there yet, but it will be. And I’m very excited about it. It will also mean that people who want to transact bitcoin to bitcoin on the Lightning Network could use litecoin as an intermediary which would lower their fees.

Litecoin has a huge amount of liquidity in the market which is very important; currently, no other coin really has that in the market. Ethereum is fine, but it’s not money; it’s an app platform, and it’s not really decentralized anymore because people are printing tokens on the network. Its blockchain’s gone from a few gigabytes to over a terabyte or something crazy like that.

Bitcoin and Litecoin do one thing very well, and that is money. And it’s money to complement one another, not beat each other up.”

Let’s talk about the Litecoin Foundation and Charlie Lee…

“The Litecoin foundation is a non-profit in Singapore set up to support the ecosystem of Litecoin. So, we are not connected to Litecoin, we do not develop Litecoin, we simply support business as well as people looking to learn more about the technology. If you were to get rid of the foundation, Litecoin would still exist by itself as a strong, secure form of money. As long as it’s separate and not baked into the thing, it’s OK.

litecoin foundation
Source: Litecoin-foundation.org

The problem with a lot of new stuff being started up is their companies are ICO or venture capital funded, they are accountable to people, and they have this token that has to generate money for investors… With the Litecoin Foundation, we’re just another organization that’s set up to say “this is cool, you should look at it.”

Franklyn has a convicted look on his face and earnest expression in his eyes. It’s clear that he doesn’t mince his words.

“I believe (and Charlie understood this when he stepped away from the project) that it should do just fine without him. Many people may not know this, but Charlie has not really developed code for Litecoin in ages, years I believe now.

We have another team of people who are separate from the Litecoin foundation. We sponsor them, we give them money, but we do not force them to do anything, it’s just a donation to say ‘keep up the good work.’

I believe he wants to go down as the creator of this new technology, Litecoin, and that’s where he will derive his value and appreciation. It’s like, “I have money, I got in early in this technology, it’s not about money for me.”

It’s like having a child. He wants to see that child succeed otherwise he may feel like he’s failed. But, he has stepped away from a lot of stuff, and he is basically now Litecoin’s main promoter and outward face of the project. He opens the door on many opportunities we would not otherwise have had, such as with HTC.

He’s held up as a figurehead. His role is as a father figure to us to be somewhat hands-off and let us get on more and more independently but steer the ship when needed.

charlie lee litecoin bitcoin cryptocurrency
Litecoin creator Charlie Lee | Source: SV Ethereum/YouTube

Myself, I run Litecoin.com by myself. The Foundation is its own thing, separate from Litecoin.com. We’re all separate. If anyone of us was to disappear the ecosystem would still remain very much intact

You said at the beginning that it was hard to find information on me. Part of that is down to me, but I am certainly a lot busier than a lot of people would realize.”

Indeed. It sounds as if Franklyn is very much a one-man show. But then again, we know that’s not the nature of crypto, and neither is it the truth. Litecoin is a community with no single person responsible for its rise or fall, failure or success. So with that in mind…

What are the main challenges for Litecoin moving forward?

“We will have the exact same scaling issues moving forward as Bitcoin,” Franklyn admits, although he counters, “They are not so prevalent now because fewer people transact on litecoin. We still have tens of thousands of transactions every day, and millions–if not hundreds of millions–moved over the Litecoin network…

We’re also working with Lightning Labs. It’s not “Bitcoin then Litecoin.” They’re doing them at the same time. Lightning Labs is implementing Litecoin in the network alongside Bitcoin at the same time.

I believe the future will be many assets connected to each other, but right now it’s Bitcoin and Litecoin leading that. It’s not Bitcoin and Ethereum, or Bitcoin and Ripple, or Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. It’s Bitcoin and Litecoin, the two things that focus on doing one thing very well and that’s money.

And my last question, then. Where do you see this whole thing in 10 years’ time?

“In 10 years’ time?” His eyes widen, “Much bigger than it is now. I believe it will take a huge step towards the institutional side, and it being trickled down into users without them necessarily realizing it.

I won’t speculate on the price of these assets [bummer], but I will say that if you talk to me in 10 years from now, we’ll look back and go “Wow, everyone was panicking that this thing was dying and was in the gutter!” He grins. His mom smiles. I return the gesture. We all share a common understanding and faith that crypto is, indeed, the future.

“Compared to assets like gold with a market cap of $7 trillion, we’re a fraction of that. We have a long way to go, and we’re just getting started.”

So buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

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The post Litecoin’s Franklyn Richards Says Cryptocurrency Will Be Institutionalized — And That’s OK appeared first on Cryptocurrency Thrill.

Goldman Sachs-Backed Poloniex Crypto Exchange Introduces 6 New USD Coin (USDC) Markets

The popular cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex has taken the decision to add six new trading pairs linked to the USD Coin (USDC). This information was released by the company in a blog post on November 16.

Poloniex, one of the largest and most important virtual currency exchanges in terms of trading volume announced that it has introduced six new markets for the USD Coin. The decision was taken as part of their commitment to innovate and offer customers new ways to trade virtual currencies.

The new trading pairs added to the exchange are XRP/USDC, XMR/USDC, STR/USDC, DOGE/USDC, LTC/USDC, and ZEC/USDC. Interested users are now able to trade these pairs since Nov. 16.

The USD Coin is a stablecoin that was introduced back in September by Circle, the owner of the cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex. Poloniex was acquired by Circle at the beginning of this year. The USD Coin was created by the company in order to improve and enhance the virtual currency market.

With it, it is possible to move funds anywhere in the world in minutes, in a cheap and secure way. The token provides stability to the cryptocurrency market and opens new possibilities for investors to hedge risks and trade.

In the blog post, Poloniex explains that they became the first cryptocurrency exchange to offer customers the possibility to trade two different tokens linked to Bitcoin Cash (BCH): Bitcoin Cash SV (BCHSV) and Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHABC).

Moreover, the platform has also introduced the native tokens of the Bancor network (BNT) and the virtual reality platform Decentraland (MANA). Furthermore, the exchange has launched a new mobile application for users on iOS and Android to trade with their smartphones.

At the time of writing, Poloniex is the 38th largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of trading volume ($42.58 million dollars in the last 24 hours). The most important trading pairs at the exchange are BCHSV/BTC, BCHABC/BTC and XRP/BTC, accounting for 50% of the total trading volume in the platform.

More Crypto Exchanges Opening in Thailand, SEC Warns Approvals Needed

A growing number of companies are entering the cryptocurrency space in Thailand. However, they have not applied for approval from the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), prompting the regulator to issue several warnings against unapproved operators.
Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space
Companies Entering Thai Crypto Space
Since Thailand enacted its cryptocurrency regulations in May, a growing number of companies have been launching crypto exchanges and issuing tokens in the country.
Q Exchange, a joint venture between Thai and South Korean companies, has been promoting its services in Thailand with a plan to open the first “cryptocurrency bank” in the country, Channel 3 News reported. The company aims for its Thai operation to be the crypto exchange hub of Asean countries, the media outlet detailed, and quoted the company’s general manager explaining:

The goal is to open exchange branches nationwide of more than 30 branches in 2018 and increase to 70 branches in 2019.

South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange Coin25 announced on Tuesday that it has set up a subsidiary in Bangkok and “is operating more than 60 branches in Thailand and Laos,” Business Korea reported. However, this exchange only offers the trading of its own token.
Mrc Biz Ltd. has also been promoting an initial coin offering (ICO) in Thailand, the Thai SEC revealed on Friday. Another company, Corexfly, announced that it was launching an exchange in Thailand back in August. “Corexfly has concluded an agreement with Korean exchange B&C to establish Dabit exchange in Thailand,” the company’s website states.
Furthermore, South Korea’s two largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Upbit and Bithumb, have also unveiled their plans to open exchanges in Thailand.
SEC Issues More Warnings
According to Thailand’s cryptocurrency regulations, companies wanting to conduct crypto business in the country must gain approval from the SEC, the main regulator of the country’s crypto industry. So far, only six crypto exchanges and one dealer have been temporarily approved while their applications are being reviewed.
The six exchanges are Bitcoin Co. Ltd. (Bx), Bitkub Online Co. Ltd., Cash2coins, Satang Corporation (Tdax), Coin Asset Co. Ltd., and Southeast Asia Digital Exchange Co. Ltd. (Seadex). Currently, Coins Th. is the only company that has been temporarily approved to operate as a cryptocurrency dealer. No approvals have been granted to new exchanges or token issuers.
The SEC has issued several warnings against unauthorized crypto businesses and tokens. Recently, it warned investors about Db Holdings Plc. and nine unauthorized tokens.
Rapee Sucharitakul.
Q Exchange Ltd. also received a warning, the Thai SEC announced on Tuesday. The commission explained that while the company has not been granted approval, it has been advertising and soliciting customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. The SEC has notified the exchange to stop advertising and selling investments in the country.
On Friday, the commission issued a warning against Mrc Biz Ltd. which has been promoting its ICO in Thailand without approval. The company has not submitted any applications to the SEC and has neither been approved to conduct crypto business nor issue tokens, the commission emphasized.
Rapee Sucharitakul, secretary-general of the Thai SEC, was quoted by Bangkok Biz News on Thursday saying that the commission expects the finance ministry to approve the applications of some companies to operate crypto businesses such as ICO portals, exchanges or dealers in December.
Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse or support claims made by any parties in this article. None of the information in this article is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products or companies. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.
What do you think of all these companies trying to enter the crypto space in Thailand? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Thai SEC, and Khaosod.

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The post More Crypto Exchanges Opening in Thailand, SEC Warns Approvals Needed appeared first on BitcoinLinux.

0x-Based DEXes Can Now Be Deployed Faster Than WordPress Blogs

0x-Based DEXes Can Now Be Deployed Faster Than WordPress Blogs

0x, a decentralized exchange protocol, has released a new Launch Kit that allows its users to deploy their own version of the trading platform in minutes. This option provides a simple alternative to 0x’s traditional deployment method, which involved building from scratch and required extensive knowledge of Ethereum.

As 0x explains, “The Launch Kit … simplifies 0x integration by dramatically reducing the effort needed to add decentralized token trading to your project.”

0x Launch Kit Features

0x’s announcement compares the new Launch Kit to WordPress, which allows individual users to set up a blog with minimal effort. However, WordPress also is an extensible platform that can meet the needs of major publishers, such as The New York Times and BuzzFeed.

Like WordPress, the 0x Launch Kit is very versatile. After downloading the software from GitHub, you can access an API and token orderbook out-of-the-box. The system also streamlines web deployment, allowing you to easily host your trading system on Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Heroku.

In addition to these built-in features, you can create your own UI or connect the trading platform to your own applications. 0x’s new Launch Kit allows creators of Ethereum-based tokens to trade their tokens without having to obtain listings on other exchanges. It also allows indie game developers to create a marketplace for non-fungible and collectible tokens in the simplest way possible.

Apt Timing

The 0x Launch Kit has been in the works for some time. As the announcement notes, an easy-to-use tool has been “highly requested from 0x community members.” However, the release of the tool also comes at a politically apt moment, as it follows a regulatory crackdown on the decentralized exchange Etherdelta.

This event has made it apparent that decentralized exchanges, or DEXes, are not immune to external influence. As a result, some DEX-related platforms have started to remind users that they can deploy their own DEX instances. This would allow users to trade any supported token, even if mainstream DEXes delist certain tokens in the face of regulatory pressure.

0x has not commented on whether the release of the Launch Kit is motivated by recent events. Nevertheless, it will certainly contribute to increased decentralization by allowing users to run the trading platforms they need regardless of the regulatory climate.

The post 0x-Based DEXes Can Now Be Deployed Faster Than WordPress Blogs appeared first on BitcoinLinux.

The Cobo Vault Hardware Wallet Will Outlive You

The arms race between hardware wallet manufacturers is showing no signs of abating. Every new device must be more secure, robust and impregnable than its predecessor to claim the bragging rights and earn the shekels of the crypto rich, to whom nothing but the best will do. The Cobo Vault is the latest hardware wallet clamoring to be the best device of its kind.
Also read: Which Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet is Best for You?
In a Post-Apocalyptic Society, Many Years From Now…
The year is 2140 and the last bitcoin has just been mined. Thanks to the nuclear war, the population has been reduced to a few hundred thousand hardy souls. Bitcoin is the world’s global reserve currency, only there isn’t much world left to fight over. Just some scorched earth, cockroaches and a handful of gunmetal grey objects jutting wilfully from the soil. These are Cobo Vaults, the last surviving hardware wallets in the galaxy.
What’s in the box: wallet, charger, hard case, mnemonic tablet, letters, screwdriver, charging cable, instructions.
Hyperbole aside, it’s too early to tell how the Cobo Vault will fare in the longevity stakes. What can be said, in the here and now, is that this is the largest and heaviest hardware wallet (HW) you are likely to own. The Vault has many properties, but portability isn’t one. Unlike, say, the Coolwallet, the Cobo Vault is not designed to leave your strongroom or bank vault. Which is a tougher ask than it might sound, because the Vault is the sort of device you want to show to all your friends. Do not be seduced by the sleek metal casing and seductively heavy touchscreen imploring you to Instagram this wallet. Those aesthetics are for you and you alone to admire. Good opsec is mindset, not a device.
The Cobo Vault is both water and puppy-proof.
Features and Benefits
If you’re confident that you can resist the urge to shout your ownership of the Cobo Vault from the rooftops, here’s what you can expect from the $299 device (which will retail for $479 once full production starts):

Air-gapped with no wifi, bluetooth NFC, or USB capabilities
Encryption chip with tailored firmware that meets BIP 32, 39, and 44
Supports BTC, ETH, BCH, DASH, LTC, ETC, TRX, and EOS plus ETH, TRX and EOS tokens
Military grade outer casing
Built-in self-destruct mechanism to protect private keys
Multi-signature capability
Multi-coin and tokens with no storage or memory limit for coins
No physical points of attack
Water-resistant aerospace metal body
Magnetically detachable battery to avoid corrosion

The Cobo website is replete with video footage of a Vault being plunged into the water and presumably living to tell the tale. Its protective case can also support the weight of a tank, so we’re told. I wasn’t brave enough to test my review device in such a manner, as it wasn’t manufactured to final spec, but like the Cobo Vault, perhaps you’re made of sterner stuff.
The Vault is beautifully packaged.
Hands on With the Cobo Vault
The Vault is beautifully packaged, with build quality, design, and presentation that almost rivals Ledger, the experts at delivering immaculately packaged wallets. This is the sort of HW that unboxing videos were made for. A small instruction card guides users through setup, in between delivering stern warnings such as “the security chip will self-destruct if tampered with.” Because the Cobo Vault app has yet to be made available on the Google Play store, I had to install it using the link provided, prompting all kinds of scary warnings from Android:

Production versions will direct users to the Play or App stores, eliminating this heart-hastening step. After installing the app, you’ll need to power up the Cobo Vault, which means removing the battery compartment and charging it using the separate dock. After powering up the Vault, you’re directed to a page on the Cobo website to scan in the QR code and verify the device. Then, after opting to create a new vault using the touchscreen device, it’s time to note down your mnemonic, heeding the onscreen warning to watch out for “spying eyes or hidden cameras.” Entering the 24-word seed is confusing, as it is unclear that you’re meant to hit return after typing each word. There are still some elements of the Cobo Vault that could benefit from refinement, starting with mnemonic confirmation.

Pairing Devices
Once the seed has been recorded, it’s time for some more QR code scanning, this time to pair the Cobo Vault with the mobile app. When that’s been completed, the mobile app shows a perfunctory wallet screen. BTC and ETH are the only coins supported in the test version, but the full version will ship with support for all of the coins listed earlier including BCH and DASH.
The Cobo Vault mobile wallet
A feature which now comes as standard on many HWs, the Vault included, is the ability to create a hidden vault. If the owner is forced to unlock their wallet under duress, they can reveal an address containing only a nominal amount of cryptocurrency. An unlimited number of hidden vaults can be created with the Cobo Vault, making it impossible for a physical attacker to tell for certain whether they’re being shown the real wallet. To verify that everything’s working correctly, I send a test BTC transaction to the Vault, and then send it on to a different address, using the Vault to sign the transaction using a QR code scan.
Physical Assembly
With most hardware wallets, the review ends once the mobile wallet and device have been paired, bitcoin address created and test transaction sent. But with the Cobo Vault, the real fun begins when you prepare to pack the device away. The body and battery are separated and slid into separate compartments in the protective case. The case holds the entombed sections snug, without so much as a rattle, no matter how vigorously you shake the ensemble.

One accessory that’s yet to be covered in this review is the mnemonic tablet and letter block that enables you to encase your 24-word seed in a metal holder that looks as robust as the protective case for the Vault itself. It would be nice if there was a means to easily separate the two halves of the tablet, so that the seed could be stored in two separate locations. If you do decide to affix the letters into the tablet, using the screwdriver and 282 letters provided, go ahead, but it might be wise to obfuscate one or more of the words. It might be wiser still to store your mnemonic tablet in a different location to your Cobo Vault.
The Cobo Vault is a solid piece of kit that’s likely to claim the mantle of Toughest in Class, at least within the sensibly priced wallet category. A few hundred bucks seems a reasonable outlay for a device that should, provided proper opsec is used, keep your cryptocurrency safe until time indefinite, or until you need to liquidate it at least. The software could and will be better in places, and the UX needs tidied up. Expect these niggles to have been resolved when the production version begins to ship.
The Cobo Vault will outlive you. The sooner you come to terms with that, the sooner you can accept your own mortality and the immortality of bitcoin.
What are your thoughts on the Cobo Vault? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service.
Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.
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Bitcoin ABC Holds Onto Its Lead, What It Means For The Bitcoin Cash Community?

  • Bitcoin ABC with a clear lead over Bitcoin SV
  • Bitcoin SV gaining albeit gradually
  • The war of words between the two camps continues

The Civil War

By now, every crypto enthusiast knows that Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin SV are the only two chains that survived the hard fork on Thursday. ABC, led by Roger Ver, has continued to dominate its rival, both on the number of blocks mined and the mining power. At press time, ABC was 16 blocks ahead and controlled 62 percent of the network hash rate according to Coin Dance, an analytics website. It also has a 52.3 percent lead on the proof of work.

However, SV has made some gains in the past 24 hours that have seen it gradually cut off ABC’s lead. At some point, ABC was 50 blocks ahead, but SV has since then cut the lead to 16. According to some experts, this indicates that the pools behind ABC were slowly wearing out and SV was gradually catching up. One of these is Francis Pouliot, a renowned Canadian Bitcoin investor who tweeted:

While the two camps continue to trade words on social media platforms, their prices have been tanking. SV was trading at $110 at press time according to data from Poloniex exchange and while this is a slight increase of 2.7 percent, it’s still yet to recover from its downward slump experienced immediately after the fork.

ABC, on the other hand, was trading at $260, a 7.5 percent decline. ABC hasn’t fared well either, with many investors scared of investing in the crypto in the fear that it could tank.

Miners in the two camps have been mining at a loss, a research by BitMEX has shown. According to BitMEX, miners in the SV camp experienced greater losses at $397,000, but those in ABC didn’t fare much well either, running to losses as high as $365,000 since the fork.

The post Bitcoin ABC Holds Onto Its Lead, What It Means For The Bitcoin Cash Community? appeared first on BitcoinLinux.

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Crypto Experts From Sanctioned Countries to Receive Training in Crimea

The leading crypto industry association in Crimea has proposed establishing an international training center to prepare experts from countries that have been placed under western sanctions. The idea is to use advanced technologies associated with cryptocurrencies to attract foreign investors to these jurisdictions.
Also read: Estonia Issues Over 900 Licenses to Cryptocurrency Businesses
Plan for Crypto Course Put Forward in Crimea
As part of the initiative, the Crimean Republican Association of Blockchain Investment Technologies (Krabit) intends to launch an educational course that could become part of a university curriculum. Lecturers, including members of the organization, will train students from countries and territories that are currently subjected to economic and political sanctions imposed by foreign powers like the U.S.
Following the Maidan Revolution in February of 2014, which changed the geopolitical orientation of Ukraine, authorities in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, where the Russian ethnic population forms a majority, held a referendum to join Russia. The proposal was supported by almost 97 percent of those who voted, over 80 percent of Crimeans, according to the Russian side. In March of that year, Crimea and the Federal City of Sevastopol became part of the Russian Federation.
The accession, which was not recognized by Kiev and a large part of the international community, led to economic sanctions for the territory that have curbed foreign investment. Numerous proposals have been made to circumvent these restrictions using crypto technologies. One of them recently came from the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Crimea in the Kremlin, Georgiy Muradov, who said that a blockchain cluster and a cryptocurrency fund could soon be established in the Crimean special economic zone to attract investors. A plan to set up an assembling facility for mining equipment has also been discussed.

According to Krabit’s president, Roman Kulachenko, who spoke with Tass on the sidelines of the “Security. Crimea – 2018” forum, the republic is not the only affected entity that could take advantage of cryptocurrency technologies to evade sanctions. He mentioned Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two other pro-Russian republics in the former Soviet space that are facing similar problems. In his opinion, the educational center can help them successfully overcome some of the challenges. Other sanctioned countries, such as Iran, are also relying on Russian support to develop their crypto capabilities.
Kulachenko noted that crypto and blockchain technologies can be employed to create platforms that would allow foreign investors to anonymously operate in these jurisdictions. However, he also remarked that in order to do so, a proper regulatory framework for digital assets, smart contracts and blockchain technologies has to be developed and implemented. Russian government institutions have been postponing the adoption of such legislation for months, and according to recent reports from Moscow, the drafts that have been filed in the State Duma this past spring have been revamped and do not even mention cryptocurrencies, mining and smart contracts in their latest revisions.
TV Program to Educate the Public About Cryptocurrencies
Another educational initiative related to cryptocurrencies has been recently announced in Russia. Mir, an international broadcasting corporation with several Russian language TV channels, a radio station and an online outlet, is launching a new program that will inform viewers about digital coins, mining and other related technologies.
Mir was established by the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) back in the early ‘90s. Now it broadcasts in 23 countries, including almost all of the former Soviet republics, the U.S., Switzerland, Germany, Israel, and other countries with large Russian-speaking diasporas.
The producers of the TV show ,called “Visiting the Numbers,” want to explain to their audience in simple terms what blockchain means, how cryptocurrencies are mined and how to invest in digital assets. The weekly program, which will be broadcasted on the Mir and Mir 24 channels, will cover the most important developments and current topics in the crypto space for viewers in the CIS countries and around the world.
What do you think about the new Russian educational initiatives? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.   

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Another ‘Satoshi Message’ Attempts to Sway Public Opinion, But Fails

It’s been a crazy week in cryptocurrency land as a large portion of the community watched the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network split into two chains on Nov. 15. Following the 24 hours of the BCH hash war, an interesting message was found stemming from block height 9 that claims there is an “issue with Segwit.” Of course, a few cryptocurrency developers have once again deemed the latest Satoshi signature as “fake” and have explained that the new message was likely another fluke attempt by Craig Wright.
Also read: Hash Wars: BCH Proponents Confident a Resolution Is in Sight
Cryptocurrency Community Scrutinizes Another So-Called Signed Message from Satoshi
During the second day of the BCH hash war, a few cryptocurrency enthusiasts came across a message that appeared to be a valid signature for Satoshi’s key in block 9. The address contained a message which warned of some issues with the Segwit protocol on the BTC chain. Furthermore, the owner of Coingeek, Calvin Ayre, tweeted out to his followers a small statement in regard to the block 9 key signature and stated that “Satoshi Lives.” Ayre also retweeted the message from a Twitter account called “@Satoshi” which led to a few other tweets about the message.
“I do not want to be public, but, there is an issue with Segwit,” explains the signed message and the tweet from the now deleted, but archived Satoshi handle. “If it is not fixed, there will be nothing and I would have failed — There is only one way that Bitcoin survives and it is important to me that it works. Important enough, that I may be known openly.”
The Satoshi Twitter handle also tweeted a message across the social media platform that said:
The message will be clear in Dec 2019.   
Most of the cryptocurrency community believes the signed message is just another failed attempt by Craig Wright.
More Proof of Nothing
With all that’s going on in the BCH community and specifically Craig Wright, many observers believe the signature stems from him. Of course, a large majority thought it was just a PR stunt from Wright and company and quickly disregarded the message.
The message allegedly signed by Satoshi.
However, lots of people took a closer look at the message and agreed that it likely derived from Wright and even so the signature was still phony. For instance, the CTO of Purse, Christopher Jeffrey, detailed that the message appeared to be a valid signature from Satoshi’s key in block 9 but further stated that “anyone can mutate a hash for a valid ecdsa signature to produce a seemingly ‘new’ signature/message.” Jeffrey further said that he and a friend had fun creating fake Satoshi signatures in the past. “Looks like another failed attempt from Craig Wright if I had to guess,” explained the Purse developer.
Many respected bitcoiners explained that they considered the message to be phony and invalid.
CTO of Purse, Christopher Jeffrey.
In addition to Jeffrey’s statements, the BTC developer Gregory Maxwell showed the Reddit community on r/btc how easily the fake signature message can be accomplished. Jeffrey further explained on Reddit that he had long suspected that Craig would attempt this type of stunt. Overall, most of the BCH community members across social media channels like Twitter and Reddit didn’t seem to think the latest Satoshi message was legitimate. Craig Wright did respond to a Twitter handle called @Checksum0 who tweeted about the message during the day and said, “No, that is bamboozled — The last time it was spent from that address is 2009.”
Later on, Wright did tweet some more cryptic messages to his Twitter followers that seemed very similar to the block 9 message.
“I have done all I can for now to warn people — I will work to make the system right, it is not you, it is not your profit, it is sound money for the world,” Wright detailed. “If you cannot understand that, I cannot make you — I hope that your children will. About a year from now, I have something to release, but, right now, I cannot. So, the place is marked and saved, and in the time it takes, you will find what that is… when it is fixed — So, more cryptic markers,” the Nchain representative concluded.
What do you think about the so-called message from Satoshi warning about Segwit in Dec. of 2019? Do you think the signature attempt was phony and proved nothing? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Images via Github, Pixabay, Archive.org, and Shutterstock.

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One Cryptocurrency to HODL, Two to FODL (YOYO, BCHABC, BCHSV)

Forks can be beneficial to the cryptocurrency space. This is specifically true when they add desired attributes to underlying cryptocurrencies. In many instances, forks do not bring any benefit but are the result of infighting.


Cryptocurrency Chaos: BCHSV and BCHABC

Cryptocurrencies dealing with infighting and hash wars should be avoided while coins reaching milestones with tiny market caps should be accumulated. Following this logic, both Bitcoin Cash forks should be sold, while the project YOYO deserves major recognition. YOYO is a HODL, while BCHSV and BCHABC are both immediate FODLs.

“BTC is the new stable coin,” was the resounding statement the prior month. Right as the entire cryptocurrency market expected stability from the market leader it lost more than 10 percent in under 48 hours. Many speculated about the reasoning but it seems fairly clear to those who did a little investigating.

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Will Bitcoin Bite Back?

The Bitcoin Cash [BCH] 00 fork sent the market into a tailspin this week. Now that the BCH fork has concluded it seems the same fork that created market panic has demonstrated bullish market signals.

Let’s start with the lovely ticker symbols: BCHSV and BCHABC.

Bitcoin Cash price technical analysis BCH

How can anyone take someone seriously when they claim “BCHABC is the original BTC.” The sentence is almost laughable. When the parties that tore BTC apart were working in tandem to try to be the ‘original BTC’ they had a chance. Albeit a small chance, one that existed. Now having forked their fork, neither Bitcoin maximalist nor novice cryptocurrency trader will believe BCHSV or BCHABC is the “original bitcoin.”

Could either be a possible winner regarding a short-term trade? Sure, however, regarding long-term utility, neither solves a problem BTC 00 has not already resolved, and neither have communities like the original BTC.

With discussions raging regarding a hash war between the two new BCH chains, it seems like neither is the ‘right’ choice in the short term.

To capitalize on the market rebound that is likely to occur from this week’s overcorrection small caps on the largest exchanges should be targeted.

A cryptocurrency that clearly meets most investors guidelines with a tiny market cap on major exchanges is YOYO.

YOYO (YOYOW)

 YOYO, is a clever acronym for “You Own Your Own Words.” YOYOW trades under the ticker symbol YOYO 00. The concept behind YOYO is very simple; you own what you create. The content a user creates deserves to be rewarded.

What makes YOYO a unique acquisition target, especially during this week’s correction are multiple things:

  1. Confirmation speeds of 3 seconds compared to BTC’s 10 minutes.
  2. A throughput of more than 3,000 transactions per second.
  3. The first blockchain authorization login.
  4. Network governance for token holders.
  5. The total circulating supply is equal to the total supply.
    1. This means all coins are in circulation and the team is unlikely to be able to ‘dump’ on the market during major price shifts.
  6. The market cap is under $7.5 million and is traded on multiple Top 5 exchanges.
  7. 2018 Q3: Dapps were integrated.
  8. 2018 Q4: Token Feature Optimization, Authorization Feature, Lockup Feature, and Dividend.
  9. 2019 Q1: Enable Content Rewards.

Finbitex

There are almost 10 reasons that make YOYO a short-term acquisition target as they roll out their content rewards at the beginning of next quarter. Confirmation speeds of just seconds mean your cryptocurrency can be sent anywhere and received before a sentence can be completed. Being able to process 3,000 transactions per second means as a payment for content provider they will be well ahead of the curve.

YOYO intends to be the first blockchain with authorization login. This feature will separate YOYO from the majority of other similar content platforms. Those who hold tokens of any cryptocurrency appreciate being able to help govern the platform, this attribute will be implemented for YOYO imminently.

The market cap of YOYO being under $7.5 million makes it a ripe target for rapid growth as any substantial news or meeting of deadlines will push the market cap exponentially higher.

Despite the bear market, YOYO continued to integrate Dapps while building out their reward and incentive platforms. This quarter has the implementation of many of YOYO’s coin features. This includes their Authorization Feature, Lockup Feature, Dividend, and Governance.

It does not appear that either BCH fork added any value to the cryptocurrency space but instead created a 48-hour correction. Due to their lack of adding real value or utility both BCH forks should be avoided.

YOYO is a project that deserves the attention being diverted to unnecessary forks and market corrections.

Look for YOYO to outperform during any rebound the next few days and through the possible upcoming bull run.

[Disclaimer: This views expressed in this article do not reflect the views of BitcoinLinux and should not be taken as financial advice. Also, this is the first time the word FODL has been used (opposite of HODL)**]


To read the Crypto King’s prior articles or to get in contact directly with him, you can on Twitter (@JbtheCryptoKing) or Reddit. The King is the founder of ANON and actively trades cryptocurrencies.

The post One Cryptocurrency to HODL, Two to FODL (YOYO, BCHABC, BCHSV) appeared first on BitcoinLinux.com.

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Stablecoins May Not Be So Stable After All

Stablecoins May Not Be So Stable After All

Ever since their inception, stablecoins have carried plenty of potential. By acting as tokens tied to the price of fiat currency, these coins have promised to solve the problem of crypto price volatility. Essentially, stablecoins allow users to hold and trade tokens that are as reliably valuable as fiat currency — without introducing the hassles that come with cashing out one’s crypto.

Of course, these promises depend on stablecoins actually maintaining parity with the US Dollar. However, as NullTX revealed yesterday, stablecoins have been fluctuating wildly over the past week. Sourcing data from the Stablecoin Index, the news site has observed that none of the eight major stablecoins are maintaining their price peg:

[Source: Stablecoin Index]

Notably, Tether’s price remains below the dollar, possibly due to ongoing controversy reducing demand for the coin. Meanwhile, USDCoin’s price has risen above the price of the dollar: it seems to be in high demand, perhaps due to the fact that it is a relative newcomer that is vocally challenging Tether’s centralization. The remaining stablecoins are also experiencing low and high prices in roughly equal measures.

Some level of fluctuation is to be expected, and all stablecoins have a method of adjusting their prices periodically — usually by burning excess tokens and minting new ones. Most, if not all, stablecoins have reset their prices to match the US Dollar at various points in time. Although stablecoin prices are fairly close to the dollar when averaged over time, it seems that these adjustment methods do not have long-lasting effects.

In addition to pricing, market caps also pose an issue for stablecoins. Since the appearance of Tether in 2014, a number of rising stablecoins have entered the scene, including Circle’s USDCoin (USDC), TrueUSD (TUSD), Stasis (EURS), MakerDAO (DAI), and many others. As NullTX notes, “surpassing USDT will be incredibly challenging for all of these stablecoins” due to their relatively low market caps.

Years after its introduction, Tether is the only high-ranking stablecoin — it is the 8th largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Despite their originally promising nature, it is possible that many fiat-pegged stablecoins will go out of vogue before they even gain a foothold in the crypto market. However, price-pegging may have applications beyond fiat-pegged stablecoins: it is an essential basis for cross-chain tokens as well.

The post Stablecoins May Not Be So Stable After All appeared first on BitcoinLinux.