In addition to being Bitcoin’s 10th birthday, Jan. 3, 2019 will go down in history as being the crypto world’s inaugural Proof of Keys day. The initiative, conceived by Trace Meyer just weeks ago, has drawn broad support from cryptocurrency influencers and businesses. Over the past 24 hours, crypto companies have tweeted their encouragement for users to withdraw their funds from exchanges and other custodial wallets.
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Proof of Keys Day Draws Strong Support From Crypto Companies
If Trace Meyer’s scheme is the success he hopes it to be, onchain activity will record a significant spike in the number of bitcoin transactions for Jan. 3, 2019, and on this day in each subsequent year too. While it is too soon to assess the efficacy of the grassroots movement to return ownership of crypto assets to users, there are signs that Proof of Keys has already been successful in raising awareness of the importance of self-custody.
If you don’t own your keys, you don’t own your crypto.
[Take control of your keys] Jan/3 ] #ProofOfKeys #BlockchainWallet #bitcoin #crypto
— Blockchain (@blockchain) January 2, 2019
Under the hashtag #notyourkeysnotyourbitcoin, Twitter users have been sharing their own experiences of reclaiming their crypto from third-party custodians, and encouraging others to do the same. While it was the cryptocurrency community who initiated the Proof of Keys proposal, crypto companies have now joined the chorus of support. Not surprisingly, projects whose business entails non-custodial storage solutions have been leading the choir, Blockchain and Keepkey among them.
Exchange Customers Hit by Delayed Withdrawals
The need for self-sovereignty of crypto assets was demonstrated this week by the reticence of Hitbtc to facilitate withdrawals. A number of customers of the controversial exchange have reported lengthy delays in accessing their funds, leaving them unable to participate in Proof of Keys on the day itself. Several Hitbtc users were greeted by a message informing them that “Withdrawals are temporarily disabled on your account.”
Other exchanges have been more supportive Proof of Keys, including Swiss-based Lykke, which made the campaign the topic of its weekly discussion, as well as Ethfinex. If bitcoin is to enable millions of people to reclaim their financial sovereignty, it will require those who are already familiar with the technology to lead by example. Proof of Keys provides the perfect opportunity for bitcoiners to put their censorship-resistant money where their mouth is.
That is why today, on #ProofOfKeys day I am reclaiming my monetary sovereignty. I am proud to be my own bank, with the ability to verify every transaction with a full node and further send my own transactions without permission or even the internet. Happy 2019 #Bitcoin. Onward. pic.twitter.com/fRdv69Kt8s
— Eric ₿ [Jan/3➞₿ ∎] (@Provingwork) January 3, 2019
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