How do I Buy Bitcoin & Crypto? - Pros & Cons of 5 Exchanges
Are you looking to start investing in cryptocurrency and wondering the best place to buy it? Or if you are in the US, are you wondering which crypto exchanges are legal for you to use? Below is a list of 5 cryptocurrency exchanges that, as of this post, are all legal for US citizens. I have also included a quick break down on the pros and cons of each exchange. This is not a complete list of every exchange available to US citizens as there are others, but these are my own personal top 5 based on characteristics such as ease of use, security, fees, liquidity and selection of available coins to trade. If you are not located in the US there is a good chance most of these exchanges are available to you as well, you will just need to check with the exchange and look up your own country's policies regarding the purchase of cryptocurrencies. As you go through the list please keep in mind, while I do have them ranked 1 through 5, there is not a lot separating them and each of these exchanges offer something a little unique from the others. Everyone's investment goals and preferences are going to be a little different so my #5 exchange here could be your #1 based on your criteria. It is also pretty likely that if you end up wanting to invest in 5 or more coins at some point, no one exchange is going to have all of them available so you will likely need to open multiple accounts anyways. Okay, on to the list. 1) Binance US Binance US is an offshoot of one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges out there, Binance.com. They created Binance US in response to US citizens being banned from using their main exchange back in 2019. These two exchanges function much the same with the biggest difference being that Binance US has a slightly smaller pool of cryptos listed on their exchange, which currently is a little over 30 coins. Other than that, all of the great features of Binance.com that have helped it become one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, apply to Binance US as well. PROS - Low Fees: Start at 0.10% spot trading fee and goes down from there depending on your trading frequency. You can also save an additional 25% off your trading fees by holding their native token BNB. - High Trading Volume: Allows you to get in and out of your positions more easily. - Coin Selection: Currently as of this writing there are over 30 different coins available to be traded. - Reliability / Reputation: As one of the larger players in the crypto space, Binance is able to offer a bit of security as they are able to throw a lot of money at any potential problems with things like hackers. Binance US puts away a set portion of their earnings every month in a fund that acts as insurance against any funds that may be lost due to hackers. Back in 2019 they had an incident where 40 million dollars of crypto was stolen by hackers and they reimbursed every penny to their customers. CONS - Interface: Trading can be a little confusing for those not used to trading cryptocurrencies. While it is not too difficult to learn, a couple of the upcoming exchanges on my list are a little more user friendly for those who are new to the space. All things considered, right now if I was getting started with Crypto trading in the US, Binance US would be the first account that I created. If you would like to open an account you can use the link below. If you are located outside of the United States I would suggest opening an account on the the original Binance.com exchange as they currently have a wider selection of cryptos to pick from. Below is a link for their sign up as well if you are interested. Binance US Sign Up Binance Sign Up (Non-US Citizens) 2) Crypto.com Crypto.com is on a mission to be the leader in cryptocurrency adoption to the masses and is trying to bridge the gap between the worlds of blockchain and traditional finance. Along with trading cryptocurrencies they have programs on their app like Earn, Invest, Pay & Credit which you would find with more traditional finance companies. For instance, through their Earn program there are many coins you can earn interest on by locking them up for a set time period. Depending on the coin, how many MCO (Crypto.com native coin) you have staked and how long you keep your tokens locked up for, you can earn anywhere from 2% to 18% interest which a lot better than any bank is going to do for you these days. One of the best features of Crypto.com, in my opinion, are their great eye-catching, metal crypto MCO reward credit cards. These cards pay you cashback, in the form of their MCO token, for all of your day to day purchases anywhere that VISA is accepted. Depending on which level of card you get, these credit cards reward 1% to 5% cashback on all spending along with other great benefits like free ATM & international withdrawals, 100% cashback on Spotify & Netflix subscriptions and airport lounge access. In order to get your hands on one of these cards you will need to open a Crypto.com account if you don’t already have one. There is good news if you don’t already have one, as new sign ups can get $50 worth of MCO tokens free by using the link and promo code I have posted below. Please note that the $50 of MCO tokens will remain locked until you deposit & stake at least 50 MCO tokens toward the sign up of the particular card you are interested in. If you want to know a little more about these cards you can check out method #3 in my earlier post 5 Easy Legitimate Ways to Earn Free Crypto where I go into a bit more detail on them. However, for the purpose of this post, let's get to some pros and cons of their exchange platform. PROS - Low Fees: Start at 0.20% and go lower from there depending on your trading volume. - Coin Selection: Currently as of this writing there are 53 different coins available to be traded. - Interface: Easy to use app that is very user friendly.- Customer Service: One of the best customer service programs in the industry if you need any help. CONS - App Only: No desktop version, all functions on the exchange must be done via their app. - History: Founded in 2016 so they are still relatively new to the industry. Crypto.com is a great option if you are looking to trade cryptocurrencies and also want to take advantage of things like their cash back VISA cards and Earn program that pay you great interest rates as you hold your coins. Below is a link you can use to sign up for a new account. If you are also interested in getting one of their MCO Visa cards, use the link below along with the promo code to get $50 of their MCO token free. Crypto.com Sign Up PROMO CODE:gapena3dq4 3) Coinbase Headquartered in San Francisco, Coinbase is the largest US-based crypto exchange with about 20 million current users. Like Crypto.com, they are trying to bring cryptocurrency trading to the masses through an easy to use interface and education. One way they try to educate their users is through their Coinbase Earn program where they offer free crypto for watching short educational videos teaching you about the various coins they offer on their exchange. I will not go into the details of that program here, but if you are interested in checking it out I go into a bit more detail on it in my post 5 Easy Legitimate Ways to Earn Free Crypto. Now on to some of the pros and cons. PROS - High Trading Volume: Allows you to get in and out of your positions easily. - Interface: Easy to use desktop interface and trading mechanisms for those new to crypto trading. - Insurance: Coinbase carries an insurance policy that covers 2% of all assets on the exchange and they keep the other 98% in cold storage. CONS - Fees: While their fee structure is not horrible, it is a bit higher than Crypto.com and Binance US. Crypto to crypto trading fees are at 0.50% / bank purchases at 1.49% / credit & debit card purchases at 3.99%. - Coin Selection: Currently they only have about 20 coins to choose from, however they are looking to add a bunch more soon. Coinbase is a solid choice for anyone looking to get started in crypto trading. If you would like to open an account you can use the link below which will get you $10 of free Bitcoin as a sign up bonus. Please note that to get the free $10 you must buy or sell $100 worth of crypto within 180 days of signing up. Coinbase Sign Up 4) Robinhood Robinhood is the pioneer of no fee trading for securities which is the main benefit of this exchange. It also is, to my knowledge, one of the few exchanges that allow you to trade both traditional stocks and cryptocurrencies. Technically their stock and crypto exchanges are separate entities, however you can seamlessly trade them both from the same account on their app. This is great for those who would like to get started trading in both crypto and traditional stocks but don't want to open multiple accounts. Or for those who might want to trade back and forth between stocks and crypto but don't want to have to transfer money between accounts to do so. Now to explore some other features of the Robinhood exchange let's get into the pros and cons. PROS - Fees: None (FREE!) - Flexibility: Can trade multiple asset classes (Stocks, Crypto, ETFs, Options) - Interface: Easy to use app that is very user friendly. Desktop version available as well. CONS - Coin Selection: Currently only offer 7 coins that can be traded (BTC, BCH, BSV, DOGE, ETH, ETC, LTC) - Coin Mobility: Your coins must remain on the Robinhood exchange. You cannot transfer your coins to another exchange or withdraw them to put in your own digital wallets. With their user friendly interface and no fees, Robinhood is very appealing for those just getting into crypto trading. If you are just looking to buy some of the higher cap coins like Bitcoin and Etherium, this exchange can be a good fit for you. However if you know there are some projects you would like to invest in that are not listed above, you may want to choose some of the other exchanges on this list, or both. If you are unsure at this point if you want to invest beyond coins like Bitcoin and Etherium in the future, it doesn't hurt to start here, get your feet wet and open another account down the road if you have other projects you get interested in. If you would like to open an account you can use the link below to get one free stock with sign up! This free stock will be valued somewhere between $2.50 and $200. Robinhood Sign Up 5) Kraken Kraken exchange is based out of the United States and was founded back in 2011. While there is no specific trait that blows away the competition with this exchange, it does most everything pretty well. Like most crypto exchanges at this point, your funds on there are not FDIC insured, however Kraken does keep a separate fund that serves as an insurance policy and is currently over 100 million dollars. They also show great transparency and compliance with programs like their Proof of Reserves which offers proof that they hold all of the funds that they say they do. Here is quick break down of their pros and cons. PROS - Low Fees: Range from 0.10% to 0.26% depending on your trading frequency. - High Security: One of the best reputations in the industry for security. - Coin Selection: Good but not great. Currently they have about 20 coins available for trading. CONS - Interface: Making trades can be a little confusing for beginners who are not familiar with their format. However with a couple quick tutorials most of you should be able to get familiar with it pretty quickly. To open an account and begin trading with Kraken use the link below. Kraken Sign Up
Interested in some ways you can passively earn free crypto?
Best Exchanges to Buy Bitcoin & Crypto in the US (Pros & Cons)
Are you looking to start investing in cryptocurrency and wondering where the best place to buy it is? Or if you are in the US, are you wondering which crypto exchanges are legal for you to use? Below is a list of 5 cryptocurrency exchanges that, as of this post, are all legal for US citizens. I have also included a quick break down on the pros and cons of each exchange. This is not a complete list of every exchange available to US citizens as there are others, but these are my own personal top 5 based on characteristics such as ease of use, security, fees, liquidity and selection of available coins to trade. If you are not located in the US there is a good chance most of these exchanges are available to you as well, you will just need to check with the exchange and look up your own country's policies regarding the purchase of cryptocurrencies. As you go through the list please keep in mind, while I do have them ranked 1 through 5, there is not a lot separating them and each of these exchanges offer something a little unique from the others. Everyone's investment goals and preferences are going to be a little different so my #5 exchange here could be your #1 based on your criteria. It is also pretty likely that if you end up wanting to invest in 5 or more coins at some point, no one exchange is going to have all of them available so you will likely need to open multiple accounts anyways. Okay, on to the list. 1) Binance US Binance US is an offshoot of one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges out there, Binance.com. They created Binance US in response to US citizens being banned from using their main exchange back in 2019. These two exchanges function much the same with the biggest difference being that Binance US has a slightly smaller pool of cryptos listed on their exchange, which currently is a little over 30 coins. Other than that, all of the great features of Binance.com that have helped it become one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, apply to Binance US as well. PROS - Low Fees: Start at 0.10% spot trading fee and goes down from there depending on your trading frequency. You can also save an additional 25% off your trading fees by holding their native token BNB. - High Trading Volume: Allows you to get in and out of your positions more easily. - Coin Selection: Currently as of this writing there are over 30 different coins available to be traded. - Reliability / Reputation: As one of the larger players in the crypto space, Binance is able to offer a bit of security as they are able to throw a lot of money at any potential problems with things like hackers. Binance US puts away a set portion of their earnings every month in a fund that acts as insurance against any funds that may be lost due to hackers. Back in 2019 they had an incident where 40 million dollars of crypto was stolen by hackers and they reimbursed every penny to their customers. CONS - Interface: Trading can be a little confusing for those not used to trading cryptocurrencies. While it is not too difficult to learn, a couple of the upcoming exchanges on my list are a little more user friendly for those who are new to the space. All things considered, right now if I was getting started with Crypto trading in the US, Binance US would be the first account that I created. If you would like to open an account you can use the link below. If you are located outside of the United States I would suggest opening an account on the the original Binance.com exchange as they currently have a wider selection of cryptos to pick from. Below is a link for their sign up as well if you are interested. Binance US Sign Up Binance Sign Up (Non-US Citizens) 2) Crypto.com Crypto.com is on a mission to be the leader in cryptocurrency adoption to the masses and is trying to bridge the gap between the worlds of blockchain and traditional finance. Along with trading cryptocurrencies they have programs on their app like Earn, Invest, Pay & Credit which you would find with more traditional finance companies. For instance, through their Earn program there are many coins you can earn interest on by locking them up for a set time period. Depending on the coin, how many MCO (Crypto.com native coin) you have staked and how long you keep your tokens locked up for, you can earn anywhere from 2% to 18% interest which a lot better than any bank is going to do for you these days. One of the best features of Crypto.com, in my opinion, are their great eye-catching, metal crypto MCO reward credit cards. These cards pay you cashback, in the form of their MCO token, for all of your day to day purchases anywhere that VISA is accepted. Depending on which level of card you get, these credit cards reward 1% to 5% cashback on all spending along with other great benefits like free ATM & international withdrawals, 100% cashback on Spotify & Netflix subscriptions and airport lounge access. In order to get your hands on one of these cards you will need to open a Crypto.com account if you don’t already have one. There is good news if you don’t already have one, as new sign ups can get $50 worth of MCO tokens free by using the link and promo code I have posted below. Please note that the $50 of MCO tokens will remain locked until you deposit & stake at least 50 MCO tokens toward the sign up of the particular card you are interested in. If you want to know a little more about these cards you can check out method #3 in my earlier post 5 Easy Legitimate Ways to Earn Free Crypto where I go into a bit more detail on them. However, for the purpose of this post, let's get to some pros and cons of their exchange platform. PROS - Low Fees: Start at 0.20% and go lower from there depending on your trading volume. - Coin Selection: Currently as of this writing there are 53 different coins available to be traded. - Interface: Easy to use app that is very user friendly.- Customer Service: One of the best customer service programs in the industry if you need any help. CONS - App Only: No desktop version, all functions on the exchange must be done via their app. - History: Founded in 2016 so they are still relatively new to the industry. Crypto.com is a great option if you are looking to trade cryptocurrencies and also want to take advantage of things like their cash back VISA cards and Earn program that pay you great interest rates as you hold your coins. Below is a link you can use to sign up for a new account. If you are also interested in getting one of their MCO Visa cards, use the link below along with the promo code to get $50 of their MCO token free. Crypto.com Sign Up PROMO CODE:gapena3dq4 3) Coinbase Headquartered in San Francisco, Coinbase is the largest US-based crypto exchange with about 20 million current users. Like Crypto.com, they are trying to bring cryptocurrency trading to the masses through an easy to use interface and education. One way they try to educate their users is through their Coinbase Earn program where they offer free crypto for watching short educational videos teaching you about the various coins they offer on their exchange. I will not go into the details of that program here, but if you are interested in checking it out I go into a bit more detail on it in my post 5 Easy Legitimate Ways to Earn Free Crypto. Now on to some of the pros and cons. PROS - High Trading Volume: Allows you to get in and out of your positions easily. - Interface: Easy to use desktop interface and trading mechanisms for those new to crypto trading. - Insurance: Coinbase carries an insurance policy that covers 2% of all assets on the exchange and they keep the other 98% in cold storage. CONS - Fees: While their fee structure is not horrible, it is a bit higher than Crypto.com and Binance US. Crypto to crypto trading fees are at 0.50% / bank purchases at 1.49% / credit & debit card purchases at 3.99%. - Coin Selection: Currently they only have about 20 coins to choose from, however they are looking to add a bunch more soon. Coinbase is a solid choice for anyone looking to get started in crypto trading. If you would like to open an account you can use the link below which will get you $10 of free Bitcoin as a sign up bonus. Please note that to get the free $10 you must buy or sell $100 worth of crypto within 180 days of signing up. Coinbase Sign Up 4) Robinhood Robinhood is the pioneer of no fee trading for securities which is the main benefit of this exchange. It also is, to my knowledge, one of the few exchanges that allow you to trade both traditional stocks and cryptocurrencies. Technically their stock and crypto exchanges are separate entities, however you can seamlessly trade them both from the same account on their app. This is great for those who would like to get started trading in both crypto and traditional stocks but don't want to open multiple accounts. Or for those who might want to trade back and forth between stocks and crypto but don't want to have to transfer money between accounts to do so. Now to explore some other features of the Robinhood exchange let's get into the pros and cons. PROS - Fees: None (FREE!) - Flexibility: Can trade multiple asset classes (Stocks, Crypto, ETFs, Options) - Interface: Easy to use app that is very user friendly. Desktop version available as well. CONS - Coin Selection: Currently only offer 7 coins that can be traded (BTC, BCH, BSV, DOGE, ETH, ETC, LTC) - Coin Mobility: Your coins must remain on the Robinhood exchange. You cannot transfer your coins to another exchange or withdraw them to put in your own digital wallets. With their user friendly interface and no fees, Robinhood is very appealing for those just getting into crypto trading. If you are just looking to buy some of the higher cap coins like Bitcoin and Etherium, this exchange can be a good fit for you. However if you know there are some projects you would like to invest in that are not listed above, you may want to choose some of the other exchanges on this list, or both. If you are unsure at this point if you want to invest beyond coins like Bitcoin and Etherium in the future, it doesn't hurt to start here, get your feet wet and open another account down the road if you have other projects you get interested in. If you would like to open an account you can use the link below to get one free stock with sign up! This free stock will be valued somewhere between $2.50 and $200. Robinhood Sign Up 5) Kraken Kraken exchange is based out of the United States and was founded back in 2011. While there is no specific trait that blows away the competition with this exchange, it does most everything pretty well. Like most crypto exchanges at this point, your funds on there are not FDIC insured, however Kraken does keep a separate fund that serves as an insurance policy and is currently over 100 million dollars. They also show great transparency and compliance with programs like their Proof of Reserves which offers proof that they hold all of the funds that they say they do. Here is quick break down of their pros and cons. PROS - Low Fees: Range from 0.10% to 0.26% depending on your trading frequency. - High Security: One of the best reputations in the industry for security. - Coin Selection: Good but not great. Currently they have about 20 coins available for trading. CONS - Interface: Making trades can be a little confusing for beginners who are not familiar with their format. However with a couple quick tutorials most of you should be able to get familiar with it pretty quickly. To open an account and begin trading with Kraken use the link below. Kraken Sign Up
Interested in some ways you can passively earn free crypto?
Getting closer to purchasing first BTC - help on available options
So I have browsed many of the posts on this forum and have come up with some options/tentative options and am looking for thoughts and input from the community. After careful thought my base line requirements:
Would like to be able to access account on either desktop or mobile (not a deal breaker). If I had to choose will go with mobile wallet (saved on external storage in case phone is damaged)
While I will start out with only bitcoin I would like the option to be able to purchase multiple cryptos on an exchange and transfer to a wallet.
Security is obviously very important along with exchanges and wallets that have longevity.
Longevity is also key as I plan on primarily holding bitcoin for the long term, so a wallet that will be around 10 years from now will be nice. Understand the industry will evolve and this may not be predictable.
If a wallet does disappear, I am assuming my BTC (or other crypto currency) would be recoverable using another wallet. However, a lot of the tutorials mentioned to recover your bitcoin, the private I would have would have to match the private key from the wallet to ensure your BTC was recoverable. While I did consider a cold storage device, it appears most on the market currently support bitcoin (I could be completely wrong on this) and may make that leap later in my journey.
Understand there will be fees but lower fees are better.
In order to meet all the requirements I listed above I have narrowed it down to the following: Exchanges: Cash App - can only buy BTC Coin Base - multiple cryptos. Have read fees are variable, high and/or hard to assess. Uphold - looks to meet all the requirements above, but have not seen it mentioned here. Wallets: Coinbase Wallet Trust Wallet MetMask MyEtherWallet Green Wallet Samourai Wallet Would appreciate any and all thoughts from the community!
In depth interview with Mr. Feng: MW is not only the commercial incentive layer of IPFS
Why did early bitcoin players play MW?Why is blockchain + distributed storage the only industry that can combine mining with practice?How can human beings do things beneficial to social storage while consuming a lot of resources?Special guest Mr. Feng: early believers in bitcoin, co-founder ofMirror World Network MW, to solve our doubts one by one! Hello, I'm Mr.Feng. I started my business in 2012.I'm an early believer in bitcoin. After two years of silence, I returned to the industry with the help of a group of friends.During this period, a lot of research has been done on distributed storage, including IPFS. So this project is also about the field of distributed storage. I think blockchain + distributed storage is the only industry that can combine mining with practice. While human beings consume a lot of resources, it can also be a commercial storage network beneficial to society. MW is a mature landing project that applies IPFS technology to actual storage, and creates a feasible solution for the landing of blockchain industry. 1. I believe that after your self introduction, many audience friends are concerned about what mirror network is doing recently. Can you share it with audience friends?What achievements have mirror network made in these years? MW is building an easy-to-use and available distributed storage network, which creates a new computing paradigm and collaboration mode of low-cost trust building in an untrusted competitive environment.We have three years of technical precipitation and have drawn on the experience of IPFS, Alibaba cloud OSS, stoij and other technologies at home and abroad. At present, the code base is close to 900000 lines, and it will also be open-source in the future. Before that, we have run a relatively stable internal test network, and many friends have participated in it.In the next three to four months, we will release our technical achievements, including practical cases, and leave a message for you. 2.What the difference between MW and filecoin?What is the core competitiveness of MW? I believe you have known IPFS for a long time. Filecoin is the incentive layer of IPFS. To put it simply, it is the financing tool of IPFS. It was dazzling at that time.At the same time, storj and SIA did well.We also chose this way at that time. The original intention of MW is to do real distributed storage. I think MW different from filecoin in terms of starting point. The core competitiveness of MW is technology inclusiveness. We integrate decentralized storage protocol and centralized storage protocol to solve the game between decentralized storage protocol, regulatory layer and practicability. 3.Now, MW public chain has been able to apply IPFS technology to actual storage very mature, and it is the only one.what kind of difficulties did MW encounter and how did you solve them? In January, we asked for opinions on a small scale in the industry. At that time, we fully demonstrated the storage function and blockchain information, which was unanimously recognized by everyone.Because the team is mainly technical members, the economic model should be the biggest difficulty. After extensive collection of opinions, we adjusted it no less than ten times. Finally, we chose the open and inclusive community governance scheme. There is no model, fair competition, and community motivation is our goal. 4.MW will open the test network on April 18,How should interested users participate in the test?Is there a reward for the test? Yes, the public beta will be officially launched on April 18, 2020. It will be divided into three stages: pioneer, union and world. You can go to mw.run see the road map , there is a threshold at the earliest stage of the pioneer stage. We need to manually authenticate the added equipment to ensure the stability and robustness of the initial stage of the network, but there will be no block reward, only contribution reward provided by the foundation.After the network is stable, we will open up the block reward and enter the computing power contest period. There will be rewards in the whole public beta stage. You only need to send an email to: [email protected] to apply for joining. 5.Distributed storage mining has always been a concern of miners. What should be paid attention to when mining in MW test network?What are the requirements for mining machines?What factors will affect the mining revenue? I like to share with you the consensus mechanism of MW. In order to make more storage devices join the MW ecosystem more fairly, and further increase the number of stable nodes in the network to improve the network dispersion, MW adopts DPoS consensus and POC consensus based on weight table.How to understand this? In fact, MW is a very inclusive project. Simply speaking, it is as simple as bitcoin mining through the competition for computing power!We have a set of strict weight calculation and distribution mechanism, which is equivalent to the law of the whole network. It will be announced in genesis block. At present, the size of storage space has the most direct impact on the income. In addition, we have a unique mining pool system, where everyone can establish a mining pool and participate in mining dividends together without having equipment.We don't have too many requirements for mining machines. At present, we only have requirements for network environment, and we need public IP. 6.In your opinion, what is the real "visual" IPFS storage system?HowMW achieve "availability" and "ease of use" when building a distributed file storage network? "Visualization" is actually very easy to understand, that is, it can be seen and felt.Now we have developed a complete visual storage path, and MW is a typical representative of visual storage.Here I highly recommend our internal measurement network that you experience. Like using a network disk, your files can be segmented, hashed and encrypted after uploading. Finally, they can be completely recovered and downloaded. We also made a short tutorial, which can be watched and understood by interested friends.In addition, our goal is to make the IPFS distributed storage system available to all ordinary people, rather than setting too high a threshold, which represents ease of use and availability. If you want to participate in the internal test, you can contact us before April 18 to register. We will also provide 1000 coins for free.After the test network was officially launched on April 18, all data of the internal test will be reset. 7. IPFS commercial incentive layer, but also what value can MW provide us?What is the ultimate vision of the MW? MW network can do the following: a.establish an open distributed blockchain storage network, form a multi chain ecology with existing networks and public chains, and complete data and value transmission. b.set up a component distributed storage network with idle storage resources in the enterprise and individuals, and deploy various public chains, storage networks and individual nodes. c.build a global distributed cloud storage compatible with IPFS, public cloud storage and private cloud storage. Secondly, we need to talk about our collective chain architecture. In the public chain part, MW is an open blockchain + distributed storage system, which mainly provides benefits for the miners and maintains the stability of the network. We will also make an alliance chain in China. MW will become an application network of small distributed data center, providing users with low cost, security and high private storage services can also be used to supervise and audit enterprises and governments in some specific fields or scenarios. Finally, we can provide data backup, verification and query services for other public chain (open source chain) data.MW is an underlying system focusing on distributed storage. 8.Security has always been a key concern of people. In terms of data security, how does the mirror network ensure data security? Data loss and privacy are the focus of data storage. I'm sure you have heard a lot of news, including customer information disclosure, downtime, server crash, selling customer privacy and so on. In fact, this is some of the problems that central storage will face. With the continuous growth of data and the improvement of people requirements for data security, the data storage mode is also generating iterations, and IPFS protocol is a very good solution to the privacy processing,On the basis of IPFS, MW also uses technologies such as file segmentation, multi backup, encryption, multi role, data correction and deletion to ensure the data security of users.One of the simplest understandings is that we will always copy three file fragments automatically in the network node to ensure the data security. 9.With the advent of 5g cloud computing era, people have new requirements for bandwidth and traffic. How is the layout of MW?How will distributed storage develop in the future? We are full of expectations for 5g era, which is one of the reasons why we have only launched MW until now. The small distributed storage computing center close to users is more suitable for the needs of the future era. We will set up a demonstration data center in the public test network, and conduct commercial demonstration for the storage space provided by enterprises. At the end of last year, I read a research report jointly issued. By 2023, the data storage volume will be twice that of 2019. At present, the industry is in a high-speed development stage, in which distributed storage will enter the mainstream storage market. We have planned a three-year development path, starting with cold data, such as archived data, infrequently called data, etc., public chain miner Hosting as a data center is the business model of our alliance chain. Compared with the traditional data center or cloud, we have a natural price advantage. We can even achieve 10% of the price of Tencent cloud and Alibaba cloud equivalent products. When 5g / 6G is mature, we will enter the mainstream storage market. In the future, we also hope that global storage, open-source public chains, and enterprises and individuals with storage resources can join Mirror World Network to provide a solid infrastructure for future storage methods, and obtain appropriate rewards.
Happy Halloween! Audit Statuses of Canadian Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Halloween is a wonderful time of year! Businesses and consumers alike dress up, children go door to door naively asking strangers for candy, and everyone parties celebrating things like death and evil. In the spirit of Halloween storytelling, let me tell you a scary story. There once was a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange. It had one of the simplest user interfaces, the CEO was well known in person and trusted throughout the country for over half a decade, and it had several deposit and withdrawal methods. It was the first to register as a money services business and for much of its history, it was one of the most legally compliant exchanges. It even looked to be headed for public listing on the TSX. The exchange operated for 6 years, assuring users that all funds “are stored in cold storage, using some of the most secure cryptographic procedures possible.” Unfortunately, while we celebrate Halloween by dressing up and wearing masks once a year, the wonderful people who brought us this exchange played “dress up” for over half a decade and time will only tell if there are any more “masks” to come off in this story. There’s no better or more fitting time to explore one of the darkest realities of the Canadian cryptocurrency space - exactly what is backing any of the cryptocurrency on Canadian exchanges. It’s easy to lose sight that there are real people behind these funds. Most people spend most waking hours working for their money. It literally is their lives. Impacts to victims are not just financial, but psychological and social as well. Victims of exchange fraud go through depression, anxiety, and trauma. They lose their trust and faith in humanity. They withdraw from friends and family in shame and humility. In the spirit of exploring dark and evil things, let’s examine exactly what evidence there is that any of your crypto is backed on any Canadian exchange. This is a continuation of research I’ve been working on since May/June. I hope it will be enlightening and help you better protect your funds that you worked hard for. I’ve done a detailed analysis of all Canadian exchanges I could find that handle any sort of custody of funds, and grouped them into 3 categories:
Not Audited. The only assurance I was able to find that any crypto on the exchange is backed are their words. I was unable to locate any public audit or report of an audit.
Audited. This means that at some point in the past, the exchange invited someone with a reasonable level of credibility, who they showed the wallets to. This person/group, at that point, was sufficiently convinced that funds were actually held by the exchange.
Proof of Reserves. An advanced real time public audit algorithm. It shows that funds exist right on the blockchain, validates access to those funds, and uses a hash tree to enable any customer to verify that their balance is included in the total.
Non-Audited Exchanges (“trust us, we haven't spent your money, we promise")
Bitvo - The service “utilizes a proprietary cold storage solution”. Proprietary, as in, definitely better than established non-proprietary solutions. If you can’t withdraw, they “will credit your account for [their] withdrawal fee”. They’re not an MSB that I could find, nor are they audited. Coinfield - MSB. No audit. Luckily it’s the "most secure trading platform in Canada" - though apparently not the other 150+ countries, including Estonia where they’re based. No matter which country you pick, the “Security” page still says "most secure trading platform in Canada". Coinsmart - MSB. Not sure what "[i]ndustry leading cold storage" is, but luckily they’re so "accountable to [their] clients, community and to each other" and "committed to being open and honest" that they don’t need any audit. Coinut - MSB. Also "the most secure cryptocurrency exchange platform". In addition to not using multi-sig and "not us[ing] USB drives, as the online computer may be infected with virus", they also don’t use audits. Einstein - You can get “your money deposited and withdrawn faster than any other exchange”. As one customer said "With so many hacks and exit scams, it gives me confidence knowing Einstein is backed by hard-working people just like me." Just check the user experience on their subreddit from their "220,000+ satisfied customers". EZ-BTC - As they said, “All your coins are kept in cold storage. They’re safe.” They have “strong security”. The supposed presence of physical ATMs was one of the strategies to build customer confidence and they promised 9% annual return on stored funds. NDAX - MSB. Luckily also “Canada’s most secure trading platform” with "fast withdrawals". I couldn’t find any audit but at least there’s a full page risk disclosure and disclaimer. You can sleep peacefully knowing that they’re legally protected. Netcoins - MSB. The best assurance I could find of solvency is that they “can process large transactions”. Although they don’t waste time with audits or links at the bottom of their website, apparently “[a]ll transactions happen quickly and securely” “within the same day”. Newton - MSB. “No-fees”! Your funds are stored in the "professional custody" of Balance, which doesn’t appear to be a registered MSB. I couldn't find any audit of the funds but they "audit [their] policies and controls". They "publish the reports", but I couldn't find any reports. Simply storing funds somewhere else doesn’t give any assurance they cover customer balances. QuadrigaCX - Operated since 2013, with “vast cryptocurrency reserves” right up to the end. "Bitcoins that are funded in QuadrigaCX are stored in cold storage, using some of the most secure cryptographic procedures possible." Their "cryptographic" procedures are so secure that nobody can access any funds, even now! Shakepay - MSB. Many will trust the raccoon mascot promising “commission-free” trading. No audit found but the “majority of all digital assets on Shakepay are stored securely offline”. Whatever this means, it’s good to know that up to half might not be.
Audited Exchanges ("so and so swears we didn't spend your money, you can trust them, we showed them once before")
Overall assessment: Bitbuy has a long history of buying/selling bitcoin without custody, and is likely too new to offering custody to have been hacked yet. The fact they have taken proactive steps shows promise.
According to the site, they "undergo annual 3rd party financial statement audits", but don’t mention by whom. According to “Newswire”, it’s a firm called MNP LLP.
I was unable to find any published report on the audit, which was completed prior to January 17th, 2019.
Overall assessment: It’s hard not to be a fan of Medium articles describing proactive steps that a company is taking, however without an actual report it can be difficult to assess the integrity of the reserves.
No audit is mentioned on their website, however multiple news sources report that one occurred. According to TechVibes, the audit was completed "by a national accounting firm whose identity is protected under an NDA", which is the best I was able to ascertain from several news sources.
A report about the audit was found as early as September 27th, 2018. TechVibes indicates "the audit covered the operational years of 2015, 2016 and 2017 for Coinsquare, and concluded an “unmodified opinion,” which means the financial statements from those years are “free from material misinformation.”" Other articles had even less information, and I was unable to find any published report.
Overall assessment: The fact that an audit was completed is a great step in the right direction, however the fact the firm is undisclosed by NDA, the audit is completely unmentioned on their website, and minimal details are available should be concerning. It also may be concerning that they claim to be "[t]he most secure trading platform" and also "100% proprietary". This would imply the team at Coinsquare is smarter than established security standards by experts all around the world at protecting your funds, contradicting recently reported incidents.
Kraken - Not a registered MSB in Canada (that I could find)
“So and so” is Stephan Thomas, CTO of Ripple.
The page literally says the audit was done "over the past several weeks", and since the page doesn’t have any date you might assume it’s recent. But look closely at the screenshot and you’ll see a date in 2014! Yes, that’s 5 years ago!
Overall assessment: While it certainly feels good to know an audit was done, the opinion of one individual from 5 years ago doesn’t say much about the state of anything today and they openly admit all kinds of limitations.
Proof of Reserves ("here's your money, right here right now on the blockchain, and here's a proof that we included your balance in that total")
Rather than depend on outdated audits (or lack thereof), it’s actually possible to use the blockchain and cryptography to enable a public real-time audit. This can give assurance to every customer that their balances are fully backed. Giving everyone the ability to check the integrity of balances will keep us all safer. It immediately exposes any fraud, and in most major hacking cases there was advanced hacking that went unnoticed ranging from months (Bitgrail), or years (Mt. Gox). Having an aware public reduces the number of people trading on fraudulent exchanges, and can pressure the exchange to shut down trading or resolve the hack faster, so less funds are permanently lost. To help explain exactly what this is and how it works, I’ve started a detailed tutorial. I did not come up with this algorithm - it was created in 2014 by a guy named Gregory Maxwell. Sometimes cryptography can be hard to understand. Hopefully this tutorial is simple:
Given what can often be at stake, I had hoped that maybe one of the “audited” exchanges might embrace Proof of Reserves. Sadly I haven’t had any such luck. Bitbuy:
Actually they reached out to me in response to one of my posts on Reddit July 14th, asking for detailed feedback on their services.
I provided an extensive summary of my research (I’d just put together descriptions of every exchange for a business plan.)
As of today, that response, which included Proof of Reserves among a multitude of other suggestions, is still unanswered.
On the 4th of July I actually got a response from them to a casual mention where I was recommending their exchange (based on the Medium articles).
Their response, which didn’t address the Proof of Reserves, included the statement “All coins on our platform are 100% secured offline in cold storage“. On their site, Coinberry shows 15 minute withdrawal times in one of the screenshots. Perhaps they have a team standing around “offline” and ready to service withdrawals 24/7.
My subsequent response to them was not answered.
On their website they expressly give reasons why they don’t want "public knowledge of exchanges’ or wallet providers’ bitcoin wallets and total holdings".
They claim it has an effect on security, however public keys do not enable any access to funds - only private keys can. One would hope that their security of funds doesn’t depend on not knowing which wallets they own, since the blockchain is pretty public.
They also claim an effect on user privacy, which is important. Nobody should have any illusion that transactions to or from an exchange are secret in any way. I would highly recommend using privacy coins and setting up new wallets regularly, given that transactions are completely public on the blockchain already.
I was unable to get any clarification, either in live chat or multiple Reddit posts. Understandable, given the size of their operation.
Given that this was their stance after Mt. Gox, it seems unlikely to change based on recent events half a decade later affecting a much smaller exchange.
As such, the bottom line is that present exchanges don’t want to share public keys and offer the kind of transparency which is necessary to enable customers to know their funds are backed. Attempting to get answers doesn’t reveal them, and I’m left with an unnerving silence not unlike the end of Halloween night, like I’m asking questions nobody should ask. Having spent the last 8 months of my life watching and being part of a large group of people suffer through a grueling bankruptcy, where we’ll be “lucky” to only lose 90% of our funds, I want this fixed. I don’t want to live in a reality where fraud can happen just buying/selling on the largest and most trusted exchanges. Especially now that I’ve learned blockchain provides the capability for even greater transparency and a level of public audit far beyond even what's possible with fiat. If you feel the same way, I invite you to join Quadriga Initiative, where we are fighting for a Proof of Reserves future and also enabling businesses to help Quadriga victims with an innovative token recovery project. Every sign-up helps us reach our goal and launch the project! If any information in this post is incorrect, please let me know so I can fix it! Thanks! I’m happy to update the audit status of any exchange given reasonable evidence, or provide a review of any other custodial exchange I might have missed.
Kin Community FAQ, Guidelines, & Ecosystem Directory
Kin Community FAQ, Guidelines, & Ecosystem Directory Kin FAQ
What is Kin?
Where can I earn & spend Kin?
Where can I buy Kin?
Where can I store Kin?
Why is the total supply so large?
Why isn't Kin on [xyz] exchange? When will it be?
Is there any update on [Y] announcement? Can you speak on [insert rumor here]? When will we be able to do [Z]?
How can I contact the developers / support staff of [insert app name here]?
How can I contact the Kin Foundation?
How can I track transactions on the Kin blockchain?
I still have ERC-20 based Kin (on the Ethereum blockchain), how can I migrate?
I heard the SEC is suing Kik, is that true? What does it mean for Kin?
How was Kin distributed at launch and how does it enter circulation?
I want to integrate Kin into my software project. How do I get started? Where is the developer community?
How can I keep up with the latest developments in Kin?
1 - What is Kin? Kin is money for the digital world. It can be earned and spent across an entire ecosystem of applications, thanks to the blockchain. If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry; you don’t have to. Kin is designed to be accessible by a broad mainstream audience- computer science degree not required. By bringing together developers and users of all kinds to build in a shared new digital economy, we can create a more fair playing field; one in which the developers and content creators that build these virtual realities are rewarded based on their contributions, not harvested for their personal data and attention against their will. If you’d like to learn more about Kin, here are some resources to get you started: · Kin Website: https://www.kin.org/ · Kin Whitepaper: https://www.kin.org/static/files/Kin_Whitepaper_V1_English.pdf · The Vision for Kin: https://medium.com/kinblog/the-vision-for-kin-6ee048a3a979 · Announcement of Kin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5le2n230oTk · Introduction to Kin (by u/kyzermf): https://medium.com/hackernoon/introduction-to-kin-universal-virtual-currency-for-apps-ea6464225ffc 2 - Where can I earn & spend Kin? Kin is going live in a growing number of apps. To see which ones, you can check out the Ecosystem Directory below, or keep up with some of these resources: · via Kin Website: https://www.kin.org/kin-apps/ · Apps with Kin (by u/Neliss31) https://appswithkin.com/index.php · Kin Appz (by u/hepays) https://www.kinappz.com/ 3 - Where can I buy Kin? In addition to the ecosystem of apps available to earn Kin, you can also purchase it in larger amounts. It is currently available for purchase on cryptocurrency exchanges listed here: · CoinMarketCap Exchanges List for Kin https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/kin/#markets Note that these are independent organizations and therefore only they can provide guarantees on customer service and experience, please do your due diligence in navigating and utilizing these exchanges. Also note that cryptocurrencies are inherently volatile, trade at your own risk. Kin is money for the digital world, not a stablecoin. 4 - Where can I store Kin? While using Kin inside of apps, make sure to create a backup of your wallet when possible. It is not recommended that you store large amounts of Kin in your user wallets, and instead seek out a more robust solution. There are lots of subtle differences to the kinds of wallets and how to use them, including trade-offs in security vs convenience. Make sure to do your research and be careful when handling your hard-earned Kin: Offline (“Cold”) Storage: · My Kin Wallet https://www.mykinwallet.org/ · Guide: Creating A Paper Wallet for Storing Your Kin Safely Offline (by u/TheRealChaseEB) https://www.reddit.com/KinFoundation/comments/bylk0creating_a_paper_wallet_for_storing_your_kin/ Hardware Wallets: · Ledger Hardware Wallets (works with My Kin Wallet) https://www.ledger.com/ Software Wallets: · Trust Wallet (Mobile) https://trustwallet.com/ · Atomic Wallet (Mobile & Desktop) https://atomicwallet.io/ · Guarda Wallet (Mobile & Desktop) https://guarda.co/ · Magnum Wallet (Web) https://magnumwallet.co/ 5 - Why is the total supply so large? Kin is meant to be transacted by a large number of users in manageable denominations, just like physical money. 6 - Why isn’t Kin on [xyz] exchange? When will it be? A healthy market for developers and users is essential to all stakeholders who want to build a vibrant economy around Kin as a currency. That said, a number of blockers have prevented further listings from happening; for example we needed to first have a unified & functional product and underlying technology before pursuing secondary markets. In addition to this there has been regulatory uncertainty surrounding the listing of digital assets in the United States including Kin specifically, especially since the filing of a misleading legal complaint by the US SEC. Due to this, the Kin Foundation is pressing on in other markets on behalf of the ecosystem to try and facilitate more platforms for everyone to buy & use Kin in their different ways. We do not know when Kin will be listed on exchanges, and anyone who does cannot say due to legal and security agreements. 7 - Is there any update on [Y] announcement? Can you speak on [insert rumor here]? When will we be able to do [Z]? While we believe in maintaining the utmost transparency wherever possible, we will typically announce things as they are ready and report on progress as it becomes pertinent, as to not create unfounded hype and adhere to internal strategies. While it might be tempting to seek constant updates, please remember that answering questions takes time, and everyone is busy working hard to actually build the things we are all excited to see. We will do our best to keep everyone updated on the things they care about. We do not comment on rumors and we may be constricted in our ability to communicate at any given moment on ongoing internal affairs that may fall within certain legal or strategic confines. 8 - How can I contact the developers / support of [insert app name here]? Please refer to the Kin Ecosystem directory below. 9 - How can I contact the Kin Foundation? You can email us at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) , or if you’d like to DM a specific representative or discuss something in an open setting you can also reach out to us and the community here. Here are some relevant contacts that represent Kin Foundation,Kin Tel Aviv, & Kin San Francisco in the community: Community u/benji5656 Communications u/kevin_from_kin Developer Experience (Kin.org, Kin SDK, and Kin Developer Program) u/therealchaseeb Blockchain (Core infrastructure of the Kin Blockchain) u/gadi_sr Ecosystem (High touch integrations with mature developers) u/rinatbogin KRE (The incentive protocol that drives the growth of the ecosystem) u/oradwe UX Research u/YonatanDub Kin San Francisco u/matty_hibs 10 - How can I track transactions on the Kin blockchain? Here are some resources for monitoring the blockchain: · via Kin Website https://www.kin.org/blockchainExplorer · Kin Explorer (by u/Chancity) https://v2.kinexplorer.com/explorer · Kin Bubbles (by u/kidwonder) https://kin-bubbles.herokuapp.com/ · Kin Transaction Visualizer (by u/sednax) http://bitcoin.interaqt.nl/kin.html 11 - I still have ERC-20 based Kin (on the Ethereum blockchain), how can I migrate? Follow the directions laid out here: https://www.kin.org/migration/ 12 - I heard the SEC is suing Kik, is that true? What does it mean for the Kin Foundation? It’s true. After cooperating with an investigation and multiple attempts to reach an amicable settlement, the SEC filed a disparaging and mischaracterized complaint against Kik for not registering the initial sale of Kin as a security offering. Kik is fighting back. They are in a unique position to take on this case, however, unlike the initial Wells Notice, the Kin Ecosystem Foundation is not named in the complaint. As noted by the Blockchain Association:
When we look at the Kik investigation, we can tell from the Wells Notice that the SEC originally looked at both Kik Interactive and the Kin Foundation. However, when the complaint was issued, it only focused on the offering of Kin in the September 2017 token sale, not Kin in the ecosystem today. The fact that the SEC investigated the Kin Foundation, but decided not to pursue a complaint is good news for developers, platforms, and others in the ecosystem who use these tokens because it separates the question of the token sale from the activities in the ecosystem since then. ("What the SEC-Kik complaint didn’t cover — and why this is good news for the crypto community")
The Kin Foundation sold 1 trillion (10% of total supply) in a token distribution event in September 2017 that was split between a pre-sale (487.80 billion sold) and a public sale (512.20 billion sold). Half of the tokens sold during the pre-sale (244 billion) are subject to a one-year lock-up period. Kik received 3 trillion tokens (30% of total supply), which vested at a rate of 300 billion tokens quarterly for 10 quarters, and the Kin Foundation received 6 trillion (60% of total supply). The Kin Foundation tokens will be distributed through the Kin Rewards Engine, which divides the allocation between network participants and marketing and operational costs for the Kin Foundation (6 trillion Kin has been split into 4.5 trillion for network participants, and 1.5 trillion for marketing and other operational costs of the Kin foundation). Kin Foundation tokens for network participants are schedule to be distributed to the network at a rate of 20% of the remaining balance per year.
It only takes 3 things to help bitcoin succeed. 1) Get people to use it 2) get more people to use it 3) get even more people to use it. How to we achieve this? Conceptually simple. Look at all the obstacles. People need to pay for shit with bitcoin. Obstacle 1) websites don't accept bitcoin 2) people don't know how to pay with bitcoin cause they don't own any. Proposal #1: Make it as easy as humanly possible for developers to understand how to accept bitcoin for transactions. I mean make it super simple. Simple as can be. I don't know if this is a series of videos, tutorials, live people who can be called for support... but grease those wheels! Proposal #2: Emphasize that just because you accept bitcoin it doesn't mean you have to own any. Inform and automate the process of instantly converting bitcoin to USD for merchants wary of the technology. Don't try to evangelize everyone. Proposal #3: Inspire and motivate new vendors. Create a super simple github repository with a blank bitcoin address. The person who checks out that repository fills that in and creates a website around that code base. Why? Automatic way of creating NEW merchants who wouldn't otherwise exist. Selling services? Own a restaurant? Selling yourself on the street? Who gives a shit what it is. Here's how you can accept bitcoin. Proposal #4: Must come up with a super easy way for people to buy and use bitcoin. I'm not talking about wallets in some file on their computers. I've been doing my research and Gemini seems to be the best possible option. Ideally people would own their own keys but it's complicated. The average person won't get replication factors, air gap, cold storage, etc. Besides, we need them to use the bitcoin and spend it! Brings me to my next proposal. It's all for nothing if people don't own any. We can teach cold storage once they wet their beaks. Proposal #5: Velocity of Bitcoin! Use your damn bitcoin. Don't just HODL. Hold a bunch if you want in cold storage, that's not what I mean. If you buy something in USD and there was an option to pay for it in Bitcoin then you're not walking the walk. Velocity is how much/often the damn currency changes hands. If you're not using it then it becomes a trading card instead of something you can use to buy some groceries. Set aside a few hundred bucks in Gemini (low risk as it's not much money at a time) and fucking use it! Spend it. That is all.
A Beginners Guide to Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency
As cryptocurrency, and blockchain technology become more abundant throughout our society, it’s important to understand the inner workings of this technology, especially if you plan to use cryptocurrency as an investment vehicle. If you’re new to the crypto-sphere, learning about Bitcoin makes it much easier to understand other cryptocurrencies as many other altcoins' technologies are borrowed directly from Bitcoin. Bitcoin is one of those things that you look into only to discover you have more questions than answers, and right as you’re starting to wrap your head around the technology; you discover the fact that Bitcoin has six other variants (forks), the amount of politics at hand, or that there are over a thousand different cryptocurrencies just as complex if not even more complex than Bitcoin. We are currently in the infancy of blockchain technology and the effects of this technology will be as profound as the internet. This isn’t something that’s just going to fade away into history as you may have been led to believe. I believe this is something that will become an integral part of our society, eventually embedded within our technology. If you’re a crypto-newbie, be glad that you're relatively early to the industry. I hope this post will put you on the fast-track to understanding Bitcoin, blockchain, and how a large percentage of cryptocurrencies work.
Altcoin: Short for alternative coin. There are over 1,000 different cryptocurrencies. You’re probably most familiar with Bitcoin. Anything that isn’t Bitcoin is generally referred to as an altcoin. HODL: Misspelling of hold. Dank meme accidentally started by this dude. Hodlers are much more interested in long term gains rather than playing the risky game of trying to time the market. TO THE MOON: When a cryptocurrency’s price rapidly increases. A major price spike of over 1,000% can look like it’s blasting off to the moon. Just be sure you’re wearing your seatbelt when it comes crashing down. FUD: Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt. FOMO: Fear of missing out. Bull Run: Financial term used to describe a rising market. Bear Run: Financial term used to describe a falling market.
What Is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin (BTC) is a decentralized digital currency that uses cryptography to secure and ensure validity of transactions within the network. Hence the term crypto-currency. Decentralization is a key aspect of Bitcoin. There is no CEO of Bitcoin or central authoritative government in control of the currency. The currency is ran and operated by the people, for the people. One of the main development teams behind Bitcoin is blockstream. Bitcoin is a product of blockchain technology. Blockchain is what allows for the security and decentralization of Bitcoin. To understand Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, you must understand to some degree, blockchain. This can get extremely technical the further down the rabbit hole you go, and because this is technically a beginners guide, I’m going to try and simplify to the best of my ability and provide resources for further technical reading.
A Brief History
Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto. The identity of Nakamoto is unknown. The idea of Bitcoin was first introduced in 2008 when Nakamoto released the Bitcoin white paper - Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. Later, in January 2009, Nakamoto announced the Bitcoin software and the Bitcoin network officially began. I should also mention that the smallest unit of a Bitcoin is called a Satoshi. 1 BTC = 100,000,000 Satoshis. When purchasing Bitcoin, you don’t actually need to purchase an entire coin. Bitcoin is divisible, so you can purchase any amount greater than 1 Satoshi (0.00000001 BTC).
What Is Blockchain?
Blockchain is a distributed ledger, a distributed collection of accounts. What is being accounted for depends on the use-case of the blockchain itself. In the case of Bitcoin, what is being accounted for is financial transactions. The first block in a blockchain is referred to as the genesis block. A block is an aggregate of data. Blocks are also discovered through a process known as mining (more on this later). Each block is cryptographically signed by the previous block in the chain and visualizing this would look something akin to a chain of blocks, hence the term, blockchain. For more information regarding blockchain I’ve provided more resouces below:
Bitcoin mining is one solution to the double spend problem. Bitcoin mining is how transactions are placed into blocks and added onto the blockchain. This is done to ensure proof of work, where computational power is staked in order to solve what is essentially a puzzle. If you solve the puzzle correctly, you are rewarded Bitcoin in the form of transaction fees, and the predetermined block reward. The Bitcoin given during a block reward is also the only way new Bitcoin can be introduced into the economy. With a halving event occurring roughly every 4 years, it is estimated that the last Bitcoin block will be mined in the year 2,140. (See What is Block Reward below for more info). Mining is one of those aspects of Bitcoin that can get extremely technical and more complicated the further down the rabbit hole you go. An entire website could be created (and many have) dedicated solely to information regarding Bitcoin mining. The small paragraph above is meant to briefly expose you to the function of mining and the role it plays within the ecosystem. It doesn’t even scratch the surface regarding the topic.
How do you Purchase Bitcoin?
The most popular way to purchase Bitcoin through is through an online exchange where you trade fiat (your national currency) for Bitcoin. Popular exchanges include:
There’s tons of different exchanges. Just make sure you find one that supports your national currency.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are EXTREMELY volatile. Swings of 30% or more within a few days is not unheard of. Understand that there is always inherent risks with any investment. Cryptocurrencies especially. Only invest what you’re willing to lose.
Transaction & Network Fees
Transacting on the Bitcoin network is not free. Every purchase or transfer of Bitcoin will cost X amount of BTC depending on how congested the network is. These fees are given to miners as apart of the block reward. Late 2017 when Bitcoin got up to $20,000USD, the average network fee was ~$50. Currently, at the time of writing this, the average network fee is $1.46. This data is available in real-time on BitInfoCharts.
In this new era of money, there is no central bank or government you can go to in need of assistance. This means the responsibility of your money falls 100% into your hands. That being said, the security regarding your cryptocurrency should be impeccable. The anonymity provided by cryptocurrencies alone makes you a valuable target to hackers and scammers. Below I’ve detailed out best practices regarding securing your cryptocurrency.
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two-factor authentication is a second way of authenticating your identity upon signing in to an account. Most cryptocurrency related software/websites will offer or require some form of 2FA. Upon creation of any crypto-related account find the Security section and enable 2FA.
The most basic form of 2FA which you are probably most familiar with. This form of authentication sends a text message to your smartphone with a special code that will allow access to your account upon entry. Note that this is not the safest form of 2FA as you may still be vulnerable to what is known as a SIM swap attack. SIM swapping is a social engineering method in which an attacker will call up your phone carrier, impersonating you, in attempt to re-activate your SIM card on his/her device. Once the attacker has access to your SIM card he/she now has access to your text messages which can then be used to access your online accounts. You can prevent this by using an authenticator such as Google Authenticator.
The use of an authenticator is the safest form of 2FA. An authenticator is installed on a seperate device and enabling it requires you input an ever changing six digit code in order to access your account. I recommend using Google Authenticator. If a website has the option to enable an authenticator, it will give you a QR code and secret key. Use Google Authenticator to scan the QR code. The secret key consists of a random string of numbers and letters. Write this down on a seperate sheet of paper and do not store it on a digital device. Once Google Authenticator has been enabled, every time you sign into your account, you will have to input a six-digit code that looks similar to this. If you happen to lose or damage the device you have Google Authenticator installed on, you will be locked out of your account UNLESS you have access to the secret key (which you should have written down).
A wallet is what you store Bitcoin and cryptocurrency on. I’ll provide resources on the different type of wallets later but I want to emphasize the use of a hardware wallet (aka cold storage). Hardware wallets are the safest way of storing cryptocurrency because it allows for your crypto to be kept offline in a physical device. After purchasing crypto via an exchange, I recommend transferring it to cold storage. The most popular hardware wallets include the Ledger Nano S, and Trezor. Hardware wallets come with a special key so that if it gets lost or damaged, you can recover your crypto. I recommend keeping your recovery key as well as any other sensitive information in a safety deposit box. I know this all may seem a bit manic, but it is important you take the necessary security precautions in order to ensure the safety & longevity of your cryptocurrency.
Technical Aspects of Bitcoin
Address: What you send Bitcoin to.
Wallet: Where you store your Bitcoin
Max Supply: 21 million
Block Time: ~10 minutes
Block Size: 1-2 MB
Block Reward: BTC reward received from mining.
What is a Bitcoin Address?
A Bitcoin address is what you send Bitcoin to. If you want to receive Bitcoin you’d give someone your Bitcoin address. Think of a Bitcoin address as an email address for money.
What is a Bitcoin Wallet?
As the title implies, a Bitcoin wallet is anything that can store Bitcoin. There are many different types of wallets including paper wallets, software wallets and hardware wallets. It is generally advised NOT to keep cryptocurrency on an exchange, as exchanges are prone to hacks (see Mt. Gox hack). My preferred method of storing cryptocurrency is using a hardware wallet such as the Ledger Nano S or Trezor. These allow you to keep your crypto offline in physical form and as a result, much more safe from hacks. Paper wallets also allow for this but have less functionality in my opinion. After I make crypto purchases, I transfer it to my Ledger Nano S and keep that in a safe at home. Hardware wallets also come with a special key so that if it gets lost or damaged, you can recover your crypto. I recommend keeping your recovery key in a safety deposit box.
What is Bitcoins Max Supply?
The max supply of Bitcoin is 21 million. The only way new Bitcoins can be introduced into the economy are through block rewards which are given after successfully mining a block (more on this later).
What is Bitcoins Block Time?
The average time in which blocks are created is called block time. For Bitcoin, the block time is ~10 minutes, meaning, 10 minutes is the minimum amount of time it will take for a Bitcoin transaction to be processed. Note that transactions on the Bitcoin network can take much longer depending on how congested the network is. Having to wait a few hours or even a few days in some instances for a transaction to clear is not unheard of. Other cryptocurrencies will have different block times. For example, Ethereum has a block time of ~15 seconds. For more information on how block time works, Prabath Siriwardena has a good block post on this subject which can be found here.
What is Bitcoins Block Size?
There is a limit to how large blocks can be. In the early days of Bitcoin, the block size was 36MB, but in 2010 this was reduced to 1 MB in order to prevent distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS), spam, and other malicious use on the blockchain. Nowadays, blocks are routinely in excess of 1MB, with the largest to date being somewhere around 2.1 MB. There is much debate amongst the community on whether or not to increase Bitcoin’s block size limit to account for ever-increasing network demand. A larger block size would allow for more transactions to be processed. The con argument to this is that decentralization would be at risk as mining would become more centralized. As a result of this debate, on August 1, 2017, Bitcoin underwent a hard-fork and Bitcoin Cash was created which has a block size limit of 8 MB. Note that these are two completely different blockchains and sending Bitcoin to a Bitcoin Cash wallet (or vice versa) will result in a failed transaction. Update: As of May 15th, 2018 Bitcoin Cash underwent another hard fork and the block size has increased to 32 MB. On the topic of Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash and which cryptocurrency is better, I’ll let you do your own research and make that decision for yourself. It is good to know that this is a debated topic within the community and example of the politics that manifest within the space. Now if you see community members arguing about this topic, you’ll at least have a bit of background to the issue.
What is Block Reward?
Block reward is the BTC you receive after discovering a block. Blocks are discovered through a process called mining. The only way new BTC can be added to the economy is through block rewards and the block reward is halved every 210,000 blocks (approximately every 4 years). Halving events are done to limit the supply of Bitcoin. At the inception of Bitcoin, the block reward was 50BTC. At the time of writing this, the block reward is 12.5BTC. Halving events will continue to occur until the amount of new Bitcoin introduced into the economy becomes less than 1 Satoshi. This is expected to happen around the year 2,140. All 21 million Bitcoins will have been mined. Once all Bitcoins have been mined, the block reward will only consist of transaction fees.
Any computer that connects to the Bitcoin network is called a node. Nodes that fully verify all of the rules of Bitcoin are called full nodes.
In other words, full nodes are what verify the Bitcoin blockchain and they play a crucial role in maintaining the decentralized network. Full nodes store the entirety of the blockchain and validate transactions. Anyone can participate in the Bitcoin network and run a full node. Bitcoin.org has information on how to set up a full node. Running a full node also gives you wallet capabilities and the ability to query the blockchain. For more information on Bitcoin nodes, see Andreas Antonopoulos’s Q&A on the role of nodes.
What is a Fork?
A fork is a divergence in a blockchain. Since Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer network, there’s an overall set of rules (protocol) in which participants within the network must abide by. These rules are put in place to form network consensus. Forks occur when implementations must be made to the blockchain or if there is disagreement amongst the network on how consensus should be achieved.
Soft Fork vs Hard Fork
The difference between soft and hard forks lies in compatibility. Soft forks are backwards compatible, hard forks are not. Think of soft forks as software upgrades to the blockchain, whereas hard forks are a software upgrade that warrant a completely new blockchain. During a soft fork, miners and nodes upgrade their software to support new consensus rules. Nodes that do not upgrade will still accept the new blockchain. Examples of Bitcoin soft forks include:
A hard fork can be thought of as the creation of a new blockchain that X percentage of the community decides to migrate too. During a hard fork, miners and nodes upgrade their software to support new consensus rules, Nodes that do not upgrade are invalid and cannot accept the new blockchain. Examples of Bitcoin hard forks include:
Note that these are completely different blockchains and independent from the Bitcoin blockchain. If you try to send Bitcoin to one of these blockchains, the transaction will fail.
A Case For Bitcoin in a World of Centralization
Our current financial system is centralized, which means the ledger(s) that operate within this centralized system are subjugated to control, manipulation, fraud, and many other negative aspects that come with this system. There are also pros that come with a centralized system, such as the ability to swiftly make decisions. However, at some point, the cons outweigh the pros, and change is needed. What makes Bitcoin so special as opposed to our current financial system is that Bitcoin allows for the decentralized transfer of money. Not one person owns the Bitcoin network, everybody does. Not one person controls Bitcoin, everybody does. A decentralized system in theory removes much of the baggage that comes with a centralized system. Not to say the Bitcoin network doesn’t have its problems (wink wink it does), and there’s much debate amongst the community as to how to go about solving these issues. But even tiny steps are significant steps in the world of blockchain, and I believe Bitcoin will ultimately help to democratize our financial system, whether or not you believe it is here to stay for good.
Well that was a lot of words… Anyways I hope this guide was beneficial, especially to you crypto newbies out there. You may have come into this realm not expecting there to be an abundance of information to learn about. I know I didn’t. Bitcoin is only the tip of the iceberg, but now that you have a fundamental understanding of Bitcoin, learning about other cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, and Ethereum will come more naturally. Feel free to ask questions below! I’m sure either the community or myself would be happy to answer your questions. Thanks for reading!
Because cold wallets, such as those stored offline in a text file as I keep recommending in my standard advice below: All you need is a text file to put your wallets in, like this example from https://walletgenerator.net/?currency=Dogecoin 1,"D7WBUpdgLRtG6WyPsqjhaKiJR65X8ZGnkZ","6KieLMW1poAzNVnmLuQZqA262gxEQ51eLGdDK8e2GL2B4LHCKKb"2,"DM8LT16d49zHr8ByXbUwZb9UBXDGMaZRdc","6Ktgxdv6vN9v2bDHwcJBBb3oMRAgXJumESzBnxaXUSGFZoq6pWQ"3,"D5UCa51AfxjtVHQ46oYXe2YfkctTeLXPhx","6L2WSPWadRYCwt2L1CxH6zC7PoTYY3KyjxdiUoCqi5eyq6hQKvj" Use https://coinb.in/#settings to move coins. Download both sites and run them offline. Use https://bitinfocharts.com/dogecoin/ to check balances and transactions. See http://www.mocacinno.com/blog/create-sign-broadcast-transactions-using-coinb/ for coinb.in tutorial. And read the ELI5s (and my history) for more info. Are without doubt THE SAFEST way to store your coins. Plus, they consume no resources. No bandwidth, no network stress for every node we have, no storage of 20Gb+ blockchains, no weeks of waiting for things to sync, no tearing your hair out and posting desperate pleas for help, and most importantly, no coins irretrievably lost because you or your client screwed up.
Wallets, ALL WALLETS are nothing but numbers. Very large numbers, but fundamentally no different from “7”, “42”, “911” or a phone number. They cannot be created nor destroyed, and you either know them or you don’t. Anyone who knows a key can use it to spend any coins it controls. Anyone who doesn’t know it, can’t. Don’t be the guy who doesn’t know his own keys. Keep them safe. Make copies. Keep those safe. Don’t let your friends, kid brother or random burglar find them, but don’t lose them either. The only other thing you need for a fully functional wallet is a way to spend coins. Coinb.in is such a way. There are others, such as DogeCoinMultiSig.org which tomcarbon built. Oh, and you can and should download it and run it locally.
The default entry point for coinb.in is https://coinb.in/#settings because this settings page is very well hidden. Its in the tiny gear wheel on the Broadcast page. Looking across the top of the page, you can see
We’re only going to use three of these. New, Sign, Broadcast. Now, keep in mind that coinb.in is an old Bitcoin tool which tomcarbon added Dogecoin to. Sometimes it thinks its dealing with Bitcoin still, so if you see anything odd, go and make sure you’ve selected Dogecoin in the Settings page.
This tool should be the only place you spend coins. Sure, some clients may look more convenient, but they all suffer from a very big coin-losing flaw. Whenever you split a UTXO, they create a new wallet to send the change to. And they DON’T TELL YOU! This means unless you back up after every transaction, you run a high risk of finding all your coins have ‘disappeared’ from your wallet, and you don’t recognise where they went. So if you use a client for the convenience as well as a text list of your wallets, you won’t know to add a new wallet to your masterfile. Its best to ditch the clients entirely.
Now we come to the nitty-gritty. Lets use those three wallets above and assume that #1 is the source, #2 the destination and #3 the change wallet. Note that these won’t actually work, as none of them have ever been used, but they will do as examples. New Transaction Located at the bottom of the New menu, this will give you a page to enter your wallets and amounts. In the top field, you enter your source address or Key. If you use the key, it will calculate the address when you click the Load button, which should match what you expected. Note that Load only brings in the first 100 UTXOs. This is so that you can retrieve coins from high-volume wallets which would kill any client. Coinb.in is in fact the ONLY WAY to do this, as even QT falls over around 600 UTXOs. You will see the total balance that was loaded in the Transaction Fee field. And also in the Inputs tab, where you can go to adjust which UTXOs to spend. Now you need to add the wallet(s) and amounts to send to them. Lets suppose the source contained a single UTXO for 1,000 Doge. You want to send 500 of them. So you would enter the #2 address in the Address field, and 500 in the Amount field. The Fee now changes to 500, which is not what you want. So you click the + button to bring up a new line, enter the change address and the other 500, making the fee zero. And you’re done. Check that the Fee is indeed zero. Check that the amounts shown in the Outputs and Inputs tabs match exactly.
THIS IS CRITICAL!
There is a bug which will send all the coins to the miners if the Outputs exceed the Inputs. I would have expected the Fee to show as negative in such a situation, but it doesn’t. BE WARNED! Once everything looks right, hit the Submit button. This will give you a block of hex code. Copy it. Sign Go to the Sign tab and paste it. Add your private key for the source wallet and click Submit. Note this can be done offline for safety. This will give you another block of hex, the SIGNED transaction. Broadcast Copy this and paste it in the Broadcast tab and click Submit. That’s it. Your coins are on their way. Make a cuppa and settle in while they arrive in a minute or three. Note: All fields retain their values unless you refresh the page! This can be a boon when doing multiple transactions, such as when emptying a huge wallet. But it can also be a trap for the unsuspecting. Refresh or close the window when you’re done.
Who should use this? Absolutely EVERYONE! Even if you’re wedded to your client in some satanic blood-contract, you should still know how this works, because sooner or later you’re going to have a problem you can’t fix without it. Definitely download the site and store it on every device you have. On every USB backup of your wallets. On your phone (well, except iOS which doesn’t do local HTML), etc, etc, etc. Oh, and if you’re a programmer SmartyShibe, do consider improving the code over on GitHub. EDIT:https://github.com/OutCast3k/coinbin added courtesy of AtomHearth
Disclaimer: A lot of time went into writing this and more research than I anticipated. Errors are not just possible, they are certain. If you find any mistakes, please reach out to me and I'll edit. Furthermore I know I probably missed a couple apps, there are a lot out there. If I missed a big one, then again contact me and I'll consider adding it. If you are reading this in the future, note that these apps update regularly, anything mentioned here may have changed by the time you are reading it.
What is a mobile wallet?
A mobile Bitcoin wallet is an application for a mobile device which acts as a lightweight wallet and allows you to store, send and receive Bitcoin (or other cryptocurrencies and tokens). Mobile wallets use SPV (Simplified Payment Verification) to allow wallet functionality without having to download the whole blockchain. This is very important as barely any mobile phones have enough storage space required for the full blockchain. Mobile wallets are also considered hotwallets, meaning they have an active connection to the internet. The mere fact of being 'online' allows for a number of attack vectors and as such should never be used to store large amounts. It is however not unsafe per se. Private keys are stored locally and encrypted. Some wallets keep backups of those encrypted private keys on a server of their own, and this is something to take note of, but not to fear. So without further ado, lets get to it. I focused on Android wallets, but many of the wallets mentioned here have iOS versions.
12 word seed + passphrase
12 word seed
24 word seed
12 word seed
12 word seed
12 word seed
Fixed or Dynamic
12 word seed
12 word seed
12 word seed
24 word seed
12 word seed
18 word seed
12 word seed
Samourai focusses heavily on anonymity and obfuscation. Addresses are never used more than once. When making a transaction there is an obfuscation slider. Samourai has had SegWit enabled since October. Furthermore it offers a plethora of different features, too much to sum up here. If you are an advanced crypto-user you should definitely check out this wallet and their website which explains all of the different features. The UI takes a bit of getting used to though.
Breadwallet is a very simple to use, straightforward app. The UI is slick and intuitive and in-app support to basic questions is very well incorporated. This could be a good wallet for a new person to the scene. The lack of advanced features will make this app not the go-to for more experienced users. It does however feature fingerprint authentication, which is cool, as well as BCH extraction. The lack of SegWit and complete absence of custom fee's is a problem though, especially since fees have gone up during the recent BTC spike. With only 2 fee options to choose from I simply can not recommend this wallet to people who are looking to make frequent transactions.
When I first started with Greenaddress I didn't like the UI, I found it a bit clumsy. So definitely not user-friendly for a beginner. On the plus side it allows a choice of 2FA settings. Furthermore it has SegWit enabled and it has some advanced features like nLockTime transactions and it offers a service for instant transactions. This all feels very Lightning Network-y, which makes sense as GreenAddress is a part of Blockstream. Our friends in the other sub will most likely have something to say about this. I'll refrain from this and just say the following: this is an advanced wallet with promising features. If they clean up their UI a bit I could see myself using this without hesitation. The fact that they have MultiSig is a big plus as most mobile wallets do not have this functionality.
Unlike any other wallet I fired up at that point, this app did not prompt me with a 12- or 24-word seed. Instead it made me make an account, the regular username/password combo. After some research I found that these are not stored in a local database on their end. Which means that recovering your password in case of loss like with every other username/password login method we are so used to, is not possible. It is merely a different representation of an encryption key, allowing you access to your private keys. It features some interesting stuff though, NFC-compliant transactions and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for example. Clearly this app is meant to be a bridge between users and merchants and has focus on making regular in-person transactions. Thus it mimics some non-crypto related payment apps that we have. Personally, I am not a fan, but I can appreciate the design philosophy and I would't be surprised if their design model worked very well in the future with the LN or with other crypto's that focus on small payments. As for the UI, it's fairly simple, yet horribly cluttered with partnered services. Good for non-techies maybe, but not for more experienced crypto-enthusiasts.
Much like the desktop wallet I used years ago when I first started with Bitcoin, the mobile wallet is minimal. Straightforward and without fancy colors or UI. For those of us who have known the internet before Facebook, this app will feel strangely familiar. This is a classic example of a no-nonsense wallet with the features that really matter. SegWit and MultiSig enabled. A further lack of advanced options might be a turn-off for some users out there though. I did however find the option to spend coins from unconfirmed transactions. This could be very useful in case you want to cancel out a previously stuck or erroneous transaction and ensure it's never cleared. One downside to this wallet is the very primitive way of setting a custom fee. No guidelines, scrollwheel or info. Just a simple box in which to put your fee which won't help intermediate users, only experienced users. Edit: sidenote on the SegWit implementation by Electrum http://www.crypto-economy.net/electrum-3-0-enables-bech32-segwit-addresses/?lang=en
Of all the apps I've tried up to this point, CoPay had the best initializing phase, succinctly explaining risk and security. I can not imagine a better intro to a wallet for a first time bitcoiner. It being of a product of BitPay, of which I am personally not a fan, I have to admit though. This app looks clean, feels fast and is easy to use. It successfully demystified MultiSig functionality in its UI and partnered services are not obtrusive in the design. Downsides are lack of fee setting possibilities and SegWit. The latter I really do not understand given their main core of business. If it wasn't for those last two points, I would not see why not to recommend this wallet.
This app dissapointed me a bit. It starts out of the box, not mentioning any backup seeds or tutorial on the wallet itself or Bitcoin. It has no SegWit, no MultiSig, a lack of features and whilst a backup seed can still be requested from the settings, I feel it is of the utmost importance that such a security measure is not quickly overlooked. The lack of fee management tops it off. While this wallet works just fine and looks just fine, there are too many alternatives out there with better options and functionality for me to ever advise anyone to use this wallet.
CoinSpace is one of those apps that could be really cool, but completely missed the boat on some other design choices. In-app ads unless you pay 1.6$ or something. Settings hidden behind a CoinSpace login screen. It features multiple tokens though with built in conversion through ShapeShift, which could have been awesome. But the excessive ads are just a big no-no. Lack of SegWit and limited fee options make this one of the least interesting wallets out there.
Simple Bitcoin Wallet
Simple Bitcoin is a very basic, barebone wallet. Feels like a one-man project. Almost no settings possible at all. There's much better out there.
I oddly liked Bither because of its design that reminded me of websites from the 2005-ish era using lots of gradients. Its one of those apps that you either like or you don't. The UI is not bad, but could be better, there's some functionality hidden in the settings, but not enough to satisfy. One very useful feature is built in BCH and BCG extraction. This is the first app I encountered with built in Bitcoin Gold access. It also has a separate tab with just market price information, which is really useful for the price ticker addicts among us. Furthermore it features Cold/Hot Storage View which allows you to monitor cold storage and with a nice graph shows you the distribution between Hot and Cold. Cool stuff. I would suggest to check it out, I'm sure some people will like and some won't. Do note, no SegWit. I would personally use this as a view-wallet only. Not as a spending wallet.
GreenBits is like the light version of GreenAddress. I tried looking for why one team would make 2 wallets but could not find a definitive answer asides from GreenBits being Android-native. And while some resources state MultiSig functionality and Tor through Orbot, I couldn't find those in this app. It does however sport SegWit and custom fees like GreenAddress. On the UI front I feel much more comfortable with this app though and I could see it being better received by average users. Looks like a good spending wallet without much extra.
Jaxx is a rather large wallet that supports many many many different coins with built in ShapeShift functionality. It did suffer from a hack earlier this year which is why this wallet has been discredited. I would however suggest looking into this one if you are invested in multiple different coins and regularly swap between them to get some financial edge. Lack of SegWit and fee options don't make this an ideal app for Bitcoin-only users.
Xapo, known for its cold storage solutions was one of the apps I was eager to check out. Upon starting I however first had to verify through a text message, giving up my phone number, after which I was greeted by a 'Continue with Facebook or email' - screen. Upon choosing email, I was further asked to give up personal information. Nothing personal against these types of business models, but this is not what I am looking for in a mobile wallet. Centralization of personal information is quite in contrast with the decentralized and pseudonymous qualities of cryptocurrencies. This being the 13th wallet I've fired up tonight, I decided to give this one a pass.
Coinomi is very similar to Jaxx in the way that it supports a crapload of different currencies and in-app conversions between different tokens through ShapeShift and additionally Changelly. It does look quite a bit more straightforward though. A good alternative to Jaxx for those multicrypto traders among us. Unfortunately yet again not the best for straight Bitcoiners due to lack of SegWit. It has custom fees though, but much like Electrum, there's no real help here and it's just a manual input.
Mycelium has been my wallet app for a couple years now. Unfortunately the delay in SegWit adoption has me looking elsewhere and in succession writing this article. I really liked the recent addition of the fee scrollwheel, which is still the most detailed and succesful implementation of custom fees in any app I've seen. Having tried out many other apps at this point I can now see Mycelium, while not particulary user-unfriendly, could still very much improve its UI. It is however not a bad wallet, never crashed on me, always ran smooth through multiple updates. But let's not get sentimental here, it's a solid app, but its time for me and maybe you as well to try out something different ;-)
In this excruciatingly long article I've ran through a couple different wallet apps. One thing to learn is that not a single one of these is perfect and there's still room for improvement on many fronts. Which wallet holds your preference today depends largely on what you are looking for in a wallet. Do you want the cheapest transactions, then go for one of the SegWit enabled wallets. Do you like cool functionality, then check out Bither. Is anonymity of a concern to you then Samourai looks like the clear winner. More into multiple coins at once, then Coinomi or Jaxx is the way to go. And this is mobile wallets only, you have your desktop wallets, hardware wallets, cold storage solutions, paper wallets. But I'm all out of ink tonight! I can't give you specific advice. In this world of cryptocurrencies we are in control of our own money. Being in control of your own money means being responsible for its security too. So make your own decision and due diligence. Edit: Thanks everyone for the awesome responses. I've had some requests to further mention some important information regarding the wallets. I will write these down here as a memo to myself in the future, at which point I will review the state of mobile apps in greater detail once again. - Open Source or not - iOS version or not - Adding iOS only wallet apps
/r/Monero - Newcomers Please Read. Everything You Need To Know.
What is Monero (XMR)? Monero is a secure, private, untraceable (crypto-)currency. It is open-source and freely available to all. Don't believe us? Click here. Monero is a tool that people can actually use. It makes receiving payments hassle-free, since merchants and individuals no longer need to fear the source of funds they are accepting. With transparent systems like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Verge, or Dash, these people need to hope (or spend substantial resources verifying) the sender did not use the funds illicitly. Furthermore, merchants do not want all their vendors known, and individually do not want everyone to know how much they are spending. If I spend more than I should at Newegg (store), that's my own business. Monero is different because every transaction is always private. There is no way for pools and exchanges to opt out of sending private transactions. Thus, Monero's anonymity set far exceeds any other coin's anonymity set. Over 86,000 transactions in the past month of August, 2017 hid the sender and receiver, and about 99.95% of them also hid the amount (will increase to 100% of all new transactions in September)! There is no suspicion in using a private transaction, since all transactions are private. A single transaction does not stick out.* This privacy is afforded with the best technology. I implore you to take a few minutes to learn about the four main technologies that Monero uses to provide privacy:
Ring signatures hide where the money comes from. Spent inputs in a transaction are hidden among several others that also appear to be spent. Thus, no one knows which source of money is actually being spent. Think of inputs as individual dollars or euros. View a video about this topic here. Note: this is NOT the same as mixing.
RingCT hides the amount. Instead of spending a known value of an input, you can cryptographically commit to a certain value without revealing what the value actually is. This is a very complicated topic, so please view this video for more information.
Kovri is a work-in-progress tool to hide the transaction broadcast. Kovri will make it easy for users to hide their IP address when telling the network that they would like to make a transaction. Kovri will work with other cryptocurrencies and other projects through a common API, and Kovri can be used in a way to hide that you are using Monero at all. Kovri adds additional layers of network security for miners and pools, and it allows for the highest level of censorship resistance possible. A video for this project is available, and you can also check out the Kovri website. In the meantime, there are several guides to using Monero with Tor that work today, including an unofficial Tails build.
Stealth addresses hide where the money goes to. Instead of sending money to a specific address directly, certain outputs are allocated for addresses, but outside observers do not know which addresses these belong to. Even if ring signatures were compromised for some reason, then people would still not know the sending address in a transaction thanks to stealth addresses. View a video about this topic here.
There are several other things that make Monero great! It has a smooth tail emission, dynamic blocks and fees, and an accessible Proof of Work (mining) algorithm. *You can optionally choose a very large, unusual ringsize to make the transaction stick out. This is not recommended, and normal users who leave the ringsize at the default setting will not experience any issues. Also, it's possible for a user to manually add identifying information to the tx_extra field, which is something that a user must seriously go out of their way to do. Now you know Monero (XMR) has the best technology. What else makes Monero (XMR) different than other cryptocurrencies?
Fungible: Every Monero remains equal and identical to any other Monero. It is the property of a crypto asset whose units/value are capable of mutual substitution no matter what historical transactions occurred in the past.
Value-Growth: Monero has a proven chart record of growth and will continue to grow. Don't believe us? August 2015: $0.45, August 2016: $12, August 2017: $100. Growing really fast right? The difference is that it is growing because it's being used appropriately for it's technology and the demand keeps increasing. Swiss banks and offshores management organizations are starting to move from physical assets to Monero (XMR). Monero is dedicated to continue growing.
Development-Growth: Monero has the best team. Over 270 contributors have brought Monero to where it is today. The vast majority of people donate their time to help Monero, but a few get paid through the Forum Funding System (FFS). This is how Monero can be a strong project despite not taking a portion of the block rewards or launching with a premine.
P.S. Want a quick-start, simple your-grandma-could-do-it guide?Here's a great one! Am I a bad person to consider using this? No, Monero is freedom money. You can do whatever you want with it, whenever you want, where ever you want. We make it clear that you should own your wealth 100%. What you do with it, is none of our concern. Where does the word Monero come from? The word Monero comes from the language Esperanto. Monero means coin oand currency. The plural way of saying Monero in Esperanto and in our cryptocurrency is Moneroj.
Is there a lightweight wallet for Monero? Not yet, but you can use the official GUI with a remote node.
Are there any other ways to store Monero (XMR)? Yes, there are many mobile wallets out there that allow you to store Monero (XMR). We do not recommend them, because they are not official releases of Monero. If you do decide to use other wallets, please make sure to do your research first before storing any Moneroj in the wallet. Anything used for Monero outside of official releases, will be used at your own risk. Some may be used for scamming purposes. If you still decide to take the risk; do not use them for large amounts. Also keep in mind that there is a high chance that Monero support will not be able to help you if you bump into any problems from applications outside of official releases. Why should you not use non-official wallets? Well would you buy a house and give your only key you have to the buildemanagement and wait for him/her to open the door to the house you supposedly own? No. Same goes with cryptocurrencies. You should always have possession of your private keys, and your Moneroj. Most non-official releases own your private keys, therefore you do not own the Moneroj.
How can I setup a local wallet while running node with little bandwidth? You can use GUI, as a remote node as it uses very little bandwidth. Go to settings tab and change: "localhost:18089" to "node.moneroworld.com:18089". If you are still having problems, then just use our Monero Web-Wallet.
My vendor only accepts bitcoin but I only have Monero, and I know bitcoin is not private/anonymous. What should I do? Use XMR.TO, but you should also educate them about bitcoins lack of privacy. Tell them to visit this post.
How long does it take to sync to the blockchain? It can take from a few hours (using SSD drive) or even 24 hours, depending on hard drive and connection speed.
List of scams: (Always do a background check / research for anything outside of official releases.)
Freewallet (Mobile Wallet App)
Did you knowover 50 high profile artistsaccept Monero on their online stores? Check out Project Coral Reef
Are there any other sub-reddits that specialize in certain parts of Monero or just related to Monero? Yes, there are a few. However, please keep in mind that this sub-reddit (/Monero) is the official Monero sub-reddit. /xmrtrader - Trading, and investing related discussions & inquires. /MoneroMining - Mining related discussions & inquires. /MoneroCommunity for those who want to help grow the community. /moonero for shitposts and memes. /MoneroMarket for buying and selling wares for Monero. /MoneroSupport for, you guessed it, Monero support. Want to get involved?Click here for a list of sources.
How can I participate in the Monero community? We welcome everyone to join us and help out. Check the "Community Info" section on our subreddit for our website, forum, stack exchange, github, twitter, and facebook. Anyway, we hope you stick around beyond the hype. Monero has a lot going for it, and we hope you agree! We really need your help, since this project is entirely driven by the community!
Hey guys! I'm fairly new to this sub and to having a home lab in general and I found this community to be so kind and helping, I wanted to give back what I've learned. I'm seeing a lot of questions asked around on improvements and on what to do with x extra hardware so I thought it would be nice to have a thread to regroup that.
I'll put here some stuff I gathered and the most common questions I've seen, feel free to contribute and i'll update the post along.
oVirt -> Viurtualization
Hurrcane Electric DNS -> Dynamic DNS
No-IP -> DynamicDNS
SpiceWorks -> Misc
ERPXE -> Backup
Homelab Dashboard Posts about dashboards have been growing lately and here are some of the best that were kind enough to provide us with their sources.
Pi-hole Prevents ads from even reaching you by blocking dns queries. Works as a relay between your isp's dns server (or whichever you choose). Can also work as a local dns.
RetroPie From their website: The RetroPie Project is a collection of works that all have the overall goal to turn the Raspberry Pi into a dedicated retro-gaming console.
raspnode Tutorials for installing cryptocurrency nodes on a Raspberry Pi. Participate in the Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Ethereum network. Full nodes, SPV wallets, cold storage, offline transaction signing.
flightradar24 is a flight tracking service that provides you with real-time info about thousands of aircraft around the world.
The Plane Finder is the easiest and most accurate way to share your ADS-B and MLAT data with us.
PiAware is the world's largest flight tracking data company and provides over 10,000 aircraft operators and service companies as well as over 12,000,000 passengers with global flight tracking solutions.
CouchPotato is an wesome PVR for usenet and torrents. Just fill in what you want to see and CouchPotato will add it to your "want to watch"-list. Every day it will search through multiple NZBs & Torrents sites, looking for the best possible match. If available, it will download it using your favorite download software.
SickBeard is a PVR for newsgroup users (with limited torrent support). It watches for new episodes of your favorite shows and when they are posted it downloads them, sorts and renames them, and optionally generates metadata for them.
SickRage Automatic Video Library Manager for TV Shows. It watches for new episodes of your favorite shows, and when they are posted it does its magic.
FlexGet is a multipurpose automation tool for content like torrents, nzbs, podcasts, comics, series, movies, etc.
sabnzbd makes Usenet as simple and streamlined as possible by automating everything we can.
nzbget is a binary downloader, which downloads files from Usenet based on information given in nzb-files.
headphones is an automated music downloader for NZB and Torrent, written in Python. It supports SABnzbd, NZBget, Transmission, µTorrent and Blackhole.
= Virtualization =
XenServer is an open source project and community managed by Citrix. The project develops open source software for securely running multiple operating systems and applications on a single device, enabling hardware consolidation and automation to reduce costs and simplify IT management of servers and applications.
Proxmox is a complete open source server virtualization management software. It is based on KVM virtualization and container-based virtualization and manages KVM virtual machines, Linux containers (LXC), storage, virtualized networks, and HA clusters.
VirtualBox is a general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 hardware, targeted at server, desktop and embedded use.
SmartOS is a hypervisor lean enough to run entirely in memory, powerful enough to run as much as you want to throw at it.
KVM is a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions (Intel VT or AMD-V).
oVirt is free, open-source virtualization management platform. It was founded by Red Hat as a community project on which Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is based.
= Monitoring =
Nagios is a powerful monitoring system that enables organizations to identify and resolve IT infrastructure problems before they affect critical business processes.
OMD avoids the tedious work of manually compiling and integrating Nagios addons while at the same time avoiding the problems of pre-packaged installations coming with your Linux distribution
Pandorafms is the most flexible monitoring software in the market. With a single tool, Pandora FMS can monitor everything: infrastructure, applications, services, and business progress.
PRTG Monitoring is a network monitoring software that is powerful and easy to use. Free for 100 sensors.
Zabbix is the ultimate enterprise-level software designed for real-time monitoring of millions of metrics collected from tens of thousands of servers, virtual machines and network devices.
Observium is a low-maintenance auto-discovering network monitoring platform supporting a wide range of device types, platforms and operating systems.
LibreNMS is a fully featured network monitoring system that provides a wealth of features and device support.
Cacti is a complete network graphing solution designed to harness the power of RRDTool's data storage and graphing functionality.
Munin surveys all your computers and remembers what it saw. It presents all the information in graphs through a web interface.
ZenOSS is an award winning, open source monitoring product that automatically discovers resources, without the use of agents, and provides visibility across all aspects of your IT environment whether physical, virtual or in the cloud.
AlienVault OSSIM is an open source security information and event management system. OSSIM combines Snort, OpenVAS, Nagios, OSSEC, and other tools into a single portal with log collection and correlation.
Graylog Centralize and aggregate all your log files for 100% visibility. Use our powerful query language to search through terabytes of log data to discover and analyze important information.
= Media Center =
Plex organizes your video, music, and photo collections and streams them to all of your screens.
Kodi, if a free and open source (GPL) software media center for playing videos, music, pictures, games, and more.
Emby brings all of your home videos, music, and photos together into one place.
OpenMediaVault is the next generation network attached storage (NAS) solution based on Debian Linux. It contains services like SSH, (S)FTP, SMB/CIFS, DAAP media server, RSync, BitTorrent client and many more.
PlexPy is a tool to easily monitor and receive notify playback events from Plex.
MediaGoblin is a free software media publishing platform that anyone can run. You can think of it as a decentralized alternative to Flickr, YouTube, SoundCloud, etc.
= Remote access =
Guacamole is a clientless remote desktop gateway. It supports standard protocols like VNC and RDP.
Chrome Remote Desktop allows users to remotely access another computer through Chrome browser or a Chromebook.
mRemoteNG is a fork of mRemote, an open source, tabbed, multi-protocol, remote connections manager. mRemoteNG adds bug fixes and new features to mRemote.
= VOIP =
Elastix is an Open Source Software to establish Unified Communications. About this concept, Elastix goal is to incorporate all the communication alternatives, available at an enterprise level, into a unique solution.
Asterisk is an open source framework for building communications applications. Asterisk turns an ordinary computer into a communications server.
FreePBX is a web-based open source GUI (graphical user interface) that controls and manages Asterisk (PBX)
= Networking =
pfSense is an open-source firewall/router computer software distribution based on FreeBSD.
Open vSwitch is a production quality, multilayer virtual switch licensed under the open source Apache 2.0 license.
SophosUTM Complete Unified Threat Management protection for your network, web, email, applications, and users.
SohposXG is a fully equipped software version of the Sophos XG firewall, available at no cost for home users.
feeloadbalancer is offering the Free LoadMaster to help small companies and developers by providing them with a robust and proven load balancing option.
NetWorx is a simple and free, yet powerful tool that helps you objectively evaluate your bandwidth consumption situation.
VyOS is a community fork of Vyatta, a Linux-based network operating system that provides software-based network routing, firewall, and VPN functionality.
freeIPA is an integrated Identity and Authentication solution for Linux/UNIX networked environments.
Metiix Blockade Network-Wide Malware, Tracking, & Ad Blocking (Can also run on Raspbian)
OpenVPN is an open-source software application that implements virtual private network (VPN) techniques for creating secure point-to-point or site-to-site connections in routed or bridged configurations and remote access facilities. It uses a custom security protocol that utilizes SSL/TLS for key exchange.
Smoothwall is a Free and Open Source firewall that includes its own security-hardened GNU/Linux operating system and an easy-to-use web interface.
ClearOS is an operating system for your Server, Network, and Gateway systems. It is designed for homes, small to medium businesses, and distributed environments. ClearOS is commonly known as the Next Generation Small Business Server, while including indispensable Gateway and Networking functionality.
DriveBender is the class leading storage pooling technology for Microsoft Windows. Developed by Division-M, Drive Bender allows for file redundancy via file duplication, and unlike RAID, does not require any proprietary drive format or complicated setup. (Now free)
CloudExtender is local Windows storage, powered by the cloud... with optional, state of the art TNO (trust no one) file encryption built right in. Create a Windows drive or folder that maps directly to your favorite storage platform in minutes.
SnapRAID is a backup program for disk arrays. It stores parity information of your data and it recovers from up to six disk failures.
flexRAID is a family of storage data protection products that provide great flexibility and various innovations. The current product line includes: RAID over File System (RAID-F) Transparent RAID (tRAID).
freeNAS is an operating system that can be installed on virtually any hardware platform to share computer data storage over a computer network.
Rockstor is a free and open source NAS(Network Attached Storage) solution. It's a software solution and can be installed on any hardware or a virtual machine satisfying these minimum requirements.
nas4free The NAS4Free operating system can be installed on virtually any hardware platform to share computer data storage over a computer network.
Xpenology is the name of a Linux boot image, which allows to run operating system Sinology DSM on almost any hardware (not just Synology).
owncloud is a self-hosted file sync and share server.
openFiler provides a simple way to deploy and manage networked storage.
openATTIC openATTIC combines open source storage tools in such a way that their entire functionality can be managed through a central interface. Carefully matched components ensure both stability and security. Its open interface enables you to integrate openATTIC to provisioning, monitoring and backup systems.
= Cameras =
iSpy is the world’s most popular open source video surveillance application.
ZoneMinder is intended for use in single or multi-camera video security applications.
motioneyeOS is a Linux distribution that turns your single board computer into a video surveillance system.
Blue Iris is security camera manager. It's not free (60$ for the full version) but it was highly recommended and there doesn't seem to be any comparable free alternatives.
= Documentation =
DokuWiki is a simple to use and highly versatile Open Source wiki software that doesn't require a database.
gollum is a simple, Git-powered wiki with a sweet API and local frontend.
BookStack is a simple, self-hosted, easy-to-use platform for organising and storing information.
phpIPAM is an open-source web IP address management application (IPAM).
Paperwork aims to be an open-source, self-hosted alternative to services like Evernote ®, Microsoft OneNote ® or Google Keep ®.
afraid Free DNS Hosting, Dynamic DNS Hosting, Static DNS Hosting, subdomain and domain hosting.
No-IP's mission is to provide useful, reliable and powerful services that help home users, small and large businesses and even fortune 500 companies take control over all aspects of their DNS and domain services.
xapi-back is a simple backup tool for XenServer or XCP – xen hypervisors using xapi toolstack. xapi-back is a command line tool with simple and clear interface (command + options). Tool is written in python.
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