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Summary: Everyone knows that when you give your assets to someone else, they always keep them safe. If this is true for individuals, it is certainly true for businesses. Custodians always tell the truth and manage funds properly. They won't have any interest in taking the assets as an exchange operator would. Auditors tell the truth and can't be misled. That's because organizations that are regulated are incapable of lying and don't make mistakes. First, some background. Here is a summary of how custodians make us more secure: Previously, we might give Alice our crypto assets to hold. There were risks:
Alice might take the assets and disappear.
Alice might spend the assets and pretend that she still has them (fractional model).
Alice might store the assets insecurely and they'll get stolen.
Alice might give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force.
Alice might lose access to the assets.
But "no worries", Alice has a custodian named Bob. Bob is dressed in a nice suit. He knows some politicians. And he drives a Porsche. "So you have nothing to worry about!". And look at all the benefits we get:
Alice can't take the assets and disappear (unless she asks Bob or never gives them to Bob).
Alice can't spend the assets and pretend that she still has them. (Unless she didn't give them to Bob or asks him for them.)
Alice can't store the assets insecurely so they get stolen. (After all - she doesn't have any control over the withdrawal process from any of Bob's systems, right?)
Alice can't give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force. (Bob will stop her, right Bob?)
Alice can't lose access to the funds. (She'll always be present, sane, and remember all secrets, right?)
See - all problems are solved! All we have to worry about now is:
Bob might take the assets and disappear.
Bob might spend the assets and pretend that he still has them (fractional model).
Bob might store the assets insecurely and they'll get stolen.
Bob might give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force.
Bob might lose access to the assets.
It's pretty simple. Before we had to trust Alice. Now we only have to trust Alice, Bob, and all the ways in which they communicate. Just think of how much more secure we are! "On top of that", Bob assures us, "we're using a special wallet structure". Bob shows Alice a diagram. "We've broken the balance up and store it in lots of smaller wallets. That way", he assures her, "a thief can't take it all at once". And he points to a historic case where a large sum was taken "because it was stored in a single wallet... how stupid". "Very early on, we used to have all the crypto in one wallet", he said, "and then one Christmas a hacker came and took it all. We call him the Grinch. Now we individually wrap each crypto and stick it under a binary search tree. The Grinch has never been back since." "As well", Bob continues, "even if someone were to get in, we've got insurance. It covers all thefts and even coercion, collusion, and misplaced keys - only subject to the policy terms and conditions." And with that, he pulls out a phone-book sized contract and slams it on the desk with a thud. "Yep", he continues, "we're paying top dollar for one of the best policies in the country!" "Can I read it?' Alice asks. "Sure," Bob says, "just as soon as our legal team is done with it. They're almost through the first chapter." He pauses, then continues. "And can you believe that sales guy Mike? He has the same year Porsche as me. I mean, what are the odds?" "Do you use multi-sig?", Alice asks. "Absolutely!" Bob replies. "All our engineers are fully trained in multi-sig. Whenever we want to set up a new wallet, we generate 2 separate keys in an air-gapped process and store them in this proprietary system here. Look, it even requires the biometric signature from one of our team members to initiate any withdrawal." He demonstrates by pressing his thumb into the display. "We use a third-party cloud validation API to match the thumbprint and authorize each withdrawal. The keys are also backed up daily to an off-site third-party." "Wow that's really impressive," Alice says, "but what if we need access for a withdrawal outside of office hours?" "Well that's no issue", Bob says, "just send us an email, call, or text message and we always have someone on staff to help out. Just another part of our strong commitment to all our customers!" "What about Proof of Reserve?", Alice asks. "Of course", Bob replies, "though rather than publish any blockchain addresses or signed transaction, for privacy we just do a SHA256 refactoring of the inverse hash modulus for each UTXO nonce and combine the smart contract coefficient consensus in our hyperledger lightning node. But it's really simple to use." He pushes a button and a large green checkmark appears on a screen. "See - the algorithm ran through and reserves are proven." "Wow", Alice says, "you really know your stuff! And that is easy to use! What about fiat balances?" "Yeah, we have an auditor too", Bob replies, "Been using him for a long time so we have quite a strong relationship going! We have special books we give him every year and he's very efficient! Checks the fiat, crypto, and everything all at once!" "We used to have a nice offline multi-sig setup we've been using without issue for the past 5 years, but I think we'll move all our funds over to your facility," Alice says. "Awesome", Bob replies, "Thanks so much! This is perfect timing too - my Porsche got a dent on it this morning. We have the paperwork right over here." "Great!", Alice replies. And with that, Alice gets out her pen and Bob gets the contract. "Don't worry", he says, "you can take your crypto-assets back anytime you like - just subject to our cancellation policy. Our annual management fees are also super low and we don't adjust them often". How many holes have to exist for your funds to get stolen? Just one. Why are we taking a powerful offline multi-sig setup, widely used globally in hundreds of different/lacking regulatory environments with 0 breaches to date, and circumventing it by a demonstrably weak third party layer? And paying a great expense to do so? If you go through the list of breaches in the past 2 years to highly credible organizations, you go through the list of major corporate frauds (only the ones we know about), you go through the list of all the times platforms have lost funds, you go through the list of times and ways that people have lost their crypto from identity theft, hot wallet exploits, extortion, etc... and then you go through this custodian with a fine-tooth comb and truly believe they have value to add far beyond what you could, sticking your funds in a wallet (or set of wallets) they control exclusively is the absolute worst possible way to take advantage of that security. The best way to add security for crypto-assets is to make a stronger multi-sig. With one custodian, what you are doing is giving them your cryptocurrency and hoping they're honest, competent, and flawlessly secure. It's no different than storing it on a really secure exchange. Maybe the insurance will cover you. Didn't work for Bitpay in 2015. Didn't work for Yapizon in 2017. Insurance has never paid a claim in the entire history of cryptocurrency. But maybe you'll get lucky. Maybe your exact scenario will buck the trend and be what they're willing to cover. After the large deductible and hopefully without a long and expensive court battle. And you want to advertise this increase in risk, the lapse of judgement, an accident waiting to happen, as though it's some kind of benefit to customers ("Free institutional-grade storage for your digital assets.")? And then some people are writing to the OSC that custodians should be mandatory for all funds on every exchange platform? That this somehow will make Canadians as a whole more secure or better protected compared with standard air-gapped multi-sig? On what planet? Most of the problems in Canada stemmed from one thing - a lack of transparency. If Canadians had known what a joke Quadriga was - it wouldn't have grown to lose $400m from hard-working Canadians from coast to coast to coast. And Gerald Cotten would be in jail, not wherever he is now (at best, rotting peacefully). EZ-BTC and mister Dave Smilie would have been a tiny little scam to his friends, not a multi-million dollar fraud. Einstein would have got their act together or been shut down BEFORE losing millions and millions more in people's funds generously donated to criminals. MapleChange wouldn't have even been a thing. And maybe we'd know a little more about CoinTradeNewNote - like how much was lost in there. Almost all of the major losses with cryptocurrency exchanges involve deception with unbacked funds. So it's great to see transparency reports from BitBuy and ShakePay where someone independently verified the backing. The only thing we don't have is:
ANY CERTAINTY BALANCES WEREN'T EXCLUDED. Quadriga's largest account was $70m. 80% of funds are in 20% of accounts (Pareto principle). All it takes is excluding a few really large accounts - and nobody's the wiser. A fractional platform can easily pass any audit this way.
ANY VISIBILITY WHATSOEVER INTO THE CUSTODIANS. BitBuy put out their report before moving all the funds to their custodian and ShakePay apparently can't even tell us who the custodian is. That's pretty important considering that basically all of the funds are now stored there.
ANY IDEA ABOUT THE OTHER EXCHANGES. In order for this to be effective, it has to be the norm. It needs to be "unusual" not to know. If obscurity is the norm, then it's super easy for people like Gerald Cotten and Dave Smilie to blend right in.
It's not complicated to validate cryptocurrency assets. They need to exist, they need to be spendable, and they need to cover the total balances. There are plenty of credible people and firms across the country that have the capacity to reasonably perform this validation. Having more frequent checks by different, independent, parties who publish transparent reports is far more valuable than an annual check by a single "more credible/official" party who does the exact same basic checks and may or may not publish anything. Here's an example set of requirements that could be mandated:
First report within 1 month of launching, another within 3 months, and further reports at minimum every 6 months thereafter.
No auditor can be repeated within a 12 month period.
All reports must be public, identifying the auditor and the full methodology used.
All auditors must be independent of the firm being audited with no conflict of interest.
Reports must include the percentage of each asset backed, and how it's backed.
The auditor publishes a hash list, which lists a hash of each customer's information and balances that were included. Hash is one-way encryption so privacy is fully preserved. Every customer can use this to have 100% confidence they were included.
If we want more extensive requirements on audits, these should scale upward based on the total assets at risk on the platform, and whether the platform has loaned their assets out.
There are ways to structure audits such that neither crypto assets nor customer information are ever put at risk, and both can still be properly validated and publicly verifiable. There are also ways to structure audits such that they are completely reasonable for small platforms and don't inhibit innovation in any way. By making the process as reasonable as possible, we can completely eliminate any reason/excuse that an honest platform would have for not being audited. That is arguable far more important than any incremental improvement we might get from mandating "the best of the best" accountants. Right now we have nothing mandated and tons of Canadians using offshore exchanges with no oversight whatsoever. Transparency does not prove crypto assets are safe. CoinTradeNewNote, Flexcoin ($600k), and Canadian Bitcoins ($100k) are examples where crypto-assets were breached from platforms in Canada. All of them were online wallets and used no multi-sig as far as any records show. This is consistent with what we see globally - air-gapped multi-sig wallets have an impeccable record, while other schemes tend to suffer breach after breach. We don't actually know how much CoinTrader lost because there was no visibility. Rather than publishing details of what happened, the co-founder of CoinTrader silently moved on to found another platform - the "most trusted way to buy and sell crypto" - a site that has no information whatsoever (that I could find) on the storage practices and a FAQ advising that “[t]rading cryptocurrency is completely safe” and that having your own wallet is “entirely up to you! You can certainly keep cryptocurrency, or fiat, or both, on the app.” Doesn't sound like much was learned here, which is really sad to see. It's not that complicated or unreasonable to set up a proper hardware wallet. Multi-sig can be learned in a single course. Something the equivalent complexity of a driver's license test could prevent all the cold storage exploits we've seen to date - even globally. Platform operators have a key advantage in detecting and preventing fraud - they know their customers far better than any custodian ever would. The best job that custodians can do is to find high integrity individuals and train them to form even better wallet signatories. Rather than mandating that all platforms expose themselves to arbitrary third party risks, regulations should center around ensuring that all signatories are background-checked, properly trained, and using proper procedures. We also need to make sure that signatories are empowered with rights and responsibilities to reject and report fraud. They need to know that they can safely challenge and delay a transaction - even if it turns out they made a mistake. We need to have an environment where mistakes are brought to the surface and dealt with. Not one where firms and people feel the need to hide what happened. In addition to a knowledge-based test, an auditor can privately interview each signatory to make sure they're not in coercive situations, and we should make sure they can freely and anonymously report any issues without threat of retaliation. A proper multi-sig has each signature held by a separate person and is governed by policies and mutual decisions instead of a hierarchy. It includes at least one redundant signature. For best results, 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7. History has demonstrated over and over again the risk of hot wallets even to highly credible organizations. Nonetheless, many platforms have hot wallets for convenience. While such losses are generally compensated by platforms without issue (for example Poloniex, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Gatecoin, Coincheck, Bithumb, Zaif, CoinBene, Binance, Bitrue, Bitpoint, Upbit, VinDAX, and now KuCoin), the public tends to focus more on cases that didn't end well. Regardless of what systems are employed, there is always some level of risk. For that reason, most members of the public would prefer to see third party insurance. Rather than trying to convince third party profit-seekers to provide comprehensive insurance and then relying on an expensive and slow legal system to enforce against whatever legal loopholes they manage to find each and every time something goes wrong, insurance could be run through multiple exchange operators and regulators, with the shared interest of having a reputable industry, keeping costs down, and taking care of Canadians. For example, a 4 of 7 multi-sig insurance fund held between 5 independent exchange operators and 2 regulatory bodies. All Canadian exchanges could pay premiums at a set rate based on their needed coverage, with a higher price paid for hot wallet coverage (anything not an air-gapped multi-sig cold wallet). Such a model would be much cheaper to manage, offer better coverage, and be much more reliable to payout when needed. The kind of coverage you could have under this model is unheard of. You could even create something like the CDIC to protect Canadians who get their trading accounts hacked if they can sufficiently prove the loss is legitimate. In cases of fraud, gross negligence, or insolvency, the fund can be used to pay affected users directly (utilizing the last transparent balance report in the worst case), something which private insurance would never touch. While it's recommended to have official policies for coverage, a model where members vote would fully cover edge cases. (Could be similar to the Supreme Court where justices vote based on case law.) Such a model could fully protect all Canadians across all platforms. You can have a fiat coverage governed by legal agreements, and crypto-asset coverage governed by both multi-sig and legal agreements. It could be practical, affordable, and inclusive. Now, we are at a crossroads. We can happily give up our freedom, our innovation, and our money. We can pay hefty expenses to auditors, lawyers, and regulators year after year (and make no mistake - this cost will grow to many millions or even billions as the industry grows - and it will be borne by all Canadians on every platform because platforms are not going to eat up these costs at a loss). We can make it nearly impossible for any new platform to enter the marketplace, forcing Canadians to use the same stagnant platforms year after year. We can centralize and consolidate the entire industry into 2 or 3 big players and have everyone else fail (possibly to heavy losses of users of those platforms). And when a flawed security model doesn't work and gets breached, we can make it even more complicated with even more people in suits making big money doing the job that blockchain was supposed to do in the first place. We can build a system which is so intertwined and dependent on big government, traditional finance, and central bankers that it's future depends entirely on that of the fiat system, of fractional banking, and of government bail-outs. If we choose this path, as history has shown us over and over again, we can not go back, save for revolution. Our children and grandchildren will still be paying the consequences of what we decided today. Or, we can find solutions that work. We can maintain an open and innovative environment while making the adjustments we need to make to fully protect Canadian investors and cryptocurrency users, giving easy and affordable access to cryptocurrency for all Canadians on the platform of their choice, and creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and problem solvers can bring those solutions forward easily. None of the above precludes innovation in any way, or adds any unreasonable cost - and these three policies would demonstrably eliminate or resolve all 109 historic cases as studied here - that's every single case researched so far going back to 2011. It includes every loss that was studied so far not just in Canada but globally as well. Unfortunately, finding answers is the least challenging part. Far more challenging is to get platform operators and regulators to agree on anything. My last post got no response whatsoever, and while the OSC has told me they're happy for industry feedback, I believe my opinion alone is fairly meaningless. This takes the whole community working together to solve. So please let me know your thoughts. Please take the time to upvote and share this with people. Please - let's get this solved and not leave it up to other people to do. Facts/background/sources (skip if you like):
The inspiration for the paragraph about splitting wallets was an actual quote from a Canadian company providing custodial services in response to the OSC consultation paper: "We believe that it will be in the in best interests of investors to prohibit pooled crypto assets or ‘floats’. Most Platforms pool assets, citing reasons of practicality and expense. The recent hack of the world’s largest Platform – Binance – demonstrates the vulnerability of participants’ assets when such concessions are made. In this instance, the Platform’s entire hot wallet of Bitcoins, worth over $40 million, was stolen, facilitated in part by the pooling of client crypto assets." "the maintenance of participants (and Platform) crypto assets across multiple wallets distributes the related risk and responsibility of security - reducing the amount of insurance coverage required and making insurance coverage more readily obtainable". For the record, their reply also said nothing whatsoever about multi-sig or offline storage.
In addition to the fact that the $40m hack represented only one "hot wallet" of Binance, and they actually had the vast majority of assets in other wallets (including mostly cold wallets), multiple real cases have clearly demonstrated that risk is still present with multiple wallets. Bitfinex, VinDAX, Bithumb, Altsbit, BitPoint, Cryptopia, and just recently KuCoin all had multiple wallets breached all at the same time, and may represent a significantly larger impact on customers than the Binance breach which was fully covered by Binance. To represent that simply having multiple separate wallets under the same security scheme is a comprehensive way to reduce risk is just not true.
Private insurance has historically never covered a single loss in the cryptocurrency space (at least, not one that I was able to find), and there are notable cases where massive losses were not covered by insurance. Bitpay in 2015 and Yapizon in 2017 both had insurance policies that didn't pay out during the breach, even after a lengthly court process. The same insurance that ShakePay is presently using (and announced to much fanfare) was describe by their CEO himself as covering “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held,” which is something that has never historically happened. As was said with regard to the same policy in 2018 - “I don’t find it surprising that Lloyd’s is in this space,” said Johnson, adding that to his mind the challenge for everybody is figuring out how to structure these policies so that they are actually protective. “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.”
The most profitable policy for a private insurance company is one with the most expensive premiums that they never have to pay a claim on. They have no inherent incentive to take care of people who lost funds. It's "cheaper" to take the reputational hit and fight the claim in court. The more money at stake, the more the insurance provider is incentivized to avoid payout. They're not going to insure the assets unless they have reasonable certainty to make a profit by doing so, and they're not going to pay out a massive sum unless it's legally forced. Private insurance is always structured to be maximally profitable to the insurance provider.
The circumvention of multi-sig was a key factor in the massive Bitfinex hack of over $60m of bitcoin, which today still sits being slowly used and is worth over $3b. While Bitfinex used a qualified custodian Bitgo, which was and still is active and one of the industry leaders of custodians, and they set up 2 of 3 multi-sig wallets, the entire system was routed through Bitfinex, such that Bitfinex customers could initiate the withdrawals in a "hot" fashion. This feature was also a hit with the hacker. The multi-sig was fully circumvented.
Bitpay in 2015 was another example of a breach that stole 5,000 bitcoins. This happened not through the exploit of any system in Bitpay, but because the CEO of a company they worked with got their computer hacked and the hackers were able to request multiple bitcoin purchases, which Bitpay honoured because they came from the customer's computer legitimately. Impersonation is a very common tactic used by fraudsters, and methods get more extreme all the time.
A notable case in Canada was the Canadian Bitcoins exploit. Funds were stored on a server in a Rogers Data Center, and the attendee was successfully convinced to reboot the server "in safe mode" with a simple phone call, thus bypassing the extensive security and enabling the theft.
The very nature of custodians circumvents multi-sig. This is because custodians are not just having to secure the assets against some sort of physical breach but against any form of social engineering, modification of orders, fraudulent withdrawal attempts, etc... If the security practices of signatories in a multi-sig arrangement are such that the breach risk of one signatory is 1 in 100, the requirement of 3 independent signatures makes the risk of theft 1 in 1,000,000. Since hackers tend to exploit the weakest link, a comparable custodian has to make the entry and exit points of their platform 10,000 times more secure than one of those signatories to provide equivalent protection. And if the signatories beef up their security by only 10x, the risk is now 1 in 1,000,000,000. The custodian has to be 1,000,000 times more secure. The larger and more complex a system is, the more potential vulnerabilities exist in it, and the fewer people can understand how the system works when performing upgrades. Even if a system is completely secure today, one has to also consider how that system might evolve over time or work with different members.
By contrast, offline multi-signature solutions have an extremely solid record, and in the entire history of cryptocurrency exchange incidents which I've studied (listed here), there has only been one incident (796 exchange in 2015) involving an offline multi-signature wallet. It happened because the customer's bitcoin address was modified by hackers, and the amount that was stolen ($230k) was immediately covered by the exchange operators. Basically, the platform operators were tricked into sending a legitimate withdrawal request to the wrong address because hackers exploited their platform to change that address. Such an issue would not be prevented in any way by the use of a custodian, as that custodian has no oversight whatsoever to the exchange platform. It's practical for all exchange operators to test large withdrawal transactions as a general policy, regardless of what model is used, and general best practice is to diagnose and fix such an exploit as soon as it occurs.
False promises on the backing of funds played a huge role in the downfall of Quadriga, and it's been exposed over and over again (MyCoin, PlusToken, Bitsane, Bitmarket, EZBTC, IDAX). Even today, customers have extremely limited certainty on whether their funds in exchanges are actually being backed or how they're being backed. While this issue is not unique to cryptocurrency exchanges, the complexity of the technology and the lack of any regulation or standards makes problems more widespread, and there is no "central bank" to come to the rescue as in the 2008 financial crisis or during the great depression when "9,000 banks failed".
In addition to fraudulent operations, the industry is full of cases where operators have suffered breaches and not reported them. Most recently, Einstein was the largest case in Canada, where ongoing breaches and fraud were perpetrated against the platform for multiple years and nobody found out until the platform collapsed completely. While fraud and breaches suck to deal with, they suck even more when not dealt with. Lack of visibility played a role in the largest downfalls of Mt. Gox, Cryptsy, and Bitgrail. In some cases, platforms are alleged to have suffered a hack and keep operating without admitting it at all, such as CoinBene.
It surprises some to learn that a cryptographic solution has already existed since 2013, and gained widespread support in 2014 after Mt. Gox. Proof of Reserves is a full cryptographic proof that allows any customer using an exchange to have complete certainty that their crypto-assets are fully backed by the platform in real-time. This is accomplished by proving that assets exist on the blockchain, are spendable, and fully cover customer deposits. It does not prove safety of assets or backing of fiat assets.
If we didn't care about privacy at all, a platform could publish their wallet addresses, sign a partial transaction, and put the full list of customer information and balances out publicly. Customers can each check that they are on the list, that the balances are accurate, that the total adds up, and that it's backed and spendable on the blockchain. Platforms who exclude any customer take a risk because that customer can easily check and see they were excluded. So together with all customers checking, this forms a full proof of backing of all crypto assets.
However, obviously customers care about their private information being published. Therefore, a hash of the information can be provided instead. Hash is one-way encryption. The hash allows the customer to validate inclusion (by hashing their own known information), while anyone looking at the list of hashes cannot determine the private information of any other user. All other parts of the scheme remain fully intact. A model like this is in use on the exchange CoinFloor in the UK.
A Merkle tree can provide even greater privacy. Instead of a list of balances, the balances are arranged into a binary tree. A customer starts from their node, and works their way to the top of the tree. For example, they know they have 5 BTC, they plus 1 other customer hold 7 BTC, they plus 2-3 other customers hold 17 BTC, etc... until they reach the root where all the BTC are represented. Thus, there is no way to find the balances of other individual customers aside from one unidentified customer in this case.
Proposals such as this had the backing of leaders in the community including Nic Carter, Greg Maxwell, and Zak Wilcox. Substantial and significant effort started back in 2013, with massive popularity in 2014. But what became of that effort? Very little. Exchange operators continue to refuse to give visibility. Despite the fact this information can often be obtained through trivial blockchain analysis, no Canadian platform has ever provided any wallet addresses publicly. As described by the CEO of Newton "For us to implement some kind of realtime Proof of Reserves solution, which I'm not opposed to, it would have to ... Preserve our users' privacy, as well as our own. Some kind of zero-knowledge proof". Kraken describes here in more detail why they haven't implemented such a scheme. According to professor Eli Ben-Sasson, when he spoke with exchanges, none were interested in implementing Proof of Reserves.
And yet, Kraken's places their reasoning on a page called "Proof of Reserves". More recently, both BitBuy and ShakePay have released reports titled "Proof of Reserves and Security Audit". Both reports contain disclaimers against being audits. Both reports trust the customer list provided by the platform, leaving the open possibility that multiple large accounts could have been excluded from the process. Proof of Reserves is a blockchain validation where customers see the wallets on the blockchain. The report from Kraken is 5 years old, but they leave it described as though it was just done a few weeks ago. And look at what they expect customers to do for validation. When firms represent something being "Proof of Reserve" when it's not, this is like a farmer growing fruit with pesticides and selling it in a farmers market as organic produce - except that these are people's hard-earned life savings at risk here. Platforms are misrepresenting the level of visibility in place and deceiving the public by their misuse of this term. They haven't proven anything.
Fraud isn't a problem that is unique to cryptocurrency. Fraud happens all the time. Enron, WorldCom, Nortel, Bear Stearns, Wells Fargo, Moser Baer, Wirecard, Bre-X, and Nicola are just some of the cases where frauds became large enough to become a big deal (and there are so many countless others). These all happened on 100% reversible assets despite regulations being in place. In many of these cases, the problems happened due to the over-complexity of the financial instruments. For example, Enron had "complex financial statements [which] were confusing to shareholders and analysts", creating "off-balance-sheet vehicles, complex financing structures, and deals so bewildering that few people could understand them". In cryptocurrency, we are often combining complex financial products with complex technologies and verification processes. We are naïve if we think problems like this won't happen. It is awkward and uncomfortable for many people to admit that they don't know how something works. If we want "money of the people" to work, the solutions have to be simple enough that "the people" can understand them, not so confusing that financial professionals and technology experts struggle to use or understand them.
For those who question the extent to which an organization can fool their way into a security consultancy role, HB Gary should be a great example to look at. Prior to trying to out anonymous, HB Gary was being actively hired by multiple US government agencies and others in the private sector (with glowing testimonials). The published articles and hosted professional security conferences. One should also look at this list of data breaches from the past 2 years. Many of them are large corporations, government entities, and technology companies. These are the ones we know about. Undoubtedly, there are many more that we do not know about. If HB Gary hadn't been "outted" by anonymous, would we have known they were insecure? If the same breach had happened outside of the public spotlight, would it even have been reported? Or would HB Gary have just deleted the Twitter posts, brought their site back up, done a couple patches, and kept on operating as though nothing had happened?
In the case of Quadriga, the facts are clear. Despite past experience with platforms such as MapleChange in Canada and others around the world, no guidance or even the most basic of a framework was put in place by regulators. By not clarifying any sort of legal framework, regulators enabled a situation where a platform could be run by former criminal Mike Dhanini/Omar Patryn, and where funds could be held fully unchecked by one person. At the same time, the lack of regulation deterred legitimate entities from running competing platforms and Quadriga was granted a money services business license for multiple years of operation, which gave the firm the appearance of legitimacy. Regulators did little to protect Canadians despite Quadriga failing to file taxes from 2016 onward. The entire administrative team had resigned and this was public knowledge. Many people had suspicions of what was going on, including Ryan Mueller, who forwarded complaints to the authorities. These were ignored, giving Gerald Cotten the opportunity to escape without justice.
There are multiple issues with the SOC II model including the prohibitive cost (you have to find a third party accounting firm and the prices are not even listed publicly on any sites), the requirement of operating for a year (impossible for new platforms), and lack of any public visibility (SOC II are private reports that aren't shared outside the people in suits).
Securities frameworks are expensive. Sarbanes-Oxley is estimated to cost $5.1 million USD/yr for the average Fortune 500 company in the United States. Since "Fortune 500" represents the top 500 companies, that means well over $2.55 billion USD (~$3.4 billion CAD) is going to people in suits. Isn't the problem of trust and verification the exact problem that the blockchain is supposed to solve?
To use Quadriga as justification for why custodians or SOC II or other advanced schemes are needed for platforms is rather silly, when any framework or visibility at all, or even the most basic of storage policies, would have prevented the whole thing. It's just an embarrassment.
We are now seeing regulators take strong action. CoinSquare in Canada with multi-million dollar fines. BitMex from the US, criminal charges and arrests. OkEx, with full disregard of withdrawals and no communication. Who's next?
We have a unique window today where we can solve these problems, and not permanently destroy innovation with unreasonable expectations, but we need to act quickly. This is a unique historic time that will never come again.
Everyone and his grandma know what cryptocurrency mining is. Well, they may not indeed know what it actually is, in technical terms, but they have definitely heard the phrase as it is hard to miss the news about mining sucking in energy like a black hole gobbles up matter. On the other hand, staking, its little bro, has mostly been hiding in the shadows until recently. by StealthEX Today, with DeFi making breaking news across the cryptoverse, staking has become a new buzzword in the blockchain space and beyond, along with the fresh entries to the crypto asset investor’s vocabulary such as “yield farming”, “rug pull”, “total value locked”, and similar arcane stuff. If you are not scared off yet, then read on. Though we can’t promise you won’t be.
Cryptocurrency staking, little brother of crypto mining
There are two conceptually different approaches to achieving consensus in a distributed network, which comes down to transaction validation in the case of a cryptocurrency blockchain. You are most certainly aware of cryptocurrency mining, which is used with cryptocurrencies based on the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm such as Bitcoin and Ether (so far). Here miners compete against each other with their computational resources for finding the next block on the blockchain and getting a reward. Another approach, known as the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, is based not on the race among computational resources as is the case with PoW, but on the competition of balances, or stakes. In simple words, every holder of at least one stake, a minimally sufficient amount of crypto, can actively participate in creating blocks and thus also earn rewards under such network consensus model. This process came to be known as staking, and it can be loosely thought of as mining in the PoS environment. With that established, let’s now see why, after so many years of what comes pretty close to oblivion, it has turned into such a big thing.
Why has staking become so popular, all of a sudden?
The renewed popularity of staking came with the explosive expansion of decentralized finance, or DeFi for short. Essentially, staking is one of the ways to tap into the booming DeFi market, allowing users to earn staking rewards on a class of digital assets that DeFi provides easy access to. Technically, it is more correct to speak of DeFi staking as a new development of an old concept that enjoys its second coming today, or new birth if you please. So what’s the point? With old-school cryptocurrency staking, you would have to manually set up and run a validating node on a cryptocurrency network that uses a PoS consensus algo, having to keep in mind all the gory details of a specific protocol so as not to shoot yourself in the foot. This is where you should have already started to enjoy jitters if you were to take this avenu entirely on your own. Just think of it as having to run a Bitcoin mining rig for some pocket money. Put simply, DeFi staking frees you from all that hassle. At this point, let’s recall what decentralized finance is and what it strives to achieve. In broad terms, DeFi aims at offering the same products and services available today in the traditional financial world, but in a trutless and decentralized way. From this perspective, DeFi staking reseblems conventional banking where people put their money in savings accounts to earn interest. Indeed, you could try to lend out your shekels all by yourself, with varying degrees of success, but banks make it far more convenient and secure. The maturation of the DeFi space advanced the emergence of staking pools and Staking-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers that run nodes for PoS cryptocurrencies on your behalf, allowing you to stake your coins and receive staking rewards. In today’s world, interest rates on traditional savings accounts are ridiculous, while government spending, a handy euphemism for relentless money printing aka fiscal stimulus, is already translating into runaway inflation. Against this backdrop, it is easy to see why staking has been on the rise.
Okay, what are my investment options?
Now that we have gone through the basics of the state-of-the-art cryptocurrency staking, you may ask what are the options actually available for a common crypto enthusiast to earn from it? Many high-caliber exchanges like Binance or Bitfinex as well as online wallets such as Coinbase offer staking of PoS coins. In most cases, you don’t even need to do anything aside from simply holding your coins there to start receiving rewards as long as you are eligible and meet the requirements. This is called exchange staking. Further, there are platforms that specialize in staking digital assets. These are known as Staking-as-a-Service providers, while this form of staking is often referred to as soft staking. They enable even non-tech savvy customers to stake their PoS assets through a third party service, with all the technical stuff handled by the service provider. Most of these services are custodial, with the implication being that you no longer control your coins after you stake them. Figment Networks, MyContainer, Stake Capital are easily the most recognized among SaaS providers. However, while exchange staking and soft staking have everything to do with finance, they have little to nothing to do with the decentralized part of it, which is, for the record, the primary value proposition of the entire DeFi ecosystem. The point is, you have to deposit the stakable coins into your wallet with these services. And how can it then be considered decentralized? Nah, because DeFi is all about going trustless, no third parties, and, in a narrow sense, no staking that entails the transfer of private keys. This form of staking is called non-custodial, and it is of particular interest from the DeFi point of view. If you read our article about DeFi, you already know how it is possible, so we won’t dwell on this (if, on the off chance, you didn’t, it’s time to catch up). As DeFi continues to evolve, platforms that allow trustless staking with which you maintain full custody of your coins are set to emerge as well. The space is relatively new, with Staked being probably the first in the field. This type of staking allows you to remain in complete control of your funds, and it perfectly matches DeFi’s ethos, goals and ideals. Still, our story wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention utility tokens where staking may serve a whole range of purposes other than supporting the token network or obtaining passive income. For example, with platforms that deploy blockchain oracles such as Nexus Mutual, a decentralized insurance platform, staking tokens is necessary for encouraging correct reporting on certain events or reaching a consensus on a specific claim. In the case of Nexus Mutual, its membership token NXM is used by the token holders, the so-called assessors, for validating insurance claims. If they fail to assess claims correctly, their stakes are burned. Another example is Particl Marketplace, a decentralized eCommerce platform, which designed a standalone cryptocurrency dubbed PART. It can be used both as a cryptocurrency in its own right outside the marketplace and as a stakable utility token giving stakers voting rights facilitating the decentralized governance of the entire platform. Yet another example is the instant non-custodial cryptocurrency exchange service, ChangeNOW, that also recently came up with its stakable token, NOW Token, to be used as an internal currency and a means of earning passive income.
Nowadays, with most economies on pause or going downhill, staking has become a new avenue for generating passive income outside the traditional financial system. As DeFi continues to eat away at services previously being exclusively provided by conventional financial and banking sectors, we should expect more people to get involved in this activity along with more businesses dipping their toes into these uncharted waters. Achieving network consensus, establishing decentralized governance, and earning passive income are only three use cases for cryptocurrency staking. No matter how important they are, and they certainly are, there are many other uses along different dimensions that staking can be quite helpful and instrumental for. Again, we are mostly in uncharted waters here, and we can’t reliably say what the future holds for us. On the other hand, we can go and invent it. This should count as next. And remember if you need to exchange your coins StealthEX is here for you. We provide a selection of more than 250 coins and constantly updating the list so that our customers will find a suitable option. Our service does not require registration and allows you to remain anonymous. Why don’t you check it out? Just go to StealthEX and follow these easy steps: ✔ Choose the pair and the amount for your exchange. For example ETH to BTC. ✔ Press the “Start exchange” button. ✔ Provide the recipient address to which the coins will be transferred. ✔ Move your cryptocurrency for the exchange. ✔ Receive your coins! The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision. Original article was posted onhttps://stealthex.io/blog/2020/09/08/cryptocurrency-staking-as-it-stands-today/
AMA Recap of CEO and Co-founder of Chromia, Henrik Hjelte in the @binancenigeria Telegram group on 03/05/2020.
Wanchain Telegram AMA - 05/11/2019 - questions and answers
location: t.me/wanchainchat most of the questions and answers from AMA that happened on 05/11/2019 on Wanchain Telegram, sorry if I missed any!
question: The current roadmap of Wanchain ends in 55 days. (When) can we expect to see a new one? answer: Yes we have been in many discussions about our roadmap next year. Hopefule we will release that by the end of month. Please feel free to contribute...
question: What is the team doing more regarding marketing ? How much mcap wan is targeting? Competition is getting too much now.. answer: We are working with a few new marketing partners. Revamping social media, leveraging our ambassador program but giving an extra boost when the DEX with RiveX launches. As well as other dApps we are looking closely at and hoping to have them deployed quite soon.
question: Hello Mr. Lu. It seems integrating new existing blockchains to the wanchain ecosystem is a very slow process... indeed only 2 at the moment (ethereum and bitcoin)... one every 9 months... when is this time going to be reduced and by how much time... ? there are hundreds of blockchains out there... both public and private... I understand the success of wanchain depends on integrating as many blockchains as possible. answer: We are in the process of improving the cross-chain mechanism and make it more open. Once that is done, they will be coming a lot faster. BTW, we are working on EOS integration...
question: Hello. What are your next major plans to boost wanchain ecosystem? Who is going to use wanchain network? Any significant partnerships? answer: We are working with FinNexus and RiveX currently to build the ecosystem. Also we are working with our partner on the cross-chain DEX
question: Does wanchain work for interop with chain like hyperledger and such? answer: Yes we are working with EEA and Hyperledger on the interoperability standards
question: Do feel financially stable? Do you still have funds from ICO to continue as going concern? answer: Yes, we have enough funds to continue our develoment in the coming years
question: My second question is related to the Elevenpaths (Telefonica) / Rivetz / Civic / Wanchain partnership. Is it still alive? Could you please share any details about the progress of that partnership up to date? answer: Hey, I'll take that one. We have a few new things in motion with Telefonica's Eleven Paths. Due to NDA we cannot comment on the specifications but more is definitely coming :)
question: We have seen many stable coins added to Wanchain (DAI, GUSD, TUSD, USDC). But I miss Tether... Are there plans to include USDT in Wanchain? It would be really helpful for WRDEX success IMHO answer: We'd love to integrate with USDT. It will only takes us a few days to integrate with the USDT on Ethereum...A little more challenging for the one on BTC though
question: Next Question : will there be any AMA in binance group for more new users engagement for the WAN ? so many great projects are doing ama in exchange group, team should consider some AMA with current listed exchanges.. answer: That's a great idea and yes we are planning to have more AMAs in/with other communities. After all, we are bridging technically (blockchains) but also their communities. We had a good AMA in the Cryptoverse telegram last week. We also intend to include more team members in future AMAs (business, technical, community, marketing).
question: i was wondering if its possible to increase the number of validators selected and reduce the amount of reward per selection? Small nodes will get selected more frequently, so people wont just choose large nodes for delegation answer: That is possible by reducing the block time. We have many parameters to play around but all of them require code change. At the stage we want to gather enough data from the POS network before we make any changes...
question: Hi Jack, which month do you expect storemannodes to be implemented? If all goes according to plan. answer: We are doing internal planning right now. Hopefully you can see our roadmap very soon...
question: What work doing our team to increase use cases of wan? answer: We are researching Dapps on different chain and are focusing on cross-chain DEFI applications. That's why we are working with FinNexus and RiveX. Also DEX, Lending applications, Games are coming up...
question: What's your take on mass adoption of wanchain? Do you have any plan or strategy to achieve that?answer: It will be a long process but will be faster than internet mass adoption. We are working with mobile partners like Telefonica and Pundix get us well positioned. Also we are looking into DEXes, DEFI applications, integration with Libra and DCEP and etc.
question: Hi @jackxlu, what will be the boost of WAN in 2020 to build confidence, create awareness and more adoption? Also why work on a cross-chain DEX when you can also work together with a cross-chain DEX, for example Switcheo/Neon Exchange? answer: Each partner has their own technologies and their own priority. We just want to push that forward as soon as we can
question: Hi @jackxlu what is the status of the blockchain interoperability alliance with aion and icon? It’s been a while since there has been any news on that. I know that the focus has been for each project to get their mainnet built and properly functioning. Since all 3 now have working Main nets and projects starting to deploy, will you be working more closely with those other projects again in terms of interoperability? answer: Hey Tim! There is no update here. Projects are focused on their own roadmaps for now and as Jack mentioned above, each project has its own technology so there isn't much need for the interoperability alliance right now. We will, however, bridge all chains together it's just a question of when. We hope to collaborate more with Aion and Icon going forward but we have to continue working on new integrations and eventually come out with a plug and play solution.
question: Is tokenization of building and other real world stuff in wan program? answer: On the enterprise side, we are mostly focused on interoperable reward programs (like with Telefonica's Eleven Paths, PUC Malaysia) as its a blue ocean right now. We are however talking to a few of our partners about creating joint ventures (tech + business) in Asia and Europe. We will leverage each other's technology stacks and business contacts.
question: You only mentioned WAN POS TPS is more than 1000+. Can you showcase the TPS to the community ? Or is there any already we can see it ? answer: Our research team has been working on gathering and analyzing POS data in the past few weeks. We should have the research data published very soon
question: Is it possible to integration with DCEP? I doubt China will allow an altcoin do that, please confirm it. answer: It's too early to tell but we do want to get the right partnership and make that a reality
question:@jackxlu how about SDK for popular programming languages like c# and java? For smart contract development you will only support solidity programming language? I understand the initial choice of this, take advantage of the network effect of developers that already know solidity, but what about all the others? answer: We recently released a SDK for Java. As long there is a demand, we can easily do for any programming language. For smart contract, we are looking into EWASM and hopefully we can support many programming languages for the smart contract
question: Can you share something about the legal status of Wanchain in the US, are there any legal issues/obstacles for getting listed on a US regulated exchange in the future? answer: No legal reasons stopping us from getting listed in the US. We want WAN to be available to anyone that wishes to use our platform. Having said that, there are a number of discussions happening and we are taking necessary precautions to stay ahead, it's just taking very long. That's all we can say about that right now, Adam.
question:@jackxlu can you talk about the recent events in China and their impact on Wanchain? what is wanchain doing to take advantage of china opening up to blockchain? answer: The recent events in China are very exciting. Many people approached me for possible partnership. Our team in China is so busy in different talks in recent days. Wanchain 4.0 release is coming up by the end of year and we have been working with EEA and Hyperledger on the interoperability standards. We have Lanchain as our enterprise solution and Wanchain can integrate with any other types of enterprise blockchain solutions. So we are really well positioned to take advantage of the current blockchain boom in China in the coming years
question: Any concrete plan on embark more developers to wanchain ecosystem? Team alone won't make it in the long run. answer: We plan to build https://wandevs.org/ out further. Wandevs is a community of developers working on technical documentation, cross-chain dApps and tools for Wanchain. We had a soft launch but plan to increase the number of developers and incentives in this program through new guides, challenges and vitual hackathons. We are for example talking to 0xcert now about doing a cross-chain NFT virtual hackathon in the new year.
question: Hi Jack Lu. Amazing to have you here! You perhaps have already answered this question, but will the others blockchain projects ever be able to integrate themselves to Wanchain (plug & play system)? Waiting for wanchain team to do the whole work can be hard. answer: Our plan is to get the solution perfect before our dev community or other projects can integrate with Wanchain by themselves
question: Hi @jackxlu, @machinayz has there been any progress with the potential Belt and Road initiative contract that you spoke of in a previous AMA? Thanks. answer: Sorry Steve, we missed this. There are no further updates here. Li Ni and team are working hard on it though :)
question: Jack Lu, thanks for your work. Wanchain is growing a lot. My question: Are you talking with any retail company for partnership? answer: Not yet but it's a great idea because Wanchain can serve as a gateway for multi-coin payment. Any suggestions?
question:@jackxlu Is there any plan to improve node management ? to pass "partner off-chain" to "partner on-chain"? answer: Not at this point but please send your requirement or suggests to me. Thanks!
question: Do you still believe in Wanchain becoming a top 10 project? Thank you both Oliver and Jack for your time and answers¡ It has been a great AMA. answer: Sure I do believe that. And thanks so much for your support!
Thanks for everyone for participating, sorry if I missed any questions/answers. Stay tuned for any upcoming AMAs!
Dev meeting? Would say so, yes The people are still exhausted from the payment ID meeting :) Guess we could ping some people vtnerd, moneromooo, hyc, gingeropolous, TheCharlatan, sarang, suraeNoether, jtgrassie Anyone up for a meeting? Yep I'm here Here o/ Perhaps we should just start and people will eventually hop in? oof sorry guys, I'm working on the new FFS and I forgot all about this. Got a couple of new volunteers. This literally might be able to launch tomorrow. I know that. It's called "flow" :) I could run if you're out of time? go for it dEBRUYNE you guys are going to like this new FFS. We're like 99% done. Hi rehrar: someone else do the milestone thing already? All right, jtgrassie, perhaps you'd to start w/ briefly describing your most recent PR? https://github.com/monero-project/monero/pull/5091 oneiric, xiphon did everything like....everything As far as I can see, it allows the user to push his transaction over I2P, thereby masking the origin IP of the sendeuser great And it hooks into vtnerd's PR right? Sure. It basically just builds on vtnerds Tor stuff. sorry dEBRUYNE Really not much added. I have it running and tested. From the perspective of the user, what needs to be configured exactly? Nice Assuming the PR is included in the release binaries I'm using knacccs i2p-zero duirng testing but will of course work with any i2p setup sorry dEBRUYNE <= Np Looks a little like dams breaking, now that we have some dark clouds over Kovri and people take matters into their own hands ... User needs to run i2p, expose a socks service and and inbound tunnel. Basically same as Tor Okay, so should be reasonable as long as we write proper documentation for it (e.g. an elaborate guide) rbrunner, yes, knaccc credit for jumping on i2p-zero really dEBRUYNE: documentation monero side is kindof done. i2p side is very much implementation specific. I suppose we could write some guides for the most popular implementations? e.g. i2p-zero aims to be zero conf, but i2pd or Kovri would be differnet. I see, great vtnerd___: Do you want to add anything? could amend the current kovri guide for monero use from --exclusive-peer to the new proxy support Now I have i2p-zero running and tested with the #5091, I plan to jump back over to helping knaccc on getting that polished. I added support for socks proxy in the basic wallets ^ excellent Yes vtnerd___ I havent tested it yet but looks sweet. So connections to `monerod` over Toi2p are possible within wallet cli and wallet rpc Awesome This also implies auth+encryption even if ssl is not in use (when using an onion or i2p address) All right moneromooo: are you here? If so, could you perhaps share what you've been working on? I am. I revived the SSL PR, more stuff on multi sender txes, an implementation of ArticMine's new block size algorithm. I presume a multi sender tx works similar to multisig insofar as the senders have to exchange data before the transaction can be performed right? Yes. There are 2 SSL PRs. What's the diff? Theoretically this would also allow the sender to provide an output right? Which would be kind of similar to Bitcoin's P2EP The second one adds some things like selecting a cert by fingerprint. Yes. (for the first sentence) All right, awesome For anyone reading, this breaks the assumption of the inputs belonging to a single sender, which makes analysis more difficult Nice side-effect. Much work coming for the various wallets to support that rbrunner: Anything you'd like to share in the meeting btw? Yes, just a little info I have started to seriously investigate what it would mean to integrate Monero into OpenBazaar I have already talked with 2 of their devs, was very interesting In maybe 2 or 3 weeks I intend to write a report Too early to tell much more :) Soon^tm I guess :) Yep Currently wrestling with Go debugging whole new world moneromooo: Has pony recently shared any insights regarding the upcoming 0.14 release btw? No. All right I would love to see the tor & i2p PR's merged sooner rather than later so we can get more testing done. ^ +1 Isn't that famous early code freeze already on the horizon? fluffypony, luigi1111 ^ I suppose I could provide a little update regarding the GUI btw As always, lots of bug fixes and improvements :-P selsta has recently added a feature to support multi accounts dsc_ has revamped the wizard and will now start working on implementing the different modes and a white theme dsc_ is working fulltime on the GUI already? yes :) dsc_ is bae In light of the recent payment ID discussion, we've also, by default, disabled the option to add a payment ID unless the user explicitely activates the option on the settings page rehrar ^ nice I spoke about this yesterday at the coffee chat, this is not a good decision. How does it handle integrated addresses? The same way? rehrar ? For the next many months, we are still stuck with PAyment IDs in the ecosystem. Making it harder for people to access them will make Monero suck so hard to use for the average person for many months. i agree with rehrar Remove the option of Payment IDs when we remove Payment IDs rehrar: The new GUI release won't be live until probably mid march though Which is a few weeks in advance of the scheduled protocol upgrade Payment ID removal comes in October right, but Payment IDs are not removed in March Did we not have loose consensus on removing the old, unencrypted payment IDs in march? they are removed in October We had discussed a deprecation in March and a ban in October ok, then if we are going to do that, we have to commit to it and contact the exchanges like Binance that use them and get rid of them in the next few months (of unencrypted) Binance is huge, and if they still use them, then people will be very upset that they can't deposit or use Payment IDs easily I'm just speaking from a UX perspective. I thought it was unencrypted in April and possibly encrypted in October Yes I do agree Timeline and notes: https://github.com/monero-project/meta/issues/299 impossible to remove them for march, many exchanges still use them We can defer it to the 0.15 release if needed Well, that wasn't the impression for them log that I just read today This was all discussed in the earlier meeting linked above We have to force the ecosystem off of Payment IDs before we remove them from the UI, is all I'm saying Remove != make difficult to use ... or make them more difficult there, right? ping sgp_ sarang, I understand, and I agreed with you during that meeting. But then I started thinking of it as a UX person, which I am. And that huge massive problem leapt out at me i think making them difficult to generate is a good idea but making them difficult to consume and use is a bad idea well, maybe not a good idea, but a better idea ^ If we defer the decision to depriciate long payment IDs to october, won't we have the same issue then? The UI can gave an expandable payment ID field like MyMonero and we can still call it deprecated It is foolhardy to remove an option that the ecosystem uses. So I suggest we keep the Payment ID in the UI until October when they are completely banned. no dEBRYUNE, because they will be banned via consensus sgp_ imo it may be a misdirection of dev resources to add that since things are proceeding in the short term rather than long term but this is a relatively minor point Nothing matters til exchanges change All right The issue is that consensus will still have them in April, and exchanges won't upgrade because they are still allowed. Thus they must still be in the UI. endogenic these changes are already merged in the GUI to hide it like you do ok But when they are banned, exchanges are forced to upgrade or stop using Monero, so we can remove them safely because they won't be in use rehrar: that's a strong assumption sarang that they will upgrade? yes if they don't, then they can't use Monero If exchanges require pid, users need a way to set a pid. Making it hard for the user in the interim is just going to be a nightmare. we have decided to take our "stand" in October A way that is not too hard, then To be clear, we still intend to deprecate long encrypted payment IDs in April right? But no enforcement until October the term "deprecated" doesn't mean much if it's still allowed, and used in popular places yes, as far as I understand it jtgrassie, exactly True I suppose dEBRUYNE: we need to be more specific when talking about deprecation the person who suffers is the user There are two proposals for GUI deprecation: 1. Hide it in the send screen with a simple option to expand (currently merged iirc) 2. Hide it completely in the send screen unless users enable the field in advanced settings (PR'd but not merged yet iirc) What are the arguments for 2? Both are poor options, but 1 is better than 2 by a long shot Well the people who need to be made to "suffer" are the exchanges. And I don't see a way to make exchanges "suffer" other than by having their suffering customers complain to them constantly that they need to update. ^ CLI has something similar where users need to set a manual payment ID transfer mode. Not sure if it's merged yet the way to make the exchanges suffer is when we ban PIDs. They either upgrade or don't use Monero. exact;y Agree with rerahr here have exchanges been provided with clear, practical, sufficient technical upgrade plans for supporting what they're doing with PIDs but with subaddrs? Both are poor options, but 1 is better than 2 by a long shot <= I wouldn't call 1. a poor option. Have you actually checked how it looks? Because it states "Payment ID" and a user has to click on the + to expand the field endogenic: yes the email when out. Blog post coming soon, but contains the same info as the email also the exhcnages' users are often using wallets that don't support subaddresses ok great as well, it should be noted that the timeline for exchanges to upgrade is September, not October when the fork is. Which wallets are that? Rehrar: I don't see option 1. causing any issues/confusion i guess it doesnt matter too much if withdrawing as a personal user the main address should suffice Because September is when the new versions will be coming out without PIDs in the UI If there's opposition to 2, 1 is fine. We can still call it deprecated which is the optics we need anyway exchange users are often just using other exchanges lol. No wallets involved. dsc_ dEBRUYNE, ok, I trust you guys here then rbrunner: i was thinking mymonero last i heard Ok pigeons: rbrunner yes receiving on subaddresses won't be supported yet sending to them has been possible though and yes as learnandlurkin says often they withdraw to other systems like exhcnages that also dont yet support subaddresses I really can't come up with any good argument for 2. right now endogenic: seems not much of an issue then. Exchanges will typically support withdrawals to both subaddresses and plain addresses (especially if we are going to force them to use subaddresses) For deposits, MyMonero works properly if the user sends to a subaddress Actually the second solution was already merged: https://github.com/monero-project/monero-gui/pull/1866 Maybe not enough eyes watching :) The important thing is to have done something to justify having a big "DEPRECATED IN APRIL" stamp on PIDs to spook exchanges in the interim This was for solution 1: https://github.com/monero-project/monero-gui/pull/1855 The Monero Community Workgroup will start making noise everywhere we can to exchanges, and everywhere else that will listen. Try to get on those garbage news sites also. So everyone knows that deprecated in April, and banned in September Hey, for solution 1, write "Payment ID (optional, deprecated)" or similar there rbrunner: noted rehrar: probably wait until the blog post, but it should only be a few days Maybe a Reddit sticky post would be useful? With the blog post If people are over freaking out about the hashrate or terabyte blockchain :) sigh Any questions for the MRL side? Is someone checking ArticMine's block size changes for weird behaviour in some cases etc ? How would such testing work? Private blockchain?