Here’s What We Know About the Bitfinex and Tether Issue

Bitfinex Tether issueBitfinex Tether issue

On Thursday, April 25, reports surfaced that The New York Attorney General’s office is looking into Bitfinex. Specifically, NYAG Letitia James said she had received a court order against iFinex Inc., which is the company behind Bitfinex. The order told them to stop breaking New York law.

Here’s what we know.

The Bitfinex and Tether Issue: April 2019

According to reports, The New York Attorney General’s office is looking into iFinex. Why? Because the office alleges that Bitfinex lost more than $800 million. The crypto exchange then proceeded to use funds from Tether, a stablecoin operator also operated by iFinex, to cover the shortfall.

In the Thursday issued press release, the world was informed that Bitfinex sent $850 million to Crypto Capital Corp and that iFinex, based on an investigation by Letitia James’ department, has been found to have “engaged in a cover-up to hide the apparent loss of $850 million of co-mingled client and corporate funds.”

Many are said to have been impacted by the Bitfinex and Tether issue. With that in mind, James says her department is doing everything in its power to stand up for those affected. “We will continue to stand-up for investors,” explained James, “and seek justice on their behalf when misled or cheated by any of these companies.”

It’s important to note that under the court order, the following are to cease loaning, accessing, or, according to CoinDesk, “making any other claim to the dollar reserves held by Tether”: iFinex officers, agents, employees, contractors, directors, and assignees.

>> Ripple Reports Major Growth in XRP Sales in First Quarter

But just because NYAG has taken charge doesn’t mean Bitfinex is stepping aside. After the press release on Thursday came out, Bitfinex issued a response. In the response, the crypto exchange said the New York Attorney General’s “court filings were written in bad faith.” Bitfinex also said the filings were “riddled with false assertions, including as to a purported $850 million ‘loss’ at Crypto Capital.” You can read the crypto exchange’s full response on the Bitfinex and Tether issue here.

Takeaway

Do you have any thoughts on the Bitfinex and Tether issue? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured image: DepositPhotos © Piter2121

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Ripple Reports Major Growth in XRP Sales in First Quarter

RippleRipple

American financial technology firm Ripple, which is responsible for the development of the cryptocurrency XRP, has declared its fiscal first-quarter results.

The company, which was founded in 2012, is the largest holder of XRP, the third biggest cryptocurrency in the world, and is based in San Francisco, California. It has offices located around the world. The currency XRP, in itself, is decentralized. According to the Q1 2019 results, the company reported major growth in XRP sales, and that is positive news for the broader crypto market, which has been largely subdued this year.

XRP Sales

The sales of the billions of units of XRP held by the company is its biggest source of income, and in the first quarter, Ripple sold XRP for $169.42 million. However, it is far more important to note that out of those total sales, $61.93 million worth of XRP was bought by institutions and this is a clear indicator that some major players in the financial sector might finally be moving into crypto.

XRP is supposed to be used as a bridge currency for international payments, and so it is not surprising that institutions have bought the cryptocurrency. More importantly, the total sales reflect a rise of as much as 54% in XRP sales from the previous quarter.

>> Nike to Launch Crypto Called Cryptokicks? Trademark Application Hints Yes

Beyond the Numbers

Although the quarter on quarter growth in sales is certainly a huge breakthrough for the company, it needs to be pointed out that growth in year-on-year sales in XRP is not significant at all. In the same quarter in 2018, Ripple sold $167.7 million worth of XRP and once compared with the figures of the last quarter, the overall growth is merely a little over 1%.

In addition to that, the volume of XRP trade on a global level declined on a quarter-on-quarter basis. In the previous quarter, the total traded volume was $54.82 billion, while in Q1 2019 it stood at $53.85 billion. This reflects a 2% drop in traded volume. However, it cannot be denied that it has not been a particularly great year for cryptocurrencies and hence, the quarter-on-quarter sales growth is being looked upon in a positive light.

Featured image: DepositPhotos @ adriantoday

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Nike to Launch Crypto Called Cryptokicks? Trademark Application Hints Yes

cryptokickscryptokicks

The crypto community has known for a while that Facebook might be issuing its own cryptocurrency. And now, it appears the online behemoth might have a little competition. Reports have surfaced that athletic apparel manufacturer Nike is thinking of doing the same. The Oregon-based company even has a name for its digital currency: cryptokicks.

Nike Cryptokicks Coming Soon?

On April 19, Nike filed a trademark application for ‘cryptokicks.’ The application said cryptokicks could be used by an online community. The application also describes an electronic marketplace for clothing and footwear. While significant news, it is not, in retrospect, surprising, considering Nike has been trying to increase its digital footprint for the last while or so.

Extensive details about Nike’s plans are still unknown; however, submitting a trademark application is a strong indication the company is preparing itself to launch cryptokicks. According to trademark lawyer Josh Gerben, “if you submit things just for the purpose of submitting things, it will tie up the trademark system unnecessarily.” Gerben went on to say that “Nike does not have a history of filings that are speculative.”

>> Samsung Blockchain? Tech Giant Developing Blockchain Network

Based on Gerben’s thoughts, it looks like Nike launching a cryptocurrency is the real deal. But the reality of that will still depend on whether Nike gets the green light. If it does, the company will have rights over the name, but it will still have to launch a cryptokicks commercial product to get the full trademark, according to sources.

Takeaway

In the coming weeks, it will be interesting to see how the market reacts to the news. While some might not want corporations to have their own cryptocurrencies (Facebook being one of them), it’s also important for these companies to stay relevant. And at the end of the day, cryptocurrencies are at the forefront of relevancy.

What do you think about the potential launch of cryptokicks? Let us know in the comments below.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © alexeynovikov

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Is TD Ameritrade Working to Enter the Crypto Industry?

TD AmeritradeTD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade is a financial services company and provides a trading platform through which users can trade stocks, mutual funds, investments, and much more. TD Ameritrade has reportedly around 11 million users.

TD Starting Crypto Trading?

Rumors are circulating all over the internet that this company is already in testing phases of crypto trading in association with ErisX. ErisX is a Chicago-based company, and according to the rumors, it is developing and testing a beta version of crypto trading on TD Ameritrade’s online trading platform. However, this news is not official yet.

If it is, TD’s 11 million users will be able to dabble in crypto trading officially on its platform. Other top companies like Fidelity and the NYSE are also working toward crypto trading. They said that testing is in the final stages and after completion, crypto trading will be officially available for users.

Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, has some exciting news about whether or not the TD rumors are true. Lee said that he observed TD Ameritrade has tested Litecoin and Bitcoin on their brokerage platform.

>> John McAfee Says He Will Reveal Who Satoshi Nakamoto Is

Any information regarding fees, trade costs, and more will be disclosed to users after ErisX completes the product development without any bugs. TD Ameritrade appears to be planning to make all cryptocurrencies available for trading, not just Bitcoin.

The rates of cryptocurrencies may rise or fall, but there is no downfall for its development. If the world is not focusing on this concept, why are some of the major companies developing their own crypto coins?

This concept is backed by blockchain technology, a superior tech for safety. Transactions can be done irrespective of the sender and receiver locations. There are a lot more advantages with cryptocurrencies, and having big companies like TD Ameritrade introducing crypto trading is a good step for the future of crypto.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © opturadesign

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John McAfee Says He Will Reveal Who Satoshi Nakamoto Is

John McAfeeJohn McAfee

According to a Bloomberg report, notorious crypto enthusiast and antivirus software maker, John McAfee, claims to have spoken with Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. Further, he says he will reveal this person’s identity.

John McAfee Claims to Know Satoshi Nakamoto

When this reveal will be, however, remains unclear, despite McAfee initially telling Bloomberg he would expose Nakamoto “within a week.” McAfee said yesterday that the controversy his announcement would bring could damage his efforts to fight extradition to the US. Saying in a Twitter post:

“Releasing the identity of Satoshi at this time could influence the trial and risk my extradition […] I cannot risk that. I’ll wait.”

But in speaking to Bloomberg, McAfee said the following:

“I’ve spoken with him, and he is not a happy camper about my attempt to out him.”

However, it remains skeptical whether his claim is true—so many others have attempted to track down the Bitcoin pioneer and failed.

Satoshi Nakamoto

Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym given to the person or people who created Bitcoin and spawned an entire currency. There have been multiple theories as to who the creator of the digital coin is, with each one causing hot debate. No one who has come forward with a suggestion has ever been able to prove it and theories are often quickly discredited. The mystery has gone so far as to suggest Tesla CEO Elon Musk is Satoshi Nakamoto—something he himself quickly denied.

Other claimants include Bitcoin SV founder Craig Wright and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin.

All we know is if McAfee’s claim is true, then Nakamoto is a man living in the US.

>> Bitcoin Price Surges to a New 2019 High: $5,600 and Climbing

Trust McAfee

In speaking to Bloomberg, McAfee reminded people that he has spent a lifetime tracking down hackers, meaning he is well capable of tracking down Nakamoto.

“People forget that I am a technologist […] I am one of the best,” he furthered.

What do you think? Do you believe McAfee?

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © photoagents

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Cryptocurrency Bear Market Wanes: Going through Accumulation

cryptocurrencycryptocurrency

In recent weeks various industry observers have indicated that the cryptocurrency market is experiencing a bullish run.  The notion has received more support with a fresh report implying that the bear market is actually waning and it is in the accumulation phase.

Heavy Accumulation

According to a recently published report by Adamant Capital, Bitcoin is already experiencing heavy accumulation, and the phase will bring its price to between $3,000 and $6,500, at least until the bullish run gains momentum. Bitcoin whales are already accumulating the major cryptocurrency synonymous to the 2014-2015 bear market, indicating that the cryptocurrency is preparing for a price increase in the future.

The report indicates that retail traders are leaving the cryptocurrency market as long-term and agnostic investors become dominant. This is reportedly consistent with Bitcoin’s volatility analysis, which fell below 5% in the 60-day volatility range, which is lower since 2016.

The report goes on: “During the accumulation phase, the market will trade in a range: the weak hands, who are trying to get out of the market, take profit during rallies and thus create the resistance, and the strong hands, looking to accumulate, buy at the bottom of the range which eventually creates a floor in the piece.”

>> Coinbase Crypto Services Expand to 11 New Countries: Why it’s Important

Millennial Generation Holds Key

The key drivers of the cryptocurrency market growth are millennials, who are said to not trust banks. Millennials are also reported to be the majority of Bitcoin buyers. Researchers have indicated that in the next few years, Bitcoin will experience massive adoption.

In a previous report by Clovr, millennials were the majority of the investors in cryptocurrency, earning between $75,000 and $99,999 per year. The report indicated that the millennial generation is twice as likely to invest in Bitcoin than any other generation, with 23% of women and 43% of men investing in cryptocurrency.

Featured image: DepositPhotos @ peshkova

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Bitcoin Remains Stable: Crypto Market Capitalization Hits New High

BitcoinBitcoin

Over the last month, the cryptocurrency market was on a hot streak, rising about 38% as investors piled into crypto assets such as Bitcoin and other popular alternatives like Litecoin, Ripple’s XRP, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and EOS.

Crypto Market Capitalization Hits New All-Time High

At the beginning of the month, Bitcoin (BTC) price surged, taking analysts and traders by surprise as to what might have caused the sudden increase in price. However, analysts are unsure whether the cryptocurrencies will hold their recent gains. But considering Bitcoin has managed to maintain the price above $5,000, it shows signs of strength that the growth will continue.

This week the crypto market capitalization of Bitcoin and another 2,000 cryptocurrencies hit $186 billion, an all-time high for this year. Apparently, Bitcoin makes up almost half of the crypto market capitalization, with over a $90 billion market cap. Crypto analysts have labeled the sudden rally as the ‘Altseason’ because of the double-digit gain made by the smaller cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin will Exceed $20,000 Price in a Few Years

The recent rally has been seen by industry players as good news, and it is a result of various developments in the crypto industry. This week the price of cryptocurrencies continued to grow following the launch of the Coinbase crypto card in the UK. Also, most of the major cryptos maintained their strong positions because of bullish comments from analysts and industry watchers, which caused a surge in sentiments allowing the coins to maintain the high prices.

>> Coinbase Executive Leaves: 3 Major Departures in 6 Months

Brian Kelly of BKCM investment management firm stated that the price of Bitcoin will, in the next few years, exceed the 2017 all-time high of $20,000. He added that the growth of crypto networks and institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies will continue to push the price of cryptocurrencies higher in the coming years.

eToro market analyst, Mato Greenspan indicated that there was a step down in the crypto market after a breakout week. He added that failure to go up demonstrates the present appetite, but it does not mean that growth will decline.

Featured image: DepositPhotos @ Varavin88

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Harvard University Purchases Blockstack’s Crypto Tokens

Crypto TokensCrypto Tokens

In the news making headlines in the cryptocurrency industry, Harvard University Endowment has made an investment in the crypto token sale of Blockstack.

Blockstack Offering 95.83 million Crypto Tokens

A filing made with the US Securities Exchange Commission listed designees affiliated to the Havard Management Company including Charlie Saravia, Rodolfo Gonzalez, and Zavain Dar who have been participating in the purchase of 95.8 million Blockstack tokens, worth $11.5 million. Although it’s not clear how much the Harvard University Endowment has purchased, it is, however, the first time a major endowment has invested in cryptocurrency.

In a tweet, Anthony Pompliano of Morgan Creek Digital indicated that Havard Endowment had directly invested $5 million to $10 million in the Blockstack token sale.

This investment from a leading university is going viral, and it’s a move that will hopefully encourage other institutional investors to invest in crypto tokens as well. The attitude is building up, and this will encourage investors to try small crypto tokens such as TCAT tokens.

Institutional Investors Seeking Regulated Custodians

Institutional investors have been hesitant about getting involved in the crypto market and with major assets such as Bitcoin, the reason being crypto’s lack of regulations. Even when Bitcoin was on a bullish run in 2017, achieving a price of $20,000, there were no regulated investment channels or custodial solutions that could encourage the institution to invest in crypto. In 2018, however, the trend began to change, and institutional investors have slowly started dripping their toes in the crypto waters.

>> Bakkt Hires PayPal and Google Veteran as Chief Product Officer

Pantera Capital CEO, Dan Morehead, indicated that the crypto industry has been empowered with the necessary infrastructure and it can now handle large money from institutions. He added that institutions are concerned about having a well-regulated custodian, something that the crypto industry has yet to attain.

Blockstack CEO, Muneed Ali, stated that once the offering gets approved, it will be the first-ever SEC-qualified crypto token of its kind. He adds that proceeds from the offering will be put in the development of their decentralized app ecosystem.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © sframe

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Cryptocurrency Witnesses Better Returns than Equities This Year

cryptocurrencycryptocurrency

Good days may be ahead for cryptocurrencies. The sentiment of digital assets is improving slowly after witnessing a bear trend in 2018. The total cryptocurrency market cap has increased considerably by over $50 billion USD since the beginning of 2019. Many digital assets are outperforming the market when compared to the largest indices worldwide.

CCI30 Increases by 40%

Since the beginning of this year, the CCI30 (Cryptocurrency Index 30) has gained as much as 40%, reversing the initial downtrend. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), which witnessed a drop in the middle of February 2019, have recuperated losses and slowly moved up. Bitcoin, which has a considerable effect on the CCI30, has increased by 20% since the first of this month.

BTC Bull Run

It is time for the cryptizens to cheer because the price of Bitcoin has surged to a 4-month high of $4,900 USD, at the time of writing, and looks to be continuing to grow. The price of BTC increased by almost 17% in just 30 minutes today. The reason behind the surge may have to do with investors going long on this cryptocurrency. It appears to be the start of a bull run for Bitcoin. According to speculators, the price of Bitcoin is expected to reach $50,000 USD.

>> Coinbase Jobs Rank in LinkedIn’s Top 50 US Employers List 2019

According to the billionaire and bitcoin enthusiast, Tim Draper, everyone will use Bitcoin for daily remittances, even for buying a coffee, by 2021. Tesla founder and fanatic of cryptocurrency, Elon Musk, said Bitcoin is better for transferring money when compared to current processes.

NASDAQ Gearing to Launch Bitcoin Futures

The biggest stock exchange, NASDAQ, is geared to unveil Bitcoin futures in 2019. Bakkt, a digital asset platform, mobilized funds of $182.5 million USD. This is set to launch in the latter half of 2019. The firms currently supporting Bakkt include Boston Consulting Group, Pantera Capital, and Galaxy Digital.

Featured image: DepositPhotos @ iqoncept

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Beyond hot and cold wallets: what it means to secure digital assets

The digital asset industry needs to move away from its obsession with storing wealth in the right kind of wallet – hot or cold – and instead engage a secure digital custody service.

From Mt Gox to QuadrigaCX, and now Bithumb too, the digital asset industry has been plagued by security issues, with $865 million worth of cryptocurrency stolen from storage and exchanges in 2018 alone.

Storing assets on exchanges, or assuming responsibility for private keys to hot and cold wallets has proven time and again to be a risk not worth taking

To explain why entrusting digital assets to a regulated custody solution, meet Vincent Chok, Founder & Group CEO of Legacy Trust, a Hong Kong-licensed trust company that offers institutional-grade custody for digital assets, and Demetrios Skalkotos, Global Head of Ledger Vault, a licensed hardware wallet provider.

Vincent Chok, Founder & Group CEO of Legacy Trust

On the greatest security challenges facing users he said:

“When criminals are unable to access the assets stored in cold wallets, they revert to more traditional methods of theft, like phishing or physical theft.”

“Cold wallets are as secure as users let them be: if they aren’t used properly, they won’t offer a complete security solution. Recent losses made by exchanges have shown that often funds that are promised to be kept in cold wallets are, in fact, not. Without proper policies or policing, user’s digital assets are being lost to exit scams or exchange hacks because inexperienced custodians are not adequately prepared to safeguard these assets.”

On the role of custodianship in the digital asset space he said:

“For a decentralized space, it is concerning how centralized user data and digital assets are when all kept in the same exchanges or hot wallets.”

“The future of digital assets will rely on specialization and separation. As the industry develops, so must the number of solutions meeting the needs of users. Think of what goes into building a house: there are surveyors, builders, plumbers, electricians and others who contribute to completing a home. Multiple highly-trained specialists are needed to create the final product safely and compliantly. Similarly, in digital assets, it makes sense to seek secure storage solutions from the experts, who already have the knowledge, rather than keep it in-house..”

“An independent custodian solution offers an unparalleled level of security, especially when you consider that many are regulated and have to adhere to strict compliance standards that protect customer assets. Custody providers have spent decades investing in technologically-sound storage solutions, so it makes sense to trust that expertise.”

Demetrios Skalkotos, Global Head of Ledger Vault

On the evolution of the digital asset industry he said:

“As the digital asset industry matures and is embraced by mainstream financial institutions, we have to remember that keeping crypto secure is still a major issue. There must be an increased focus on the security solutions being developed to prevent the next major enterprise-level hack.”

“For crypto to achieve mainstream adoption, security needs to be addressed at the enterprise level. The security that hardware wallets provide for individuals must be scaled for enterprises and exchanges to provide investors with peace of mind that their assets are secure.”

On the digital asset threat landscape he said:

“The need for a digital security ecosystem is greater than ever: we’re connected to the internet by numerous endpoints, giving hackers many targets. Protecting critical digital assets —  from home security systems to medical devices, to bitcoin— will become increasingly more difficult.”

“Mt. Gox might have been about digital assets, but it represents a larger issue of security as more devices move online. As digital resilience becomes even more important, an organization’s entire digital ecosystem must be secured – from individual investments to enterprise-level custody solutions, to all IoT-connected critical digital assets.”

On how to properly secure digital assets he said:

“With Vault, in the hands of each administrator or operator, a Personal Security Device is used to interact with the platform. On the back-end, a Hardware Security Module (HSM) is executing the sensitive operations, such as checking governance rules and signing transactions.”

“All critical communications between the PSDs and the platform go through a secure channel providing strong protection against potential man-in-the-middle attacks.”