What do you think of when you hear the words cryptocurrency wallet- a wallet you can slip right into your back pocket pops into your mind right? Well a cryptocurrency wallet is not a physical wallet but a software program that holds the private and public keys of an individual’s cryptocurrency account and it interacts with various blockchain to enable sending and receiving digital currencies and gives the user an opportunity to monitor their balance. To make use of any cryptocurrency, you need a cryptocurrency wallet.
How do these wallets work?
Cryptocurrency wallets do not store physical currencies like your pocket wallets. Instead of currencies it stores your public and private keys and interfaces with various blockchain. This ensures that users can check their balance, send and receive money etc. In other word all that exists are records of transactions stored on the
Types of Cryptocurrency Wallets
There are basically three categories of cryptocurrency wallets –software, hardware, and paper.
These wallets are like software programs or applications that can be downloaded on desktop, mobile or online. Wallets installed on a PC or laptop can only be accessed from the single computer in which they are downloaded and they are the most secure wallets. You could also have an Online wallet which runs on the cloud and can be accessed from any computing device. But then, online wallets are more vulnerable to hacking attacks and theft. You could also make use of a mobile wallet that will run on an app on your phone.
Instead of storing your private keys online, you can store them on a hardware device like a USB. You can also make transactions online with your hardware wallets. Since they stored offline, they promise increased security. All you need to do to carry out a transaction with your hardware wallet is to simply plug in your device to an internet-enabled computer, enter a pin, send and confirm currency.
Although paper wallet refer to a physical copy of your public and private keys, they could also be a piece of software that can be used to safely generate a pair of keys which can then printed. Paper wallets are not only easy to use, they also provide a very high level of security.
How to Keep Your Cryptocurrency Wallets Safe
- You should always remember that no matter the wallet you use,you will lose your money if you lose your private keys. Also you’d lose your money if your wallet gets hacked. You cannot reclaim lost currency or reverse transactions you made so if you send money to a scammer it’s gone. You must be very careful when transacting. You can take these steps to protect your currency.
- Ensure you backup your wallet. You can keep the bulk of your funds in a cold storage such as a paper or hardware wallet. This will ensure that you are protected in the event of a computer failure and you can recover your wallet if it gets lost or stolen. However you will not be protected against determined hackers.
- Update your software to ensure you have the latest updated security available. Update the software of your wallet and your computer or mobile.
- You should also add extra security layers such as setting long and complex passwords. You could also ensure that all withdrawal of funds requires a password. Also ensure to use reputable wallets that provide extra layers like two-factor authentication.
What wallet do you use? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.
Image credit: Pixabay
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France To Push For EU Partners To Adopt Its Cryptocurrency Regulatory Framework
It has been a formalised fact that the French parliament had cautiously approved a regulatory framework that included rules aimed at attracting cryptocurrency issuers and traders to establish their companies and platforms in France by giving them some official recognition. In the other way, this law ensure that these issues and traders are appropriately taxed based on their profit generations. This financial regulatory framework was passed on last week.
This new cryptocurrency regulation passed in France is obviously the first of its kind adopted by a major nation. Unarguably, it will allow firms that want to issue new cryptocurrencies or trade existing ones to apply for a certification.
As has been stated before, the certification will be granted by the French market regulator for those who want it. And hence, issuers, traders, custodians and investors will have to pay taxes on profits they make on those securities.
The major goal of this regulatory framework is to set up a market in mostly in the city of Paris for companies raising capital through cryptocurrency projects which would allow France to grab a slice of the expanding business while giving it some oversight of a niche which some fear could be a target for speculators.
Under this regulatory framework, France authorities would verify who is behind a new coin’s issuance or a trading platform, and check the companies’ business plans and anti-money laundering rules. The certification will give investors basic guarantees against outright fraud, but will not protect them against losses. However, the specific requirements companies need to abide by to get the regulatory stamp of approval are still to be defined by government decrees.
In the wave of this development, according to Reuters news report, France will ask for the European Union to adopt a cryptocurrency regulations similar to the one it brought in last week at a national level, becoming the first major country to do so.
This proposal was made known by Minister Le Marie in Paris at the event on blockchain technology. In his words: “I will propose to my European partners that we set up a single regulatory framework on crypto-assets inspired by the French experience. “Our model is the right one.”
Reuters equally reported that “the European Commission has recently launched a feasibility study on how to regulate the cryptocurrency markets, though no legislation is expected at least until late 2019 as the mandate of the current administration is ending.”
Binance Labs Gifts $1500 Each To Its Three Open-source Fellowship Projects
Binance Labs which is the investment arm of a major cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, it has granted $45,000 to three different blockchain development projects which it described as the “First Fellowship Round Supporting Open-Source Blockchain Development.” Each of these Open-Source Blockchain Development was gifted with $15000. The news about this development was made known in Binance blog post on Friday, the 12th of April.
Binance Lab is “an infrastructure impact fund and an initiative launched by Binance to incubate, invest in, and empower blockchain and cryptocurrency entrepreneurs, projects, and communities.” It’s mission is to “solve the problems that matter most to the ecosystem and change the world for the better.” It is an” initiative to fund and support open-source development projects that contribute and have infrastructure value to the global blockchain ecosystem.”
Binance Labs Funds for Blockchain project
The three open-source blockchain projects are: Ironbelly, HOPR and Kitsune Wallet. The first which Ironbelly is a first of its kind, a mobile wallet for Grin/Mimblewimble blockchain whose goal is to provide an easy and simple way to hold and transfer Grins between people. It is open-source and free to use and is currently in beta testing for iOS.
The second project, HOPR, is a privacy-preserving messaging protocol that incentivizes users to participate in the network and it provides privacy by relaying messages via several relay nodes to the recipient.
The third project, Kitsune Wallet is a smart contract based account that will hold your crypto assets in a single contract while being able to change appearance depending on your need. It is the new name of Universally Upgradable Identity Proxy, which was initiated during EthParis 2019.
Support for Developers
With regard to this development, Flora Sun, Director at Binance Labs said, “We have seen firsthand how innovation depends on an engaged community of developers and entrepreneurs who imagine ideas and create new projects to bring products to market. The more talent an industry attracts to the space, the higher chance that it will be successful and Binance Labs hopes to further enable the overwhelming talent and builders of our industry. Thus, our part is to support early-stage projects that are helping to create the building blocks and infrastructure for larger utility and enabling growth in the blockchain market.”
The Binance Labs Fellowship would support developers and researchers in creating free and open-source projects which would enable new innovations and businesses in the cryptocurrency economy, as said Teck Chia, Partner at Binance Labs had hinted. She made it known that through the Fellowship, Binance wants to support early-stage projects by passionate developers who want to create the key building blocks for the entire blockchain industry. In her words, “on behalf of the Binance community, we would like to thank these projects for their contribution to the blockchain ecosystem.”
It could be summarised that, “Binance Labs aim is to actualise the full potential of blockchain technology by supporting: (1) early-stage blockchain projects through the Incubation Program; (2) top entrepreneurs through strategic direct investments; and (3) open-source developers through the Fellowship.”
94% of Endowment Funds are Allocating to Crypto Investments
Endowment Funds– which go to non-profit organizations are of recent being redirected and allocated to crypto-related investments. This trend began in early 2018 and this fact-finding was conducted in the last quarter of that same year. According to The Trade Crypto, the continuous support and release of funding without minding the concerns for regulation, liquidity, and volatility.
The majority of these Endowments are based in the United States and Canada while the others are scattered across the United Kingdom.
The summary of the research showed that despite the current shortcomings in the industry, endowments remain firm in their resolution to provide funding for them. This is a show of belief in the industry and it will, in turn, spur regulatory bodies to rise up to the occasion of securing the people’s asset which is long overdue.
In contrast, only a minor 7% of respondents were skeptical and predicted a reduction in funding it the coming years.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Watkins who happens to be the managing editor at Global Custodian and The Trade had this to say about the survey:
“All the talk over the past 18 months has been around when institutional investors will begin participating in cryptocurrency investments, but it turns out they had already arrived, in the form of endowment funds”
More insights got from the survey clearly show that 54% of the respondents are directly investing in crypto assets, and 46% are investing in various kinds of funds. But most definitely, the important characteristics the endowments would be looking out of are that they comply with robust regulation, have sufficient capital flow and liquidity and finally account security.
The Trade suggests cautious optimism is an apt overall summary of endowment sentiment in regard to the nascent asset class, citing one respondent’s belief that crypto “is the future of investing,” and others’ characterizations of the process as “a very wild ride” and “hair-raising.”
In February, it was reported that part of the $12 billion endowments set aside was invested in a Cryptofund managed by the United States venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Later that same year 2018, information about crypto fund investments from the big wigs in the university endowment category showed that Havard and Yale- with Harvard making provision for over $39.2 billion endowments for the fiscal year. Among other universities with crypto investments are Stanford University, Dartmouth College, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of North Carolina.
As reported this month, Harvard’s endowment is set to become a direct investor in a planned $50 million token sale from decentralized computing network Blockstack. If approved, the sale would be the industry’s first Securities and Exchanges Commission-qualified offering.
Africa Must Regulate Cryptocurrencies To Attract Foreign Investment
Did you know that two-thirds of the adults in Africa are unbanked? Are you aware that this accounts for the second highest proportion in the world? Find our more and How blockchain can help!
It is not out of place to say that cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology can be the long-awaited savior of Africa’s economy and in turn- bring in Investments from all around the world. Blockchain has the powers to eliminate corruption, ensuring swift transactions and conducting free fare and credible elections. Still wondering how? Click to find out.
Quite frankly, the above-listed challenges facing the African economy are not the only peculiar cases that can be sought out by this brilliant invention. It is however still surprising how the regulatory bodies in the continent unanimously stand against this tested innovation.
While Most of these regulators might claim to be acting in the best interest of the members of her economy, others might even be of the opinion that this developing continent is not capable of handling new technology. But you will agree with me that technology has been received just well and it has never been the challenge- right from the times of mobile phones- recording over 77% increase in usage from the initial 3% in just over a decade. if you didn’t believe this first example, then allow me us the internet as another case where we as a continent handled innovation just fine- recording over 1000% rise in the same period of 10 years. the list is endless.
While government officials like Trump and the White house are scheduling meetings upon meetings with blockchain experts; while the Securities and Exchange Commission of advanced countries are paying close attention to integrating the technology using adequate regulatory policies, the ill-informed opinions of those in power in my dear black continent continue to flood the news in forms of sponsored posts directed particularly at destroying every possible glimpse of hope of a finding lasting solutions to the setbacks in this area of the world.
Let me shock you yet again with research by Ashlin Perumall (a senior associate at leading global law firm, Baker McKenzie’s Johannesburg office) published on the Daily Maverick. He found out that two-thirds of the adults in Africa are unbanked and this accounts for the second highest proportion in the world.
Furthermore, he stressed on the fact that remittances- being one of the major sources of revenue in the predominantly trade and e-commerce continent, the use of Blockchain technology cannot be played down on.
In what sounded like a lamentation, Ashlin noted how sad it was to actually see that not one of these regulators have made a move in the direction of advocating that regulatory policies be set for the Industry.
Sadly, Zambia one of the few countries currently leading the fight against cryptocurrencies and any technology of the sought is not hopeful of having a rethink in the nearest future.
Noticeably, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and a few other countries have not only welcomed the technology but are creating a breeding ground for start-ups within the tech sectors of their economies.
Also particularly in Nigeria, SiBAN– a local Blockchain Association has been doing a lot of work at building a self-regulatory framework for the highly underrated industry.
Nigeria leads the West African region, with the country’s central bank working on a white paper that could form the blueprint for crypto regulations in Africa. In South Africa, the central bank is working closely with blockchain and fintech startups to figure out the best way forward.
In his final words, Ashlin remarks:
There are many opportunities around the use of blockchain and cryptocurrency in Africa. However, it is clear that there are also substantial challenges. Considering the speed at which this technology is being embraced on the continent, there is great potential for African countries to develop regulations governing fintech use, with the intention of incentivizing foreign direct investment.
Wondering how the Blockchain technology can contribute to the betterment of our society? This is the Nigeria Use case:
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