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Securing Crypto Private Keys with Billfodl

For anyone who’s acquired crypto in any meaningful quantities, you’ll likely have gone through a similar process to that which many others did. Firstly, looking to get free bitcoin and coming across the wonder that is a faucet, then likely asking around for a recommendation for a crypto exchange, and shelling out some of your hard earned fiat on buying some crypto. Alternatively you got yourself a miner and mined some crypto. While some people don’t mind leaving their crypto on an exchange, it isn’t recommended for any long-term storage given the number of hacks that have occured over the

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For anyone who’s acquired crypto in any meaningful quantities, you’ll likely have gone through a similar process to that which many others did. Firstly, looking to get free bitcoin and coming across the wonder that is a faucet, then likely asking around for a recommendation for a crypto exchange, and shelling out some of your hard earned fiat on buying some crypto. Alternatively you got yourself a miner and mined some crypto.

While some people don’t mind leaving their crypto on an exchange, it isn’t recommended for any long-term storage given the number of hacks that have occured over the years. The only true way to control (and therefore fully own) crypto is by having your own wallet and private keys. These vary in type, ranging from bitcoin core (or the equivalent for your crypto of choice0 and saving your wallet.dat file, to dedicated software like Bitcoin Armory for those of you who want to run a full node as well on your computer and have a couple of hundred gigabytes of available storage. Some people prefer a web based solution, and there are loads of these available, others prefer a mobile app, or if you’ve been in crypto a while and want to dive in, you’ll likely have invested the €50-€80 or so on one of the main crypto hardware wallets that are out there, with Trezor, KeepKey and Ledger being some of the main ones used, although there’s a wide variety of new models from different manufacturers coming to the market.

Whichever you decide on, one of the key things you’ll need to remember is that without the private key that corresponds to your public key (aka your address), you’ve no way to send your crypto. There are stories abound, such as this guy who tried to get a British dump to allow him to dig through tons of rubbish to find a laptop he had thrown out before, but whose hard drive held (at the time) $80 million in bitcoin. Ouch!

Now when you set up a device, such as a Trezor, or any other solution you choose, one of the first and most important things is to take a backup of your private key, or in the case of a device that manages multiple crypto’s, to save the recovery key. It’s never recommended to have this on your computer, such as an unencrypted text file as anyone who gets access to your computer physically, or remotely through a virus, can take this with the corresponding address and move your crypto out of your control to theirs.

These are often cumbersome, with long complicated alphanumeric patterns for you to save, or a list of 12-24 different random words you have to enter in a particular order. Most hardware wallets will provide a slip of paper that you can write down the phrases, which is good if you a) don’t let it get damaged, b) don’t lose it, and c) anyone who might need it after you’re not around any more can use it, such as your estate if you want to hold it as part of your will.

My favoured solution up until now was pretty old school, laminating it to protect it from basic damage and hopefully to keep it in the mid-term, but I recently had an outreach from the guys at Billfodl who must have seen some of the hardware wallet reviews I do and asked me if I’d have a look at their solution, the Billfodl Cold Storage Bitcoin Wallet & Backup Device.

I said yes, as I’m always interested in writing about funky tangible crypto things, and a couple of days later I received a package by courier containing a Billfodl, some holographic stickers, and two velcro fabric pouches. So ahead of setting it up, i re-familiarised myself with the seed phrase recovery on my trezor. The 24 word recovery phrase gives you lots of words as you type, but by the time you hit four characters, I generally had one choice (although there was an occasional three letter word), so that meant I had to use the first four characters in the Billfodl for each word and use a spacer for the three letter ones.

The Billfodl packaging itself weights about half a kilo, so it’s a weighty thing, and consists of a box which when opened, contains two heavy duty cardboard pieces taped together. When you open one side and flip it out, one side contains your Billfodl, which is a little bigger than a credit card but as thick as an iphone and made of stainless steel, and then another section with all of the letters contained within cubby holes with perforated edges on the left, right and bottom so they flip up. The packaging says these are also recyclable.

I slipped out the billfodl and opened it out, and then took a flat head screwdriver to rotate the locking screw and to open the safety catch. Once this was open, I could open out the locking mechanism and access the three rows on each side. Obviously I’m not going to use an actual seed phrase for this review, but I wanted to still have a challenge to see if I could run out of letters. So considering I was doing this on the day of the Ireland vs Wales rugby match in the Six Nations, I decided on Ireland’s Call, given it has lots of three and four letter words, as well as lot of repetition with some of the letters.

The letters are small, but it was easy enough to go through the box and pick out the letters. For the letters, they are grouped together two at a time, and one side has a capital, with the other having a lowercase. In the middle were a mix of numbers and symbols, with some of them having blank sides which I could use as a spacer. If one went in sideways, it was easy to slide the letters out and fix it, and slide it back in. I repeated the process for the words of the lyrics, and am happy to see that I still had quite a few tiles left over, especially the vowels e and o which were used way more than everything else.

Once you’re done with both sides, you just need to click the catch back in, rotate the locking screw and you’re away. In my case I also received two Faraday bags, one was clearly to hold the wallet and you could slip it in and then fold it over to hide the logo. The second is a general one which can be used to store car keys, phones etc. My wife helped me test this out, she used her Android phone on a debit card which picked up the tag, and then put the card in the bag and tried again, and it didn’t pick it up, so that seemed to work as described too.

So all in all, the Billfodl does exactly what it says on the tin, it secures your private seed in a way that’ll last years or decades to come, so should someone need to recover your wallet in the future, they can. Also just having a look through their twitter feed, you can see lots of people who’ve put them to the test in huge fires, driving things over them etc.

The Billfodl is available for $89 + shipping, the small Faraday bag is available for $15 + shipping, and the larger for $35 + shipping, so if you’re looking for a way to secure your private keys long term, we’re happy to recommend this product which is ideal for someone who wants to secure their own keys, or for someone else looking for an interesting crypto birthday/christmas present for the crypto lover in their life.

Note: The guys at Billfodl did provide the items reviewed in this article, however this had no impact on our review as we hope you can see 🙂

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Source: https://bitcoinsinireland.com/securing-crypto-private-keys-with-billfodl/

Blockchain

Tim Draper Handpicks Netflix as the Next Company to Purchase Bitcoin

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Popular venture capitalist and Bitcoin bull Timothy “Tim” Draper predicted that major online streaming platform Netflix could be the next company to join the bitcoin buying bandwagon.

Next Bitcoin Investor Could Be Netflix

Speaking in a recent episode of the Unstoppable Podcast, Tim Draper stated that Netflix could be the next in line to add bitcoin to its balance sheet. According to him, the company’s co-founder and co-CEO, Reed Hastings, makes Netflix a likely bitcoin investor. Draper buttressed his point, saying:

“I think Reed Hastings is a very innovative guy and has a lot of creative thinking and I think he still controls the reins at Netflix. And so I think that might be the next big one to fall.”

Meanwhile, the venture capitalist mentioned social media giant Facebook, as well as other major companies like Apple, and Google, as likely candidates to invest in bitcoin. However, Draper noted that the companies were instead trying to create a centralized currency of their own.

Draper also stated that if he was the chief financial officer (CFO) of any major organization, he would advise the company to allocate a portion of their portfolio to bitcoin. According to the BTC proponent, bitcoin served as a hedge against inflation.

Since Tesla’s billion-dollar bitcoin investment, there have been speculations about which company would emulate Tesla’s move. Increased institutional interest in bitcoin is largely responsible for BTC’s bullish momentum. Meanwhile, Firms like Microstrategy and Square recently added to their bitcoin holdings.

Amazon Likely to Accept Bitcoin as a Payment Method?

Apart from pitching Netflix as the next possible bitcoin investor, the venture capitalist stated that the retail giant Amazon could start accepting bitcoin. Adding that, people could use the flagship cryptocurrency to purchase products on Amazon.

Back in February, there were reports that Amazon was looking to introduce a new project that would enable customers to convert cash into digital currency. While the project would launch in Mexico, the company did not state what digital assets it would support, although there were speculations that the company may not use popular crypto-assets like BTC or ether.

While also speaking on bitcoin’s price target, Draper said:

“The current currency holdings around the world in dollars is about $100 trillion and bitcoin’s market cap is just reaching a trillion now. So there’s no reason it can’t go up a 100 fold. It’s not like it is going to completely replace the dollar. Although I think people are going to laugh when they are trying to buy things with dollars in the future.”

The venture capitalist made a prediction earlier in 2020 that the price of bitcoin would reach $250,000 by the end of 2022 or early in 2023.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/tim-draper-handpicks-netflix-as-the-next-company-to-purchase-bitcoin/

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Blockchain

Ripple is committed to San Francisco, says co-founder Chris Larsen

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In October last year, Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen said that the firm may consider relocating to other countries citing the lack of regulatory clarity in the United States. Since then, many have speculated where the firm’s new headquarters will be located. However, amid a lawsuit with SEC regarding an alleged illegal securities offering, and XRP’s dwindling price, Larsen made a new announcement recently that stated that the firm was here to stay. 

Speaking to The San Francisco Chronicle, co-founder said that Ripple’s global headquarter will remain in San Francisco. He added: 

We’re committed to the city. It’s got the most diversity, creativity…it’s got the critical mass.

Earlier, CEO of Ripple, Brad Garlinghouse, hinted at a possibility that Ripple could move out of the US, given its “lack” of a regulatory framework. He stressed that the country was “out of sync” and needed to implement a clear regulatory framework regarding crypto.

At the time, the CEO said that he was considering whether Ripple would benefit from relocating to a country where regulations were more clear. He admitted to being impressed by how the UK and other G20 nations including Singapore, Japan, and the UAE had “clear regulatory frameworks” that allowed for “healthy markets to develop.”

Meanwhile, another leading crypto firm in the neighborhood has decided to do away with its headquarters altogether. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said that amid the firm’s work from home policies they choose not to have a base in San Francisco, but will continue to keep their offices open. Stating that the company is “decentralized” the CEO added:

As we’ve moved to a remote first environment, we realized that we no longer have a headquarters located in any one city.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/ripple-is-committed-to-san-francisco-says-co-founder-chris-larsen

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3 key Ethereum price metrics show pro traders are aiming for $2K ETH

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On Feb. 20, Ether (ETH) price rallied to a new high at $2,015 and this caused multiple indicators to display signs of excessive optimism. While the excitement could be easily justified by Ether’s  year-to-date 176% gain, these warning signs should not be ignored.

On of the primary driving factors of the current bullish sentiment is the launch of CME ETH futures and Grayscale Investments ETH Trust reaching $6.3 billion assets under management. The DeFi phenomenon also continues as there is currently more than $21 billion worth of Ether locked in DeFi.

Crypto Fear & Greed Index. Source: alternative.me

Currently, the Crypto Fear & Greed Index is at 93, indicating “Extreme Greed” according to its methodology. Many traders use the metric as a counter trading signal, meaning, the extreme fear level can be a sign that investors are bullish and a buying opportunity is present. In contrast, when investors are getting too greedy, it could be a sign that the market is due for a correction.

Unlike the excessively leveraged retail traders, the more experienced market makers and whales hs been skeptical of the never-ending rally in Ether. Regardless of the rationale for the price peak, the 36% price correction that followed was accelerated by large liquidations.

Ether futures contracts aggregate liquidations. Source: Bybt.com

The liquidation of $2 billion in long futures contracts from Feb. 19 to Feb. 23 represented 28% of the total open interest. Thus, one should expect significant deterioration in market sentiment, as depicted on the previous Fear & Greed indicator.

Surprisingly, none of that happened on the Ether derivatives markets, as both futures contracts premium (contango) and the options skew remained bullish.

The futures premium held very healthy levels

By measuring the expense gap between futures and the regular spot market, a trader can gauge the level of bullishness in the market.

The 3-month futures should usually trade with a 10% or higher premium versus regular spot exchanges. Whenever this indicator fades or turns negative, this is an alarming red flag. This situation is known as backwardation and indicates that the market is turning bearish.

OKEx 3-month ETH futures basis. Source: Skew.com

The above chart shows that the indicator peaked at 39% on Feb. 20 as Ether touched its all-time high. Nevertheless, it has kept above 16% during the entire correction down to $1,300. This data shows that professional traders remained confident in Ether’s price potential.

The options skew remained neutral-to-bullish

When analyzing options, the 25% delta skew is the single-most relevant gauge. This indicator compares similar call (buy) and put (sell) options side-by-side.

It will turn negative when the put options premium is higher than similar-risk call options. A negative skew translates to a higher cost of downside protection and indicating bullishness.

The opposite holds when market makers are bearish, causing the 25% delta skew indicator to gain positive ground.

ETH options 25% delta skew. Source: laevitas.ch

Over the past month, there hasn’t been a single incident of a sustainable positive delta skew. Therefore, there is no evidence that option traders demanded more significant premiums for downside protection.

This data is very encouraging, considering that Ethereum faced a heavy sell-off but the futures and options metrics discussed above held bullish levels during the downturn.

As Ether managed to recover quickly from its recent $1,300 dip, investors gained further confidence that the uptrend had not been broken.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/3-key-ethereum-price-metrics-show-pro-traders-are-aiming-for-2k-eth

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