This post was last updated on December 18th, 2019 at 10:31 pm
In this issue, we discuss:
- Exodus 1s – HTC’s new budget blockchain phone
- Revolut’s plans for expansion in the US
- Moon’s browser extension for buying on Amazon with BTC, ETH, and LTC
- Bank of Canada’s idea to launch its own cryptocurrency
- Poloniex closing doors to US customers on Nov 1, 2019
Plus our recent interview with the team behind the Coldcard hardware wallet, our latest giveaway and one of the wallets featured below.
All that and more in this week’s issue. But first, here’s some…
🚀 Updates From Nomics
- We just launched one of our most requested features: Global Search! 🔍 Quickly find a crypto asset or exchange while browsing any page on Nomics.com. Want to navigate even faster? Just hit the forward-slash (i.e. “/”) on your keyboard and start searching, instantly. ⚡️ P.S. We’ll also be adding this to our blog and company pages down the road for even better discoverability.
- The Flippening Podcast just release a two-part deep-dive on the history of crypto exchanges. It’s called: Crypto Exchanges: A History of Crypto’s Most Powerful Institutions. For this series, I’m joined by Nathaniel Whittemore, curator of Long Reads Sunday.
- Nomics.com has partnered with the generous people at Coldcard Wallet to give away 3 (THREE!) Bitcoin hardware wallets. Go here to enter the giveaway.
And now, let’s see what the cryptocurrency world has brought us this week.
😍 Thanks To Our Sponsor: Nexo.io
🗣 Interview With Coldcard
We recently caught up with the team behind the Coldcard hardware wallet, which just happens to be our latest giveaway.
Q: How Did You Get Involved In The Cryptocurrency Space?
Coldcard: The Coldcard Team has been in this space since the very early days. It is the same team that created the first Bitcoin Debit Cards (Coinkite.com) and the first scaled BIP32 wallet and Opendime.
Q: Why Did You Start Coldcard? What Was The Main Problem You Were Trying To Solve?
Coldcard: We created Coldcard because the currently available options were either Open Source but not secure or Closed source, and neither were truly Air-Gapped. We have extensive Hardware experience and knew we could make something much more secure and still remain Open Source. Watch our CEO talk about Coldcard Mk3 at Baltic Honeybadger 2019.
Q: What Was The Hardest Part About Building Coldcard?
Coldcard: Coldcard is an extremely secure device, from Supply Chain control (all made in Canada), secure tamper-evident bags for shipping, bag serial number in the secure element, secure boot environment using Open Source software, true Air Gap capability, change output control and Anti-Phishing defenses. This level of security chain makes the device quite hard to program and manufacture. Check out the rundown here.
Q: Who’s The Ideal Customer/User Of This Product?
Coldcard: Bitcoiners who care about Security and Privacy, those are the two most important goals we have with this device. Here is a great Livera podcast with Rodolfo about Coldcard.
Q: How Much Does The Product Cost?
Coldcard: The device is very well-priced between $99 and $119.
Q: What About Your Product Does The Market Seem To Be Most Excited About?
Coldcard: Our users love some of these unique features:
- Secure Environment
- Air Gap capability
- In device (offline) Address Explorer
- MicroSD card encrypted Backup
- Duress Wallet and BrickMe PIN
- Anti-Phishing Defenses
- Fully Open Source design
Q: Does Coldcard Work Well Alongside Other Products?
Coldcard: You can use Coldcard with other Hardware Wallets for multisig!
Q: How Is The Product Manufactured?
Coldcard: The product is made here in Canada. We design and control all the steps for quality and security locally.
Q: How Do You See Your Product Evolving Over The Next 5-10 Years?
Coldcard: We are now at the 3rd version, and intend on improving it further. We also plan on making an HSM firmware version where users would be able to have a secondary Coldcard for automated co-signing multisig transactions.
Q: Any Exciting Product Developments Or Partnerships You’d Like To Tell Us About?
Coldcard: Sure thing. Here’s what we’re most excited about . . .
- Bitcoin Core is about to support Coldcard natively
- Electrum full support
- BlueWallet, Casa and BlockStream Green very soon
😎 Cool Products
- HTC released a new affordable cryptocurrency phone – the Exodus 1s. The smartphone has the capability to run a full Bitcoin node, which allows users to make trades, as well as send and receive cryptocurrency. The phone is priced at €219 (~$244) and can be bought with cryptocurrencies (BTC, ETH, LTC, and more). Those who decide to buy the Exodus 1s will have to invest in an SD card as well, as the phone’s integrated memory isn’t enough to support the Bitcoin ledger (currently at 260GB).
- The CryptoSteel Capsule that we told you about in Issue 6 of the Popular Crypto newsletter is finally here! The stainless steel, technology-agnostic device offers more capacity than the CryptoSteel Cassette, while at the same time is lighter, more compact, and durable. The device is compatible with most key generating algorithms and offers complete autonomous storage of sensitive data, such as private keys, passwords, and wallet recovery seeds. Think of it as the indestructible alternative to storing a private key on a piece of paper.
- Business owners who were operating in NYC during the hurricane Sandy can take part in goTenna’s resiliency program and get a free MESH device. The unique about goTenna devices is that they can be paired with all smartphones to enable communications even when the cell, wifi, & satellite networks are unavailable.
- SecuX Technology, a blockchain security company, announced the release of new firmware for its SecuX V20, W10, and W20 crypto hardware wallets. Thanks to the update, the wallets now offer support for the coin DigiByte (DGB), and users can store their Private Key and Device PIN through the military-grade Secure Element (SE) of SecuX.
- Opera announced that it is adding support for the TRON wallet. The browser will add TRON’s TRX token and will also provide its users with access to TRON’s DApps from the browser’s native DApp store. TRX becomes the third asset to be integrated into Opera, following Bitcoin and Ethereum.
- Cashaa, a crypto wallet and payment app, has enabled deposits and purchases in rupees (INR) for its users in India. The transactions have a limit of 1 crore INR per month. The service provider also announced that it had added new features to improve the usability of its native CAS token, such as a staking program and payments of transaction fees.
- The Cobo wallet revealed that it had implemented an anti-phishing feature that adds an additional layer of security for its users. The feature works through an anti-phishing code that, once enabled, gets embedded in every authentic email, sent from Cobo. That way, users can easily differentiate the fake from real emails, thus avoid becoming a victim of a phishing attack.
- Trustology has released a custodial wallet designed to improve usability and increase the popularity of decentralized finance (DeFi). It is compatible with MetaMask and works in the browser. By bridging it with various decentralized apps on Ethereum, Trustology aims at enticing institutions to begin using DEXs, minting stablecoins via MakerDAO and lending and borrowing crypto through Compound Finance.
- Zcash community members reported that they had found a fake version of the cryptocurrency’s official wallet, ZecWallet. The fake wallet in circulation is said to contain malicious lines of code that may result in potential losses for its users. It was added to the official GitHub repository of the project, where the community detected it.
- If you want to learn how to receive and spend from your Coldcard wallet without having to plug it into your computer and by using your own full node, check out this cool tutorial:
- Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s new president, expressed his willingness to adopt cryptocurrencies at a larger scale in a bid to fight corruption, modernize the government, and boost the economy. His plans continue the work of the previous government to have a fully-fledged cryptocurrency framework up and running by 2021.
- Crypto tokens enter the world of NBA! The Kings Token, issued by the NBA team Sacramento Kings, becomes the first digital asset, coming from an American professional sports team. The token is designed with the idea to reward loyal fans for their engagement with the team by allowing them to earn points on a special gaming platform. The points can then be used to redeem match tickets, signed merchandise, and to access unique events.
- Fidelity Investments, one of the world’s leading financial corporations, announced that it is now ready to launch its custody services. According to the company’s executives, it will provide enterprise-grade crypto custody service to family offices, hedge funds, and financial advisors.
- The payments app Revolut announced its plans to expand to the US no later than the end of 2019. The expansion is helped by Revolut’s successful partnership with MasterCard, dating back to 2015 when the app was officially launched. Revolut offers its clients an exchange service for Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Ripple (XRP).
- After the drawbacks that the Libra project faced during the last few weeks, it is now reported that Facebook is thinking of reversing its initial plans and tying the coin to national currencies. According to David Marcus, CEO of the project, Facebook may consider an idea where Libra is tied to “a series of stablecoins, a dollar stablecoin, a euro stablecoin, a sterling pound stablecoin”, although this wasn’t the group’s preferred option.
- A new browser extension, coming from the small team of Moon, now allows you to pay with crypto for your Amazon purchases. The Moon extension is available for Chrome, Opera, and Brave. It supports two ways of payment – with a bitcoin wallet, running on the Lightning Network, and via a Coinbase account (with BTC, ETH, and LTC).
- The Cardano Foundation has teamed up with the fintech firm COTI for the development of an ADA payment gateway. The gateway will be launched in November and will allow merchants to accept payments in ADA tokens. It will also offer an instant settlement service into 35 fiat currencies. The gateway will be integrated directly into the merchants’ website with an adaPay button or PoS devices via a QR-code.
- A cool user video reveals how Russians can easily buy coffee from vending machines by paying with BNB tokens. And the best thing is that it doesn’t take more time than you need to find the spare change in your pockets.
- According to reports, the Bank of Canada is considering the idea of launching a cryptocurrency to collect more information on how people spend their money. The bank representatives admit that there is a chance for the collected data to be shared with police and tax authorities.
- Bittrex announced that its European branch is shutting down its services in more than 31 countries by the end of October. Most of the countries are based in Africa and Asia. As the main reason for the decision, the platform stated the “regulatory uncertainty.” Bittrex International’s clients should withdraw their funds by October 29, which is the day when they will lose access to their accounts.
- Bad news for Poloniex’ users in the US! Circle, the current operator of Poloniex, has decided to sell the business to an unknown investment agency, based in Asia. Poloniex will become a separate entity known as Polo Digital Assets, Ltd. Starting from November 1, 2019, US customers will no longer be able to use its services.
- Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, revealed that the exchange is near the launch of its first fiat-to-cryptocurrency trading pairs. He clarified that in no more than two weeks, Binance would start supporting the Russian ruble.
🏆 Our Weekly Poll
In our last poll, we asked you about your favorite personal Bitcoin/crypto hardware node. Here are the results:
This week, we want to know about your favorite mobile crypto wallet.
We’ll publish the results next week. See you then!