Crypto Veteran. Tokenization, DeFi and Security Tokens - Blockchain.
Ishan Pandey: Hi Jonathan, welcome to our series “Behind the Startup.” Please tell us about yourself and the story behind Coin.Space?
Jonathan Speigner: CoinSpace was created out of necessity in 2015, I was not able to find a multi-currency wallet that was simple to use for beginners. I had so many people asking me about bitcoin and how to get started. Nothing much had changed since 2013 as far as it being a pretty technical process to get into Crypto and so I decided to change that. Today 25M+ wallets later I am very happy to have made getting started with buying and securely holding crypto.
Ishan Pandey: The FBI recently seized 63 bitcoins from the DarkNet hacker group in the Colonial Pipeline case. What are your views on the FBI recovery and private key storage?
Jonathan Speigner: The FBI calls what it did here “tradecraft”. I'm 100% confident they didn’t get into the private keys via brute force. What more than likely happened is they traced the funds to a US-based exchange wallet and then had the exchange hand over the keys. I am happy they were able to recover the ransom but I am also always surprised by the sophistication of these hackers to pull off a breach and then on the other side how lax they are in securing crypto they have stolen.
Ishan Pandey: What are your views on NFT and tokenization of assets through NFTs?
Jonathan Speigner: I am excited about the prospects of NFTs, I can’t wait for the use case to expand from art to legal contracts. I fully expect that we will start using NFTs for the purchase of big-ticket items that have a legally binding contract, things like homes and cars should be next. I’m actually a little surprised there isn’t already something like this, maybe we will look into that next.
Ishan Pandey: The digital asset ecosystem has grown at a breakneck pace, with various projects stretching the limits of technical advancement. However, various investors are losing money due to hacks, poor password management etc. According to you, what are the best practices that should be kept in mind to protect investor capital?
Jonathan Speigner: When it comes to storing funds the safest is always to use non-custodial wallets, this way no company has access to your funds. This however does put 100% of the responsibility of keeping those private keys safe on the owner. Most of the larger crypto hacks have been related to exchanges having shared keys and using custodial wallets. A private key or passphrase along with a hardware key like a Yubi can turn a web or mobile wallet into the most secure and convenient way to store your crypto.
Ishan Pandey: Could you share your thoughts on the present condition of crypto’s volatility and the control of Elon Musk over the cryptocurrency markets?
Jonathan Speigner: I have a couple of possibilities on what's going on with Elon and Bitcoin, my first thought is that he is just doing what he is doing for his own entertainment and just having some fun with it all. The crypto community has been through things like this for years, most nation-states causing wild price swings.
The other more likely possibility is that Elon sees Bitcoin as a threat to his business. Tesla as a company is in business to store power and bitcoin is designed to use power for profit. I do not disagree with him that if we can use renewable energy to run the network that would be a huge win, this should be the case for all mined crypto, not just Bitcoin. My hope is that we can switch to using Tesla solar and battery storage to mine for bitcoin with any excess power that a home doesn’t need during the day. That would be a win-win for a homeowner.
Soon we will have a blood diamond situation with Bitcoin, you will have to prove your bitcoin was sustainably mined.
Ishan Pandey: Google will now enable crypto wallets to advertise on its network after its famous ban back in 2018. What is the implication of Google’s new ad guidelines for the crypto ecosystem?
Jonathan Speigner: I never really understood the ban of wallets, the original idea was to stop the advertising of ICOs but somehow they extended it to wallets. I’m not sure it will change much. We do not have any plans to shift the marketing budget to Google. There are only a few pure wallet services that are not in any way linked to exchanges. These non-custodial wallets probably were never really using Google Ads.
Ishan Pandey: Do you believe the crypto sector must forsake decentralization in order to build a robust security system? In your opinion, what measures, if adopted, can assist in promoting a blockchain narrative that includes both security, privacy and decentralization?
Jonathan Speigner: We see different blockchains take very different approaches to this, there has to be some middle ground. It depends to some extent what the underlying use is of each project but the more decentralized we can all keep these blockchains by participating in them the more secure they will remain. But there are many more centralized chains, even ETH to some extent that is still very secure, so I think you can have it all and still be very successful. We really spend most of our time here thinking about how to keep people's Crypto secure so security always comes first for us.
Ishan Pandey: As someone who has been in the crypto industry for quite a while now, what will be your advice to beginners and inexperienced crypto holders who want to start staking or yield farming cryptocurrencies.
Jonathan Speigner: The returns on staking right now can be a very nice way to use the crypto you are holding on to. My only concern with some of these is how you have to enable the staking. Having to send to other wallets or share keys can bring with it some rather scary outcomes. For example, Coinspace is working with some Staking Node providers to make sure funds stay secured in Coin Wallet and are still able to be staked with your own private nodes. I expect the process to get simpler over the next few years.
Ishan Pandey: What new developments can we expect to witness in the crypto industry in the year 2021?
Jonathan Speigner: As far as technology or innovation, that's very hard to answer since we see something new in Crypto almost every day and it's so exciting to see how quickly we are innovating across the board. For Crypto overall, I think we will see more and more countries adopt it as El Salvador has done with bitcoin and I’m sure Nigeria will follow soon. Once the flood gates open more and more will either try to have their own crypto-like China has done or just adopt Bitcoin. I expect to see a handful of other countries do the same in 2021.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is to remove informational asymmetry existing today in our digital markets by performing due diligence by asking the right questions and equipping readers with better opinions to make informed decisions. The material does not constitute any investment, financial, or legal advice. Please do your research before investing in any digital assets or tokens, etc. The writer does not have any vested interest in the company. Ishan Pandey.
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