The Downfall of Storing User Data
BlockFi, the popular cryptocurrency lending and borrowing platform, recently revealed that a SIM swap by one of the company’s employees had allowed a hacker to infiltrate their database. As a result, several Bitcoin whales had their physical addresses and contact information exposed to hackers and left these clients potentially vulnerable to extortion and threats.
As consumer internet models influence the cryptocurrency ecosystem, companies like BlockFi benefit from storing user data such as email, deposit size, user activity, etc. in order to upsell their users on other promotions and products. This is how corporations differ from open source independent developer teams. Corporations have key equity stakeholders that will push the companies to squeeze all the profit out of each user, in order to lead their company to a high revenue, higher profits and a potential acquisition or IPO.
The capitalistic approach of many crypto companies runs counter to the main ethos that made Bitcoin a reality. Bitcoin was meant to be a Peer to Peer Electronic cash system independent of third party financial institutions according to the Bitcoin original whitepaper. Nowhere in the original system was there mention of a reintroduction of gatekeepers who would charge extra fees in the process and put users’ funds at risk by custodying massive amounts of Bitcoin on behalf of consumers.
Bitcoin Back To The Roots
Enter Bitamp, an open-source, client-side, free Bitcoin wallet which allows users to send and receive Bitcoin instantly on the blockchain and brings Bitcoin holders back to their philosophical roots. Users can load their private keys from other non-custodial wallets that they might have accessed on their mobile phones and access the same Bitcoin wallet on any browser and any device using VPN and Tor, for utmost security.
Companies such as Bitamp prioritize anonymity. They do not require personal information, emails or passwords. The friction that users might have felt onboarding onto custodial wallets by providing a selfie or picture of their drivers license or passport and then waiting for hours if not days for a KYC pass confirmation are gone. Now, anyone with access to the Internet can
generate a new wallet, login, send or receive Bitcoin using Bitamp, where everything happens locally in your browser.
Users rest assured that their seeds and private keys will never be transmitted, received or stored. In addition, users can peruse Bitamp’s Github providing the ultimate transparency.
Bitcoin Across Borders
Bitamp is designed to be transacted across borders,and therefore Bitamp opens the number of potential users by denominating currency values in USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, CNY, KRW, and RUB. The Company will soon have various translations of the website including in German, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, French, Korean, Russian, Italian, and Arabic.
The fact that Bitamp does not require mobile downloads also allows for users across any geographies with access to Internet across all devices.
Bitcoin Without Regrets
The only way to self custody is to keep one’s own seed phrase and put it in a safe place such as a lockbox. Custodying one’s assets will leave users with more peace of mind and not at the mercy of exchanges that may go bankrupt or face hacks at any time.
For those who are solely crypto curious, one must note that Bitcoin continues to gain traction as an asset that remained decoupled from traditional markets during external economic shocks such as Coronavirus. Bitcoin, in fact, has shown fair correlation to the dollar while other foreign currencies depreciate in value, leading to an increased demand for Bitcoin as exposure to the dollar without increased fees.
One of the best ways to experiment with Bitcoin with very little regrets or risk is to use Bitamp’s web browser client using VPN and Tor browser to receive Bitcoin from a friend. In this way, users will not put their personal data at risk of hacks or manipulation. In the future, Bitamp may couple anonymity with the ability to enable users to exchange Bitcoin into other crypto assets.