An ambitious project with a confluence of cryptocurrencies, blockchain and artificial intelligence technologies to build a biometric global identity and financial system.
Worldcoin is a cryptocurrency and digital identity project co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Alex Blania and Max Novendstern. It aims to address income inequality through its unique World ID feature, which will serve as “proof-of-personhood,” as described by Sam Altman. After two years in development and amid high anticipation, the project was launched on July 24, 2023.
Tools for Humanity (TFH) is the company building Worldcoin and raised $115 million in a Series C round led by Blockchain Capital in May 2023. Prior rounds included investments from a16z, Khosla ventures and others.
Worldcoin is an open-source, decentralized protocol embraced by a worldwide community of developers and technologists and aims to be self-sufficient, fostering a true decentralized vision.
Registering an account on a centralized exchange platform that supports the ETH/BTC trading pair. This may require a sign-up process and a KYC mandate, as per the CEX’s policy.
Transferring ETH to the centralized exchange.
Converting ETH to BTC, which may involve incurring transaction fees and, sometimes, a long waiting period.
Withdrawing the acquired BTC to a Bitcoin wallet, which may involve additional fees.
Lastly, patiently waiting for the exchange’s processing and the eventual arrival of funds.
This typical CEX exchange presents a series of steps, uneconomical fees and multiple possible complications. Additionally, CEXs can introduce unanticipated security risks related to asset custody. CEXs store user funds in custodial wallets, and the exchange retains control of the private keys. In the event of a security breach, hack or regulatory withdrawal freeze, the user’s cryptocurrency could be exposed to potential threats.
To solve these problems, DeFi and DEXs enable atomic swaps, which eliminate the need for intermediaries in trading, streamline the process, and significantly reduce numerous potential security risk points for cryptocurrency users.
Investing in cryptocurrencies is widely known to be associated with risk, given the crypto market’s volatility, regulatory dilemmas and high-profile incidents of hacks, scams and fraudulent activities. According to Chainalysis’ midyear report on cryptocurrency-related crimes in 2022, approximately $1.9 billion worth of cryptocurrency was stolen in various hacking incidents and fraudulent activities compared to under $1.2 billion at the same point in 2021.
Safely storing and managing cryptocurrency assets has its own set of challenges, and traders must educate themselves on the best options. As a type of cold storage, a crypto hardware wallet is a physical device designed to securely store cryptocurrencies offline, providing additional layers of security for those who hold large amounts of crypto and want to keep their holdings safe for a long time.
This article will discuss what a hardware wallet is, how to use one and the benefits of hardware wallets vs. software wallets, and it will answer the lingering question: Should you keep your crypto coins in a hardware wallet? Additionally, there’s information on the available hardware wallets to store your crypto assets safely.
Crypto wallets can be broadly classified into two categories: hot wallets and cold wallets. Hot wallets are software-based crypto wallets connected to the internet, while cold wallets are physical devices. Cold wallets are considered a more secure storage option than hot software wallets, as they are not connected to the internet and do not interact with potentially vulnerable software and web viruses. Among cold wallets, hardware crypto wallets are considered one of the safest options to store cryptocurrencies.
A hardware wallet is a physical device typically resembling a USB drive or a small plugin device designed to securely store cryptocurrencies and other digital assets such as nonfungible tokens (NFTs). Hardware wallets do not actually store cryptocurrency; instead, they store the private keys that allow access to the stored digital assets.
One may check the price, model and specifications as per requirement. Bitcoin (BTC); Ether (ETH); stablecoins like Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC); and other popular digital assets like Ripple’s XRP (XRP) and Litecoin (LTC) are supported by most hardware wallets.
Hardware wallet vs Software wallet
While software wallets allow ease and convenience, hardware wallets are known for their secure storage. A good understanding of the differences among the two options, user requirements and the level of digital asset custody needed can help users make informed choices on their wallet preference.
How does a hardware wallet work
Before understanding how a hardware wallet works, it is essential to have some know-how into crypto wallet keys.
Public and private crypto wallet keys
Cryptocurrency data lives on the blockchain, and crypto wallets store this information. There is no hard money like fiat, and this data on the blockchain determines one’s ownership of the assets.
Every crypto wallet has a pair of keys to access it — a private key and a public key. The public key is akin to a bank account number and is free to access by anyone. The private key, however, is like an ATM pin code and must be secured by the user.
Private keys give access to the cryptocurrency funds and need to be safeguarded by the owner and should not be shared with anyone. They are a unique combination of letters and numbers, functioning as digital signatures or a password that grants access to and control over the cryptocurrency holdings. Hardware crypto wallets typically store these private keys, which are required for signing transactions.
Hardware wallet self custody
When users hold their cryptocurrencies on a centralized exchange (CEX), they essentially transfer custody and control of their private keys and digital assets to the exchange while themselves using login credentials provided by the CEX. This implies that users rely on the exchange to securely hold and manage their funds on their behalf, making them vulnerable to scams, hacks and other security threats in the event an exchange comes under attack.
Hardware wallets, on the other hand, empower users with full control and self-custody over their digital assets. Users hold their private keys and are not reliant on third-party custodians or exchanges. To engage in cryptocurrency transactions using hardware wallets, the transactions require the private key to be “signed.” This signing process takes place within the hardware wallet itself using a cryptocurrency bridge. A crypto bridge facilitates the connection between the hardware wallet and the blockchain.
The hardware wallet uploads the signed transaction to the bridge, which in turn broadcasts the signed transaction to the blockchain network. Importantly, at no point during the entire process does the user’s private key leave the hardware wallet, thereby ensuring safety and security.
The exact steps and procedures may vary slightly depending on the specific hardware wallet. Users can refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and follow security practices to learn how to use a particular hardware wallet.
The following are some common steps to understand how hardware wallets can be used:
Step 1: Purchase and install software
Obtain a crypto hardware wallet from known and reliable manufacturers such as Ledger, Trezor and Ngrave — and/or their authorized resellers. Ensure that it is sealed and tamper-free. Visit the official website of the hardware wallet manufacturer, then download and install the wallet software on desktop/mobile devices. Make sure to read the recommendations for the device specifications — operating system, processor, etc.
Step 2: Connect the hardware wallet
Connect the hardware wallet to a desktop/mobile device using the provided USB cable or the appropriate wireless connection (bluetooth or NFC). Follow the on-screen instructions to initialize the hardware wallet. This involves selecting a PIN or passphrase, creating a backup recovery seed phrase and securely storing the seed in multiple offline locations. The recovery seed is crucial for restoring access to funds if the hardware wallet is ever lost or damaged.
Step 3: Add funds and transact
Within the wallet software, locate the option to receive or deposit cryptocurrencies. Copy the public address displayed or scan the QR code in order to add the desired amount of cryptocurrency to this public address from an exchange or another wallet.
To send cryptocurrencies from the hardware wallet, select the option to send or transfer funds, and enter the recipient’s address and the amount to send. Confirm the transaction details on the hardware wallet’s screen.
Step 4: Confirm, sign and verify transactions
Upon confirming the transaction details on the hardware wallet, one will be prompted to provide additional authorization by entering a PIN or passphrase. The hardware wallet will then sign the transaction with the private key stored within it, and the funds will be transacted. Track the progress of the transactions using blockchain explorers or within the wallet software. Verify that the transaction has been confirmed and added to the blockchain.
It is important to remember to securely disconnect the hardware wallet from the desktop/mobile device after completing the transaction and ensure safekeeping.
Popular hardware wallets
Hardware cryptocurrency wallets have become increasingly sought after by crypto enthusiasts, investors and crypto whales. These include wallets such as Ledger and Trezor, which offer a secure and user-friendly solution for storing and managing digital assets. Other common names in the market include: Ellipal, CoolWallet, SafePal and Ngrave, among others. Furthermore, certain hardware wallets like Ledger offer staking and other earning opportunities through their Ledger Live app.
The superiority of hardware wallets in securing cryptocurrencies became even more apparent in 2022 due to the crypto exchange debacles of FTX, Celsius, BlockFi and Vault, which resulted in the loss of access to billions of dollars. As a result, hardware wallet providers like Ledger and Trezor experienced unprecedented sales as crypto holders rushed for storage safety and reliability.
Are hardware crypto wallets secure
For anyone who has been in the crypto space long enough, there is a common saying: “Not your keys, not your crypto.” In essence, this phrase serves as a call to action for cryptocurrency users to take control of their own security and ensure the protection of their digital assets. It encourages the use of hardware wallets and other cold storage solutions to keep private keys offline and away from potential cyber threats.
Crypto hardware wallets are widely recognized as secure solutions for storing, managing and taking custody of one’s digital assets and cryptocurrencies. Although no security measure can guarantee complete safety, hardware wallets provide additional layers of security and safeguards for storing cryptocurrencies.
Immutable is a game development platform that simplifies building Web3 games on the Ethereum blockchain.
Headquartered in Sydney and co-founded in 2018 by James Ferguson, Robbie Ferguson and Alex Connolly, this leading Web3 gaming platform is focused on a mission to bring digital ownership to players by making it easy to build Web3 games for mainstream adoption. Immutable is funded and backed by prominent crypto VC funds and transformational tech investors like Bitkraft Ventures, King River Capital, AirTree, Temasek, Coinbase and more.
The Immutable platform empowers gaming studios and developers with a powerful suite of products, delivering clear solutions that amplify their capabilities and transform the way they create, launch and distribute games.
Its pre-built solutions designed for ease of use enable developers to launch their games faster without compromising on either security or the gaming experience, thereby solving two major blockchain gaming industry-wide issues. Additionally, builders receive Web3 guidance, live support for their communities and access to Immutable’s extensive gaming ecosystem.
Immutable has also been at the forefront of enabling zero-knowledge (ZK) scaling solutions for Ethereum and offers multiple ZK-based scaling options, including Immutable X, a rollup based on StarkWare technology, and Immutable zkEVM, powered by Polygon.
Immutable Games, its own gaming studio, is a global player in Web3 game development and pioneered the world’s first blockbuster nonfungible token (NFT) trading-card game Gods Unchained. It is currently building the highly anticipated mobile role-playing game (RPG) Guild of Guardians while also partnering with third-party game developers on games such as MetalCore, Infinite Victory and Shardbound.
Cross-border payments are essential for individuals, businesses, traders, institutions and other international organizations. The use of blockchain in cross-border payments makes the process simpler and seamless.
Blockchain cross-border payments are transactions that occur between two parties in different countries and are facilitated through the use of blockchain technology.
Traditionally, cross-border payments were enabled by banking and financial institutions, often involving a complex web of intermediaries, such as correspondent banks and clearing houses. This can result in high transaction fees, longer processing times and a lack of transparency in the payment process.
In contrast, blockchain-based cross-border payments aim to eliminate intermediaries, reduce costs, and increase the speed and security of financial transactions.
Today, cross-border payments on blockchain enable faster payment solutions for business-to-business and person-to-person blockchain transactions and are proving to be a game-changing financial move in international money transfers. This makes cross-border payments and settlements a prominent blockchain use case.
Nonfungible token (NFT) marketplaces transacted roughly $82 million in 2020 and a staggering $17.6 billion in 2021, indicating a rising demand and high user interest in NFTs. This meteoric rise of digital asset trading ranged from whimsical cartoon JPEGs to National Basketball Association trading cards, artwork, music and more. One such marketplace for collecting and trading NFTs is Nifty Gateway.
Nifty Gateway was founded in 2018 by Duncan Cock Foster and Griffin Cock Foster. In 2019, it was acquired by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss’ cryptocurrency exchange, Gemini. Nifty Gateway positions itself as a high-end NFT marketplace on the Ethereum blockchain, partnering with top digital artists, musicians, athletes and brands to create limited-edition exclusive launches. The platform has sold NFTs by Beeple, Pak, Refik Anadol, rapper Lil Yachty and other widely followed NFT artists.
During the NFT market peak between May 2020 and April 2021, Nifty Gateway launched 6,623 NFTs representing the artwork of 418 artists with reported total sales of $403.8 million across its primary and secondary marketplaces.
There are three things that make Nifty Gateway’s Ethereum-based NFT marketplace stand out:
Curated and verified art
The artists launching on the Nifty Gateway NFT marketplace are usually well-recognized and acclaimed in the art community. Many of them hold celebrity status in the crypto art community, making their work verifiable, legitimate and expensive.
Nifty Gateway is selective about who is permitted to display their artwork on the platform. Prior to being permitted to mint and issue NFTs, artists must successfully complete an application and interview process. In this aspect, Nifty Gateway is akin to modern-day art galleries that assemble, manage and present verified collections.
NFT drops often refer to a creator releasing a new limited-edition NFT or a full nonfungible token collection for sale. Collectors can purchase the dropped NFTs before they sell out. While many platforms do nonfungible token airdrops, Nifty Gateway is particularly known for its exclusive art drops, which are limited-edition and in limited quantities, and they often sell out quickly due to high demand.
Nifty Gateway’s partnerships with top artists, musicians and creators aim to ensure that the drops are made exclusively on its platform. This fosters Nifty Gateway’s brand exclusivity.
In February 2021, Beeple launched his “Crossroads” NFT and “Spring/Summer Collection 2021” via an exclusive drop on Nifty Gateway. “Crossroads” was designed as a response to the 2020 United States presidential election and sold for a whopping $6.6 million on Nifty Gateway.
Fiat on-ramp accessibility
Nifty Gateway supports the U.S. dollar fiat currency for U.S. bank account holders, allowing NFT purchases using debit and credit cards. This feature is rare for NFT marketplaces since others such as OpenSea, SuperRare and Blur are accessible through a Web3 wallet.
Nifty Gateway is a subsidiary of the Winklevoss twins’ crypto exchange company, Gemini LLC. This allows it to be powered by Gemini’s secure, institutional-grade infrastructure to explore various crypto and fiat payment methods.
The following steps explain how to set up a Nifty Gateway account:
Step 1: Account sign up
Sign up on Niftygateway.com/signup with a valid email and password to get started. Alternatively, the option of connecting via a Web3 wallet is also available.
Step 2: Fill in profile details
Once the account is created, it is advisable to enter other important information to enhance the user experience. Uploading a profile picture and toggling the profile icon to one’s liking are a good place to start.
The following steps will guide anyone interested in buying NFTs on Nifty Gateway:
To purchase an NFT, visit the Nifty Gateway marketplace.
Browse available NFTs by artist, collection or category. The search function is also available to find specific NFTs or collections.
Pick an NFT and buy it using your preferred payment method. The purchased NFT can be sent to your MetaMask wallet or your Nifty Gateway account.
How to sell NFTs on Nifty Gateway
The steps on how to sell NFTs on Nifty Gateway are listed below:
To list an NFT for sale, go to the “My Collection” tab on Nifty Gateway and click on the “List an Item” button.
Enter basic information about the NFT, such as its name, description and price.
Users have two payment method options for selling NFTs: They can post them for sale directly from their MetaMask wallet for Ether (ETH), or they can sell them for U.S. dollars by signing up to be an authorized seller using Stripe. When someone purchases the listed NFT, the funds get transferred to the linked wallet.
How to gift NFTs on Nifty Gateway
Gifting NFTs is one of the features offered by Nifty Gateway, whose account holders can send NFTs to other users on the platform as gifts to anyone simply via a valid email address.
To send an NFT to a user on the platform:
1. Open the “My Collection” tab and select the NFT you wish to send.
2. A new page will appear. Click on “Send Nifty.” Enter the recipient’s username in the search box and select their profile (you can even add a personalized note if needed).
3. Click “Send Nifty” to confirm your transfer. The transfer is instant with no gas fees for within-platform transfers.
Apart from this, Nifty Gateway also allows gifting NFTs to anyone not on the platform via a valid email address, as explained below:
Find the NFT you want to send as a gift and make sure it’s available for gifting. Some NFTs may not be giftable, so check before proceeding.
Upon selecting the NFT to gift, click on the “Gift” button. This will open a new page where you will need to enter the recipient’s email address (and add a personal message if you want).
Next, choose whether to give the NFT immediately or on a specific date. After selecting the gifting option, review the details and click “Confirm” to complete the transaction. Ensure some funds to pay for transaction costs. The recipient will receive an email notification with instructions on how to claim the gifted NFT.
Nifty Gateway fees structure and pricing
Nifty Gateway has a standard fee system consisting of two different models: V1 and V2, as defined by Nifty’s WalletHub docs.
This model is for listings held in Nifty Gateway’s custodial model. With this approach, Nifty Gateway takes a 5% cut of the sale price as a charge. Credit cards, Ethereum wallets or Gemini accounts can all be used to make the payment. Moreover, there are no gas fees associated with these transactions.
This is applicable to any vendor that lists an NFT for sale using an Ethereum cryptocurrency wallet like MetaMask. ETH must be used to pay for these transactions, and Nifty Gateway charges a 2.5% fee on the total sale price. Users must pay gas fees when completing these transactions.
Is Nifty Gateway safe?
As with all NFT platforms, it is important to consider the safety and security of using them and ensure your digital assets stay protected. Overall, Nifty Gateway has taken steps to ensure the safety of its users. The platform is backed by reputable investors, and it has been used by many high-profile artists and celebrities.
Nifty Gateway also employs industry-standard security measures, such as encryption and two-factor authentication, to protect users’ accounts and transactions. Moreover, Nifty Gateway benefits from parent company Gemini’s focus on upholding best practices for security in the cryptocurrency industry.
Gemini completes routine bank compliances, follows financial regulations, and uses hardware security and custodial services to maintain the security of the Nifty Gateway wallet. Its custodial system model ensures that the marketplace has ownership of all NFTs listed on its platform.
Despite this, Nifty Gateway isn’t immune to hacks. In March 2021, a few Nifty users complained of an “account takeover,” wherein their NFTs had vanished from their Nifty Gateway accounts. Nifty Gateway claimed that its website had not been infiltrated and that the affected accounts lacked two-factor authentication, compromising their own security. According to reports and certain consumers, Nifty Gateway was successful in recovering the stolen goods.
Moreover, as with any investment or financial transaction, there is always some level of risk involved. NFTs can be volatile, and their value can fluctuate significantly over time. It’s important to do your own research and understand the risks before investing in any NFT.
Access to high-end smartphones and fast internet is not a reality in many villages across Africa. Blockchain projects offer solutions to overcome these hardships.
Project Kotani Pay in Kenya allows users to off-ramp from crypto using a text-based platform on a basic mobile that does not require internet connectivity. Neither a bank account is mandatory since the platform functions as a decentralized, borderless application. This makes financial services offered via blockchain accessible to the unbanked population without smartphones or internet access. Kotani Pay’s pilot programs have been successful in helping 15,000 beneficiaries.
Interestingly, one of its pilot programs served a 97% female population, enabling them to receive a universal basic income of $1 a day. Per Kotani Pay, some of these women went on to spend these funds to set up small vegetable gardens or run small businesses to supplement their household incomes.
Friendlier and easy-to-use solutions similar to Kotani Pay are also evolving in other African nations as well. Another similar initiative is Project LEAF in Rwanda.
Project LEAF, supported by UNICEF, supports borderless international transactions on a regular phone. Many of its users are refugee women and their families from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who are now able to receive funds from families residing in other countries.
Grid trading is a quantitative trading strategy that involves placing automated buy and sell orders in an attempt to profit from the volatility of cryptocurrencies. Grid trading is a style of algorithmic trading that automates order execution by utilizing grid trading bots.
To create a grid of orders that covers a range of potential market movements, this method entails placing numerous orders at incremental price levels above and below the present market price.
Generally, the trading bot places buy/sell orders between a predetermined price range, constructing an automated trading grid. This automation allows crypto traders to benefit and make profits on even small price fluctuations and avoid emotional decisions thereby increasing profitability potential in both bull and bear markets.
This article explains what grid trading is, how grid trading bots work and their benefits for traders.
What is grid trading?
The price of cryptocurrencies fluctuates; therefore, seasoned cryptocurrency traders rely on crypto market charts to make trading decisions. However, it can be difficult to keep up when cryptocurrency prices swing wildly, resulting in missed opportunities and sometimes market FOMO. For traders trading in multiple crypto assets and on multiple cryptocurrency exchanges, things get complicated, and constant monitoring becomes a difficult task.
This is where the grid trading strategy may be helpful as a quantitative crypto trading method. Grid trading helps in buying and selling cryptocurrencies in a range set by the trader. The strategy is based on the idea that the price of an asset will fluctuate within a certain range, and by placing orders at different points within that range, the trader can capture profits from both the upward and downward movements of the price. This essentially creates an area or a grid where the grid trading bot will work and calculate profitable buy-sell orders.
Grid trading bots are trading algorithms or codes that attempt to make profits from price changes within the predefined grid area. The trader sets up the parameters or limits for the grid trading bot to function within the predefined range and execute orders as per forethought rules. Thus, grid trading bot orders automate crypto trading.
Let’s take a hypothetical Bitcoin/Tether trade example to understand how a grid trading bot works and what parameters are taken into consideration. It is important to ensure sufficient funds are available in your wallet before setting up the grid.
Set upper and lower grid limits
Let’s imagine that the price of Bitcoin (BTC) has neared $15,000 in the past two-week period. The trader has 5,000 Tether (USDT) and decides to trade $600 above and below the range. That makes $15,600 the upper limit price and $14,400 the lower limit.
Create multiple grid levels
The next step is to divide the interval upper limit price and interval lower limit price into grid levels. Each exchange has its rules; however, manual and automatic settings are available across all major exchanges, such as Binance, Crypto.com, ByBit, etc. In manual mode, the trader may select levels, and in the automatic mode, grid levels are determined automatically.
The selected grid number is a determinant of the amount of buy and sell orders in that grid. So in this example, it is set at 7 levels. One is free to select and create as many grid levels as required.
This will result in the following predefined limit within which the grid trading bot will now function.
When the price rises and crosses the Sell grid, the bot sells BTC and makes a profit. Similarly, when the price dips in the Buy grid, the bot automatically buys BTC. Buying and selling continue with the aim of making a profit until the trader stops the bot or the timer runs out.
It is important to note that all the above parameter settings are for reference only. The parameters may change depending on one’s investment goals and risk-return trade-off. Moreover, crypto trading involves risks, and traders must acquaint themselves with all possibilities before setting up grid trading.
Benefits of using a grid trading bot
Trading cryptocurrencies can be time-intensive, and automation tools can help investors to make better, rational and profitable decisions. Crypto grid trading bots are beneficial for the following reasons:
Automated trade execution
Grid trading bots can automatically execute trades based on predetermined rules, which can save time and reduce emotional decision-making. Traders can also scale their trades by creating multiple grid trading bots for different coin pairs simultaneously.
Faster and rational decision-making
Bots can make decisions more quickly than traders. Additionally, because they are unaffected by emotions, FOMO, peer pressure or social media trends, they can maintain their trading rationale even during erratic and volatile market conditions.
Grid trading bots can be programmed to automatically close trades if certain risk thresholds are reached, which can help to minimize potential losses. Additionally, diversifying trading among many coin pairs instead of trading in a single pair is a well-known risk management strategy: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Using grid trading bots makes it easier to trade simultaneously in multiple pairs.
Crypto grid trading strategies have the potential to generate profits if grid parameters are configured carefully.
While grid limits and grid levels are mandatory for setting up a grid trading bot, the following terms and settings are optional on most cryptocurrency exchanges. However, when used in conjunction with grid limits and grid level, these settings help to make more clinical trades.
Trigger price: This is the pre-set price at which the grid trading bot will initiate its operations. No buy/sell activity will happen until the market price hits the trigger price. Once the market price and trigger price are the same, the bot is triggered and the grid becomes active for trade.
Stop loss price: As the name suggests, this is the point where the trading grid bot will automatically close all positions to protect against a heavy loss. The stop loss point is below both the lowest price limit and the trigger price. Setting this up will help protect the trader because when the market price hits below the stop loss price, the trading grid will stop working.
Take profit price: This is higher than both the upper price limit and the trigger point. When the market price hits the take profit price, the bot will sell the base cryptocurrency, collect the profit, and terminate automatically.
Another important aspect to take into account when using a grid trading bot is the trading fees. If the trading fees on the exchange are high and the grid trading bot executes several transactions quickly in a short period, then the trading fees can add up and eat into the overall profits. One must make sure that overall, the trades generate more profit than incurred costs.
Grid trading takes place in both spot and futures crypto trading. Spot grid trading bots generate profits only on capital deployed since they use spot wallet funds and insufficient funds will automatically stop the trade. This makes spot trading relatively safer since the trade is solely with one’s own money. Futures grid trading bots use margin trades and can borrow funds beyond available capital. This allows traders to make larger crypto trades amid extra risk exposure.