Review: Billfodl Recovery Seed

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What is Billfodl?

BillFodl is a specialized product designed to keep your recovery seeds safe and secure. The demand for these devices slowly increases as more and more people start to realize the importance of a safely stored recovery seed. It is meant to replace the little paper that Hardware/Software wallet issuers tell you to write the 12–24 letter seed on and make it secure as possible. There are many types of these devices. We have already reviewed the CryptoTag in the past which is similar. However, CryptoTag comes along with a little satisfactory hard labor. If you want to find out more about it — our friends at CryptoAuthority  reviewed it here. The Billfold has taken a completely different approach to store your recovery seed and here it is…

First impressions?

When I first received the package, I was surprised about the weird sound of screws jumping inside. My first thought was — “Oh God, please don’t tell me I will have to assemble device on my own”. When I opened the packaging, first I actually saw screws in front of me, so I actually thought for a second that I’ll have to do it, but those screws actually were for the plastic socket mount. This socket mount is meant for extra security measures. It turns out, as some of my friends were pointing out — that you can put the BillFodl metal device in it, and mount it to a secret wall, painting or anywhere else you can think of.

Is it easy to use?

So about the product itself. It took me about 5–10 minutes and eventually the video instruction as well on how to use it. This is all because I never had held such a device in my hands and got a little bit confused on how to use it. Along with the device came a separate box where all the letters and numbers were put in alphabetical order on small little metal tiles. I remember I was looking at the box and thinking to myself — “Should I really break up the box and see what’s inside or this is meant to make screw noises as an accessory…?” Eventually, I tore the little letter boxes apart and found the small tiles. Then the whole picture became much brighter to me and I understood how the whole device works.

The application process is kind of time-consuming. One of the main reasons being that I am a person with quite large hands and fingers, so I struggled in getting those tiny tiles out of their socket. Also, another quite confusing side of the seed application process is the fact that you only need the first four letters of a seed word. That seemed a little odd, because, at first, I thought — how in the right mind am I going to remember which exact word was the right one for my seed. But later, going through the BillFodl FAQ, I quickly realized that there is an exact amount of seed words available and that there simply cannot be such a situation where there are two different words with the same first four letters.

Reusable, but quite easy accessable

From the pictures, you can see that there are a lot of letters, most of which will remain unused at the end. The problem with this is that as you can see from the pictures, I had to tear the paper pockets that the letters were held in…so what do I do with all the extra letters now…where do I store them? Ideally, I would throw them out, I don’t need them… but the device is reusable, I can take the letters out of the Billfodl and place other ones in the future but if I throw the letters out I can’t…

Alright, back to the seed application process. So when I finished assembling my recovery seed words, I locked the small lever and started playing with the device. I closed it, I opened it. I closed it again and opened it once again. Then I realized that if somebody got hold of my BillFodl device, it wouldn’t take him even a minute to realize how to open it. Of course, later, those exact friends who gave me advice about the mounting plastic, told that the upper hole in the device itself can be used as a place for a locked. Ok, that seems fair, but again — I have to purchase the locker. And the locker itself as well isn’t quite the security, as you can easily cut it.

Also, another thing — when you put the device in the plastic socket, the socket reveals almost 15% of the device, so once found, it is clear that something worthy is inside.

What’s good about the device?

  • It works as a fidget spinner-The device itself feels like an iPhone without a case. You know you like to shuffle your iPhone in your hands and you could do it all day if you could. Well with BillFodl it’s quite the same. The device is very satisfactory to hold and to mingle in your hands. The sharp edges and the stainless steel heavy body feels like I’m actually holding a little version of my own bank in my hands.
  • It’s Fireproof-There have been stories of people recovery seed papers get burnt in a situation when your house, car, desk or anything else experience an unexpected fire.
  • It’s Waterproof-The device could be placed outside, where rain can get to it, and it’ll be fine. It is composed of the highest quality marine grade 316 stainless steel. That means that the device is completely rust-proof and as BillFodl themselves describe this feature — you could hold your device in the bottom of the ocean and nothing would happen to it.
  • It’s Shockproof-This means that it can handle millions of volts of electricity. Whether those are solar spots, a nuclear strike, or a microwave bomb. I cannot imagine a situation like that near me in the upcoming years or even decades, but it is great that BillFodl has put in some extra thought about the occurrences that could potentially happen with our devices.

Conclusion

The demand for such devices will only increase as the level of fear rises along with the amount of funds you keep in your cold storage. The more money you have, the more you are going to consider different security measures. And a piece of paper definitely won’t do the job. Some might say — “If you feel like you could lose your piece of paper, why not tattoo it on your body, that way you’ll never lose it”, I say — God no! For just as little as $100, you can secure your recovery seed in BillFodl’s device and all your problems will fade away. Of course, the seed is quite easily accessible once found by a potential thief — but that doesn’t mean that your funds might get stolen. The thief has to figure out which wallet service do you use and go through a pretty harsh process to actually identify what that is and what for it is. Of course, if the thief is not a cryptocurrency enthusiast. Then it’s different. All-in-all, a very cool looking, purposeful device which will help you to take care of your funds as if you were the actual bank for yourself.

Rating: 7/10

Reviewed by Janis Rijnieks

This review was done in cooperation with our partners at CryptoAuthority.

Vitalik Buterin spoke about Ethereum 2.0 in the South Korean Parliament

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Vitalik Buterin, the creator of the second largest cryptocurrency Ethereum, had a speech in the South Korean Parliamentary session. The main theme was the future of blockchain and the global economy. Min Bjung Du, the chairman of the South Korean National Policy Committee, also took part in the session.

14k transactions per second

“The purpose of Ethereum 2.0 is to reach 14,000 transactions per second, which is equivalent to 2.8 MB,” said Buterin. He explained that this is due to the transition to PoS and implementing sharding, which is still a major priority.

“We will use our Ethereum verification algorithm Casper as Ethereum 2.0-based technology,” said Buterin. “The technological progress helps to solve the initial problems of blockchain technology,” he said. “Over time, various blockchain technologies such as Proof-of-Identity will be used.”

Developing wallet security

Buterin noted that the key technology in the blockchain must meet the requirements of scalability, confidentiality and security. In reality, the speed of blockchain transactions is too small for it to replace the financial market safely.

Also, Vitalik Buterin said there is a need to develop ways to enhance wallet security. As far as private information is concerning, the users should probably not enter it into the blockchain. Given its specificity because such information can be disclosed.

He mentioned the Metadium project as an example that can work with identification data and successfully address security issues.

Bad performing ICOs

He also addressed the bad performance of ICO projects in recent years. Buterin said that, in general, innovation companies would probably suffer from a drop in stock prices after listing. Also, he was pointing out that in the future, the investors will determine the growth and viable financing models of these companies.

Buterin noted that in 2019 the quality of ICO projects has improved significantly, and the demand for certain blockchain applications is now becoming more apparent.

Source:

https://kripto.media/vitaliks-buterins-dienvidkorejas-parlamenta-sede-pastastijis-par-ethereum-2-0/#respond

Photo by flickr.com

Ethereum Postpones Constantinople due to Critical Vulnerability Issues.

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In a developer call, Vitalik Buterin along with other high-rank developers postponed the long-anticipated Ethereum hard fork “Constantinople”. An audit firm found a critical vulnerability in Proposal (EIP) 1283, that could provide attackers a loophole in the code to steal other users’ funds.

Ethereum faces an audit

A Smart contract audit firm called ChainSecurity audited Ethereum’s hard fork proposal (EIP) 1283 and found critical vulnerabilities. This is the reason for delaying the hard fork for an unknown period of time. The vulnerability, called a reentrancy attack, allows an attacker to “reenter” the same function multiple times without updating the user about the state of affairs, an attacker could essentially be “withdrawing funds forever,” said Joanes Espanol, CTO of blockchain analytics firm Amberdata.

“Imagine that my contract has a function which makes a call to another contract… If I’m a hacker and I’m able to trigger function a while the previous function was still executing, I might be able to withdraw funds,”

What is wrong with the code?

ChainSecurity explains this in their medium blog post:

“The upcoming Constantinople Upgrade for the ethereum network introduces cheaper gas cost for certain SSTORE operations. As an unwanted side effect, this enables reentrancy attacks when using address.transfer(…) or address.send(…) in Solidity smart contracts. Previously these functions were considered reentrancy-safe, which they aren’t any longer,” further explaining that “Before Constantinople, every storage operation would cost at least 5000 gas. This far exceeded the gas stipend of 2300 sent along when calling a contract using transfer or send.”

Constantinople hard fork execution not specified

After this security issue, Vitalik Buterin, Hudson Jameson, Nick Johnson, and Evan Van Ness came to a consensus to delay this Hard Fork. However, they failed to deliver a specific date when the actual upgrade could take place. At this moment this is unclear because it is very essential to develop a proper code.

Source:

https://www.coindesk.com/ethereums-constantinople-upgrade-faces-delay-due-to-security-vulnerability
https://medium.com/chainsecurity/constantinople-enables-new-reentrancy-attack-ace4088297d9

Photo by Moose Photos from Pexels

SEC temporary suspends Bitcoin Tracker One and Ether Tracker One

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On Sunday, September 9, 2018, The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the temporary suspension of trading in the securities Bitcoin Tracker One (CXBTF) and Ether Tracker One (CETHF) til September 20, 2018.

SEC temporary suspends Bitcoin Tracker One and Ether Tracker One

On Sunday, September 9, 2018, The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the temporary suspension of trading in the securities Bitcoin Tracker One (CXBTF) and Ether Tracker One (CETHF) til September 20, 2018.

The official statement says:
“The Commission temporarily suspended trading in the securities CXBTF and CETHF because of confusion amongst market participants regarding these instruments. This order was entered pursuant to Section 12(k) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act).”

The SEC claims that all this has been done in the interests of “the public” and that their mandate is to ensure “the protection of investors.”

A lot of tweeters are frustrated that these kind of news come in the middle of Sunday, which usually happens during work days.

“You guys are officially losing your grip. Announcing news on a sunday during low volume and weekly close,” says @Brettloug in the SEC announcement thread.

Another tweeter @trajanmex wanted to clear the air by saying: “Relax, this is just because there is confusion between people conflating the different asset classes. This is a temporary suspension and will resume September 20th.”

Source:
https://goo.gl/4P6F8M

https://goo.gl/ML7Urp – The official statement

Ripple more likely to be a security

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Just a few days earlier when two SEC officials came out with a statement about Bitcoin and Ethereum not qualifying as securities, people are starting to discuss the fate of Ripple (XRP) now. Ripple still remains the top 3 coin, but somehow it got left out of the SEC discussion. This might be because the sale of these tokens helps the company – Ripple. And that is a definition of a security. This is why Bitcoin and Ethereum has been labeled – utility tokens. CrytpoDaily says that: “the blowback from a verdict labelling Ripple (XRP) as a security could be huge and may bring down the entire market with it.”

Investors are worried about the future of Ripple, since Western Union came out saying that the Ripple xRapid service is “far more expensive” and that they “might not be using it anymore.” Western Union is a 167-year old money transfer company that provides service to customers in 200+ countries. The Company’s CEO Hikmet Ersek told that “while his company is still experimenting with Ripple’s product xRapid for payment settlements, it has not saved money so far”, but then adding “that the pilot may be too early on and “too small” to draw conclusions, as Western Union has only tested the cryptocurrency for transfers between two currencies – U.S. dollars and Mexican pesos, so far.”

The problem with Western Union and Ripple is that they did only 10 transactions during the pilot, but Ripple calculates that if they expanded the the pilot to all of their payments, the company could cut down at least 50% of costs per transaction. This has been proven in previous pilot tests with Viamericasand Mercury FX, when the xRapid reduced costs by 40 to 70%.

Source:

https://goo.gl/Pbf3oh
https://goo.gl/s7wVsd
https://goo.gl/DNSf25
https://goo.gl/K37j6p