Cobo, a crypto startup that aims to “help investors grow their assets” via proof-of-stake (PoS) based mining, has reportedly raised $13 million in a Series A round led by Wu Capital (a Beijing based family investment office) and DHVC, or Digital Horizon Capital (a California-based venture capital fund).
Cobo has two main products it aims to offer its customers. They include the Cobo wallet, which is a multi-asset digital currency hot wallet, and the Cobo Vault, which is the company’s proprietary hardware wallet.
Earning Rewards From Stored Digital Assets
Cobo’s press release noted that the $13 million investment will be used to “support the global expansion of Cobo’s product lines.” Cobo wallet users are “incentivized” to store several digital currencies in their hot wallets. These include Dash (DASH), ZCoin (XZC), Tron (TRX), LiteBitcoin (LBTC), Decred (DCR), Ontology (ONT), and VeChain (VET).
Other more mainstream crypto assets supported by the Cobo wallet are Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Ripple (XRP), among others. According to the Cobo development team, “its core distinction is its ability to create PoS staking pools to mine cryptocurrency rewards for its users.”
The staking pools “leverage users’ collective PoS assets to increase its combined staking capacity”, in order to improve the chances of being selected to (mine) validate transactions on blockchain networks. This helps to increase the probability of earning mining rewards.
Cobo's Business Model
Commenting on the company’s business model which allows users to earn rewards on their staked crypto assets, Changhao Jiang, the Cobo co-founder and chief technical officer, said:
Crypto has come a long way since I first ventured into this space five years ago. While I’m excited to see that crypto investment and enthusiasm is on the rise globally, a majority of crypto assets remain dormant in an exchange or wallet for extended periods of time, which creates many lost opportunities.
As crypto becomes widely recognized as a legitimate financial instrument, our goal is to provide a rewards system that leverages unutilized assets to enrich investors and accelerate the growth of the entire crypto ecosystem.
Launched in February of 2018, the Cobo wallet provides support for over 30 different major crypto assets and approximately 500 other digital tokens. There are currently over 500,000 Cobo wallets that have been created.
Describing the company’s business strategy, Judy Yan, the managing director at DHVC, said:
Cobo’s unique approach redefines the concept of crypto asset management and creates new opportunities for investors. The team leverages their extensive blockchain experience to help safeguard users’ assets while also generating returns for their benefit.
We believe Cobo will lead an entirely new user experience for PoS coin holders.
2FA, HSM Encryption Supported
The Cobo wallet has support for two-factor authentication (2FA), hot-cold servers, and uses hardware security module (HSM) encryption - which makes use of a physical computing device to securely manage digital cryptographic keys.
The Cobo Vault is currently available only via pre-order on Indiegogo, an international crowdfunding website. According to its designers, the $479 Cobo Vault aims to protect users’ digital assets from vulnerabilities and “physical tampering” by using specialized hardware/software/firmware features which are “BIP (bitcoin improvement proposal) 32, 39, 44 compliant.”
Cobo Vault Features, Specifcations
The Cobo Vault's main features and specifications include:
- 4-inch LCD display w/ IP68 waterproof rating,
- Rugged, IK10 and MIL STD-810G certified, brushed aluminum case (reportedly “withstands a car driving over it”),
- Extra hardware security that “instantly triggers a self-destruct mechanism wiping all stored private keys and data in the event of an attempt to physically force open its body”,
- “Bank-grade” encryption chip (“designed from scratch, keeping private keys stored in the encryption chip at all times”),
- “Transactions on Cobo Vault are conducted over the air by scanning a dynamically changing QR code”
Explaining the importance of these technologies, Jiang, a former research scientist and engineer at Facebook and Google, said:
With the increasing investment into cryptocurrencies, the only truly safe means of securing crypto is to store it in a cold storage wallet.
Notably, Cobo may not be available in all US states and various other jurisdictions due to regulatory restrictions and/or there may be “pending necessary regulatory approvals.” Users interested in Cobo’s products may access the company’s Customer Support page through its official website.