Winklevoss Twins Targeting Retail Investors With Launch of Gemini Mobile App

Siamak Masnavi

On Tuesday (11 December 2018),  Gemini Trust Company, the digital asset exchange and custodian founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss in 2014, announced that it had launched a new mobile app (available for iOS and Android).

In a blog post published a little earlier today, Tyler Winklevoss, Co-Founder and CEO of Gemni, talked about the new mobile app, and listed its main features:

  • buying and selling any of the supported cryptocurrencies (BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC, and ZEC);

Gemini App 1.png

  • real-time market prices and portfolio value (for any selected cryptocurrency, you can get historical price data for the past 24 hours, one week, one month, three months, or one year)
  • price alerts (this lets you get a "push notification when a price moves above or below a certain price point — or moves by more than a certain percentage value")
  • recurring buy orders (this allows repeating an order "at any frequency, time, and amount of your choosing");

Gemini App 2.png

  • sending and receiving crypto; and
  • buying "The Cryptoverse" (a basket containing all of the five supported cryptocurrencies based on "weighted market cap"; currently, the percentages for BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC, and ZEC are 82.34%, 12.80%, 2.43%, 2.04%, and 0.39% respectively).

Cameron Winklevoss, the President of Gemini, told Forbes in an interview that the twins and Gemini could handle the severe drop in cryptocurrency prices since the highs achieved last December:

“For many years when we were building Gemini, price wasn’t a thing. Bitcoin was a $200 coin. Then, last year is actually an anomaly, and almost, you could argue, a distraction.”

He later added:

"While some capital might be leaving the market, the human capital is really impressive, and it’s long-term capital. People don’t make decisions to enter crypto on a month-to-month or price to price basis."

In a press release, Cameron said:

“We’ve spent the last three years building the world’s most trusted cryptocurrency platform and today we are excited to extend it into the hands of our customers. Cryptocurrency never sleeps so it’s important for us to make it easy for our customers to engage with it wherever they are and whenever they want.”

 

Featured Images Courtesy of Gemini

CZ Explains How Binance Dealt With Aftermath of $40 Million Theft

On Sunday (May 19), Changpeng Zhao (aka "CZ"), the Co-Founder and CEO of digital asset exchange Binance, told the crypto community what he and his team had been up to since the May 7 security breach that resulted in a theft of over 7,000 BTC from their Bitcoin hot wallet. 

What Happened on May 7?

According to CZ, the hackers involved in the security breach somehow managed to get control over a number of user accounts and structured large withdrawals from these accounts in such a way thay managed not to be detected/noticed by Binance's "pre-withdrawal risk management checks." Their "post-withdrawal risk monitoring system" only noticed something was wrong after the hackers had moved the stolen BTC off of the exchange via a single transaction, at which time it immediately suspended all "subsequent withdrawals." 

At first, the Binance team was not exactly sure what had happened, and so they decided that the safest course of action was for CZ to send out a tweet to say that the "withdrawal servers" were in "unscheduled maintenance mode" while the team was investigating the incident. 

Communication With the Crypto Community

Once the team had confirmed that the exchange had been hacked, information about the security incident was broadcast to the outside world via all of Binance's communication channels (such as Telegram, Twitter, and Medium). 

Since the team could not be sure which user accounts the hackers had access to, it was decided that it would be too risky to allow further withdrawals to be made until the team had the chance to make "significant changes" to the platform (to make it more secure). Binance's announcement on May 8 estimated that the exchange needed to do "a thorough security review" and estimated that this would take about "ONE WEEK," and that during this period, "deposits and withdrawals" would need to "REMAIN SUSPENDED."

By being fully transparent in their communication with Binance users, they were able to receive "tremendous support" from them.

CZ's Periscope AMA Session on May 8

Seeing CZ live put much of the Binance community "at ease." Unfortunately, because CZ had been up all night, he was not in an ideal mental state when he did the AMA. Just before the AMA, his team told him that a Bitcoin Core developer had suggested that it would be technically possible to roll back the single Bitcoin transaction carried out by the hackers by "hugely incentivizing the miners." CZ made the unfortunate mistake of mentioning this "reorg" idea (which he now realizes is a "taboo topic") during the AMA, for which he took a heavy beating (especially from hardcore Bitcoin maximalists) on Twitter (and elsewhere). 

CZ's Mental State Right After Being Told About the Bitcoin Theft

Although he was in a "F***, F***, F***” state" for around 10 seconds, a few moments later, he "began to come to terms with it," and a quick mental calculation told him that the theft of around 7000 BTC (equivalent of around $40 million at the time) could be fully covered by their SAFU fund. Meanwhile, his team had already gone into "War Mode", and their professionalism and support cheered up CZ. 

Support From the Crypto Community

Binance received support from many sources: people defending him and Binance on social media platforms, and helping to answer questions; the Binance Angels (who are all volunteers) "addressing questions" and "reassuring" users on "multiple communities"; analytics firms helping with the tracking of the stolen funds; exchanges and wallet services offering to help by blocking "any deposits associated with the hacker addresses"; and "numerous offers for help from law enforcement agencies around the world."

A Blessing in Disguise?

"Speaking with various team members, and as correctly analyzed by community members, such as Gautam Chhugani, this incident may actually be a good thing for us in the long run. Security is a never-ending practice. There are always more things to do in security, and we have implemented many of them in this last week and will continue to implement more in the future. Given this incident, Binance has actually become far more secure than before, not just in the affected areas, but as a whole."