One of the most critical maxims in the crypto industry is the motto “not your keys, not your crypto.” Ownership of private keys provides users with full control over the assets these keys hold but includes the responsibility of keeping them safe (also known as HODLing).

Image for post
Image for post
All private key solutions come with their pros and cons.

With great power comes great responsibility

Practicing self-custody over your keys includes being responsible for storing, transferring, and even backing up the cryptographic primitives that define the private keys, which is often daunting to the average user. But what are the alternatives? In this article, we’ll expand on the challenges around managing our private keys and what forms of custodianship (self, external, and hybrid) exist to help handle some of the responsibilities of crypto ownership.

Let’s talk about private keys

Whether you store them on a piece of paper, via a Google Chrome extension, engraved on a metal plaque, in your Portis account, or within a hardware wallet, your private keys are, without a doubt, the most crucial piece of information for controlling your digital assets. If there were a real-world equivalent of your wealth, it would be your bank account and a power of attorney to pretty much move everything within that account at any point in time. …


We’re ready for Titlis, the final HOPR testnet before we launch our mainnet! This guide will tell you what to expect, how to get started, and what you’ll need to do to claim your HOPR tokens once this testnet is over.

Titlis will run from 3 pm CET on Tuesday, January 19th, 2021 to 3 pm CET on Thursday, January 21st, 2021. The testnet will run on Binance Smart Chain. Everyone who participates by completing the feedback form will receive a share of the 400,000 HOPR bounty fund.

Full instructions and onboarding will be available in our Telegram channel once Titlis launches. …


Building a company in a nascent ecosystem introduces lots of unique challenges. What happens when you have to create everything from scratch? Not just the platform itself, but even the tools required to build and grow it.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Cesar Carlevarino Aragon on Unsplash

In Q3 of 2017, Ian Worrall and co-founders created the MyBit Foundation, a non-profit entity in Switzerland focused on building a new approach to wealth. By relying on the Ethereum blockchain, MyBit would allow anyone to tokenize physical assets while providing new means for crowdfunding, which in turn would bring revenue back to investors directly into their wallets.

The elevator pitch? Decentralized Kickstarter

MyBit was created to challenge online centralized fund-raising models and was conceived to create an alternative to existing crowdfunding solutions like Kickstarter or GoFundMe. Existing commercial crowdfunding platforms would take up 5% of the crowdfunded campaigns, and decided on the listing and delisting of projects. MyBit would instead take only 2% of raised funds and allow anyone to list assets on their platform. …


Jose will be sharing his experience with Portis on relevant topics in the industry, such as identity, cryptography, and decentralization.

Image for post
Image for post

Hello world! I’m Jose Aguinaga, a web3 developer, a full-stack engineer, and a cryptography enthusiast based in Switzerland. I’m currently the Head of Engineering at HOPR, a privacy-first blockchain project, and a tech consultant at Enigma Technologies OÜ, an E-Residency Estonian company. I’ve been around the crypto industry for the past four years, and I’m excited to share my experience with Portis’ users and developers alike and work alongside them to create new and exciting content together.

Background and experience

While pursuing my degree in Computer Science, I focused my career on web technologies and started to write about my learnings. In 2016, I wrote my first article at Medium, a satirical piece that made fun of the state of the web industry then, which landed me a spot as the keynote speaker at the JSDay 2017 in Verona, Italy. …


The second version of our Basòdino testnet ended last week, and it was a resounding success, if we do say so ourselves. Even though we mostly intended it as an extension to Basòdino v1 for our existing community, we still had a host of new signups, taking our total registered user base to a tantalizing 999 (so close!)

This post will look back at what happened over the two weeks, including the all-important winners list. We’ll also be providing a sneak peak of what’s next for HOPR testnets.

Image for post
Image for post
We finally reached the summit of Basòdino!

And the 276 Winners Are…

Basòdino v2 saw the introduction of Daily Tasks, a way to increase community involvement and make our testnets less passive. These went really well, with almost everyone being able to use their nodes to participate. For future testnets we’ll definitely use a bot to provide acknowledgements and automate point scoring, but we’re very pleased with how well our ad hoc system held up. …


As we approach the last stretch of the second version of Basòdino, we’re already looking into what to do next. Registrations are now closed, but for existing participants there’s still plenty of time to improve your score! This post will provide an update on progress, explain some of the changes for the second half of the testnet, and give a first glimpse into what changes and other improvements we’re planning going forward.

Image for post
Image for post
We’re more than halfway there! But we’ll be starting all over again very soon…

Numbers-wise, we couldn’t be more delighted. We now have 999 registered nodes, tantalizingly close to the 1000 node milestone. Unfortunately we won’t break that for a little while, as we’ve disabled CoverBot — more on that below. We’re also excited by the sheer diversity of our community, with participants connecting from every corner of the world, including (and I hope this isn’t divulging too much metadata) our first node on a fishing trawler connecting via satellite internet! …


When we announced the second version of our Basòdino testnet running on Matic Network, we promised we’d let the community vote on how to distribute the 200,000 HOPR prize fund.

We made that vote the first of our new Daily Tasks, and now the results are in! Thanks to the almost 600 people who responded! If you provided your HOPR address, your daily tasks points have now been added to the leaderboard. As a new feature, hovering over your address will display your current points breakdown for each task and CoverBot relaying.

Respondents were asked questions about four parameters: total number of ranked prizes, variance of ranked prizes, proportion of random prizes and percentage allocation to random prizes, available to anyone who doesn’t come within the ranked results. …


The HOPR Basòdino testnet has ended. Huge thanks to everyone who participated! We had 703 registered participants overall, a big increase from Säntis. As always, the data and feedback we’ve gathered has allowed the developers to fix bugs and make improvements to our network stability. This was the first public test of HOPR’s proof of relay system, and we’re delighted with how well it worked.

Image for post
Image for post

There were still some residual network stability issues, and the way CoverBot works made it hard for people who registered later to break into the Top 200. We also weren’t able to implement the extra tasks we wanted until the very end of the testnet. Rather than radically change the rules in the final days, we decided the fairest thing would be to resolve this testnet as planned and then allow everyone to start from scratch to get the full experience we intended. …


Image for post
Image for post

The HOPR Säntis testnet has ended. Huge thanks to everyone who participated over the past three weeks! With over 500 active nodes, the community response was overwhelming. We’ve gathered a huge amount of data and feedback which have helped us to dramatically improve our network stability and implement new features. You’ll be able to test these out when we launch our next incentivized testnet, coming very soon.

Winners

Congratulations to the 20 highest scorers from the Säntis leaderboard. We’ve also selected our 10 random winners who will receive 1,000 HOPR each.


Our HOPR Säntis incentivized testnet launched less than a week ago, and the response from the community has been amazing, with hundreds of people responding to our call to help contribute to online privacy and earn HOPR tokens. At the time of writing, 350 people have verified their node with the bot that oversees the testnet and received their first points on the scoreboard, and there are 100–200 nodes online day and night. We’ve had over 6,000 calls to our bot as it opens payment channels and sends out tokens for relayed data. …

About

Jose Aguinaga

Web3/Full-Stack. DevOps/Cryptography Enthusiast. Head of Engineering at @hoprnet, previously @MyBit_dapp, @numbrs, @plaid. JavaScript, startups, fintech.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store