Ethos Introduces Token Swaps with ShapeShift in Universal Wallet

Ethos Introduces Token Swaps with ShapeShift in Universal Wallet


Swapping tokens is now easier than ever with the integration of ShapeShift directly in your Universal Wallet. Swap a wide-variety of coins, while never sacrificing security and ensuring you always maintain the keys to your crypto.

Want to exchange your Bitcoin for some Ethereum directly in a crypto wallet you control? How about Ethereum for Litecoin?

Well, it just got a whole lot easier. We have just released our highly-anticipated update to the Universal Wallet, v1.6. Now, you can easily exchange assets with the click of a button, directly in the app and see your freshly swapped tokens right in your wallet.

ShapeShift is a revolutionary part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The platform gives you the power to quickly swap between assets in a seamless, safe and secure environment. ShapeShift was created in August of 2014 to provide instant Bitcoin and altcoin conversion with the maximum level of consumer protection and efficiency.

Ethos aims to create a financial ecosystem that is open, safe and fair for everyone by harnessing the power and autonomy that cryptocurrencies provide. The Ethos Universal Wallet provides a secure, self-custodied mobile wallet where the user is in control of their funds at all times. Ethos Universal Wallet gives users the power to store, track, send and receive over 140+ tokens.

The integration with ShapeShift enables users to securely exchange and swap coins without any intermediaries. Users will be able to initiate trades directly from their wallet with settlement and order handling abstracted and rapidly executed for the user.  

“Ethos provides the infrastructure for a more robust digital economy that is truly easy to use and accessible to the average person,” says Ethos Founder & CEO Shingo Lavine. “We want to partner with leading companies in the space to provide the best possible service while preserving the ideals and allure that cryptocurrencies hold.”

To get started swapping your coins with ShapeShift directly in your Universal Wallet:

Step 1. Download the wallet from your iTunes or Google Play App-Store: Click Here

Step 2. Create your account, confirm your email address and create your first SmartWallet.

Step 3. Click the “Swap Coins” Button – and complete the account registration process to link your payment details. (This is only required the first time you make a swap.)

Step 4. Complete your swap & your crypto will show up directly in your Universal Wallet.

Join the conversation on Telegram! https://t.me/ethos_io

Big Thanks to our Community!

With every major update, we advance forward toward the new economy. Let us know what features you would like to see us add by emailing us at [email protected].

The future is bright!


Gemini Dollar Now Live in the Universal Wallet

Buy Crypto Using Simplex Directly in Your Ethos Universal Wallet


We are excited to share that in our highly-anticipated update to the Universal Wallet, v1.6, we have added support for Gemini dollar (GUSD). GUSD can now easily and securely be stored, sent and received within the Universal Wallet.

We are excited to share that in our highly-anticipated update to the Universal Wallet, v1.6, we have added support for Gemini dollar (GUSD). GUSD can now easily and securely be stored, sent and received within the Universal Wallet.

Gemini dollar combines the creditworthiness and price stability of the U.S. dollar with the blockchain technology and the oversight of U.S. regulators. GUSD is an ERC20 token built on the Ethereum Network.

Gemini Dollar GUSD Profile in the Universal Wallet

Essentially, giving people the power to send and receive U.S. dollars like email. A true revolution in how we use and transfer money.

According to Gemini, “U.S. dollars that correspond to the Gemini dollars issued and in circulation are held at State Street Bank and Trust Company. The U.S. dollar deposit balance is examined monthly by BPM, LLP, a registered public accounting firm, in order to verify the 1:1 peg. All Independent Accountants’ Reports are published and available here.”

GUSD is listed on a wide-variety of exchanges, to be purchased and safely stored, tracked, sent and received on the Ethos Universal Wallet.

As we move forward on the path of crypto asset adoption, we look forward to bringing communities together through the Universal Wallet, providing them with a secure solution to manage all of their crypto assets.

Stablecoins present an opportunity for individuals and companies to begin realizing the benefits of the blockchain without exposing themselves to the volatility common to other crypto assets, while continually interacting in a liquid manner with the cryptocurrency marketplace.  

Want to read about all of the features released with our latest update to the Universal Wallet v. 1.6? Read the blog.

Want to get the Ethos Universal Wallet & start storing and transacting GUSD, visit: Get the Wallet

Join the conversation on Telegram! https://t.me/ethos_io

Big Thanks to our Community!

With every major update, we advance forward toward the new economy. Let us know what features you would like to see us add by emailing us at [email protected].

The future is bright!


Buy Crypto Using Simplex Directly in Your Ethos Universal Wallet

Buy Crypto Using Simplex Directly in Your Ethos Universal Wallet


In this article, we highlight our latest feature to the Ethos Universal Wallet v1.6, buying crypto with Simplex. Learn the details on how Simplex is integrated directly into the wallet, and how to purchase crypto while always maintaining self-custody.

Here at Ethos, we have just released our highly-anticipated update to the Universal Wallet v1.6. Now users can easily and safely buy crypto directly in their Universal Wallet through this integration of Simplex.

Simplex is a global instant fiat purchase service enabling bitcoin and altcoin purchases with credit and debit cards. This integration means that Ethos Universal Wallet users now have access to liquidity and exchange services between fiat and cryptocurrencies on an international scale, and every purchase deposits directly into your SmartWallet.

“Ethos is excited to offer a wealth of dynamic capabilities to consumers,” says Ethos founder and CEO Shingo Lavine. “The Universal Wallet will become the most accessible way for people to safely interact with cryptocurrencies using innovative services such as Simplex.”

“As Ethos expands its service offering, Simplex is proud to play a fundamental role in offering seamless, easy conversion between fiat and cryptocurrencies while ensuring transaction are completely fraud-free,” said Nimrod Lehavi, CEO and co-founder of Simplex. “We are able to achieve this thanks to our advanced machine learning AI algorithms and broad accumulated experience as security experts.”

Please visit https://www.simplex.com/support/ for more information about Simplex and any service restrictions.

Simplex is the initial stage of the fiat gateway solution we are building at Ethos and are thrilled to feature. Now, our global community will have access to crypto purchases directly in their wallet, while always maintaining self-custody.

As we continue to evolve and grow our fiat gateway, the next chapter will include our integration with Voyager.

To get started purchasing crypto with Simplex directly in your Universal Wallet:

Step 1. Download the wallet from your iTunes or Google Play App-Store: Here

Step 2. Create your account, confirm your email address and create your first SmartWallet.

Step 3. Click the “Buy Crypto” Button – and complete the account registration process to link your payment details.

Step 4. Complete your Purchase & Your Crypto will show up upon payment approval, directly in your Universal Wallet.

Big Thanks to our Community!

With every major update, we advance forward toward the new economy. Let us know what features you would like to see us add by emailing us at [email protected].

The future is bright!


Universal Wallet Update v1.6 Now Live with Simplex & ShapeShift

Universal Wallet Update v1.6 Now Live with Simplex & ShapeShift


In this article, we explain our latest update to the Ethos Universal Wallet v1.6. We highlight the major features in this update, including Buy Crypto with Simplex, Swap Coins with ShapeShift & the addition of Stable Coins.

Ethos has just released our highly-anticipated update to the Universal Wallet, release v1.6. In this article, we highlight the major features and enhancements contained within this update. We highly encourage all users to visit the app store to update your app to the latest version. If you don’t have the app, get the Wallet Now.

Buy Crypto Using Simplex Directly in Your Wallet

Now, app users can easily and safely buy crypto directly in your Wallet with the integration of Simplex. Simplex is a global instant fiat purchase service enabling bitcoin and altcoin purchases with credit and debit cards. This integration means that Ethos customers now have access to liquidity and exchange services between fiat and cryptocurrencies on an international scale, and every purchase deposits directly into your SmartWallet.

Please visit https://www.simplex.com/support/ for more information about Simplex and any service restrictions.

Simplex is the initial stage of the Fiat Gateway Solution we plan to have accessible and fully integrated into the Universal Wallet. Future stages of the Fiat Gateway include our integration with Voyager.

Token Swaps with ShapeShift

In this update, we also unveil our integration with ShapeShift.io, a digital marketplace for Bitcoin and other blockchain tokens. This new feature grants Universal Wallet users access to the liquidity and enable users to securely exchange and swap dozens of tokens without any intermediaries.

Want to exchange your Bitcoin for some Ethereum? Now, you can easily and rapidly do it at a click of a button, directly in the app and see your freshly swapped tokens right in your Wallet.

Initially slated for update v1.7, we expedited the integration of ShapeShift to aggressively expand the features and functionalities of the UW, and simply put, give the users what they want as soon as possible.

Expanding Support for Stable Coins – TUSD & GUSD Now Live!

Stable coins continue to revolutionize how users interact with crypto and the crypto marketplace, so we will continue to explore our support of these assets.

And with Universal Wallet Update v1.6, users are now able to safely store, send and receive Gemini Dollar (GUSD) and True USD (TUSD). A big welcome to the Gemini & TUSD Community!

This raises the number of stable coins available in the wallet to three – DAI, GUSD, TUSD.

And in addition to these tokens, we have also added UTRUST (UTK), a token that’s been a common suggestion in our community surveys. We are excited to welcome the UTRUST community to the wallet.

Note: All new coin integrations will be active and available post-update release, and will be formally announced by the Ethos Team and Social Channels.

A Glimpse at What’s Next

We have recently taken steps to make future integrations with blockchains easier and will be  continuing our progress to integrate Cardano (ADA), as we move forward into the new year.

Push notifications are coming soon to the Universal Wallet! Whether it’s the latest update, a change to your Ethos Status, coin news alerts, we will soon have push notifications active in the Universal Wallet, so we can always keep you informed at the push of a button.

We are proud of how far we have come in under 6 months since we first launched the Universal Wallet. And we are enthusiastically entering into 2019 with plans on the horizon to integrate Voyager with Bedrock and enhance our users experience and continue to expand the Ethos Ecosystem.

Big Thanks to our Community!

With every major update, we advance forward toward the new economy. Let us know what features you would like to see us add by emailing us at [email protected].

The future is bright!


Ethos Introduces Cashback Rewards for Token Holders Trading with Voyager

Ethos Introduces Cashback Rewards for Token Holders Trading with Voyager

Ethos is pleased to announce a new era of Ethos token utility, in our latest and most significant strategic partnership to date, with Voyager. In this article, we explain the details on how cashback rewards will work, but first here is some context.

In early 2019, Voyager will be launching their commission-free cryptocurrency investing app. Voyager will give users the power to use their smart order router technology, which connects to multiple exchanges, to get the best execution on their crypto purchases and sales.

Whether you are selling or buying in fiat or trading between cryptocurrencies, Voyager makes it simple, safe and offers you the best execution on every trade.

Ethos Universal Wallet will be integrating Voyager’s trading technology, enabling seamless commission-free trading, with best-execution speed, liquidity and price across multiple exchanges directly from your wallet.

Using the Wallet, users will always maintain control over private keys and custody of coins. Wallet holders will soon be able to directly transfer the tokens they manage to Voyager for instant trading, and back to the Ethos Universal Wallet for easy storing, tracking and transacting.

ETHOS Token Powered Cashback Rewards: How It Works

We will determine the level of cashback rewards you are eligible for by cross-referencing your Ethos Status, which is determined by the number of Ethos tokens you hold in your Universal Wallet, with your monthly trade volume through Voyager.

So, in order to be eligible for cashback rewards, you must…

1 – Gain Ethos Status by Holding Ethos Tokens in your Universal Wallet

Your Ethos Status will increase to higher-levels when you hold more Ethos Tokens in your wallet, it’s that simple. For example, 100 Tokens is Silver and 10,000 Tokens is Diamond.

For more information on Ethos Status, read: Ethos Status Powered by Ethos Token Ethos Status is built on Ethos Bedrock. Through our xAlert API, your Ethos Status is updated in real-time based on the amount of tokens you are holding in your wallet, unlocking features such as coin reviews ratings and more. Of course, the higher your status, the more cashback you will receive.

2. Actively Trade Using Voyager

The more trades, buys and sells that you perform using Voyager, alongside your Ethos Status, will unlock higher-levels of cashback rewards. Keep in mind, it’s not just the amount of trades, it’s the volume, so the larger your trades, the greater your cashback.

Making trades through Voyager is completely commission-free, so you also get the benefit of not having to deal with hidden fees and mark-up on your trades. Cashback rewards will be available for both the Voyager fiat gateway and cryptocurrency trading platform.

The Ethos Cashback Token Utility Equation & Cashback Levels

The more tokens you hold, the more you trade, the more you earn! Here is the Full Cashback Level Chart:

Disclaimer:  Cashback Rewards will not be eligible through the Simplex & ShapeShift Services coming soon to the Universal Wallet. Cashback will only be available utilizing Voyager for trades, on the Voyager Platform and through the trader router in Ethos Universal Wallet. Cashback rates and levels are subject to change.

Ethos Token Utility - The Future is Bright

Today marks another major milestone for Ethos Token Utility. But truly, we are still just getting started. As we continue to expand our ecosystem and partnerships, we will continue to announce more token utility features and rewards for our community.

Voyager is an incredible partner for Ethos, and we look forward to more strategic partners who will work with us to make crypto more easy, fun and accessible to the mainstream, while always adding value to the network and empowering our token and users.

Stay tuned for more announcements and features to come in 2019, as we rapidly progress on the road to mass adoption! The future is for everyone.



Introducing Secure Hash - Enhanced Security in Universal Wallet

Introducing Secure Hash - Enhanced Security in Universal Wallet


In this article, we explain our latest added feature to the Ethos Universal Wallet, SecureHash. We will outline the benefits of SecureHash and the forced upgrade process we will be utilizing to implement this new feature.

What is Ethos SecureHash?

Upon creating your SmartWallet you are given a 24-word recovery phrase, which is connected to your account. This is also sometimes referred to as your private key or seed.

Ethos SecureHash is a safe way to ensure that the 24-word private key stored securely on your device is always compatible with the public key stored on Ethos Bedrock. It can confirm that the deposit addresses generated by Bedrock with the public key are compatible with your private Smart Key ensuring you can successfully transact.

This provides an integrity check, giving our customer service a way to cross-verify your account without transferring or revealing the information of your private key or 24-word key recovery phrase.

How Does Secure Hash Work?

When a user creates a Smart Key, there is a public and private key generated. The private key is the 24-words, the public key is what we call the extended public key. The extended public key generates your deposit addresses for all your wallets in the HD derivation paths.

We use the extended public key to tie a user to their account in Bedrock. We never store private keys. Until now, the extended public key has been blind and out of reach to the user, making it difficult to validate between user and bedrock.

With SecureHash, we take a unique hash of the extended public key, readily make this information available on the app for the user. This allows the app and the server to be cross-referenced to make sure there is a match.

Please keep in mind that SecureHash does not expose any private information – it’s simply an integrity check.

SecureHash will be automatically generated upon our next update, linked to every account upon re-logging in to their device and stored.

Why Do I have to Re-Login After the App Update?

This is an added security benefit to protect the accounts of all users, and ensure that with every major app-update, each user manually chooses to access their account, while also allowing the implementation of SecureHash and future features into every Universal Wallet.

Critical Info: Ethos Universal Wallet Update 1.5.2 Process

Once the Ethos Universal Wallet Update 1.5.2 is pushed out to all users, your app will require an upgrade before accessing your account. This is a forced upgrade.

If you don’t update your app automatically, once you open your app, you will be sent to a locked screen with a prompt to update your app. Simply, manually visit the iOS or Android app store to update your app.

Update Screen Bug: Please note, if your app has not already been updated to Version 1.5, and you are using an earlier version such as 1.3, the button to “Update your Universal Wallet in the App Store” on the lock screen will be inactive. This minor bug will be fixed with update 1.5.2.

Simply, visit the app store to update the app and you’ll be all set. You’ll be able to log-back in and access your account. All funds are completely safe during this process.

Updating the App

Once you upgrade your app, if you have an active SmartWallet and have generated a 24-word key phrase, your SecureHash will be created automatically in the backend of the app.

You can always find the SecureHash information in your “Privacy and Security Settings.”

Simply, log back into the app using your account information, and you will have access to the latest version of the Universal Wallet. It’s that easy!

Summary of the Benefits of SecureHash

  • Added Security for Ethos Users.
  • Ensures no mismatch between your 24-word key phrase and extended public key.
  • Better Customer Support Experience.
  • Universal Wallet users can use SecureHash for Customer Support without offering up your Private Key or sensitive account information.
  • Added Ease of User Experience in the Universal Wallet.
  • Secure Hash is stored in your User & Privacy Settings.


Ethos Status – Powered by the Ethos Token

Ethos Status – Powered by the Ethos Token

Now that we've released our flagship app – Ethos Universal Wallet – and have successfully performed over 1-million transactions to date, we're ready to integrate one of our initial layers of token utility into Ethos Universal Wallet, called Ethos Status.

What is Ethos Status?

Essentially, Universal Wallet users will be assigned a status and badge based on the amount of Ethos tokens that they currently hold inside the Universal Wallet. Your badge and status will be interactive and responsive to the number of tokens you hold in your SmartWallet, and will change as you add or subtract Ethos tokens.

The level of your Ethos status will correlate to enhanced features in the wallet, which we explain below. And in the future, Ethos Status will expand to include discounted rates on exchange and fiat gateway functionalities, etc.

We built Ethos Status through an enhancement to Bedrock xAlert, in which we are now able to associate the amount of ETHOS a user is holding with their account and in-turn implement a tiered system of benefits.

Today, we announce our first round of benefits, although they will expand as Ethos and the Universal Wallet functionalities grow.

Ethos Status Tiers

In this first implementation of token utility, we encourage users to stake their ETHOS in the Universal Wallet. The amount of ETHOS you have staked in the wallet, will determine your status from Shrimp to Humpback Whale! With each level you get a badge that’s displayed on your profile.

Disclaimer: Ethos Status Levels and Badges may change in the future – as we learn more about how to enhance and refine this feature for our community.

While the Ethos Badge will be a default feature, we understand some users may want the benefits that come with their Ethos Status tier, but not want others in the community to have insights into their holdings, so we’ve made displaying your status a feature that is optional and can be simply turned off in your user profile settings.

Ethos Status Perks

We have built a new feature for all users, the ability to leave and rank a written review. At each ascending level of Ethos Status, we increase the the power of your coin ratings, so that your vote matters and your voice stands out in the community.

Increased Voting Power

Your Ethos Status impacts the weight of your Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down on reviews written by fellow crypto enthusiasts. Each review can be up or down voted by community members in the Ethos ecosystem, and reviews can be sorted by helpfulness.

Below is the chart which outlines the levels of thumbs up power we have for our various Ethos Status levels.

Showcased Comments

The higher your Ethos Status, the greater the likelihood that your comment on a Token will be featured in the showcase, and put towards the top to inform others on your insights on a given coin.

These showcased comments will then have the opportunity to be voted on by the community with a thumbs up or thumbs down, based on how helpful your comment is. Of course these votes will be powered by their Ethos Status, as outlined above.

By having a greater influence on the platform through being a Ethos Token Holder, you have the opportunity to support guiding the community with your crypto insights and opinions, which are then self-regulated by other members in the community with their own voting power.

Build Influence on the Ethos Platform

As you leave helpful reviews on various coin profiles, you have the opportunity to get upvoted, which can lead to our Ethos users clicking on your coin profiles, and following you on social.

Status Tip: Before Ethos Status launches, make sure you update your user profile with your social media info!

See a review you like? Check out the users profile and follow them on other platforms. Learn from the community, join the discussion, and grow your crypto network!

Important: All users have the opportunity to not disclose their social information and can remain anonymous at all times.

The ETHOS Token Utility Future is Bright

This is just the beginning of ETHOS token utility. We will be testing these features and enhancing them as we continue to grow, to explore enriching the users experience of the Universal Wallet.

We are so excited to share what’s in store. Stay tuned, get engaged and wear your Ethos Status with pride!


Universal Wallet - Much-Anticipated 1.5 Update & What’s to Come

Universal Wallet - Anticipated 1.5 Update & What’s to Come


Please go to the app store and upgrade your app!

Ethos has just released our most significant update to the Universal Wallet yet, release 1.5. In this article, we highlight the major features and changes contained in this update, as well as give you behind-the-scenes look at what’s to come in our future updates.

We highly encourage all users to please go to the app store to update your app to the latest version.

Performance Enhancements

The dev-team has been hard at work ensuring that you have the snappiest and smoothest cryptocurrency wallet available in your hands, and this update will mark a series of radical performance enhancements we will be making.

Whether you are opening your app to the home screen, loading SmartWallets, WatchFolios and even pulling up coin charts, the app has been leaned out for faster loading times and for charts to require less in-app resources. We have also changed to a new homepage framework so that you can scroll through your SmartWallets and WatchFolios faster and easier than ever.

By changing the way we cache data and call data inside the app, we’ve been able to reduce all relevant load-times. Let us know what you think – and how we can continue to increase performance.

Ethos Coin Library – Profiles, Reviews & Comments

Coin Profiles have now been enhanced, including the ability for the community to rate tokens, leave comments, see their comments in the showcase and upvote or downvote comments based on whether they find them helpful.

We have also added education and social links to each Coin Profile so you can easily click to see read a token’s white paper or see that latest updates and announcements in their social channels.

Ethos Status

Universal Wallet users who store ETHOS tokens will now unlock power features inside the app – being one of our first features of ETHOS token utility we introduce for our users.

The more ETHOS tokens you hold, the more power you have in the Ethos Universal Wallet. For now, it determines the level of your Ethos Status, pushes your comments into a higher-priority of the showcase and increases the voting power of comments you find helpful.

And for those wondering, Ethos Status is enabled by enhancements to the Bedrock xAlert API.

Click here to read our full article on Ethos Status.

New Coin Integrations & Architecture

For this latest app-update release, we welcome AdBank Network Token (ADB) to the Universal Wallet, and in the near future Ethereum Classic (ETC). Users will be able to store, track, send and receive ADB Tokens after updating their wallet to 1.5.

Disclaimer: Ethereum Classic will only be available upon our forced upgrade and manual activation process, and will not be available and fully transactable upon downloading the latest upgrade. Stay tuned to Ethos Social Channels for when we announce ETC is fully live in the Universal Wallet!

Most notably, our dev-team has re-designed the internal architecture to help expedite the process of integrating tokens in the future. Meaning more tokens will be coming soon to a Universal Wallet near you. We’ve also been gathering your votes for the tokens which are up next on deck for our integration process!

Coming Soon to Ethos Universal Wallet

New Features:

Fiat Gateway with Simplex – Soon, Universal Wallet users will be able to purchase crypto with Fiat and withdrawal their crypto to Fiat using Simplex. We are clearing the way to release this in our next major app-update 1.6.

Coin Swaps with ShapeShift – Due to meeting the new compliance and regulatory frameworks required for our ShapeShift integration, ShapeShift and coin swaps are now currently set for our app-update 1.7.

Push Notifications – Whether it’s the latest update, a change to your Ethos Status or in the future coin news and alerts, we will soon have push notifications active in the Universal Wallet, so we can always keep you informed at the push of a button.

Bedrock in Action

Payroc – Merchant Solution
The Ethos Team is rapidly advancing our crypto payment service in partnership with Payroc, using Ethos Bedrock. First, we are setting up the frameworks to on-board merchants. Account creation, verification and getting their wallets created, so we can supply them with the easy-integration of a “Pay with Crypto” button for their websites.

This will give online merchants the power to perform complete crypto transactions, and have it be fully functional with their existing product/service delivery or payment system. We will keep you posted with our progress and share a demo soon!

Big Thanks to our Community!

With every major update, we advance forward toward the new economy. Let us know what features you would like to see us add by emailing us at [email protected].

The future is bright!


The Evolution of Custody: From Bearer Bonds to Blockchain

The Evolution of Custody: From Bearer Bonds to Blockchain

How we secure assets, whether they be securities, bonds or currencies, has been in a state of flux over the past century. As markets and the needs of individuals change, so do the mechanisms by which we secure and exchange assets. Central to all of this is the question of custody. How does an individual maintain control, or custody, of their assets without compromising security or the ability to access liquid markets for exchange?

How we secure assets, whether they be securities, bonds or currencies, has been in a state of flux over the past century. As markets and the needs of individuals change, so do the mechanisms by which we secure and exchange assets. Central to all of this is the question of custody. How does an individual maintain control, or custody, of their assets without compromising security or the ability to access liquid markets for exchange?

Today, the blockchain enables self-custody of assets in a way that when combined with innovative technologies like Ethos Bedrock, provides cutting edge security, rapid access to funds and liquidity in a way unrivaled by any other time in history. Understanding how this came to be is best done through examining the evolution of asset custody over the last century.

When trying to understand custody, a great place to begin are with bearer instruments, like bearer bonds, which are issued on paper (or goatskin) and can be stored by individuals in a safe, under lock and key. When one has physical possession of a bearer instrument, they gain all the beneficial ownership right associated with the asset. Thus, safeguarding these documents is vital since they are unregistered, with no records maintained of the changes of ownership or of the current owner.

Naturally, some people don’t want to keep these at home for risk of theft and have historically turned to banks for storage in a safety deposit box for safekeeping. This is referred to as custodial possession. The customer could then be given a key so they could get into their safety deposit boxes and have access to the assets. Sometimes the bank would also have a key. When two parties have a key to gain access to the underlying asset, this is referred to as joint custody.

Looking Back

As financial markets grew through the 20th century, the management and transferring of stock certificates, bearer bonds and cash became very unwieldy. In the 1960s, the New York Stock Exchange saw securities trading volume more than double over a span of just 3 years.

Adjusted for inflation, it’s estimated that billions of dollars worth of securities were stolen or lost during this era. A consequence of poor record keeping, insecure mechanisms of transfer, and theft from centralized repositories

The overwhelming trade volume marked the start of the Paper Crisis, which illuminated that the standard deployed by brokers for transferring and record keeping on securities exchanges, which at the time relied largely on paper and pen, was ill-equipped to handle the growing trade volume. This crisis led to dozens of brokerage firms going out of business and the implementation of computers, alongside professional management, to handle the high volume of trading.

Present Day

Today, custody has legally been defined as “. . .holding, directly or indirectly, client funds or securities, or having any authority to obtain possession of them” (17 C.F.R. 275.206(4)-2). This definition, while applicable to the status quo, fails to encompass custody as enabled by the blockchain, which breaks away from the inherent relinquishment of control necessitated by current standards.

The blockchain provides a revolutionary means of tracking, efficiently transacting/exchanging and securely storing assets in a decentralized fashion, in turn offering a solution that can mitigate risks associated with centralized fund storage through the self-custody of assets.

In the following section, we will provide a brief technical overview of how custody of digital assets can function in the emerging digital economy, specifically highlighting how the Ethos Universal Wallet, through Ethos Bedrock, is able to deliver safe and practical solutions to consumers and institutions through building on industry standards.


The Technology: Hierarchical Deterministic Wallet & Bedrock

As you now know, the blockchain enables self-custody of digital assets. Over the past decade, creating a wallet to store your digital assets was a complicated process, requiring individuals to manage independent public and private key pairs for every wallet they wanted to maintain. In order for someone to have 10 Bitcoin address, they would need to manage 10 private keys and 10 public keys… and if that list of lengthy alphanumeric private keys was damaged or lost, there was no simple way to regenerate those missing keys.

Now imagine if there was a way to securely generate 10 private keys and 10 public keys, all derived from and restorable with a single set of words instead of a lengthy alphanumeric string, wouldn’t that be convenient? Enter hierarchical deterministic wallets! Hierarchical deterministic wallets commonly referred to as HD wallets, allow an individual to create a multitude of private/public key pairs without the need for complex backup mechanisms or individual key management by the user.

The Ethos Universal Wallet is built 100% on Ethos Bedrock, with Bedrock being utilized as an institutional-grade custody engine. Bedrock Custody will solve the “custody trifecta” where you have your funds rapid, accessible and secure. Let’s take a dive into how all this works and examine how Ethos is building on industry standards to provide safe and secure custody solutions to consumers and institutions at scale through Ethos Bedrock.

BIP32

BIP stands for Bitcoin Improvement Proposal. A BIP is a standardized way of introducing proposals for alterations of Bitcoin, including the network protocol, block or transaction validation, and more. BIP-32 describes what HD wallets are and how they operate. An HD wallet is a system for deriving seemingly infinite private/public key pairs from a single point referred to as a seed. This creates a hierarchical tree-like structure of private/public keys.

From a mnemonic phrase, the seed is derived. That is hashed and a master key, also known as a parent key, is derived. From that parent key, you can then derive child keys underneath that. From each of the children, you can derive more child keys, and so on. Think of it as a tree branching out. This structure also allows the owner of the wallet to provide one of the branches, or sub-trees, to someone else and they can then generate more addresses further down that tree.

Deterministic wallets eliminate the need for a user to document every single private/public key because they can be regenerated at any time with the single mnemonic phrase that’s held by the wallet owner

BIP39

When creating a cryptocurrency wallet, a mnemonic phrase is sometimes generated in order to provide an easier way to remember your private key, instead of having to memorize or document a random alphanumeric string. BIP-39 provides a framework for generating that mnemonic phrase. Sometimes referred to as a “seed phrase,” it’s vital to keep this somewhere safe! The individual in possession of this set of words has full access to the assets associated with the given address, think of it as the combination to an otherwise uncrackable safe.

Under BIP-39, standardized lists of words in different languages are provided and can be used for creating a mnemonic phrase. The English language word list has 2048 words and can be found here.

For the Ethos Universal Wallet, your SmartKey is a 24-word mnemonic phrase (vs the 12-word standard used in many wallets). A single 256-bit seed, 24-word mnemonic provides master encryption for all of the private keys in each wallet you create.

Did you know the number of possible 24-word combinations of 2048 words exceeds the number of atoms on Earth!?

BIP44

BIP-44 defines a logical hierarchy for deterministic wallets and expands on the capabilities of the HD wallet as defined in BIP-32 to allow for support of different coin types (i.e., BTC, ETH, ADA) and accounts. This allows for a single mnemonic phrase SmartKey to be used to recover seemingly infinite wallet addresses that hold assets across different blockchains.

While Ethos adheres to BIP32 and BIP39, we found BIP44 as it stands would limit the ability for Ethos to provide unique solutions to our users; namely, the ability to dynamically generate addresses for users to receive payment on blockchains they haven’t used, which enables airdrops into wallets where the address has not yet been generated by the user. In considering these benefits along with additional security risks, we decided to pursue a non-standard approach to unlock use cases that will be beneficial to the overall user experience.

Ethos Bedrock utilizes “extended public keys” to securely generate addresses on our servers without having to transmit private keys. These extended public keys are used to generate all child public keys that exist below it in the derivation path – which are then transformed into addresses that follow the scheme defined by each blockchain. For a full description of the mathematics of these extended keys, see the BIP-32 / BIP-44 documentation.

Through unlocking and expanding on the capabilities of the powerful mathematical structure outlined above, consumers and institutions can now have access to industry leading custody solutions at scale.

Looking Forward

While the application of this wallet technology may be clear to our Universal Wallet users who already enjoy the benefits of self-custody and the convenience of a mobile storage solution, it’s important to note that Bedrock also enhances the custody offering for Voyager as well. Through Bedrock, we are opening up support of coins that Voyager’s existing custody partners do not support and increasing the speed to market for new coins. This enhances both the Voyager retail trading application, in addition to the Voyager institutional offering. For both businesses, Ethos helps solve one of crypto retail and institutional markets biggest problems – secure custody.

The combined Bedrock and Voyager B2B offering will enable businesses of all types to build crypto applications rooted in custody, payments, investing and more. Together, we look forward to granting Voyager’s institutional partners access to the powerful custody solutions enabled by Bedrock.

From bearer bonds to blockchain, we have arrived full circle to what the people need, true and secure asset ownership. Individuals and institutions can rest assured that Ethos is here to provide them with unprecedented security over their assets, without sacrificing ready access to rapidly transact and exchange them.



How We're Working to Tackle Crypto’s Biggest Pain Points

How We're Working to Tackle Crypto’s Biggest Pain Points

Crypto can be confusing, overwhelming and downright scary for anyone, whether they are tech savvy or not. Managing private keys, multiple wallets, passwords and dodging phishing sites and even the fear of getting hacked, has often been too intimidating for average people to take a real foray into Crypto.

While the casual investor relies on a third-party custodian, we all know that unless you control the private keys, you don’t control the crypto. Ironically, it’s these barriers to entry which are also the underlying qualities that gives crypto its revolutionary value.

Since Ethos began, we’ve been focused on tackling the biggest barriers to entry into crypto, while streamlining the utilization of it in the real-world as we play our part to help catalyze a revolution to a more fair and free new economy. We do this by building products which are simple, safe and secure, yet dynamic and innovative.

In this article we highlight the biggest pain points in crypto, and our approach in solving them.

1) Crypto is Too Complicated (and Intimidating!)

Ain’t that the truth! Imagine that you’re trying to buy Bitcoin so you can buy altcoins from an exchange, only to then have to figure out how to download four different wallets. Once you have those wallets, you have to keep them updated plus manage the private & public keys. The process to acquire crypto right now takes too many steps, so it’s no surprise that people just give up and walk away from the possible benefits.

In fact, every person that works for Ethos has personally overcome these hurdles and intimately understands the struggles consumers are facing.

The idea was simple – if we give users the power to safely and simply store, track, send & receive crypto, then it can be a more integrated part of their daily lives. The Universal Wallet gives users the ability to send crypto as easily as they could with PayPal or Venmo, thus increasing the likelihood of exchanging crypto among peers.

Soon you will be able to swap and purchase coins and have them directly show up in your wallet. Making it a one-stop shop for acquiring, accumulating and storing.

Benefits include:

  • Store your tokens, coins and digital assets safely and securely on your mobile device.
  • You’re in complete control thanks to your PIN and biometric data (i.e., fingerprint) combined with safe and secure leading encryption techniques.
  • Generate new wallet addresses and manage multiple wallets at the touch of a button.
  • Sending and receiving just got breezier. Do you have a friend that wants to send you crypto? No problem, you are just two-clicks away from pulling up your wallets public address and QR-code!

Securing your assets doesn’t have to be panic-inducing. Ethos has smoothed out the barriers so you can focus on making wise crypto investment decisions.

2) Centralized Storage

As we just covered above, being able to safely and securely store assets in a simple (even beautiful) way has been a pain point since the early days of crypto. With traditional assets like fiat currency, our current financial system is structured in a way that pushes us to participate in centralized storage – forcing us to hand over full control (or self-custody) of our assets.

The consequences of such a system have been at times grave. Case in point, the financial crisis of 2008 left banks unable to provide consumers with ready access to their funds, requiring a government bailout to keep the broken system afloat. Unfortunately, the crypto space has seen a similar push towards centralized systems of storage and asset exchange, and at times the outcomes have not been pretty.

Mysterious disappearances of digital assets on exchanges like Mt. Gox, Bitfinex, and a multitude of other centralized cryptocurrency exchanges have shown time and time again that entrusting custody with 3rd parties is often ill advised and risky.

If it’s so dangerous, then why are people doing it?

Frankly put, because it’s easy. Instead of needing to manage multiple unique cryptographic private keys and regularly updating software wallets that have confusing user interfaces, it’s easier and less scary to have that done for you. But at what cost?

We saw the challenges people were facing and decided that if we were to truly advocate for financial empowerment, there needed to be a better solution that enables decentralized storage and self-custody. Enter the Ethos Universal Wallet. The capabilities of this mobile-first smart wallet smooth out and simplify the process for you, so that you can maintain control. One wallet, your assets, with you in complete control.

3) The fees are too high!

Whether you are buying crypto or trying to sell crypto to fiat, the fees are plentiful! It’s undeniable. If you’re storing your assets on a centralized exchange that does not offer Crypto-Fiat services, you likely need to pay a fee that exceeds the mining costs to just get your coins off the exchange. If only it stopped there – those fees are quickly followed by additional fees tacked on by the Crypto-Fiat exchange provider, often far exceeding 1% of the total balance being converted to fiat.

A low cost, self-custodied solution has yet to surface in the market. Until now. Through the powerful partnership between Ethos and Voyager, we enable a new era of crypto-fiat trading. We venture to solve the multiple layers of crypto dilemmas, by mitigating losses to conversion fees and all the many concerns over whether or not you will be paid what is rightfully yours when airdrops or forks occur to an asset you own.

Together, Ethos and Voyager bring forth crypto solutions in real terms.

4) It’s a Scam

There is often a gut reaction to assume the worst of things we don’t understand. Most especially when it involves people making or losing money. At Ethos, we understand that our users want to truly feel comfortable and confident navigating the cryptoverse. That’s why we have been working hard to build out a wealth of educational content.

From our video series that can be found here to the coin profiles in the app, we are building out resources to educate newcomers and veterans on the underlying technology, and what different projects in the space are building!

Our coin profiles will soon feature an enhanced rating and review system as well as links to the official websites, social accounts, githubs, and other resources vital to understanding a blockchain project. The Universal Wallet will be a central hub of data, allowing you to develop a deeper understanding of what different blockchain projects are building and how others view those endeavors.

5) Poor to No Customer Support

A common complaint voiced about most industries is the experience of contacting customer support. The crypto space is no exception, and may in fact be known for exceptionally poor customer support. Whether it takes days to hear a response to your inquiry, there’s an inability to provide a solution to the problem or there is simply no response at all, most of us leave feeling uneasy or frustrated.

When you raise a support ticket through Ethos Customer Support, we have customer support reps responding within 10 minutes. We believe that ongoing education and open lines of communication are key to providing a high level customer support experience. Our support reps and community moderators have meetings twice a week, regularly speaking with our Chief Product Officer, head of IT & Security and Marketing Director to stay up to date with the latest developments at Ethos and have all their questions answered. At Ethos, we genuinely pride ourselves on having the best 24/7 customer support team in the industry.

We know that providing security should not stop at building formidable technology. Beyond exceptional management and enthusiastic support reps, a central tenet to our hiring process is identifying people who truly understand. People who understand the technology, our products and the sometimes overwhelming experience of navigating this emerging sector. Because, we’ve all been there. We have sent that transaction and been worried it was lost in the ether, we have forgotten our passwords and we have felt the panic of not hearing back from support.

Through firsthand experience, a strong sense of empathy and human-centered design, our support reps, developers and team as a whole understand the importance of your needs in the New Economy.

Your needs are our needs. As a collective – community members, technologists and creatives – we are Ethos.

We are here for you.