We’ve spent the past few weeks looking from atop at the landscape of crypto-exchanges. What a scene! In many ways, it feels like a bazaar — very disorganized, chaotic. It is a bazaar, almost literally (well, virtually), because people are meeting up to swap their goods — -crypto.
Our users will need to make decisions for themselves about the safety and security of exchanges, although as sponsors, we want to share our view on principles for the selection of exchanges and on how to stay safe in that wild, dangerous, attractive-yet-promiscuous world.
Promiscuity can bring good things. And bazaars foster innovation. In a famous essay, Eric Raymond made the connection to the success of Linux:
“Linus Torvalds’s style of development — release early and often, delegate everything you can, be open to the point of promiscuity — came as a surprise. No quiet, reverent cathedral-building here — rather, the Linux community seemed to resemble a great babbling bazaar of differing agendas and approaches (aptly symbolized by the Linux archive sites, who’d take submissions from anyone) out of which a coherent and stable system could seemingly emerge only by a succession of miracles.”
With a nod to Linus and the giants whose shoulders we stand on, we’re trying to do the same with Amity. How should you stay safe in a decentralized trust-less manner, where exchanges provide a service based on trust? We know one thing for sure: we can’t control the exchanges, nor can we provide any kind of certification (they’re all so new).
Instead, we believe that the best way to stay safe online is similar to a wild night out as a single:
- Bring protection. If you’re going out into the wild, your base protection is this: password differentiation (never same on two sites) and 2FA. However, this will not save you from insider risk or other loss (e.g., MapleChane or Cryptopia).
- Never leave your stuff at her/his place. Unless you’ve been in the relationship for a long time and have developed your own sense of trust, you should never leave coins on an exchange for longer than 24 hours (to execute whatever trade you have).
- You don’t have to give up your dignity. Although KYC is a necessary part of a sound regulatory environment, we believe that it’s also a choice of the user. You should not sign up for any centralized exchange via KYC if you want to protect your anonymity.
- Consider doing it alone. Well, sort of alone — — by using a decentralized exchange, like bisq, your privacy and anonymity are protected and there is no centralized custodian of funds that require anyone’s trust. (Amity will be listing shortly on bisq).
- Assume everyone is out to screw you. If you go into any exchange assuming that your coins will get ripped off, then your behavior will moderate appropriately.
As we venture into the world of exchanges, we know we can’t protect our users. The best we can do is hope to look out for each others’ interest, maintain a safe practice and keep a lookout.
Photos: AmityCoin sponsor pictures contributed to Creative Commons.