How To Keep Precoiners Off Coinbase

Anant Tapadia
Jul 29, 2020 · 6 min read

With Bitcoin Hexa Wallet

If you are reading this, you are probably into Bitcoin already. You are whom we refer to as ‘Bitcoiner Bob’ — someone who fell into the rabbit hole and is the weird Bitcoin person in the family. All of us here, at Hexa, are Bitcoiner Bobs like you, but when designing Hexa, our target is to make bitcoin easy for all users.

Enter ‘Precoiner Pam’

Every time Bitcoin is in the news; we have a close friend, a ‘precoiner Pam’, who asks us for the best way to know more about or get into Bitcoin. At this moment, thinking about Pam and her requirements, most forget about privacy and self custody and recommended them to an exchange like Coinbase or Binance. We also make sure to tell them to get their funds off the exchange as soon as possible, into a non-custodial wallet, and give them a hint about Bitcoin values. The unfortunate reality is that Pam being Pam hears only the first sentence, and six months later, we get to know Pam bought a load of shitcoins and left it on the exchange. How can we get Pam to pay attention to the second part of your introduction to Bitcoin?

Introducing Hexa

Simplest way to secure your bitcoin

We faced the same problem, many years ago, and wanted to do something about it. That’s why we built Hexa. Hexa has been designed carefully from scratch targeted at precoiners like Pam, who have little idea what Bitcoin is, and what Bitcoin aims to solve. Hexa is built in line with Bitcoin values: Bitcoin only, non-custodial, privacy-focused, no email or personal information required to use the app, and no fancy native unicorn token. We want Hexa to be a straightforward wallet that directly addresses her questions. Questions like “But how does this Bitcoin thing work” and “How do I get bitcoin.”

The Test Account

Hexa’s Test Account
Hexa’s Test Account
Learn how Bitcoin works w/o buying real bitcoin

Hexa features a Test Account for Pam to experience Bitcoin without hassles. The Test Account is pre-loaded with testnet sats that can be sent and received like normal sats. As she gets more comfortable using bitcoin, help-prompts tell her more about it, flattening the knowledge curve as she learns. What is a bitcoin address? How do I send bitcoin to someone? Why should I not reuse addresses? What does transaction confirmation mean? When she is ready, she can buy bitcoins directly through Hexa’s built-in integrations without leaving the app.

Buy directly into the wallet

Non-custodial buys in Hexa

After getting a feel of Bitcoin, the first thing she may want to do is stack some sats. Hexa integrates with other Bitcoin-only services like FastBitcoins, letting the user buy bitcoin directly from within Hexa. Once Pam is ready to buy bitcoin, the entire process is completed within Hexa, with prompts guiding her through the different steps. Hexa does not collect and does not need user data. Any information required by services is directly provided to them. Get bitcoin directly into Hexa w/o having to first buy on an exchange and then transfer it.

Checking and Savings Account

Save bitcoin in different ways w/o needing multiple wallets

Pam’s recently bought sats need to be stored correctly. Inline with the familiar bank naming scheme, Hexa has two types of accounts. A Checking Account, and a Savings Account. The Checking Account is a single signature account (soon to be lightning powered) and the Savings Account is a 2 of 3 multi-signature account. Pam does not have to understand how addresses are generated or how multi-signature works. All she needs to know is that her savings belong to the Savings Account, which requires 2FA confirmation to authorize spending and that money in the Checking Account is for frequent spends like transferring to friends and family.

Send to Friends and Family

Send sats w/o asking for an address every time

Now securely stored, she also may need to send them around. Other than being able to send it to anyone with a bitcoin address, Pam can also tag uncle Sam or her colleague Alice as “Friends and Family” in Hexa. The advantage is that by tagging her friends, she can then send sats without asking them for their bitcoin address each time. Behind the scenes, when a contact is added, a Diffie Hellman key exchange happens, establishing a trusted communication channel between them. Once created, any information, like a public key or a payment code, can be exchanged between peers. As a result, Pam can generate a new address for Alice whenever she selects her as a recipient. If Pam wants to pay Sam and Alice at the same time, she can batch both transactions and send sats to both at the same time, saving on transaction fees.

Seedless recovery and automated health check

Resilient backup w/o writing down a single word

Pam is loving bitcoin, but what would happen if she loses her phone? As many of us have to come to realize, managing backups in a non-custodial wallet can be overwhelming for newcoiners. Many of whom might quit at the mere possibility of losing their money because they lost a piece of paper with random words on it while others will inevitably store their seed insecurely. In Hexa, the process of backup is as simple as sharing a QR code (called a “Recovery Key”) with five entities, called “Keepers”. Keepers can be a member of her family, a device, a robot, or even a PDF document kept on the cloud or a printout in your bank vault.

For restoring her Hexa wallet, she only needs 3 of the 5 Recovery Keys. So even if 2 Recovery Keys are lost, the wallet is recoverable, mitigating the issue of a single point of failure. These Recovery Keys are encrypted shards of the Mnemonic seed along with other data needed to recover the wallet and are created using Shamir’s Secret Sharing algorithm. An automated health check within Hexa ensures that the Recovery Keys are always accessible and updates Pam in case action has to be taken.

The journey

Our objective is to onboard as many Pams as possible, and help them graduate to become Bitcoiner Bobs. This is why we are working on implementing more on-ramps, Lightning, Tor, privacy tools, hardware wallet integration, ability to connect your node and much more with a focus on making the transition from Pam to Bob easier for all. Our ultimate goal is a wallet that is accessible enough for precoiners and newcoiners to use while being powerful enough for them to improve their setup without leaving the wallet. This is why we think that as Bitcoiner Bobs, Hexa is the best wallet to recommend for our friends and family. If you want them, or anybody really, to get started on their Bitcoin journey, and want to prevent them from being shackled to centralized exchanges, we ask you to consider recommending Hexa.

Get Hexa on the App Store or the Play Store
Follow me on Twitter @anant_tap
or learn more by visiting our website here


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