I’m Discus Fish, founder of Cobo Vault & Cobo Wallet. Ask Me Anything about cryptocurrency security, hardware, and more!
Hi, I’m Discus Fish, Founder and CEO of Cobo Vault and Cobo Wallet. Cobo Vault is the world’s first all-around secure, military-grade hardware wallet and Cobo Wallet is a mobile wallet with proof-of-stake pooling services that has over 500,000 users. I wrote the very first Chinese-language mining tutorial and led the development of the 24-hour settlement protocol. I also co-founded F2Pool, now the world’s largest mining pool of integrated digital currencies! Here's some additional background: https://www.coindesk.com/chinese-mining-pool-discus-fish-bitcoin Event: https://imgur.com/a/JwHnCTE Proof: https://imgur.com/a/qS2xojE Ask me anything about our company, digital assets, mining, and crypto security! To get in contact after the AMA, please reach out to our Twitter handles at @Cobo_wallet and @Cobovault! UPDATE: I'm signing off for a bit, but keep posting questions and I'll respond within the next few hours, thanks for everyone who took part so far!
The biggest pool, and the block validation attack.
It seems so long ago, the community came together against ghash.io, despite ghash claiming it would 'do no harm' and a new hashrate leader, Discus Fish/F2pool, stepped up to the plate. Of course they don't intend the network harm. But that's not the point, is it? Is it possible that being able to increase the validation time for the other miners via massive transactions opens the door for an attack? If so, Ironically, given its initial use. Let's try and spread the hashrate around better, for the health of our network. Leave F2pool to further the goal of decentralization. Thank you everyone.
01-24 09:13 - '#Bitcoin #Fraud Discus Fish (F2Pool): 1KFHE7w8BhaENAswwryaoccDb6qcT6DbYY - Citizen Journalist: CoinPio.com - CEO: JOHN KITOVER' (linkedin.com) by /u/My30sblog removed from /r/Bitcoin within 2142-2152min
Our first generation hardware wallets were made of military-grade aerospace aluminum. We’ve stripped all that down to just focus on air-gapping your private keys.
https://preview.redd.it/0rogeunfujv41.png?width=1024&format=png&auto=webp&s=8a2cf5eff6f30a36fd7e86e16331eb40b4072627 Hey bitcoin! I'm Lixin, longtime bitcoiner and creator of Cobo Vault. I come from a background in the electronic hardware industry, and experienced one of my products being featured in Apple Stores around the world. Back in 2018 Cobo CEO Discus Fish, who also co-founded F2Pool, invited me to help build Cobo’s hardware product line. As we had strong ties to miners in China, we naturally designed the 1st gen with them in mind. In China, mining farms are nearly always built in very isolated places where there is very cheap wind or water electricity. When we built our 1st generation Cobo Vault hardware wallet, we needed to maximize the durability of the device in addition to its security. We used aerospace aluminum rather than plastic and made it completely IP68 waterproof, IK9 drop resistant, and military standard MIL-STD-810G durable for the mining industry. Things changed last year when I went to Bitcoin 2019 and talked to lots of hodlers in the States. I found that 95% of them don’t care about durability. I asked them if they were afraid of their home being flooded or burned down in a fire. The answer is - yes, they are afraid of these things, but see them as very low possibilities. Even if something were to happen, they said they would just buy another HW wallet for 100 dollars. From these conversations, it became more and more clear we should design a product around a normal hodler’s needs. Our 2nd gen product compromises on durability but doesn’t compromise on security. Most hodlers share some needs with miners:
Hodlers want a more air-gapped solution so we kept QR code data transmission between your hardware wallet and the companion app which is also auditable.
A Secure Element is the strongest wall of protection from physical attacks. We are the first hardware wallet - also maybe the first electronic product with SE - to have open source SE firmware.
A battery can be a significant weak point. The 2nd gen continues the legacy of detachable batteries to prevent corrosion damage and will also support AAA batteries in case your battery dies someday.
The 2nd gen also keeps the 4-inch touchscreen so you don’t need to suffer from tiny buttons and little screens anymore. Human error is one of the biggest reasons people lose their assets.
We kept other features like the self-destruct mechanism and Web Authentication, which prevent side-channel and supply chain attacks.
If you'd like to read more about these features, check out our blog posts. Aside from the legacy of the 1st gen, our 2nd gen product will have:
Open source hardware wallet application layer and Secure Element firmware code. With the open source firmware code, you can see: random number generation, master private key generation, key derivation, and the signing process all happen within the SE and your private keys never leave.
At the Bitcoin 2019 conference half the hodlers I met told me they own multiple hardware wallets which they use on the go. We added a fingerprint sensor you can use to authorize transactions without typing in your password. No need to worry about surveillance cameras when using your hardware wallet in airports.
We will also support PSBT (BIP174) to be compatible with third-party wallets like Electrum or Wasabi Wallet in case people have need of using Cobo Vault with their own node or coinjoin. Multisig between Cobo Vault and other wallets will be realized to prevent single point failure with any brand of hardware wallet.
By sacrificing the durability, we successfully controlled the price under 100 USD for the basic version.
BTC-only firmware version for people who want to minimize the codebase for less of an attack surface.
We truly appreciate the support from the community and are giving away free metal storage Cobo Tablets with every purchase of our 2nd gen for a week! Add a tablet to your cart and place your order before May 5th, 8 AM PST to claim your free metal storage. Find us on Twitter CryptoLixin and CoboVault - any suggestions or questions are welcome!
We’ve been working on a new product release for a year and want to hear your opinions on the product. Read on for product information and our vision for hardware wallets.
TL;DR Key features of Cobo Vault 2nd gen we are going to launch:
QR code air-gapped
Totally open source: Including firmware of the Secure Element
PSBT support and compatibility with other wallets
Fingerprint authorization to prevent password leak
Detachable battery to prevent battery corrosion and AAA support
Bitcoin-only firmware option
Hey bitcoin! I'm Lixin, a longtime Bitcoiner and creator of Cobo Vault. I come from a background in the electronic hardware industry, and experienced one of my products being featured in Apple Stores around the world. Although my interest goes back to 2010, my career intersected Bitcoin when Discus Fish (CEO of Cobo) invited me to help build Cobo’s hardware product line. Discus Fish is also the co-founder and CEO of f2pool, one of the largest mining pools currently in the world, and one of the earliest advocates of bitcoin in China. Back in 2018 we built our 1st generation Cobo Vault hardware wallet. As we had strong ties to miners in China, we naturally designed the 1st gen with them in mind. For those who are not familiar with the mining industry in China, mining farms are nearly always built in very isolated places where there is very cheap wind or water electricity. As the miners would take their storage into these isolated regions, we needed to maximize the durability of the device in addition to its security. We used aerospace aluminum rather than plastic and made it completely IP68 waterproof. We also gave it a hardshell metal case you can put it in, which is IK9 drop resistant and passes the American military durability test MIL-STD-810G. As for the electronic components inside the device, in order to maximize security, we made it as air-gapped as possible with QR codes. We see this as an important choice because USB cables and Bluetooth are not transparent and have a bigger attack surface. With QR codes you can see exactly what is going on and do not have to connect to a laptop which could have malware on it. QR code interaction needs a camera and a more complicated system which needs to be supported by high-level chips. All these come with a cost, and the 1st generation isn’t as accessible for average hodlers. For more details on the product, visit here. Things changed last year when I went to Bitcoin 2019 and talked to lots of hodlers in the States. I found that 95% of them don’t care about durability. I asked them if they were afraid of their home being flooded or burned down in a fire. The answer is - yes, they are afraid of these things, but see them as very low possibilities. Even if something were to happen, they said they would just buy another HW wallet for 100 dollars. From these conversations, it became more and more clear that the position for miners and hodlers is totally different. After coming back from that conference, our team began the almost one year journey of designing our 2nd gen product. It compromises on durability but doesn’t compromise on security. We designed the 2nd gen product all around a normal hodler’s needs. Obviously hodlers share some common needs with miners:
Hodlers want a more air-gapped solution so we took the legacy of QR code data transmission between your hardware wallet and the companion app from the 1st gen rather than using USB or Bluetooth.
A Secure Element is the strongest wall of protection from physical attacks. The 2nd gen will also have a Secure Element.
Some hodlers may touch their hardware wallet once every several months. With this time period, the battery could be a significant weak point. * The 2nd gen also continues the legacy of a detachable battery to prevent battery corrosion damage. In case the battery dies someday, 2nd gen will also support AAA batteries.
The 2nd gen also keeps the 4-inch touch screen. A touchscreen significantly increases ease of use - you don’t need to suffer from tiny buttons and little screens anymore. It also significantly lowers the possibility for human error, which is one of the biggest reasons that people lose their assets.
Continued other features like the self-destruct mechanism, which prevents side-channel attacks, and Web Authentication, which prevents supply chain attacks.
If you'd like to read more about these features, check out our blog posts here. Aside from these legacies from the 1st gen, our 2nd gen product will have some other big improvements:
With our 2nd gen we will open source the whole codebase when we launch in late Apr - including the firmware of the Secure Element. We are the first hardware wallet - also maybe the first electronic product with SE - to have open sourced the firmware of the SE. With the open source firmware code, you can see: Random number generation/master private key generation/key derivation/signing process all happens within the SE and your private keys never get out of the SE (maximizing protection against physical attacks).
At the Bitcoin 2019 conference half the hodlers I met told me they own multiple hardware wallets which they use on the go. So we added a fingerprint sensor you can use to authorize your transactions without typing in your password. No need to worry about surveillance cameras when using your hardware wallet in airports.
We will also support PSBT (BIP174) so that the device will be compatible with 3rd party wallets like Electrum or Wasabi Wallet in case people have need for using Cobo Vault with their own node or coinjoin. Also multisig between Cobo Vault and other wallets will be realized to prevent single point failure with a single brand of hardware wallet.
By sacrificing the durability of the device and its aluminum body/protective case and waterproof rating and lowering production costs, we successfully controlled the price under 200 USD. We wanted it to be at a price point most people in the community would see value in.
Personally, I am a bitcoin maximalist and also a big fan of the KISS principle. We will also release a BTC-only firmware version for people who want to minimize the codebase for less of an attack surface. Thank you for reading until here. More details like final price would be released later when we officially release the product in late Apr. Any suggestions or questions are welcome. Also you can find me @CryptoLixin or @CoboVault on Twitter! Ears are widely open!
"Trends, Tips, Tolls: A Longitudinal Studyof Bitcoin Transaction Fees" fee study from 2015 brings up sweet memories
Since today there have been some posts in various subs by a user who was outraged by high transaction fees to consolidate his coins, I went down memory lane by searching for old statistics about Bitcoin fees. I found this little gem online, a study about transaction fees by Malte Möser and Rainer Böhme from a university in Germany and Austria who analysed fee development from 2011 - 2013. They analysed 55 million transactions from the early days of Bitcoin. Just some of my favorite parts:
On top of that, Bitcoin users are encouraged to pay fees to miners, up to 10 cents (of USD) per transaction, irrespective of the amount paid.
The long-term level of fees is uncertain, yet the question is highly relevant given its connection to the security and sustainability of the system as a whole. Several authors speculate that high fees will render Bitcoin uneconomical for micropayments [14, 20, 29]. Other plausible scenarios include vast variations in fees paid depending on users’ time preferences, ...
Competitive miners make positive expected profits only if transactions compete for space in the block chain. Hence, Houy  argues that a maximum block size is necessary for the stability of Bitcoin.
In practice, historical transaction fees in Bitcoin were so small that senders and miners did not care a lot. Many users kept the default value for the transaction feethat is hard-coded in the client software, thereby following a sort of social norm,like for tipping, rather than economic calculus . Likewise, miners followedhard-coded rules  to include zero-fee transactions even against their own best interest.
Half of all zero-fee transactions had to wait more than twenty minutes for their first confirmation. In contrast to that, paying a fee of 0.0005 BTC lead to an inclusion into a block in half of the time. While this seems acceptable for less time-criticaltransactions, the 90 % quantile shows a more extreme difference. Ten percent of all zero-fee transactions took almost 4 hours to confirm, in contrast to 40 minutes for transactions paying a 0.0005 BTC fee.
The results show that twopools, Discus Fish and Eligius, have a considerably higher share of blocks without any zero fee-transaction: 29.2 % for Eligius and 72.5 % for Discus Fish (sinceJanuary 2014) – in contrast to an average of 17.7 % .
If this makes you hungry for more info, check the pdf out that is available online here containing this fascinating look back into the history of Bitcoin fees.
F2Pool is a Chinese mining pool, also referred to as "Discus Fish". The pool opened on May 5, 2013. This name stems from the time before the pool had an English interface. At the time they were known only by their coinbase signature, which is 七彩神仙鱼 (Discus Fish), the nickname of one of the operators.. The coinbase signature for this pool is: "七彩神仙鱼[...]Mined by username". This isn’t the first time that Shenyu, or Magical Discus Fish, used Bitcoin coinbase data to pass on a message (sidenote: see that the NYT headline above was slightly tweaked by a fish emoji). In 2014, Shenyu proposed to his now-wife by mining one block (25 BTC at the time) and storing it in an address that began “1LoveU.” Bitcoin is a distributed, worldwide, decentralized digital money. Bitcoins are issued and managed without any central authority whatsoever: there is no government, company, or bank in charge of Bitcoin. You might be interested in Bitcoin if you like cryptography, distributed peer-to-peer systems, or economics. May 2018 update – Discus Fish / F2Pool remains a leading bitcoin mining pool, and since this review has expanded to cover SC, DASH, XMR, XMC, DCR, XZC, XVG, LTC, ZEC, EH, ETC, A look at Discus Fish Mining Pool (originally published December 2014) Please note: This review is based on a relatively small amount of hashing, a few hundred ghs. Discus Fish opened its doors on 5th May, 2013, and in addition to its bitcoin mining power, also makes up roughly 30% of the litecoin network. Today, it sports on average 7,500 active users out of ...
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