Cryptosigma is a Bitcoin exchange platform and mobile wallet app that seeks to transform the experience of the digital currency world for users in South East Asia and beyond, by fulfilling services normally expected of traditional banking establishments, such as debit cards, within the cryptocurrency space.
Seeking to provide a solution to the difficult issue of price volatility in Bitcoin, Cryptosigma's app is set to offer an auto-convert function that will allow users to convert any BTC funds they are sent immediately into their preferred local fiat currency. By giving users the assurance that they have received as much local currency as they expected, users new to the digital currency world are likely to find the service more reassuring than a plain exchange service.
Planning a launch in early 2015, Cryptosigma is currently signing up early-access users on the pre-launch page. When the service goes live, these users will get access to Cryptosigma's currency exchange and payment platform. This will be the online platform where users can exchange both digital and fiat currencies, as well as sending payments from their own wallet to others.
Security in this environment is paramount, so Cryptosigma has taken a robust approach to securing users' funds online by removing the centralized nature of the security keys. In most exchanges, the only key needed to move funds around will be held by the exchange itself, but on Cryptosigma they have instead implemented Gem's multisignature wallet API to give more security control to their users.
While Cryptosigma will have one key stored centrally, users will have two additional keys and will need to provide one of these in order to move funds out of a wallet, thus preventing attacks on the central exchange from compromising user's wallets, as we've seen happen on other exchanges.
Another important element of Cryptosigma is the mobile app that users have access to. It is also here that users find the important “Auto Bitcoin Exchange” that will allow users to have any funds arriving in their wallet; for example, Bitcoin can be converted immediately into the preferred local currency. This is going to go a long way to reassure users that when they've been sent a virtual US$10, they're still going to have that value in their wallet regardless of the price movement of Bitcoin.
In addition, Cryptosigma is also offering a Bitcoin Visa debit card. Users will be able to load with Bitcoin credit online, and with the mobile app they will be able to withdraw local currency from a normal ATM using the card, creating a very familiar and easy to understand system for people less in touch with cryptocurrency. This will also be a new way to accomplish simple international remittance payments, with foreign funds being sent via Bitcoin to a usable debit card in the home country.
The world of digital currency platforms and exchanges is a busy one, with many players offering a wide range of fairly similar services. Cryptosigma has honed in on making their own niche, bridging the gap between conventional banking services and the modern one within the digital currency ecosystem in South East Asia.
Users are going to find the mix of automatic conversion to local currencies, and the ability to spend wallet funds through a traditional Visa debit card, more familiar and accessible than most digital currency platforms.
Founded in 2014 by Aaron Siwoku, Cryptosigma is a Bitcoin wallet and exchange service tailored to the South East Asian market.
Fees for online transactions between wallets and currencies start from 0.1% and reach less than 0.5%
- Cryptosigma is entering the busy market of digital currency wallets and exchange platforms. What is your strategy to set Cryptosigma apart from other services and to give it a unique appeal?
Cryptosigma is the first consumer-focused Bitcoin wallet to offer what we call “Auto-Exchange.” A user can toggle on this feature and any received Bitcoin will be auto-converted instantly into the user’s fiat currency of choice, whether that be USD (US dollar), SGD (Singapore dollar), HKD (Hong Kong dollar), THB (Thai Baht) or PHP (Philippine Peso), with support for more currencies to be added in coming months.
- A hot topic in the digital currency world is currently thefts from exchanges and online wallets. What steps have you taken to protect your customers and to secure Cryptosigma?
Nearly all Bitcoin thefts to date have been from exchange wallets that are nonmultisig and or operate a custodial wallet infrastructure, meaning that the exchange centralizes users funds and controls private keys on behalf of users. Out of the gate, Cryptosigma operates a multisignature exchange + wallet offering 2-of-3 multisignature wallets that combine three keys: your primary key, your offline backup key, and a cosigning key. Every transaction requires valid signatures from at least two of these keys.
- What are your plans for the future of Cryptosigma? Can you share any plans for particular features, or certain markets you are interested in getting involved with?
Cryptosigma’s ultimate goal is to develop an easy-to-use Bitcoin exchange and wallet that people of all ages, tech savvy or not, can trust and enjoy. We love Bitcoin and focus massively on aiding adoption through simple—intuitive—thoughtful design. If it passes the “mom” test, then we are happy! As far as the future is concerned, we want to aid the democratization of money. We plan to replicate traditional consumer finance products reimagined using Bitcoin and blockchain technology.
- How do you see the changing international regulatory environment affecting Cryptosigma's work? Have you already had to meet any legislative requirements?
It’s hard to predict what direction various jurisdictions will take, and there is unlikely to be a general consensus from one territory to the next, but over time like all innovation—as people start to understand, trust and use this innovation—the necessity for favorable regulation becomes pertinent. Setting up banking relationships has been hard but not impossible. This is due to a general lack of understanding from banking institutions, as they're so reliant on regulation that they have failed so far to really embrace something that will fundamentally change the way the world interacts with finance, in a more democratic manner than the current system is able to accommodate. Ironically, lack of regulation is exactly what Bitcoin needs at present to give it room to grow and find real legs without being stifled by overzealous regulatory policy.
The economist John Kay wrote about a concept called “order without design,” and I agree with this concept. What it refers to is the fact that evolution (of any market) has a much better sense of what is good for us than perhaps we do ourselves. The reason for this is that it is hard to overstate the mistakes and damage created in the past by regulators who thought they knew more than perhaps they did. For example, banking profits are “privatized,” but the risk the banks take is “socialized,” meaning that if they make good decisions, they profit and benefit privately, but if they make poor decisions and fail, they will be bailed out by the government, courtesy of the tax-paying public. So the regulation that was intended to help repair the economy through government bailout programs actually ends up having a far more negative long-term effect in that it incentivizes recklessness. And as the problem gets worse, the government tries to solve the problem with more regulation, which in turn creates a more powerful downward economic draft. So when all is said and done, it would be a crying shame to have regulators of a failing centralized banking system try to regulate a decentralized banking system in its infancy with insignificant knowledge of a hugely significant technological breakthrough, with economic implications none of us truly understand the scope of ... yet.
- What inspired you to get involved in the world of Bitcoin and digital currencies?
It is the first time society has had an opportunity to utilize a peer-to-peer currency network that democratizes money in a way we have never seen before. The financial inclusion of six billion underbanked people in global trade and commerce through the use of democratic, borderless and programmable money is, in my opinion, a much more efficient way to stimulate a burgeoning global economy than governments simply printing more money to inject into existing market sectors.
I was inspired to be a part of that change after trading digital currency on various platforms for the last two years. In that two years, I'd become aware of the great features some exchange and trading platforms contained, but other features they lacked. I wanted to combine all the great features together in one place and add some additional ideas that I felt would help mainstream Bitcoin for people who wanted a simpler way to use and manage their own money. I'm ecstatically happy to be involved in the advocating and use of what I believe is the greatest technological breakthrough of my generation.