The crypto industry is currently going through trust issues, according to Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The Gemini crypto exchange founders, otherwise known as the Winklevoss Twins, said that investors were less confident about investing in cryptocurrencies following the shutdown of QuadrigaCX. The Twins demanded more inputs from the US regulators to make the cryptocurrency market a safer place for investors, stating:
“There are a lot of carcasses on the road of crypto that we’ve seen and learned from. At the end of the day, it’s really a trust problem. You need some kind of regulation to promote positive outcomes.”
QuadrigaCX, once a prominent Canada-based crypto exchange, announced shutdown this December after its chief executive Gerald Cotten died unexpectedly with the keys of $194 million crypto wallets. The company eventually lost clients’ funds in excess which, per the Winklevoss Twins, is what rattled potential crypto investors.
Better oversight, they said, would attract more investors and would further set bitcoin to the path of a long-awaited price recovery.
Twins Miss the Point
While the Twins could be right about strict oversight attracting big investors, as also covered by NewsBTC earlier, there is no evidence that QuadrigaCX fiasco could initiate a new negative trend. With trust, the Twins want to imply that QuadrigaCX would eventually undo crypto adoption as a whole. Instead, their focus should be more on educating crypto users about protecting their assets from potential hacks. Because, indeed, hacks do not discriminate between regulated or unregulated exchanges. The reason why QuadrigaCX users lost funds was that they handled control of their assets to the exchange. In no way, a centralized entity should be able to gain hold of someone else’s cryptocurrencies. That’s the main logic bitcoin propagated via its original whitepaper. Centralized exchanges never did enough to reduce counterparty risk. Since Mt. Gox, the crypto industry suffered plenty of hacks, leading to the loss of billions of dollars worth of crypto assets. The hacked platforms included BitStamp ($1.43 billion), BitFinex ($900 million), BitGrail ($170 million), CoinRail ($40 million), amongst others.
In all the cases, crypto traders trusted exchanges to store their money. Nevertheless, all of them failed to provide careful custodianship. These exchanges continue to control users’ assets, and that is where the core problem lies.
Control is Confidence
The rising number of decentralized exchange projects (DEX) indicate that – in the future – traders would gain 100% control of their crypto assets. Also, these exchanges would practically do the job of a centralized exchange but without designating power to a single party. That includes everything from capital deposits, order books, order matching, and asset exchange.
Nevertheless, DEX would need to catch up when it comes to handling a large number of volumes and supporting features like stop loss and margin trading. And for active traders, centralized exchanges will remain a go-to option. However, the best they can do to ensure utmost protection is to keep only a small part of their holdings on their public wallet.
While a stricter regulatory framework, as the Winklevoss Twins, would still be useful, one cannot risk exposing their funds to lengthy court procedures in the event of a hack.