Sun, 11 Aug 2019 09:38

Why is hardware wallet the safest place for your coins


Not just your Dollars or Euros, but also crypto coins need to be safely stored. Many of the available apps and desktop wallets could be a practical option, but definitely not the safest one. If you are serious about your crypto investments, you should own a proper hardware wallet.

Mobile and desktop wallets are usually app installed on your personal device and connected to the internet. However, that way they are more likely to get hacked or accessed by a virus while on the other hand, hardware wallets are protected against them. A hardware wallet is an external device which stores crypto (keys) offline. This way your funds are safe from online threats.

The hardware wallet is protected by password and basically, in order to steal your crypto, not just the device would have to be taken, but also all the passwords. Even if your wallet would get stolen, there is no way to access your coins without knowing your passphrase. This makes hardware wallet the most secure place for your cryptocurrency.

Plus if you ever lose this wallet, you can always restore your coins, if you have the passwords with you.

Another security hack a hardware wallet has is their secure chip, which allows you to connect them to a computer and send coins without having to input private key on the computer itself.

Ledger wallet

Interesting fact:

Since blocks cannot actually be taken out of a blockchain and can't be "stored" anywhere, you are basically just storing your access to the blockchain which is a digital code = private key. That private key works as a proof of your ownership of a public digital code, known as a public key. The public key can be used to access your currency addresses. The currency wallet is then storing your access to your owned currencies.

History of a hardware wallet:

Bitcoin trezor HW

One of the first wallets was made when only Bitcoin and Litecoin were the crypto options, back in 2011. It was the time when many bitcoins were lost dues to destroyed harddisks and forgotten passwords. But the first hardware wallets were just too technical and not very user-friendly. First proper hardware wallet was made in 2014, called TREZOR. Even though competitors soon appeared, many of them did not make it further.

What is THE seed and BIP32

The seed phrase is a collection of generated 12 - 24 English words, which allows you to recover your wallet. Let's say you lose your wallet or it gets stolen. There come recovery seeds to get back to your crypto.
These words must be written and kept in a very safe place. Definitely not shared with anyone.

Bitcoin Trezor seed

BIP32 then works as extended private key.
For example later mentioned TREZOR hardware wallet:
The private keys are generated by the device and never leave it so they cannot be accessed by a malware.

It uses a deterministic wallet structure which means it can hold an unlimited number of keys = BIP ( Bitcoin Improvement Proposals) BIP0032/BIP 0044. A recovery seed is generated when the device is initialized. In case Trezor gets lost or stolen, all its contents can be recovered using this seed (private keys, bitcoin balance and transaction history) into a new device or another BIP 0039/BIP 0044 compatible wallet.

The BIP 0032 standard for Hierarchical Deterministic Wallets is used by all good wallets as of 2019.
A Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (mentioned BIP) is a design document for introducing features or information to Bitcoin. This is the standard way of communicating ideas since Bitcoin has no formal structure. As described in BIP 0001 the workflow of a BIP is as follows:

BIP structure

Coingi exchange uses the incoming BIP32 generated addresses for higher security!

Most favourite hardware wallets by 2019:


TREZOR ( was a first modern hardware wallet, brought into the world of crypto in 2014 by Czech guys from SatoshiLabs. It is a small device which connects to your computer with a USB cable. It stores your cryptocurrency private keys offline, therefore safely than app wallets, which are not protected against virtual theft.
TREZOR is an HD wallet where you control the private keys, so an entire wallet can be backed up with the 24 words generated on setup. The original 24-word seed is generated using RNG (RNG – Random Number Generator) from the device and the computer. The seed is generated offline and displayed on the TREZOR’s screen, which ensures that the seed is never on a connected computer.

Bitcoin Trezors


USB shaped wallet made from stainless steel by Ledger ( company belongs among the most popular ones on the market. It was released the same year as TREZOR and sharing the same features such as digital display, USB cable to connect the wallet to the computer or 24-word seed function. Ledger wallet is a Paris based company and sold already over 1,3 million devices (2018).

Ledger HW

Security of hardware wallets:

Ledger seed

As we mentioned, the hardware wallet is much safer than web or mobile wallets. Till now there is no evidence of stolen crypto from a hardware wallet. Hardware wallet stores your private key leading to your bitcoins under 12-word password known as seed passwords.
It is randomly generated words from RNG (RNG – Random Number Generator) which you need to write down and store on a safe place. When you have these seeds remembered/noted, not only your crypto keys are protected, but if you ever lose your hardware wallet, you can access to your crypto by seeds passwords from the different device as well.
This is followed by choosing a PIN and passphrase ( passphrase - group of words, similar to a password but longer for added security) if you want to enhance your safety.

Finally got your first wallet? Let's look at how to start, using TREZOR wallet as an example:

First of all: make sure you are buying your hardware wallet from a reliable store. For example mentioned TREZOR wallet should have safety hologram seals on the box:

Secure Bitcoin trezor box

For the set up:

  1. Connect your wallet to computer, using its USB cable.The device screen will light up.
  2. Install TREZOR wallet ( and give your device a name.
  3. FSet up your password following steps provided by TREZOR. A PIN code is required on setup, and required for spending
  4. Write down recovery words (seeds) displayed on wallet. You can add a passphrase to the 24-word seed for extra security, which acts as a 25th word
  5. Access your TREZOR wallet on your browser, customize your homescreen, check PIN:
    Bitcoin Trezor wallet
  6. Remember: You must remember the passphrase because the seed without the passphrase is not enough to recover the wallet. A passphrase offers more security, but if forgotten the wallet cannot be recovered.
    Recovery can be done with another TREZOR or with other wallets, like Electrum or Mycelium

Process of setting up a hardware wallet is very similar no matter of a brand you buy.

Safety recommendations for hardware wallets:

Being your own “bank” comes with several responsibilities. Make sure that you:

  • Never share information about what amount of crypto you own
  • Do not share your recovery phrase with anyone
  • Have your written down pin codes and recovery phrase on a very safe place and in a format which can not be easily destroyed
  • Do not write your recovery phrase it into a phone or computer

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Tue, 23 Apr 2019 10:41

General Bytes ATM machines supports Coingi!

Batmtwo Bitcoin ATM

General Bytes is currently the biggest producer of bitcoin ATMs. With over 2000 machines sold in 54 countries, these guys from the Czech Republic successfully manage to dominate this competitive market.

Anyone familiar with crypto knows these typically orange ATMs, which are making their way into daily use of cryptocurrencies. General Bytes ATM machines are able to distribute coins from wallet or crypto exchange. And Coingi was just added as a supported exchange to their system!

Coingi exchange on General Bytes

The Czech Republic overall is very strong in the crypto area. A first mining pool, Slushpool, was set up right in this country and still working. Every crypto hodler owns a wallet similar to Trezor, which also has its roots in Czech and then there are General Bytes. These guys are currently on the top in crypto ATMs sales and now holding over 30% of all installed machines all over the world:

Crypto ATM growth by manufacturer

This year is positive for bitcoin growth overll. So far bitcoin reached the price of $4,100 by March 2019, and despite all the ups and downs of the crypto market, the community is very stable by now, which makes it easier for crypto ATMs to gain popularity.

And since European banks are closing their ATMs, bitcoin withdraw machines doubled their amount twice last year (2018). They found their way into shopping centres, subway stations or grocery stores (

Bitcoin ATM by country

First bitcoin machine ever, was installed in 2013 in coffee shop in Vancouver by Robocoin machine, and the same year later first ATM in Europe was installed in Bratislava. In 2014, General Bytes sold their first ATM. The same year a several new companies were launched like for example Genesis Coin or Lamassu, which remain in the business and now competing for the first place in crypto ATM machines sales.

Robocoin does not operate anymore, but General Bytes offers a Robocoin Hardware Kit, helping those who already owns the machine to move forward with new software (

Bitcoin ATM machines are meant to exchange cash for crypto and the other way. They are connected to the Internet, which allows putting in cash or credit card in exchange for cryptocurrencies for a small fee. There are already a regulations for a ATM machines owners to prevent money laundering, but vary from country to country!

Create Bitcoin ATM by General Bytes

By 2019, there are several big player on crypto ATM machines field:

Genesis Coin, total ATMs installed 1 459 (
Founded by Evan Rose, this 6 year old US based company is one of the strongest competitor to Czech General Bytes.

Lamassu, total ATMs installed 448
Founded in 2013 by Zach and Josh Harvey, the company released a new ATM model last year and moved to Switzerland at the beginning of 2019.

lamasu Bitcoin ATM

BitAccess, ATMs installed 299
Canadian company has already installed their machines in more than 10 countries with 70 cryptocurrencies offered to buy or sell on their ATMs.

Coinsource, ATMs installed 196
Texas based company is focusing their production mainly on marketing in USA and is known for providing transaction for lowest fee.

And above all those all: General Bytes.

Their machines are all Android-based. One of the advantages of Android platform General Bytes team appreciate is the fact, that its built on Linux, which is open source. It has a developer community of millions providing thousands of software libraries which allow for rapid software development. Plus Android being based on ARM architecture allows to create custom cost-effective PCB hardware designs and providing users with the best touch-optimized interface.

"We are now able to develop new features a lot faster. Every few weeks we bring out a new software version." (

General Bytes factory shots

General Bytes ATMs are able to identify the customer by:

  • SMS Scan
  • ID document
  • Fingerprint scan
  • Print out bitcoin paper wallet

A number of clients who wants to provide crypto payments to their customers increasing and huge ATM machines are not the only way to go, as you can see below a General Bytes device for small business (

This little machine can accept:

  • Bitcoin payments
  • Dash payments
  • Litecoin payments

It can scan the QR code, paper wallet or Contactless payment via NFC wallet cards.

CortexPay General Bytes

All machines require the owner to install their own software because, as the General Bytes team stated: ¨Everything about out machines must be decentralized¨. Having own system in machines is creating less dependency to a General Bytes company.
The software itself contains no wallets, no exchange software or anything. It’s the ATM server that will communicate to the client and their wallets. So, if the owner runs their version of Bitcoin or Ethereum wallet the software will be able to connect to it. It is the same thing with the exchange. General Bytes support many exchanges, but it is up to users which one they will prefer.

Features of General Bytes ATMs:

A useful feature for business owners is the plugin creating option. For example, an easy way to connect bookkeeping software: to set up automatic trigger an entry every time a transaction is posted online in ATM.

Added cameras on ATM can do a scan of the identity card and once they pass the identity check the machine gets unlocked for them. It can also be unlocked for the entire network, so if the operator has a hundred machines people only have to pass this AML KYC procedure once.

Those little things are what makes General Bytes one of the fastest-growing networks at this very moment.

Lightning Network payments

And a new feature is coming in. This year the first payment via ATM by Lightning Network was made in Hong Kong ( The crypto community welcomes Lightning Network because it offers much lower BTC’s transaction fees and General Bytes is going to offer this payment option soon.

Follow General Bytes:
Find the nearest bitcoin ATM;
Read more:

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Fri, 05 Apr 2019 09:39

What are mining pools and how to join in 2019

With Bitcoin price falling down, miners were the ones affected most. Even though mining got difficult lately, there was still money to make as a solo miner. Not in 2019 though, unless you are living in a country with super cheap electricity. As in-home mining in Venezuela and Iran is at the rise, others started to gather into mining pools.

Crypto coins

How mining pools work:

As a solo miner, you are covering all the expenses, but once Bitcoin is mined, the whole coin and fees are yours. Unfortunately, with current Bitcoin value together with the price for energy used while mining one coin, the final reward is not that interesting as it used to be.

However, if you join mining pool, energy expenses on mining are shared. Bitcoin and fees are then shared as well, but still, mining pools currently represent an easier and quite stable income from crypto mining.

Miners get a reward based on contributed processing power they 've put into crypto mining pool. Every pool is basically a node's network with admin or company in charge, which is trying to attempt as many hashes per second as possible. Miners themselves cant produce such a hashing power, together in pool they are increasing a possibility to unlock blocks.

What is cost you:

Most of the mining pools will charge you for a fee. It could be nothing but can go up to 4%. This is taken from your final reward, so nothing paid upfront.

Be careful about projects offering 0% of fees. Even this could be just a new company trying to attract early bird customers, it could be a scam as well

Be careful about projects offering 0% of fees. Even this could be just a new company trying to attract early bird customers, it could be a scam as well


Another thing mining pools vary in is their payout rules. Whether you want regular daily payments or get paid whenever a block is solved by the pool, make sure to find out details before you join

Rewards for miners in mining pools:

Mining pool rewards

There is around twenty different reward system used by mining pools in 2019. Each mining pool has different rules and system. These are some of the most common ones:

  • Pay-per share (PPS):
    The most common way to pay miners. You get an average of the number of shares that you contributed to the pool when finding blocks. PPS is considered as one of the safest ways to get paid.
  • Pay Per Last N Shares (PPLNS):
    Also a popular payment method. PPLNS offers payment to miners as a % of shares they contribute to the total shares.
  • Proportional (PROP):
    Works as PPS, but additionally to the mined BTC, miners also get transaction fees in the reward

Not all mining pools are mining Bitcoin. Many of them will be mining the currency with higher value at that time, and pay out their miners in BTC.

Who mines the most:

Currently a leader in Mining pool is China and Czech Republic,then Island with Japan follows. Chinese F2P Pool and Antpool are taking the biggest part of a wheel, together with owned by Bitmain. The oldest pool, created in 2010 by Czech Satoshi Labs has currently 10% of this market.

Actual data here:

Mining pool graph 2019

How to join mining pool in 2019:

Mining pools work for all crypto coins, not just for Bitcoin. You can also change mining pools whenever you want to, just by routing your hash power to another pool.

Each mining pools has its own registration process, usually, 2F registration is required. When choosing a mining pool to join, check not only fees but also localization and reputation. As everything in a crypto world, research reviews and ask for recommendations.

What you will need to connect:

  1. Wallet address - to get your reward
  2. Bitcoin mining hardware - to determine the size of your contribution to the pool’s hash rate (ASIC Bitcoin Miner)
  3. Mining software - connects your hardware to the net - to the pool you prefer (EasyMiner, CGMiner .. )

Always check preferred tools for a pool you want to join. A whole list of mining pools is here:

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