January 3, 2019 marks the tenth anniversary of the first ever Bitcoin block mined, aka Genesis Block on the same day in 2009. It is also the day that may start a new annual tradition, the “Proof of Keys celebration”.
Cryptocurrency expert and evangelist Trace Mayer is advocating people to remove all their Bitcoins from third-party crypto exchanges and similar services on January 3, 2019.
“Just to prove that they are there”, says Mayer candidly on his video.
While the message may seem simple, this may well be the best way to expose fraudulent exchanges. Do they really hold the Bitcoins that were deposited?
It will also generate more literacy among new Bitcoin investors regarding how blockchain works and how the coins move from one address to another on the ledger. Most of the investors may not be aware of the consequences of trusting third parties with their Bitcoin, or worse yet, would not think it is a problem.
Like Andreas Antonopoulos says “Not your Keys, Not your Bitcoin”, unless you hold your Bitcoins, you are not in control of your money.
Ironically, Bitcoin was created to be un-censorable money and to be completely in control of the holder. But that isn’t the case anymore with many users storing their cryptocurrencies on exchanges. Let us dig a little deeper into the celebration.
Appeal to Withdraw your Bitcoins
Today is January 3, 2019. Today is when the Proof of Keys Celebration begins. All you have to do is withdraw your bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies from third party services like exchanges or wallets where you do not control your private keys and to your private wallet where you can control the flow of your bitcoins.
If you do not have a private wallet, you can get one easily using services like electrum wallet, Bitaddress for paper wallets, Exodus wallet or a good hardware wallet like the Ledger or Trezor. If you’re in India, you can buy one from Etherbit.
Why is it Important
There are multiple reasons why Proof of Keys celebration is highly important.
Are Exchanges Lying to you?
One of the most important outcome of this celebration will be to determine if the centralised exchanges actually hold the amount of Bitcoins they claim to hold. They control the interface of their exchanges, are those order-books real? Do we know if they can withdraw the exact amount of deposited Bitcoins?
HitBTC exchange have actually stopped the withdrawals ahead of the event, which has garnered wild speculations about the exchange’s funds.
Indian exchanges such as WazirX, Bitbns, Koinex, Coindelta, CoinDCX have not yet been tested aggressively for crypto withdrawals. This might be a good time to do so.
On the other hands, exchanges such as TradeMonk have completely stopped crypto withdrawals as reported by many users. This may be a good reminder to learn how important it is to store your cryptocurrencies in your own wallet.
Declare Monetary Sovereignty – Be Your Own Bank
The question one investor must ask herself is, do I really know how I can send or receive Bitcoins myself, without the intervention of an exchange? Can a user easily control her Bitcoins outside of an exchange?
“I think it’s important for us to declare, and redeclare, our monetary sovereignty on a regular basis”Trace Mayer
This is the time to declare to the world that you, really, own your own cryptocurrencies. When push comes to shove, if the exchanges are exposed to risks of theft, hack or they do not have enough funds, wouldn’t you rather have your funds outside of such exchanges?
The Reasons to Not Withdraw
We love the idea. But it is difficult to implement. When I tried to withdraw my cryptocurrencies, I realised that some of my coins were too few and I’d end up losing a lot of them just in fees, while some were actually stuck in margin trading, thanks to my greed.
On Binance, I converted everything to Bitcoin and withdrew it to my Ledger NanoS. I withdrew my Bitcoins from Indian Exchanges as well. Most of my altcoins are already on private wallets, and I left the tiny little amounts on the exchanges.
On Bitmex though, I could not create the withdrawal request in time and I will only receive my funds after 6:30 PM IST today. I am learning how hard it is to control your own wealth when you are a greedy trader.
These are the best examples to understand that you are not truly in control of your funds when you keep them on third party service providers. On some exchanges the fees are more than my holdings, on certain exchanges there is no wallet support for the altcoins I actually hold. And some just do not immediately allow withdrawal of funds.
This doesn’t mean all the exchanges are bad. But today is the day to gain back the monetary sovereignty for which Bitcoin was created.
All the BTC I withdrew today now lie in a wallet titled “Proof of Keys Celebration” on my H/W wallet. It is not much certainly because a little over 80% of my portfolio is already in private wallets. Now, it is close to 98%.
Support Proof of Keys Celebration on Twitter
The Proof of keys celebration is gaining momentum and we will know soon enough just how much of the traction it gained.
Nevertheless you can show your support by adding [Jan/3➞₿?∎] to your twitter names like Nick Szabo, Trace Mayer or me.
So there you have it. Right about now, in India, it is January 3, 2019 – the day for Proof of keys celebration. What are you doing?
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