Coinimal GmbH is an Austrian start-up company that specialise in selling and buying Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. BitPanda.com is a fully automated platform: As soon as payment is confirmed, the Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies are automatically sent to the buyers.
Zimpler is the newest addition to the wide range of payment providers supported on Bitpanda. Users in Finland and Sweden can now deposit funds on Bitpanda easily using their smartphone.
Bitpanda is Europe’s leading retail broker for buying and selling 21 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP) and more. Our goal is to provide easy-to-use, safe and trustworthy access to Bitcoin and more. The addition of Zimpler is one more step in the right direction, as it complements the wide range of payment and payout options already available on Bitpanda.
“We are very happy to get the opportunity to improve the payment experience for Bitpanda’s users. Our mission has always been to simplify mobile payments and give users control over their spending”, says Jonas Persson, VP Sales at Zimpler.
Lukas Enzersdorfer-Konrad, Head of Financial Services at Bitpanda adds: “Apart from providing a high degree of security and usability, our goal is to give our users as much flexibility as possible in terms of payment methods. Adding Zimpler is a step in this direction”.
Zimpler is available as a payment option for users in Finland and Sweden on Bitpanda from today.
Reduced Zimpler fees for one week
As part of its integration on Bitpanda, Zimpler is offering discounted fees for one week after launch. So if you choose them as the payment option on Bitpanda, you just pay 0,5 % fees (including taxes).
Bitpanda CEO Eric Demuth (left) with Head of Regulation Christian Steiner
Bitpanda welcomes Christian Steiner as a key team member for regulatory expansion. He has spent his professional life developing his career as a regulatory expert and has many years of experience in supervisory roles within the Austrian Financial Market Authority. Christian will be tasked with dealing with queries from a legal perspective and to evaluate special questions and conditions in regards to lawful compliance.
The Bitpanda Payments team will use their combined expertise to develop innovative financial products in line with current regulations.
Christian himself graduated with a law degree and PhD from The University of Innsbruck and also holds a bachelor degree in Management and Economics. He completed a university course in the field of Financial Market Supervision and afterwards, received a masters degree from the Wirstschaftsuniversität Vienna.
Christian strove to combine the fields of law and business and always had an interest in the two which led him to work in the Austrian Financial Market Authority as a supervisor for five years. He was responsible for the supervision of prospectuses, investigation of possible breaches of the Austrian Capital Market Act and dealt with legal inquiries of non-compliant companies on a near-daily basis. In addition, Christian was in attendance at the task force on ICOs within the Austrian Ministry of Finance.
“I am eager to learn from the different perspectives at Bitpanda and the company will give me the opportunity to fortify my knowledge. I like working together in a young and motivated team and I am looking forward to the strong focus on crypto assets.”
We are looking forward to seeing how Christian’s experience and enthusiasm will benefit the company. With him joining our team we are getting ever closer to the 100 team member and we are still looking for talented and motivated people to join the company.
Ethereum’s Constantinople Upgrade has been delayed unexpectedly. The decision was made after a critical vulnerability was discovered by Zurich based smart contract auditing company ChainSecurity. They reported that the Constantinople Upgrade would allow reentrancy attacks as an unwanted side effect of cheaper gas costs. You can read details on what was wrong with the code of the Constantinople Upgrade in ChainSecurity’s in-depth blog post.
Ralph Pichler, Ethereum expert, founding member of RIAT Institute for Future Cryptoeconomics in Vienna and advisor for Bitpanda and Pantos played a significant role in the discovery of the vulnerability. He kicked off the initial discussions which highlighted the new attack vector and which eventually led to the discovery of the vulnerability.
We sat down with Ralph to talk about his thoughts and findings on the Ethereum Constantinople security hole.
Bitpanda: Can you summarise the current situation? What is the security hole in the Ethereum Constantinople upgrade code about?
Ralph Pichler: It was discovered that one of the changes for Constantinople allowed contracts to modify storage even if they were called with no gas. Previously, changing storage did cost at least 5000 gas which is more than the 2300 gas available to contracts by default. With Constantinople it is possible to change storage for just 200 gas in some circumstances, which fits well within the limit. As a consequence, contracts which relied on 0-gas calls (.transfer and .send in Solidity) to change state might have faced security issues.
What could have gone wrong, in case it wouldn’t have been detected before the actual upgrade?
In the worst case some contracts may have been exploitable and caused loss of fund. No vulnerable production contracts were found prior to the decision to postpone, but I believe somebody found a vulnerable one since then.
How did you discover the vulnerability?
I first thought about it when I saw that it would only cost 200 gas, but I thought that it probably wouldn’t work since it seemed too obvious for nobody else to notice. It was only much later during a discussion with ChainSecurity that I realised that it really might have gone unnoticed.
What have you learned from this?
I think my biggest takeaway is that one should report possible issues even if it seems too obvious to not already be considered.
What do you think are the next steps for Ethereum now?
There will be a new date for the Constantinople hardfork soon, this time probably without the EIP in question. We might still see it some other from in the future, people are already discussing modifications that don’t introduce the same problems.
We also asked Michael Borkowski, operational lead of the TAST research project within Pantos, to give us feedback on the impact of the storage modification vulnerability for Pantos.
Bitpanda: How does this vulnerability impact Pantos?
Michael Borkowski: According to our current knowledge, the vulnerability causes contracts which use on transfer or send calls to potentially be susceptible to attacks, where the callee is wrongly allowed to manipulate state. As of now, we do not use transfer and send calls within the Pantos prototype we are developing, so we are not directly impacted by this issue. However, it is crucial to keep in mind that such changes might happen in the future. This time, we were lucky enough for this vulnerability to be uncovered, but this does not mean that a similar situation might arise at a later point. This shows once again how crucial it is to use extreme caution when developing blockchain technologies. Trusting a contract you call must be a well-reasoned decision, and defensive measures (such as disallowing state manipulation in certain scenarios) are advisable.
There will be a hard fork to the Ethereum blockchain at some point in January. The expected timeframe for the fork is between the 15th to 17th of January 2019. Here’s what you have to know as a Bitpanda user.
The hard fork — named Constantinople — is a major update to Ethereum’s blockchain protocol which will attempt to address questions of scaling. Despite the update making a lot of changes, it is uncontentious and highly unlikely to spawn any new chains. Therefore, there will be no new coins. The update will alter a number of features and aims to lay the foundation for improving efficiency in the future.
The Constantinople hard fork on the Ethereum mainnet is scheduled for block 7080000, which is currently estimated between 15th to 17th of January 2019.
If you are holding Ethereum on a Bitpanda wallet, here’s what you should note:
You can securely keep your funds in your ETH Bitpanda wallet and you do not have to do anything, we will perform the upgrade and take care of everything for you in the background. We will temporarily disable all Bitpanda Ethereum wallets and may also disable trading if necessary. Wallets could be down around the time the fork takes place. This is to ensure the network’s stability and that all deposits and withdrawals can be safely re-enabled.
10 Years of Bitcoin — why the journey is just beginning
Bitcoin is currently celebrating its tenth birthday. What started off as an experiment is now taking over the news headlines. It’s a topic that fascinates economists, bankers, retail investors, and computer scientists alike. This is likely due to the fact that cryptocurrencies are a lot of different things at the same time.
They are an innovative currency, risky speculative object, digital gold and a short-term hype machine. Whatever the rhetoric, Bitcoin fills the role of both a valuable investment and a gate to transport value quickly and cost-effectively across the globe. Furthermore, it retains its position as the most influential and successful application of blockchain technology there is. Plus, developments such as the Lightning Network make the technology better than ever with capital flowing into the industry from all angles. It’s time to promote innovation in order to realise its full potential.
“The technology is better than ever and more and more capital is flowing into the industry.”
Genesis. To understand the revolution that is taking place, we need to first take a quick look back at the past. In October 2008, a person or group under the pseudonym ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ published a scientific paper entitled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. This whitepaper describes a digital currency that doesn’t require a central bank to be distributed. There is no company or state standing behind the currency to pull its strings, instead, all users simultaneously and publicly hold a record of what transactions have taken place. Those who actively become part of the network and help to update this list of transactions on their own computers by comparing it with others (thus becoming a ‘miner’) will receive new Bitcoin as a reward. Unlike fiat currencies, such as the U.S. Dollar or the Euro, no central bank creates coins or regulates transactions — the users themselves do this. Satoshi compared this process with gold mining in the sense that, ‘The steady addition of a constant amount of new coins is analogous to gold miners expending their resources to add new gold to the circulation. In our case, those resources are CPU power and electricity.’
Money 2.0. But it’s not only mining where Bitcoin is similar to gold. Bitcoin is supposed to be a universal asset that really belongs to the users and that can be spent anywhere it is accepted. The main difference between the two currencies is that gold earned its reputation as a store of value over millennia whereas Bitcoin has done the same in just ten years and it does more than gold.
Bitcoin is for money what the internet was for information. In the 90s, there was no open internet available for all, instead, there were a series of closed internal networks or ‘intranets.’ In those times, Bill Gates himself didn’t believe in the success of an open, free internet and pledged that Microsoft should work on its own intranet.
Bitcoin, like the internet, is a living digital organism that will be kept alive by the millions of people who participate in it. It is an ultra-secure payment network that can transfer billions in minutes, making it so interesting and exciting for the long term.
“Bitcoin is for money, what the internet was for information.”
Learning from the past. The internet was invented as ARPANET in 1969 yet the dot-com bubble burst a good 30 years later. We all know that this explosion was not the end but the beginning of companies we see every day: Amazon, eBay and even Netflix. Technologies which disrupt must inevitably go through multiple hype phases with both ups and downs before they reach their full potential. To dismiss Bitcoin as a failure due to its inherent problems of scalability and resource consumption is comparable to those internet naysayers who in 1995 said the technology was useless. At that point, only 0.04 per cent of the world had access to the World Wide Web and it was irrelevant to most due to content scarcity and tediously slow speeds.
What now? Bitcoin’s resilience is not just a theory. The fact that the network has run itself since 3rd of January 2009 without disruption or major incidents is its proof-of-theory. In this sense, the ‘Bitcoin experiment’ has been and still is a complete success! There is an argument which states that the cryptocurrency has failed due to the fact it hasn’t been accepted en masse. This couldn’t be further from the truth as the most popular currency is more omnipresent today than ever, despite its death being reported hundreds of times a year.
In spite of cryptocurrencies becoming more and more dominant, it is true that the technology behind Bitcoin is still in its infancy. It is necessary that some fundamental issues are resolved, particularly those around scalability and the development of regulatory frameworks. On a societal level, the aim is to reduce fraud while promoting innovation in the domestic fintech sector.
When that happens, ICOs will have the opportunity to compete for classic IPOs and they will even provide a solution for financing smaller or medium-sized enterprises. This all requires rules, though and only then will it be possible to bring real, valuable securities to the blockchain whilst putting a stop to scammy ICOs and criminal marketing such as Ponzi Schemes.
Change is coming. As mentioned, the Bitcoin network is continuously augmented and made better. I’m in particular excited about the potential of the Lighting Network. It is an off-chain, second layer solution which will solve scalability issues and will improve transaction times on the Bitcoin network significantly. This effort made significant progress over the past year and will have a big impact on not only on Bitcoin but the whole industry. Its capacity grew to new heights recently which means that Bitcoin transactions are getting faster and cheaper every day. Once the Lightning Network is widely adopted, transaction times will be instantaneous and the question of scalability will be forgotten.
Without going into too much technical detail, this added layer to the network will allow for potentially millions of transactions per second. This — combined with Bitcoin’s trustless and decentralised nature — will offer new and exciting possibilities which empower more and more people around the world to enjoy the benefits of decentralisation and trustless transactions.
THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN GERMAN IN ISSUE #07 of “Der Brutkasten.”
Head of Financial Services Lukas Enzersdorfer-Konrad with CEO Paul Klanschek.
We’re pleased to announce the hiring of Lukas Enzersdorfer-Konrad in his new position as Head of Financial Services. He will play an important role at Bitpanda in the upcoming months and he has already told me that he’s eager to get started.
In his last role as ‘Head of Department: Digitalisation and Innovation’ at Austria’s leading banking group Raiffeisen, he led his team to develop solutions like ‘Mein ELBA’ (Raiffeisen’s tailor-made online banking solution) and promoted omnichannel banking to help digitalise the company.
We expect Lukas to use his knowledge of establishing end-to-end processes, developing innovative financial products and leading a team to bring Bitpanda forward in 2019. He has a deep understanding of how the financial industry works and through this valuable experience, we expect him to bring a lot to the table.
Lukas studied Finance and Accounting at Vienna’s University of Business and Economics with a heavy focus on financial services. He dived head-first into the world of banking taking a position as Strategy Consultant at ‘zeb’ which is an international banking and strategy consultancy.
‘When I opened my first current account in high school and experienced the clunky processes and services that were in place — I realised that something in banking needed to change. That was when I decided to help shape the future of financial services,’ he said. Additionally, he says he is convinced that crypto-assets will play a pivotal role in his mission.
We would like to extend a big thanks to Lukas for his enthusiasm in joining the team and we look forward to his contributions. We know that with this means we can meet customers needs even more efficiently.
We’re thrilled to announce the launch of our all-new Bitpanda Helpdesk to solve user questions quicker than ever.
When it comes to trading cryptocurrencies, you want to be able to act quickly and solve queries without hassle. We always have that in mind when we make improvements to our customer support and we listen to our users when they reach out to us. So, we’ve made our Helpdesk operate even more efficiently by adding some significant, valuable and user-friendly changes. Here’s everything we’ve changed:
See all helpdesk articles at a glance
All of our articles are now listed on the Helpdesk homepage. With a single click on “All articles at a glance,” you will be brought to a section which lists all of our solutions to any questions you might have.
Keyword sensitive searches
Our Helpdesk’s search function has now been optimised. The new innovative search function is even more efficient than ever. It allows users to find the right solution faster when using the right keywords.
Fast assistance when you really need it
In addition, at any time whilst browsing the Helpdesk or bitpanda.com, you will find our new Help Widget in the lower right corner of the screen. Just enter your question or the relevant keywords and the tool will suggest matching articles. If you need to get through to us even quicker however then don’t panic — read this to discover the speediest way to get help.
We’ll keep you updated
In the new Featured section, you will find links to Bitpanda’s latest news and current topics. Also visit our new Status page to stay up to date in the case of short-term disruptions to Bitpanda and or the currencies we offer.
We welcome your feedback
If you really enjoy something from the Helpdesk or are irritated by something, you can tell us directly with the feedback button on the left side of the screen. You can also add a screenshot directly within the tool so we get the bigger picture.
Join the conversation
With a single click, you can join our active telegram community. With ten official Bitpanda admins and 2,000 helpful users chatting with one another at any time, you may be able to get what you need by simply dropping a post in there. If you know how to help another user then you can refer them to Helpdesk articles with a link. We have a handy “Share on Telegram” button at the bottom of every article. If you need personal support, please open a support ticket.
We also improved our contact form so you get more detailed information on each step, the ability to choose your preferred language and to directly select the relevant cryptocurrencies, everything to get your questions solved even faster.
Security is one of the key areas here at Bitpanda. We do everything we can to store funds as safely as possible on our platform. For example, we use secure cold storage (offline wallets), SSL encryption, and DDOS protection. But we are also making the Bitpanda experience as secure as possible from a user perspective. To ensure this, we offer session management and email confirmation for all critical actions for example when you send a cryptocurrency.
A very important, easy to set up and yet powerful security measure is enabling Two Factor Authentication (2FA). Doing so adds a second layer of security, which drastically increases the overall safety of your Bitpanda account. In addition to your password (which could have been somehow compromised) enabling 2FA adds an additional code which is randomly generated and time sensitive.
How to enable Two Factor Authentication (2FA) on Bitpanda
Setting up Two Factor Authentication (2FA) on Bitpanda is easy. Here’s what you have to do:
Navigate to the Security section while being logged in to your Bitpanda account.
Click on the “Enable” button and enter the password for your account.
Save your recovery code as a PDF or print it out. It’s important to store it somewhere safe.
Enter the recovery code.
Install Google Authenticator (available on Android or iOS), Authy (available on Android or iOS) or any other Authenticator app on your Smartphone.
Scan the QR Code you see on the Bitpanda platform with your Authenticator app.
Enter the 6-digit verification code generated by your Authenticator app.
Congratulations, you enabled 2FA on Bitpanda!
We highly recommend enabling Two-Factor-Authentication (2FA) not only on your Bitpanda account, but also wherever it is available. Be it for your Google-Account or any other service that offers 2FA. It is a powerful and yet very easy to set up precaution that adds an extra layer of security and drastically increases your account’s safety. You can find an in-depth article plus a video on how to set up Two-Factor-Authentication (2FA) on the Bitpanda Helpdesk.