The exponential growth of the cryptocurrency industry automatically translates to an increasing number of solution providers that are attached to this sector.
While this promises the existence of new businesses and in turn better solutions for the end users, it also means a more saturated space for said startups, who find themselves in a highly competitive environment. Anything they do could be easily outshone by the next provider, making their own growth a very difficult feat to achieve.
Yet, there are those providers that manage to carve out their name within their respective niche.
Ethos is one such startup that in addition to being a fully-fledged cryptocurrency platform, has been making waves in the cryptocurrency wallet segment due to its easy to use yet innovative solutions.
This guide has been compiled to answer that very question.
Ethos Review: So What Exactly is Ethos?
Founded in the third quarter of 2017, Ethos was originally unveiled to the world as Bitquence. However, seeing that the word “bit” was too hackneyed for blockchain projects by then and had just caused the project to disappear into the crowd, the team decided to make the shift to the name “Ethos” not long after the venture’s official unveiling announcement.
From its initial days, Ethos’ founder and CEO, Shingo Lavine aimed for the project to become a cryptocurrency platform that intended to make everyday operations easier for its users. This included the objective of providing all supportive infrastructures such as digital wallets under its own roof instead of leaving the task to third parties.
The intention came from Lavine noticing how other cryptocurrency platforms developed solutions only for those who were already familiar with blockchain operations, causing those individuals with limited knowledge of operating a blockchain to be overwhelmed at the thought of using cryptocurrencies.
This caused third parties out of the “official” blockchains to take control of the situation by providing their own wallet and supported solutions to existing blockchains.
For instance, the Bitcoin Core wallet took an unprecedented amount of space and operating resources on a computer just to perform the basic functions of viewing and accessing one’s digital currency funds, with no mobile app in sight. All of this was done in the name of safety, but what it did was to keep new users from coming towards using cryptocurrencies in the first place since the process seemed too convoluted to them.
But Ethos sought to change the situation with their own solutions.
Through the introduction of its own eponymous cryptocurrency, as well as its wallet for numerous other digital assets with planned exchange support, Ethos gradually established its presence and continues to do so.
The plan that Ethos started to follow and continues to do to this date is no doubt ambitious, as outlined in the table below.
Ethos plans on releasing services over time. The application will allow the users of the Ethos blockchain to trade between multiple digital assets.
Users can directly buy cryptocurrency with fiat through the Ethos exchange; to diversify their portfolio across multiple coins with pre-made coin “baskets”; to participate in community and social discussions for a more collaborative trading environment, and perform all of these tasks while complying with the respective regulatory authorities.
With some of its planned features have already been released with its wallet service and others being in development, Ethos shows great promise in terms of achieving the aforementioned long-term goals.
Ethos Review: How Does Ethos Work?
Based on the Ethereum network, Ethos intends to be more than just another cryptocurrency platform.
However, while it has its own cryptocurrency with the ticker of ETHOS, its complete functions of acting as a means of transaction and verification for in-platform exchange services will only be realized once Ethos launches its fully-fledged exchange services. At the time of writing, these are still under development.
With the exchange services, it also plans to develop its own ecosystem where such decentralized applications could interact with each other effectively and where users could develop their own solutions through the help of Ethos.
Out of all of its planned features and products, Ethos has rolled out two major segments of its overall ecosystem.
First and foremost is the Ethos Universal Wallet, which is a propitiously designed wallet solution that offers support for more than 100 cryptocurrencies. The second and more recently released segment is Ethos Bedrock, which is a development platform that is meant to supplement blockchain financial services across a slew of cryptocurrency standards.
This should pave the way for the future applications of fiat gateways, payment processing, as well as wealth management and custody (all of which are on the cards for Ethos’ own blockchain).
It is also prudent to note that the Ethos Universal Wallet is also based on Ethos Bedrock.
These two products were released by Ethos within a year of its launch. That in itself sets Ethos apart from other startups in the blockchain industry, most of which seem to take longer than that to provide a working product to their target market after their launching announcement.
While Bedrock is available through APIs and upon contacting the Ethos’ team, the wallet service is available through iOS and Android platforms, where users could download and start utilizing the wallet apps easily.
And that is why, when you are on the lookout to review Ethos, there is no better way to do that than by taking a close look at its current flagship solution.
The Ethos Universal Wallet
Being the first product by the much-hyped Ethos platform, the Ethos Universal Wallet has already seen more than 90,000 new users, and it still continues to attract attention due to being a highly-accessible wallet that comes with the assurance of just as high security and simplicity..
As compared to other blockchain and general security based wallets, Ethos Universal Wallet packs a few more end-user benefits such as being user-friendly while sporting a feature-packed yet aesthetically pleasing interface.
It supports major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin while also waving the flag for newer players in the market, including but not limited to Bread, Civic, and Kin. Through its solutions, it lets users store, track and manage these cryptocurrencies all through their phone, while also ensuring that their information or safety is never compromised.
Ethos achieves that feat through multiple security features, including biometric and PIN protection as well as various layers of added measures that come together to ensure that only the authorized user has the control over their assets.
Ethos Universal Wallet offers the feature of SmartKey, which is a service native to the Ethos blockchain. It allows users to generate a single key to access all of their cryptocurrency wallets. This means that while the universal wallet would hold assets ranging from SHA-256 to ERC-20 and many more protocols, it will allow the holder of such assets to access them on their respective blockchains through a single key.
This feature ensures that users do not have to secure multiple lengthy passwords for each of their digital vaults to access them through Ethos, and thus allows for ease of use and greater accessibility.
Built upon the BIP32 proposal from the Bitcoin network, the SmartKey protocol by Ethos also makes the wallet to be hierarchal deterministic, which in layman’s terms translates to it operating on the highest encryption and usage standards.
The key in itself comprises a 24-word mnemonic phrase, which adds more security by lessening the probability of anyone guessing a user’s key to access their assets through multiple blockchains. However, once the SmartKey has been set up by a user, it does not mean that they have to remember the seed phrase to enter it every single time. Instead, they can set up the aforementioned method of the PIN and biometric access, which will allow them to access their wallet easily.
These features are leveraged by some of the most popular software wallets in the blockchain community, and Ethos’ utilization of them under its umbrella does make its solutions to be just as secure.
While the above was for security, the ease of use functions come into play with the management aspect of cryptocurrencies through the Ethos wallet app.
Ethos Review: Additional Features
In addition to the features of being able to store and access the information of multiple cryptocurrencies under one platform, the users of Ethos wallet can view their cryptocurrency value data through easy to comprehend screens and interfaces.
This feature tracks each user’s portfolio by fetching the latest rates and statistics in real time. This service, dubbed as Watchfolio, allows users to only take a look at their Ethos Universal Wallet to see where they stand from a wealth-management standpoint.
The interface that makes it all happen remains highly accessible to understand and operate while also being easy on the eyes, with the app having been designed in the Ethos’ brand colors of green and shades of black. The visuals for the Watchfolio are traditional, yet crisp enough to tell a user exactly what is happening with their digital funds; while the overall procedure of sending cryptocurrencies to other wallets and blockchains also remains easy to use.
While the receiving addresses follow a traditional pattern, for now, there is a future plan by Ethos to turn them into username/domain style addresses. This would allow for anyone to send to an Ethos address directly just by typing in the Ethos username instead of a lengthy cryptographic-looking address.
Speaking of sending and receiving cryptocurrencies, it is also prudent to note here that Ethos does not charge any fee for anyone using its wallet. The service remains free of charge with no limits on the amount of cryptocurrency that is stored through Ethos. Only the network fee is charged for sending cryptocurrencies, whereas, there are no charges for receiving cryptocurrencies in one’s wallet.
All of these features make Ethos a viable wallet service to use in a highly competitive environment. It is all possible through the team behind Ethos.
Ethos Review: The Team
The Ethos team is a mix of green yet talented and ambitious but experienced individuals, with the project being based out of San Francisco, US.
As mentioned above, Ethos founder Lavine also serves as the project’s CEO. He previously worked at multiple institutions in their technology infrastructure departments, before having found his calling in Ethos.
Whereas, Ethos has BlackRock alumnus Stephen Corliss serving as its chief of global strategy and compliance. Among his other past jobs, Corliss worked at BlackRock as a COO as well, before he decided to delve into the world of the blockchain.
Furthermore, Ethos has not one but two chief technical officers in Tim Simmons and Adam Meghji. While Timmons boasts of more than 12 years’ experience from Citrix, Meghji has more than a decade’s experience of his own while working for ventures such as Metavara Solutions and Unata Inc.
All of these individuals are well known within their respective segments, and their proficiency shows through the solutions that they have brought through Ethos.
Should Ethos Be Given a Chance?
Ethos definitely has a viable product in the form of its wallet, and its plans to expand those solutions into a propitious ecosystem deem to be beneficial. With the team rolling out updates in a timely manner and with a community that is overall satisfied with its pace of development, it seems that Ethos on the right track.
However, the lack of an exchange service, for now, makes Ethos limited in its capabilities. While it has made progress and shown results to an extent through the wallet service, it may not amount to much if all it continues to offer is a wallet service and a developer API.
At this time, further success for Ethos is subject to its future solutions.