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What Is Ethos? An In-Depth Look at the User-Centric Cryptocurrency

what is ethos

What Is Ethos?

Ethos is a U.S.-based company and cryptocurrency. Their mission is to make it easy for anyone to own cryptocurrencies. In order for cryptocurrency to gain acceptance in society, it needs to be simple to use. Ethos proposes an easy-to-use universal wallet and fiat gateway that makes buying, trading, and managing your crypto assets simple.

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Ethos was formerly known as Bitquence since its debut in 2017. They later changed the name to Ethos in November. Under the new name, interest in the project grew steadily after the ICO. Its popularity exploded in the first week of 2018, as evidenced by the price of ETHOS coin.

The platform and underlying technology are still under development. The first version of their universal wallet was released in July 2018. The ultimate goal of the platform is to be a complete multi-asset wealth management solution. As such, the founders have focused on user experience, people-centric features, and regulatory compliance. In this article, we’ll look at what Ethos has in store and why the project is generating such excitement.

Ethos Universal Wallet

The core of Ethos’s offering, and the reason they’ve gained so much attention, is their universal wallet. The latest version of their universal wallet was released in August 2018. This new wallet connects with and scans hundreds of blockchains to update user balances in major cryptocurrencies and various altcoins. Boasting over 150 fully transferable coins, Ethos hopes to become the only wallet you’ll ever need, doing away with the need to create a new wallet when you purchase a new cryptocurrency.

ethos comparison

Comparison chart

The Ethos Universal Wallet promises to store and transfer “value of any form” for free. Its architecture is designed to be open to individuals, institutions, and developers. With development access, adding a new coin type to your wallet could be as easy as updating your version of the software or downloading a custom modification.

A Single Smart Key

In addition to consolidating all your assets in one wallet, Ethos needs only one key to manage your funds. You’ll still maintain complete control over your wallet. Ethos cannot make any changes to your coin balances. However, authorizing transactions just got a lot simpler. You only need one private key for all your various coins.

The Smart Key solution uses commonalities between the various key algorithms in use today. This root of your various individual keys becomes your smart key. The chances of someone else having the same smart key as you are tiny. Ethos claims they could create 10 billion unique Smart Keys for every atom on planet Earth.

Premium Wallet

Premium Wallet addresses are for companies and individuals who want to identify themselves publicly on the blockchain. The advantage here is reassuring customers of safe identity when requesting payment. This official registration also allows Ethos to function more like PayPal. Brands could give customers a simple email-like address for easier payments and fewer errors than using a typical wallet address.

Intuitive, Mobile-First Design

Since Ethos wants to be a people-focused, intuitive solution for everyone, the user experience is key. From this early stage, the platform has hired UX designers to build an intuitive user experience from the ground up. This emphasis on design is a key element of their business plan. It also sets them apart from many cryptocurrency startups. Typical ICOs focus heavily on technical problems, but gaining mass adoption is an equally important challenge for the crypto space. The intuitive design should go a long way to helping that problem.

Ethos smartwallet

The SmartWallet utilizes one private key to manage multiple wallets.

Ethos is also designed to be mobile-first. This fits well with what we know about consumer behavior. People are increasingly using their phones over computers. The dashboard will make it easy to manage and monitor coins on the go. You can also send the ETHOS coin to any phone number, email, or Ethos ID.

Transfer & Exchange with Ethos’s Liquidity Network

In addition to a well-designed wallet, Ethos offers transfer and exchange services. This is an essential part of the puzzle of becoming a complete asset management solution. Ideally, you’ll be able to rebalance your cryptocurrency holdings all from the Ethos platform.

core features of ethos

Core Features

This means exchanging cryptocurrencies instantly. It also means the ability to trade any cryptocurrency pair, using the ETHOS coin as a liquidity network. You’ll be able to deposit and withdraw funds from external wallets, and Ethos will support conversion to fiat in the near future.

Fiat Gateway

A fiat gateway is another important part of the Ethos business model. Since it aims to be friendly to new investors, it will need a way to convert traditional currencies to crypto. The first versions of the platform did not support fiat conversions. However, implementing a fiat gateway is a high priority for Ethos, as it is a core functionality for the success of the platform. Plans for the fiat gateway are laid out in the Ethos white paper.

The project has recently partnered with Voyager Invest to provide the fiat gateway service.

Instant Diversification and Crypto “Mutual Funds”

In traditional investing, it’s critical that you diversify your holdings and balance your portfolio between asset types. This helps mitigate risks from one asset collapsing. The same goes for cryptocurrency. Most cryptocurrency investors intuitively understand that they need to invest in multiple projects because one could go bust at any time. However, it’s rare for investors to do so in a formal, well-monitored way.

Ethos hopes to solve this problem by automating it. They offer an instant diversification service that allocates your holdings between many different currencies. You can set up your own asset allocation (in percentage of portfolio) and ask Ethos to rebalance your portfolio for you. Or, you can choose from pre-created baskets from the user community.

Investing in a basket along with other investors is similar to a mutual fund. Certain baskets that are pegged to the market could function as index funds for the crypto community. Offering diversified assets like these should dampen the volatility of the cryptocurrency market and encourage more investment.

Making Crypto Investing Social

Along with the goal of being a people-centric wallet and asset manager, Ethos also offers a social aspect to the platform. Users can to contribute to forums, answer questions, get rated for their advice, and rewarded for sharing insights with the community. This allows users to follow their favorite experts to receive investing advice. They can also poll the crowd about investment decisions.

As a contributor, you can earn rewards and trust points for helping others. Accumulate enough good ratings and reviews, and you’ll become an Ethos Expert with the ability to curate baskets and offer advising.

ethos additional features

Additional features

Built for Regulatory Compliance

Ethos billing themselves as an asset management platform means they understand most cryptocurrencies are tradable securities. According to most experts, it’s only a matter of time until the cryptocurrency market gets regulated.

Ethos is building their platform with compliance in mind. They’re U.S.-based, so they’re focusing on North American securities law. The fiat gateway comes with built-in KYC and AML measures. However, operating a basic wallet still doesn’t require identity verification.

You’ll also be able to easily export your account activity to make tax reporting easier.

The team has also emphasized that the ETHOS coin is meant to be a functional token. This is in hopes of avoiding securities regulation. According to their FAQ:

“ETHOS is not a security, or Tokenized Security, because it does not meet the legal definition of a security applicable in the United States, Canada, Singapore, United Kingdom or any other OECD jurisdiction. In the United States, this is more commonly referred to the ‘Howey Test’”

The Ethos Token & Technical Foundation

The team has designed the Ethos Token (ETHOS) to be a functional token that fuels the platform. You can access features and pay fees on Ethos with the coin. It also helps with liquidity, serving as a go-between for asset pairs that are traded with low frequency. Finally, developers use ETHOS to pay for API calls when developing around the platform.

The ETHOS token runs on Ethereum, as will many of the blockchain-based services the platform provides. However, Ethos is not a blockchain-only company. Many of its services are provided as standard web interfaces hosted on servers. Doing so makes it more scalable, manageable, and monetizable. Keep in mind that this is a private company operating as a cryptocurrency exchange and wallet. They will not be decentralizing everything.

Trading History

The token launched in July 2017. Before the name change, the original token was known as Bitquence (BQX). The sale distributed 30 percent of the tokens to the public. Another 30 percent went to Ethos for development. The remaining 40 percent is reserved to provide liquidity once the platform launches. 

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ETHOS has followed the typical trends of the crypto market over the last year, peaking on January 7, 2018, at $10.41. Throughout the spring the token continued to lose value, peaking a couple more times, once in March and once in May. Finally, it hit its last high to speak of, coinciding with the release of the universal wallet, on July 3, at $2.61 almost one-fourth of its highest value. Today, the coin is sitting at around $0.30, an unsurprising development in the current market.

Where to Buy ETHOS

You can buy ETHOS on Binance, Bithumb, CoinExchange, and HitBTC.

Ethos Bedrock

The payment processor, Stripe, has gained widespread usage and acclaim for its open source payment processing code. Ethos strives to do the same for the cryptocurrency market. They provide liquidity, host wallets, and serve as an exchange through their Bedrock API.

Developers are also able to call blockchain data and verify identity through the API. The goal is to create a robust financial system on the blockchain. Bedrock integrates seamlessly with financial institutions. The team claims this will create a “new breed of FinTech” applications for banks and consumers. Most recently the company announced a partnership with Voyager to further develop capabilities of the Bedrock API.

Team

ethos founder ceo

Founder and CEO Shingo Lavine

19-year-old Brown University student, Shingo Lavine, leads as the CEO. He wrote the original white paper for a universal wallet and liquidity provider. Despite the CEO’s youth, Lavine has assembled a diverse, experienced team. Much of the team comes from the finance sector, including major banks, lenders, and M&A firms. They also have team members in charge of compliance and several designers working alongside code and cryptography experts to develop the platform.

Roadmap

Where does Ethos plan to go from here, following 2018’s launch of the universal wallet and Bedrock API? Let’s let Lavine tell us himself, from a blog post on November 20, 2018:

Our focus to come will be on the future of the fiat gateway, enhancing the token support on Universal Wallet and Bedrock and developing additional blockchain architectures for applications at scale.

The company announced their latest development in November. The introduction of Ethos Status, a program adding additional functionality to the token, including increased voting power, showcased comments, and influence on the platform. 

Conclusion

The idea behind Ethos is interesting and exciting. It has the potential open up cryptocurrency to a whole new segment of retail investors. With the launch of the universal wallet, Ethos is taking steps in the right direction and providing a valuable wallet option to those with multiple coins. We’ll be watching to see if they can indeed build “a financial future which is open, safe and fair for everyone.”

Editor’s Note: This article was updated by Rachel Lantz on November 21, 2018 to reflect the recent changes of the project.

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Bennett is an editor at Coin Central and freelance technology writer specializing in blockchain, software development, and AI writing. Visit Bennett’s personal website to learn more about him and read more of his writing.