Welcome to the first State of the Base, where our CEO gives a brief overview of where Octobase currently is and where we are heading.

In the next few months, we have two items on our roadmap: our flagship product, Octo Vault™ and our on-chain equity rollout. The first and most important one is Octo Vault, a wallet with improved management and security features. We have affectionately come to call it the “Granny Wallet” in informal contexts, because we aim to make it simple enough that your grandmother can use it. Secondly, we will be managing Octobase equity on the Ethereum chain and we will also allow angel investors to make offers on some of our equity – again all administered on the chain.

Octo Vault

Our most important objective for the next 6 months is the development of our flagship product, Octo Vault. Octo Vault is a wallet for your cryptocurrency/tokens. You might now be thinking, “A wallet? There are dozens of those.” And right you are, but bear with me while I explain why an Octo Vault is at least ten times superior to a wallet. Our Vault will offer you many of the conveniences of a traditional bank account, while keeping your assets under your control. Before I get into too much detail about the product, let me give you a bit of background of a few newsworthy events over the years that have shaped our decision to make Octo Vault our first priority.

In October of 2008, when Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the world to the bitcoin white paper he (or she, or them) described it as a fully peer-to-peer electronic cash, that does not require a trusted 3rd party to be involved, especially not a financial institution. Many of the members of the initial blockchain community became involved, because they saw the benefits this sovereignty over your own funds, would bring to the world. Maybe, in a parallel universe shortly after Bitcoin was launched, people reclaimed their sovereignty over their funds, but that is not quite how our story unfolded, yet.

A wallet so simple even your granny can use it! Click to Tweet
Octo Vault
A wallet so simple even your granny can use it! Click to Tweet
Octo Vault

Our most important objective for the next 6 months is the development of our flagship product, Octo Vault. Octo Vault is a wallet for your cryptocurrency/tokens. You might now be thinking, “A wallet? There are dozens of those.” And right you are, but bear with me while I explain why an Octo Vault is at least ten times superior to a wallet. Our Vault will offer you many of the conveniences of a traditional bank account, while keeping your assets under your control. Before I get into too much detail about the product, let me give you a bit of background of a few newsworthy events over the years that have shaped our decision to make Octo Vault our first priority.

In October of 2008, when Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the world to the bitcoin white paper he (or she, or them) described it as a fully peer-to-peer electronic cash, that does not require a trusted 3rd party to be involved, especially not a financial institution. Many of the members of the initial blockchain community became involved, because they saw the benefits this sovereignty over your own funds, would bring to the world. Maybe, in a parallel universe shortly after Bitcoin was launched, people reclaimed their sovereignty over their funds, but that is not quite how our story unfolded, yet.

There are many horror stories of people that lost most, if not all, of their cryptocurrency (Prodeum, Bitfinex, U.S. Secret Service Agent). In many of these tales, they entrusted someone else with their funds – in effect outsourcing control of their funds to someone else. Perhaps in some poetic irony, these 3rd parties were frequently exchanges, themselves a trusted financial institution. Some of these 3rd parties have become subject to malmanagement, like in the case of Mt. Gox, or seizure by governments, like in the case of BTC-e. These custodians also became a big honeypot for hackers.

Given these examples, if blockchain technology was supposed to have brought decentralization, does it mean that it has failed at its goals? I would argue it hasn’t. But the tools to interface with it have failed us, or rather, have not matured enough yet. You see, there are several challenges with controlling your own funds, which are currently keeping this revolution from being more decentralized. A few of these challenges are:

Octo Vault
  • To setup a safe and secure wallet, that is under your own control, is a technical task. Just creating a paper wallet is already daunting for many people. To create an air-gap, cold storage wallet is even more challenging. Hot wallets are slightly easier to setup, but still difficult and much less secure against trojans, viruses, and other malware.

  • There is no “forgot your password” feature – if you’ve lost your private key those funds are unrecoverable.

  • If someone gains access to your private key, then in one transaction, they can clear out all your funds. Not only does this apply for private keys stolen with malware, and phishing attacks, but also to muggings.

  • Similarly, if you die, and you did not leave the private key to your wallet with someone, then your cryptocurrency will be lost to your family. On the other hand, leaving your private key with someone, compromises your wallet security, leaving you in a “Catch 22” situation.

  • To setup a safe and secure wallet, that is under your own control, is a technical task. Just creating a paper wallet is already daunting for many people. To create an air-gap, cold storage wallet is even more challenging. Hot wallets are slightly easier to setup, but still difficult and much less secure against trojans, viruses, and other malware.

  • There is no “forgot your password” feature – if you’ve lost your private key those funds are unrecoverable.

  • If someone gains access to your private key, then in one transaction, they can clear out all your funds. Not only does this apply for private keys stolen with malware, and phishing attacks, but also to muggings.

  • Similarly, if you die, and you did not leave the private key to your wallet with someone, then your cryptocurrency will be lost to your family. On the other hand, leaving your private key with someone, compromises your wallet security, leaving you in a “Catch 22” situation.

Octo Vault

Now that the current landscape has been painted, I can show you why we are so excited about Octo Vault. Firstly, with Octo Vault, your cryptocurrency is under your control; you are not giving an exchange or any other single financial institution control of your funds. Instead it is governed by a smart contract, that you decide how to setup. Not even Octobase has access to your funds. But even though you are now in charge of your funds, we are including many features to address the challenges we just discussed in the previous bullet points:

  • A smooth user interface and experience, with straightforward wizards to aid in setting up your Vault.

  • Account recovery, should you lose access to your account, or your account is compromised.

  • Daily and monthly spending limits. If your account is compromised, you can freeze all withdrawals from your Vault, protecting you from losing all your funds.

  • Will and estate planning, built into your Vault. Without ever giving anyone else access to your Vault, you can nominate people that your funds will be disbursed to, if your account is without activity for some time.

  • A smooth user interface and experience, with straightforward wizards to aid in setting up your Vault.

  • Account recovery, should you lose access to your account, or your account is compromised.

  • Daily and monthly spending limits. If your account is compromised, you can freeze all withdrawals from your Vault, protecting you from losing all your funds.

  • Will and estate planning, built into your Vault. Without ever giving anyone else access to your Vault, you can nominate people that your funds will be disbursed to, if your account is without activity for some time.

Octo Vault

This will give people features that they are familiar with in traditional bank accounts, but your funds are still under your own control, thus keeping the revolution decentralized – as it should be.

This will give people features that they are familiar with in traditional bank accounts, but your funds are still under your own control, thus keeping the revolution decentralized – as it should be.

Octo Vault

Octobase Equity

In keeping with the spirit of blockchain, and as a prototype for company governance on the chain, we are going to have our shareholding stored and managed on the Ethereum chain. Shareholder voting will be done on-chain and dividends will be paid out, in ether (ETH, Ξ). We will allow angel investors to submit offers on some of our equity, which will be administered via a smart contract.

As a longer-term goal, managing our equity this way will give us a framework to later bring on-chain corporate governance out as a product for other companies also. We’ll be bringing out a more comprehensive post about our equity soon.

All in all, we are very excited about our journey so far and the journey that is still ahead of us. We believe that the world is at a pivotal point, but to make this revolution even more inclusive, we need user friendly, intuitive tools. You should not have to be a techie to be part of this new financial movement – even your granny should be part of it. And of course, we want to make sure this revolution stays decentralized.

Cornelius Gouws

Co-founder & CEO, Octobase. Outside of his passion for cryptocurrencies and blockchain, he co-founded a software businesses, focused on the insurance industry and was the technical lead on an artificial intelligence project. When not involved in software, he likes simulating murder as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner.