More about the eMAID bridge and alt.co

Hi everyone,

Some of you may know me from interactions we had on the forum over the past few years. I am Olivier Cohen, founder of alt.co, director at capland, board member at bancor.

What is alt.co ?

Altcoinomy SA (acting under brand name alt) is a regulated Swiss-based crypto broker and has two core businesses:

  • Helping crypto millionaires with their KYC in order to open bank accounts in crypto friendly banks in Switzerland and realize profit in fiat on their crypto holdings.

  • helping token issuers meet regulatory requirements by conducting KYC/AML analysis on their contributors during private and public sales

What is Capland ?

Capland SA is an established multi-family office in Geneva Switzerland since 2005 and one of alt’s shareholders. Since 2016 Capland has specialized in managing the wealth of crypto early adopters after they have realized part of their digital profit in fiat.

Why alt.co decided to get involved in the project ?

On a personal level I was always a big believer in Maisdsafe. I believe that Privacy is a fundamental human right, and that this project is of public utility. I also believe in the team, and that despite wrong turns in the past, despite all critics, they will eventually deliver this “impossible network”.

I am personally invested in MAID, and so are some of our clients. Besides alt.co also has some of its treasury invested in MAID, amongst other (more successful) positions. Bringing liquidity by providing access to deFi through ERC-20 is not going to be an immediate benefit for our client base though, as MAID was always pitched as a long term investment. Therefore, we might not take the risk to provide liquidity and selling eMaid on DEX through impermanent loss.

So why did we help?
We helped because we think that MAID as a proxy token on the Omni layer is a major obstacle to the development of the project as a whole. Porting MAID to Ethereum’s blockchain will facilitate listing on additional centralized exchange as well as accessing the deFi industry. It will be way easier for new comers to buy and custody MAID.

Why is KYC needed here ?
In a nutshell, KYC is needed to protect Maidsafe and alt alike.
Technically, this migration is not an issuance of new tokens, nor should it trigger any fiscal event (disclaimer: consult a financial advisor in your jurisdiction). The coin supply remains the same. This is an optional chain migration where some token previously issued in 2014 on omni are just being bridged to the Ethereum blockchain. eMAID are minted automatically by a daemon monitoring alt’s onboarding platform and MAID burn address. No corporate entity here is actually minting or issuing new tokens single-handedly. In the context of ERC-20 migration, alt.co is not acting as a financial intermediary. For instance, no one controls the private key of the BTC address used for burning.

Still, because we were instrumental in this project, took the lead and advanced payments out of our balance sheet, we cannot consider facilitating it further without conducting KYC on participants. Altcoinomy SA is a regulated company in Switzerland and has no risk appetite when it comes to being compliant with the legal framework.

Same for Maidsafe, as they are incorporating in Switzerland, the new entity cannot afford to be challenged by regulators. Even though legal opinion from reputable law firms might discard KYC requirements in the context of a blockchain migration, no risk shall be taken as scrutiny and compliance requirements are tightening.

Further, conducting a KYC process will undoubtably help eMAID get listed on major centralized exchanges, as it is a mandatory requirement these days.

We tried to help the community. Here is how you can help alt.co back :

alt.co is an established profitable crypto broker in Switzerland, and we have been growing every year since inception, but we are completely self-financed. We never raised money from big VCs.

For the first time in the history of the company, we took a risk and paid for expenses that we were not sure we could recoup or eventually monetize. Mind you, when Maidsafe insists this ERC-20 migration effort is a community effort, it is factually true:
We have engaged in technical developments and paid for all expenses here without a signed contract with Maidsafe. We have also committed to absorb all other costs: compliance officers, servers…

Full transparency on the cost involved is noted below (includes VAT):

  • eMAID / ERC 20 token and the backend minter system CHF 35’002.5
  • eMAID / Burn Detector / Automated omni token burn detection extension CHF 5’385
  • eMAID / Co-Signer / Automated Gnosis Safe delayed signing system CHF 5’385
  • AML / Automated risk assessment on OMNI wallet / forensic analysis integration CHF 3231
  • UX / Automated KYC approval flow with customized confirmation e-mail CHF 5’385
    total dev costs : CHF 54’388.50 (or USD 58’250)
    Now, add compliance cost on a project that might run for quite some time, and dedicated compliance officers paid at Swiss salary and you will understand that we are way way above 100k of expenses here.

(by the way, here the source code of the token minting process)

There are several ways you can help absorb these costs:

  1. Make a direct donation:
    If you value the work we have done here, feel free to donate BTC, MAID, stablecoins or ETH to the following addresses to cover the migration and compliance costs.

BTC: 38NkQiJzeg728Rbendq5nALyCF5RYMKzK6
ETH: 0x9fcaff240109ab14691FdAAC739a8b18d27315c7

  1. Become a alt.co client or referring a whale:
    Our core business is to help UHNW individual ( > 1m USD worth of digital asset wealth) open bank accounts at Swiss crypto-friendly private banks.
    If you feel this service might be relevant to you or a friend of yours, you are more than welcome to get in touch!

  2. Support a bamboo fund proposal
    As alt.co will apply for a refund from bamboo fund, I will obviously step out of the BF committee who votes for grants. If you have voting power and value our work, then again please approve the refund proposal !

What now ?
Well, the migration is surely going to span over a few months, maybe more.
It’s an open process and no closing date have been fixed for now.

We are here to help (except on weekends :skier:)
If you are facing any difficulty during your eMAID migration, reach out to our telegram KYC support group. https://t.me/+VjAO-JffbXM4j2mu

To finish this post I would like to give a special thanks to @Sotros25 Without her energy and her capacity to federate people we would have certainly not achieved this project !

Best,
Olivier

41 Likes

Awesome work! Big thanks, @SwissPrivateBanker !

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Thank you.:heart::clap::clap::clap::clap:

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Nice work @SwissPrivateBanker !

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Thank you for your efforts and contributions @SwissPrivateBanker . Not a simple or easy thing you did here and hopefully should see great benefits for the community.

Just a quick question here, @Sotros25 in the announcement said the migration was open for a year, is this something different or just a difference on this fact.

Oh yes she deserves a lot of thanks for her efforts and hopefully she forgives me for these questions I ask.

And lastly what does UHNW (as in UHNW individual) mean? Ultra High Net Worth??

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Thank you for the amazing contributions @SwissPrivateBanker @Sotros25 @BambooGarden :heart:

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During planning we’d aligned in a year with the option to extend due to the underlying costs, but if @SwissPrivateBanker wants to leave this open ended, I’ll update the announcement post!

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The company is committed for a year, but let’s see how it goes. If everything is smooth I see no reason why we would not extend this program.

I think next focus should be listing on DEX, and engaging with CEX, but we should probably wait for a couple of weeks to ensure a decent amount of MAID has been converted to eMAID.

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Will mints during the weekend be approved or only during work days?

Mints will happen over the weekend as the process is automated.
Compliance validation for large amounts only on workdays though

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Ah okay, because there were two mints in the queue, they will get batched for better fees?

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For now we have set the minter to distribute eMAIDs 30 hours after the two following conditions have been met:

  • kyc validation
  • burn

It’s mostly a safety measure against potential exploits and to keep an eye on the auto-signing process at this stage.

There are other safeguards in place. For instance the minter would pause if it detects a cumulative amount of eMAIDs to be minted superior to the amount of MAIDs being burnt

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