For more information about Kirk Ballou of Touch Titans & his Coin pouch crypto wallet, check out:
Kirk Ballou: Hey guys.
Tai Zen: So many of you guys know him, I introduced Kirk to you guys a few weeks ago, a few videos ago. He’s building the CoinPouch wallet app, mobile wallet app for the iOS. And do you have it out right now?
Kirk Ballou: It’s in the works.
Tai Zen: So Kirk and I are just cruising down to the city of Austin Texas, which is about 3 hours south of the city of Dallas where I live and where Kirk live, and going down there to kind of a meeting of the minds here, about some different crypto projects that we’re working on. And so in this video, I want to talk about some of the updates that Kirk has done or the upcoming updates that he has done to the coin pouch wallet.
And I hope that you guys benefited from the first interview that we did, where Kirk brought to our attention the Verge privacy coin. It’s done well so I want to thank you publicly for bringing that to my attention, that’s probably one of the best trades I made this year, it was a nice 200% gain in 2 weeks. So that’s why it’s good to meet people that are in the crypto world because there are 807 cryptocurrencies out there and you may not be aware of all of them.
So I just want to thank you publicly for that, for bringing Verge to our team’s attention. So in this video, I want to share with you guys some updates that Kirk shared with me which I thought was very interesting. So after we did that first video interview about coin pouch wallet app, talked about how you were contacted by the Rivetz project.
Kirk Ballou: Well one of the chairmen at Rivetz reached out and made the connection, it was the day the video came out that he reached out. Connected with Rivetz, that partnership made a lot of sense for both sides, and I don’t know if you saw recently, we announced this partnership. So basically CoinPouch will be one of the first mobile wallets with Rivetz technology integrated on the market and I’m very excited about that.
Tai Zen: Just so you guys know Kirk’s app agency is called Touch Titans, and what they do is if someone needs an app or software built, they go to him and then he looks at the specifications that people bring to him, and then he looks and builds it for them. So who are some of your customers? Because of a lot more like fortune 500 companies right?
Kirk Ballou: That’s right. Microsoft, Red Bull, CNN, Nat Geo.
Tai Zen: Okay so you’re not new to the building software game, you’ve been in for a while. You’re like one of the oldest app agencies in the Dallas Fort Worth area.
Kirk Ballou: So we’re 11-year old app agency, we started in 2005.
Tai Zen: So now you’re venturing into the cryptocurrency world, and so before we talk about why you integrated the Rivetz technology into the CoinPouch wallet app, talk about we’ve already had Steven Sprague, the founder of Rivetz on our channel to talk about Rivetz, and we brought one of the Rivetz advisor David Johnston to come and also explain it.
And then we’ve also had LeonFu.com, the Honorable Grand Master, the Oracle of crypto come on and explain it. But when these technologies come out and they’re new, I always like to get from different perspectives because different people explain in different ways. So in your words, what is Rivetz, what is it and then we’ll look at why you decided to make that decision to incorporate it into the CoinPouch wallet?
Kirk Ballou: It’s enhancing the security of mobile wallets, the secure element is essentially the same sort of architecture you see on a hardware wallet like a ledger. So this secures your keys on what they call the secure element or the trusted execution environment.
That same chip is on your Android and iPhone devices, and only software that’s signed off by the chipmaker Intel can run on there and Rivetz has access to that. So only signed off software by Intel can run there and that means Rivetz will be able to enhance the security of our mobile wallet by securing your keys and a part of your phone the rest of the phone doesn’t have access to. So it runs completely separate from the rest of the operating system.
Tai Zen: So there’s a part of your phone that is completely separated from everything else in the phone and that can serve as a hardware wallet. And what Rivetz is doing is that it’s allowing you to protect your private keys in that portion of the phone.
Kirk Ballou: That is completely separate and protect it from everything else on the phone.
How secure is that because when I first hear about that and there are people out that I hear about, like some of the quote-unquote conspiracy theorists, they always say you may not be able to access it Kirk, or I may not be able to access it. But I’ll bet you, there are hackers out there that can access it. So how secure is that?
Kirk Ballou: The secure element is basically where Apple keeps your Apple pay credit card number, that’s where the most secure parts of your identity, your credit cards, that’s where it’s stored on the phone, completely separate from the rest of the operating system.
Tai Zen: And who has access to that, who are allowed to access that? Can I access that? If I’m a computer hacker or a software engineer, can I go into your phone and access that portion of the phone?
Kirk Ballou: No even if you break it apart. So basically it’s secured to your device. How Leon was talking about, it’s not what you know, it’s what you have. If you have your phone that is not out on the network anywhere, it’s encrypted to your phone.
So even if you’ve got a scanning tool hooked up to your Android device, it’s not part of the regular operating system that someone could just scan and look at what’s there.
Tai Zen: So basically according to Steven, the founder of Rivetz and according to David Johnson, the adviser of Rivetz project, they both said that only a small number of people have the authority to Rivetz, to be able to access that trusted execution environment by Intel, or the chip manufacturer. And it’s not an easy process to pass to get access to it.
And apparently, Steven Sprague and the Rivetz team have gone through the certification process to show that there are legitimate people, and they’re able to access that portion of the phone. So that allows it to become the trade source.
Kirk Ballou: Exactly. So you’re allowed to, with sign off from Intel they’ll be able to create this SDK that mobile wallets like ours will be able to. Basically, use the software the Rivetz is creating so they’ll have software running on the secure element that we’ll be able to store and encrypt our keys on that part of the hardware that’s separated from everything else.
Tai Zen: So that even if there’s a virus or a trojan or malware on your phone, it still cannot access your private keys to control your cryptocurrency.
Kirk Ballou: That’s right, it’s completely separate like you said, it’s a separate environment.
Tai Zen: And then what made Rivetz decide to reach out to you and then what made you decide to incorporate the Rivetz technology into your mobile app?
Kirk Ballou: Well they reached out to us I guess because they saw value in the multi-currency secure wallet. And then for us, it enhances the security for our users, so it’s a win-win for us.
Tai Zen: So essentially what you’re saying is that by incorporating the Rivetz technology into your CoinPouch wallet, it essentially turns my smartphone into a hardware wallet similar to Trezor, Ledger or any other keep key or any of that.
Kirk Ballou: Well it gives it a similar architecture. What they use which is a secure element on the device it’s using the same kind of architecture, the cold wallet user.
Tai Zen: Now would you put that on the same level of security as a hardware wallet.
Kirk Ballou: I mean it’s doing essentially the same thing.
Tai Zen: So once you do that and you incorporate that into CoinPouch, if they’re both the same security level then I can pretty much keep my coins on the phone and use that as a hardware wallet.
Kirk Ballou: Yeah and that’s up to the individual. What would be considered a hot wallet, usually people don’t keep all their funds there, like the funds that you’d be able to move around versus the ones that you would put away in the safe?
Tai Zen: So once you incorporate the Rivetz technology into CoinPouch, I can get an old phone, download the CoinPouch wallet onto it and then use that whole phone as a hardware wallet, similar to Trezor, and then turn the power off and disconnect it from the internet, turn the power off and just put it in the vault.
So when is expected release date? You guys gonna release that within a month now, late 2017, early 2018 or is that like a top-secret or what?
Kirk Ballou: Well I don’t think I could say the exact …we’re working alongside Rivetz as they build out their SDK. So as we do the Android build it’ll be a few months out for us and then as soon as the Rivet SDK is enabled for us to integrate it, we’ll have that out with it.
Tai Zen: Okay so now the CoinPouch wallet. Since we last spoke, would you care to share any new coins that you are researching, to incorporate into the CoinPouch or is that also under-wraps? I mean you don’t have to share it if you don’t feel the need to.
Kirk Ballou: We just launched the update that integrates Verge. So the community voted and Verge got the most votes and we integrated that. Not naming any specific brands or teams but we are talking to several professional sports teams and also we have an update coming that it’s kind of an off-chain instantaneous notification solution where I send you 12 Ether, you’re instantly notified that I sent you 12 Ether.
Tai Zen: Even before the transaction is confirmed by the network.
Kirk Ballou: The network confirms it received my transaction and if you’re using, its pouch-to-pouch. So if you’ve got coin pouch, I’ve got CoinPouch, you would get an instant notification that those funds were sent.
But confirmations still need to happen in the blockchain. It’s just an indicator that an action happened if I sent you 12 Ether, you’re not sitting there 12 hours later, you know that action actually happened.
Tai Zen: And both parties are just waiting for the confirmation from the network. Now, are you running servers behind the scenes to operate CoinPouch or what’s going on behind the scenes here to make all this happen?
Kirk Ballou: So we are running servers to do that. For Verge, we’re running essentially a node just like you would for any of the other ones like Dash or Vivix or anything. So we do that essentially to feed transactions into the network.
Tai Zen: Now I think I spoke to you offline one time and you mentioned that the way that you design, your team design CoinPouch is that it can be a private label or was it called “Private Label” or “White Label”? You talked about that.
Kirk Ballou: So that’s where we have brands that are looking to get into the blockchain, where we can create their own coin and do a white level version of CoinPouch. So all the same functionality being able to brand it to a specific company or a specific team.
Tai Zen: Okay so let’s say that I’m a new cryptocurrency project out there, and I want to do an ICO and I need an iPhone or Android phone wallet app. So I can just reach out to you and then you guys look at my coin. What do you call it, “White Label” or “Private Label”, the coin patch wallet so that it fits for my coin?
Kirk Ballou: We’ll evaluate it and see if it makes sense. That’s essentially what we’ll do is create a coin that goes with it and does a branded version of CoinPouch.
Tai Zen: For that specific cryptocurrency. So if someone’s interested in that they just reach out to you at Touch Titans.
Kirk Ballou: Yes, sells at touchtitans.com for that.
Tai Zen: So if you guys do that, just reference that you guys heard, saw us mentioned about that on this video and that way Kirk will know and then he’ll go around with you guys. So anything else new that’s coming out for CoinPouch that our viewers might be interested in?
Kirk Ballou: We’ve had a lot of cryptocurrencies reaching out wanting to be on there. We took to heart what you said about community and that’s a big factor in what we’ll look to integrate. Also, the coins that maybe don’t already have an iOS or Android solution out there.
But definitely next on our plate is getting Android out there, we’re really pleased there’s a large community with Verge that’s been really happy with coin pouch. So we just want to do more of that. There are ones like Pivot, there’s Factom, there’s a lot of good coins out there that we’re looking at.
Tai Zen: Let’s say that a coin community would like to get their coin onto CoinPouch, onto your wallet. What is the process, do they just contact you at Touch Titans or what is the process? If I’m a cryptocurrency project and I want to see if my coin can show up on your wallet, what is the process?
Do I reach out to you? Do I have to pay you to put that on there or show you that it’s a real cryptocurrency, it’s not a scam or something? What’s the vetting process?
Kirk Ballou: That’s one of the major things, we want to make sure that it’s a legitimate coin, that it’s got a good community behind it, that it’s got decent volume on some major exchanges and some are offering bounties. So right now we want to get everything currently on our plate out the door and then basically go through the lineup of which coins to add next.
Tai Zen: So one of my concerns or what would be going through my mind as a trader and investor, considering the use of your point pouch wallet. One of the things I would consider and notice that is that open source?
But you mentioned to me offline that open source is not always as secure as people think it is. Could you talk about that so that the viewers will know the difference between open-source software versus closed source software?
Kirk Ballou: I mean an open-source, there’s definitely a lot of value in that, but people seems to think, that obviously, that hasn’t panned out, is there have been several flaws in the open-source community.
Tai Zen: When one of the biggest ones that just happened recently was with the Ethereum multi-signature wallet, called Parity. And that wallet was created by the inventor of Ethereum, a lot of people think that Vitalik Buterinis the one that created, that built the Ethereum software, it’s actually Dr.Gavin Wood.
The white paper was written by Vitalik, but the actual production software, the working version of it was actually created, written by Gavin Wood, and he’s the one who built the Parity multi-signature soft wallet and that got hacked and there were millions of dollars that were lost in it, so they fixed it.
Kirk Ballou: So there’s value in transparency with open-source, but there’s not a guaranteed of the quality of vetting that will happen. And it’s not the engineers that had flaws in the system that it was necessarily their fault or even it’s just that there’s not a guaranteed level of vetting that goes on.
Whereas in the industry where we build apps, third-party vetting means that a professional engineer is being paid to go line by line through that code and really hammer it and look for holes.
And that’s one of the things when we do a white label wallet, companies are paying us for quality software to be able to white label and use for their own. I think that’s the kind of standard that needs to merge with an open source, that needs to be a standardized level of vetting that goes on.
Tai Zen: Just so the audience knows, when you say vetting, you’re talking about quality control, quality assurance that the software does not have fatal bugs or flaws in it.
And you’re saying that in the traditional world of software engineering that it’s normal to pay for an outside firm to come in and inspect the software for dangerous missing code or something that could be a fatal flaw in it.
Kirk Ballou: And that’s their job, is to hammer on it, look for holes, try to break it.
Tai Zen: But the argument from the cryptocurrency world is that its open source and most project offers bug bounties, like a reward system for software engineers like yourself to go in and review their software and find bugs and they’ll pay you. So what’re your thoughts on that, doesn’t that work?
Kirk Ballou: It does to an extent. It’s just like how many full-time high-quality engineers are spending their time doing that.
Tai Zen: That’s always been a question in the back of my mind. Like for example, when Leon was working at Dell Computers, they were paying him a crapload of money to do their iOS software engineering.
And he’s not gonna waste time going looking through the code for a bug bounty. He’s gonna make more money doing it for Fortune 500 companies.
Kirk Ballou: At the same time, you want to make sure especially when there’s an ICO or a new coin created, you want that to be open source, to make sure there’s nothing shady in there, anything like that, but it’s not inherent security just because it’s an open source.
Tai Zen: So with your CoinPouch you have it go through an auditing firm or an inspection firm, a professional software firm. That’s their job and their role is to inspect software. So if you white label it, and create it for a private cryptocurrency, for a cryptocurrency project, they can rest assured that you’re just not saying that it’s safe but there are outside firm inspectors say that it’s safe.
Thanks for sharing the updates with CoinPouch and your insights on wallet security and stuff. So thanks for watching this video guys, if you guys liked this video on CoinPouch and how they’re incorporating the Rivetz technology to secure the wallet, to make your phone into essentially a Trezor or Ledger Nano hardware wallet to keep your coin safe.
If you like these types of videos give us a thumbs up if you guys don’t like it give us a thumbs down so we know not to waste time making it and then we’ll see you guys in the next video.
Kirk Ballou: Take care.