Navigating the cryptocurrencies world safely with Altrady
Altrady’s vision is to create a world where every trader can trade cryptocurrencies with confidence and ease. A trader himself, Benoist Claassen wasn’t getting what he needed from his platforms and decided to create his own, focusing on special features and safety. Check out this interview for Cyberghost with the Founder and CEO of Altrady and know more about this solution.
When did you discover the potential of crypto and your interest in creating solutions for that industry?
Back in early 2017, before the big rally of 2017, I purchased some crypto and let it sit in my external wallet. After a few months of watching the fluctuations, I had also doubled my money and I wanted to explore the possibilities trading cryptocurrencies. I found an interesting strategy on YouTube that I wanted to try out myself. I used half of my holding and moved it to an exchange to trade. I quickly felt overwhelmed and found myself spending a lot of time searching for markets to trade. The strategy was pretty straightforward but very time-consuming to find the right markets. Most days I would spend about 6 hours looking for charts and not actually trade any market. Being a programmer I decided to see if I could create an algorithm that would do the searching for me. The algorithm worked really well and I decided to open the scanner up to the public in December 2017. Allowing other traders to use it and give feedback on the scanner.
What differentiates Altrady from other crypto trading platforms?
After opening up the app to the public, the requests for different features came in quickly. We were still very far away from where Altrady is right now and for a long time remained to be just a market scanner without any personal information. The way we also differentiated ourselves from others, was to listen to our customers and have them decide which features to add to the scanner. After a few months of development, we added the first trading functionality to the platform.
You decided to create Altrady when platforms that you used weren’t offering what you needed. What were the specifics items that were missing, and you brought to the front with your platform?
With the first trading functions added to the platform, I now had the ability to add the features that I was missing from other platforms. When I was trading on the exchanges or other platforms, I always felt that I was trading blind. I didn’t get any feedback on the position I took and for complex positions with multiple buys and sells, it became increasingly harder to manage and become profitable. With the integrated break-even calculator and position manager, managing your positions is much safer and easier to do. No hassle with complex excel scripts that are error-prone.
The second big feature that was missing was trade notifications. When you are in a position it is very crucial to know if something happens. So having real-time alerts about order executions and general price alerts are very important to have and can save you a lot of missed profit opportunities.
Security should be a priority for any software, specially in the crypto industry. How do you secure the information and user data in your platform?
Before adding the trading functions to the platform, we didn’t store any sensitive information. To make trading work, we had to store the users’ API keys, which basically allows anyone in possession of those keys to trade on behalf of the user. In the first versions of the Altrady platform, trading was only possible using the desktop application. This allowed us to store an encrypted version of the API key on our server, that could only be decrypted on the desktop of the user. Trades were directly placed from their PC to the exchange, so unencrypted versions of the key never existed on our servers. As the demand grew for trading bots, we also had to come up with a solution to be able to have orders placed from the backends without the users’ API key being stored in plain form.
I have a background in designing and building secure authentication platforms and was the lead developer for the authentication platform for the Dutch government DigiD and later on the architect and lead developer for a similar authentication provider platform for the UK government (GovUK Verify).
Using the security knowledge from those platforms we designed and created a different service outside of our infrastructure with the task of decrypting keys and placing orders. The storage of the keys was not part of this service.
To be able to create orders from the backend, the user first has to prepare a command that the backend is allowed to execute. The command is signed by the user on their PC and stored in the backend. This creates a sophisticated 3-point security system that provides the security required to deal with API keys from our customers.
As far as we are aware, we are the only third-party platform to have such security in place. Other competitors use encrypted versions of the API key in the database with the encryption key embedded in the code, that accesses the same database and is hosted in the same infrastructure.
What tips do you have for your users and people in general when they are using Altrady and browsing the internet?
With my background in security and authentication systems, it’s very important to keep your information safe from cyber criminals. One way to do that is to make sure you trust the partner you are sharing information with and you make sure you only share information that they absolutely need to know. Using a VPN is a great way to make sure you only share the information with the intended receiver when using public WiFi networks or to hide your home IP. Reducing the information third-parties have on you.
In terms of third-party cryptocurrency platforms like Altrady, it’s also important to only share an API key once. Don’t re-use the same API key for different tools as it will be difficult to find out where your key was compromised if that ever happens. The API keys are like passwords, so we also advise users to only use passwords once per service. Using a password manager to secure your passwords is a great way to keep track of them and the services you are using.
What common mistakes people make when buying crypto, especially buyers that are just starting in that (complex) world?
The biggest mistake we see with new users is not having a plan or strategy. Just following a hype and buying on a price increase is a fast way to start losing money. There are plenty of strategies out there and following a strategy is always better than no strategy. It removes emotion and helps you to stick to a plan. Learn from the wins and losses in your strategy and try to improve it in slow steps.
Where do you see Altrady going in the next couple of years?
In the next few years we plan to remain ahead of the needs of our customers. Through our public roadmap, we allow users to shape the direction of Altrady. We believe that this will truly create a platform that has benefits for all types of traders. Whether you want to use our trading bots to automatically trade for you, or if you want to have full control with our manual trade setup with or without automation, Altrady will be there with the tools to help you get on the path to profitable trading.
Altrady’s vision is to create a world where every trader can trade cryptocurrencies with confidence and ease.