Expert opinion

Interview Questions for The Crypto Merchant Founder Mark Venables

The Ronin Network hack is among the most discussed topics today when it comes to matters of cryptocurrency security. In March 2022, the gaming-focused Ronin network, used for processing in-game transactions for Axie Infinity, suffered a massive security breach that resulted in the loss of over $625 million in USDC (a type of cryptocurrency). The exploit was reportedly facilitated by backdoor access that had not been revoked, allowing hackers to infiltrate the system. The incident highlighted the potential vulnerabilities within the crypto space and underscored the importance of robust security measures

We were thrilled to sit down with Mark Venables, a serial entrepreneur and the visionary founder of The Crypto Merchant, to discuss what went wrong. In light of the recent Ronin Network hack, together with Mark, we'll dive deep into the importance of security in crypto transactions. Mark will also share his insights on why cold wallets are emerging as the preferred choice for crypto storage and the unique advantages they offer users. 

Mark, as the founder of The Crypto Merchant, how do you think the recent Ronin Network hack could affect the confidence of developers and investors in decentralized finance (DeFi)? 

○ It is possible that this hack could affect the confidence of developers and investors in DeFi. However, it is important to note that DeFi is still a relatively new and rapidly evolving field, and security breaches are not uncommon. While the Ronin Network hack is certainly a cause for concern, it does not necessarily indicate a systemic problem with DeFi. 

In your opinion, what are the broader implications of this cyber attack, particularly considering it was attributed to North Korean state-sponsored hackers? How does this change the landscape for cryptocurrency networks? 

○ It highlights the vulnerability of cryptocurrency networks to cyber-attacks and the need for greater security measures. In terms of how this changes the landscape for cryptocurrency networks, it is likely that we will see increased regulation and scrutiny of these networks. Governments may also take steps to limit the use of cryptocurrencies or impose stricter regulations on their use. 

Can you shed some light on the strategies that your company, The Crypto Merchant, would advise to ensure the security of crypto transactions in the wake of such breaches? 

○ I’d always advise keeping crypto assets offline. There are now countless cold wallets that can do the job, and there are definitely going to be more 

technologically advanced versions developed in the near future. 

With increasing instances of crypto theft, what practical advice would you give to everyday crypto investors who are concerned about the safety of their investments? 

○ I would advise any crypto holder, whether a government, bank, fund, or retail investor, to get them offline where possible. Cold wallets are aplenty and affordable. There really is no excuse. 

With the Ronin Network hack in mind, how can individual investors and companies better protect themselves against such threats? Could you elaborate on the 'cold wallets' role in safeguarding crypto investments?

○ Retail investors need to protect themselves in the same way by securely backing up their seed phase and not just writing it on a piece of paper. There are seed phase backup devices that are very simple in addition to being water and fireproof. 

As an expert in the field, how do you see the future of DeFi security evolving in response to these types of attacks? 

○ DeFi security will continue to evolve, but I can't see it ever being foolproof, as someone will always work out how to reverse-engineer the solution. The only way to win this war is not to be there. If crypto isn’t online, it can’t be taken. 

Given the rise in cyber theft targeting cryptocurrency, what steps should be taken by regulatory bodies to ensure the safety and security of digital assets? 

○ Regulations need to be thought about carefully. Some good global regulations will protect the retail investor and guide larger investors wanting to adopt crypto. 

Do you believe that this incident will prompt a push towards more centralized structures within the crypto space or encourage further development of security measures within the existing decentralized framework? 

○ I believe that there will always be constant development of all security. Some will favor the centralized structure that could potentially stand alone and unable to be accessed remotely, for instance, and some will prefer a decentralized network. 

Finally, Mark, how does The Crypto Merchant plan to reassure its customers and maintain trust in the face of such high-profile security breaches in the crypto industry? 

○ We rely heavily on the trust of our customers, which is why we take being an authorized reseller very seriously. Customers can be confident that everything we offer is genuine, has not been tampered with, and contains no malware.