Mat Cybula: Cryptiv and the future of tipping

Mat Cybula wants you to help spread some cryptocurrency love around on social media. That’s why he and his team have come up with Cryptiv (, a social microtransaction platform that facilitates transactions of digital currencies of social media like Twitter, YouTube, and Twitch.


cryptiv meetup

Cybula says he started Cryptiv as a tipping service — “like a thumbs-up with money attached” — but found that with the limited number of people who use and understand bitcoin and other digital currencies out there, it was hard to get it off the ground. He decided that what was needed was a way to incentivize people to use digital currencies.


He noted that one of the beauties of Cryptiv is that you can send coins to people who don’t even have a wallet yet. They receive a notification that someone has sent them some coins and then they will look into what it is they just got. It’s a way to get new people started so they can “learn and earn” and hopefully explore the space.


Cryptiv started about five months ago, and since then, the team has worked closely with its users to improve on the product and find better ways to achieve their goal of wider cryptocurrency adoption. The results of their market research will result in a new and improved Cryptiv website, due to launch in a few weeks.


Other plans for the future include the expansion of its social media reach. Cybula hopes to add Github, Reddit and Facebook tipping options over time. At the moment, Cryptiv uses a Chrome extension to integrate its functions with its social media partners, but it plans to roll out a Firefox extension as well, with a Safari extension sometime down the road.


Cybula walked the meet-up crowd through a Cryptiv transaction. Once the user downloads the Chrome extension, a little “giftbox” icon appears right on the social media postings. So if you want to tip someone’s tweet, for example, you just click on the little giftbox and send them a set amount. They are notified about the tip and invited to collect it — even if they don’t have an existing wallet already.


There is no charge for anyone to send or receive coins with Cryptiv.To avoid fees on micropayments, all transactions are done off the blockchain.


According to Cybula, Cryptiv has noted that there is a high rate of acceptance among people who receive tips, and that they in turn are likely to pass along their tips to someone else. However, should any coins go unredeemed, they are returned to the sender after 30 days.


Where Cybula sees some of the most interesting potential for micro-incentivization is among the content creators of the world: bloggers, journalists, musicians, artists etc. He recognizes that these creators are rarely compensated appropriately for their work. Tipping could be a “godsend” for them and allow those of us who consume content to support their efforts more easily.

Guest Speaker: Mat Cybula (Cryptiv)


Wed. November 19th. 7pm

This week we’re pleased to announce that Mat Cybula will be our guest. Mat is the CEO of Cryptiv (, a gateway for online micro-transactions and digital tipping.


Sign up at


Every Wednesday is Bitcoin Wednesdays at Decentral in Toronto. Anyone is welcome to join us for Canada’s largest Bitcoin meetup. Our goal is to attract enthusiasts, merchants, finance folk, bitcoin miners, developers and anyone in fact interested in learning more about Bitcoin and decentralized systems and platforms. While you’re here try out our Bitcoin ATM, the first to be installed in Toronto.


Our venue — Decentral — is a event space, co-working and incubator / accelerator facility focused specifically on Bitcoin, blockchain, and decentralized initiatives.

Security Advancements and New Developments from the Mycelium Project

Post Update: December 18, 2014:
The Mycelium iOS Wallet is now available from the iTunes Store (free).


Since 2009, Mycelium has been developing a range of innovative bitcoin-related products: the Mycelium android bitcoin wallet; Entropy, an Indiegogo-funded, hardware-based paper wallet generator; and the secure Bitcoincard that can sign transactions offline or on a mesh-network. This past week, Dmitry Murashchik beamed into the Decentral Toronto Bitcoin Meet-up to discuss these projects and give us some insights into what’s coming down the development pipeline.


Some of you may recall that Entropy raised over $31,000usd on Indiegogo this year, a campaign that was notable in part because it also included the option to support the project using bitcoin. The Entropy device itself is a USB-based hardware module that you can plug into a printer to generate paper wallets, and includes the option to print 2-of-3 split keys using Shamir’s Secret Sharing algorithm. For security, it uses static-RAM (SRAM) cells to generate completely random states, and hence produces a high degree of entropy. How much entropy? Over 9000 bits. Of course, all of this is for naught if your printer stores a copy of what gets printed; choose a cheap printer (one you’re sure doesn’t store data), instead of a networked office printer to print your private keys.


Dmitry also gave us an update on the Mycelium Bitcoin wallet, which just received a 2.0 upgrade. The most notable new feature is Heirarchical Deterministic (BIP0032) address generation, a feature that improves anonymity and security by generating a new public address for each transaction; it also makes wallet backups a lot easier than with the previous version.


One of the features that has been retained in the wallet app, fortunately, is LocalTrader, a localbitcoins-like feature that connects buyers and sellers directly. Despite the impressive potential here, Dmitry mentioned that it hasn’t seen as much usage as he and the team would like. At the moment, LocalTrader charges a 0.2% fee per transaction, but Dmitry says that Mycelium is looking into lowering transaction fees in the near future, based on feedback from clients; hopefully that will help increase adoption.


Dmitry also touched on developments regarding the highly anticipated Bitcoincard. This type of “debit card” system is the cornerstone of the Mycelium project. This was the first project that the Mycelium team started working on, but their other projects jumped the queue and have been released before this one. Part of reason for the the delay, according to Dmitry, is that this card is “a technology ahead of its time.” He explained that this sort of innovation is very difficult in terms of development.


The goal of the card is to be a wireless and self-sustainable “stand-alone device that acts as an electronic wallet” without need for an immediate internet connection. When it’s released, each card will have a range of 300 metres and can be used as part of a “mesh” network, enabling users to sign and send bitcoin transactions without being directly connected to the internet. Aside from acting as a hardware wallet, this card should make using bitcoin possible anywhere on the planet and under any political or technical situation (such as in cases where there is physically no internet access or access has been blocked by a government regime). No projected price range for the cards was given, but it is expected to be quite low to allow for reasonably widespread adoption.


On the software side, we’ll also start to see many new features in future releases, including CoinJoin support, a plan to move the transaction broadcast servers to Tor, multi-sig options in the app, and 2-factor authentication. Their focus, quite clearly, is security and privacy — something we all welcome.

Highlights from the Ethereum Update

Excitement over the Ethereum project continues to grow. Speaking in front of a packed room at the Toronto Decentral meet-up, Paul Paschos delivered the latest news from the team.


According to Paschos, the projected launch date for Ethereum is still on track for this winter: between December 21st, 2014 and March 21st, 2015. Here are some of the other highlights:


  1. A new, more navigable, user-friendly website has been launched for developers, containing a wealth of resources including tutorials, videos, and articles.
  2. Both Gavin Wood (ÐΞV) and Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum inventor) have emphasized that the project will not release the genesis block until they (and many others) are satisfied with the project’s security and reliability. “We will likely stick with ASIC-resistant proof of work…and look at moving to a more comprehensive proof of stake model over time.”
  3. So far:
    • PoC7 released
    • Protocol finalized and frozen
    • Alpha release series set to begin
    • Internal and External Security Audit set to begin in early December
    • Whisper, Solidity, Mist and other core Dapps are all being developed concurrently.
  4. Included at this point:
    • Ethereum Client (Basic contract development environment)
    • Mist – the Ethereum browser, based on Google’s Chromium browser
    • Several other core Dapps
    • Command-line tools (Paschos showed us what some of these would look like thus far)

Paul Paschos invited everyone to get involved in the project and stay on top of new developments through social media (r/ethereum, #ethereum, and #ethereum-dev) and by joining the Toronto Ethereum Meet-up Group (


For a better sense of all the exciting developments, watch the original presentation here: (

This Week’s Guest Speaker: Andreas Antonopoulos

Bitcoin ATM Toronto, andreas antonopoulos

Wed. Oct 29, 2014. 7pm

This week we are very excited to announce that Andreas Antonopoulos will join us via Skype. Andreas Antonopoulos is a public speaker, author, coder, entrepreneur, and one of the most prominent and well-respected figures in bitcoin. Of special note he recently appeared in front of the Canadian Senate and gave an exceptionally articulate and knowledgeable speech advocating for Canadian legislators “to resist the temptation to apply centralized solutions to this decentralized network,” and instead look into adopting decentralized regulatory tools like decentralized audits and algorithmic proof-of-reserves.


He is also the author of “Mastering Bitcoin”, currently available on github, and soon to be published in print by O’Reilly Publications.


Space for this event is limited to 50 people.