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How One Hack Sparked a Mission to Democratize Crypto | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


In 2016, the world of cryptocurrency was still in its nascent stage, shrouded in complexity and largely confined to tech enthusiasts and early adopters. The jargon was intimidating, the user interfaces were clunky, and the general public viewed crypto as a mysterious, almost esoteric domain. It was in this environment that I stumbled upon crypto in a most unexpected way.

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The Accidental Discovery

While pursuing a Ph.D. in physics, I encountered a cyberattack that inadvertently introduced me to the world of crypto. One day, our lab’s computers were hacked, and we received a message from the attacker demanding payment in bitcoin to restore our systems. Faced with no other options, my team and I scrambled to understand this unfamiliar asset. We purchased bitcoin to pay the hacker. We ended up with some leftover bitcoin and, to our surprise, watched as its value started to increase shortly after the transaction.

The urgency of the situation forced us to quickly learn about bitcoin, its acquisition and its utility. The rising value certainly sparked our curiosity too. We navigated through online exchanges, figuring out how to set up a digital wallet and purchase the necessary amount. This experience, though stressful, opened my eyes to the potential and volatility of cryptocurrencies. What initially seemed like a digital mishap turned into a gateway to a revolutionary financial technology.

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As I delved deeper, I was captivated by the immense potential of blockchain technology and these digital assets. However, it was immediately apparent that there was a steep knowledge gap. The barriers to entry were formidable, deterring many from exploring this groundbreaking field.

Breaking Down Barriers to Entry

It became increasingly clear that for crypto to realize its full potential, it needed to be demystified and simplified. Many people traded these digital assets using decentralized exchanges, and although in each cycle of the crypto market DEXs have been making incremental progress, there is still significant room for development. Continuous efforts are required to provide fair and transparent services to crypto users, and still more needs to be done to make these platforms accessible to a broader audience.

Fake coins representing bitcoin are placed on fake banknotes illustrating the cryptocurrency in Briançon, France, on May 2. “For crypto to realize its full potential, it needed to be demystified and simplified,” the author writes.
Fake coins representing bitcoin are placed on fake banknotes illustrating the cryptocurrency in Briançon, France, on May 2. “For crypto to realize its full potential, it needed to be demystified and simplified,” the author writes.
Photo by THIBAUT DURAND/Hans Lucas/AFP via Getty Images

That’s why I founded JOJO—an exchange for people to trade derivatives—to address these issues comprehensively. Our approach involves offering extensive educational resources, prioritizing intuitive design and transparency and implementing simplified yet robust security measures. Our goal is to make derivatives trading accessible, understandable and secure for everyone.

To help bridge the knowledge gap, we provide comprehensive guides, interactive tutorials and dedicated support to help users navigate the complex world of crypto. We aim to empower them with the knowledge they need to confidently engage with crypto. That demystifies what otherwise might appear complex, given JOJO’s focus on a particular kind of trading popular in crypto that is known as “perpetual futures.” But simplifying platforms through intuitive design and transparency is crucial: Our platform offers clear, real-time updates on transaction statuses and uses an intuitive layout to minimize confusion, significantly enhancing user engagement and confidence.

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Transparency is essential for building trust, so we enable users to easily track their transactions and understand each step of the process, fostering a sense of reliability through detailed explanations. From a security perspective, everything operates on an open blockchain network. JOJO is implemented through smart contracts. All transactions can be signed only by the user, and all liquidations are carried out on-chain. This means that no one can misappropriate users’ assets, nor can anyone maliciously trigger liquidation.

Expanding Access and Impact

My journey from an unexpected, curious newcomer to the founder of a community-first crypto company has reinforced the critical importance of making crypto accessible to all. It’s not just about catering to tech enthusiasts or early adopters. It’s about ensuring that everyone, regardless of background or expertise, can participate in this transformative space. Universal access to crypto can democratize finance, foster innovation and reduce financial inequality.

At JOJO, we are deeply committed to this vision. We believe that crypto has the power to reshape the financial landscape, democratizing access to financial services and empowering individuals around the world. Our goal is to create a future where the barriers to entry are significantly lowered, opening up opportunities for a diverse array of individuals to benefit from the potential of crypto.

To achieve this vision, we focus on continuous improvement and a relentless dedication to user experience. By prioritizing the users in everything we do, we aim to lead the way in making crypto a truly inclusive financial tool.

Lei Mingda is the co-founder of JOJO. He previously co-founded DODO, a decentralized digital asset exchange, and studied for his Ph.D. in physics from Peking University.