Building a service in line with the ethos of crypto

It’s no secret that the crypto space is daunting to new users. Services are often unintuitive and difficult to use, and reputable services are often hard to distinguish from insecure or untrustworthy providers. These issues represent major barriers for the crypto industry to achieve mass adoption.

One thing that we worked hard at with Ethos was building a secure and trustworthy service because we believed that the crypto space needed more reputable teams and products. In this regard, Voyager lined up very closely with the philosophy of Ethos and it is extremely important to both companies that we continue to build trust with our users.

We believe that the deficient trust that many users unfamiliar with crypto have is due to a lack of transparent and reputable service providers in the space. In both the Ethos Universal Wallet and the Voyager Trading Application, we will be setting new standards of transparency in order to build a financial ecosystem that is open, safe and fair for everyone.

Voyager Digital is a public company

Voyager Digital, which houses both the Ethos Universal Wallet and the Voyager Trading Application, is the very first publicly traded crypto broker and wallet provider. The decision to be a public company was very deliberate as the company is now required to report financial statements, all major business activities, as well as share the identities and backgrounds of the executive team. Voyager and its products can’t simply disappear and funds won’t mysteriously vanish in a public reporting structure. Let’s break down what this means for prospective users.

Financials are public record

Quarterly financial statements are available on SEDAR or Canada’s regulatory filing database. Funds are accounted for and financial statements are audited by independent auditing firms and subject to exchange approval. This means no misplaced funds and nothing disappearing. When you use Voyager or the Ethos Universal Wallet, you can rest easy knowing that the company is held responsible for the accounting and security of your funds.

Disclosure of major business activities and changes in the course of business

All major business activities and changes in the operation of the business are also required to be reported through public releases. Private companies can sometimes get away with hiding business activities that users may not approve of such as selling private data to third parties or front-running user orders in an unregulated trading platform. Voyager will work to maintain a high degree of professionalism and transparency through the course of its business. If Voyager engages in any merger or acquisition activity, you will know about it.

Public leadership team

Myself and the other members of the Voyager leadership team are public figures. You can learn about who we are, our background and our roles within the organization in documents filed with regulators. With an industry that sometimes has anonymous leadership teams with no accountability, we believe that it is extremely important that the team be readily available and in communication with our users. This starts with knowing who we are and what we do and will expand into AMAs, FAQs, Support and content pieces that let you know that we’re here and want to give you the best possible experience.

How we make money

Every company has a fiduciary obligation to build value for its shareholders and Voyager is no different. Some services are structured in a way where this fiduciary obligation to its shareholders conflicts with the organization’s duty to service its users, but Voyager is structured in a way where we only make money when you are well serviced.

Voyager’s core piece of technology, the Voyager Smart Order Router, works to achieve “best execution” by connecting to multiple exchanges and liquidity pools all around the world, creating a global “liquidity network”. What this lets us do is improve the execution price, speed and reliability of trades by splitting orders and executing them across these different venues. Voyager makes money by improving the price of the execution and taking a portion of the savings that is achieved.

Let’s use an example. These numbers and fees may not be applicable to every digital asset, but it will be useful to demonstrate the concept. Say you are purchasing a digital asset at a price of $100, Voyager routes your buy order to multiple exchanges and manages to find a place where you can actually purchase this asset for $98. Voyager will execute at $98 and give you an execution price of $99 and take a $1 “fee”. Even though Voyager made money in what we call a “spread”, the smart order router was able to achieve a better execution for you and effectively saved you more money than if you had decided to execute somewhere else. This is just an example, but we encourage you to try executing a few orders on the router and seeing the price improvement that it is often able to achieve.

In the Ethos Universal Wallet, there are two revenue generating features - purchase and swap. The wallet generates revenue by taking a portion of the fees that the underlying service providers (Simplex and Shapeshift respectively) take through their service. There are no hidden fees so what you see is what you get in the wallet.

Data usage and customer privacy

The only times that data is shared with third parties is outlined in the Voyager Privacy policy for the Voyager Trade Application and in the Ethos Privacy Policy for the Ethos Universal Wallet. If you are interested in all of these instances the links for each of the privacy policies are here:

Voyager Privacy Policy

Ethos Privacy Policy

In a nutshell, Voyager and Ethos will only share your information with directly affiliated parties or those that we are required to by regulation. Voyager’s primary business activity is not in selling data to third parties and we take the privacy of our customers very seriously. Any breaches of customer privacy will always be promptly addressed to any affected users.

Voyager collects your personal information for its Know-Your Customer (“KYC”) and Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) processes that are required by local and global regulations. This data is only used as disclosed in the privacy policy and is only shared with financial institutions and service providers in the course of normal business activity for regulatory purposes.

The Ethos Universal Wallet is compliant with GDPR, the data protection and privacy laws required in the EU. Though compliance with these laws is only required for EU residents, any GDPR request that comes in for the Ethos Universal Wallet will be processed no matter the location.

The company’s track record

The company’s leadership team have a track record of building successful businesses and products. The leadership team has accomplished individuals who have built large, influential businesses such as E*TRADE, Uber, Citrix and many other successful organizations. These folks, who are disclosed as part of the public leadership team are the same people who are building the Ethos Universal Wallet and Voyager Trading Application.

In addition, the Ethos Universal Wallet is one of the most secure wallets to date. The wallet has undergone a third-party security audit and penetration test and has had no successful hacks or permanent loss of funds.

The ETHOS token

The company is committed to building additional utility for the token. Currently, the ETHOS token can be used to gain additional status levels in the Ethos Universal Wallet that unlock perks and features, but we envision a future where token utility touches many aspects of the Voyager ecosystem. The company has already announced plans around the Cashback Rewards system, but is also excited about the many possibilities that the token unlocks.

Building a reputable crypto service on your trust

We believe that the trust of our users is paramount to the success of the organization. When we interacted with existing services in the space, we felt unsatisfied with the quality and transparency of what was out there and believed that users in the blockchain industry deserve something better–something that is more in line with the philosophy of the crypto pioneers that paved the way for all of us. We believe that with your trust we can succeed in building a financial ecosystem of the future that is open, safe and fair for everyone and we hope that you will join us.

Until next time,
Shingo Lavine

Chief Innovation Officer, Voyager Digital / Founder & CEO, Ethos.io