Montreal, Quebec has a reputation built on its renowned culinary scene, bilingualism and its harsh winters. What is less talked about is its expanding technology scene. EA Motive, Ubisoft, Landr, and Breather are just a few of the larger companies that have offices or headquarters in the city. Montreal has also become home to the new phenomenon growing in the technological sphere that is the digital currency. 

We spoke to Maciej Cepnik one of the co-founders of Veriphi, to learn more about what they do and the expanding Bitcoin community in Montreal. 

From shared interest turned into a business idea

Veriphi started the way most companies do. Some guys with mutual interests meet in high school, they hang out and come up with a marketable and profitable idea. This was made official for them on January 3rd, 2019. This was the 10th anniversary of Bitcoin and the day Veriphi was founded. 

‘We had been active in the Bitcoin ecosystem since 2015. The Veriphi team has grown during its year of existence and is now composed of close to 10 members.’ Maciej says in a thick French Canadian accent. ‘We as the Veriphi co-founders were interested in the unique proprieties of Bitcoin. This includes things such as censorship resistance, scarcity, and sovereignty. Theses unique proprieties can only be exploited when someone knows how to use Bitcoin the right way. That why we’re active proponents of Bitcoin and we are working constantly to spread the features of Bitcoin and create easy solutions to use them.’

The Veriphi Team – René Vergé, Maciej Cepnik, Gustavo Flores Echaiz, Tristan Borges Solari

‘The biggest enemy is probably you’

Even for those who have not used or purchased Bitcoin before, know the risks of being hacked or losing your password, can be catastrophic. That is why Veriphi uses their extensive Bitcoin knowledge, to offer top tier security services for private investors and companies. There are a lot of hardware and software tools that can be used to protect your bitcoins from malicious hackers and thieves. ‘There are a lot of possible threats and attacks that can take place when it comes to your bitcoin. However, your biggest enemy is probably you. Most of the coins that are considered irrecuperable out of the 21 million that will exist are lost and not stolen.’

‘Depending on the resources and preferences of our clients, we tailor the best suitable solutions to build a digital fortress around the bitcoins.’

He continues, ‘Some of the more popular options and recommendations from our part are a full Bitcoin Node which is the main bitcoin software. It permits the user to verify the blockchains on their own without divulging any information to a third party. Another one is leveraging the multi-signature contract technologies to distribute access to your bitcoins. This mitigates the risk of theft or loss since you need multiple keys to be able to spend the bitcoins locked in this type of contract. There are many more possible iterations of an operational security system, but they mostly depend on the dispositions and how many bitcoin the client has.’ 

Apart from their security services, they offer research as a service. If someone or a company wants to dive in more deeply into a certain aspect of the Bitcoin protocol, we provide personalized reports and research. Finally, they also do back-end integrations for companies wanting to integrate a bitcoin payment system into their operations.

‘They procrastinate a lot by always pushing back the cumbersome task of protecting their money. Doing what is right regarding their security might appear intimidating. For example, it is well known that nobody should leave bitcoins on exchanges, but people still do it all the time.’

The Montreal Bitcoin Community

The Bitcoin Montreal community is amazing and thriving like never before. It is definitively comparable to other big tech cities around the world, if not better. It is also a great place to start a Bitcoin company since there is a lot of start-ups and enterprises working on different bitcoin projects. Blockstream for example, one of the biggest and important Bitcoin company was founded in Montreal.’

The Veriphi team is co-organizing the Bitcoin Montreal Meetup group with another company called Bull Bitcoin. The Meetup was originally founded in 2013 and has close to 2500 members subscribed to it. The meetups are mostly technical meetups and highly advanced when it comes to the content. They also, make sure to record every meetup and post them on YouTube.

Their audience is used for high-quality information and organic conversations with other members. It’s a good occasion for us to learn more about the experiences and needs of real bitcoin users. There is always a pretty good amount of people, around a hundred people show up almost every month. Pretty impressive considering, there hasn’t been a significant price increase for a long time which leads them to think people are genuinely interested in the technology and philosophy of Bitcoin. 

This 3rd January marks the 11th anniversary of Bitcoin. They will be celebrating with a 150 from the Montreal community. An added bonus is that they will be also celebrating Veriphi’s first anniversary.  

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