Learning

Have you encountered something you didn't understand?
Maybe your answer is here!

Blockchain 101

An intro to the new web

Picture a spreadsheet that is duplicated thousands of times across a network of computers. Then imagine that this network is designed to update this spreadsheet regularly and you have a basic understanding of the blockchain.

Information held on the blockchain exists as a shared and continually reconciled database. Since the blockchain database isn’t stored in any single location, the records it keeps are truly public, easily verifiable and no hacker can corrupt them.

Decentralized Applications (DApps) running on the blockchain store more than data on this network. They also store the rules that dictate how data gets updated. This means applications that are not controlled by any central entity, meaning you, the end users, are in full control.

Your private key and you

keep it secret, keep it safe

While anyone can read information from the blockchain, to write to the blockchain you need to own the right private key.

A private key is a secret that is randomly generated when you create a wallet. Nobody on earth knows it besides you (and it's too long to merely guess). The decentralized nature of the blockchain means that every individual needs to safeguard their own private key.

This is harder than it sounds, and most people never had to do it before. With centralized services such as Google, Facebook, etc. you did not control your data. Those services did, which is why you never had to truly own a private key.

Be advised: If you lose all copies of your private key - there is no way to recover it. If someone gets their hands on a copy of your private key - they can steal all of your funds, and there is no way to turn back the wheel.

Tokens and Collectibles

The assets of the future

Tokens -
Collectibles - Tokens that represent non-fungible digital assets, like art or digital Kitties. They are not classified as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ether.

Gas fees

Like paying for S&H

Whenever you interact with the blockchain, your request gets sent to miners on the Ethereum network who crunch the numbers and confirm the transaction. For that service the miners receive a fee paid by the person submitting the transaction request (please note that entire fee goes to the miners, not us!).

Gas represents the computational power used to process and add a transaction to the Ethereum blockchain. For a transaction to be approved a user must pay a transaction fee to the computers that confirm transactions. A transaction will use as much gas as is required, up to the user-defined limit. If the gas limit is reached, the transaction will fail (and no gas cost will be refunded).

Social recovery

Friends & family to the rescue

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Two-factor authentication

An extra layer of security

For an added layer of security, turn on two-factor authentication (2FA) for your Portis account. If your password is compromised or stolen, you'll have peace of mind knowing that only you can sign in. 🔐

How 2FA works:
✅ You’ll need access to your mobile phone when you sign in to Portis.
✅ You'll enter a verification code and your password each time you sign in.

Message signing

Proving who you are

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Trust this app

Enjoy a seamless UX

Trusting an application means you will not need to manually confirm each action through Portis, as long as it's a non-payable function and you are only paying small amounts for network fees. Portis will keep track of your network fee expenses, and if they exceed $1 per hour you will return to using manual confirmations.

End to end encryption

Secure & accessible everywhere

When registering a Portis account, you create a wallet, which is immediately encrypted client-side with a secret that was generated from your password. This password never leaves your device.

The Portis servers safeguard only user-encrypted wallets, so you can rest assured nobody but you can access your wallet or sign any transactions without your consent.

"I forgot my password!" 😱

With great power comes great reponsibility

Other wallets which don't employ end-to-end encryption, store your private key on your device. That means that if you never backed up your private key and you lose your device - you can never access your wallet again. Bummer.

With Portis, as long as you remember your password, you can access your wallet from any device, and losing your existing device no longer means your wallet is gone.

However, what happens if you forget your password? Since you are the only one on earth who knows it, if you forget your password, we can't help you recover it. Not because we don't want to. Due to our uncompromising security architecture it is simply not possible.

So what can you do? Inside your wallet you are able to see your backup recovery phrase (inside Menu -> Security -> Recovery phrase).

So please - log in and backup that phrase somewhere safe. It is your only way to reset your password in case you forget it.

Networks

Multiple blockchains, one Portis account

Ethereum, POA, XDAI... The list of blockchains goes on and on. Each of these blockchains can consist of multiple networks, and it's up to the developer of the application to decide which network you will be communicating with.

And while there may be a lot of different blockchains and networks out there, you can interact with the applications on all of them with just a single Portis account.
Most apps will let you to open the Portis widget manually (not just as part of signing a transaction), which will display your balance on the specific network that app is running on.

For you power users, you can decide to see your tokens on test networks by enabling it from your wallet by going to the "advanced" section in the menu.

Cookies 🍪

How to enable cookies?

Cookies are small pieces of text that servers save inside your browser when you visit their websites. From that moment on, whenever your browser communicates with that server again, it sends back the cookie.

Portis uses cookies to manage your login session. Websites are only allowed to look at their own cookies. This prevents malicious websites from snooping and stealing your login sessions.

To use Portis, you need to make sure cookies are enabled on your browser. Most modern browsers enable them by default, but in case yours doesn't, please follow the instructions here: https://www.whatismybrowser.com/guides/how-to-enable-cookies/

Buying Cryptocurrency 💳

Get your hands on some coins in minutes

In the early days of blockchain, getting some cryptocurrency in your wallet meant you either mined it yourself or bought it from someone you know. Later on, early investors in cryptocurrencies went through online exchanges that required a lengthy KYC process, as people were purchasing large amounts there.

So what about the average users, who want to purchase a relatively small amount of crypto to actually use a DApp or for buying a cool collectible? We got you covered! US residents can purchase ETH, BTC, and DAI with their debit card, while the rest of the world* can purchase ETH, BTC, DAI, and XDAI using their credit card.

US buyers are limited to $40 per day and will pay a fee of ~3% (this varies according to the type and amount of cryptocurrency you purchase), while the rest of the world can buy up to $250 per day (minimum of $5 per purchase), with a fee of 3% (minimum fee of $2). No ID verification required!

* Credit card purchases are not supported in the following countries: China, Russia, Vietnam, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Algeria, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Taiwan, Cambodia, Cuba, North Korea