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Launch HN: Hedgehog (YC S21) – Cryptocurrency Portfolio Manager
158 points by cadillion 3 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 137 comments
Hey HN! We're Taylor, Colton, and Jason, the founders of Hedgehog (https://hedgehog.app). We're building a portfolio manager to help you learn about, keep track of, and trade cryptocurrency in one place.

We track 2000+ actively traded currencies across 550+ wallets, aggregate data from 20 different providers, and support trading on 130+ exchanges. This helps users make informed choices about investments and find the best prices across exchanges, with price differences as high as 0.5%. We also combine live usage data with detailed research on how each coin works, so you can see for yourself why a coin could be valuable--or not.

We know that HN tends to be divided on cryptocurrency-related topics, with some people interested and involved and others skeptical or critical. Obviously we find ourselves in the prior camp, but we also completely agree that the excessive hype and outright scams are a problem. Somebody has already created a scam token with our name on it!

As early team members at Acorns (the mobile app that invests your spare change), we helped simplify traditional investing and hope to bring that same level of transparency, clarity, and rigor to cryptocurrency.

We first got into this space in 2017. We were running a small consulting agency when three of our clients broke their contracts in the same month: one went bankrupt, one got sued by an ex-partner, and one was based in Alabama and decided that because we were in California they simply didn't have to pay us. We lost $30k that month.

That's when we learned about Ethereum and smart contracts, and a light bulb went off. Price and volatility aside, if we simply could have used a smart contract where money is automatically deposited upon project completion, we would have ensured payment.

But getting into cryptocurrency is complicated, painful, and it leaves new users particularly vulnerable. Taylor once spent $20k worth of ETH on fees, simply because of a bad interface. Add in secret keys and exchange hacks and you quickly find yourself in chaos. And yet, over half of cryptocurrency owners report that it was their very first investment, ever--and their most commonly used tracking tool is Excel.

That’s why we built Hedgehog, to give you fine-tuned control over your portfolio: our average client trades on at least 3 exchange accounts and automatically syncs balances across more than 10 different wallets. You can also group your assets into stacks like “Banking” or “Ethereum Tokens”, apply investing strategies, and even set up a rebalance calculator to help you distribute your funds based on live metrics like market cap, daily active addresses, or transaction volume.

We're already helping individuals and investment firms manage $40 million in cryptocurrency, and we are acquiring the necessary financial licenses to offer a custodial wallet that connects users directly with the best price. You will no longer need to connect your own exchanges and wallets, we’ll manage multiple currencies across multiple exchanges for you. This allows us to earn revenue by making our own markets and keeping some of the difference between prices offered by buyers and sellers.

Love it or hate it, the fact that there's over $48 trillion in annual cryptocurrency exchange volume at this point makes it unlikely to go away, and there's a ton of work to be done in wrangling it into some sort of level playing field that makes sense to people.

We'd love to hear what you think, even if it’s just “this market shouldn’t exist in the first place.” If you're active in cryptocurrency (or want to be), we'd love to have you as a user and are dying to ship features you want. Please try us out at https://hedgehog.app! Happy to answer any questions and hear your feedback in the comments!

> Price and volatility aside, if we simply could have used a smart contract where money is automatically deposited upon project completion, we would have ensured payment.

A smart contract doesn't allow you to do that though, so I'm not sure how much you thought this through, or if you're only writing about your initial impression and dismissing what you learned after (I do think you realize this, as most people do after a few weeks of experience with Ethereum).

Either the smart contract would have automatically transferred money after a period of time, in which case it's basically like paying in advance. Or the smart contract would have received some external information, either from the consulting company, the client, a 3rd-party or a combination thereof, to decide whether the project has been completed or not. At that point, you're back to the problem you had without Ethereum.

Thanks for asking us to expand! We can always write a novel, but not everyone wants to read about oracles and unsolved problems in distributed compute.

You are correct, for this smart contract to work you need defined rules around how the money is released should either party falsely claim success or failure, so you need to rely on automation or some third party to validate fulfillment of the contract. So you're back to an oracle problem, how do I know I can trust the validator?

The nice advancement here is that anyone can be that third party! Your smart contract can explicitly identify a third party for multisig, or you can rely on a validator pool of mechanical turks instead of a licensed escrow agent, and accordingly the cost of escrow can decrease.

The nice part is that this is customizable, and built into the very rails that move money. It's a much lower barrier to entry than trying to build something like that for ACH, and that's what excites us about cryptocurrency.

It seems to me like there is already something better than "smart contracts" now with the current legal and financial system. The current system can handle all sorts of nuance, edge cases, and disagreement that smart contracts can't. What's the Oracle for "Did you really go bankrupt?" or "Does the interaction between Alabama and California law necessitate payment in these specific conditions?"

Ethereum is one of the more credible cryptocurrencies and yet, it is slow, throughput is woefully inadequate for scale, expensive to transact, and smart contracts don't really work. When I say "Don't really work" I mean that you can't use them for the things you'd want to use them for - i.e. you can't write an Ethereum smart contract for "If I deliver X hours of contracting work, meeting these specifications, then you will pay me Y amount by Z date automatically." If I'm wrong and you can do stuff like that, please point me to the solidity.

I'm glad you included the line welcoming comments from those who feel this market shouldn't exist, otherwise I wouldn't have written this comment. I hate to be negative regarding a launch - but this feels like adding a product to the Ponzi Scheme Industry. Maybe it's like writing software to help manage slot machines, except your slot machines aren't regulated and you tell people they're investing rather than gambling.

Thanks for the thoughtful response, and you're absolutely right, the current legal system is designed to handle all these. Right now, Oracles are also way more complex to build, and they can't handle the nuances of meeting X specification in a way that's simple and easy to do.

To be clear, that doesn't mean that a simple solution will never be created. Obviously we think it will, but that doesn't mean we're right.

But to address a slightly different part of your framing, our situation actually got more complicated when attempting to go the legal route. We suddenly had additional lawyer, collections, and time costs associated with the process...and we still never managed to collect. That's certainly an area where the current legal system fails (for a lot of people!).

Cryptocurrencies might not be the perfect alternative, but they are an alternative that, in our opinion, is exciting to explore.

But it’s not just a matter of “no done yet” is it? Adding an oracle removes any “benefits” of smart contracts and puts you right back where you were with just regular contracts (but this time done badly and with bugs by incompetent bullshitters)

The fact that you justify your product with a use case which does not work and can not work is very telling. But I’m sure as a strategy it’s working very well for you.

I think it will help if I share a little more of the story.

We are not using that use case of smart contracts as justification for our product, but the excitement for the future of smart contracts and the innovations in the cryptocurrency space encouraged the founders to get involved. They started buying cryptocurrency and found a pain point in tracking and rebalancing all of their holdings using Excel which could take upwards of 30 hours a week. Making an easier solution is the justification for the start of this product

Hope it works out!

Think cars near the time they were first commercialized, and cars now. Blockchain and smart contract tech is several times more complex than cars, much probably. Of course you will get frustrated if you expect smart contracts to substitute the entirety of the legal system because it's not going to happen, I can assure you. If you look at cars and dismiss them because "they cannot fly" that's on you. There's a lot smart contract tech is doing, can do, and will do. Not only through tech but also through culture. There's plenty of interesting use already, but I'll mention a different example, more on the culture side of things:

People in Brazil are using a new technology to transfer money between bank accounts faster and in an easier manner, it's a hit and growing very fast. It's not blockchain or ethereum, but a. the team involved cites those techs as their main influence, some of them having prior work/interest in those areas aswell and b. they say they have plans for implementing integration with public cryptocurrencies, smartcontracts, and several of their technologies such as smart contracts. Why, you could ask, wasn't this released to the public before, if it's not groundbreaking tech or even a tech innovation at all and provides so much benefit? "Culture".

I got your point, this is tangential, but I would argue cars are much complex than DLT because they interface with the real world in a mission critical manner. The only reason they don't fly is the safety margin.

It's refreshing to hear well-thought-out responses to the "isn't it just escrow" question, which I admit I've asked in a skeptical way re: cryptocurrencies in the past! Decoupling oracle-ness from a need to be a legally trusted holder of money is indeed something that broadens/democratizes the pool of viable oracles.

On that note, if an outstanding question is "how do we increase the supply (and thus decrease the price) of oracles beyond those who happen to know how to interact with smart contracts," I wonder if something like your Hedgehog tech, paired with standardized smart contract plugins, could make it possible for far more domain experts without crypto experience to enter and advertise themselves in the oracle market. Makes your system a one-stop easy-onboard volatility-reducing shop for the escrow problem you identified, for all participants in that marketplace!

Wow, you hit the nail on the head! To point to our long term vision, cryptocurrency has the nice property of being data, but the double-edged feature of being money.

In order to tell people how to get data from point A to point B you suddenly have to be a fiduciary financial adviser! We want to take that duty seriously and help people interact with the cryptocurrency ecosystem as a trusted adviser.

If we can help you customize and interact with smart contracts and plug them into existing regulatory frameworks, then we can unlock a lot of value for everyone.

I still struggle with smart contracts. I am glad they exist, but right now I think they will be some super rare thing, used in cases that previously required eacrow.

I was in the e-signature world, and nobody tended to ever care about authentication. Nobody really wanted to pay for it, almost ever.

They smart contracts have 2 of the largest features of escrow: handing control of your money to a third party and not being able to use the money now/bad payment "terms". It mitigates some counterparty risk, as it's harder for the oracle themselves to steal the money.

It's also probably expensive, as oracles have to meditate disputes and take on risk.

So interesting, but unsure what it would be used for.

There is also decentralized protocols for judging events like https://kleros.io/ (not affiliated)

While I love the idea of JaaS (Justice As A Service) I suspect that in most cases the cost will make it unworkable. In the situation OP faced, figuring out whether the contract has been correctly executed and whether the payment should have been made would have required specialized knowledge as well as time to look into the details of the case.

Do you have money transmitter licenses in all the states? Do you plan on getting them?

We do not currently have money transmitter licenses as we do not move any money for you (yet), we merely pass your trade requests to your exchange.

To your point, though, we are pursuing these licenses in every jurisdiction where required so we can start offering this service. We're also registering as an investment adviser so we can offer financial advice. This takes time and a lot of capital, but we believe the end result will be worth it.

I'm trying to understand, by passing the trade request you are like a hosted wallet that you control? Instead of the user broadcasting a transaction, the hosted wallet does that? I don't understand how that isn't money transmission, unless the hosted wallets are actually multisg, because as I undertand it multisig isn't considered custodial.

So currently we don't host any wallets. Clients open custodial accounts with pre-existing exchanges and then leave an API key for us to retrieve transaction and balance data. When they request a trade, we simply let the exchange know that the client has requested a trade, and we don't move any money on the client's behalf.

We are currently seeking money transmitter licenses so that we can offer a hosted wallet of our own, where we hold the exchange accounts on the client's behalf, and act as their counterparty for every trade so they don't have to maintain accounts at multiple venues. This version of the application is not yet available.

Thanks for the clarification. The api is used to send instructions to the money transmitter. I am imagining the product is more UX and aggregation of data for the end user. Congrats on your launch.

> A smart contract doesn't allow you to do that though

This is why smart contract is such a bad name. A lot of people have a complete misunderstanding of what a smart contract is. They think it can enforce things like a real-world contract, but "automatically". It's just a decentralized script and without real-world input through an oracle it is of course impossible for the contract to know whether a project is completed. There's nothing smart or automatic about that part.

You hit the nail on the head. Unless it’s totally virtual - on chain finance, gambling, etc. the contracts are only as good as the oracles. I guess that’s why DeFi works so well.

Fortunately decentralized oracles are an area of focus right now, but it’ll be a slow process since most expansion will require a special integration and potentially expert oracles.

In fact, Ian Grigg's Ricardian Contract construct was originally created with centralized enforcement in mind. To him, the purpose of these contracts was to create an immutable record of the intent of any transaction that could then be followed all the way back to its inception in the event of a dispute.

So part of the magic of the smart contract is illustrating intent from the beginning, and making that intent customizable! Oracles are still an unsolved problem, but we absolutely believe that reducing the barrier to entry for becoming or acting as an oracle will result in cost savings as the ecosystem matures.

One way to do this is that the agency places a deposit in the contract, client places deposit+payment in the contract. Then when the job is done both parties confirm and the agency receives deposit+payment and the client receives their deposit. This way both parties are incentivized to find a mutually satisfying outcome.

It's not ideal in terms of funds used, but it improves the trust situation a little bit.

The deposit you mention if you do this on Ethereum just corresponds to legal fees you have to pay in case of conflict in the traditional contractual approach.

This incentive already exists without Ethereum, and Ethereum doesn't improve the situation in that regard.

It seems like what they want here is an advance + escrow. If you're working on, say a website with xyz features, how is a smart contract going to evaluate whether you met or didn't meet the criteria?

Good question, we've answered a couple times in this thread already, so please forgive the copypasta:

You are correct, for this smart contract to work you need defined rules around how the money is released should either party falsely claim success or failure, so you need to rely on automation or some third party to validate fulfillment of the contract. So you're back to an oracle problem, how do I know I can trust the validator?

The nice advancement here is that anyone can be that third party! Your smart contract can explicitly identify a third party for multisig, or you can rely on a validator pool of mechanical turks instead of a licensed escrow agent, and accordingly the cost of escrow can decrease.

The nice part is that this is customizable, and built into the very rails that move money. It's a much lower barrier to entry than trying to build something like that for ACH, and that's what excites us about cryptocurrency.

> So you're back to an oracle problem, how do I know I can trust the validator?

With DLT it seems trust and predictability is virtually the same thing. "Everybody loses everything" is predictable but not efficient. DLT is a proposal for efficiency.

We need to automatically negotiate contracts or we shift all the cost of fixing it later in courts up front. There will have to be a lot of smart defaults for the contracts to be smart, and very deep integration of tech so that the algorithms can be fed with enough data to negotiate in a very high-dimensional space. That requires infrastructure, but the DeFi culture does not seem to be interested in funding infrastructure.

Congrats on the launch! Woop woop.

Two questions for y'all:

1. I'm wonder what your thinking is as a new, custodial crypto exchange. It's not that I don't think a custodial exchange can be successful (see: CB), but it seems like if the whole smart contract thesis is right, then decentralized exchanges are gonna eat the world (at least: your world). If you're all-in on crypto, why not build something decentralized/non-custodial? Long-term, how do you see competition against decentralized exchanges?

2. I read your security page, but what's the real deal w/ your security? 2FA and all is great, but giving a service my API keys is, uh, terrifying / something I will pretty much never do. Does anyone have a background in security / have you done an audit? Not to be a total narc, but crypto exchanges are like, big pots of beautiful honey. More details on your security page would be nice, and for many potential users (such as myself), seem quite necessary - hopefully this is helpful feedback and not just a dunk! I might also promote security stuff to the top of the page / more visible, it's at least the first thing I look for on any crypto service.

I've posted on HN about blockchain stuff before (I'm generally aligned on the "very interesting space, fuck scams" mentality) - and I can say is good luck :) Wish you all the best + looking forward to hearing your thoughts

Thanks @narush for the support and the great questions!

1. We completely believe in the DEX thesis, and we plan for our custodial solution to integrate with hardware wallets so that we can immediately return your funds to your own cold storage, and take advantage of DEX aggregators that already exist like 1Inch, Totle, or Slingshot.

However, no one is aggregating the much larger (for now) pools of liquidity on centralized exchanges, and additionally, the usability story for DEXs is really tough for mainstream users. We want to address both of these problems by providing a simplified interface for interacting with smart contracts, and providing the best execution requirement that already exists in traditional finance for the world of cryptocurrency.

2. We completely understand your security concerns, and we take our duties here with utmost seriousness. Thanks for the feedback!

We just brought on a dedicated security hire who contributed to the EMV chip standard for credit cards as well as the Global Platform standard for secure enclave, and he is helping us to ensure we have processes and procedures in place using the Mitre Att&ck framework. We intend to release audit details once they are complete.

For now, we do rely on Heroku to do a lot of the heavy lifting on the secure server management, but we also have internal processes and procedures for encrypting sensitive information using AES-256 and reducing attack surface.

Hope that answers your questions, and please tell us any additional concerns!

> "rely on Heroku to do a lot of the heavy lifting on the secure server management"

You trust all the employees and contractors of the hosting firm who have the VM hypervisor login of the machines where your code runs.

Agreed, this was a necessary step when we were a team of 3 at the beginning of the year, and we are transitioning as quickly as we can to self-managed infrastructure now that we have additional help.

If you have more concerns or recommendations, we'd love to hear them!

So this is basically a centralized broker just like we have in traditional finance? I guess one difference is that users still have DMA since exchange accounts are just linked.

> This allows us to earn revenue by making our own markets and keeping some of the difference between prices offered by buyers and sellers.

In other words, you route orders and users get worse prices because you MM yourself, also like traditional finance. It's a good business model for you but as a user I'd rather see transparency and a move towards DeFi where everyone is guaranteed the same execution.

To a large extent, yes. We like to say that cryptocurrency is like international waters: if you have your own boat and some know-how you can easily get out there and do whatever you like. But not everyone knows how to sail! There's still a lot of need for barges and cruise liners to help average people get from port to port.

For us, we want to help people who don't really understand private and public keys to get out and take advantage of the new paradigms being built in cryptocurrency. And for people who do understand these things, we're happy to be a gateway to take advantage of the centralized infrastructure and put everything back in your control on your own hardware wallet.

As for being a market maker, our goal is to guarantee best execution anywhere. This requires some fancy footwork on our end, but even after we take the spread, we want to offer you a price as good or better than you can find on any other exchange, net of fees. And that includes DEXs! We will make all these prices transparent so you can see the Hedgehog price as well as whatever Uniswap, 1Inch, or Matic are offering.

It’s about time there are brokers in the crypto space.

Almost all the exchanges are copy and paste jobs provided by an exchange vendor, and they all have code to be brokers and route to external order books, all via REST and FIX but just choose not to.

DeFi is flawed though isn't it? People are just front running the execution of DeFi orders to make money.

It's more complex than that. There is front-running and back-running in DeFi, but it applies only to certain types of transactions. There also exist solutions to prevent most of it.

Regardless of front-running, you still get transparency. It's one thing to be front-run and know about it, but another thing to submit your orders to a black box where a company extracts arbitrary value from them and you don't know what goes on inside.

Very true, completely agreed!

The same can be said of centralized finance! Front-running is illegal and occasionally gets punished, but it still occurs all the time.

No system is perfect, and one should look at the trade-offs one incurs by operating under any given set of rules. We believe that a more diverse ecosystem contributes to a stronger financial system and a more resilient society, whether centralized or decentralized.

Most traders don't need to worry about the fractions of a percent that can be taken by frontrunners.

I cant talk with your customers but my initial thoughts are that you should focus with laser-like attention to your customer needs. There are a lot of "ands" in your product. Who is your ideal customer? Is it whales tracking multiple cryptocurrencies?

Is your ideal customer dev teams keeping their coin alive with DCA arbitrage across multiple exchanges?

Wish you success, crypto is here to stay.

Absolutely. We actually run our company on a discord with both public and private channels, just so we can strike up conversations with people.

We have three target customers: the experienced retail trader with multiple exchange accounts, the long-term hodler who’s looking for better indexing tools, and the crypto newbie who just wants to learn how to get started.

In terms of having a laser focus on a single area, honestly I both agree and disagree. Most of the unique and interesting paths we can take are based on having a wider foundational breadth of features (best price trades require multiple exchange connections, auto rebalancing requires a complete view of your portfolio, tax prep requires order management). All these things are interweaved within each other.

Totally agree that it’s a lot, but it’s also much easier to make a general product specific, than it is to make a specific product general. The tough thing is trying to strike the right balance between that foundation and really nailing a single aspect.

Right now, that single focus is custody and best price trades.

I would only note, are we now calling them portfolios, instead of wallets? And does this reflect a shift in the understanding of and narrative around crypto as less utility based, as a way of buying ice cream and quickly sending cash to faraway places (without exorbitant fees) and as more speculative, a kind of post-internet version of pokemon, where the utility value (playing the game) can be eclipsed by the notional value of some of the more rare cards / successful coins? Just thinking out loud here.

I think it indicates more that the financial set has become dominant in the crypto space and coins are now increasingly seen as securities to hold and profit from as investments, rather than as a form of payment.

A bit disappointing to me, honestly. I want a digital currency that is spendable. I’m hoping the next wave of crypto innovation will address this, instead of just endlessly catering to the finance market.

Why not both? While Bitcoin was initially envisioned as a pure currency with some basic scripting features, the advent of the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) transformed cryptocurrency into an easy way to bootstrap speculative research projects in distributed compute, while simultaneously enabling new forms of scams.

So the speculation is part and parcel to making the network something worth using! We use portfolios to describe collections of wallets because it's difficult to tell whether Ethereum or Cardano is going to be the winner-take-all shared VM in 20 years. If you want your compute cycles to hold value, you better choose the right one.

Our philosophy is to choose the One Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for each cryptocurrency, and then allocate into each currency based on the relative performance of currencies that share that KPI.

For example, as a social network investor in 2004, it maybe wasn't obvious whether you should invest in Facebook, Myspace, or Friendster. But if you got a daily active user report every 10 minutes (like you do with Bitcoin), then maybe you could have moved your funds into Facebook as the users skyrocketed.

So that's why we talk about portfolios, and see them as an important part of being a cryptocurrency user.

It’s just a context.

If you are self custodying you can do or call it whatever you want

If you are not self custodying then you are limited to the functions provided by the custodian. If they want you to just invest and watch numbers move around, then its a portfolio

There are a hundred different portfolio trackers. To be honest, they're all a bit lacking so there's definitely room in this space.

That said, how is this portfolio tracker better than the others? Also, do you support defi?

A few things that we think really separate us from the rest of the pack:

You can trade directly on any of your exchanges through the platform

You can create your own index funds and calculate the necessary trades to rebalance your portfolio based on your settings

We support automatic balance syncing using your public keys or read-only exchange api keys

All the research and pricing is packaged in the same place, so you don't have to jump between providers

We don't currently support layer 2 syncing, but we're working on implementing a solution ASAP as it's a commonly requested feature.

In the future, once we have our licenses, we will also be introducing portfolio automation so your portfolio can track your index seamlessly.

Are there any other features you would like to see?

Do you help and provide insight into taxes and potential tax savings? I recently learned that the wash rule doesn’t apply to crypto and it’s tips like that and how to effectively apply them that can provide immense value.

Also, it doesn’t look like you support BlockFi? Any plans to support them? Their reporting is mostly monthly pdf statements which I have to manually keep track of in spreadsheets.

Wash rule example. Let’s say in 2021 so far you crushed meme stocks and have a capital gains profit of $100k. Not so rockstar, you bought a large chuck of bitcoin at the top at $60,000. You can sell the bitcoin for a loss (wiping away the capital gains tax from the meme stocks) and then immediately buy back into Bitcoin. Yes, you pay fees or exchange premium, but worth it.

We currently don't provide these tax services but it's very much in the roadmap. We're already working with accountants to make sure that we can support specific identification at the point of trade so you can optimize your tax implications before you place your trade!

We don't support automated BlockFi syncing yet, due to a limited API, but we're always open to intros to get them integrated. If you don't see them in our wallet list, let us know and we'll add them to the index.

Regarding your wash rule example, we can take it a step further, eventually! Let's say you bought 1 BTC each at $12k in 2018, 6k in 2019, and $20k in 2021 and you wanted to sell 1 BTC at the top for $60k. We could help you specifically identify the BTC you bought at $12k so you could pay capital gains on a $48k gain instead of income tax on a $40k gain. This is uniquely possible because we have the full view of all your exchange venues.

Awesome stuff in the pipeline and thanks for the reply. I'd love for BlockFi to be supported, but unfortunately I don't see them opening up their entire platform via API anytime soon.

I’m back to excel because Defi smart contracts are not tracked by anyone

Zapper.fi is okay but only considers the most popular contracts where all the yield is already gone

Thats a market need for me, good luck guys

Thanks @vmception. We've gotten a lot of feedback today and the Defi smart contract tracking seems to be the biggest pain point. We'll definitely be prioritizing the feature over our next couple sprints.

Keep an eye out for updates!

Oh no, FICORA used to be stingy with who gets a Finnish TLD, but the whois doesn't even have contact details. This company doesn't even have a Y-tunnus.

We feel ya, and more in-depth Defi integration is one of our most requested features. What specific Defi services would be most helpful to you?

Yield farms and yield farm aggregators come and go every day. Even established services deploy new contracts with different features arbitrarily.

There is no specific one.

But for example I was yield farming on Quickswap 4 months ago and nobody had even implemented the Polygon blockchain for tracking any interaction. Coinstats only did it like two weeks ago. Its bad.

I also don't reuse addresses most of the time, so other services have problems with tracking multiple addresses.

And finally I wish any service had an offline executable, because to me it defeats the purpose to give an online service all of my addresses under a single userid to watch even if they do track multiple addresses.

The homepage displays the wrong price for cryptos (says Bitcoin is 33k but it's above 36k)

Thanks for catching that. Looks like we have a caching issue for the landing page, but our live prices at live.hedgehog.app are correct.

We'll fix that ASAP!

And it’s fixed!

Hi Taylor, Colton and Jason: Great launch and wish you the best. Few issues with login and registration, hope they cleared out. I always thought about a gateway tool or a manager like this without worrying about multiple logins and apps.

Question: Are you also thinking about adding tax related insights when you pull portfolio?

Thanks! Appreciate it. We've had a couple issues related to the cache recently, but I've been re-doing the registration / login flow as well.

In terms of taxes: Absolutely! We've actually been really excited about that side of things for a while, specifically in relation to specific identification tax analysis. What that basically means is that if you bought Bitcoin: (a) in 2017 at $20k (b) in March at $60k (c) and then a few weeks ago at $35k

If you were to sell BTC today at $38k, you should be able to say "Hey! I want to sell the BTC I bought in lot (b), but not the ones from (a) or (c)" since that's technically sell at a loss. The trick to this is that you have to make that designation within 10 days of selling, so the tax feature has to actually be integrated into the trading platform itself.

There are a bunch of things we need to do before we can effectively launch that feature, but it gets me excited every time someone asks.

On my iPhone SE (mobile Safari), elements are being truncated on the right side of the screen, meaning I can’t view all the data. I’m not near a laptop right now, but I wonder if you’re forgetting:

  * { box-sizing: border-box: }

Probably. I've been wondering how to test and fix this issue actually, since it shows up on my local devices just fine.

Is that styling something that needs to applied to the entire page wrapper as a whole?

Cool product. Just one question and one suggestion:

- How did you come up with the name? Any interesting stories there? Isaiah Berlin reference, possibly?

- On an iPhone 7, the sections at the bottom are cut off. The graph and the image links below it trail off the page.

- there are bear markets and bull markets and for everything in between there are hedgehogs poised to hog the hedges

- thanks for the bug report on the iPhone 7! we'll check it out and get if fixed

Cool, thanks!

"if we simply could have used a smart contract where money is automatically deposited upon project completion, we would have ensured payment."

What? I didn't know this was currently possible. Maybe you should make this your product.

It is possible! But everyone has to transact in cryptocurrency, which currently cuts out a large portion of the population due to usability issues.

Rest assured, that the guiding light for our company is to make such smart contracts easier to use for everyone, and we believe that going the legitimate route under financial regulation is the right way to make that happen.

Surely the issue lies in defining and determining when the project is "done", something that can't be handled by any smart contract.

Agreed, forgive me for reposting from another comment, but here's our perspective:

You are correct, for this smart contract to work you need defined rules around how the money is released should either party falsely claim success or failure, so you need to rely on automation or some third party to validate fulfillment of the contract. So you're back to an oracle problem, how do I know I can trust the validator?

The nice advancement here is that anyone can be that third party! Your smart contract can explicitly identify a third party for multisig, or you can rely on a validator pool of mechanical turks instead of a licensed escrow agent, and accordingly the cost of escrow can decrease.

The nice part is that this is customizable, and built into the very rails that move money. It's a much lower barrier to entry than trying to build something like that for ACH, and that's what excites us about cryptocurrency.

The thing is that smart contracts don’t solve the hard part, they solve the easy part, moving the money.

In well functioning countries that’s not even an issue at all, physical possession of the money is not very relevant. The important part is to determine who owns them.

Of course, if there is a third party that both sides trust, then you can indeed use smart contracts, but that’s exactly the situation where you don’t need them.

I’m sure someone can come up with niche use cases where so-called smart contracts have a substantial advantage, but they will not revolutionize finance.

Let's take a real world example: doing a 1031 exchange to get favorable tax treatment on a home sale.

Let's say that you have a property you want to sell, there's a buyer for your home, and there's a seller of a second property you want to exchange into. In order to lock the escrow on the property you want to buy, you first need to lock escrow with the buyer for your home, and prove the sale so that the bank will give you the mortgage for the rest of the second home.

This is a fairly complex transaction that happens all the time, and the solution is to try and wrangle as many as six parties (eg property holders, lien holders, lenders, and buyers) into communicating with each other to make this happen. It often takes months!

Now imagine that you have NFTs for each property that represents the title, the banks have a flash loan contract that validates all the prices for the NFT's using Chainlink or similar as an oracle, and there's an escrow contract that validates every leg of the contract will execute an atomic swap, or none at all. People do similar activities today, all the time in yield farming. If this was the status quo, such complicated transactions could be concluded in a day, across any jurisdiction that was willing to respect an NFT swap as a transfer of ownership.

There are definitely some gotchas here to work out, as we see all the time in cases like IRON and TITAN, but we believe that these are growing pains instead of permanent unsolvable show-stoppers. And we want to be ready for the day that such transactions are commonplace and approved by sovereign jurisdictions.

Love the look and feel of the site.

I had trouble connecting to Coinbase at first, as I guess the key I generated had too few permissions. It would be helpful if the modal specified exactly which API key permissions were required.

Thanks for the feedback @levi_n! We've added a space for notes in our database and are working on publishing walkthroughs for individual exchanges.

Please let us know if you run into any other speed bumps.

In the privacy policy it's stated that user data isn't shared with your nonaffiliates' to market to users and that data/information about your users' transactions and experiences is shared with your nonaffiliates, but it doesn't seem to state whether or not data/information about your users' transactions and experiences is or is not shared with nonaffiliates for non-marketing related purposes.

Is that data shared with your nonaffiliates?

In order to provide trade forwarding to your custodial exchange, we must send the necessary transaction request data back to your exchange, which is why the privacy policy says we share transactions with third parties.

We do not sell transaction or balance data to anyone, for marketing purposes or otherwise, nor do we tag this data with Personally Identifying Information.

Let us know if you have any other questions!

For portfolio tracking, does this support defi and eth layer 2 ? Like uniswap, matic etc ?

We support automated balance syncing currently, but we are not yet able to extract locked funds on layer 2. This is an important feature to our users and we're working on getting it out ASAP!

For now, our advice is to use the manual management in the Hedgehog wallet named after the project, or if we don't have the endpoint in our system yet, to record it as a Paper Wallet. If we don't support the wallet, let us know and we'll add it right away!

we do not support plugging into dexs yet but it is a focus. For now though, you can plug in any of your public addresses and we we will check block explorers to display the balance recorded on the blockchian or you can manually enter your balances. Either way, you can track your holdings in defi on our site, its just a bit more manual than we would like right now

Wow ! Awesome project...

1. Can I plug in my trading bots somehow on your app ?

2. How do you guys make money basicly ? Is there a monthly subscritpion or fees over exchange fees ?

Thanks @bibz38, we don't currently support trading bots through our API, but we will add it to our list of feature requests.

Also, we do not charge any fees for helping you trade on your own exchanges. Once we have the appropriate licenses, we will offer custodial accounts with us where we make money by keeping a piece of the "bid-ask spread", ie when we connect you to the best price anywhere, we can find a price so good that we can keep a small percentage of the sale and still give you a better price than you'd find on your own.

I can’t figure out how wallets work — signed up for an account, went to Wallets, tap on Trust, but nothing seems to happen. Is it supposed to switch the (iOS) Trust app and prompt for my Ethereum address(es)?

PS: asking because I work on an iOS/Android wallet app and would love to provide integration if reasonable. So researching from that angle.

Hey @hboon, we don't yet have direct wallet integration or deep links, but it's in the roadmap. We'd like to integrate walletconnect.org, walletlink.org, metamask, or similar.

Currently, adding wallets to Hedgehog lets you add a public address that can be scraped for transactions and balances, or an api key if the wallet is an exchange.

I’ll definitely be checking this one out!

One thing I’m curious about: Will you be looking adding functionality that allows tracking of tokens that are staked using various DeFi services?

All the other portfolio trackers loose track of your coins the minute you add them to a pool. With so many DeFi services around, it’s easy to loose track of where one put ones tokens.

Absolutely. We're trying to sketch out the solution to that right now. It's kinda complicated, but from a high-level it seems to require either tracking on-chain address contracts or case-by-case api integrations. DeFi connections are one of the our most requested features, and honestly we want to keep track of our own holdings there as well

Curious how you'll tackle the "learn" part, except for linking to a bunch of resources like you currently do.

What would you like to see? We are always trying to make resources easier to digest, and scaffold the learning process for new users. Many people don't understand that there are many different kinds of cryptocurrency with different purposes, so we tried to include a variety of sources in the Learn section, and expanded on some examples through our Discover page.

We also have an on-boarding flow when you login that attempts to give you a little more hand-holding on acquiring your first cryptocurrencies if you report that you don't own any, but we're still early in building out these features.

It's a tough nut to crack, because really understanding it all requires knowledge of distributed systems, finance, cooperative game theory, and cryptography. But we're going to do our best to make it understandable for all.

(I am not the original poster but I run product and this response "triggered" me)

What the poster is saying: your 'brand' is making a promise to help people learn, and he's pointing out that you are not doing that. Your response of "how would you like us to do that?" is not reasonable. If you are making a promise you need to have a plan on the "how"

If your client could tell you how to educate them, they wouldn't need you to do that.

I don't mean this to sound as critical as it may come across. I am not a crypto guy so it's not my place to evaluate your offering holistically. It may be valuable and impressive, I can't tell. But just pointing out that your response on this one issue doesn't inspire confidence if I were to judge you solely on this data point.

Thanks for the candid feedback. We are constantly reevaluating our educational materials based on the confusions that our customers have, and we find that the best way to generate new material is to discover where the confusion lies. We definitely could have phrased the response better.

The deeper answer to the question of education is that we're specifically seeking licensing so that we can advise clients directly and execute transactions on their behalf. This way, we can get them to try cryptocurrency features and then teach them how to manage the transactions themselves.

This means that if clients want to take advantage of storage coins like Filecoin, Sia, or Storj, they can send us a file and we can do the complicated work of managing the transactions. Then once they see their file replicated across the globe, if they see the value we can walk them through executing their own transaction manually.

These are big dreams, but we have to take baby steps to get there.

What’s the business model? There’s no pricing or indication of motivation/support.

Our business model is to make markets and connect buyers with sellers. Buyers often have different prices than sellers, and when someone wants to buy for a higher price than another wants to sell, a market maker can keep the "spread" or the difference between the asking price and the bid.

We also have additional future revenue streams that we can earn through automated portfolio management fees, tax optimization, and more.

Can you clarify what you mean by motivation/support?

On first glance I thought users can trade directly on an exchange (where you have to pay a fee for a trade) through your platform. So now users have to pay a fee to the exchange AND to you. Is that correct?

We don't charge additional fees on top of what you're already paying to place a trade on an exchange, so if you want to buy BTC on Kraken through Hedgehog, we don't take a cut of that at all.

Now I am confused.

centralboy asked: > In other words, you route orders and users get worse prices because you MM yourself, also like traditional finance. It's a good business model for you but as a user I'd rather see transparency and a move towards DeFi where everyone is guaranteed the same execution.

And you confirmed his statement. So are you charging additional fees or not?

- right now as our product is, we do not make money because we do not charge additional fees if you trade through an api on one of your exchanges. - we are currently building our own custody wallet solution partnered with other companies where (without sharing any of the secret sauce) we will be able to connect our users with best priced transactions. In this solution, we plan to keep some of the discount spread for ourselves and pass along much of it to the user.

Sorry, I was on mobile. I meant: if the business model is clear then so is the motivation and thus it will be clear what expectations for support look like. I think having a clear indicator for what Hedgehog's motivation is (i.e. the business model) would help build trust in the product.

My fear is that I'll invest time and information into the product and then support will drop out because my goals won't be in alignment with Hedgehog's goals.

Why are your "live" prices completely out of sync? BTC is showing $33K for me right now whereas it's about 20% higher than that. ETH is showing 2.4K whereas it's around $2.2K.

It looks like our landing page ran into a caching issue, but the prices at https://live.hedgehog.app are up to date.

We're pushing a fix ASAP!

Aaaaaaand it’s fixed. Sorry about that. Landing page vs actual app caching differences are weird. Thanks for point out the bug though!

My moment has arrived.

Indeed sweet urchin, may you ever hog all the hedges!

"a fox knows many things, but a hedgehog knows one big thing"

Why have you hijacked my rightmouseclick on the homepage when I want to open the Privacy link (or apparently any other link in the footer) in another window? Why are you breaking simple, established HTML paradigms for opening and clicking links and ruining basic established usage patterns?

Hey spinax! I'm actually not sure what you mean, and nearly positive all those links are just standard buttons. Can you give me any more detail on the kind of behavior are you seeing?

*edit: This is definitely not intentional, and sounds like a bug.

I see the issue. Right clicking on the links in the footer acts as a left click and redirects you immediately rather than staying on the page and listing options for how to handle the link. We'll work to fix this immediately!

Oh weird. What browser is were you able to reproduce it on? I couldn't reproduce it on Mac/Brave. Right click worked as expected for me :/

I'm on FF 89 on macOS and see the same thing. I right-click a footer link and it takes me to the link while briefly seeing the context menu.

In Chrome on windows

...and I think this is fixed. Thanks for pointing out the bug!

How has YC helped you succeed?

What is your future roadmap?

How did you find Sonya to manage your social media and generally do your PR?

Lol, here I am reading the comments and I see a question about me (this is Sonya). I was connected to the founders by a mutual friend.

Regarding roadmap, check out Colton's comments: https://news.ycombinator.com/threads?id=cadillion

We're only a week into the official batch, which has been packed full of bootcamp classes on sales, marketing, analytics, product development, and fundraising, but the additional resources have been incredible. Various deals with former YC companies and other major service providers have already saved us a lot of money, and access to Work at a Startup helped us scale up our team very quickly. We're excited to see what else we'll learn over the next couple months with our group partners and our fellow founders.

In terms of future roadmap, we're looking at:

- Layer 2 contracts and additional wallet providers' balance synchronization

- A custodial wallet providing best execution on any exchange

- Automatic rebalancing, yield optimization, and tax-loss harvesting under an investment adviser license and money transmitter licenses

- Smart contract marketplaces and fiduciary, discretionary execution

Sonya got introduced to us through a mutual friend actually! We're completely stoked to have her working with us. :)

Wow, yet another GUI for https://github.com/ccxt/ccxt. What do you guys do that's any different?

We understand the skepticism, and we're grateful for the great work that the community has put into CCXT.

We've added a lot of features around the GUI, including a portfolio builder tool that helps you create and manage your own index fund, as well as balance management and multi-exchange price comparisons.

Not everyone feels comfortable in an IDE, so we want to make these tools easier to use for everyone!

Did you guys bootstrap ? Or did received venture capital?

We were completely bootstrapped until a few months ago, when we closed our seed round. Raising capital in the middle of a cryptocurrency bear market is...hard, to say the least.

We basically had to convince an Investors that a) cryptocurrency was growing, b) we were growing, and c) that we were growing faster than cryptocurrency, and it took us a while to nail that pitch and messaging.

I think the key turning point came when Colton and I burned and rebuilt the deck to be a little more fun. We've been best friends and business partners for about 10 years now, and we decided to lean into that in a 'finish each other's sentences' kind of way.

Seems like coinstats.app is a more polished solution as a portfolio manager. Some of the other features could be interesting though.

Hey Taylor, Colton, and Jason.

Congrats on the launch! Out of curiosity, what are the most popular wallets that your users are syncing with Hedgehog?


Most popular connected exchange (synced using apikeys):

- Coinbase / Coinbase Pro, Binance.US / Binance, KuCoin, Gemini, Kraken, BitMart, Gate.io

Most popular non-exchanges (which are synced using public addresses):

- Brave Browser, Ledger Nano S, Uniswap, Exodus, Coinbase Wallet, Trust Wallet, Trezor One, Jaxx

We have a little over 550 wallets on Hedgehog, but if you see a wallet missing from the site, let us know. Takes us about 10 minutes to add a new one into the system

*edit: formatting

I'm surprised Metamask isn't in the most popular non-exchange wallet list!

Just double checked and Metamask was literally the next one on the list.

I had no rhyme or reason for determining that cutoff point.

Login page is broken.

Oh yea, very interesting. Keep scrolling down, it fixed itself on my browser. Chrome 91.

Thanks for the browser report! We'll be pushing a fix soon.

Thanks for catching that! It looks like our service-worker is breaking the page while it pre-caches the app. It should revert to a clean page once all the files are downloaded.

We're putting out a fix ASAP!

When I made my browser window larger it fixed.


Can I buy drugs using this service? Because that is seriously the one and only legitimate use for cryptocurrencies that I've come across after 10 years of dabbling in this space.

Oh man. This is a can of worms.

...I’m not sure if you actually want to have a conversation about this or not though. Clearly I would disagree, but it feels like anything I say might not matter?

Tone never comes across well via text though, so just follow up here if you want to dive into it :)

No I'm serious, happy to have a conversation and will consider your arguments.

I should point out that I also think there may be some value in cross border remittance (something like XRPs use case). I do think smart contracts are largely useless though (oracle problem mainly).

I think it's very telling that Ethereum seems to only really have been used for crypto kitties and NFTs (I think we can all agree both are stupid). On the other hand way back when I first encountered the space (2014ish I think) I succesfully (and very easily) ordered high quality class A drugs (with BTC) with really good customer service and without having to deal in person with unsavory peoples (gang adjacent etc...).

EDIT: grammar

Well you can read the Chainalysis report yourself, if you like (https://blog.chainalysis.com/reports/2021-crypto-crime-repor...) and compare it to the UN's Office on Drugs and Crime (https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/money-laundering/overview.htm...). Chainalysis works with US law enforcement to track and eliminate illicit activity via cryptocurrency.

It turns out that illicit activity has dropped precipitously as a proportion of all cryptocurrency volume, and in reality proportionally less money is spent on crime with crypto than world fiat (0.34% in crypto via Chainalysis vs 2-5% in fiat via United Nations). On a pure cash basis, it's not even close ($10 billion in crypto, $1.6 - $4 trillion in fiat).

We definitely encourage you to check out our Discover page (https://live.hedgehog.app/discover), because the space has evolved a lot since 2014. From storage coins like Filecoin, Sia, and Storj; to oracles/prediction markets like Augur, Gnosis, and Chainlink; to cross-chain shims like ThorChain, Ark, or Polkadot.

We might be in the peak of inflated expectations, and the trough of disillusionment could be just ahead, but that doesn't mean that the plateau of productivity isn't right around the corner.

Here's a spin: Until now we have never had any kind of tracking for how much money is being spent on extra-legal drugs. Now we have a way to get the data that is needed for informed policy.

nice, this looks impressive, frontend could use some work tho

Thanks @nathias. Please let us know if you run into any issues or if you have any feature requests!

I'm not sure if you're supporting firefox and which version, but on nightly for linux the register screen is wonky and isn't correctly full-screened.

Much appreciated, we've added it to our issue tracker. Keep 'em coming!

isn't this just blockfolio?

Blockfolio has a subset of our functionality, but they have no intention to move into the advising space. Once we have our licenses, we plan to take full advantage of the different opportunities made possible by cryptocurrency and make these technologies more accessible to the average person.

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