It’s not just a matter of convenience; it’s a question of safety. Because, as we’ve seen in the past few weeks, there is no more convenient way to store your money than paper notes and coins, there is no more certain way to lose your money than storing it in a bank account or using a credit card. And because you can’t really do anything with crypto except move money around and make payments, it is one-of-a-kind safe haven.
But all that means that you have to take your crypto seriously. It’s not just another investment. And if you do take it seriously, you’ll find that Crypto isn’t so scary after all.
Crypto takes only a few minutes to set up, with little risk of losing your money since most cryptocurrencies are not stored online. Once installed, you can use Crypto like cash or checks at places that take them; you can use Crypto anywhere Visa or MasterCard are accepted (including online). You can even use Crypto to make purchases with mobile apps on your phone.
You don’t need any complicated tools or apps or software to get started; Crypto works just like ordinary currency, and it’s very easy for beginners to learn how to use it.
No wonder more than 200 million
It’s important to keep your crypto safe. I’ve had a few people write in over the years asking why I’m so worried about things that are obviously secure. Most of us have made the mistake of not keeping our keys safe, and we’ve lost money as a result. The typical exchange will take all of the funds you hold in their cryptos at any given moment, in an instant. If you’ve been doing this for a while, you may have more than one cryptocurrency, and each one is stored on a different exchange.
If all those exchanges suddenly go belly-up, there’s nothing left for you to buy with your money. Your computer still has your . . . well, your cryptos, but no way to get them out unless you have somewhere to store them where they can’t be accessed. You could try moving them into a totally different kind of coin that has no connection to anything else, but that still means they’re not safe either.
So what do you do? I’m going to give you three options: 1) You can create your own private key and store it safely on a piece of paper or in some other physical form (such as a ring or necklace), then make sure it gets destroyed when you die; 2)
I’ve recently been using the term “crypto safety” to describe a few things, which I feel are all related. The first is keeping your crypto safe from hacking. The second is protecting yourself from the possibility of some kind of government regulation or control. And the third is protecting your privacy, in particular from hackers who want to steal your crypto and use it for malicious purposes.
I’ll be talking about all three, but I’ll start with privacy and hacking. There are two kinds of people who care about privacy: those who have something to hide and those who don’t. As far as I can tell, everyone has something to hide at some point in their life, whether they admit it or not.
This is also true for hackers. Some of them do it because they want to get money; others do it because they’re bored; others do it simply because they enjoy breaking things. A more pressing motivation for many hackers might be a desire to gain access to other peoples’ computers—to see what they’re doing, steal information from them, or hack into their accounts and steal their crypto.
There’s no one way to protect oneself from hacking attacks. It depends on how much you value your privacy and how much you think you should trust other people
The most common way to lose your crypto is not to lose the private keys. Your computer can be compromised. Your wallet can be hacked. (And this is where I recommend you use an offline wallet for any untrustworthy site.)
The most common way to lose your crypto is not to take steps to make sure that it’s safe in the first place.
It’s not that hard, but it does require some familiarity with a few fundamental concepts.
At a recent Crypto Summit, Jeremy Gardner, an angel investor and founder of the crypto fund Augur, said: “I think crypto is the only thing that will make me cry.” He wasn’t kidding. Like many people who are excited about the promise of crypto and blockchain technology, he’s put a lot of his personal wealth and even life savings into it.
And he’s not alone. Many people have been putting their money where their mouth is, including people I know personally. In fact, one reason I wrote this blog is to help those people be more thoughtful about the risks they’re taking. “The best thing you can do for your portfolio,” I wrote in my last blog on cybersecurity, “is to take the right amount of risk.”
As bitcoin’s price continues to climb after a bearish start to the year, many are asking themselves: Should I buy Bitcoin?
But before you do, take a minute to consider this.
Bitcoin is still relatively new. It has been around for less than ten years, and it has only been around for eight years since its genesis block was created on January 3rd of 2009. In that time there have been many different altcoins that have come and gone. Some have changed their names and some have not. Some have experienced short bursts from success that ended quickly but others continue to grow in value, despite little media attention. The total market capitalization of all digital currencies is currently at just over $100 billion, which is a far cry from the $6 trillion it once was and down from the peak at the end of last year when it was well above $800 billion.
However, one thing that remains constant is how dangerous these digital currencies can be if you aren’t careful with them. While many people are aware of the risks associated with bitcoins, they are often not aware of the dangers other digital currencies can pose as well. As a result of this lack of awareness, many people are losing their hard earned money on these virtual currencies without even realizing
If you have a digital wallet, it’s easy to send someone money but not easy to get it back. If you are using a cryptocurrency that is based on an open blockchain like Bitcoin or Ethereum, the first problem is solved. You can simply go to the ledger and prove you have what you say you have. But if your wallet is on a private system like Apple’s App Store or Microsoft’s Windows Store, it’s not so simple. The ledger is online, but the app and the operating system are not.
Apple has taken some steps. In its latest update to iOS, it added two-factor authentication for all transactions. This means that no one can access your account without two specific pieces of information: an authentication code sent by text message or a password protected email address. This is already more than many sites ask for – previously only Google and Dropbox required this level of protection – but Apple still doesn’t offer two-factor authentication for non-Apple apps. And even when you use the Apple wallet, there is nothing to stop someone from getting your authentication codes by stealing your phone or cracking the password on your email account.