Cryptocurrency security is a concern to anyone who has a significant amount of money in the form of Bitcoin, Ethereum, or other crypto assets. Most Bitcoin is held in either a Bitcoin wallet or a Bitcoin bank.
Your Bitcoin holdings are recorded on a public ledger. You access these holdings by authenticating with your private key. A Bitcoin wallet could be described more accurately as a Bitcoin keyring. Securing your Bitcoin wallet is about securing that private key. Just as there are many different ways to secure any individual piece of text, there are many ways to secure a Bitcoin private key.
A Bitcoin “bank” is a term that can be used to describe institutions such as Coinbase. Coinbase takes the technology of the Bitcoin wallet and wraps it in additional layers of security, identity, and failover that we associate with banks and large technology companies.
By using a Bitcoin bank, you sacrifice the autonomy of managing your own private key. On the bright side, you don’t have to manage your own private key. If you lose your Coinbase password, there are plenty of ways to recover it. A Bitcoin bank gives you the downsides and the upsides of working with a centralized service provider.
Jameson Lopp is a cypherpunk and cryptocurrency engineer at Casa. Casa is a company that is building long-term cryptocurrency storage and secure key infrastructure. In this episode, we explore how Bitcoin wallets work, how to secure them, the common threats, scams and hacking attempts of Bitcoin, and what he is working on at Casa.
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