Given the prevalence of bank accounts in the modern world, and the necessity of having one in first world countries, it would be easy to assume that there are only a small number of people on the planet without a bank account. This assertion would be incorrect, in fact, a large number of people do not have a bank account at all. Considering the huge buzz centered around cryptocurrencies, it is also surprising to see that there are a large number of inactive accounts within the cryptocurrency space.
Inactive Bank Accounts
In 2018, the World Bank released information pertaining to the current climate for global financial inclusion. The provided figures give an unprecedented look into the subject. The data from the World Bank showed that despite the fact that 67% of the world’s population had a bank account in 2017, up from 61% in 2014, growth may be slower than we think. Of the increase in that three year period, 80% of those new accounts are currently inactive. Meaning that they have had no ingoing or outgoing transactions for over a year. When you only apply active accounts to the percentages, the share of people with a bank account increased from 52% to 53%, which is a much smaller improvement. The survey from the World Bank included answers from 150,000 participants.
The number of inactive accounts is of concern to financial institutions because if a user doesn’t consistently utilize their account, they will not be able to attain the benefits that the account provides, furthermore, those accounts also provide minuscule value to the issuers of the accounts. Only inactive accounts with large balances will be able to generate value for the bank and the customer.
Out of all of the different countries surveyed, it was found that the countries with the largest populations, China and India were also the countries with the most financially excluded people. The survey also gave the participants the opportunity to explain their reasons for not having a bank account. The figures show that the main reasons for exclusion are a lack of access to money, the cost of using the services, access to services and a lack of trust in financial institutions. With the World Bank only having one more year left until the deadline for their Universal Finance Access by 2020, they will need to think about the realistic deadline for UFA and how the steps they are going to take to achieve this goal. The World Bank has pledged to aid the inclusion of 1 Billion people, Visa, Mastercard, and GSMA have pledged a collective 1.5 Billion people, along with other institutions also making pledges.
Inactive Crypto Accounts
It is obviously going to take a lot longer for cryptocurrencies to see universal use across the world than it is for bank accounts, however, that does not mean that cryptocurrencies are doing badly with the accounts that they have now. In fact, Bloomberg, using information gained by market research firm Flipside Crypto has stated that an unprecedented number of previously inactive Bitcoin wallets have become active again. Delving further into the figures shows that the number of Bitcoin wallets that have been inactive for a period of 1-6 months had dropped by 40% between March and April 2019. This caused a surge in the price of Bitcoin at the time and was indicative of people warming up to the idea of buying Bitcoin again. One of the biggest concerns with inactive cryptocurrency accounts within the market is those of large cryptocurrency Whales. These are individuals with huge cryptocurrency holdings, with the transfer of said holdings being able to directly influence the market price of Bitcoin. For example, there are currently concerns about a dormant Bitcoin Whale, holding 80,000 Bitcoins. This is worth over $700 Million and if this Whale decides to cash in on their holdings, it could cause a market crash, according to analysts at Whale Alert. People in the market are valid in their concerns about previously inactive Whales, as it was found in December 2018 that $1.5 Billion worth of Bitcoin was transferred from previously dormant cryptocurrency wallets, with a concerning number of these transactions being from the top-20 Bitcoin wallets. For example, one such wallet has been dormant since 2013 and moved over 60,000 Bitcoin, worth $245 Million to an unknown address. The concerns stem from the fact that Whales are also known to crash the market price after selling, so they can purchase more cryptocurrencies at a lower price, holding until they can flood the market again. In fact, the top 3 cryptocurrency wallets that have been dormant for 5 or more years have a collective total of over 150,000 Bitcoins, which is a mind-boggling amount. Outside of the top three, there are a number of users with holdings of over 10,000 Bitcoins. This is a large amount of value stored within inactive wallets. One of the biggest questions that normally surrounds these inactive wallets is the reason for the wallet being inactive in the first place. Due to the high level of anonymity behind cryptocurrencies, we rarely ever learn the reasons for this inactivity, although the most commonly given reasons are, the loss of private keys, the incapacitation of the wallet holder, the holder is continuing to hold for a future sale, or the owner forgot about their holdings. Only time will tell as to whether or not these dormant accounts will “wake up” in the future and sell their holdings, although the marketplace is aware of the potential consequences of such an event occurring.
The most grievous security breaches in the crypto world come from hacks and when a hack occurs and there are either, a large number of victims, large losses, or both, the media will draw attention to this straight away. Despite this, smaller successful hacks will hardly go reported. In fact, Foley and Lardner have published a report stating that that 71% of the most prominent cryptocurrency traders and investors believe that theft is the biggest risk plaguing the industry.
Be Careful Of Applications on App Stores
There is a larger proportion of Android users falling victim to hacks, due to the fact that their operating system does not use two-factor authentication. Forbes has claimed that due to the open operating system preferred by Android, it makes it less secure than iOS. Hackers have been known to create apps on behalf of cryptocurrency sites on the Google Play Store. The most well-known case of cryptocurrency users experiencing a hack through an app on the Play Store occurred in October 2017. Poloniex is an American cryptocurrency exchanged, which suffered hackers posting a fake app onto the Google App Store, which faked the role of a mobile gateway for the exchange. Traders wrongly downloaded the app and their personal information was stolen, with malware analyst Lukas Stefanko, stating that 5,500 users had been effected before the fake app was removed from the store. How to Avoid This Issue:If you are unsure about the legitimacy of an app, the first thing you should do is visit the website for the project. Usually, from the website, there will be a direct link to a valid app. You should also make sure that two-factor authentication is enabled on your apps, to add another layer of security and should avoid downloading apps that you do not need
During October 2017, an irreparable flaw was discovered in the WiFi-Protected-Access Protocol. It became possible for attackers to use a KRACK attack to cause the user’s mobile device to connect to the hacker’s network. From this, any information that would pass through the WiFI network would be available to the hackers. This includes private keys for cryptocurrency wallets and these risks are most prevalent in high-traffic areas such as railway stations and airports. How to Avoid This Issue:It is never worth it to make a cryptocurrency transaction on a public WiFI network, all it takes is one KRACK attack and you will likely lose your holdings. Just make the safe choice and wait until you are on a secure network. You should also always update the firmware on your router to ensure the best possible security.
Fake websites or site cloning has been a method of attack since the beginning of the internet boom. This method of phishing has remained in popular use in the current age of the internet. One way in which an attacker can do this is by registering a domain that is one letter short of the official address. Hackers will then clone the entire website in the hope that internet users will not notice their error and will put their personal details into the site, allowing the scammers to steal their information. Alternatively, attackers may send an email to cryptocurrency users, perfectly copying the communications sent from official cryptocurrency projects. Within these communications, they will encourage users to click on a link in the text, prompting them to put in their personal details, allowing attackers to steal them. A report by Chainalysis has estimated that $225 Million has been lost as a result of cryptocurrency phishing scams.
How to Avoid This Issue:One of the best ways to avoid this issue altogether is to bookmark the correct websites that you will be regularly visiting, this way you do not need to worry about typing the link incorrectly. You also need to remember that you should never give your personal information to anyone, no legitimate business would ask you for your account details over email.
Cryptojacking is a rapidly expanding problem within the cryptocurrency community, with 2.9 Million instances recorded in the first quarter of 2018, which was a 625% from the final quarter of the previous year according to a report by McAfee. Cryptojacking itself is a type of attack, whereby the attacker will place malware on the victim’s computer, which operates hidden crypto-mining activities on the computer itself. There are some types of cryptojacking malware that can also read the personal information stored on your computer, and as a consequence of this the attacker may not only be able to freeload from a person’s computer, but they can also transfer the victim’s cryptocurrency holding to their own wallet. How to Avoid This Issue:One method of preventing cryptojacking from occurring would be to invest in high-quality antivirus and anti-malware software. Such software would be able to detect any malicious programs and can remove them from your computer. Another prudent measure that you can take would be to avoid downloading software from unverified locations, as these locations carry the greatest risk.
It’s not a guarantee that an add-on designed for your browser is going to be safe. In 2018, the MEGA Google Chrome extension was replaced by hidden malicious code that was said to be able to harvest sensitive information from sites that its users visited. Tens of millions of people downloaded the addon and were put at risk, even though it was initially believed that the risk only pertained to popular sites like Google and Facebook.
The opposite was confirmed when Riccardo Spagni, a Monevo developer confirmed that both Monero and Ethereum private keys could also be harvested by the addon. ZDNet later released a report confirming the damage done by the MEGA extension, which Google pulled from the Chrome repository, stating that Google, Amazon, Github and other organizations had been affected by the breach. How to Avoid This Issue:One of the easiest ways to ensure you are not a victim to dodgy add-ons is to not download a large number of add-ons that you don’t actually need. The less you download, the lower your risk of vulnerability. Furthermore, if you do need to download a browser add-on, you should conduct a bit of due diligence and look around the internet for further information on said add-on before downloading.
Lack of Common Sense
One of the main reasons that people fall victim to thieves, wanting to steal their information is due to carelessness. It must be realized that when handling valuable assets such as cryptocurrencies, you are always going to need to do your due diligence and maintain a high level of alertness. In closing, there are a few other things to consider that will greatly increase the security of your cryptos. Firstly, you should never share your private keys with anyone, no matter the circumstances. Secondly, if you have your private keys in a physical format, you should always keep them in a secure location, such as a safe. You should keep your anti-virus and malware protection up to date to ensure that whilst you are online, you are at minimal risk of falling victim to a cyberattack. Going further from your private keys, you should also never share your personal details with anyone, be careful of hackers posing as cryptocurrency projects through email, as legitimate businesses will never ask for your details in this way.
We have removed our product from the Facebook Audience Network
A few months ago we stopped showing ads in order to prevent any possibility of improper use of the private data of our customers. We respect the privacy of our customers and want to make sure that our product remains free of invasive advertising.
To protect the rights of Coin Wallet customers to retain full control of their personal information during online crypto transactions, we have removed our product from the Facebook Audience Network. This decision was made after significant deliberation. Below, we outline how we came to this decision and what Coin Wallet customers can expect moving forward.
Why Facebook advertising is bad for privacy
Social networks like Facebook or Google have become ubiquitous with internet use. With their buttons and widgets installed on millions of websites, they have unprecedented power to target users for advertisements. The Cambridge Analytica scandal and other recent cases have raised public concerns about the misuse of public data. Despite this, Facebook continues strategic partnerships with dozens of tech conglomerates like Microsoft and Amazon that access user information in exchange for certain promotion services.
Facebook does not only track the activity logs, private chats, and user-uploaded content on its own social media platforms. It also actively pursues collecting user data all over the Internet. Through permanent trackers embedded in their advertising widgets and ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons, the company can follow users across websites and apps that participate in the Facebook Audience Network.
The most important information about you for the company is not what’s written on your Facebook profile. It’s what you do on your device throughout the day. For example, if you use a fitness app that hosts advertisements, Facebook is able to identify you as the target audience for workout apparel. Using this data made available to them by Facebook, workout apparel companies know to target their advertisements to you via apps, Instagram, and other channels in the Audience Network.
So far, the existing integration of Audience Network and services provided by Facebook and Instagram allows Facebook to map the browsing behavior and activities of the vast majority of users. Apart from GDPR regulations on cookie usage, electronic data collection activities are not comprehensively regulated by any legislation and pose a significant threat to users’ digital rights. They can lead to unsolicited profiling of the audience and manipulation of consumer behavior.
What we’ve done about it
Each crypto wallet contains highly sensitive financial information. At Coin Wallet, we are committed to providing customers the highest level of security and privacy. Not sharing wallet data with third parties is an essential piece of this. In line with this position, we have eliminated all ads completely from our product and barred Facebook from accessing customer data or tracking their usage of Coin Wallet.
As usual, we continue to guard the personal data of all our customers with stringent security measures. These include AES-256 encryption and BIP 39 passphrase encryption. We never reuse addresses and always enable safe access to the web version with Tor or VPNs. This ensures the total privacy and anonymity of your transactions, even to us.
Our data policy reflects our commitment to safeguarding user privacy to the highest extent. If crypto exchanges and other industry service providers adopt these steps, the security of crypto investors can be significantly increased.
Cyber Security is of enormous importance in this modern age. Ensuring the safety of your personal information, account passwords, and digital assets is crucial — especially with the significant rise in cybercrime over the last decade.
According to Accenture, security breaches have skyrocketed by 67% over the last 5 years.
Cybercriminals are using many malicious tools, such as malware, ransomware, and viruses, to target individuals. But these malicious tools aren’t just designed to access your sensitive information. As the popularity of cryptocurrency has risen dramatically over the last few years, cyberattacks on cryptocurrency holders have also increased. Many reputable cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance, have also been the victim of security breaches.
Some crypto users have also become victims of fake cryptocurrency wallets — having their holdings stolen as soon as they transfer them. Keeping your crypto and other digital assets safe is imperative. In this article, we’re going to provide you with a list of tips to improve your cybersecurity — keeping your crypto portfolio safe from cybercriminals.
Tips On Keeping Your Crypto Wallet Secure:
Keep Your Private Key & Recovery Phrase Safe:
This may seem obvious, but ensuring that your crypto wallet’s private key and recovery phrase are kept safe is crucial. To do this, you want to keep multiple copies of both your private key and recovery phrase. The best way to do this would be to write your private key and recovery phrase on a sheet of paper and keep them hidden somewhere secure. Keeping an offline backup of your wallet keys and recovery phrases in a trust location is essential if you want to ensure the security of your crypto holdings.
Bonus tip: To further protect your private key and recovery phrase, you can split each into two or more pieces — storing them in separate locations. This is definitely something you should consider if you’re going to store your sensitive data on a computer or online.
Consider Hardware Wallets
Also known as “cold storage”, cryptocurrency hardware wallets enable you to store your cryptos and other digital assets offline securely. Hardware wallets are becoming increasingly popular amongst crypto enthusiasts looking to store their holdings offline securely — the market is expected to boom to nearly $500 million in 5 years.
You can easily connect USB hardware wallets to your computer — where you can safely manage your crypto holdings. You will be able to send crypto to your hardware wallet’s address directly from your current wallet.
We recommend storing larger amounts of crypto on a hardware wallet and only keeping small amounts on your online wallet for day-to-day use. There are many hardware wallet solutions available on the market. The most notable brands include Ledger and Trezor.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is one of the best ways to ensure the safety of your crypto wallet. 2FA offers an extra layer of password security to your crypto wallet. Many popular wallets offer two-factor authentication as standard — you can easily set this up in your account settings. You’ll be able to connect your crypto wallet account with a 2FA app such as Google Authenticator. The app will generate time-based one-time passwords, refreshing every 30 seconds.
Alternatively, many wallet providers will give you the ability to receive SMS or email alerts, providing you with a specific code every time you want to log into your account — keeping you one step ahead of hackers.
Never Store Your Details Online
This goes without saying — storing your private keys or your recovery phrase online could be a bad decision. Notable crypto investors have reportedly had their holdings stolen due to storing their wallet details online. Storing your private wallet data online can leave you vulnerable to having your wallet access by cybercriminals. Avoid saving your sensitive data on emails, social network sites, or note-keeping platforms such as Evernote.
If you must store your details online, it’s best to follow our advice above — split your data into multiple pieces and store each piece in a different location. Even if cybercriminals can gain access to one part of your data, they won’t be able to access your crypto wallet without all the pieces of your private key or recovery phrase.
Use VPNs When Logging In
This point is extremely important if you’re traveling to different locations — away from your home network — and decide to use public Wi-Fi. We strongly recommend using a reputable VPN service if you’re going to access your online crypto wallet using a public Wi-Fi connection. Free internet connections are notorious for having cybercriminals breach the network, gaining access to sensitive information from all individuals using the network.
This is why using a trust VPN provider, is imperative when access your crypto holdings using public internet connections.
Installing Antivirus Software
Installing a trusted, advanced antivirus software onto your computer or mobile device is essential in this digital age. Malware has been on the rise over the last 10 years — with hackers now targeting cryptocurrency users with malware.
Antivirus software providers, such as Norton, will equip you will all the essential cybersecurity tools. This will enable you to secure all of the information stored locally on your device and help you protect your device from cryptojacking. Most antivirus software providers will also have integrated web protection — using advanced AI and machine learning techniques to detect potential threats, such as malware and phishing attacks — helping to protect all of your sensitive information from hackers.
Using antivirus software eliminates the threat posed by online criminals when you’re logging into — and using — your online crypto wallet.
Always Download A Trusted Wallet
With the rise in fake cryptocurrency wallets and apps, it’s more important than ever to ensure you’ve downloaded a trusted wallet. Always double-check the developers behind your chosen wallet — even if the wallet or app is available on a reputable app store such as Google Play or the App Store. CoinSpace, provides a collection of trusted, verified cryptocurrency wallets to store Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and more.
You can be faced with many cybersecurity risks — especially when you’re storing your cryptocurrency and crypto wallet data online. Using the tips in this article will help you to significantly increase your cybersecurity measures, reducing the risks posed by crypto wallet hackers and other cybercriminals. Being proactive is the key to great cybersecurity. By using a combination of the practices outlined above — especially cold storage, two-factor authentication, and antivirus software — you will be able to securely store and transact your crypto without having to worry about becoming a victim of cybercrime.
Be safe & secure: We highly recommend that you read our guide on How to Prevent Loss & Theft for some recommendations on how to be proactive about your security.
Always backup your key: Coin. You do not create an account or give us your funds to hold onto. No data leaves your computer / your browser. We make it easy for you to create, save, and access your information and interact with the blockchain.
Translations of Coin: The community has done an amazing job translating Coin into a variety of languages. However, Coin can only verify the validity and accuracy of the information provided in English and, because of this, the English version of our website is the official text.
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