Tag Archives: bitcoin

Bitcoin (BTC) Meets New Year with a Slide

Bitcoin (BTC) Meets New Year with a Slide

BTC is once again teetering on the edge of a price drop, as the $7,300 support level was lost again.

Bitcoin (BTC) will end 2019 on a downward note, after breaking down below the $7,300 support level.

BTC failed to rally after breaking above $7,500, and the latest gains turned into just a short-term weekend rally. On the last day of 2019, BTC sank to $7,277.66, re-sparking fears of a deepening downward trend and a search for new lows. Until the last moment, it has been highly uncertain what direction the leading coin could take. BTC trading volumes were also unwinding, down to about $22 billion’s equivalent in 24 hours. The BTC market cap dominance is stuck at 68.2%, as altcoins once again slid even faster. For 2020, the consensus is that BTC may move sideways, or go through a slide retesting continued lows. There is cautious optimism that a rally will be possible, though few expect a direct path to much higher valuations. In the last month, BTC broke out above several resistance levels, but those moves failed to spark a bigger rally. The leading asset essentially remained stuck, unable to break above $8,000 again.

Renewed predictions see $7,800 as the new potential resistance level that, if turned into support, could lead the BTC price to a higher range of stability. But unlike earlier years, BTC volatility is down again. The BTC volatility index shrank from about 4% to 3%, as prices move in a smaller range. Crypto sentiment has been on the negative side toward the end of 2020, and the mood may continue in 2020. The question now is whether BTC would gain enough support to retain stability, or would plunge to a temporary low. For 2020, extreme predictions include new highs, repeating usual numbers of $20 to $50,000. Extreme lows predicted by Peter Schiff see BTC slide as low as $1,000. The more conservative prediction see BTC making a temporary low at $5,000, but also possibly recovering to the $10,000 range.

Article Produced By
Christine Masters

Business writer with a knack for bubbles and market madness. Has tracked it all: the financial crisis of 2008 and the implosion of Lehman Brothers; bank bailouts and peak gold and silver, penny stocks…and now Christine has moved to cryptocurrencies for fresh stories.

https://cryptovest.com/news/bitcoin-btc-meets-new-year-with-a-slide/

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Bitcoin Corrects Above the Steep Low Price and Appears Bullish

 

Bitcoin Corrects Above the Steep Low Price and Appears Bullish

  • Bitcoin (BTC), at the time of penning down, was seen accumulating below 38.20% Fib Level and above the weekly low at $9,580.20

  • BTC/USD lacks support from the 200-day daily MA while the 50-day MA is providing an immediate support
  • This time the correction below $10,000 has led the coin to test supports as low as $9,200 as it nosedived steeply within a few minutes
  • The current market for BTC is not projecting any haphazard volatility in the upcoming days

This week Bitcoin price faces rejection above $10,300 as it crashed to $9,200 in no time, marking a regression of over 10%. The “golden crossover” that was anticipated to bring bullish divergence has started with a notable pullback. We do not consider this as an onset of the bear market because the technical indicators appear bullish.

Bitcoin Price Analysis

Analyzing the intraday movement of BTC/USD on Coinbase, we see that that the coin has faced an unpredictable, volatile fall and test support around $9,200. The intraday positive correction taking place today has led the Bitcoin to trade around $9,500 and that is the reason the technicals appear bullish. With this, the price trend is slightly below 38.20% Fib Retracement level and awaits a push to have a persistent trade above $10,000, followed by $10,500 and beyond. Bitcoin has been performing well since the start of the year 2020 and the two events, i.e.,

  • The “golden crossover” that recently happened after April 2019 and,
  • Bitcoin Halving that is going to take place in May 2020,

have been the major pushes to turn an anguished trade into gaining impressive positions. However, now there is no specific reason for a price correction as we believed a strong rally to happen, and therefore, we believe this to be a temporary pullback. Also, the altcoins have turned red and have reported notable dips over the past 24 hours.

Technical Indicators:

The technicals appear bullish as the intraday corrections have lured the BTC whales, and the MACD line crosses above the signal line. While the RSI of the coin is at 47.68 and has risen above the selling pressure with no trading extremities at present.

Article Produced By
Mehak Punjabi

Mehak Punjabi is a post graduate in MBA with specialization in Finance and has joined CryptonewsZ with a skill building view in the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain. She is dynamic and a quick learner with a hold on financial analysis.

https://www.cryptonewsz.com/bitcoin-corrects-above-the-steep-low-price-and-appears-bullish/59120/

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Bitcoin (BTC) Impressively and Bullishly Inclines Towards $9,800

Bitcoin (BTC) Impressively and Bullishly Inclines Towards $9,800

Bitcoin, at the time of writing, was trading above $9,700 and observing a price accumulation

after hitting the weekly lowest at $9,200. However, if the coin witnesses even gradual lows within the accumulation, the price of interest would be $9,300 and $9,000 within $9k to $10k. Now, if we carefully watch out the numbers in the above tweet by Josh Rager, we see that the trading price of interest remains between $7,900 and $8,200 as the maximum hands have been exchanged within the range since May 2019. Therefore, this gives a sure shot conclusion that if we don’t accept dumps in between, we do not deserve price pumps ahead.

Bitcoin Price Analysis

Taking a glance at the 2-hourly movement of BTC against US Dollar, we see that the coin is facing moderate volatility and a “death crossover,” leading to price accumulation. Bitcoin price has got no steady support from the imminent moving averages and is slightly below 38.20% Fib Retracement level. The consistent higher highs formed seemed to have converted into consistent lows as bearishness pushes in. However, the intraday trading on BTC has turned out to be quite a gainer as the coin rises towards hitting $9,800 and above soon. The “golden crossover” on the daily chart is the hint towards the Bull Run that seems approaching subject to volatile pullbacks.

Technicals:

The MACD of Bitcoin holds an intraday bullish divergence as the MACD line cuts above the signal line on the hourly BTC/USD chart by Coinbase. Similarly, the RSI of the coin is seen rising above the support point and is laid at 50.56, showing no trading extremities at present.

Article Produced By
Mehak Punjabi

Mehak Punjabi is a post graduate in MBA with specialization in Finance and has joined CryptonewsZ with a skill building view in the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain. She is dynamic and a quick learner with a hold on financial analysis

https://www.cryptonewsz.com/bitcoin-btc-impressively-and-bullishly-inclines-towards-9800/59157/

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Bitcoin Price Is Struggling to Scale $10,000 but It Could Explode Due to Halving

Bitcoin Price Is Struggling to Scale $10,000 but It Could Explode Due to Halving

While BTC is rather unstable today, according to Google Trends data, as well as to other factors, we can suggest that the Bitcoin halving in May will cause a spike in the BTC price.

As Bitcoin’s upcoming halving draws closer, the market seems to be factoring it into every decision and discussion being had. The halving is expected to do a lot for the Bitcoin price because of the scarcity it inevitably ensures. Regardless, while many people are optimistic that the price of Bitcoin will surge because of the halving, there are a lot of people who believe that the halving has been priced in and will not make much difference when it happens. However, Google Trends data suggests that the Bitcoin halving will spike prices.

Bitcoin Halving Queries on Google Trends Is Increasing

People usually use Google Trends data to measure general interest in something or predict behavior. The premise here is simple. If search queries for something are increasing then there is renewed and growing interest in it. For the Bitcoin halving, related Google Trends data shows an unignorable surge in interest. The data shows that for more than a few months, there wasn’t a lot of interest in the halving event. However, beginning in December, things began to change significantly and interest started to surge. At the time of this surge, the Bitcoin price was far from encouraging. Evidently, that wasn’t enough to sour interest about the halving.

Previous Google Trends Data for Bitcoin Halving

A similar occurrence happened in 2016, the year of the last halving. Just like right now, the Bitcoin halving queries on Google Trends also increased continuously at the time. It continued increasing until it peaked just shortly after the 2016 halving. Current data shows that Bitcoin halving seems to have peaked at a 100 score. Pound for pound, Google Trends data might be a good enough predictor and shows that investors are in for a treat.

Current Bitcoin Price Trajectory Is Similar to 2016’s

Another factor to consider as the halving comes up, apart from Google Trends data, is the similarity in price movement. Bitcoin is swinging relatively similar to its past trajectory at the last halving. Firstly Bitcoin hit the 200-week moving average (MA) support in August 2015 and December 2018. Since the last time, it’s been 427 days. This is similar to 2016 because 427 days since the first support line achievement in August 2015 puts us in November 2016, after the last halving.

Other Factors

An analyst on Twitter, @KingThies, suggests that even though Bitcoin has dropped to levels around $9,600, its well on its way to $11k. King Thies cites the Bollinger Bands Width Squeeze which shows how heavy prices swing. According to him, the recent downswing will precede an upswing to $11k. Even with all of that, there is some worry about the drop below $10,000. Adding to the volatility, a tweet from on-chain intelligence analyst @thetokenanalyst reports that 600 BTC, about $5.8 million was deposited into BitMEX in one single transaction. There is the worry that a movement like this will further make Bitcoin unstable.

Article Produced By
Tolu Ajiboye

Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge. When he's not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.

https://www.coinspeaker.com/bitcoin-price-struggling-explode-halving/

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Bitcoin Whales Start New Phase Of Accumulation, Kraken Foresees High Volatility

Bitcoin Whales Start New Phase Of Accumulation, Kraken Foresees High Volatility

Crypto investors holding between 100-1000 Bitcoin Units have started a new phase of the digital asset accumulation.

According to a report by Kraken, a US-based cryptocurrency exchange, the Bitcoin whales have started piling up more Bitcoins into their wallets.

Details of Kraken’s Report

In the report analysis was a graph showing the relationship between Bitcoin Address Balances (1,000-10,000) against Annualized Volatility from June 3, 2018, up to January 16, 2020. From the chart, it shows that every time there was high volatility in Bitcoin’s market price, it was preceded by a “wait and see” pattern from huge investors.Prior to that, there was another phase of Bitcoin accumulation from the big-time investors, who in essence just held the crypto asset to wait for the price to rally up and bag profits from it. 

The report also noted that there was a steady growth in the number of Bitcoin addresses holding a large number of crypto assets as of January 3, 2020. According to Kraken’s data, the recent crypto bull rally has progressed to Bitcoin investors holding between 100-1,000 BTC.Kraken is anticipating a huge collection of Bitcoin to diminish in the coming weeks or months, which will result in the re-emergence of high volatility in the market. The report continued to explain that the phenomenon of “accumulation pending volatility” is due to the absorption of market liquidity which then reciprocates to a tight supply to demand ratio imbalance.

In Conclusion

Kraken noted in the report that the high accumulation might be the leading factor in Bitcoin’s recent bull rally. With the accumulation increasing and the halving event coming close, the demand for BTC is bound to skyrocket in the near future and therefore result in Bitcoin hitting a new all-time high.From the report, Kraken deduced that the recent social and economic crisis has been a major contributing factor to Bitcoin hitting $10,000 and showing the tenacity to surpass the all-time high. Events like the China coronavirus outbreak that has ravaged the social fabric of the Chinese welfare, to the Chinese Central Bank injecting more than $170 billion into the market as a measure to counter the failing economy have all contributed to the crypto bull rally. With such fundamental aspects, Bitcoin traders and investors can make an informed decision that is not based on sentiments.

Article Produced By
Steve Muchoki

Steve is a Fintech analyst who sees positive benefits in both directions of the market (bulls & bears). Cryptocurrency is his safe haven, free from government conspiracies. Mythology is his mystery!

https://zycrypto.com/bitcoin-whales-start-new-phase-of-accumulation-kraken-foresees-high-volatility/

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Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) social engagement reveals substantial differences

Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) social engagement reveals substantial differences

The technical and fundamental differences between Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) have set them apart over the years. Now, data from LunarCRUSH reveals that the social engagement of these cryptocurrencies makes that gap even wider.

Interest for BTC increases while BCH is off to a slow start

Since the beginning of the year, Bitcoin entered a bull rally that has seen its price surge by nearly 50 percent. The flagship cryptocurrency went from trading a low of $6,900 on Jan. 3 to recently hit a high of $10,187. The massive bullish impulse seems to be a direct effect of a spike in interest among investors for BTC. According to on-chain analytics data provider Glassnode, a substantial amount of new Bitcoin addresses are being created since early January. The last time new BTC addresses were created at this rate was back in April 2019 leading to a major price increase.

Moreover, there has been a spike in Google searches for the keyword “Bitcoin halving,” adding credence to the fact that demand for the BTC is rising. A similar pattern can be perceived on Bitcoin’s social engagement, based on data from crypto community analytics firm LunarCRUSH. The pioneer cryptocurrency has had 5.6 billion unique engagements, thus far this year. These include the to total amount of posts, comments, retweets, and favorites across all data sources. Twitter alone accounts for over 1.44 million tweets while Reddit has seen over 29,000 unique posts related to BTC.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin Cash seems to have outperformed Bitcoin in terms of price appreciation. BCH skyrocketed 142 percent during the same time span when Bitcoin rose 50 percent. However, the Bitcoin Cash community does not show the same levels of activity. Data shows that BCH’s total unique social engagements hovers around 137 million since the beginning of the year with 46,000 tweets and 800 Reddit posts. The lack of interest that market participants have shown in Bitcoin Cash this year shows that this cryptocurrency has a long way to go before it can compete with Bitcoin. Although investors could have profited the most by trading BCH, the flagship cryptocurrency looks better in the long-term.

Article Produced By
Ali Martinez

Technical Analyst at CryptoSlate

After Ali began forex trading in 2012 In 2014, he came across Bitcoin’s whitepaper and was so fascinated by the idea of a decentralized, borderless, and censorship-resistant currency that he started buying Bitcoin. By 2015, he started traveling to spread the word about Bitcoin.

https://cryptoslate.com/bitcoin-btc-and-bitcoin-cash-bch-social-engagement-reveals-substantial-differences/

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What Are Bitcoin Whales Planning?

What Are Bitcoin Whales Planning?

The price of Bitcoin is showing signs of weakness.

It has started the day in red and is now eyeing further downside. The probability of a decline down to the $9.3k level is quite high at the moment but we have to look at more than just that. We need to understand what the whales are planning at the moment. To see that, first we have to look at why BTC/USD rallied past $10k. It was once a strong psychological support that was broken and had now become a strong psychological resistance. So, a lot of traders that entered aggressive shorts in the $8k territory had their stops just above $10k. 

Now Bitcoin whales and the market makers have clearly shaken out most of those bearish positions. However, there may still be some left around $10.5k that they would want to shake out. Before they do that, they want to hit the honey pot just below the $9.7k region where a lot of retail bulls have their stops. This could aggressively pull the price down to $9.3k in the near future. If the price finds support there, we could expect a rally to $10k once again and even higher to $12k before the next major downtrend. This is the big players in this market desperately setting the ground to prey on retail traders now that they have run out of other ways to make money as retail interest has declined drastically. 

These are attempts to pump life back into the market and to discourage the bears from shorting it. However, it cannot go on for long. The upcoming halving is the whale’s only tool to get retail traders excited but we can see very clearly that retail money has failed miserably to push the price up which is why the whales and the market makers repeatedly come to the rescue with their obscene buy orders to pump the price up. The thing is though, these big players will cash out and when they do it is all going to come crumbling down. 

Bitcoin dominance (BTC.D) has once again plunged below the 100-week exponential moving average but we would need to see a close below it to expect further bullishness in altcoins. Meanwhile, the EUR/USD forex pair seems ready to decline down to the 61.8% fib retracement level. WTI Crude Oil (USOIL) is awaiting a similar decision which means that we might be close to a major move in the cryptocurrency market in the near future. Unfortunately for most retail traders that are blinded by the halving FOMO, it could end terribly bad as there is no way the big players in this market are going to let retail traders walk away with easy money. 

Article Produced By
Jefe Caan

I work as the key Trading Analyst for Crypto Daily and provide the team with regular analyses and updates regarding the technical performance of all cryptocurrencies on the market. I am responsible for the production of articles and posts for Crypto Daily’s own technical analysis section and spend my time monitoring and commenting on the varied moves the markets make on a daily basis.

https://cryptodaily.co.uk/2020/02/what-bitcoin-whales-planning

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Bitcoin Depot Network Hits 500 Kiosks As Johnny Litecoin Shows Off CoinFlip Adoption

Bitcoin Depot Network Hits 500 Kiosks As Johnny Litecoin Shows Off CoinFlip Adoption

‏‏‎ ‏‏‎Bitcoin Depot has rolled out over 500 ATMs in the United States,

making it one of the biggest crypto ATM networks worldwide. The kiosks allow users to create an account and get verified in less than a minute in order to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin locally with cash.

CEO Brandon Mintz says,

“The expansion of Bitcoin ATMs increases acceptance and use of bitcoin for financial transactions and makes everyday transactions easier for everyone.” The Atlanta-based company powers kiosks from New Jersey to California. Mintz adds, “With more than 500 ATMs across 30 states, and more than 100 of those right here in our own backyard, we are significantly outpacing others in the industry.” 

Bitcoin ATMs, or BTMs, are among the world’s fastest growing industries because of rising demand for in-person digital currency transactions. With cryptocurrency still in its infancy, ATMs serve as billboards that broadcast how easily Bitcoin, Litecoin and other digital assets can be purchased. Jon Moore, vice president of Nationwide Merchant Solutions, shows off a CoinFlip ATM located at a busy bar in Elizabeth, New Jersey next to Newark Airport. He says the foot traffic doesn’t get any better. “They’re accepting Bitcoin and Litecoin for payment. They’ve got the CoinFlip ATM. It’s here, it’s live…Look where the ATM is placed at, right when you walk in.” 

Says AI analyst Brian Roemmele,

“One of the reasons the Bitcoin halving will be more monumental this time is the astonishing growth of Bitcoin ATM locations. History will show this was a useful meter of how Bitcoin’s accent was so rapid.”

Article Produced By
Daily Hodi Staff

https://dailyhodl.com/2020/02/08/bitcoin-depot-network-hits-500-kiosks-as-johnny-litecoin-shows-off-coinflip-adoption/

 

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Updated: PrimeXBT Among the Best Bitcoin Futures Trading Platforms

Updated: PrimeXBT Among the Best Bitcoin Futures Trading Platforms

trading graph platform

The crypto industry has been growing by leaps and bounds over the past several years,

which has partially been fueled by an influx of new traders to the markets, lured by the massive volatility incurred by Bitcoin and other digital assets on a frequent basis. In order to serve these active investors, the markets have been met with a deluge of trading platforms all vying for the support of Bitcoin and crypto traders, but it can be difficult to cut through the noise and determine which platform is the best. There are three key factors that should be considered when determining which platform to patronize, with some exchanges offering significantly better features than others.

Factor 1: Privacy and Security

Just a few months ago, users on popular cryptocurrency exchange Binance had a significant amount of their private data leaked after photos and information related to users’ KYC proceedings were released on a Telegram group. This data leak is said to have impacted 60,000 customers who signed up for accounts and underwent the KYC proceedings in 2018 and 2019 and appears to be directly linked to the Binance hack that occurred last May. This data contained deeply personal information, including self-photographs, names, and more, and put the privacy and security of all these customers in grave jeopardy.

One of the only major margin trading platforms available to investors that places an extreme emphasis on its clients’ privacy is PrimeXBT, which allows traders to use up to 100x leverage on Bitcoin and other assets. This platform also allows users to set up fully anonymous trading accounts without having to surrender any private information or take place in KYC proceedings – which can expose a significant amount of extremely private data, as seen in the aforementioned Binance data leak. PrimeXBT also utilizes industry-leading security features in order to protect its users from potential threats, employing a multi-tiered security system and storing the bulk of its clients’ digital assets in cold storage.

Factor 2: Fees and Costs

After finding a platform that offers thorough protections for its users’ privacy and security, the next key factor that should be considered is what the cost to trade will be. Trading fees are fairly straight forward and can be easily compared between platforms. Currently, Binance charges the highest taker fee of all major margin trading platforms at a whopping 0.1%, but users can reduce this fee by using the platform’s native digital asset – BNB – as the primary trading pair and by having a high 30-day BTC turnover. BitMEX and Deribit both charge a 0.075% taker fee, which is slightly lower than Binance’s, although they do not offer as many opportunities to receive fee reductions. PrimeXBT currently has the lowest fees, charging a flat 0.05% trading fee on all BTC transactions. Like Binance, PrimeXBT recently introduced a tiered fee structure that offers generous discounts for active traders based on their 30-day BTC turnover.

Factor 3: Features and Stability

Around the time that the world was taken aback by the egregious Binance data leak, Deribit also faced widespread controversy when a data flaw led to an anomalous and isolated Bitcoin flash crash that led many traders to lose a fortune when their positions were stopped or liquidated. Although BitMEX has not faced any isolated flash crashes in recent times, traders often complain about inconsistency when it comes to placing orders and modifying existing ones – especially during times of massive volatility.

Traders who want to successfully translate Bitcoin’s massive volatility into profits cannot afford to risk trading on a platform whose instability may expose them to unnecessary risks, which is why it is imperative to choose a platform like PrimeXBT or Binance that has a track record of providing their clients with stability and consistency. One key feature that is unique to PrimeXBT is the fact that it offers traders access to a plethora of markets beyond just digital assets, offering access to commodities, FOREX trading pairs, and stock indices.

Who Takes the Crown as The Best Platform for Bitcoin Traders?

All exchanges have pros and cons that should be carefully weighed, but while considering the three main factors discussed above, it is clear that BitMEX – which has long been the king of Bitcoin margin trading – can no longer be considered a viable option to traders. Bakkt, which offers users access to physically settled Bitcoin futures, launched this past September and is aimed at on-boarding large and institutional traders, and does offer users a safe and regulated medium to trade and store BTC. It is important to note that this platform did have a lackluster launch but has since gained greater popularity. It is likely that it will continue to see further growth in the months and years ahead as Bitcoin goes mainstream and garners greater widespread adoption.

Although Bakkt does have the potential to be a great platform, it is not ideal for active traders who are looking to trade using leverage, as its market offering is currently limited to Bitcoin and it does not offer users access to leverage. While looking at the remaining options that do offer users access to leverage, the relatively high fees and lack of stability on Deribit eliminates it as a good option for traders, leaving Binance and PrimeXBT as the two best options. PrimeXBT does have slightly lower fees than Binance, and traders who value privacy will appreciate the fact that they don’t have to surrender any personal information while signing up for an account on PrimeXBT, while they do have to participate in mandatory KYC proceedings if they want to use Binance.

Article Produced By
The Editorial Staff

The Invest In Blockchain team is made up of talented writers and analysts from around the world.

https://www.investinblockchain.com/updated-primexbt-among-the-best-bitcoin-futures-trading-platforms/

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Keep Your Bitcoin Safe by Making Security a Habit

Keep Your Bitcoin Safe by Making Security a Habit

When considering how to keep your bitcoin safe, most users think about the hard stuff like buying a hardware wallet,

using complicated passphrases, buying bulletproof safes and backing up seed words on steel … but most users ignore the easy stuff because it doesn’t seem to be linked to your coins. Unfortunately, it’s ignoring the easy stuff that causes the most loss. The biggest threat to personally owned coins is the threat of impersonation and the dozens of ways attackers use impersonation to

steal funds. 

The most complicated passphrase and the most secure hardware wallet won’t stop you from sending your own coins to the attacker yourself.

Protecting your own accounts from impersonation can have an “infectious” quality for your friends and coworkers. When my accounts are secure, my friends are safer because my accounts can’t be used as a springboard to attack them. Since impersonation is the most successful method of attack, I’ve found that training employees to keep themselves secure actually helps keep the company secure too. When looking at all of the successful thefts (from both businesses and individuals), there are two common root causes: bad security habits and/or insecure configuration of accounts. This means that the most successful defense you can mount is to both adopt secure habits and secure your account configurations. Let’s dive in!

Secure Habits

Strong Authentication

The single most effective habit you can adopt is what we call “Strong Authentication” or StrongAuth. Put plainly, StrongAuth is the act of making sure you are talking to the person you think you are. There are many situations where this is helpful. These include 

  • Sending money 
  • Altering someone’s access
  • Discussing confidential information 

We use the acronym MAC to remember when we need to use StrongAuth: Money, Access and Confidential information. Mapping this habit to our personal lives, let’s take the example of receiving a message from your sister saying she needs you to send money for any reason. Before you send it, you should make sure you’re really talking to your sister! So how do you do that reliably?

  1. In Person: The easiest form of StrongAuth is talking to your sister in person. If the situation can wait until you see her, you’ll have 100 percent confidence you’re sending that money to the right place. Sometimes, however, you can’t wait. 
  2. Video/Audio Call: The next best way to perform StrongAuth is to have a video+audio call with them where you simultaneously see and hear them. In 2020, there is no shortage of video messaging apps, and if you are able to see your sister and hear her on video asking for the money, you will know you’re sending it to the right person. 
  3. There are other ways to perform StrongAuth too that involve prearranged secret phrases, GPG keys, digital message signatures, or other more complicated methods, (but those require a lot more work to set up and require differing sets of assumptions, so we’ll skip them for this article).

So many thefts could have been prevented if the participants exercised this simple habit. As my chief engineer puts it: “It’s better to spend 15 seconds double-checking than to send 15 million dollars to the wrong person!” Although the amounts may be different for individuals than businesses, the theory is the same.

Password Hygiene

Another secure habit to adopt is using a password manager for all of your passwords. Password managers are unicorns in the security world. Most of the time, if you want to increase security, it comes at the cost of annoying extra steps that take more time or effort. Password managers, however, simultaneously increase your security while taking LESS time AND effort. With one click, your username and password is automatically entered into your app/website and you are logged in effortlessly. No other measure increases both security and convenience together.

Here are some tips for using password managers:

  • Use your password manager to generate completely unguessable passwords with one click. Since you never need to type it yourself, you can maximize the length and complexity for the service. For example, ShapeShift supports a maximum of 128 character passwords, so setting a 128 character password will maximize the security of this account.
  • Never reuse a password. This is as easy as one-click with a password manager using the “generate password” feature. 
  • Never use a password algorithm. I’ve seen people choose a simple password (i.e., “a1b2c3!”) and tack it onto the end of the site they’re visiting for passwords like “googlea1b2c3!” or “facebooka1b2c3!”. The problem with this is, once I get one of your passwords, I get them all! A password manager makes password algorithms unnecessary — which is good because password algorithms are not secure!

Secure Configurations

The next thing you can do to protect yourself against the most common attacks is to change the settings on your various accounts. As has been widely reported over the last few years, the most successful attack against individuals is “SIM swapping” or “number porting.” This is when an attacker calls your cell phone carrier and impersonates you, telling them you have a new phone and SIM card. Then they arrange for your phone number to be reassociated with the attacker’s cell phone. 

This attack is always followed by using the Account Recovery feature of your email account. Once they have control of your inbox, they go after all the crypto exchange accounts you have by clicking “I Forgot my Password” on each one. Account recovery uses email by default, so if your attacker controls your email, they control every account you have linked to that email address. Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do to stop attackers from swapping your SIM because the carriers themselves simply don’t protect our accounts. However, there is something we can do to prevent attackers from inflicting harm after taking over your cell number.

Lock Down Your Recovery Options

Most accounts have the ability to specify recovery cell phone numbers, recovery email addresses or recovery questions so that you have a way to get into the account if you forget the password. These recovery options are the easiest way for attackers to hack their way into your account.

Here’s some advice for locking down recovery options:

  1. Remove all cell phone numbers. If there is no phone number attached to the account, then SIM swapping can’t be used to take over the account.
  2. Remove all recovery emails OR lock down the recovery email account. A chain is as strong as its weakest link, and if wife@gmail.com is locked down but specifies husband@gmail.com as a recovery account, husband@gmail.com should have equal security.

Unfortunately, some accounts don’t let you remove cell phone numbers, making it impossible to secure these accounts reliably.

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA or 2FA)

If an account offers Timed One-Time Passwords (TOTPs) as a 2FA method, use it! Google Authenticator or Authy are the most common apps for TOTPs and they’re easy to use on phones. Enabling 2FA on all of your accounts will enhance the security and help keep attackers out. Just beware: TOTPs should not be stored in your password manager alongside your passwords: Storing these beside your passwords turns the 2FA into 1FA. Keep these separate, or if you want to get advanced, put your TOTPs into a Yubikey instead of into your phone.

Buy (and Use) a Yubikey

This one device allows you to secure many things in many different ways. It’s a more secure replacement for Google Authenticator (via Yubico Authenticator), it stores your SSH keys for servers (via the GPG module), and — when configured correctly — can act as a physical key for your accounts and laptops (via U2F and PIV). When a Yubikey is properly configured, even if a hacker cracks your password, he will still be locked out. There are far too many features that would each take lengthy articles to explain, so be prepared to put time into learning how to maximize the use of your Yubikey if you choose to buy one.

Keep Your Bitcoin Safe: Bringing It All Together

Security is more than just the tools you use. It is a mindset. It’s a habit. It’s a constant effort to remain vigilant because, while you and I need sleep every night, an attacker’s scripts continue to attack 24 hours a day, seven days a week without a holiday. Locking down your recovery options, enabling 2FA and adopting secure habits with strong auth and password managers will thwart most things in an attacker’s bag of tricks and send them looking for an easier target to rob.

Article Produced By
Michael Perklin

Michael Perklin is the Chief Information Security Officer of ShapeShift. He also serves as the President of C4, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to education and standards in the blockchain space where he spearheaded the CryptoCurrency Security Standard, the world’s most referenced blockchain security standard.

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/keep-your-bitcoin-safe-by-making-security-a-habit

TP