The future of currency is here and it is dominated by Bitcoin. The murky and often misunderstood digital world of cryptocurrency has changed drastically since its inception. Once confined to the corners of the Dark Web, news of bitcoin exchange rates and the latest regulations now grace the covers of the world’s most reputable news sources.
As the bitcoin industry continues to evolve, so does the technology that supports it. Despite the maturation of the currency, the influx of relatively new and often uninformed consumers coupled with its digital nature make cryptocurrency an easy target for nefarious hackers. Bitcoin scams come in many forms, from malware disguised as the latest wallet app to viruses that lurk on computers waiting for the victim to reveal a wallet passcode. Keeping money securely out of the hands of thieves is a concern for beginner and experienced cryptocurrency users alike.
The primary rule of Bitcoin trading is to never keep a significant amount of coins in an app or web based wallet or in the exchange where they were purchased. These are much easier for hackers to break into and steal from. Once Bitcoins are purchased, they should be quickly moved from the exchange and into a secure hardware or wallet app. The difference between the two is vitally important. While wallet apps are connected to the internet, hardware wallets are not. Similar to a USB drive, hardware wallets are physical storage devices that are connected to a desktop or a phone through an OTG cable and store the coins locally. For ease of transaction, many people keep a small amount of coins in a wallet app and hold the remainder safely in a hardware wallet.
When choosing a wallet app, it is important to balance ease of use with security. One of the safest and most user-friendly wallets on the Android market today is the popular Mycelium wallet. First released in 2008, the open-source Mycelium has been in the Bitcoin wallet industry since the beginning. The latest generation of wallets tout bank-grade security and remain one of the most widely used in the world of cryptocurrency.
Mycelium is one of the few apps that offer integration with hardware wallets, simplifying the currency transfer process. The anonymous and decentralized Local Trader function allows for peer-to-peer coin trading. These trades come with a 0.2% fee and can be discussed by users in the encrypted chat function. Wallet accounts can be easily viewed or created as soon as the app is opened.
For those concerned with privacy, the app offers the capability to connect through Tor, although this can reduce the speed of the app. Mycelium also offers an additional PIN capability to complete transactions and open the wallet for added security. Perhaps its most important feature is the HD, or hierarchical deterministic, wallets. This function creates a seed, or string of words that function as a password to the wallet’s private key, allowing users to add an additional layer of protection to their stash.
In the lucrative, ever-changing world of cryptocurrency, it can be difficult to balance the excitement of investment with security needs. Always thoroughly research a wallet before downloading it. The Google Play Store does not check every single app before it enters the store. In the past, scammers have uploaded a malware app to the Google Play Store with a name, design, and logo identical to a reputable brand. To avoid downloading an app scam, go to the creator’s website and follow the download link from there.