Coinbase Thinks It’s a Good Idea to Backup Private Keys to the Cloud

On Tuesday (February 12th), cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase said that the Coinbase Wallet app for iOS and Android had been enhanced such that it was now for users to backup an encrypted copy of their private keys to the cloud (iCloud in the case of iOS users and Google Drive in the case of Android users).

Exactly one week after launching Bitcoin (BTC) support on Coinbase Wallet (formerly known as "Toshi"), Coinbase announced that it was "introducing cloud backup for your private keys on Coinbase Wallet". Here is the tweet Coinbase sent out:

According to the blog post by Coinbase Wallet Product Lead Siddharth Coelho-Prabhu, this new feature "provides a safeguard for users, helping them avoid losing their funds if they lose their device or misplace their private keys."

Coinbase thinks although it is great that Coinbase Wallet allows users to experience "the full power of an open financial system" (i.e. " storing their own funds and accessing them anywhere in the world"), this power comes with "great responsibility." Since private keys, which are "generated and stored on your mobile device", are "the only way to access your funds on the blockchain" and owns of non-custodial wallets such as Coinbase Wallet "sometimes lose their devices or fail to backup their 12 word recovery phrase in a safe place, thereby "losing their funds forever," it would be a good for users of Coinbase Wallet to use cloud backup for their private keys, and it is now providing a feature that enables just that.

The new opt-in cloud backup feature provides "the ability to store an encrypted copy of your recovery phrase on your personal cloud account." You will, of course, need to come up with a strong password and a way to remember it somehow, but if "you lose your device or get signed out of the app," you will be able to "easily regain access to your funds with the combination of your personal cloud account (iCloud or Google Drive) and your password."

Coinbase wants you to know that this backup is "encrypted with AES-256-GCM encryption and accessible only by the Coinbase Wallet mobile app." And of course, if you lose the password for this backup, the support staff of Coinbase or your cloud service provider will not be able to help you since they don't keep a copy of this password:

"Coinbase will not have access to your password or funds at any time, preserving your privacy and control. Your cloud backup provider will also not have access to your funds, as only you know the password that decrypts your encrypted recovery phrase."

Although this feature currently only "supports iCloud on iOS devices and Google Drive on Android devices," Coinbase plans "to add support for other cloud services in the future."

Coinbase also wants to remind users that this feature is completely optional and needs to be explicitly activated. Also, it recommends that users also "backup their passphrase manually" after cloud backup activation and "activate Two-Factor Authentication on your personal Google or iCloud accounts to make those accounts harder for attackers to compromise."

Amongst experienced long-time investors in crypto, especially those who strong believe in its ideas of decentralization and self-sovereignty, the reactions on Twitters were quite negative. Here are a few examples:

 

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pexels.com

TRON (TRX) Becomes Available for Trading to eToro's 10 Million Users

On Monday (March 25), leading social trading platform eToro, which has over 10 million registered users, announced that it had added support for TRON (TRX).

eToro, which calls itself "the world’s leading social trading network", was born in January 2007. Perhaps, the best example of eToro's social trading tools is "CopyTrader", which "enables clients to automate their trading by allocating some of their funds to replicate another investor’s activity and copying every move they make in real time."

Although eToro had allowed trading in Bitcoin (via CFDs) as early as 2013, it wasn't until 2017, when it became possible to directly trade and invest in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other popular cryptoassets.

With today's announcement, TRON (TRX) becomes the 15th cryptoasset be listed on eToro (the others are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, XRP, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, Dash, Stellar, NEO, EOS, Cardano, IOTA, Binance Coin, and Zcash). It is worth noting that "TRX will also be added to eToro’s CryptoPortfolio, which enables investors to diversify across all available crypto-assets (weighted by market cap) with just one click."

Mati Greenspan (@MatiGreenspan on Twitter), Senior Market Analyst at eToro, explained to CryptoGlobe why eToro had decided to add support for TRON:

"Tron has been one of the most highly requested cryptos from clients looking to trade it on our platform, so we are very proud to provide it today."

Yoni Assia, co-founder and CEO at eToro, stated: 

“TRON is making fast progress towards lofty ambitions, and has rightly garnered the attention of the crypto community. Given the relative youth of blockchain technology, investors in crypto-assets are investing in big ideas and seeking out companies that execute on big ideas. Tron certainly ticks that box. At eToro we look to offer investors access to crypto-assets that already have some clear success behind them.”

As for Justin Sun, the founder and CEO of TRON foundation, this is what he had to say:

“With our listing on eToro, we’re giving TRX holders another great platform on which to manage their assets. These steps will help grow the blockchain community and expand our reach around the world.”

 

Featured Image Courtesy of eToro