2FA: What It Is, How It Works and When It Can’t Save You

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Bitcoin is the exception to a lot of rules, but there’s one universal truth even it can’t escape: Wherever there is money to be stolen, someone will try to steal it – and occasionally they will succeed. They will succeed because the tools we build are imperfect, certainly, but they will also succeed because we’re imperfect and we use those tools imperfectly or worse, not at all. Today I’d like to discuss one such tool: Two-factor authentication. [Read more…]

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Paper Wallets Aren’t Cold Storage

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I don’t want this to degrade into a trollfest so I want to open with this: Paper wallets are a great tool that can add a lot of security to your Bitcoin storage. Strictly speaking, a paper wallet is much more secure than storing coins on your phone, desktop or in a web wallet. They are a good thing and people should use them more. But they’re not cold storage.

This isn’t one of those things where I’m being overly pedantic either, the difference actually matters in a number of important ways and you can in fact lose money by not being aware of the difference. [Read more…]

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Satoshis, Bits, Millies and Mikes:
The “Rebasing Bitcoin” Debate

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Bitcoin has taught us all a number of lessons about the nature of decentralized systems. Many of Bitcoin’s most innovative technologies arise directly from the challenges created by such systems – mining is a distributed issuance mechanism, the blockchain itself is a distributed trust mechanism – but some things, it seems, we still have to figure out via internal squabbling and the painful process of establishing a consensus manually. One such issue is exactly how to denote Bitcoin transaction amounts. [Read more…]

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HD Wallets in Plain English

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With the rise of mobile wallets and the recent release of all these fancy new hardware wallets, “HD wallets” have been getting a lot of attention lately. It seems like every hardware wallet has “HD,” “BIP32″ and/or “BIP39″ plastered all over their web site – but what does it really mean and why should you care? Is HD better somehow? What does “HD” even mean? [Read more…]

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Expert Advice Isn’t “Victim Shaming”

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I want to preface this article with an important statement: I do not condone the theft of other peoples’ data and I do not condone the sharing of stolen data. We can have ideological arguments over grey areas like piracy until we’re blue in the face, but if you steal someone’s nude photos and post them on the internet you are a thief and if justice works at all you should be punished for that. Now let’s talk about how it was actually all the victims’ fault! [Read more…]

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