Andreas Antonopoulos: Mobile Wallets Are Safer Than Desktop Wallets

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Ahead of Coin Ninja’s release of the innovative DropBit mobile Bitcoin wallet, Andreas Antonopoulos explains why mobile wallets are generally a safer option than desktop wallets.

The Bitcoin and digital currency community has its share of experts and talking heads, giving both solicited and unsolicited advice and information about blockchain technology and digital currencies themselves. Few have gained both the level of notoriety and wide-ranging respect of Andreas Antonopoulos. This best-selling author, coder, expert, public speaker and prolific YouTuber is revered for his unbiased approach to educating the public about anything related to digital currencies and blockchains, in a simple, palatable manner meant for public consumption by even the most green to the space.

In a video released yesterday, Antonopoulos participates in a Q&A regarding storage devices. The first question inquires about the level of safety provided by a mobile wallet, or a wallet which exists on a mobile device. While cold-storage wallets are still the safest option, he explains that (generally speaking), mobile wallets are indeed safer to use than desktop wallets. We’ll break it down a bit for you, but feel free to watch the whole video for the full Q&A.

How safe is a mobile wallet, since it’s constantly connected to the internet?

“…in my opinion, smart phones are generally more secure than the average desktop.” 

  • Integration between hardware and software:

Smart phones (newer and properly updated) do not provide “root access” (access to subsystems and critical functions of an operating system) to the OS, yet many desktops do.

  • With root access (desktops), downloaded programs can contain malware, which can then backdoor control functions of the operating system. 
What are the proper protection steps to take when creating a mobile wallet?

“Make sure that your smartphone is properly updated…make sure you install the REAL wallet software…download the real application from the authorized app store.” 

  • Many convincing imposter apps exist, so checking the number of “app downloads” can be a good indicator that you’re downloading the official application. 
  • Set up a (strong) PIN for the wallet app, and on your smartphone itself.
    • DON’T USE THE SAME PIN FOR BOTH
    • Allow your phone’s storage to be encrypted fully
    • Require a PIN or passphrase to unlock your phone
      • DO NOT opt for use of face ID or fingerprint ID, as you can be forced into unlocking your phone
  • Use a secondary PIN to lock the wallet (if possible, enable the wallet to NOT SHOW THE BALANCE

The upcoming launch of Coin Ninja’s DopBit mobile wallet will be available for both iOS and Android operating systems. To ensure maximum security, we use a 6 digit pin to access your wallet, in conjunction with a 12 word seed/recovery phrase for recovering and securing your wallet. Aside from being secure, our wallet is going to offer some very unique features not found on any other Bitcoin wallet available, so stay tuned, and be diligent in staying up to date on how to keep your Bitcoin safe. Sign up on dropbit.app to be included in our Beta testing, and updates about the app.

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