Bitcoin has found success as a decentralized digital currency, but it is only one step toward decentralized digital commerce. Indeed, creating decentralized marketplaces and mechanisms is a nascent and active area of research. In a new paper, we present escrow protocols for cryptocurrencies that bring us closer to decentralized commerce.
Get your wallet from a secure site
A step so easy anyone can overlook this one. In the world of Bitcoin, you are your own bank, and your wallet can be your combination lock. Make sure it is not easily unlocked by being HTTP only. Check the address bar to make sure it is green and says https before the site address. If not, it could be the newest, latest Bitcoin scam site and you could be just another cautionary tale. With Bitcoin, you are the security system, so make sure everything is secure, starting with the site you partner up with if you use a web-based wallet, which is a popular and convenient first option.
Can you backup your wallet?
Another key feature easily missed and overlooked. Bitcoins are basically digital files that can be backed up and duplicated many ways, but only spent once, so why not take advantage of this fact. You can’t back up a buck, but you can a Bitcoin. Contact their Support Dept. about backup options. If your wallet is all it can be, it will offer this feature.
Take this checklist and run with it. I’m sure even Bitcoin savvy vets are missing at least one thing on this checklist (I am, too), so let’s keep our cryptocurrency game nice and tight. Make the rounds and update your security for a bright Bitcoin full of sound sleep.