The internet has the power to change the way we think, work, and play. It also has the power to change the way we trade and manage our resources – hence the rise of cryptocurrency and the crypto wallet. But power can be easily corrupted, and these days your digital identity is almost as important as your real-life one. Which is why the whole Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year sparked a flood of questions about how our digital identities are being abused.
There are some that believe blockchain and a decentralized internet is the answer to these emerging problems. So even though cryptocurrency is still a relatively new global trend, the ecosystem of the internet never stops evolving, meaning structures like crypto wallets are naturally transforming as well.
Coinbase is trying to stay ahead of the curve by rebranding their Toshi wallet to the eponymous Coinbase Wallet. According to the company’s announcement on Medium, this isn’t just simply the rebranding of a name. Coinbase developer Siddharth Coelho-Prabhu spoke about how they believe that in the future, “everyone will own a crypto wallet that allows them to access decentralized applications (dapps) and that wallet will be their gateway to the open financial system.” Quite an interesting notion and one that the company is fully backing with their new wallet.
The purpose of Coinbase Wallet is to make the process of managing your crypto as easy as possible, but the company is also hoping to make it your go-to tool for accessing the decentralized web. Apparently, it’s so easy that pretty much anyone can do it. But you want to be as secure as possible whenever working with sensitive information, and this is where Coinbase has really focused their offering. Their goal with this new wallet is to provide exceptionally secure storage by securing your private keys using “your device’s Secure Enclave and biometric authentication technology.” It means that instead of having all of your private keys stored on a server, which is susceptible to hacking, everything will be secured on your own device. Unfortunately, though, the wallet only supports Ethereum for now – with the plan being to add support for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin in the future.
So in their effort to redefine what a crypto wallet is, and to make Coinbase wallet your one-stop for accessing your crypto and the decentralized internet, Coinbase has added the following features:
- Ability to manage ETH and all your ERC-20 tokens.
- Receive ICO tokens and airdrops.
- Ability to buy, store, and use crypto collectibles in games, or trade them on marketplaces.
- Ability to make payments to anyone, without geographical restrictions or additional fees.
- Ability to access leading decentralized exchanges and relayers to buy and sell tokens.
- Ability to explore third-party dapps that can help with everything from taking out a loan or lending to others on the blockchain to earning crypto by completing various tasks.
This looks very promising, and it sounds like the Coinbase team is working hard to provide decentralized data identity options for its consumers. With one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, Coinbase definitely has a track record of creating successful systems, which means that their Coinbase Wallet could very well become the next big thing.
Whether this will be for everyone, though, is yet to be seen. Because, while there is an obvious appeal to a decentralized internet, it does require more work and specific know-how on your part. Some people might just opt to keep their data on central servers because it would be less effort on their part. Though there are still some ways you can protect your digital data right now.
By using additional security measures like VPNs, you can further secure your crypto wallet. VPNs aren’t anything new, of course, and many people are already using them for various reasons. For those of you who aren’t familiar with VPNs – they’re virtual private networks that allow you to create a secure connection to another network. This keeps your data traffic anonymous and protects you from online dangers. Just make sure to use a trusted VPN and stay away from the free options because they often mine your data themselves – which defeats their very purpose, really. Some great VPN options include NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN but do some research to see what fits your needs and (real) wallet. Also, while this has probably been said just about a billion times by now, you should look into a trusted antivirus/antimalware tool as another security measure.
So for those of you who have been on the lookout for new ways to protect your crypto wallet and digital identity, Coinbase Wallet might be the first step in a new direction for future online security.
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