Sure, the massive hype surrounding cryptocurrencies, and the volatile nature of Bitcoin in particular, may have died down, but there are still many misconceptions regarding digital currencies. With that, as well as the recent Cybersecurity Awareness Month, peer-to-peer crypto marketplace Paxful is weighing in with some of its insight.
Looking at crypto on the African continent, Paxful cites a recent Chainalysis report (PDF) which says that illicit cryptocurrency activity accounted for just 2 percent of Africa’s roughly $16 billion trading volume from July 2019 to June 2020.
This is likely set to intensify in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with cybersecurity in general on the rise as more people work from home.
“In our experience, the majority of cryptocurrency transactions are safe. Despite this, risk management is top-of-mind for us to protect our customers and we have a dedicated team that focuses on risk assessment and security to keep our platform safe,” adds Ray Youssef, co-founder and CEO of Paxful.
One of the major myths that the platform wishes to dispel is safety when it comes to cryptocurrencies. Yes, social engineering can still dupe people into parting with their hard-earned money, but the underlying technologies that enable crypto are sound.
Here, Paxful notes that Bitcoin for example, is a safe asset that is traceable, trackable, and less anonymous than cash.
As the first decentralised digital currency, it continues to change the way people manage their finances and with Bitcoin being open and borderless, it makes entry to the global economy more accessible, the platform adds.
“The crypto-sector has come a long way to protect consumers, while continuously developing processes to advance adoption. What has played an integral role in the emergence of the crypto-economy is the human layer, the peer-to-peer finance powered by people. In essence, that means that we all have a role to play in making and keeping the economy safe as responsible participants,” stresses Youssef.
“Like with any other type of investment, there are certain risks involved and as crypto-market players, we have a responsibility to work with users to increase awareness about all the risks that come with trading crypto,” he does note though.
Looking at its own security measures, Paxful has been leveraging the tools of global threat hunting and intelligence company Group-IB.
“Powered with Group-IB’s Secure Portal, the platform has managed to fight off over 220,000 requests from web-bots in just two months, shielding over 5 million Paxful users against potential attacks. The figure suggests that bitcoin platforms remain of great interest to threat actors,” explains the marketplace in a press release sent to Hypertext.
The company is also taking steps to engage more effectively with local users on the security surrounding crypto.
“In order to educate our users and help them make responsible trading decisions, Paxful has partnered with leading local crypto-industry educators such as CoinEd and the Blockchain Academy,” the press release adds.
As for what users should be on the look out for, as well as what steps they should while dabbling in crypto, Paxful offers up the following five tips:
“Educate yourself about the bitcoin economy – The more you know about any financial system, the safer you will be.
Steer of get-rich-quick-schemes – If it’s too good to be true, it often is.
Transact on reputable platforms – Research the exchanges or marketplaces you use. You want to use a portal that has a solid user track record.
Use 2FA to protect your crypto transaction account – We all have been asked to answer a security message or input a cell phone code to log in to an account. This additional step beyond a username and password is two-factor authentication (2FA). Multi-factor authentication is a stronger method of identity validation.
Start small – If you’re new to the bitcoin-economy, keep your transactions modest. You can increase your spending when you become more au fait with the crypto-sector.”