Discover more from Deep Thoughts With Juan Galt
How To Be Your Own Bank
Without being too romantic, Bitcoin is a promise to the people, of full freedom to use their money without limits. But there is a catch.
Without being too romantic, Bitcoin is a promise to the people of freedom to use their money however they wish. No trusted third parties, no intermediaries with deposit and withdraw limits, no bail-ins, no bailouts.
Money becomes speech.
Having spent the bulk of my 20’s involved in the Bitcoin and crypto ‘currency’ industry, where digital security is paramount to protecting your money, (not just your facebook account), it has become painfully obvious to me how bad the general public’s digital security actually is.
And who can blame them? It’s not like digital security is taught at schools.
But there’s a few very simple steps and strategies that everyone can implement to dramatically improve their digital security, not just for normal internet use, but also when it comes to Bitcoin and the many forms of digital assets and value.
Passwords today are still reused like old socks, designed by the users to be memorable, but not secure.
One website gets hacked and now the rest of the sites you used that password on are exposed.
In reality, you need a different password for every website. But who could remember all that? Nobody.
They are kept in word documents, or spreadsheets exposed to laptops and computers with as many security holes as Swiss cheese.
While there is no perfect security, password managers, when set up properly, are a massive improvement.
But add to them the risk of holding immutable, easily transferable digital value, like Bitcoin or any crypto asset, and the assumptions those systems were built on no longer fit the bill.
Got Memory Problems?
It gets worse. You know you should not reuse passwords, so you come up with a variation of the same one you always use, or to be extra safe, come up with a brand new password that you can still remember … so you think.
A few weeks later you try to log in…
What was that password? No idea.
No big deal though, you think, ‘I’ll do a password reset, and the site will send me a special email.’
Sure that works. In fact, it is an internet standard, every site does that. Which is very nice for user experience except…
Now all a hacker or malware has to do is compromise your email, and they own you.
They can reset the password to every website you use.
Worst of all, most email services also have password recovery processes.
Sometimes they are based on another email to fall back on, which doesn’t really solve the problem, just kicks the can down the road.
Sites like Gmail will keep tabs on the hardware you use and IPs you log in with, which sacrifices privacy for security. And even IP and hardware ‘white lists’ can be overruled, if you know the right information.
For example, some sites will ask you to provide answers to personal questions.
Answers that in the age of social media… maybe a few hours of research away for any dedicated creep.
2 Factor Authentication
‘The good news is I can set up 2-factor authentication through SMS, right?’
Ask the many crypto celebrities that have had their emails and 2FA accounts hijacked, because some smart ass called AT&T, pretended to be the owner of the given phone number, and had it forward it to a new sim card. (Article)
Boom. There go your crypto exchange accounts.
It’s really bad.
Though not without a solution, it just takes some deep thought, research, and the right tools.
Where’s My Phone!
Last but not least. Device loss. It can be a massive headache.
It is no secret, that we are -practically speaking- cyborgs now. Almost everyone, from the third world countries and up has a cell phone. And in most developed nations, people have 2 phones, laptops, Smart TV’s, smart watches, you name it.
We have merged with technology and the internet. So to lose your phone, can feel like losing a limb.
Not to mention the growing risk of whoever finds it, keeping it and trying to get in it. Bad news.
The same goes for your physical wallet. Lose that, and there go the next 40 hours of going to banks, getting new cards, reissuing new identity documents, making up for lost cash, etc etc.
But funny enough, there’s a fantastically easy solution to minimize this risk.
As with all of the above.
Last but not least, God forbid you get hit by a truck, and all your crypto goes poof.
The fruits of all that hard work, painful hodling, and stressful trading go back to crypto Gaia.
Your disappearance reduces the total available supply of those coins to the market and so, the asset’s price goes up by a bit, but your loved ones foot the bill.
Technical solutions to this problem are not enough either, legal and well thought out personal strategies are equal if not more important to set up. This is for reasons I will go into in my speech at Anarchapulco 2019. And will cover in my workshop.
However, solving this without compromising your security is not as simple as it may seem.
It’s just going to take time, perhaps decades for good solutions to crypto inheritance to become mainstream. For now, we have to dive into the learning curve and implement solutions our selves…
As a millennial and paranoid libertarian of sorts, I’ve been thinking about these problems for a long time, personally, and selfishly.
I’ve discussed it with many like-minded friends for years. Reviewed available tools. Chosen from the best of them and put them together into a digital security strategy that over the past few years has served me very well.
(Knock on wood. This is certainly not a challenge for all the master hackers out there. But so far I have never been hacked and I intend to keep it that way.)
Today, I’m making the fruits of all this research, discussion and thought, available to the public, in the form of a workshop.
One of these workshops will be delivered inside the conference venue and another off-site for those who won’t be attending the conference its self.
The closer we get to conference time, the higher the price to participate and be a part of it.
The workshop date is the third week of February during the conference, exact date announced in a week (waiting for Anarchapulco Scheduling).
I’ve got a lot planned and this is not just a workshop, but access to a community of like-minded individuals, as well as a commitment to your self to claim your own sovereignty, enhance your freedom and own the responsibility to Be Your Own Bank.