Today, we’d like to spend some time reminding the community about a critical issue: online safety.
Financial sites and cryptocurrencies are alike in this regard: they provide electronic access to people’s funds. They are also alike in this regard: people’s funds are target for fraud, thieves, and con-artists.
We’re not talking about the legions of trolls and nay-sayers that come out in hordes bashing every new coin, making all sorts of preposterous claims that can, and should, be dismissed out of hand. We’re talking about real fraud – these usually take the form of legitimate-looking sites and services that are just looking for a way to steal.
It should go without saying, but it always bears saying again: please be very careful and responsible online.
We are a target
The Bitcoin Gold team wants to encourage individuals and organizations, large and small, to develop software and businesses in the crypto space. To that end, we frequently share information as new providers arise, and we are always pleased when traditional providers announce support for BTG. On the other hand, this means that we are targets for impersonation – there have been very many fake “Bitcoin Gold” sites and social media channels sharing the news of new “services” which are not legitimate, and countless fake accounts made under the names of Bitcoin Gold’s core team. This is done in an attempt to con you into trusting the fake services.
Our partners are targets
The organizations supporting Bitcoin Gold – both new startups, and old standard in the industry – are also targets for impersonation. Again, with fake sites and fake accounts, they want to capture your trust and then capture your coin.
Most of all, you are a target
After all, it’s your funds these criminals are after. They are after your Bitcoin Gold, but they are also after your Bitcoin, your bank accounts, and anything they can get to. Holders of Bitcoin at the time of the October Bitcoin Gold Fork who are trying to access their corresponding new Bitcoin Gold coin are a particular target.
We’d like to point out that If you held BTC before the fork, you hold the same amount of BTG now, and those coins are safe where they are. You do not need to “claim” them for them to become BTG. There is no time limit for you to being using them, and the web sites that give you that impression are absolute frauds; the fake timers are just an effort to convince you to act in haste and make a mistake.
Anyone can be a victim
Don’t let it be you. And it’s worth noting that there can be victims throughout the ecosystem. The history of the internet is full of well-intentioned projects that are not frauds, but who, themselves, become victims of attacks. A man in the middle attack or a hacked and compromised web site can try to steal your funds, and it will appear that the project stole your funds, but they are really just another victim of the fraud.
The best steps to be safe with your Bitcoin Gold are the same as the steps to be safe with your banking information, or original Bitcoin, or any other cryptocurrency, and people new to the space must stop stop and think carefully about safety. The safest way to manage any cryptocurrency is an offline or hardware wallet. Next best are desktop wallets and phone wallets, provided you are vigilant and keep your computers/phones very safe. Online wallet services – which include dedicated wallet providers, as well as exchanges that hold your funds – are the next tier. The last alternative is a personal “web wallet,” but those are vulnerable to web site hacking, DNS exploits, man-in-the-middle attacks, etc. … all on top of the fact that the phone or computer you use to reach the web wallet could be at risk. Therefore web wallets are not recommended.
Consider reviewing an online guide such as this excellent one, at bitcoin.org.