When Samsung introduced a built-in cryptocurrency wallet on its Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphone, it got unanimous praise from the crypto community. However, the devil lies in the details. New findings now point out that storing your Bitcoins and Ether on the wallet may put you at potential risk.
This is because the private keys of the wallet are stored on a cloud server. The fact that the keys are stored over the cloud has caused panic among crypto users. Let us take a closer look:
Why Is Samsung Galaxy S10 Cryptocurrency Wallet Not 100% Safe?
The Samsung Galaxy S10 cryptocurrency wallet poses a risk to your security because it stores the keys over cloud servers. As a norm, a good cryptocurrency hardware wallet gives you control over your keys. However, in this case – keys are stored over the cloud. This means that in case the cloud gets hacked (or a Samsung employee goes rogue), all your cryptos are in the control of the perpetrator.
When it comes to cryptocurrency wallets – the more control a user has over his/her keys, the safer it is. Storing it on a cloud, such as in the case of the Samsung Galaxy S10, puts it at a major risk. No serious investor is likely to take this seriously.
Reddit users have pointed out that even some software wallets allow the users to store the private keys with them. The perfect example of this is the Coinbase wallet – which allows the users to store their private keys on their smartphone. A new update now allows them to back it up to Google Drive or iCloud too, for extra security.
Cloud Storage and Crypto Hacks
The biggest problem with storing your private keys on the cloud is that you don’t have complete control. Given that the cloud storage service comes via a second-party or a third-party service provider – your control over your keys is reduced when compared to a hardware device.
Now, this is even more alarming when it comes to recent times. 2018 has been the biggest year when it comes to crypto hacks. Records from Coindesk point out that if one were to break it down statistically, we lost cryptocurrencies worth $2.7 Million every day.
Hackers managed to break into the exchanges, which held all the private keys of the users. Once they had access to the keys, they had access to the funds of the users too! On the other hand, if each of these users were saving their private keys on their own device, their funds would have been relatively secure.
As Reddit user ‘cjluthy’ correctly points out,
If ANY OTHER ENTITY has access to your encryption keys, they also have access to ALL OF YOUR CURRENCY.
It’s literally like if you had a safe, with ALL of your money in it.
Who would you trust to have a copy of the key to that safe (remember the key can be stolen/copied/used by anyone relatively easily)? Would you trust Samsung, Inc.?
How Big a Risk Is It Though?
First off, it is highly unlikely that a tech-giant such as Samsung would ever ‘steal’ your cryptos from you. However, given that the entire concept of cryptocurrencies is based on having control over your own funds – this seems a gross violation of that concept with the Samsung Galaxy S10.
Another major point that one needs to consider is – will a serious investor ever consider a smartphone-based wallet? To be honest, this is just a gimmick from Samsung which would make it convenient to store and spend cryptocurrencies for the everyday Galaxy S10 user. However, hardcore investors would rarely leave cold storage wallets such as Trezor and Ledger Nano S and switch to this platform.
While we do not doubt Samsung’s intentions, storing a large amount of private keys in one place is likely to gain unwanted attention from hackers. This could make Samsung’s cloud servers as a potential target as millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies of Galaxy S10 users can be held here in time! Hence, there’s always a risk factor here.
Reddit users took a dig on this, saying:
Benefits of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Crypto Wallet
2018 was the year of the ‘crypto winter’. All through the year, cryptocurrency prices were caught in a strong downtrend. Bitcoin went from over $19,000 to $3,000 over a year. Cryptocurrencies needed a strong backing at this point in time. With Samsung Galaxy S10 introducing a cryptocurrency wallet – it infuses a level of trust in the crypto tech.
Moreover, given that it will allow the ordinary user to easily store and send cryptocurrencies, it will push adoption forward. Currently, adoption is among the biggest problems that the crypto-community faces. The Samsung Galaxy S10 crypto wallet might actually help with improving that!