Bitcoin Gives You Back Control Over Your Wealth but There Is a Price to Pay
It’s a small price to pay, but it’s a price you need to know.
Bitcoin is a complete paradigm shift from the current monetary and financial system. It has many advantages for its users, including giving them back full control over their wealth.
No one can stop you from buying Bitcoins and making transactions as you want. Bitcoin belongs to everyone and is truly democratic.
This freedom and control that Bitcoin gives you is contrasted with the censorship that your bank can exercise over what you have in fiat money.
By preventing censorship, Bitcoin puts power in the hands of the people. Bitcoin gives you back control over what you own, but it comes at a price. The price is not very high, but too many people still seem to forget this price.
In this story, I would like to give you a reminder that it is essential to really protect what you own in Bitcoin.
More Than $60 Million in Bitcoin Stolen From Trading Platforms in 2019
In a blog post announcing the upcoming publication of their 2020 Crypto Crime Report, Chainalysis presents a number of very interesting figures concerning hacking of exchange platforms in 2019.
In 2019, 11 attacks on cryptocurrency trading platforms were recorded, i.e. almost twice as many as in 2018.
While the number of attacks almost doubled between 2018 and 2019, the amount of money stolen has fallen sharply. The amount of money stolen has decreased from $875 million in 2018 to $282 million in 2019:
It should be noted that this figure of $282 million is up sharply from 2016 and 2017.
The main cryptocurrencies stolen during these hacks are BTC, ETH, LTC and XRP.
As far as Bitcoin is concerned, the Binance platform was the victim of the biggest hack with a loss of the equivalent of $40 million in Bitcoin.
The BITPoint platform was also affected in 2019, as was DragonEx.
While the amounts stolen are down compared to 2018, I think they are still far too high and reveal a real problem in user behavior.
Far too many people with cryptocurrencies still have the bad habit of leaving their Bitcoins or Altcoins on trading platforms.
This is a fundamental error that is repeated over and over again despite the list of hacks of exchange platforms that continues to grow year after year.
Not Your Keys, Not Your Bitcoins
As the message still does not seem to have been retained by some, I will repeat it again. In the cryptocurrency world and Bitcoin in particular, you don’t own anything if you don’t have the keys to your tokens with you.
You need to engrave the following sentence in your heads once and for all:
Not Your Keys, Not Your Bitcoins.
When your Bitcoins are stored on a trading platform, they are not yours because you do not have the associated keys.
You expose yourself to the same risks as with the banking system.
A trading platform may very well decide to freeze your Bitcoins arbitrarily.
You bought Bitcoins to free yourself from the censorship of the current system and you fall into the same trap by leaving your Bitcoins on trading platforms.
I have a feeling that some people still haven’t learned the lesson from the hacks of the past with the Mt. Gox platform which for example has been robbed of $473 million worth of Bitcoins in 2014.
This lesson needs to be learned once and for all because the main risk for your Bitcoins lies in the trading platforms.
The Bitcoin network has never been hacked in the 11 years of its existence while the hacks of exchange platforms are multiplying.
Bitcoin Gives You Back the Power but Forces You to Be Responsible for What You Own
The fact that the equivalent of $60 million worth of Bitcoin will be gone in 2019 should alert you. Bitcoin is a revolution that gives power back to the people, but it comes at a price.
Remember what Uncle Benjamin Parker said to his nephew in Spider-Man:
“With great power comes great responsibility”
— Benjamin Parker
This very famous quote gave rise to Peter Parker’s principle.
This principle applies perfectly to Bitcoin and how you should use it.
Bitcoin gives you back power over your wealth but requires you to take care of your wealth yourself.
Bitcoin simply makes you accountable.
If you don’t take care of what you own, you may indeed lose everything, but you owe it all to yourself.
Once you buy Bitcoins, you absolutely have to keep them safe on a hardware wallet so that you don’t become part of the unfortunate who lose thousands of dollars just because they’re not careful with what they own.
To help you remember this fundamental principle, keep in mind that nearly 3 million Bitcoins are considered permanently lost.
While the number of Bitcoins that will be put into circulation is limited to 21 million, this would mean that in reality there will only be a maximum of 18 million Bitcoins available to all the inhabitants of the Earth.
By taking care of your Bitcoins, you will make them even more valuable.
Bitcoin is an incredible opportunity for citizens around the world to regain control over what they own. Through its democratic and inclusive nature, Bitcoin gives power back to the people.
With great power comes great responsibility. The price you pay for regaining full control of your wealth is that you will have to take care of it. Bitcoin forces you to be responsible for your own wealth.
In my opinion, the price to pay for regaining full control of your wealth is not that high. In any case, be careful and never forget that if you don’t own the keys to your Bitcoins, they simply don’t belong to you.