Fundamentals of Crypto OpSec
Let’s start with a little definition.
What does the term “OPSEC” mean in general?
Opsec is a term coming from the military, meaning “operational security”.
The term OPSEC was taken from there widely used to describe security precautions in various grey-zone or illegal activities, most recently also in activities related to cryptocurrencies.
Those include mainly:
- using cryptocurrencies for payments, and
- cryptocurrency storage (wallet) management
Why is OPSEC in crypto so important?
OPSEC matters so much not because owning cryptocurrency would imply illegal activities.
It is because any cryptocurrency is unregulated store of value that critically depends on how well an investor protects their own digital asset instead of outsourcing the protection to an institution.
Crypto OpSec Fundamentals
Good opsec in crypto is boring.
You know what you are supposed to do, it is not super practical, the odds of getting hacked seem super low, we are in a bear market anyway, who cares. Right?
Wouldn’t it be funny if for most people their cryptocurrency endeavor ended up failing not because of quantum computers, criminalization of cryptocurrencies or unforeseen vulnerability … But because of their unwillingness to be their own bank with all that belongs to it?
There is a way through the boring maze of good opsec in crypto, though: OPSEC stops boring you once it becomes your habit.
Long-term holding vs Trading OPSEC
If you are a crypto trader, you probably move your coins quite a lot.
It might seem counterintuitive, but that puts you in a better position than long-term holders usually find themselves at.
Moving your crypto regularly forces you to keep your software up-to-date, to keep your hardware wallet’s firmware at the latest version, and to recall your passwords often.
Long-term holders sometimes don’t access their wallets for years at a time.
In a tech segment that evolves as fast as crypto, that’s not a good idea.
But even if crypto was technologically completely mature: If you never work with it, you never give yourself chance to form the habit of good OPSEC.
This should really be a no-brainer. For the absolute majority of cryptocurrency investors, there won’t ever be any institution taking care about their holdings. This type of service might make sense for institutional investors who need legally enforceable services to fulfill regulations, and who can actually afford to sue.
If you are just another small fish that owns crypto, it really is time to wake up from your middle class slumber. The twentieth century is long gone.