Airbitz has developed a way to make two-factor authentication (2FA) “dirt simple” for everyone. The mobile wallet provider has invented a one-step process that merges the functionality of an app like Google Authenticator directly into their Bitcoin wallet. CEO Paul Puey told Cointelegraph:
“We believe even the slightly technical people will understand the benefits of 2FA. As a bitcoin evangelist, I wanted to recommend 2FA to people, but knew they would be turned off by it. With this level of simplicity, I have no hesitation anymore.”
No longer does a user need to go through the complicated process of opening a separate authenticator app, transferring a seed to connect it with their device, then each time they log into their wallet, entering a six-digit code from the authenticator, along with their login and password.
The Airbitz app simplifies the process by generating one-time use tokens and sending them with each server interaction, tying a user’s account with their current device. No other device will be allowed to authenticate. A user can add additional devices by scanning a QR code on the original 2FA-enabled device.
If a user loses their device, they can log into their account through a new one and request a 2FA reset. The transfer process will take seven days and use push notification warnings to prevent a fraudulent reset.
Two-factor authentication can be discouraging for all but “crypto geeks,” delaying Bitcoin adoption because it seems too complicated for most people to keep their digital currencies safe.
The computer-access control method requires a user to present authentication factors from two categories—possession (such as a device with an authentication app) and knowledge (such as a username and password). A user must have both, making it is less likely for an attacker or unauthorized person to gain access.
The wallet’s other security features include a 10-digit password and six recovery questions. Puey says these features are not required, and are not part of the new account process. He explains:
“Our wallet creates a popup after the user receives more than 100 mBTC in their account. The popup suggest that they complete the password recovery process, but it still isn’t required then. We think this is a great balance between a fast onboarding process and promoting good security and safety features.”
Airbitz realizes that their “password recovery process is tedious and challenging” for some users and he says they’re working to improve it. They are developing a “faster, simpler, and still incredibly secure Password Recovery 2.0” that will make recovery a matter of answering two “very easy” questions.
A year ago, Airbitz launched their business directory, which made it easy for Bitcoin users worldwide to find local businesses that accepted the currency. Ease of use is the company’s core focus, along with privacy and autonomy. The app continues to require no email, phone number, or personal information, allowing for 100% user control over their Bitcoin.
The “one-touch 2FA” update is available for both Android and iPhone.
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