The explosive growth of cryptocurrency has brought about many changes in how people conduct business. There are also questions about the best ways to engage in transactions while preserving security. Texting has become one of the most convenient ways to not only communicate but also to perform basic tasks such as signing up, asking questions, and conducting financial transactions.
Texting is often used in the cryptocurrency space. While this can make transactions simple, it also poses some risks and concerns that are worth addressing. Let’s look at some of the ways that texting is increasingly used in the crypto space along with some security tips.
Sending Crypto Via Text
More people are using mobile devices, especially smartphones, for all types of transactions such as online shopping and banking. It’s also convenient to use a phone for researching, checking prices, and exchanging crypto. It’s fairly simple to send and receive Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from your phone. At the same time, it’s important to make sure you take sensible precautions.
Sending crypto from your phone isn’t quite as simple as sending an ordinary text. You need an app such as a crypto wallet or payment processor that works with crypto. The following are a few that can be used (we do not recommend those, they were just picked randomly to show examples).
- Choise (formerly Crypterium) — This company has its own cryptocurrency as well as a wallet that lets you send crypto and earn money while holding it. You can even send Bitcoin via text to people who don’t have their own wallets.
- TextWallet — An app that lets you send and receive cryptocurrency on several popular messaging platforms such as Telegram, Discord, and Keybase.
- Cash App — Cash App, a popular platform for sending payments, has integrated with a service called Lightning Network to send and receive Bitcoin.
As cryptocurrencies are used for more everyday purposes, we can expect more apps and integrations that make it easy to send and receive Bitcoin and other tokens.
Get Crypto-Related SMS Alerts
If you use crypto exchanges, you may want to receive alerts via text for a number of reasons.
- Confirmation that a transaction has been completed, such as buying or selling an asset.
- Price alerts. You may want to know if an asset goes up or down.
- Token listing alerts. New cryptocurrencies are listed all the time. Investors can get alerts to be notified when new tokens are listed on exchanges.
You can get alerts from the exchanges on which you’re active. There’s also a service called Cryptocurrency Alerting that you can set up to receive specific alerts.
Security Precautions For Crypto and Texting
The security measures to follow for crypto-related purposes are basically the same for any sensitive communications. However, as scammers and hackers are particularly focused on crypto right now, you need to be especially wary.
- Never respond to texts from unknown parties regarding crypto. This includes requests to invest, offers of free crypto, and invitations to join groups. Scammers may also try to entice you to text them first. For example, on social media sites and YouTube, they will often impersonate the channel owner and provide a contact number.
- Don’t do anything related to crypto (or any financial transactions) using public WiFi. These networks can easily be hacked. Keep in mind that in public places, there’s also the danger of someone looking over your shoulder or using hidden cameras to see what you’re doing.
- Be careful of phishing scams, whether sent via text or email. If you’re not sure of where a message is coming from, don’t click on any links. Log onto the site independently if you want to verify the information.
- Use only secure passwords, and make sure passwords are unique to each site. Password managers such as Bitwarden make it easy to generate complex passwords and store them safely.
- Store passwords and seed/secret recovery phrases in a safe place, offline.
- Use two-factor authentication or 2FA for login is now a widely accepted measure that makes it much harder for a third party to hack into an account. This is a security step that goes beyond passwords, which can often be guessed or hacked. 2FA requires users to use an authenticator app such as Google Authenticator or 2FA Authenticator. Users are sent a code via the app that they must enter before logging on.
- Don’t text casually about financial matters. The same goes for email and social media. In particular, don’t announce what you’re about to do, such as buying or selling an asset. You never know when messages can be intercepted.
- Use only established and professional text message platforms, such as ProTexting, to send out SMS alerts and notifications. The text alerts need to be sent via provisioned and approved Short Codes or Toll-Free numbers.
Mobile devices make it easy to do research and conduct financial transactions. It’s natural that tech-savvy people who use smartphones for almost everything will also conduct crypto-related business and communications via text. As long as you use commonsense precautions, you can use texting and apps safely for many financial transactions.