The Dangers of Reckless Crypto Staking

The Dangers of Reckless Crypto Staking

Staking is a recent trend which has attracted more traditional crypto investors due to its similarities with the fiat financial sector. Promising better returns, this proof-of-stake (PoS) system has been loosely likened to interest-bearing bank accounts. A coin holder can choose to keep currency in a digital crypto wallet, which is then used to create new blocks, increasing the holder’s total asset value. According to recent reports, Staking accounts for over $4 billion in funds. This is, in part, due to the longest cryptocurrency bear market in history.

Whilst Staking might seem like the answer which investors have been looking for, it does come with certain risks. Some of these are inherently linked to price fluctuations. Most crypto investors seem to be comfortable with this reality. However, many may not be aware of wider-industry risks, which include hacking and data theft.

Most PoS systems require computers to be constantly online. This increases the user’s risk of being hacked since the IP is exposed for longer, uninterrupted periods. Unlike with mining proof-of-work (PoW), PoS private keys are generally kept online, so capable hackers can gain access to the funds with relative ease.

The dangers of exposing the user’s IP is also present in cold-staking processes, which do not require the computers to be constantly online. A recent MIT Technology Review study confirmed that the industry is witnessing a growing vulnerability to hacks.

Staking Pools have become a popular choice for investors who wish to outsource their investment management. Naturally, that in itself could pose a risk, as the investor would be trusting third parties with sensitive information. Beyond that, however, collective pools holding considerable currency are natural prey for any hacker.

Fortunately, there are steps which investors can take to minimize the risk and enjoy the better returns which this innovative system promises.

An immediate suggestion by industry experts is to set up a VPN proxy. Whilst a suitable solution for those with the necessary skills, those who lack the skills may set it up incorrectly and be unprotected.

Another solution which has been gaining popularity is obfuscating. This process involves using relays to hide the true origin or destination of transactions. Through the setting up of a mini-relay network, users can keep their data encrypted over multiple internal hops. In order to accomplish this successfully, users would need to create a relay network which can automatically proxy traffic on numerous global servers.

Whilst this might sound complicated at first, there are several peer-to-peer networking implementations as well as open source blockchain systems which can guide and assist users to implement relays effectively. As a result, the user’s primary node location and identity are safely stored behind a firewall, out of reach of lurking hackers.

As with everything in the crypto industry, knowledge and awareness are the best tools to protect investors from possible pitfalls.

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