When you make a withdrawal at a bank, pay taxes, or get a license you must prove who you are. The process of proving who you are is a very “human” process. The authority checks your ID and ensures the picture looks like you, which allows them to trust that you are the person who’s name is on the ID.
Bitcoin on the other hand, doesn’t care who holds the private keys to a wallet. Whoever has knowledge of those keys, which is just some numbers, is technically an owner of those coins. For this reason, we go to great lengths to ensure that we are the only ones who have knowledge of our keys.
With Bitcoin many aren’t accustomed to the fact that there is no authority that can help recover keys if they are lost. If you lose your online bank account password, you can just go to the bank and have them reset it. If you lose your Bitcoin keys, you no longer own those Bitcoins.
Why not use Biometrics?
I’ve had people ask me, why can’t we use fingerprints or eye scanners as the keys? This would solve the problem of people forgetting their keys.
The biggest problem here is that if it can be digitized then it can be copied. By turning a fingerprint into a digital permanent Bitcoin key, if someone else takes a picture of your finger they can not only steal your Bitcoin, but also potentially every coin you earn in the future.
The Best Answer Right Now is Education and Tools
For now, the best we can do is educate everyone on good key storage techniques, and build tools to make secure storage easier. That is our #1 goal with Qvault, and the project is becoming more secure and easier to use every day.
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