Alternative Block Chains : be safe!
Thelma987 last edited by
I haven't seen anybody post about what would be my biggest worry if I were trying out alternative block chains. I realize this may be perceived as "Gavin is FUD'ding anything that isn't bitcoin!" (FUD == Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) But I think some of you might be forgetting some basic computer security fundamentals in the excitement to be early adopters.
When I first heard about bitcoin, my questions were:
- Can it possibly work (do the ideas for how it works make sense)?
- Is it a scam?
- If it is not a scam, could it open my computer up to viruses/trojans if I run it?
I answered those questions by:
- Reading and understanding Satoshi's whitepaper. Then thinking about it for a day or two and reading it again.
- Finding out everything I could about the project. I read every forum thread here (there were probably under a hundred threads back then) and read Satoshi's initial postings on the crypto mailing list.
- Downloaded and skimmed the source code to see if it looked vulnerable to buffer overflow or other remotely exploitable attacks.
If I were going to experiment with an alternative block-chain, I'd go through the same process again. But I'm an old conservative fuddy-duddy.
If you want to take a risk on a brand-new alternative block-chain, I'd strongly suggest that you:
- Run the software in a virtual machine or on a machine that doesn't contain anything valuable.
- Don't invest more money or time than you can afford to lose.
- Use a different passphrase at every exchange site.