Despite the popularity of cryptocurrency, many investors and traders don’t give a second thought to security – Which they pay for dearly. Today we look at the 6 reasons why you need a VPN for cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency has been around for over a decade, but it’s fair to say that it only picked up spotlight from the mainstream in 2018, with Bitcoins meteoric rise in the Winter of that year. For the novice investor, this proved to be a costly lesson. Bull runs in any market are destined to end eventually, and cryptocurrency is no different. In January and Februrary 2019, the same bull run became a bear market, and the value of all cryptocurrencies crashes significantly.
This didn’t deter many though, especially those familiar with the ebb and flow of the markets, and those who had believed in the future usability of cryptocurrency.
Those who kept the faith were rewarded, as cryptocurrency saw a massive surge once more during the bulk of the COVID lockdowns. The increasing popularity of NFTs and the Web3 space saw the crypto space gain much-needed use case. No longer a speculative market, cryptocurrency had usage that the average joe on the street could benefit from.
The numbers reflect this. According to statistics website Statistica, the total transaction value in the Digital Payments segment is projected to reach US$8.49tn by the end of 2022. The website also forecast that the total transaction value is expected to show an annual growth rate of 12.31% resulting in a projected total amount of US$15.17tn by 2027.
Despite the massive value cryptocurrency presents, there has been little talk of cybersecurity with regards to cryptocurrency, let alone using a VPN for cryptocurrency.
Anybody who has spent time in the crypto community, especially in the NFT space, knows somebody who has lost out on millions of dollars due to poor security. To this end, we have put together a list of reasons to encourage you to consider a VPN for cryptocurrency transactions, investments, and trading.
VPN FOR CRYPTOCURRENCY – ENCRYPTION
Encryption is at the heart of any Virtual Private Network. All VPNs aren’t engineered the same, and depending on the protocols used, a VPN might have different functions, speeds, and vulnerabilities.
The primary role of encryption is make your acitivty inivisble on the net, a huge positive for cryptocurrency. This is done by obsfucating your data – also known as encryption. A VPN with good encryption is one of the strongest digital measures you can take in securing your crypto.
To classify how VPN encryption is used, things like encryption type, protocols, and ciphers used must be considered. These things determine exactly how protection is formed. Each represents a different answer to the cybersecurity question.
There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to this, so we won’t cover them all for the purposes of this article. For ciphers, one of the most powerful choices considering VPN for cryptocurrency is AES-256 (Advanced Encryption Standard). AES is considered the gold standard of encryption ciphers. It is a symmetric block cipher, and is used by the US Government, US Military, and nearly every financial institute in the world. AES is used in software and hardware globally, and is one of the foundational pillars of modern cybersecurity.
It was also taken by the NSA to protect national security systems.
Because of its use by the US government, it became extremeley popular in the private sector, especially as an element of VPN encryption. It is without a doubt the most common choice when looking to setup VPN encryption.
OpenVPN is without a doubt the leader when it comes to VPN protocols. It is a protocol but also a software, which uses secure point-to-point and site-to-site connections. Nearly all major VPN providers offer OpenVPN, making it the top dog in the space.
The protocol is responisble for handling client-server communications, and establishes a tunnel between client and software.
OpenVPN handles encryption and authentication, and also uses the OpenSSL extensively. OpenVPN has the option to use either UDP (User Datagram Protocol) or TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) to transmit data.
OpenVPN is best used over UDP, which it will always default to first. It will only attempt TCP if the UDP connection fails.
It uses a custom security protocol that bypass HTTP and NAT.
OpenVPN was the first protocol that championed open-source. Its code isn’t owned by just one entity, and third-parties can always inspect it and continuously improve it. This has lead to some VPN providers building on OpenVPN to build their own custom service, like SaferNet has done.
All in all, OpenVPN is the most popular for a reason. It offers the greatest balance of speed and security, and is truly best-in-class when it comes to using a VPN for cryptocurrency.
VPN FOR CRYPTOCURRENCY – EXTRA PROTECTION FROM HACKERS
To preference this point – The overwhelming majority of VPNs, especially the popular ones, have zero malware protection. This is not always the case, and VPNs like SaferNet do indeed offer comprehensive protection against hackers.
Cybercrime is a huge danger online, more than many internet users know. Cryptocurrency investors and traders are prime targets, given the amount of cash they deal with online.
There are a range of threats online facing cryptocurrency enthuists every second, including:
Ransomware – Ransomware is a virus that encrypts a users device. Following encryption, the user must pay a monetary sum for the return of their device. With regards to using a VPN for Crypto, it is vital that protection is used due to the high amount of ransomware found in the cryptocurrency scene.
Spyware – Spywares main focus is stealing sensitive information from users – Passwords, keys, etc. A VPN for Crypto is invaluable here. Spyware can not only siphon passwords, but also seed phrases which are the final step in accessing an account.
Remote Access Trojans – Remote Access Trojans, or RATs, are very similar to Spyware, however they allow the hacker full control of an infected device. Given their destructive nature, a VPN for crypto is vital in combating RATs.
As stated, the majority of VPNs offer no anti-virus features. This is not the case for SaferNet’s always-on VPN, which was built with twin goals in mind – To offer both the privacy of a VPN and the antivirus capabilities of anti-malware software. While most services require a number of different software solutions to achieve both privacy and security, SaferNet gets it done all-in-one. Given how much cryptocurrency markets and users are targeted, a VPN for cryptocurrency activity is vital.
VPN FOR CRYPTOCURRENCY – PHISHING
Though ordinarily mentioned with malware, the amount of phishing attacks that happen to cryptocurrency investors is so overwhelmingly frequent that it deserves its own entry.
Phishing is perhaps the most well-known attack vector a hacker can utilize. Nearly everyone has seen a phishing attempt at some point in their lives. To put it simply, Phishing is a cybercrime in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords. Phishing is not necessarily all about grabbing credentials, though. Modern phishing methods often revolve around having the target download a file that is covertly malware or enabling macros on a Word document which in turn deploy a virus. Phishing and the act of social engineering come hand in hand.
Between 2018 and 2019 alone, there was over half a billion dollars stolen in phishing attacks, and to date there has been even more in a series of ledger-based phishing attacks.
While Malware in general can lead to huge losses, its clear that phishing is #1 in cryptocurrency attacks. Everybody can get phished, no matter how savvy they are – When considering a VPN for crytocurrency, phishing protection should be a top concern.
VPN FOR CRYPTOCURRENCY – FIREWALL BYPASS
Firewall bypassing is an issue of contention for many, yet still must be considered when looking at a VPN for cryptocurrency. There are also many technical limitations to be considered. While it is not a use case for the many, it is valid for the few.
Firewalls can be found in schools, universities, and more recently in company offices. They are put in place for security purposes – and rightfully so – but often use elements of control like blocking certain website categories. One of these categories is cryptocurrency, and many organisations with a firewall in place do not allow connected uses to access cryptocurrency websites.
When using a VPN for cryptocurrency, many of these Firewalls can be bypassed, and a user can freely trade and invest while on the network. This of course should be used responisibly, and slacking off on the job or in class to trade crypto using a VPN isn’t advisable!
If the establishment also has a good network administator team in place, they can determine that a VPN is being used, and sometimes even who is using it.
Regardless, there are times, especially for day-traders, that crypto platforms need to be accessed. This is important during times of volatile prices, which in cryptos case happens to be fairly regularly.
Despite the potential here, using a VPN to bypass a Firewall isn’t always guarenteed to work. Sure, it will mostly work on Firewalls that are setup out-of-the-box, but a keen IT team will have a custom setup, and sometimes will disallow VPNs have connecting to the network entirely, or restrict traffic that is encrypted.
VPN FOR CRYPTOCURRENCY – ACTIVITY LOGS
When choosing a VPN for cryptocurrency, it is paramount to consider what kind of activity is being logged.
If a VPN provider is keeping logs, you aren’t getting real privacy. While ISPs and the governemtn won’t track you, your VPN service is actively doing so.
There are often claims that they do nothing with the data. This is often true, but in this case beware of ‘Free’ VPNs. There are very few if any legitimate free VPNs. More often, you and your data are the price, and your data logs are being sold on to advertisers or in extreme cases to government.
If you find yourself in a case like this there is a sense of irony – While you searched for privacy, you ended up in a situation where you had more privacy taken away.
VPN FOR CRYPTOCURRENCY – KEEP YOUR TRADING ACTIVITY PRIVATE
For our final point, we look at what is in a sense a combination of our previous 5 points.
Privacy and anonymity are the bedfellows of cryptocurrency. One of the prime draws to the original cryptocurrency enthusiasts was the sense of anonymity gained from dealing in cryptocurrency.
Trading or investing without a VPN disregards all this. If you go to invest in a web3 project, or buy some ETH, or mint an NFT – Your ISP knows. ISPs aren’t exactly private with their data, and could easily sell your profile information on, or pass it to governments.
Moreover, cryptocurrency can be bandwidth intensive, and ISPs are known to throttle customer bandwidth if intensive activites are spotted on the network, like cryptocurrency activities, gaming, or streaming.
Using a VPN cryptocurrency will obfuscate your acitivty, ensuring ISPs are relatively blind to your actions.
SHOULD I USE A VPN FOR CRYPTOCURRENCY?
We hope that if you’ve made it this far, you can understand why a VPN is critical for cryptocurrency. Advanced privacy, protection, security, and usability are vital in the cryptocurrency world. As digital goods become more mainstream, this issue will only become larger, as more and more hackers, ISPs, and governments look to cryptocurrency.
What VPN should you use, then? We recommend SaferNet.
SaferNet: The Perfect Choice For Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts
SaferNet is the ideal choice when looking for a VPN for cryptocurrency activity. Using SaferNet, all devices are tightly secured for 24 hours a day, and cyberthreats and malware are held at bay. SaferNet is usable in any part of the world, ensuring you can access your cryptocurrency safely wherever you are. As you can see from this article, there are many great reason why you need a VPN for cryptocurrency, and SaferNet was engineered with this in mind.
Furthermore, SaferNet offers a range of features unlike those seen in other VPNs. Buying a VPN, Malware Protection, and Internet controls would normally mean three separate purchases. SaferNet is the complete package and does all 3 in 1. It is next-generation endpoint security solution with a quick and clean setup, ensuring you can trade cryptocurrency with peace of mind.