Though we really don’t see HitBTC being recommended a lot on bitcoin and cryptocurrency communities, HitBTC is still one big exchange that’s handling tons and tons of exchange transactions for their users.
With that said, it it safe to leave your coins on HitBTC?
HitBTC seems to have the basic exchange security features a typical cryptocurrency exchange should have. Namely:
- address whitelisting
- strict password requirements
- 2-factor authentication
- separate cold storage
Is HitBTC Safe?
As far as we know, HitBTC seems to be a pretty secure exchange due to them being remained unhacked since its inception in 2014. Remaining unhacked for 5+ years in the cryptocurrency space is surely a huge achievement.
Regardless, leaving funds on exchanges such as HitBTC is a bad idea.
Reasons why you should NOT leave your funds on HitBTC
Reason 1: Nothing is unhackable
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges in general have always been a very hot target for hackers, as hackers could potentially get away with millions and billions of dollars worth of coins if they ever successfully cracked HitBTC’s or any exchange’s system.
But is HitBTC being hacked a possibility?
While it might look unlikely to happen, yes; it’s technically very very possible. In general, nothing is 100% unhackable, especially when we’re talking about websites. Even Google, Facebook, and other big websites are technically possible to hack, but due to their top-notch security, they just make it really really difficult for hackers to do so.
If you really think HitBTC is very secure, well, people in the past thought the same with MtGox, Bitfinex, and Binance. Unfortunately, these exchanges have been successfully hacked in the past, each exchange losing more than a hundred thousand of their user’s bitcoins in the process.
Reason 2: HitBTC’s bad reputation
There are dozens and dozens of negative posts concerning HitBTC on cryptocurrency communities such as Reddit. While we have no proof if HitBTC is deliberately stealing funds from some of their users, HitBTC has a pretty bad reputation for locking their users’ accounts, requiring them to submit AML/KYC documents.
If you’re totally fine with submitting AML/KYC, then you probably should be fine. Though we personally would prefer using a different exchange due to this shady practice from HitBTC.
Reason 3: “Not your keys, not your bitcoin”
While this quote is directly referring to bitcoin, it should apply to pretty much every single cryptocurrency. Only use wallets whereas you have control over the private keys/recovery seed, as that way, even if the exchanges you use gets hacked, your coins don’t get lost along with it.
Another reason is that one of the main selling points of bitcoin is that it’s unconfiscatable. When you leave your funds on centralized exchanges, it defeats that purpose. Exchanges, in general, can lock up your account(s) regardless if you did something wrong or not. A lot of people think that this easily fixed by simply submitting a support ticket to the exchange, but in some cases, it’s not. This occurrence has happened a lot more than most people think.
Reason 4: Exchanges are exchanges
Use exchanges for their sole purpose, as a platform to exchange your money for some bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Simply withdraw your funds after every transaction using exchanges like HitBTC, the same reason why you wouldn’t leave your hard-earned money on money remittance centers and money exchangers. Instead, you simply withdraw the cash and lock them up in your personal safe, or you store them in your bank. The same thing should be done with bitcoin. Simply send them over to your personal wallet whereas you have control over the private keys.
Where do I keep my funds instead?
Mobile wallets(if you own small amounts of bitcoin)
Mobile wallets are wallets that, by it’s name alone, are wallets that are installed on your mobile phone. Mobile wallets are great simply because you have easy access to your funds with you at all times.
While Mobile wallets are great, we only suggest leaving funds on mobile wallets if your coins don’t cost that much. If you’re holding huge amounts of bitcoin or cryptocurrencies, we heavily suggest investing some money for a hardware wallet instead.
Why not desktop wallets? Especially if you’re using a Windows device, computer systems are a lot more prone to viruses compared to your phone. Malware and viruses that are mainly focused on trying to steal your coins are quite common nowadays. Losing your coins due to a malware/virus on your computer is one of the most common ways on how people lose their coins.
- Convenient – if you want to transfer funds, you can simply scan the QR code of the recipient address using your phone
- Free – great mobile wallets are easily downloadable right now for free on the Android PlayStore and the iOS AppStore
- Lack of security – while using a good mobile wallet is safer than using a custodial wallet, the security of mobile wallets may not be enough especially if you’re holding a significant amount of coins. While difficult and quite unlikely, mobile phones, in theory, can still be infected with malware and viruses. For people who hold a good amount of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, we heavily suggest getting a hardware wallet.
Some great bitcoin mobile wallets
Hardware wallets(if you own significant amounts of bitcoin)
Hardware wallets are small devices made specifically for securely holding bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, and are small enough to fit in your pocket. We heavily suggest using a hardware wallet instead, if you’re holding a significant amount of bitcoin or cryptocurrencies. A hardware wallet is definitely your best choice for holding coins and tokens without the fear of getting hacked.
- High security – your wallet’s private keys never leave the device. Hence, you could really do transactions even if the computer device you’re using is infested with malware and viruses, as long as you make sure that the coins are being sent to the right address.
- Less convenient – You need to plug in your hardware wallet to your computer to make a transaction; though fortunately, the new Ledger Nano X has bluetooth functionality, giving you the option to send transactions using your mobile phone instead.
Some great hardware wallets
If there’s one thing that we want you to remember from this article, is the quote “not your keys, not your bitcoin”. The only way to have total control and to have significantly better security over your funds is to use a wallet that gives you access to your private keys/recovery seed. That way, even if for instance every single existing bitcoin/cryptocurrency exchange gets hacked, your coins will be untouched.