Starting today, Coinbase Wallet will let you store your private keys on Google Drive and iCloud. The popular cryptocurrency storage app will backup an encrypted version of your Coinbase Wallet’s private keys to your personal cloud storage accounts, allowing you to safely recover your crypto funds at any point.
🔐☁️ Introducing Cloud Backup for your private keys on Coinbase Wallet!
Backup to your personal iCloud or Google Drive, and explore the open financial system with peace of mind. https://t.co/6uaHT8AZky
— Coinbase Wallet (@CoinbaseWallet) February 12, 2019
San Francisco-based Coinbase announced the update in a blog post earlier today.
Explained Coinbase in the announcement:
“Since we launched Coinbase Wallet (formerly Toshi), our users have experienced the full power of an open financial system – storing their own funds and accessing them anywhere in the world,”
“But with that power comes great responsibility. The private keys generated and stored on your mobile device are the only way to access your funds on the blockchain. Owners of ‘user-controlled wallets’ like Coinbase Wallet sometimes lose their devices or fail to backup their 12 word recovery phrase in a safe place, thus losing their funds forever.”
Thanks to the new cloud storage support with Coinbase Wallet, that’s no longer a concern. Users can recover their crypto funds at any point from iCloud or Google Drive.
Coinbase Wallet will store an encrypted copy of your recovery phrase on your personal cloud account. All you need to do is remember a password. You choose your own password. Then, if you ever need to recover your funds, you just type that password in to unlock the encryption and regain access. Of course, the files are doubly protected because they sit in your iCloud or Google Drive account behind a password and other protections. Many iCloud and Google Drive accounts have two-factor authentication and location-based verification features to provide an extra layer of protection.
The latest version of Coinbase Wallet, available for download from the app store today, supports cloud backup. iOS users can back up their private keys to iCloud, while Android users can back up their private keys to Google Drive.
“We intend to add support for other cloud services in the future,” explained Coinbase in the blog post.
Cloud backup is optional. You have to opt-in to the feature to activate it. Users still have the option to view their recovery phrase and back it up manually – the same as before. Coinbase also recommends that users back up their passphrase manually after activating the cloud backup service. They also suggest enabling two-factor authentication on your cloud account.
To activate cloud backup, just update your Coinbase Wallet app to the latest version. When you open the latest version of the app, you should see a pop-up explaining iCloud or Google Drive backup. Tap, “Back up now” to back up your private keys now.
You can also adjust private key management and backup settings from the Coinbase Wallet settings menu at any time.
Coinbase Wallet will periodically send a pop-up telling the user to back up their private keys to the cloud.
If you ever need to restore your Coinbase Wallet, then download the Coinbase Wallet app on the device you’re using to restore the wallet, tap the “I already have a wallet” button, enter the password you used to back up that wallet, and that’s it. As long as your phone is logged into the same Google Account (Android) or iCloud account (iOS), your wallet will be backed up.
Coinbase’s cloud service also supports multiple wallets, allowing you to easily switch between accounts and wallets.
The news of this newly launched feature was met with a lot of skepticism for putting your keys on a centralized server. Google Drive and iCloud have both been the subjects of hacks and phishing in the past.
I think you should fire the ‘engineers’ that came up with this idea.
— LiL Whale ⚡ (@lilcryptowhale) February 12, 2019
That’s a genius idea. How many people from your professional advisory board were involved in this phenomenal decision?
— Emanuil Boyanov (@iLeeT7) February 12, 2019
Everyone mark this tweet so we can come back and laugh during the next cloud hack
— Amarok (@ChartofWar) February 12, 2019
Being your own bank is a huge responsibility and one that you should take seriously. Here are a couple of our best guides on security.
Hacking Protection: Top 6 Cryptocurrency Hacker Methods Used & How to Protect Wallets