Users of Coinbase Wallet can now back up their private keys on Google Drive or iCloud, the company announced on Tuesday, Feb. 12.
“Starting today, you can now back up an encrypted version of your Coinbase Wallet’s private keys to your personal cloud storage accounts, using either Google Drive or iCloud,” a blog post published on its website read.
This new feature Coinbase says provides a safeguard for users, helping them avoid losing their funds if they lose their device or misplace their private keys.
This is coming on the heels of the QuadrigaCX exchange scandal where cryptocurrencies worth $190M was reportedly locked in the founder’s wallet after his death. As reported, the Canadian exchange announced that it could no longer find the keys to digital currency wallets holding the digital currencies as the CEO and founder of the firm Gerald Cotten was the only one responsible for the funds.
Since the incident, special investigators have tried to access the founder’s devices in an attempt to find the digital keys. ‘Big four’ auditing firm Ernst & Young in its latest report to the court for Quadriga’s creditor protection proceedings, said it recovered some encrypted USB keys and other electronic devices used by Cotton.
Coinbase, in its statement, noted this risk involved with owning cryptocurrency. It explained:
“…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.”
Coinbase said that users can access their wallet keys from any device through the Google and iCloud back-up feature. It explained, however, that the keys will not be directed backed-up on these cloud-services rather an encrypted copy of the recovery phrase will be backed up. This way, neither the cloud services nor anyone else can be able to access the wallets until the recovery phrase is unlocked by a password known only to the user.
“Your backup is encrypted with AES-256-GCM encryption and accessible only by the Coinbase Wallet mobile app,” Coinbase said adding that it will extend the support to other cloud services in the future. Users can still use the password recovery option previously available on the app.
As reported, Coinbase recently announced support for Bitcoin (BTC) for the Coinbase Wallet which was formerly Toshi and supported only ethereum based tokens. Toshi moved to Coinbase wallet last year with the promise of new features and support for a broader range of digital assets.