One of the world’s largest Bitcoin exchanges Mt. Gox announced that it has introduced a one-time password card (hat/tip CoinDesk), a physical product that it is shipping out with immediate effect, as it seeks to beef up security on the platform.
Basically the OTP card introduces a second layer of security. All you have to do is link the card to your account and set your preferences for how to use it. For example, you can choose to require pushing the “OTP” button to generate a unique password for logging in each time — the password generated is different every time you use it.
Bitcoin hit a new milestone yesterday, passing the $1,000 mark for the first time — and throughout this year the virtual currency has been increasingly welcomed by merchants all over the world. Mt. Gox explains that security needs to be boosted in the light of such developments:
With Bitcoin prices at record highs you can never be too careful with maintaining account security. Malicious parties can compromise your login information if you aren’t careful, but by using a one-time password (OTP) you can prevent anyone from being able to use that information to access your account.
Mt. Gox has also rolled out other changes, one of them a modified trading interface. The exchange has made its interface cleaner and easier to use — by introducing color-coding based on trading activity, a new confirmation step before finalizing the trade, and a display that shows applicable fees for the trade.
As Mt. Gox seeks to make Bitcoin transactions go through faster, it will also now require all Bitcoin transfers to pay the standard 0.001 BTC network fee.
Mt. Gox users will also be getting an increased limit for Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) withdrawals from Poland.
All these changes come towards the end of a year in which Japan-based Mt. Gox has been beset with growing pains.
The company suspended US dollar trading for two weeks in June and July to improve its service, and has suffered a number of DDoS attacks in the past — it was even forced to halt trading in April following a major Bitcoin price crash. However, in August Mt. Gox announced that it is now running on Akamai, a move that will bring greater stability to the growing platform.
As a service that allows Internet users to trade real-world currency for Bitcoin and vice-versa, improving its stability and security will help it go a long way as Bitcoin becomes more widely accepted. To this extent, Mt. Gox has also launched Bitcoins.com, an information site for all things Bitcoin, as it seeks to introduce the virtual currency to more people.
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