Crypto exchange Gemini has integrated support for wireless hardware security keys—a physical two-factor authentication (2FA) method—into its mobile app today, aiming to provide stronger security for mobile traders.
For years, the current generation of USB-based security keys hasn't been compatible with most mobile devices. And with the vast majority of people opting for mobile-based web surfing, this has become a mounting issue.
By extending wireless support across both android and iOS devices, this bypasses the problem—making it possible to use such security measures.
Hardware security keys are deemed one of the most secure means of account authentication available. Using 2FA, these keys verify user identity without needing to send out an SMS or a one-time password (OTP).
Not only do hardware security keys stop phishing attacks in their tracks, but they're much more secure than their SMS-based counterparts, putting a swift end to dreaded sim swapping, replay, or person-in-the-middle attacks—all of which rely on SMS or OTPs.
Gemini has partnered with hardware security key manufacturer, Yubico—designer of the popular hardware security key, Yubikey—to make mobile access possible.
Users need to register at least two hardware keys to make use of the new login method: one supported by the user's mobile device and another cross-platform hardware security key such as Yubikey.
The addition of hardware-based 2FA stands as a boon for mobile users of the Gemini exchange. And with a record 12 crypto exchange hacks in 2019 alone, other exchanges might consider following suit.