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To succeed, Bitcoin must be attractive and intuitive to all kinds of users. Making an ecosystem that serves everyone’s needs equally is a significant undertaking, but it’s made much easier through collaboration. There are four fundamental tiers of user that need to be defined if they are to be protected, each building on the foundations set by the one prior. It is these tiers which will help model the future of the ecosystem, constructed on the principles of security, usability and privacy.
Nowadays, Bitcoin has a lower threshold for entry. With some straightforward, basic onboarding to cryptocurrencies, anyone can take control of their money, without hidden conditions, and retain full ownership of it, indefinitely. This is a pivotal moment in society and there will be pushback. Decades of a speculative fiat economy has siphoned wealth away from communities with low financial literacy, and concentrated power in the hands of the wealthy. Basic financial skills are not part of school curricula, leading to generations of people trapped in a spiral of debt due to mismanaging their finances. Rather than continuing this trend of credit, loans and inflation, Bitcoin users are united in their pursuit of a more practical, auditable and accessible currency.
Before we get started looking at the tiers of expertise that might apply to individual users, it should be stated that it doesn’t take a hacker to steal cryptocurrency. Theoretical models of attacks on Bitcoin or the SHA-256 encryption that secures it are interesting, but mostly irrelevant. The person who owns the keys to it is the single greatest attack vector. For this reason, it is important to be aware of what information you give away when talking to people on the internet or in real life. Operations security, or “OpSec,” is the term used to describe a conscious approach to regulating what information you share with…