San Diego-based Airbitz has added “One-Touch 2-Factor Authentication” to their mobile Bitcoin wallet for iPhone and Android devices.
2-Factor Authentication (2FA) refers to the two factors required to authenticate with an online service. One factor is typically something a user knows, such as a login and password. A second factor is something a user has such as a mobile device with an app such as Google Authenticator or Authy.
The second factor prevents unauthorized access to an account by an attacker that has the correct login and password, but does not have the user’s device. The importance of 2FA was reinforced by the recent purchase of the 2-Factor app company, Authy, by Twillio.
However, utilizing the second factor is tedious and requires copying or typing in a 6 to 7 digit code from a 2FA application, into the app or website the user is logging into.
Available on the Google Play and Apple App Store, the latest version of Airbitz permits users to enable 2FA at the tap of a button without any need to repeatedly type in a 6 digit code on login, or backup a 2FA seed, according to the company. Thus users’ devices will be linked to their Airbitz accounts and not allow any new devices to authenticate.
A user can add additional devices by scanning a QR code on the original device that enabled 2-Factor. Should a user lose their device, they can request to disable 2FA by using their login and password via the Airbitz app on a new device. The request will require a 7 day waiting period, during which, the user’s previously logged in device will be sent push notifications to warn them in case of fraud.
Airbitz indicated that it accomplished this while still retaining their core focus of Bitcoin autonomy and privacy. No email address, phone number, or other personal info is required to utilize Airbitz One-Touch 2-Factor Authentication, and users still retain 100 percent control of their Bitcoin with no 3rd party able to move their funds.