Understanding the Security Perception of Users in the Cryptocurrency Domain

Mastering the Crypto Zoo

Lead: Konstantin Beznosov

cartoon woman using computer
Image source: https://www.johnslots.com/en/news/not-just-bitcoin-alternative-cryptocurrencies-making-waves-online/

Cryptocurrencies have come a long way since the introduction of the first digital currency, namely Bitcoin, in 2009. Currently, there exist over 1600 different cryptocurrencies, digital assets and utility tokens and new ones emerge on a daily basis. The overall market capitalization grew from 44 billion to over 430 billion in just one year. This growth naturally attracted interest from potential investors and users. Due to the push towards mass adoption users are not necessarily  aware of the underlying technology and security mechanisms that are needed to secure their assets.

Further, Bitcoin, although it accounts for over 35% of the market cap, is not the only popular currency any longer. According to publicly available Blockchain explorers Ripple and Ethereum have over three times the amount of transactions Bitcoin has. One can therefore not simply dismiss other existing currencies, as it is currently the case in research.

Cryptocurrencies are also used for different use cases and often have distinct features that are directly reflected in the users’ behavior. This research project has therefore the goal to shed light on the different security mechanisms users apply when handling their cryptocurrencies and while interacting with the Blockchain.