In an official announcement on Tuesday Feb.12, Coinbase cited that users now have the option of backing up the private keys to their wallets on Google Drive or iCloud.
This new feature has been supposedly provided to safeguard loss of funds if a user loses his device or misplace their private keys.
According to Coinbase’s statement, private keys to a wallet are generated and stored in the user’s device, being the only way to access your funds on an exchange or blockchain. In the past, user-controlled wallet owners with wallet providers like Coinbase Wallet have lost their funds forever, sometimes losing their devices or failing in backing up their 12 word recovery phrase.
This new feature allows only the storage of an encrypted copy of your Coinbase wallet’s recovery phrase on cloud services like iCloud and Google Drive.
“Coinbase will not have access to your password or funds at any time, preserving your privacy and control. Your cloud backup provider will also not have access to your funds, as only you know the password that decrypts your encrypted recovery phrase.”
The backup is initially said to be encrypted using AES-256-GCM encryption, accessible only through Coinbase’s Wallet mobile app. The cloud backup is said to purportedly support only iCloud on iOS devices and Google Drive on Android devices, with support for other cloud services to be released in the near future.
Coinbase have however, made it significantly clear by stating that this is only an optional secure measure, with one having to opt-in to activate it.
Coinbase’s new cloud backup option seems to come on the backup of Canada’s biggest exchange, QuadrigaCX, losing all its funds stored in a cold storage after the sudden demise of the exchnage’s founder and owner Gerald Cotton, who alone had access to the digital assets.