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Gemini Boosts User Security With Hardware Security Key Support for Android and iOS

The Winklevoss brothers' Gemini exchange says hardware security keys can protect users against hacks and SIM swaps.

Jul 14, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. UTC

Gemini says it's become the first cryptocurrency exchange to offer support for hardware security keys on iOS and Android mobile devices.

  • On Tuesday, the regulated U.S.-based company, founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, said supporting hardware security keys will allow users to authenticate their Gemini accounts through a cryptographic proof of a user's identity.
  • Users are now able to use their mobile devices to sign in via USB and near-field communication (NFC) security keys.
  • Mobile devices will authenticate via an internet standard known as Web Authentication (WebAuthn), a type of security interface designed for validating multiple users of internet applications using public-key cryptography.
  • The extra feature is in addition to Gemini's current security layers including TouchID and Windows Hello.
  • According to the firm, only owners of the physical hardware key may gain access to their accounts, even if their passwords are compromised or in the event they fall victim to a SIM-swap attack.
  • The new security stems from a partnership between Gemini and Yubico via its Works With Yubikey program.
  • Yubikey's hardware can be utilized cross-platform via Gemini's mobile app as an additional layer of defense.
  • In order to take full advantage of the keys, the companies said a user will need to register at least two hardware keys, including one that is supported by the user's mobile device.
  • Gemini recently became the first exchange to integrate with Samsung's blockchain wallet, allowing Canadians and U.S.-based citizens to buy and sell crypto through Gemini's mobile app.

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