“There are thousands of projects out there. Some are legit, some are not,” Young says. It has also been scammed over the years. After accidentally giving infinite permissions to his Ethereum wallet, Young lost $200,000 to a scammer. He has since developed approval protocols for people to protect themselves.
Today, Young tries to avoid scammers by never using “hot wallets,” digital wallets that are always connected to the internet and allow users to store, send, and receive crypto tokens. Instead, it uses a “rigid wallet”, a key that looks like a USB key and stores account information. He says it adds a second layer of security as you have to click a button on the stick and confirm on your computer to complete a transaction.
Young now protects himself by never using phones for crypto transactions and instead relies on a dedicated crypto computer used for nothing else, not even email. It also won’t connect to unknown websites or click on sites from links. “A lot of times you get a message on social media, you connect your wallet to it, and they steal all your money,” Young says.
Young has also heard of people going to online forums asking for help with their crypto wallets, where scammers offer that help and say they need the “seed phrase” of other people’s wallets. . This sentence consists of 12-24 words that allow users to restore their crypto wallets. With it, scammers take all their money.
Another of Young’s rules is that he removes all emotion from any transaction and looks at crypto transactions like any other startup. He wants to know the real people behind the project and make sure they have a lot of experience in technology or crypto. “I ask if what they’re building has real real-world functionality,” he says, “And I manage any investment through my CPA.”