As cryptocurrency trading becomes a more mainstream financial activity, the likelihood of account fraud is also increasing. Coinbase, the most active platform for trading digital currencies, has a number of security features in place to avoid the dreaded "account takeover" incident, whereby hackers gain access and control of client profiles through phishing and identity theft.

The prevalence of account takeover situations has promted Coinbase to augment its two-factor authentication (2FA) login features, but the company is taking an additional step by launching a dedicated phone line for clients who have fallen victim to this type of cybercrime. This hotline will operate 24 hours a day, and it will assign security experts to investigate new reports immediately so that proper mitigation can be conducted as soon as possible.

In the past, Coinbase has warned email correspondence impersonating the company, and it directed users to a website to receive instructions on how to verify their identity. In order to bypass this hurdle, all 2FA users will now be required to log into Coinbase's system and enter their phone number, after which a unique verification code will be sent to the phone number associated with the affected user's Coinbase account. This code is generated only by Coinbase servers and is not associated with their own two-factor authentication process. This will be used to lock the account and prevent hackers from gaining access to any funds or cryptocurrency.

When dealing with financial institutions or websites, it is common for customers to be required to "authenticate" their identity through a form of "two-factor authentication" or "2FA". As the name implies, this means that the user has two pieces of information required to successfully log into an account. It is often offered as a supplement to the password, or for users who do not want to reveal their password to other services and applications.

When a user logs into their account, they are presented with a one-time-password, which they use to log in to their system. It's the second part of the login that matters: an additional authentication factor, usually a one-time code, sent by email or text message. It can be issued directly from the sending website, but is usually from a different device. This is also sometimes known as a one-time password (OTP).