Proof of Keys is an annual event started by Mr. Trace Mayer, a Bitcoin investor, entrepreneur, and podcaster. The event occurs every January 3rd to celebrate the first proof of keys. January 3rd holds much meaning to Bitcoin; it is the day the first Bitcoin block was generated in 2009, the day Bitcoin blockchain was born. However, the Proof of Keys event isn't started to celebrate this. The day is about reminding people how important it is to have full control of your money and be independent of third party institutions or exchanges to hold Bitcoins (or other cryptocurrencies) for you.
"Not Your Keys, Not Your Bitcoin"
The quote, started by Mr. Andreas M. Antonopoulos, has become a staple reminder for every one investor. If you don't have access to your private keys, this equals to not having them. People like to leave assets in places like exchanges. However, in this scenario, the exchange has your private keys, and you have no way to verify if the balance you see in your dashboard is real. Moreover, if you do not have access to your private keys, exchanges can run away with your coins, and you will have no way to recover them.
The Proof of Keys event is here to remind people how important it is to hold on to your private keys and not leave them on exchanges. So do you have the proof?
Securing My Keys
Securing your keys is simple, use a wallet that you created yourself and store your coins there. Any wallets that let you create your own private keys will work. For example, a user can create an account on an ELLIPAL Titan hardware wallet. The ELLIPAL Titan wallet will give the user a recovery seed, which is a format of the private keys. Now, the user has created his/her key which is kept safely inside the ELLIPAL Titan wallet. He/she has access to the key through the recovery seed. No-one apart from the user will ever have access to this coin account.
What Do I Do on January 3rd?
If you have coins on exchanges, withdraw it today to a wallet that you have created yourself. You might even find out that your exchange does not let you withdraw while the coins are rightly yours. Proof of Keys event is also a way to test these exchanges, whether they are honest or not, and for you to consider your choices. We all hope every cryptocurrency investor learns a lesson from this event and fellow investors on how important it is to use a secure wallet.