Modern field guide to security and privacy
Tuxavant and Kryptina attend r00tz Asylum and DEF CON 24, one of the world's largest hacker conventions in Bally's Hotel & Casino on August 7, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ann Hermes
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Video: A bitcoin allowance teaches spending and security

A shift in thought

Kryptina is one of the world's youngest users of the digital currency bitcoin. Her dad gives her a bitcoin allowance as a lesson in online security and money management.

Like many other kids, Kryptina gets an allowance when she does her chores. But hers is not in cash. 

Instead, Kryptina – who at 9 became one of the youngest users of bitcoin in the world – gets her allowance in the increasingly popular digital currency. 

Kryptina's dad, who goes by his hacker name Tuxavant and is now a Las Vegas bitcoin consultant, started giving his now 15-year-old daughter the bitcoin allowance to teach his daughter about responsible spending. In bitcoin's earliest days, he says, "there weren’t very many places she could spend it, so she would need to cash it out with us and we would know how she was spending it." 

Today, bitcoin is much more prevalent. Tuxavant uses it to pay the bills for his office and landscaper, and Kryptina sets aside the electronic money for her summer camp and singing lessons. It's also much more valuable: When Kryptina first started using bitcoin, one was worth just six cents. Today, it’s worth $741. 

With bitcoin's value appreciating, the allowance has also become a valuable father-daughter lesson in digital security. If users don’t properly protect their private keys, digital thieves could steal them and spend their electronic money. So Kryptina uses encryption to protect her private keys and makes backups of her data. 

Watch the video to learn more about Kryptina's bitcoin allowance: 

Kryptina is one of Passcode's 15 under 15 rising stars in security. Read the full series: passcode.csmonitor.com/HackerKids

Security Culture

This journalism empowers people to understand the bigger picture of cybersecurity as it connects to some of the most personal parts of their lives: their job, their education, the evolving digital culture around them, and the technology they use on a day-to-day basis. As part of the Monitor’s overarching commitment to chronicling human progress, we see these very human issues within cybersecurity to be critical and overlooked parts of the conversation.

This initiative is generously supported by

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  • ISC