Authentication, at a basic level, is a security process that verifies your identity or login credentials before giving you access to resources, whether that be a blockchain network, a cryptocurrency exchange account, or a personal cryptocurrency wallet.
Almost every service or app that we use that’s connected to the Internet requires you to log into that service or app before you get to personalized service or access to your account data.
Cryptocurrency services and apps are no different.
Two-factor authentication, for example, is a type of authentication offered by all cryptocurrency exchanges that requires two different methods of user identification before an account holder is given access to her account.
During login or registration, this might include requiring both a username + password combination AND an SMS-based code sent to the account holder’s mobile phone, which all need to be provided at the same time or access isn’t granted.
Many online services now support software-based authentication apps like Google Authenticator that run on your smartphone or tablet that provide you a 6-digit one-time password that must be entered with your username and password during login.
Crypto-related apps and services have also evolved to offer this enhanced form of two-factor authentication.