Gabriela Belden of Bitso: The houses of change of cryptocurrencies are a necessary evil

We spoke with Gabriela Belden, head of Marketing of Bitso, about the current state of the exchange house, the products they offer, as they are moving remittances between Mexico and the united States, their plans to include Brazil in its offer and the developments that formed the horizon. A talk where there was no shortage of privacy, safety and good uses passwords as themes.

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The attack was not attack. Managers password and safety tips. Partnership with Ripple. As they have moved remittances. Presence in Mexico and Argentina. The Case Of Argentina. The houses of change and the regulations. The law FinTech in Mexico. License in Gibraltar. Products of Bitso. How to use the cryptocurrencies in Mexico. Plans Bitso in the future. BTC / MXN pair used. On the security of the houses of change.

Notes of the episode

A preview of what you’ll find in this episode:

Elena: Tell me what was it that happened the 24 of may?

Gabriela: On may 24, we received a few messages. Well, I will tell you from my point of view. I was very happy in my home and I receive messages by Slack, and we realize why we had a tweet that said there was an infringement on our platforms, and we didn’t have anything that tells us that that were true. Then, what was done was an investigation.

Elena: Or, from night to morning, you were the most distracted, and you choked on the coffee. I can’t think of a more horrible that one to choke coffee, participating in a home exchange, and suddenly a message will say “you HAVE A BREACH IN SECURITY!”. After that you des atragantaste the coffee, what was it that happened?

Gabriela: No, and that is something that you have nightmares.

Elena: (laughs) Yes.

Gabriela: Or in other words, I had been working in companies very traditional, let’s say. I worked before in a beer, and before that I worked in tobacco, and there never spoke of breaches of information. Then, I knew that it existed, we had all the systems ready to realize that if something happens, we have plans with the agencies of PR, we have messages, that is, we have it all planned by yes came on the day. And also, obviously, on the part of security and engineering. But ever you imagine that you are going to reach, and you never imagine that it will be a Sunday. On those Sundays, I wanted to go for a walk, see the quarantine

Elena: (laughs) And the cosmos. Yes, yes, yes. I had intended to travel and see my son, and it turns out that the cosmos have their own ideas.

Gabriela: As is. I was going to go for a walk and go to the market to do the shopping, to the super as we say in Mexico, and this happened and I said, “I’m going to be without my avocados, I’m going to be without my chicken. what am I going to eat all week?”. But hey, we have to see what is going on isn’t it?

Elena: That is like the coconut. Having a home of international exchange, is like the coconut that you say “Breach of Security”.

Gabriela: As is. First: what is the truth or not?, and in the case of if, what happened? how does it affect the users? and others. Well, the case was that you did all the research and we realize that nothing had happened. That is, that nothing could be seen by any side. Thing that, well, then as you worry about with the team of cyber-security insurance say, “it does find anything, like fear, that is saying this and I don’t know”. That is, we have to make sure first that it was a lie. And what was made, in addition, was to tell the users “this Happened, but what we’re solving. Be assured that, from what we know up to now, the users are safe and their information also”. The entire team of cybersecurity stayed awake all night.

I spoke with Mario who is the team leader of cyber security in Bitso, and certainly not slept nothing. I spoke with him Monday, and he was the one that went up on the blog explaining everything that happened. And with the communication team also, seeing as how we communicate, how we were going to make this transparent communication without scaring the users, which is also the fear, and more if you say-infringement.

Elena: No, that is impossible. Strip that towel. “Security breach, but nothing happened”. Or do you more or less? There is No way to not scare anyone. How to start one? “Well, your private data went to the roof…” Is impossible.

Gabriela: Clear. Well, for more you tell them “nothing happened” just to put that word it’s a risk, but it is something that internally in Bitso we have always said, that we prefer to be transparent in the messages and say, “there is this gossip of infringement, but that is a lie” And that’s going to make that generate a lot of noise, any way. Then good, the next day we already had around the release ready to tell what happened, that if you have not read it, I invite you to enter our blog ( and there explains what happened, which is what I’m telling you.

In summary, what it was is that we had a breach in 2016, which was managed at that time in an appropriate manner. Is contacted to the users, they were asked to have 2FA on your account, which in fact is a recommendation that I give here to any account you have, not only for the of Bitso. And also gave other safety tips. And, further to that, in Bitso we did a lot of additional things to the security. In 2016 Bitso was very new, maybe didn’t have as many security features as now. That is, he had not been prioritized as much.

Elena: In 2016, we were all young, tender and innocent, and there were a lot of things that we didn’t know we had to do. Because right now we are all a little older and malicious. Not only the houses change. If you do not on all sides.

Gabriela: In 2016, all my passwords were the same, and they were like the easiest thing to get, as “gaby1234”, a thing. Well, it makes all that security to Bitso and since, the case is closed. And as I say, at that time it was handled and we no longer had why continue talking about it, but now it comes out that the information that was violated was for sale, and so that we went back to do was to tell those users that their information of 2016, the data were all of the 2016 and already four years later, many are irrelevant, that they were on sale in a network, the that outside, and that they had extra care in your account to avoid what is coming to be phishing. That is, that it is in truth the risk that they have. But with something like 2FA is arranged.

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