The green shield that protects the Crypto world from phishing scams — Cryptonite release 1.2.9

Paul Walsh
4 min readJan 5, 2018

If you know what Cryptonite is and just want to know what’s changed… we added “TURN OFF REMINDER RIBBON” to the green banner.

Some of you complained that the green banner was annoying, or getting in the way when visiting some websites. You didn’t know this, but it has always been possible to disable the banner via the extension settings — accessible if you click on the shield on your browser toolbar and select settings. We listened to your complaint. To make this easier for everyone, we added an option on the banner itself. As you can see from the screen shot above, all you need to do is click on the link “TURN OFF REMINDER RIBBON” and it will not display again. You can enable it again at any time via the settings page.

We’ve also added browser-side cache to help us scale. And we will continue to optimize the way we cache and call our registry in order to help us retain good performance for you.

Below are 3 charts taken directly from the Chrome store. While the number of active users is still low at 23k, the trend is going in the right direction. However, the third chart is more important for me — I’d like to learn why people decide to uninstall the extension. I believe and hope this latest update will reduce churn but I’m sure we have more improvements to make or better education to do. It could be that some people expect to see Twitter, or PayPal verified. They’re not verified because we are focused only on Crypto sites — that helps us to stay brilliant at one thing, while helping people remain vigilant when visiting crypto sites. If you see the green shield on almost every site you visit you might stop paying attention.

Whatever the reason, if you have installed this extension in the past but uninstalled it, please tell me why so we can improve what we do. If you install it after reading this post but later decide to remove it, please tell me paul is my direct email address. Or leave a comment on the store.

More about the extension

When you visit cryptocurrency websites and their social media accounts, how do you know when you’re on the real site? How do you know it’s not an impersonator waiting for you to type in your personal details so they can empty your wallet?

Even when you have anti-phishing security tools installed, you’re never 100% safe from a phishing scam — new phishing sites come online all the time and it takes time for security products to update. Some longer than others — don’t rely on anything that’s powered by the Google Safe Browser API as that’s super slow — especially with Crypto phishing sites.

While MetaCert has the world’s largest registry of classified URIs, it’s still never going to be perfect. That’s why we built Cryptonite. Cryptonite is a very simple, yet very powerful browser extension that addresses this problem. We have taken the time to verify as many crypto sites and social media accounts as we can, and then classified them as “Cryptocurrency” in our registry. So, every time you visit of verified site or account, the Cryptonite shield on the toolbar will turn from black to green — providing an obvious visual indicator that you are on the real site.


In case it wasn’t obvious, Cryptonite also blocks phishing sites from loading inside your browser. You can test this by trying

Why it’s the best browser software for anti-phishing

First, we aggregate the phishing lists from 10 sources. Then, we add phishing sites reported to us across all the Crypto communities in Slack — while also identify phishing links before they do.

We also have some of the world’s greatest anti-phishing experts (oracles?) contributing to our registry every day of the week (even onChristmas Day). We have over 65,000 unique domains classified as phishing.

Furthermore, we are the only company in the world with the ability to classify fake Twitter accounts with the view to blocking all of their tweets. This means that every tweet URL sent by scam accounts are automatically blocked by our API and every product that uses it — including Cryptonite. This single fact is one of the reasons why the W3C replaced PICS with a new Standard called POWDER — I was one of the two people who co-instigated the creation of this standard in 2005 — it became a Full Recommendation in December 2009 — HTML 5.0 is also a Full Recommendation. As you can tell, I’ve been working on this problem for longer than most anyone.

If a user sends you a shortened URLs from TinyURL for example, MetaCert will unfurl it after checking 3,000+ shortening services before checking the destination link. It does all of this in just 170 milliseconds. Speed is of the essence.

Now, go install Crypotnite for Firefox or Chrome and stay safe ✌️

If you use this extension please take a few seconds to leave us a review on the store — this increases trust and more likely to encourage people to download it. I’m not asking for favorable reviews — just be honest and tell us what you think. I respond to *every* question and comment.

Paul Walsh

MetaCert CEO. Passionate about Cybersecurity, Blockchain, Crypto, Snowboarding & Red Wine. Part of the AOL team that launched AIM. Co-founded 2 W3C Standards.