It is said that Bitcoin can be subject to being stolen if I have it in my wallet on the smartphone, and is more secure in the Ledger hardware wallet.

However, if I buy it using Coinbase, Robinhood, or Gemini, and just hold it in my account for long term, such as 10 years, and suppose the account itself is not hacked, does that mean it is quite safe against theft? (that is, not much different from some stocks in my Robinhood account?)

2 Answers 2


No. If your stock broker account (such as Robinhood) is hacked or stocks are transferred or sold from your account without your authorization, you have a lot of legal recourse and liability protection. Also, assuming the hacker manages to successfully complete a funds withdrawal from your stock broker account without you knowing (they'd be sending you tons of emails since they'd have to attach a bank account of their own to your account, verify it, etc...), the stock broker can dispute the transaction with the recipient bank and get the money back.

If you have BTC on an exchange account like Coinbase, once the BTC is sent, it is sent, and there is no way of recovering it. You're entirely at the mercy of the exchange if they'd want to pay you back out of their own money, and to my knowledge most exchanges generally do not. If you have any amount of BTC you are worried about losing, buy a hardware wallet.


Order of likelihood in which you will lose your funds:

  1. The device you store your 2fa codes on gets compromised, effectively giving the hacker full access to your money
  2. Trusted employee at the exchange steals users funds
  3. Exchange gets hacked

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.