Our CryptoCurrency Security Standard (CCSS) Auditor Exam is now available and audits are underway. Learn more about the CCSS and how to get your system(s) certified.

What is the CCSS? 

CCSS is a standard for securing cryptocurrency systems

CryptoCurrency Security Standard (CCSS) is a set of requirements for all information systems that make use of cryptocurrencies, including exchanges, web applications, and cryptocurrency storage solutions. By standardizing the techniques and methodologies used by systems around the globe, end-users will be able to easily make educated decisions about which products and services to use and with which companies they wish to align.

CCSS is designed to complement existing information security standards (i.e. ISO 27001:2013) by introducing guidance for security best practices with respect to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. CCSS is not designed to substitute or replace these standards; in fact, following the CCSS to the letter while ignoring standards like ISO 27001:2013 will likely lead to compromise. CCSS is a cryptocurrency standard that augments standard information security practices. As with any standard, knowledgeable and experienced security professionals and/or auditors are necessary when implementing any information system to ensure coverage of all classes of attack as well as the appropriate handling of all potential risks.

There are different types of cryptocurrency systems, and an Entity can have multiple types of systems. Entities are not certified, but rather systems are certified. Systems can be certified as CCSS Level 1, 2, or 3 with increased security as the levels increase. Systems fall into 3 buckets. Self-Custody, Qualified Service Provider (QSP), and Full System.

A self-custody system has sole control of the private keys that controls that entity’s own funds. Self Custody systems do not have control over customer funds.

A CCSS Qualified Service Provider (QSP) is a system that does not meet all applicable CCSS requirements in totality because there will be some requirements that the system using the service will be either wholly or partially responsible for. Because of this, the QSP can only meet the requirements that they (1) have the ability to control, and (2) are part of the service that they provide.

A CCSS Full System is a system that meets all applicable CCSS requirements in totality. In situations where a system includes a QSP system as part of their system, some CCSS requirements may be met by the QSP system, as determined by the CCSSA.


Standard (Written)
Standard (Matrix)
Auditor Guide

Appendix 1

Our CryptoCurrency Security Standard (CCSS) Auditor Exam is now ready! Learn more about the exam here.

How does an entity with a cryptocurrency system start the audit process?

The first step to getting audited is to select a CCSSA. You can search our currently certified CCSSAs here. Entities then contact and negotiate with the CCSSA of their choosing. Please note that while these individuals have proven their knowledge of the CCSS, C4 does not endorse specific CCSSAs. It is imperative that entities follow best practices for selecting an auditor.

All CCSS audits cover a period of time prior to audit completion and will test the operating effectiveness of the control over this period of time. Audits are designed to be performed at least annually and cover the preceding 12 month period. All audits performed by CCSSAs are reviewed by a CCSSA-Peer Reviewer before C4 certifies an entity. Any dispute arising out of the peer review process shall be arbitrated by the CCSS Steering Committee.

The CCSSA is responsible for ensuring all data related to the audit is transmitted and stored in a secure manner for the duration of the Certificate of Compliance (CoC) and as legally required in the jurisdiction of the audit. C4 will not view documentation of evidence outside the Summary Report on Compliance (SRoC). The CCSS steering committee shall review evidentiary documentation in the case of a peer review dispute.
*Text version of this image can be found in the Auditor’s Guide.

What is a CryptoCurrency Security Standard Auditor (CCSSA)?

A CryptoCurrency Security Standard Auditor is an expert in the CCSS. CCSSAs are able to apply the CCSS standard to any information system that uses cryptocurrencies, calculating a grade for the system according to the CCSS.

CCSSAs must avoid any potential conflict of interest. This may include current or previous employment, familial relationships, financial interest (such as tokens or equity held), or any other matters that may constitute a conflict of interest.

Learn how to become a CCSSA here.

Who manages the CCSS?

The standard is maintained by the CCSS Steering Committee. The committee's mission is to ensure the standard continues to remain up-to-date with industry best practices and remain neutral. Current CCSS Steering Committee members are (in alphabetical order): S. Dirk Anderson, Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Petri Basson, Noah Buxton, Jameson Lopp, Joshua McDougall, Michael Perklin, and Ron Stoner.

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Andreas M. Antonopoulos

Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Educator

Andreas M. Antonopoulos is a best-selling author, speaker, educator, and one of the world’s foremost bitcoin and open blockchain experts. He is known for delivering electric talks that combine economics, psychology, technology, and game theory with current events, personal anecdote, and historical precedent effortlessly transliterating the complex issues of blockchain technology out of the abstract and into the real world.
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Joshua McDougall

President, Slow Ninja

Researcher and Educator. Currently building games in the Cosmos for the sentient.
Michael Perklin

Chairman of the Board, CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium (C4)

Michael Perklin is an information security professional who has been working with bitcoin, blockchains, and decentralized systems since 2010. He has provided numerous contributions to the industry including founding the CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium (C4), securing the launch of Ethereum's ICO, providing expert witness testimony to put cybercriminals behind bars, and drafting the CryptoCurrency Security Standard (CCSS). Michael has served on the boards of the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada and The Bitcoin Foundation, and was the Chief Information Security Officer of ShapeShift for five years before helping them decentralize into a DAO in 2021. Michael currently spends his time contributing to various decentralized projects as a security advisor and angel investor.
Bitcoin B&W - Dirk Anderson
S. Dirk Anderson

CIO at SALT Blockchain Inc.

Dirk has worked with information security, privacy, and cryptography for a couple of decades so it was just natural that he would wind up in the world of crypto currencies and blockchains. He is currently the Chief Information Officer at SALT Blockchain the pioneer of crypto-backed lending. Before SALT he spent a decade or so helping to build Coalfire, now the largest global dedicated cybersecurity consultancy where he held positions as the VP of Enterprise Risk & Compliance, VP of Threat Intelligence, and Regional VP of Professional Services for the Central US. Prior to all that he was a founder and Principle Analyst at Leviathan Security, served as the Chief Security Architect for ConQwest (now Towerwall), and as the Senior Manager of Global Security Architecture at Global Crossing, Ltd. His experience extends through a variety of industry verticals including retail, banking, telecommunications, investment, energy, higher education, government organizations, and third-party service providers such as hosting and cloud services. Dirk also teaches and speaks globally on the topics he’s passionate about contributing to the Certified Bitcoin Professional (CBP) training course on Udemy and Thinkific, teaching multiple session at the Blockchain Training Conference, and the Rocky Mountain Internet Security Conference, as well as sitting on panels at events including the London Blockchain Summit and Belgrade Venture Forum. He is also a contributing author to publications from the original SANS Incident Handling Step-by-Step guide to Security 2020: Reduce Security Risks This Decade. At C4 he serves on both the CBP and CCSSA committees.
Headshot - Petri Bassonbwsquare
Petri Basson

Founder - HASH consulting, CCSS Committee Chair

Petri has a background in finance and IT. He holds qualifications as a Chartered Accountant (CA(SA)) as well as Certified Information System Auditor (CISA), Certified Bitcoin Professional (CBP) and Accredited Director (Acc. Dir). He helped to set up KPMG in the Cayman Islands' Digital Asset practice and has experience working with a wide range of clients in the digital asset space.
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Jameson Lopp

Founder and CTO - Casa

Jameson has been building multisig Bitcoin wallets since 2015. He is the founder and CTO of Casa and also founded Mensa's Bitcoin Special Interest Group, the Triangle Bitcoin & Business meetup, and several open source Bitcoin projects. He enjoys researching various aspects of the ecosystem and giving presentations about what he has learned the hard way while trying to write robust software that can withstand both adversaries and unsophisticated users.
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Ron Stoner

Head of Security at CASA

Buxton, Noah - Headshot - Noah Buxton
Noah Buxton

Partner at Armanino

Noah has more than 15 years of audit, legal, IT and regulatory compliance experience and has served crypto clients since 2016. Noah leads Armanino's Blockchain & Digital Assets practice. While Noah advises blockchain and virtual currency clients on myriad industry-specific issues, his expertise lies in IT & Security matters as well as financial assurance and reporting for Exchanges, Stablecoins, Token Issuers, broker-dealers, and blockchain and cryptocurrency startups.