CRYPTOCURRENCY WALLETS 101
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CRYPTOCURRENCY WALLETS 101
Think of a wallet as your own crypto-currency bank. You can send, receive and securely store various kinds of cryptocurrency in your wallet.
Your wallet also stores the public and private keys for your crypto-currency. Without getting too deep in the weeds, your public keys are the address that you use to send or receive crypto-currency.
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Don't worry about showing your public keys to people, they can't be hacked. The private keys are what actually allows you to access your crypto!
Without your private keys, you can't use your crypto-currency, it is essentially worthless. Normally you don't have to worry about your private keys as they are all automatically taken care of behind the scenes by your cryptocurrency wallet.
There are two main categories of wallets.
A hot wallet and a cold storage wallet.
A hot wallet is basically any kind of online wallet. In other words, you have to be connected to the internet to access your wallet.
because of the constant connection to the internet, this wallet is less safe a nd more vulnerable to hacking and malware. Use this kind of wallet for keeping trading funds or a small amount of crypto-currency for everyday transactions.
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Think of it as your short term crypto-currency checking account.
A cold storage wallet ia a crypto-currency wallet that is stored offline. It does not have an active connection to the internet and is not intended to be used regularly.
Because of this, it is much safer than a hot wallet and its where you want to store large amounts of crypto-currency. Think of this wallet as your long term crypto-currency savings account or even similar to a safe for your precious metals.
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WEB/ONLINE/EXCHANGE WALLET: You have to go to someone's website and sign up for one of these.
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For example, you automatically get one when you create a Coinbase account. They are very easy to use but that is about the end of their benefits. Web wallets are the most unsecure wallets and susceptible to hacking, your email and login info being stolen and counterparty risk.
The wallet operator also has control of the private keys for your crypto-currency. This isn't good because if they ever lose your keys or they get hacked or stolen, you can kiss your crypto goodbye. Just do a quick google search for "Mt Gox bitcoin exchange" and you'll see some horror stories of people who got their bitcoin stolen in a similar situation.
Only use this kind of wallet as an entry point or to store a small amount of crypto-currency for everyday transactions on Amazon or something like that.
SOFTWARE WALLET: This is a hot wallet that your download to your computer or mobile phone.
Its safer than a web/online/exchange wallet because you are in total control of your crypto-currency and private keys and not some other party.
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However, keep in mind that this kind of wallet is only as safe as your computer! Your crypto can still be stolen if your computer is hacked or gets infected with certain types of malware.
I suggest you only use software wallets for short term storage, holding crypto funds you plan on trading or storing a small amount of crypto-currency for everyday transactions. If you do want to store a ton of crypto-currency in your software wallet the best thing you can do is buy a computer and ONLY use it for transactions related to your wallet.
Don't use it for checking emails or wtaching videos oe doing anything else online. Your chances of getting hacked or infected with malware will be greatly diminished.
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My most recommended software wallet is Exodus.
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HARDWARE WALLET: A hardware wallet is a stand alone offline wallet that is usually some sort of USB device. It can connect to the internet when it has to but can be disconnected and stored totally offline and unavailable to hackers or malware.
I store mine in the same safe I use for my gold and silver.
This kind of wallet is super secure, way more than a hot wallet. Its secure even if its connected to your computer and your computer gets hacked or infected with malware because it generates the private keys while offline directly from the USB device. My favorite hardware wallet is the Trezor.
PAPER WALLET: With a paper wallet, you basically print out your public and private keys.
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Yep, print them out on real paper. You just have to make sure you don't lose that paper!
Or it doesn't get wet, or lit on fire etc. Store it in a safe. Make multiple copies.
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Hackers can't touch your paper wallet but thieves and forgetfulness can. One of my favorite ways to turn my Bitcoin into a paper wallet is BitcoinPaperWallet.com
This should be enough to get you started with wallets.
We recommend you keep your crypto-currency off the exchanges and have a small amount in software wallets (your crypto bank checking account) and a larger amount in your hardwares wallet (your crypto bank savings account).
For more detailed information, check out our online training program for learning how to buy gold, silver and bitcoin at: