So before you think about buying Bitcoin Ethereum or any crypto-currency you need to think about getting a wallet to store your stash. As you learn more about crypto you will learn that everyone agrees that you should have a wallet that you control directly. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CRYPTO IN THE EXCHANGES EVEN THOUGH THEY PROVIDE WALLETS. There have been cases of exchanges shutting peoples accounts with no notice. So let’s talk wallets!
Ofcourse as most things related to blockchain even getting a wallet is not straight forward. There are a few things you should consider:
- Unlike fiat currency (aka cash money) you cannot just mix currency in one wallet per se. Each type of currency has it’s own wallet address.
- Is it a mobile, web-based, desktop or paper wallet?
- Can you access the wallet through the browser or internet connection?
- Is there a mobile app?
- Do you have to download software to access the wallet?
- Is the hardware dependent (controlled by manufacturer or independent?)
- Can the transactions be be traced back to your identity (privacy)?
- Can this wallet be hacked (security)?
- Does the wallet require you to be technical or easy to use?
So let’s breakdown the 2 categories of wallets:
- Software Wallets – There are 3 types of software wallets
- Online Wallets – Pro’s – can be accessed from anywhere and any device. Con’s – the private keys are not controlled by you they’re controlled by the website owner. So you have to put your trust in the website owner and their security and privacy measures.
- Mobile Wallets – Pro’s – can be accessed from anywhere and any device. Mobile wallets come in two formats: one type of app stores your coins locally on your phone (and comes with the same advantages and disadvantages as desktop wallets) while the other format of mobile wallet merely provides you with access to online storage servers (which comes with the same advantages and disadvantages as online wallets).
- Desktop Wallets – Pros – software is on your computer and completely controlled by you. Con’s – the security is left up to you so if your computer gets hacked or your hardrive tanks you are out of luck. Which is why most people try to use a computer that isn’t connected to the internet or is an unused computer.
- Green Address
- Bitcoin Wallet
- Hardware Wallets – These as devices that are disconnected from your computer that you can store your private keys on. The hardware wallets have a secure chip in them so that when you connect them to your computer to transact you never have to enter your private keys into the computer. You need a software wallet to interact with a hardware device. Hardware wallets have their own default software wallets, some software wallets, such as MyEtherWallet, may also be used along with your hardware wallet. Because they cost you have to determine if it’s worth it based on how much currency you are storing.
Top Hardware Wallets