If you’re interested in learning everything there is to know about Bitcoin wallets or cryptocurrency wallets, you’re in luck as today’s post has everything you’re looking for and more.
But before we get into the nitty-gritty of today’s post, we would like to let you know right from the get-go that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to Bitcoin wallet. And that’s because bitcoin wallets are available on different platforms and have different features. Today’s post will tell you everything you need to know about the best Bitcoin and cryptocurrency wallets.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency wallets: What you should know
When it comes to using Bitcoin or cryptocurrency, a bitcoin or cryptocurrency wallet is the first thing most newbies are introduced to, and the reason isn’t farfetched.
For starters, a bitcoin or cryptocurrency wallet is the equivalent of a traditional bank account. Using Bitcoin and cryptocurrency wallets, you can receive bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. These wallets also allow you to store your digital assets and send them to others when you decide to.
If you’re just starting out with Bitcoin, you can think of your wallet as your personal interface to the Bitcoin network. Another way to think of it is as your online bank account, which grants you access to the traditional monetary system.
And just like you’ll secure your online bank account, Bitcoin wallets contain private keys, which are secret codes designed to secure your wallet and allow you to spend your coins.
In the real sense, it is not your digital assets that need to be stored or secured; rather, it is the private keys that give you access to your digital assets.
Simply put, a Bitcoin or crypto wallet is simply a website, an app, or device that manages your private keys, keeping them secured and protecting your wallet from unauthorized access.
Today’s guide will show you how you can easily create a secure Bitcoin wallet and some tips on choosing the best wallet.
Bitcoin wallets and the types available
There are tons of Bitcoin wallets out there, each with its unique features. More so, each of these wallets has some exciting selling points and some not-so-cool features we will show. At the end of the day, all Bitcoin wallets offer a blend of security and convenience.
But before we dive deeper into all of the fantastic types of Bitcoin wallets out there, let us tell you right away that there are some unique Bitcoin wallets that are only designed for holding everyday spending money (hot wallets). On the flip side, there are wallets designed for long-term savings. And yes, there are different types of cold and hot wallets.
Cryptocurrency exchanges are not wallets.
There are many misconceptions about wallets among crypto newbies. Many crypto newbies think that exchanges are wallets, and that’s simply not true. To set the record straight, your Bitcoin bank or exchange accounts that hold your digital assets like Bitcoin are not wallets.
If you seem to be confused, don’t worry, it will make sense once we are done breaking everything down.
Let us quickly add that whoever has access to the private keys has unhindered control of all the Bitcoin attached to those keys. Not fully grasping this point has resulted in the loss of millions of dollars in the past. To this end, it’s vital that every crypto enthusiast fully understand what Bitcoin private keys are and how these can be stored.
Before we break everything down for easier comprehension, just keep it at the back of your mind that your private keys are what you need to keep safe. If hackers ever get access to your private keys, it will only take a couple of minutes to empty your Bitcoin wallet. Also, knowing your private keys will keep your assets protected from user errors or other issues.
Types of Bitcoin and crypto wallets
Now that we have given you some background about Bitcoin wallets, it’s time to discuss all of the different wallets and why you may decide to opt for one type of wallet over others.
After reading this section, you should have a thorough idea about Bitcoin wallets and the best one for you.
Hardware wallets are very popular types of wallets used to store Bitcoin and other crypto-assets. Unlike other wallets we will be looking at shortly, hardware wallets are physical, electronic devices uniquely designed to secure your crypto assets offline.
The main idea behind this type of Bitcoin wallet is that it must be connected to your phone, tablet, or computer before you can access and spend the crypto coins stored in them.
While there are many great hardware wallets out there, the most popular ones are Ledger Nano X and TREZOR T.
For crypto enthusiasts who are very serious about their security and convenience, you’ll fall head over heels for hardware wallets, and that’s because this type of wallet is reliable and secure for storing your Bitcoin.
The brilliant thing about hardware wallets is that these devices help keep private keys separate from other vulnerable internet-connected devices.
Another exciting thing about this wallet is that it stores your private key in a secure offline environment on the hardware wallet, ensuring that you’re fully protected even if your device is ever plugged into a malware-infected device or computer.
Given the fact that Bitcoins and other digital crypto assets are digital, hackers and cybercriminals are working round the clock to find loopholes they can use to break into your computer’s software wallets in a bid to steal your private keys.
Thanks to hardware wallets, you can generate and store your private keys offline, away from the reach of hackers who work round the clock to explore vulnerable systems.
To access your crypto assets via a hardware wallet, hackers need to steal your hardware wallet. And even then, the hardware wallet can be pin protected for added security.
And sure enough, you don’t have to worry about your hardware wallet getting stolen, damaged, or lost. So long you have created a secret backup code, you are sure to retrieve your assets any time you like.
According to the CEO and founder of Bitcoin Worldwide, you can think of your hardware wallet like your personal underground vault. We strongly encourage using a hardware wallet for people who have a significant amount of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
Why you should opt for Hardware wallets
There are many perks of using a hardware wallet. Here check out some of them:
- Hardware wallets are the smartest, easiest, and secure way to store Bitcoins and other crypto assets.
- Hardware wallets are easy to back up, secure, and restore
- With hardware wallets, the margin of error is slim. More so, they are easy to set up. So even if you’re not tech-savvy, you should be able to find your way around hardware wallets without breaking a sweat.
- You can use multiple hardware wallets for robust security.
The downside of hardware wallets
- Hardware wallets are not free.
- They can be a little complex for newbies to understand.
Unlike hardware wallets, hot wallets are designed to run on Internet-connected devices like tablets, computers, and mobile phones. And like we mentioned earlier, all Bitcoin wallets have private keys, which are secret codes needed to access assets stored in your wallet. Since hot wallets generate your private keys via an internet-connected device, we can’t guarantee that these wallets are 100% secure.
You can think of your hot wallets as the everyday wallet you use to store cash, but not your whole life savings. If you tend to make regular payments, you’ll love hot wallets. Nevertheless, we will not recommend hot wallets for large Bitcoin storage.
What we love about hot wallets
- Hot wallets are the most innovative ways to store small amounts of crypto and Bitcoin.
- These wallets make spending and receiving Bitcoin payments super convenient and hassle-free
- Some hot wallets can be used to access crypto assets across multiple devices.
What we don’t like about hot wallets
- As we stated right from the get-go, hot wallets are not convenient or safe for storing large amounts of bitcoins or other crypto assets. More so, there is every likelihood that you can forget the application being installed on your device.
What are the best Bitcoin wallets for you?
Before showing you the best Bitcoin wallets, we would like to ask you one simple question. Why are you using Bitcoin or crypto? Are you interested in investing or saving? If you’re only interested in investing, then a hardware wallet is just what you need to keep your asset safe and secured. If not, you can always use a software wallet as it makes it super easy to send and receive bitcoin without any headache. And the best part is that software wallets are free.
Also, don’t forget that each type of wallet has its pros and cons. Besides, each wallet is uniquely designed to solve different problems.
While some types of bitcoin wallets may be geared towards security, others are designed for ease of use, so depending on what you want, you’re sure to find a wallet that ticks all your boxes.
Given that each Bitcoin wallet has its unique selling point, there is no one size fits all or best bitcoin wallet. At the end of the day, what matters is your specific needs.
How do you add funds to a bitcoin wallet?
Most Bitcoin wallets out there don’t let you buy or sell Bitcoin. So, if you need to store some bitcoin in your wallet, you’ll need to buy from an exchange and send it to your wallet. And good for you, we will list some of the popular exchanges where you can start buying Bitcoin shortly.
Speaking about the best Bitcoin exchanges, we have found top exchanges like Coinbase and Binance particularly great for buying bitcoins. These guys make the whole process seamless and secure.
Note: While we will be listing some wallets you can easily buy or download, we always urge you to do your due diligence before buying or downloading any wallet. This is super important, especially with the myriad of new Bitcoin scam wallets launched every day on the Google Play Store or Apple app store to steal peoples’ Bitcoin.
In today’s post, we will only list Bitcoin wallets that have published and open-sourced their code.
Hardware wallets and Bitcoin safety
As you already know, hardware wallets aren’t free. But we are sure you won’t mind the price, especially if you have some significant amount of Bitcoins. And just so you know, hardware wallets aren’t only designed for a large amount of Bitcoin, but also small amounts too.
How hardware wallets work
Like we mentioned right from the get-go, hardware wallets are secured, offline devices used to store private keys of your wallets, so they don’t get into the hands of hackers. Thanks to the incredible sophistication of hardware wallets, you can use one on a malware-infected computer.
Why we love hardware wallets with screens
While tons of hardware wallets on the market do an incredible job of storing and securing your Bitcoins, we fancy hardware wallets with digital screens. And the reason is that hardware wallets with screens provide extra security by verifying and providing users with details of their wallets. And since these types of Bitcoin wallets are almost impossible to hack, the screen provides users with more reliable data than the one displayed on their computers.
Comparing Bitcoin and crypto hardware wallet
While there are tons of hardware wallets on the market, each with its pros and cons, here are some of the best hardware wallets we have come across. These wallets are not only popular but also great at storing and securing your digital assets.
- Ledger Nano X
- Trezor One
- Ledger Nano S
- Trezor T
A brief overview of the best Bitcoin Hardware wallets
Ledger Nano X
If you’re interested in the most sophisticated hardware wallet on the market today, you’ll not be disappointed to check out Ledger Nano X. This brilliant device makes it convenient to store your Bitcoins. And the icing on the cake is that this wallet features intelligent Bluetooth technology, making it the first hardware wallet that connects with iOS devices. If what you want is a hardware wallet that is more secure than your typical software wallet, you’ll not be disappointed to give Ledger Nano X a try. More so, all transactions on this hardware wallet are signed with the Nano X.
Since the TREZOR One launched in 2014, it has become the go-to hardware wallet for many crypto enthusiasts with large amounts of Bitcoin. This superb hardware wallet offers impeccable security as well as the convenience provided by hot wallets. Though thumbed-sized, this hardware wallet does a remarkable job of keeping your Bitcoin wallet secured.
Ledger Nano S
If you don’t want to dig too deep into your savings but still want a decent hardware wallet that offers impeccable security, ease of use, and convenience, you’ll no doubt love the all amazing Ledger Nano S. At $59, this is one of the cheapest hardware wallets you’ll come across. This wallet was released in August 2016 by a renowned Bitcoin security company.
Like the TREZOR One, the TREZOR Model-T boasts incredible security. This second-generation Bitcoin wallet from the stables of SatoshiLabs is one of the most sophisticated cold storage solutions ever to grace the crypto space. If you have an ample amount of Bitcoins and looking to store them away for a long time, you’ll undoubtedly fancy the all amazing TREZOR T.
Hot wallets: What you should know
If you have been following this article from the very beginning, then we are sure you’ll know a thing or two about hot wallets. If you missed that, here is another opportunity to catch up. As we mentioned earlier, hot wallets are unique types of Bitcoin wallets that run on internet-connected devices like mobile phones, tablets, and computers. And since these types of wallets generate private keys on internet-connected devices, they aren’t as secure as hardware wallets.
Desktop wallets are Bitcoin wallets that can be downloaded and installed on your computer. And for crypto enthusiasts who value privacy and security, you’ll love the Bitcoin core wallet as the wallet doesn’t rely on third parties for data.
Are you interested in a Bitcoin wallet that works seamlessly on Windows, Mac, and Linux? Then look no further than the all-amazing Electrum wallet. This lightweight Bitcoin wallet was launched in 2011. Today, it is among the most downloaded and used Bitcoin wallets out there. The main selling points of the Electrum wallet include support for hardware wallets like KeepKey, TREZOR, and Ledger. Not just that, this wallet also guarantees secure Bitcoin storage using an offline computer. Whether you’re just starting or have been in the crypto environment for some time, rest assured that this wallet will deliver exactly as promised.
Since this brilliant Bitcoin wallet launched some years ago, it has become the go-to wallet for crypto enthusiasts looking to store their digital assets. The exciting thing about this wallet is that it works seamlessly on Android, iOS, and Desktop. Plus, it is super easy to set up.
iPhone wallets: The best Bitcoin wallets for iOS devices
Do you have an iOS device and looking for the best Bitcoin wallet you can use with ease? Well, today is your lucky day as we have put together a list of some of the best Bitcoin wallets for iOS. Even though Apple banned all Bitcoin wallets from its App Store in 2014, that decision was sharply reversed some months later. Today, there are plenty of Bitcoin wallets iOS users can explore. Take a look at our best picks:
BRD has earned its place as one of the best Bitcoin wallets for iPhone, and this doesn’t come to us as a surprise. This brilliant open-source wallet gives users unparalleled control over their private keys. Its clean interface makes the wallet easy to navigate for just about any user. Plus, it makes sending and receiving Bitcoins a hassle-free experience.
Are you interested in an easy-to-use wallet that makes storing Bitcoin on your iPhone almost seamless? Then you won’t go wrong to give the all-amazing Edge wallet a try. Its remarkable login feature makes using this powerful Bitcoin wallet app a walk in the park for newbies. We love the fact that this wallet creates automatic backups. This means you don’t have to worry about all the technicalities that come with setting up manual wallet backups.
While the desktop version of this Bitcoin app has proven super reliable, the iOS version is just as great. What thrills us about this remarkable Bitcoin wallet app is its ease of use. More so, the wallet can be set up in a couple of minutes.
Aqua is one of those Bitcoin wallets for the iPhone that many users have come to love. This extraordinary Bitcoin wallet is more newbie-friendly than the likes of Blockstream Green and Edge. As a non-custodial, singlesig wallet, Aqua friendly can also be used to store liquid assets, which is something you won’t find with many other Bitcoin wallets out there.
Android wallets: The best Bitcoin wallet for Android devices
Like their iOS counterparts, there are also tons of great Bitcoin wallets for Android devices. Read on to find our list of the best Bitcoin wallets for your Android phones.
We love the BRD wallet because it is designed for multiple environments, including iPhone and Android. On Android devices, the BRD wallet works almost seamlessly to store and secure your assets. Just like on iPhone, the Android version of the BRD wallet gives users absolute control of their private keys. Also, its easy-to-use interface and passcode support make the wallet highly recommended for newbies.
Like we mentioned earlier, the Edge wallet is one of the best bitcoin wallets for Android and iPhone. Thanks to its familiar login feature, anyone can use this wallet without breaking a sweat. And since the wallet is designed to create automatic backups, you won’t waste your time learning all the technicalities of manual wallet backups.
Blockstream Green has established its place as one of the best Bitcoin wallets for Android, iOS, and Desktop. What thrills us about this app is that it can be set up in a couple of minutes. Plus, it is incredibly easy to use.
Bitcoin Wallet sits as the first mobile Bitcoin wallet to ever be built. Compared to other mobile Bitcoin wallets, Schildbach Wallet is dubbed the most secure mobile wallet because the wallet is designed to connect directly to the Bitcoin Network.
Like most mobile wallets out there, the Bitcoin Wallet has a simple and intuitive interface that makes it easy for anyone to navigate. Thanks to its brilliant features, this wallet is not only great for storing your Bitcoins but also provides users with great educational tools.
Bitcoin banks: What are they?
Before we bring you up to speed on everything you need to know about Bitcoin banks, we want you to remember one thing about Bitcoin wallets: there is a difference between a wallet and a bank.
While some users erroneously think of Coinbase and Binance as Bitcoin wallets, it’s not true as these companies operate more like traditional banks.
Remember: The Private keys are all crypto enthusiasts need to protect their wallets from being compromised by hackers who are always looking for loopholes to defraud users of their hard-earned money. Unfortunately, when you hand the control of your private keys to third parties like exchanges, what you’re doing is making deposits at those financial institutions, which is almost like making deposits to your traditional bank account.
We aren’t saying that Bitcoin banks are bad; more so, companies like Binance and Coinbase have done remarkably well to boost users’ confidence in terms of security. That said, always remember that whoever has control of the private keys has absolute control over the bitcoin linked to those keys.
Not getting the hang of this point has resulted in the loss of billions of dollars in the past. To this end, every crypto enthusiast must have a critical understanding of how to keep Bitcoin private keys safe.
Also, understanding how Bitcoin wallets work is critical to understanding how to use this technology safely. Without mincing words, Bitcoin is still very much in its early years of development. With the advancement in technology, we expect wallets to become more user-friendly than they currently are.
We expect that in the coming years, we will begin to see devices come with pre-installed wallets that can interact with the blockchain without users’ knowledge. That said, always remember that private keys are what you need to keep safely to protect your Bitcoin from hackers.
Bitcoin wallet: Theft and scam
Regardless of the bitcoin wallet you opt for, always remember that your bitcoin is only safe if you generated the private keys securely. Not just that, you also have to protect your private keys and make sure that only you have access to it.
But what happens if your private keys get compromised? Well, read on as we will get to all of that in a bit.
Here are two scenarios where users got more than they bargained for by leaving their bitcoins in the care of a third party:
- The Bitfinex hack which saw users lost over $70 million
- The Mt Gox hack resulted in over $450 million loss for investors.
But despite hackers working round the clock to defraud the crypto community, there are many steps investors can take to protect their investments. Follow these three basic principles, and you’ll be fine:
- Always generate your private keys in a secure and offline environment, especially if you have a substantial amount of Bitcoin. If you have small amounts of bitcoin, you can create your private keys using a hot wallet.
- Always set up backups for your private keys. This will save you a lot of headaches in the future and ensure you don’t lose your bitcoins due to unforeseen circumstances like hard drive failure, accidents, or other bigger problems. We always advise users to have a duplicate set of their private keys off-site to protect against robbery, fire accidents, or more.
- Encrypt your wallet for added security. This helps to protect your bitcoins in the event that your hardware wallet or device is stolen.
While Bitcoin technology is super exciting, securing your bitcoin is the most important thing for every Bitcoin user. Sure, bitcoin provides you with many privileges, but securing your bitcoin should be your utmost priority. There have been many scams in the crypto world that would have been prevented had Bitcoin users not entrusted their private keys to third parties. As a rule of thumb, never trust anyone with your Bitcoin, not even friends.
Top cryptocurrency security tips
Whether you are using an exchange-based wallet or a personal wallet to store your Bitcoin, this section will provide some robust tips on securing your cryptocurrency. While you may already be familiar with some of these tips, others will be new to you.
From encrypting your internet connection to changing your mobile network, these tips are not complex and are pretty easy to implement.
As cryptocurrency continues to gain traction, the massive adoption being experienced in this industry comes with new challenges as per best security practices. As with any new trend or technological advancement, there are always people behind the scene looking to exploit the system through brute force, social manipulation, or coercion.
This section will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the best practices for securing your Bitcoins and other crypto assets. While some of the steps we will be showing you aren’t mandatory, any serious crypto user will implement them to protect their investments as they navigate the crypto world.
Passwords: Complexity and Re-use
To address the elephant in the room, password complexity and re-use are significant points most average crypto users do not take seriously. From experience, we have discovered that most crypto users just opt for passwords because they are easy to remember. While there is nothing wrong with this approach, choosing a password that is easy to remember will leave you at the mercy of hackers. The reality is, the less complex your password is, the more easy your wallet is to hack. Also, if you use the same password or slight variations of the same password, you may end up compromising your security.
So what are your best chances of protecting your investments? Well, the answer is pretty simple. When setting up your passwords, always opt for randomly generated 14 characters or more passwords. Also, ensure you don’t reuse the same password or slight variations of the same password. If this seems like a hard nut to crack, you can take advantage of a password manager like Dashlane or LastPass. These tools will help with password generation and storage.
Dedicated email accounts
These days, almost every online service has put in place some kind of email account activation during the activation process. And for most people who navigate the online space, there is every likelihood that you’ll use your default email to sign up for these services. Even though you use a complex password to secure your account, keep in mind that all a hacker needs to access your account is your email address. Once your email is compromised, the hacker only needs to reset the password tied to your account. Trust us when we say it is as simple as clicking the forgot password link on an exchange. If you’re like many people who have used one dedicated email for years with an accompanying weak password, the chances of hacking your account are much higher.
To be on the safer side, we always encourage users to create new dedicated email addresses exclusive to their crypto accounts. If you are interested in an email client with end-to-end encryption, you’ll not be disappointed to give services like Tutanota and ProntoMail a try. These email services are free and offer fantastic usability.
However, if you still decide to go with Gmail, we suggest activating the Advanced Protection Program just to give your account an extra layer of security.
Leverage the power of VPN
A virtual private network isn’t just great for anyone who navigates the internet space but also highly recommended for crypto users, and here is why. As you navigate the internet space, there are many prying eyes checking out your activities. Besides hackers who are always after your internet footprint, your internet service providers (ISPs) are also very much aware of your activities. They see everything we are up to. Unfortunately, ISPs are all about business and often share their customers’ information with third parties. And just in case you think ISPs and their friends are the only ones watching, we are sorry to disappoint you; they aren’t the only ones. Anyone using the same wifi network as you can also see what you’re up to. Thankfully, a reliable VPN service will help resolve this problem. When you deploy a VPN, your original IP isn’t connecting to any website directly. Instead, you’re communicating with another IP address via an encrypted connection. This IP address then makes website requests on your behalf and relay those data to you. With VPN, the only people who know what you’re up to is your VPN provider.
Since your VPN provider can also know what you’re up to, it’s vital to opt for a VPN provider with an impressive track record. VPN is highly recommended for crypto users because we use Bitcoin to keep our financial dealings and investments as hidden as possible. Unfortunately, when our IP address is exposed, we risk revealing our IP address to people who may want to defraud us.
To wrap the long story, it is imperative for everyone who navigates the internet space to use a VPN, whether they use Bitcoin or not. Safety is essential and should never be compromised.
To boost your security when surfing the internet and using Bitcoin wallets, we always recommend setting up two-factor authentication. Whether the service is crypto-related or not, it’s always a smart move to activate 2FA. 2FA adds a second layer of security which allows you to confirm that you’re the one trying to get access to the account linked to 2FA. 2FA is either in the form of a password or something like an SMS code sent to your phone.
But while SMS is the most common 2FA method used by most online services, it is the least secured. That said, here is a list of the most common 2FA methods ranked from the most secured to the least.
FIDO U2F: This is a brilliant device that needs to be plugged into your computer. Once connected, this device generates a unique 2FA access code. We highly recommend this one because a hacker needs to have the device physically to gain access to your account. Since most hacking is executed remotely, FIDO U2F is our top pick.
Google authenticator: This brilliant app works on your phone and provides real-time tokens you can use to access connected accounts. If you decide to go with a Google Authenticator, we recommend backing up the code provided at the initial setup. If you didn’t do this and lose your phone, you’d have no way to retrieve these codes. While it may not be as reliable as FIDO U2F, it is way better than the SMS two factor.
Authy: This app is very similar to Google Authenticator but not as secure, and that’s because the app allows users to access their backup codes using a different mobile device if the main code is lost or broken. Even though the app allows users to disable this feature, it is active by default. Despite its shortcomings, many users love the flexibility the app provides. Nevertheless, it also makes things easy for hackers.
SMS: This 2FA option works by sending codes to your mobile phone via text messages. Compared to other 2FA, this option is less secure and quite susceptible to social engineering sim attacks. But guess what? Most of the shortcomings of SMS 2FA weren’t noticed until the popularity of Bitcoin.
With the increasing SIM attacks, there are now many brilliant ways to avoid them. Top-notch services like the one provided by Google FI provide alternatives to traditional mobile phone contracts. And guess what? This service isn’t only flexible but also more secure than others out there.
Using Google Fi, you can prevent unauthorized changes to your account as the app requires a second authentication factor. And because Google Fi plans don’t require SIM cards, you are safe from any form of SIM attack. Thanks to this service, hackers can’t gain access to your text messages or take over your account.
Currently, Google Fi is the only mobile phone service in the United States that provides 2FA services. This service is highly recommended for crypto users who have made security their utmost priority. And if you live in the US, there is no reason you shouldn’t take advantage of this service.
The icing on the cake is that Google Fi allows you to change your phone number any time you like. This increases your security, especially if you consider that many of our phone numbers have been leaked or used to bind other accounts online. If your leaked number is no longer active, you can be sure that you’re protected.
Mobile crypto wallets
To be on the safer side, we always encourage users to treat their mobile cryptocurrency wallets such as Edge, BRD, and others as they would treat their physical wallets or purses.
Since mobile wallets are prone to attacks from hackers, we always encourage only storing small amounts of Bitcoins which you’ll typically have for discretionary spending. And just so you know, anything that is convenient for you is also convenient for hackers. Also, since your mobile device is susceptible to malware, we don’t consider it a safe means of storing large amounts of funds.
Whether you have a small amount of crypto or large amounts, you are a perfect target for phishing scams. Over the years, hackers have used Facebook and Twitter to scout for potential victims. Also, these days there are many fraudulent crypto exchange emails or ICO fundraising confirmations flying around.
It’s always a smart move to never open suspicious attachments or provide confidential information via emails. If you have any reservations, you can inspect the logo or wordings. Also, check the originating address of the email received. Most times, legit businesses will not voluntarily request sensitive information.
To stay safe, always double-check with the legitimate exchange or web service from which the email originated. Also, you can always reach out to support teams if you suspect that something isn’t right.
Secure crypto storage
Like we mentioned at the beginning of this post, if you don’t hold your private keys, you’re at risk of losing your money any time a hacker decides to strike. Many crypto users have lost their money by simply treating exchanges like Binance, Coinbase, Poloniex, and Bittrex as wallets for storing their digital assets.
In the last five years, top exchanges like Bitfinex, Coincheck, Mt. Gox, and BitGrail are among the handful of crypto exchanges that have been hacked, with more than $1 billion stolen. While some users on these exchanges have been compensated, many have suffered partial or total investment loss. Today, hackers are still exploring loopholes to defraud the crypto community.
We always encourage using a hardware wallet and backing it up with a steel wallet to protect your investment.
If you decide to trade on an exchange, only use funds you aren’t scared of losing in case either the exchange or your individual account gets compromised.
For those who want to store their Bitcoin with a hardware wallet, we suggest going for Ledger or Trezor. And if you have read this post to this point, you must have read our review of these hardware wallets. While using hardware wallets, please always ensure that the device firmware is up to date as the manufacturers of these devices ensure they roll out new patches to resolve security lapses.
To wrap things up, your security on the web should always be the first thing to address. This is especially true if you have large amounts of crypto or sensitive data. While we haven’t come across a hack proof system, some of the steps we outlined in today’s post will keep your crypto assets protected from any type of compromise.
While navigating the internet space or using crypto wallets, we always encourage users to do the following:
- Use complex and hard to guess passwords
- Always use a separate or dedicated email for your crypto account.
- Don’t take 2FA authentication for granted
- Always store a large amount of your crypto assets on hardware wallets.
- Avoid clicking any link you come across
- Always look out for phishing emails.
Frequently asked questions: Learn more about Bitcoin wallets.
We are sure that you may still have some questions. Well, that’s why we have put together this section to answer any questions you may have about Bitcoin wallets. Read on to find some of the most frequently asked questions we have come across.
What are Bitcoin wallets?
Bitcoin wallets are designed to allow crypto users to send, receive, and store Bitcoin. Bitcoin wallets secure your coins by protecting your private keys. Without these private keys, accessing a Bitcoin wallet is impossible. Simply put, private keys act as proof of ownership of Bitcoin. You can think of Bitcoin wallets as a safety deposit box for Bitcoin.
What are private keys?
If a Bitcoin wallet is like your traditional safety box, it means that the private keys are the keys needed to access the safety deposit box. The only difference is that you can choose to break into a traditional safety deposit box. On the flip side, without private keys, you can’t break into a Bitcoin wallet. To this end, keeping your private keys safe is the most important thing anyone can do to keep their bitcoins secure.
What is a Bitcoin wallet address?
We like to think of a bitcoin wallet address as your account number, only that a Bitcoin address is better. The Bitcoin wallet address is the address you’ll typically use to send or receive bitcoin. Without a Bitcoin wallet address, you can’t send or receive Bitcoin. And be careful when using a Bitcoin wallet address because if you make a mistake with this address, you may end up sending your asset to the wrong address.
What is a steel Bitcoin wallet?
Steel Bitcoin wallets are designed to store your backup seed. If you use paper to store your seed phrase, you may end up losing it or having it destroyed in a flood or fire. With a steel wallet, you can protect your backup seed from all of these unforeseen circumstances as the wallet creates an indestructible backup for your seed.
How can I add coins to a crypto wallet?
To add coins to any crypto wallet, you’ll first need to buy your preferred crypto coins from an exchange. Once you buy a coin, you can send it to the designated wallet address of your choosing. There are some online wallets today that allow you to buy digital assets directly from their DEX section. However, keep in mind that this option comes with larger exchange margins.