Cryptocurrency wallet guide

What are the different types of wallet and how are they different?

Much like cleaning companies claim their products kill 99% of germs, you should be aware that no cryptocurrency wallet is 100% safe and secure. Even if the wallet was 100% secure from hackers, there is always the problem of human error. Wallets will have a Public Key, this is the one you will share with others to receive payment into it and a Private Key this should not be shared with anyone and is used to access or generate your wallet should you need to. If someone has access to your private key, they will be able to access your wallet and take control of your cryptocurrency. There is also the problem that you will lose both keys or the PC the wallet is on or the cold storage device or paper wallet.. All of these examples of human error have already happened and have cost the owner untold losses. With cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, the main positive is that it is decentralised, it is not controlled by governments or banks, it is controlled by you… Therefore if you lose access to your wallet(s) by any of the errors above, you are on your own, you have lost it and no one can get it back for you.

Desktop wallets

These wallets are downloaded to your computer and you can only access them from that device, this type of wallet offers great security but it is still possible it could get hacked and you could lose your crypto if you are not careful, ensure you don’t click on links in emails you don’t trust and ensure you have up to date security software.

Mobile wallets

These wallets run on a app you download to your phone which is handy as they can be used easily just about anywhere, there are numerous mobile wallet apps that will hold only one specific coin or token through to wallets that are able to hold 50 or more different types of coin or token, some also have software that can be downloaded to your computer so you can sync and access your crypto from both your mobile and computer in the same wallet. You should ensure you have enabled security on your device and wallets, such as fingerprint or pin access just in case you lose your phone.

Online wallets

These wallets exist in the cloud (a third party server), these are very convenient as you can access them from any location on any device, they do store your private key(s) online though to enable this, therefore they can be vulnerable to hacking and theft.

Hardware wallets

These wallets are generally one of the most secure, the wallet stores the users private key on the wallet itself and although the transactions are carried out online they are stored offline. These wallets are usually a USB type device, some have small screens so you can follow directions from the offline wallet, they can store various cryptocurrencies depending of which type device you have. I personally use a Ledger Nano S  which is very easy to use through Google Chrome apps which you add to your browser. You simply plug the hardware wallet into your computer and add your pin number in to the device then open the specific cryptocurrency wallet you want to use, your crypto stays safe offline while the transaction is carried out online.

Paper wallets

These are easy to use and there are various online software you can use to create them, a pair of keys is created by you on the software and you send your crypto from your software wallet to the generated address of your paper wallet. You then print out the paper wallet which will show the keys, it will also have a QR code that allows you to easily transfer your crypto back to your software wallet. Although it is very secure, you do need to ensure you keep the paper safe, if you lose it, it gets stolen or destroyed in a fire or flood etc. then you will have lost your money.

Below are examples of each type of wallet available, with links to the app stores to download them to your mobile, computer or websites in the case of the paper wallet. There is also a YouTube link to a tutorial to help you get started.

Desktop Wallet

My Ether Wallet

You’ll be responsible for your Public and Private key, this is a versatile wallet but you will need to learn how to use it as it can be confusing when you start.

Visit MyEtherWallet

Online Wallet

Coinbase

This is probably the first wallet you will have, it’s easy to use and you can buy Bitcoin, Ether & Litecoin from within the wallet unlike many other wallets where you can only store your cryptocurrency once you have purchased it elsewhere.

Visit Coinbase

Mobile Wallet

Jaxx Wallet

Multi-Chain, supports many cryptocurrencies and tokens, easy stylish inferface. Designed to work and sync across all devices.

Visit Jaxx

Hardware Wallet “Cold Storage”

Ledger Nano S

Easy to carry, easy to hide, safe and secure, multi currency offline wallet… Just don’t lose it!

Visit Ledger

Paper Wallet “Cold Storage”

Just as it says, it’s paper

Safe, secure, easy to hide but easy to lose and destroy if you’re not careful. Here’s a few sites you can visit to generate your paper wallet, these will be classed as non-secure paper wallets, for information on creating a secure paper wallet watch the video in the link below.

Bitaddress.org  Bitcoinpaperwallet.com  Walletgenerator.net  neopaperwallet.org

Protect your Cryptocurrency!

If you have more than double the price of a hardware wallet in cryptocurrency my advice would be to invest in a Ledger or Trezor to protect it. It's never been more important to keep your crypto secure, with the recent news about Intel chips leaving almost all PC's and some Mobile devices vulnerable to hacking and now (it was only a matter of time) a hardware wallet has been compromised by a third party seller and the contents stolen. Both devices below can store nearly all ERC20 Tokens and keep them safe when using through My Ether Wallet.

Always buy direct from the manufacturer.

Ledger Wallet

Store your Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin DASH and more in your secure offline hardware wallet from Ledger. Hardware wallets do not need to be connected at the time of receiving your crypto, your wallet will update next time you connect it to the internet/Blockchain

Price check and purchase on Amazon but it's usually cheaper & always safer to buy direct from Ledger

Trezor Wallet

Store your Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin DASH and more in your secure offline hardware wallet from Trezor.

Price check and purchase on Amazon but it's usually cheaper & always safer to buy direct from Trezor

Coin Wallet Guide

For an in-depth and easy to follow guide to setting up and using 30+ different crypto wallets.

 

Visit Coin Wallet Guide

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