HAVE YOU CONSIDERED HOW YOU WOULD STORE YOUR CRYPTO-CURRENCY?
Over the years there has been a lot of discussion among owners and potential crypto-currency owners on the various ways to store and keep crypto-currencies safe. From cold storage to hot storage, one thing is certain we should give serious thought to protecting our investments.
If you are new to the Crypto-currency world, making the decision as to where to store your digital currency should precede your purchase. There are several choices that you may consider.
Some may prefer leaving their coins in the “exchange” where they are purchased. Choosing to trust a “third party” to have and hold their private keys FOR them as what is the generally the case with an exchanger. This is all well and good except it is suggested by such gurus as Andreas M Antonopoulos, Bitcoin Ben, and Bix Weir (to name a few) that in such cases where WE are not in control of our private keys we are not actually in charge of our funds. Very often even though you have purchased the crypto-currency, it is not even available to you for hours or days after the purchase.
- Others prefer to download their wallet to their electronic device and use it there to be able to control their own private keys. This “SOFTWARE WALLET” requires that we be vigilant in protecting our password and private keys against would be hackers who, if successful in gaining access to our computer could manage to steal our Crypto-currency. Therefore storing this vital information offline and in more than one secure place is highly suggested.
- “ONLINE WALLETS” or “cloud wallets” offer the convenience of being able to access from any device and move your coins easily. Though you must keep your passwords secure and offline (suggested). These wallets are generally “free” as a mobile or desktop app, but here you are taking the risk that the host of the online wallet has proper security set up to protect your investments against hackers because your private keys are stored online as well and it is not unheard of that some of these “hosts” have shut down or simply disappear never to be heard of again and with YOUR Crypto-currency.
- “MOBILE WALLETS” make it easy to spend some of your Crypto-currency by use of a QR Code reader which allows you to send coins directly to another wallet for purchases. Though easy and convenient they are really not very practical for long term “HODL-ing” or saving of your Crypto-currency.
- “PAPER WALLETS” offer a bit of higher security since they are stored in a secure area offline. You create these and choose how much of your crypto-currency you wish to put on each Paper Wallet. It is wise to keep in mind that ink fades and paper could degenerate over time. Using proper printers and specialized paper along with storing the Paper Wallets in a dark place (light too can fade), could slow that process down. This may not be the best option for long term storage, but certainly convenient if you intend to use them as gifts.
- Probably the BEST option for storing your Crypto-currency is a “HARDWARE WALLET” Some of the brands are Trezor, Nano, Keepkey, Case, and Ledger. These are generally very secure because they only occasionally connect to the internet to perform a transaction and are otherwise offline and mostly not hackable. Downside is someone could steal it or it could simply be lost along with your irretrievable Crypto-currency. It may be wise to keep your hardware wallet in a very secure place at a trusted lawyers, safe, or bank vault. And perhaps even a copy of the same in several places.
Depending on how you are going to avail of your Crypto-currency you may want to do what some others do and create a diverse method of saving and storing your coins. Mobile Wallets with small amounts added for quick spends, Online Wallets for use in trading to increase your holdings, and Hardware Wallets for long-term HODL-ing (saving) of your investments.
You will have to decide what is right for you in securing your Crypto-currencies but which ever you decide you must remember that the ultimate security depends on YOU.