The Complete Guide to Cryptocurrency Wallets

A cryptocurrency wallet allows you to interact with a blockchain network. Crypto wallets are classified into two categories: software wallets and hardware wallets, depending on their operating mechanisms. Most crypto wallet providers are software-based and easier to use than hardware wallets. However, hardware wallets are the most secure ones. 

What is a Crypto Wallet and How Does It Work?

What is a Crypto Wallet? The short answer is that it stores not only digital assets but also the tools required to interact with a blockchain. In other words, these wallets can generate the information required to send and receive cryptocurrency via the transactions on the blockchain.

The safest crypto wallet also contains an address, an alphanumeric identifier generated from the public and private keys. An address is a specific “location” on the blockchain to which coins can be sent. This means that while you can share your address with others to receive funds, please do not share your private key with anyone.

The private key allows you to access your cryptocurrencies regardless of your wallet. As a result, if you have the corresponding private key, you can still access your money on another device, even if your computer or smartphone is compromised. It is crucial to remember that the coins are merely transferred from one address to another and are never actually removed from the blockchain. 

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How Do I Own a Hard Crypto Wallet?

You must have a wallet address to store and trade cryptocurrency, whether you are a frequent trader or a bitcoin HODLer. You can use a hardware wallet, a desktop wallet, a browser extension, a crypto exchange wallet, or a mobile wallet. However, before you download a crypto wallet, please consider the following options and types below.

1. Hot wallet: CoinField Exchange

2. Mobile crypto wallets: Electrum, MetaMask, Exodus

3. Browser extension crypto wallets: MetaMask, MathWallet

4. Hard wallet: Trezor, Ledger Nano

Tips! The best crypto wallets offer an excellent balance of high security, safety, a smooth user experience, and low costs. According to crypto traders, the best hard crypto wallets are Ledger, and Trezor, while Electrum is known as the safest software wallet.

Hot Crypto Wallet Vs Cold Crypto Wallet

A hot wallet is any wallet that is connected to the Internet in some way. For example, when you open an account on CoinField and deposit funds into your wallets, you are depositing into CoinField’s hot wallet, which is simple to set up and has quick access to funds, making it convenient for traders and other frequent users. 

Cold wallets, on the other hand, have no Internet connection and the users have total control of their private keys, while also being able to trade directly from their cold storage devices (hardware wallets). The user will store the keys offline on a physical medium, making them resistant to online hacking attempts. As a result, cold wallets are a far safer alternative to “storing” your coins.

Tips! A cold storage is ideal for long-term investors or “HODLers.” 

Software Wallets

Software wallets come in various forms, each with a unique set of features and some connection to the internet. The web, desktop, and mobile wallets are known to be the safest software crypto wallet. 

Web Wallets

Through a browser interface, web wallets let you access blockchains without downloading or installing anything. This includes providers of other web-based wallets as well as exchange wallets.

Most of the time, you can make a new wallet and protect it with a unique password. However, some service providers hold and manage your private keys on your behalf. Although inexperienced users might find this more convenient, it is a dangerous practice. If you don’t keep your private keys, you give your money to someone else.

To solve this problem, many web wallets now let you manage your keys completely or through shared control. Therefore, it’s essential to look at each wallet’s technical strategy before deciding which is best for you. 

Desktop Wallets

Programs that run on your laptop or computer are desktop wallets. They manage and store your private keys like any other wallet, but they also come with a few extra features.

Instead of some web-based wallets, desktop wallets give you total control over your keys and crypto. Your desktop wallet file must be backed up, and it must be stored securely.Additionally, you can export the associated private key, and if your computer malfunctions or otherwise becomes unusable, you can still access your crypto on other gadgets. 

Mobile Wallets

Mobile wallets are designed for smartphone applications and perform similarly to desktop wallets. They can send and receive cryptocurrencies by scanning QR codes makes these incredibly helpful.

Mobile wallets are perfect for making payments and carrying out everyday transactions. Therefore, you should strongly consider encrypting your mobile wallet with a password and backing up your private key, as your smartphone could be stolen or damaged. 

Hardware Wallets

Hardware wallets are physical, electronic devices that generate public and private keys using a random number generator (RNG). The keys are then stored locally on the device, which is not connected to the internet.

As such, hardware storage is a type of cold wallet and is regarded as one of the most secure options. While these wallets provide greater protection against online attacks, they may pose risks if the firmware is not correctly implemented.

Moreover, when compared to hot wallets, hardware wallets are less user-friendly, and funds are more difficult to access. If you intend to keep your cryptocurrency for an extended period of time or if you have a large amount of cryptocurrency, you should consider using a hardware wallet. Currently, most hardware wallets let you set a PIN code to secure your gadget and a recovery phrase you can use if your wallet is lost. 

Paper Wallets

A paper wallet is a sheet of paper with a cryptographic address and its private key printed as QR codes. When offline, some paper wallet websites let you download their code and create new addresses and keys. These codes can then be scanned to complete the transactions. As a result, these wallets can be used in place of cold storage and are highly resistant to online hacking attacks. 

However, because of the numerous flaws, using paper wallets is now considered unsafe and should be discouraged. If you insist on using it, you must first understand the risks. Paper wallets have a significant flaw: they can only send their entire balance simultaneously. 

Tips! Losing access to your cryptocurrency wallets can be very expensive. Therefore, it is important to regularly back up and choose to use password encryption as well. 

Round Up 

There are benefits and drawbacks to each type of crypto wallet, and it’s critical to understand how they work before transferring funds. There is no definitive answer to which crypto wallet you should use. If you are a frequent trader, a web wallet or exchange crypto wallet allows you to access your funds and trade efficiently.

However, if you intend to HODL a large amount of cryptocurrency, you do not want to sell it soon. In that case, cold wallets are preferable because they are not connected to the internet, making them more secure and resistant to online phishing attacks or scams. 

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