How to store your Bitcoin, Ethereum and altcoins

How to store your Bitcoin, Ethereum and altcoins

Bitcoin wallet

Where to store your crypto? To be short, you store them in a wallet so to speak. To be honest you don’t store them anywhere, they are on the blockchain attached to an address and your wallet controls that address. But we speak of it as we store our coins, tokens, crypto, how ever you want to call it in a wallet.

That wallet can be located almost everywhere, somewhere online, on your PC, a piece of dedicated hardware or an exchange! A wallet is just a combination of an address and a private key (a very very hard long to crack password if you like) and allows you to do transactions from that address.

The most unsafe wallets are exchanges and online wallet where you don’t have a private key. In fact you a depended on a third party to store your coins. Exchanges can fall overnight, and block wallets and accounts. If that happens…goodbye tokens, goodbye money. Only hold your tokens at an exchange if you are trading with it. Exchanges are there to exchange stuff, it’s not a warehouse.

For most coins you can download a wallet for your pc. You now have control over it but are still vulnerable to computer hacks. If someone takes over your pc he can access your wallet and send all your coins to an address of his choice… again goodbye tokens, goodbye money. It’s the same if someone stole you bankcard and pin code.

You often here, I stored my tokens at MEW. They refer to MyEtherWallet. It’s not an online wallet it’s an online interaction tool with the blockchain. You can create an address private key combination there and can send Ethereum and all tokens on the Ethereum blockchain with that key and also interact with smart contracts. You will use MEW a lot when you are dealing with ICO’s and ERC-20 dividend tokens.
You have to copy paste your private key to interact with MEW. Your key is not send over the internet, it is all handled bye the browser. But you are vulnerable to keyloggers and such is your computer is hacked.. if someone has your private key you are toast.

Best way to store your coins is on a hardware wallet. Nano Ledger S or Ledger Blue and Trezor are examples. I prefer the Nano Ledger S or Blue because you can interact directly with it on Etherdelta.
A hardware wallet is an USB device you can connect to your computer. You don’t have to copy paste your private key anymore so keyboard loggers will not succeed in getting your keys. You also not have to worry about someone taking over your PC. He still has no control over the device. Every transaction you make you have to confirm physically by pressing a button on the device before you can make a transaction.
For a device less than 100 dollars it’s a must have. Better safe than sorry…. Would you like 100K vulnerable on a pc or even a 1000?

But even with a hardware wallet you are not completely safe. Like I said you only need a private key to unlock a wallet. But those keys are long like e40c3291a318a4f7b330e414eae3753c9e357ac19beb266b22d587a4576fe825 And yeas in theory if I gamble a bit I can guess your key and unlock your wallet. The changes that I unlock your wallet are extreme slim Nevertheless it could happen. I have successfully unlocks several wallets just by trial and error. But guessing a private key and find an address containing tokens on it has changes of winning the lottery 3 times in a row or so.
See better save than sorry. On your ledger you can hold dozens (or even unlimited never checked beyond 50) of addresses. Just split up your portfolio over several addresses or even several ledgers. In case any one of them in compromised you only lose your tokens on that address.

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