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CoinDCX Guide / Where can I store my cryptocurrencies?

Where can I store my cryptocurrencies?

You can store your cryptos in a wallet. A cryptocurrency wallet is a digital place for your coins to be stored. Each coin has a certain wallet provider. That could be official GUI-wallets, web wallets, cold and offline wallets, and other applications. There are software and hardware wallets and while software wallets are more convenient to use, hardware wallets are more secure. 

The wallet includes an address, and a combination of alphanumeric identifiers generated on the basis of private and public keys. This address is used to withdraw or deposit coins and are unique to each cryptocurrency. Consider it as a specific “location” to send or receive your coins. You can share this address with others to receive funds just like how you share your email id to receive emails! However, one must never share their private keys to anyone. 

Cryptocurrency wallets can be divided into 3 groups; Software Wallets, Hardware Wallets, and Paper

1. Software Wallets

Software wallets are those that are in some way connected to the internet. They store your cryptocurrency and are easily accessible by frequent traders. It’s a secure wallet but can be compromised in case your system is hacked. They fall under the category of hot wallets. There are three types of software wallets:

Desktop Wallets

Desktop Wallets are software that can be downloaded onto your desktops. They are easily accessible for transactions. They are safer than Web Wallets. Desktop Wallet gives you full control over your funds and keys, unlike some web wallets. A file called “wallet.dat” is stored locally on your computer when you generate a new desktop wallet. It is important to encrypt this file with a personal passcode as it contains your private key information which is used to access your cryptocurrency addresses.

Once encrypted, to read the wallet.dat file, you need to provide your passcode every time you run it. You will most likely lose your funds if you lose the file or forget your passcode. It is critical to back up this file and keep it safe. You can also access your funds on another device by exporting the private key in case your computer stops working.

Web Wallets

Web Wallets are available online and they are accessible through a browser interface without having to download any app or program for them. All exchanges offer them and you can send & receive tokens on them. Web Wallets include any browser-based wallet as well as exchange wallets. They are more susceptible to online hacks.

Mostly, you are required to set a personal password when you create a new wallet to access it. But, some providers hold and manage the private keys for you. This may seem convenient, but it’s dangerous; as if you don’t hold your private keys, you are trusting a third party with your money. To help solve this problem, a lot of web wallets now allow you to manage your keys, either entirely or through shared control. So, it is crucial to see which wallet is most suitable for you from a technical perspective before choosing one.

It is important to use security tools available when using an exchange’s wallet such as 2-factor authorization, anti-scamming code, etc

Mobile Wallets 

Mobile Wallets are app-based wallets that can be used on your phones. One has to download and install them on their phones. They offer extreme convenience as you can trade through the use of QR codes. They are the most convenient for performing everyday transactions and make them the most feasible option for spending cryptocurrencies. One of the most prominent examples of a mobile Crypto wallet is Trust Wallet.

Like web and desktop wallets, mobiles are also jeopardized by malware and malicious forces. It is essential to encrypt your mobile wallet with a passcode and to backup your private keys in case your device gets lost.

2. Hardware Wallets

Hardware wallets are those where you store your cryptocurrency offline on a physical electronic device. This device generates a random number that is used to generate the public and private keys and the device then stores these keys. These wallets offer a higher level of security as they store the data offline, but that makes them less accessible. To overcome this, many web wallets offer a service to connect your device directly to the trading platform and this allows hardware wallets to be connected to your browser interface.

They are the most secure way to store your cryptocurrency. As they are not compatible with all kinds of cryptocurrency, one has to find a wallet that is compatible with the currency they want to store. They fall under the category of Cold Wallets and hence are more convenient for long term investors. One of the most prominent examples of Hardware Wallet is Ledger Nano S.

3. Paper wallets  

Paper wallets are wallets you print out. They fall under the category of cold wallets. They contain your public and private keys which are usually in the form of a QR code. One has to scan the QR code to access the wallet to execute transactions. Some paper wallets let you generate new addresses and keys while being offline by allowing you to download their code. Though paper wallets are the safest way to avoid a hack on your data, unfortunately, they come with their fair share of issues. In a paper wallet, you can only transfer the entirety of your funds and transactions.