To store your crypto coins you will need a digital wallet. These store the private keys so that your funds cannot be accessed nor used by an unauthorized entity. There are different types of wallets that you can choose to keep your crypto assets in:
- Paper wallet: This is really a document containing a public address that can receive Bitcoins and private keys that enables you to transfer or spend the crypto coins that are stored here. The paper wallet is printed typically as a QR code that can be quickly scanned; you may add keys to this wallet for making transactions. Services like Bitcoin Paper Wallet and Bit Address generate such paper wallets; some services even offer tamper-proof designs and holographic labels. The biggest advantage is that the keys stay offline and cannot be exposed to hacking or malware.
- Physical Bitcoins: This is a collector’s item and can be preloaded with fixed amounts of Bitcoins. The main aim is that the value cannot be spent until the private key is exposed. A tamper-proof seal is needed to achieve this secrecy. Bit Bill was the first of this type of wallet and looked like a credit card. A crypto enthusiast Cadwell came up with the Casascius in 2011; here the private key was hidden beneath a hologram that could be peeled off. Once redeemed the coin would lose its original value. Physical Bitcoins are easier when it comes to safe storage of coins and for trading offline.
- Mobile Wallets: These are naturally prone to hacker attacks, but are very useful for shoppers who are using Bitcoins on a day-to-day basis. This works like an app on your smartphone and can store private keys. You may use this to pay for what you buy directly. The mobile wallet uses a simple payment verification technology and works with small blockchain subsets only. It depends on trusted nodes within the network to make sure they have accurate data. It is better to use wallets of your country of origin for smooth transactions. A finlandian trying to buy bitcon, that translates to finnish as osta bitcoin suomi, has to look for wallets that originate in his country preferably.
- Web Wallets: These will store private keys on servers that are online but controlled by third parties. There are a variety of services that you can get with distinct features, some linking to desktop and mobile wallets and replicating addresses across other devices that you have. These e-wallets allow you access money on-the-go no matter what device you use, as long as you are online. But, if it not well protected the firms running these websites can get access to the private keys.
- Desktop Wallets: These are downloadable and can be set up on the computer; they store private keys on the hard drive. They are certainly more secure than mobile wallets but are nevertheless connected to the Web; so, they cannot be completely free from threats. This is a better option for those trading lesser amounts on software’s like Bitcoin Revolution.
- Hardware Wallets: This is a unique wallet storing private keys on secure hardware devices. It is by far the most secure option and there are no incidents yet of stolen funds from hardware wallets. They can be used interactively and safely, not like paper wallets. They are also immune to viruses and funds cannot be transferred in plaintext. Some also have screens to add an extra security protection and these verify and show key wallet details.