Humans have come a long way from the barter trading (trading goods without using the money) to gold, then later to paper currency and now we have arrived in the age of digital currency.
There are more than 2000 cryptocurrencies in the world with a market capitalization of around $175 billion, it is necessary to know about them. Where these currencies are stored? How does the crypto wallet work? If You are still reading this, it says you are a beginner and want to explore the crypto world.
To understand the crypto concept, first, know about the crypto wallets.
What Is Cryptocurrency Wallet?
A cryptocurrency wallet is a software program used to store, send, receive private and public keys and can be used to track ownership. It enables you to send and receive digital coins through blockchain. Wallets are a necessary factor for investing and owning cryptocurrencies of any sort.
However, Some wallets are built for a single cryptocurrency ( bitcoin and coins forked from bitcoin like bitcoin cash), some can be used for more than one coin(multi cryptocurrency wallet), some wallets you’ll manage yourself, and some will be custodial.
What Are Public & Private Keys?
A public key is a unique identifier for a person and a private key is like a password similar to an ATM pin. A sender will require the public key of the receiver to send him the cryptocurrency and the receiver will be able to access and use these cryptocurrencies by using the private key. A private key must be protected in order to avoid fraudulent activities such as hacking, stealing of cryptocurrencies, etc.
A public key can be extracted from a private key, but a private key can never be extracted from a public key.
A private key should always be kept safe. Exposing it would be vulnerable for various hacks and stealing of the coins by with whom you have shared. sending them to another wallet which they control.
Example of a private key: N2nGYRCBbs6ZRs8w5LHam4r85ikxBzhRNgpNJjqk7D5vrpuaVJB
Example of a public key: 958ikZuaAbGkzXuFL9sfGHYj9ethop8qMh
How Does a Cryptocurrency Wallet Work?
- Cryptocurrency wallets work like the safety deposit boxes. Unlike traditional pocket wallets, where they don’t store digital currency. The crypto wallets store your private and public keys and interface with multiple blockchains. Thus, users can track their balance, send money and conduct other operations.
- Moreover, currencies don’t get stored in any single place. Also, it is advised not to store the cryptocurrencies on the wallet offered by the particular exchange, because the exchange will own your private key. So better you transfer it to your own crypto wallet to have control over the cryptocurrencies owned by you.
- A wallet address is the same as a bank account number. Providing your bank account number to other people, as they need it to transfer your funds. For example: This is like your friend transferring you money, so he needs your bank account number.
- In the world of cryptocurrency, if anyone wants to transfer you crypto coins, you should provide him with your wallet address. Similar, like in the real world, however, no two wallets can have the same address, which means that there is no risk of your fund being to transfer to others address. Moreover, there is no limit to the 5number of wallet addresses you create.
Different Types of Crypto Wallets
There are multiple types of wallets that provide different ways to store and access your digital currency.
Hot Wallets vs Cold Wallets
you might come across frequently with the terms “hot wallets” and “cold wallets”. All crypto wallets fall under these two types.
In general, whatever is connected to the internet is less secure than something that is not. This is the difference, where “hot” wallets are connected to the internet and “cold” wallets” are not.
Online, desktop and mobile wallets are hot wallets, while hardware and paper wallets are cold wallets.
1). Software Wallet:
There are three forms of software wallets:
- Desktop wallets: These are installed on a laptop or a PC, and can be accessed from a single computer. Although they provide high security, if the computer is attacked by the virus, there is a chance of losing your wallet.
- Online wallets: These wallets run on the cloud and can be accessed from any device. Here, your keys are stored online.
- Mobile wallets: These wallets that run on an application in a smartphone; they are simpler than the desktop wallets and can be used anywhere.
2). Full Node Wallet:
Here you can control your private keys and provide a full copy of the blockchain. Essentially every coin has an official wallet of this type and that can be found on the official GitHub of the site. “Official” means endorsed by the developers who created the coin.” Many cryptos are decentralized, so there is no real official anything.
A wallet which works only with a specific coin.
A wallet which can hold multiple tokens on a single network.
5). Hardware Wallet:
These type of hardware are specifically built to hold cryptocurrency and keep it safe. This includes USB devices. Moreover, these devices can go online to make transactions and get data and then can be taken offline for transportation and security.
6). Paper Wallet:
This type of wallet lets you to both send and receive digital currency using a paper wallet. You can take a print of your QR code for both a private and public key. With this feature, you can completely avoid storing digital information about your currency by using a paper wallet.
7). Custodial Wallet:
In Custodial wallet, you can’t control your keys directly. Most exchange wallets are custodial wallets.
8). Multisignature Wallet:
It requires multiple parties to sign a transaction for any digital money to be spent. Multisignature wallets are designed to have more layer of security.
How To Choose a Wallet?
Here are some ideas on how to choose the best wallet for you.Hardware and paper wallets are the best to secure funds. Also, We always suggest official or officially endorsed wallet for any given coin.
- Ledger Nano S: Multi-currency support, Built-in Display, Easy to operate, Security, Backup and restoration.
- Ledger Blue: Malware proof, Multiple currencies, Secure elements.
- Jaxx: Exclusive design, Easy to use, Personalized key, available on multiple OS.
- Edge wallets: Security, Multi-Currency Support, Easy to use.
- Exodus : Multi-currencies, Complete security, Great design, Multi-currencies.
- Coinpayment: Bit-go integrated, Online store acceptable, vault, multi-coin wallet.
Most top performing wallets are (Binance, Coinbase, etc.) and they have exchanges too that offers for easy and quick trading between Bitcoin and other crypto or bitcoin and fiat currencies.
Online wallets are prone to security hack and therefore should be used as little as possible. It will be safe to divide your funds among the different types of wallets.
How to Register in a Wallet?
If you are a newbie to the crypto world, then read these points before proceeding:
- Download the official wallet from the website.
- Register for a custodial wallet service ‘Coinbase’ or non-custodial wallet service like ‘Blockchain’ Wallet (which handles both wallet and exchange with one account).
- Purchase a hardware wallet like TREZOR for storage.
- Use a universal software wallet or any other wallet that meet your needs like the ones mentioned above.
Coinbase and TREZOR are one of the good major choices, since, they have guides and can be kept safe with the best execution, and also, don’t need to download the full blockchain for a coin.
If you want to know more about particular wallets, Visit our crypto wallet section, you can enjoy reviews on many crypto wallets.