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In order to receive your crypto, you must set up a wallet. This allows you to interact with the blockchain and digitally “store” cryptocurrencies, since there are no physical coins. There are different methods available, depending on your required security and liquidity.
1. Keeping Crypto on the exchange / Hosted wallets
» If you have ever purchased crypto through an exchange like Coinbase, this system automatically created a wallet for you where your coins are stored.
» Keeping them in the exchange is a very simple method, but also a target for hackers.
2. Using a hardware wallet
» Hardware wallets are physical devices that enable you to interact with your coins directly. The wallet (e.g. the Ledger nano S) will be plugged into your computer via USB where you can set up your wallet and different security PINs and codes. Via an app on your computer you can use your wallet easily.
» Hardware wallets are the most secure option to store crypto.
3. Using a soft wallet
As opposed to hardware wallets, soft wallets do not rely on a physical device but a software.
A: Most coins offer a desktop wallet, which means you simply need to download a software in order to access you wallet.
B: Online wallets work via a website you visit and enter your private key to access your wallet.
C: Mobile wallets are accessed via an app on your phone.
All types of soft wallets are endangered when your computer is hacked, you become the victim of viruses, malware or phishing or lose your mobile device.
4. Using a cold wallet
» A cold wallet means you print out your personal key, for example for your online wallet, and store this physical piece of paper in a secure location.
» To be stolen, someone would need physical access to your key so if it is stored securely, your funds will be safe.
After all, security should be your main focus when setting up and storing a wallet. Think about which option is the safest and best to handle for you personally to protect your coins!