The same way we keep our cash or cards in a physical wallet, bitcoins are also stored in a digital wallet. The digital wallet can be hardware or online web base wallet. This page show you how to store and secure your bitcoin wallet.
The wallet can also be store on a special USB device (Ledger or Trezor wallet), mobile phone, computer desktop, or paper wallet (cold storage).
How safe are all these digital wallets? This depends on how the individual manages the storage wallet. Every wallet contains a set of private keys which the bitcoin owner can only access the currency. The danger in bitcoin security is the owner perhaps losing the private key or having the private key stolen. Without the private key, the owner will lost their bitcoins forever.
1. Offline Wallets
A paper wallet is a document that contains copies of the public and private keys that make up a wallet. Often it will have QR codes, so that you can quickly scan them and add the keys into a software wallet to make a transaction.
The benefit of a paper wallet is that the keys are not stored digitally anywhere, and are therefore not subject to cyber-attacks or hardware failures.
How to Create a Paper Wallets
Here are 10 steps needed to create a paper wallet:
1. To generate a new bitcoin address, open BitAddress.org.
2. BitAddress will ask you to create some randomness by either randomly typing characters into the form or moving your cursor around.
3. You will be presented with your public and private keys and their respective QR codes. Do not scan these.
4. Click the ‘Paper wallet’ tab.
5. Select the number of addresses to generate.
6. If you don’t wish to keep the bitcoin artwork, click the ‘Hide art?’ button.
7. Click the ‘Generate’ button to create new wallets.
8. Once the wallets are generated, click the ‘Print’ button to make a hard copy.
9. Your browser will ask you to select the printer you wish to use. In the case of Google Chrome, you may also save the page as a PDF file.
10.Make a note of the public addresses, or scan the public address QR code in your bitcoin app and start depositing funds.
More sophisticated option for your paper wallet can be found at Bitcoinpaperwallet.com.
2. Desktop Wallets
They are designed to be downloaded and used on laptops and personal computers. They are easy to access and use even when the computer is not connected to the internet. They are available for different operating systems – Windows, Mac OS and Linux.
3. Mobile Wallets
A mobile wallet is a way to carry your credit card or debit card information in a digital form on your mobile device. Instead of using your physical plastic card to make purchases, you can pay with your smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch.
Best wallet for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other Cryptocurrencies can be found at Jaxx.io.
4. Online Web Wallets
Web wallets are managed by third parties in general – that is they hold the private keys and the public keys of the user – meaning that the process of accessing Bitcoin or any crypto currency is significantly lowered – you don’t have to download the full client or acquaint yourself with various forms and methods inherent in wallet software.
Best online web wallet can be found at Blockchain.com
5. Hardware Wallets
Hardware Bitcoin wallets offer most of the security that paper wallets offer. Although they are susceptible to physical stealing, they eliminate the procedure of needing to consign the private key in the format of wallet import to particular software which could be susceptible to online threats.