If you’re in the digital asset business, then you’ve probably already heard of crypto wallet. It’s a term you’ll find just about everywhere and it’s very important to master. In order for you to fully understand what it is, we decided to write you this comprehensive guide on the subject.
Together, we will explain what storage portfolios are and why they are so important. We’ll introduce you to the different types of wallet available today and recommend some quality storage wallets that you can use safely. Do you like the program? Then let’s get to the heart of the matter without further ado.
Definition of a crypto wallet
First of all, it is worth mentioning that a crypto wallet and a storage wallet are the same thing. The first name comes from English and the other is its French form. On French-speaking sites, you will find both terms.
As you can imagine, an analogy is made between a crypto storage wallet and the wallet we all own to put our money in. And as the name implies, it’s to put your “coins” in. But actually, technically speaking, that’s not quite the case, you’re not actually storing your digital assets on a wallet, but the wallet address that refers to it.
When you own cryptocurrencies, you have in your possession two keys. A public one, which is the address where you can receive your digital assets and a private one, which gives you access to your holdings. With this private key, you can decide to move your digital assets to another address via a transfer.
In reality, a wallet allows you to centralize the private and public addresses of your cryptos in one place so you can manage your digital assets more easily. Nowadays, all storage wallets allow you to make transactions in a few clicks and in a user-friendly way, while keeping your assets as secure as possible.
Is it mandatory to have a wallet for your BTC?
When you buy your crypto-currencies on a centralized exchange (CEX), which will be the case for 99% of beginners, you must first deposit fiat money on the site, and then make a purchase transaction via the trading interface. You then get the purchased assets and they appear on the account you created on the platform.
However, these digital assets are not actually in your possession as they are stored on the exchange. The wallet address you have actually belongs to the operator and they take care of securing your cryptocurrencies for you. While regulated exchanges are reliable these days, in the past there have been many stories of buying platforms getting hacked, resulting in the loss of users’ tokens. Sometimes, it was even the site’s managers who walked away with the cash.
There is an adage that says “not your keys, not your coins”. This means that the crypto-currencies you buy don’t really belong to you until you have full control over them.
And to be able to have 100% control over the digital assets you own, you need to secure them on a storage wallet where only you have the private key. As long as you delegate this management to a third party, you run the risk of having your cryptos stolen.
The different types of crypto wallet
Now that we have seen, in broad outline, what a crypto wallet consists of, let’s take a look at the different types of storage wallet that exist on the market.
As you might expect, there is not just one variant but several. And for each type of storage wallet, you will have the choice between sometimes hundreds of different programs or applications to secure a cryptocurrency.
In order to keep it as clear and concise as possible, we’re only going to introduce you to the most common wallet types.
We’ll also give you some names of reputable crypto wallet that you can use to secure your digital assets. That way if you don’t know which storage wallet to use, you’ll have some ideas.
The mobile storage wallet
Nowadays, mobile devices are increasingly used to browse the net. As a result, cryptocurrencies are no exception to this trend and so it is only natural that many storage wallets are now available for mobile devices.
There are mainly two types. Those that are cross-platform, meaning that you can use on mobile when you are on the go and subsequently on PC once you are in front of your computer, and those that are only available on mobile.
Some mobile crypto wallets only accept a limited number of digital assets, while others may allow you to store hundreds or thousands of different assets.
If you want to use a mobile storage wallet that is quality, secure and easy to get started with, we can recommend the excellent ZenGo. It’s a service that has proven itself with the community and is quite well liked by investors.
In addition, ZenGo will also allow you to perform other actions, such as buying or selling cryptos with just a few clicks from its application.
So, if you want to strengthen your positions or part with some assets you don’t like anymore, ZenGo is for you. For all these reasons, this makes ZenGo the best app related to crypto-currencies.
The online wallet (or hot wallet)
If you want to secure your digital assets on your computer, then you are spoilt for choice. There are literally thousands of different options.
However, unlike many mobile apps that accept a multitude of digital assets at once, there are more storage wallets for computers that often only accept one cryptocurrency.
This is due to the fact that PC wallets appeared first and at the time, it was not common to use them to secure multiple cryptocurrencies at the same time. In fact, each new crypto was usually accompanied by its own specially designed storage wallet. This was no fun at the time for people who wanted to buy different crypto currencies to minimize their risk.
Nowadays, most PC wallets accept multiple digital assets, which makes life much easier for investors and traders.
It is also possible to download plug-ins that allow you to store your digital assets from your web browser, like Metamask for example. This way, there is no need to download dedicated software and have to navigate between many different windows, making using your crypto-currencies much simpler and user-friendly.
The cold wallet
The first two options we’ve explained to you are primarily so-called “hot storage” solutions. This means that your crypto-currencies are not secured offline and in theory, experienced hackers would be able to access your private keys. However, this is only something theoretical as hot storage solutions are quite secure nowadays and the risk is still relatively low.
However, there are cold storage solutions that completely eliminate this risk. There are several different variants, but we’ll limit ourselves to the most common one, the hardware wallet.
This particular storage wallet looks like a kind of USB stick and it is necessary to connect it to your computer to be able to make transactions with your cryptocurrencies. If you do not have this device by your side, you will not be able to do anything at all. Thus, a hacker who is at a distance will never be able to access the cryptocurrencies stored on a hardware wallet.
It is possible to get different cold storage devices. However, nowadays, one solution seems to be more popular than all the others: Ledger. It is a hardware wallet that was developed by a French team and is the most popular among investors.
Do you have to pay to secure your digital assets?
Generally, storage wallets on PC and mobile are free. To our knowledge, there are none that are not free. So you can secure your digital assets for free. However, you should remain cautious and only use crypto wallets that have a good reputation and whose provenance you are sure of. Otherwise, you might run into a scam and get your digital assets stolen.
When it comes to cold storage solutions like Ledger, this time you have to pay. Indeed, you need to have a hardware wallet to be able to perform these transactions. This device is not free because it needs to be manufactured, packaged and then shipped to your home. It will usually cost around a hundred euros to buy a cold storage device.
Online wallets are very secure these days and we don’t think it’s necessary to spend a hundred euros to buy cold storage devices. Nevertheless, if you want to have real peace of mind, especially if you plan to invest a lot of money in cryptos, then this is an acceptable amount to spend to best secure your digital assets.
What is the best crypto wallet?
It’s never easy to be able to say what the best crypto wallet is. Indeed, with so many choices on the market, there are several candidates that can claim the title of the best wallet. However, it is quite easy to rule out those who act as dinosaurs in the field. This is because they tend not to be secure enough or do not allow for the storage of a large number of digital assets.
Another component to consider is your personal preferences. As you will have understood, it is therefore not possible to tell you which is THE crypto wallet that you absolutely must use. You have to define your expectations, your needs, and see which service or device can meet your profile.
That said, we’ll still go ahead and recommend ZenGo’s crypto wallet, especially if you use a smartphone. It’s visually pleasing, offers you additional features and is easy to use, even for a beginner.
If you want to get a cold storage wallet, or cold wallet, then we recommend you to check out the French company Ledger. In fact, its reputation surpasses that of its competitors and it benefits from regular updates from its developers.
Wallet to store your cryptos: in summary
We hope you enjoyed our article on crypto storage wallets. As you’ve seen, they’re a must-have if you want to keep full control over your digital assets. Even though regulated crypto exchanges are reliable and secure these days, it is still best to store your digital assets outside of these platforms.
There are many hot wallet options that are free and allow you to keep your cryptocurrencies safe, including ZenGo. The latter is going to offer you ease of use, in addition to quite a few additional features (buying, selling and trading coins/tokens, savings products, the ability to use it to interact with decentralized finance protocols, etc).
However, if you want to secure your digital assets as much as possible, then you’ll have to fall back on a cold wallet. In this particular case, Ledger seems to be the best choice at the moment, followed by the Trezor brand.