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The Best Ways to Safely Store Your CryptoCurrency Private Keys to Avoid Hacks
"You don't own your cryptos until you have your private keys"
Points to Note:
Keep personal information private
Choose a reliable
platform to buy or sell cryptocurrencies
It is important to go for a reliable exchange that is easy to use and safe to transact your digital currencies. This is where your research comes into play.
deciding factors of your research are as follows:
Cryptocurrency Storage Options
All digital currencies have associated PRIVATE and PUBLIC KEYS.
A public key as the name implies, can be shared with anyone sending you cryptos. For example, I would need your bank account number in order for me to transfer money to you. This is the same for cryptocurrency. I would need your public cryptocurrency key, in order for me to transfer cryptos into your digital account.
It is very important
that the private key is kept secret and safe. It cannot be changed or
reset and irrecoverable once it is lost. The effect of this is that
you will be unable to access your digital currencies.
Hot Wallet VS. Cold Wallet
Cryptocurrencies in an
As mentioned above, keeping
your digital currencies on an exchange is the least secure. All users
details will be visible should the exchange gets hacked. It is
therefore advisable to only store your digital currency on an exchange
for trading, to be transferred to a hardware or paper wallet.
Cryptocurrencies in a
Hardware wallets are flash
drive device and more secured than exchange wallets. These flash
drives are provided by Trezor
or Ledger, which stores your private keys offline. If your device is
stolen, your funds are secured and cannot be accessed. However, it is
possible for you to lose all your cryptocurrencies if you lose your
flash drive. An example will be like losing your physical wallet with
lots of cash.
Cryptocurrencies in a Paper
This is the most secure way of storage and can be set up via services such as MyEtherWallet, MyCrypto or WalletGenerator.net. A public and private key will be generated, accessible to you alone.
Generated public and private
key will be followed by a QR code and all three (public, private keys
and QR code) can be printed on a piece of paper. These must be
laminated and stored in a secure location, for example a fireproof
safe. Please note that you could lose all your digital assets, should
anyone be in possession of these details without your knowledge.
wallet can be set up as follows:
Go to a wallet generator site in order to create
keys and matching QR codes at random
Ensure you unplug your internet access during key
Ensure you wipe your internet history once keys
have been generated
Ensure keys are generated on a brand-new computer
to avoid corruption or malware interference.
Run a malware check on your computer before
Print out the codes and ensure you do not lose or
damage the paper.
You can scan the QR codes for additional
information pertaining to your wallet, but will need a Live wallet
with internet connection to make a trade.
It is important to note that with software wallet,
there are nasty keylogger software that could record the private key
as you enter it on your device. It is therefore advisable to scan your
device for virus / malware before the importation of the paper wallet
into compatible software / hardware.
Pros and Cons of Paper Wallets
(Physical) wallet is a secure way of storing digital currencies and
almost impossible for an unauthorised entity to gain access to them.
This is true as long as necessary safeguards are taken.
paper wallet is a kind of cold storage that shield the user from
cyberattack, its safety cannot be guaranteed because it is possible
for a hacker to lay hands on the physical wallet, thereby accessing
your digital currencies. Hence, some users hide or disguise their
It is also
possible for the physical wallet to damage, such as part of the keys
not visible and unable to scan. Should
this occur, it will be impossible for you to access your digital
currencies in that particular wallet. It is therefore advisable to use
laser jet printer in order to prevent running ink on the paper.
RISKS OF PAPER WALLET
you need a paper wallet?
This will depend on how involved or engaged you
are in digital currency trading. You probably don’t need a paper
wallet if you only trade a couple of coins.
However, if you are a long term investor, that is
in it for the long haul and heavily
involved in crypto trading, then the paper wallet is for you.
Wallets aka Cloud Wallet
Online wallet is easy and enables you to create an
account on an exchange. Part of the advantage of an online wallet is
that it can be accessed at any time, from anywhere including servers
and devices as long as they have internet connection.
An advantage of online wallet is that your private key is being
saved on another server. It is therefore advisable not to use online
wallets for the storage of a large sum of your funds. Only store a
little amount, needed for the purpose of exchanges.
Follow the steps below to create a paper wallet:
Paper wallets are fragile and can be damaged hence it is advisable to
make extra copies.
Paper wallets can be read or copied and used to steal your funds.
The location of the paper wallet can be forgotten or it could be
misplaced or torn.
of private keys and restoration methods
Private key is very significant and must be
seriously guarded because the loss of it could result in the loss of
all your funds.
Private keys can be stored in a small home safe
deposit boxes or high-quality safe.
Wallet: Final Thoughts
Cold wallet is less of a risk compared to other
storage methods and the fact that it is done offline lessens the risk
of losing your funds for example exchange hacking. Above all, the
chances of a loss, theft or damage of private keys are possible and
you must therefore be cautious and alert always.
Be ready to set up a new cold storage at the
earliest possibility of a breach.
Diversify your portfolio by keeping a huge amount
of your funds in paper wallets with various backups.
Part of your diversification would include keeping
a few of your funds in hardware wallet and hot wallet to enable a
Security of your wallet is important and must not be underestimated and risks must be minimal to prevent inaccessibility of your digital currencies.
CryptoCurrency Wallet is Best?
Ledger Nano S Cryptocurrency Hardware
Trezor Hardware Wallet
Trezor operates offline with a small display
screen, which enables you to observe your transactions. The isolated
environment therefore meant it cannot
be hacked and therefore very safe. Trezor supports the following
digital currencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum (+ all ERC-20 tokens), Ethereum
Classic, ZCash, Litecoin, Namecoin, Dogecoin, Dash and Bitcoin Testnet.
You can see the full list of coins supported by Trezor at: https://wiki.trezor.io/FAQ:Overview
(the table at the bottom).
Trezor generates private keys, which never leaves
the device and transactions are authorised through USB port.
In order to use TREZOR and easily move your
cryptos around, you will need software wallets such as Trezor web
wallet or Mycelium on Android, or Electrum on your laptop.
TREZOR’s compatibility includes Windows, macOS,
Linux, Android and is currently the best wallet that allows the
storage of more than one digital currency.
What if you physically destroy the device?
It is advisable to back up the keys and you would
learn how to do this and back up the seed at the initial setup
process. You are then able to upload your wallet in a new device, if
your old device is no longer accessible. This would ensure that all
your digital currencies are still secured.
Again, as mentioned above, seed (mnemonic) allows
the restoration of wallets into compatible software wallets. For
further details, go to trezor apps in the web documentation, see
"recovering funds without Trezor device" chapter. Mycelium
and Electrum are examples of software wallets listed.
Trezor Hardware: Model T
The trezor hardware wallet, model T has a touchscreen which
makes it easy to enter PIN / Seed / Passphrase.
It is a non-battery operatable device with simple designed
The visuals on the screen, including the full address are very
clear and readable.
Trezor implementation of BIP39 and hidden wallet passphrases is
Trezor device has made it a target for rivals in the industry.
It is also my choice of device because of its open rapid response to
bugs along with quality firmware updates to shut down security holes.
Trezor or Ledger Nano S Cryptocurrency Hardware
Both are equally good without real security
concerns. However, the loss of your hardware wallet could be a risk.
Although its contents will not be easily accessible by an unauthorised
persons, it could sometimes take hours for these unauthorised persons
to access the contents of your wallets, by which time, you would have
noticed that the wallet is missing, thereby, giving you enough time to
quickly relocate your digital currencies.
In addition, there are extra charges involved
should you need features like increased memory to allow you save a
high number of digital currencies.
Digital currencies cannot be lost because of a
faulty device or software issues. They are recoverable using WRITTEN
DOWN SEED PHRASE.
Trezor and Nano S Hardware Wallets are good but I
prefer the Trezor for ease of use. The Nano S is equally a capable
hardware wallet too that supports more altcoins.
If you are interested in the security of your
digital currencies, then you should obtain a Trezor Model T + a
Diversify Your CryptoCurrency Portfolio: Diversify into Various Wallets - Both Hardware and Online Wallets.
MetaMask: A crypto wallet & gateway to blockchain apps - https://metamask.io/
MetaMask Set up: https://blog.wetrust.io/how-to-install-
Trust Wallet: The most trusted & secure
crypto wallet - https://trustwallet.com/
Exodus: Bitcoin & Crypto Wallet -
Coldcard Wallet: Coldcard is an easy to
use, ultra-secure, open-source and affordable hardware wallet - a good
alternative but you need be a truly highly technical user - https://bitcoin.org/en/wallets/hardware/coldcard/
BitBox02 Hardware Wallet: Protect your
coins with the latest Swiss made hardware wallet - Security-wise, it
combines the best of both. Supports BTC, ETH and all ERC20 tokens. https://shiftcrypto.ch/bitbox02/
The safe place for your coins: Official Trezor
How to use Trezor step by step:
How to Setup a Ledger Nano S Hardware Wallet:
Crypto Private Keys
As long as your Cryptos remains on an exchange,
without a private key, you do not have full possession and they are
not safe or secured.
It is therefore strongly advisable to move your digital currencies from the exchange to a hardware, software or mobile wallet. This is safer and gives you full control of your funds.
What is a Private Address (or key) you might
It is a secret password used to spend and send
digital currencies to another digital currency address, for example
Dogecoin and XRP.
The private key consist of 256 alphabets and numbers, selected at random as you create your wallet.
Custodial or Non-Custodial Wallets
Firms known as custodians manage private keys. For
example: Litecoin, Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Other custodians are some software wallets, online
wallets and big exchanges.
The law obligates these custodians to keep your
funds safe. They must compensate you, if your fund go missing. You
will need to apply for a refund through their insurance. This option
is available on Coinbase and Gemini.
However, some exchanges such as Mt.Gox, QuadrigaCX
and BTC-e leave out this option to the disadvantage of digital
currency owners. Hence it is advisable not to store all your assets
with a custodian.
It is also worth noting that you do not have
control over private keys with custodial wallet.
Ampleforth Governance Token (FORTH)
1 - What are Ampleforth's automatic supply
2 - What two tokens give the community
control over the Ampleforth protocol?
AMPL and FORTH
3 - Ampleforth is a censorship resistant
_________ that rebases once a day.
DeFi building block
Coinbase Earn SKALE (SKL) (Answers)
Here are the answers below:
Any Ethereum application
Delegate SKL to a validator
An internet of blockchains
MODEL T HARDWARE WALLET INSTALLATION
installation works better with Windows 10 and Google chrome
the manual that comes with the Trezor
T Hardware Wallet device before commencing. Also, ensure
the device cable is inserted in the device. You will hear a click to
confirm it has been inserted correctly.
the hardware wallet cable to the usb port on your PC or Laptop.
trezor.io/start in the URL
on your google chrome
your device (TREZOR MODEL T)
on continue to wallet
on the green button (install firmware) This would take about 2
minutes to complete installation.
on create wallet
on CREATE WITH SINGLE BACK UP. There are 2 backs ups
available - Single and Shamir back up) However, we will be choosing
(create with single backup).
terms and conditions by clicking on the green check button on the
Trezor T hardware device in your hand.
on the orange button – (CREATE A BACKUP IN 3 MINUTES)
the information on your PC or Laptop
in the box next to (I UNDERSTAND AND AGREE) on your PC or Laptop
to the Trezor hardware wallet in your hand and finish the process by
pressing the green button that says (I UNDERSTAND) on your trezor T
seeds will be shown on the Trezor T hardware device.
this point, CAREFULLY write down the seeds on the note cards provided
to write down the seeds exactly as they appear on the device. DO NOT
make any mistake, as you could lose your money if you do not write
down the correct seeds.
you have written down all the 12 seeds, go to the hardware device,
press and hold the green button that says (HOLD TO CONFIRM).
the instructions on the hardware device and ensure no mistakes are
on continue on the hardware device
NOT SET will be shown on the device
to your PC or laptop and click on continue.
to enter a new pin will pop up on your PC or laptop
your new pin on the Trezor T
hardware wallet in your hand and click on the check button.
pin is set, click on continue on your PC or Laptop to NAME the device.
You can give it your name or any made up name.
on continue on your PC
a name for your device on your PC
on Continue on your PC
on your device.
on continue on your PC or Laptop
the browser by clicking CTRL D on your keyboard.
your email address
name of your TREZOR T hardware wallet device should now appear on the
top left of the page.
install TREZOR SUITE SOFTWARE
and this can be found on TREZOR.IO webpage.
AUTO LOG OFF default setting of your Trezor T hardware wallet is 10
minutes. Depending on preference, this can be changed on the Trezor
TREZOR BRIDGE, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
CRYPTOS FROM AN EXCHANGE TO TREZOR T HARDWARE WALLET
You will need to enable specific pop ups to transfer some Cryptos - For example: Stellar lumens, Cardano and Tezos.
How to Turn pop-ups on or off in Google Chrome
On your computer, open Chrome.
At the top right, click More > Settings.
Under "Privacy and security," click Site settings.
Click Pop-ups and redirects.
At the top, turn the setting to Allowed or Blocked.
is worth noting that; all ERC20 TOKENS on ETHEREUM NETWORK can be
transferred using the following methods:
must ensure you have enough ethereum crypto in your portfolio on the
exchange, to cover network fees, before you continue.
- GO TO TREZOR Hardware WALLET
transfer ETHEREUM crypto on COINBASE to TREZOR T WALLET, click on
ethereum on your hardware wallet, click RECEIVE at the top of the page. The following will be displayed –
(RECEIVE ETHEREUM OR TOKEN)
on the green button with SHOW FULL ADDRESS. You will be asked to
confirm the full address on the Trezor T hardware device in your hand.
the wallet address on your PC or Laptop
to the COINBASE portfolio
sure the blue SEND button is highlighted.
the amount you want or click on send all.
the copied wallet address in the TO box
is extremely important that you copy the exact wallet address from the
Trezor T page and ensure you paste the exact copied wallet address. To
check this, NOTE the first 3 digits and the last 3 digits of
the copied wallet address and compare it with the pasted address.
on continue and read the message
verification code will be sent to your phone.
the verification code in the box on your PC or laptop.
to your Trezor web page and click on ethereum to check that the money
is reflecting on your account or it has been received.
have now successfully moved your Ethereum crypto from coinbase online
exchange to offline Trezor T hardware wallet.
TOKENS - FOR EXAMPLE -
SHIBA INU (SHIB)
CRYPTO FROM AN
EXCHANGE TO TREZOR T HARDWARE
- Go to ethereum blockchain explorer – etherscan.io (The etherscan is applicable to all tokens operating on ERC20 or ethereum network.
SHIBA INU in the box and select SHIBA
need the contract address, which is usually on the right hand side.
copy the displayed contract address, place your mouse on the dots next
to the contract address, to display the copy button.
on the copy button to copy the contract address, COPY ADDRESS will be
displayed and once you click on it - COPIED will be displayed.
back to your TREZOR T Web page and click on ETHEREUM.
to TOKENS and paste the copied contract address in the box underneath
tokens - SHIBA INU will be
displayed, to confirm that you have copied the right address.
on RECEIVE at the top of the page.
will be displayed in the box below and above the QR code.
is worth noting that all ERC20 CRYPTOS uses the same ethereum address.
the displayed address by highlighting and right clicking the mouse.
to your exchange - for example HOTBIT website and log in.
to SHIBA in your portfolio
on WITHDRAW on the right hand side.
the copied address in the withdrawal box.
to ensure you are moving the right amount.
email verification and SMS verification
the email and SMS verification code you received.
back to your TREZOR T webpage to confirm that your SHIBA has been
is also worth noting that NOT all Cryptos are on Ethereum network. To
transfer a coin that is not on ETH network, for example, TEZOS,
STELLAR LUMENS and CARDANO ADA, click on the crypto and follow the
transfer BITCOIN, click on it
Receive – Show full address - then
accept on Trezor T hardware wallet.
the address on your PC
to your exchange for example Coinbase
on Send and follow the wizard
back to Trezor T web page to confirm that the Bitcoin has been
CRYPTOCURRENCY INVESTMENT RISKS
investments has risks and digital currency is no exception.
of the risks in digital currency investment are as follows:
· The exchange / platform / website holding your
digital currencies or cryptos could disappear or shut down, resulting
in the loss of all your cryptos. An example of such an exchange is MTGOX.
· You could misplace the private key to your wallet
To avoid this, it is advisable to move your money to a private wallet outside the Crypto exchange.
Sending Crypto is irreversible
Before you send Bitcoin
(BTC) or any CryptoCurrency to recipient, please make sure
You're sending to
the correct wallet address.
Written by Sarah Uwajeh for 247broadstreet.com
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