How to Secure your CryptoCurrencies from Hackers - How to store your Cryptos Safely - What are the Safest ways to store Bitcoin - How to store CryptoCurrencies -


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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.


The deciding factors of your research are as follows:

  • Environment - is it safe and regulated?

  • Does the digital currency platform have experience team working for them?

  • Does the platform have enough liquidity, high volumes with advanced technology?

  • Does the platform cater for international customers by supporting both fiat and cryptocurrencies?





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.

A private key: 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

Hot wallets are online wallets and runs on computers, phones or tablets. 
The most secure way to store cryptocurrencies are through Cold wallets.

Cold wallets are very secure in hardware wallets like Trezor or Ledger.
Cold wallets are most secure when stored on a paper / offline wallet, which could be created using
Although, all of the above options are mostly popular, when it comes to storage of cryptocurrencies, people tend to put different types of cryptos in different locations for safety.




Storing Cryptocurrencies in an Exchange

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.




Storing Cryptocurrencies in a Hardware Wallet

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.





Storing Cryptocurrencies in a Paper Wallet

This is the most secure way of storage and can be set up via services such as MyEtherWallet, MyCrypto or  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.




Paper 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 generation

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 generating keys.

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

Paper (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.

Although the 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 paper wallet.

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.


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Bigger networks with printers connected to them, stores information, and malware can secretly be installed, to steal keys whilst they are being generated.
User error – non laser jet printer would make the ink to run or fade over time, damaging the wallet. Paper could be lost, stolen or torn. A user could misread the key or the wallet software is unable to identify format of the private key.



Do 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.





Online 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:

  • Computer must be free from any form of malicious software or virus.

  • Go to

  • Download the zip file file:

  • Make sure you are offline to prevent hackers from hacking your wallet.

  • Open the “index.html” file

  • Now it is time to generate your wallet. Keep hovering over the highlighted text and it will generate more characters. Or if you want, you can manually type in random characters. Just keep doing it until the counter goes to “0”.

  • Wallet will be generated when counter reaches 0

  • Print the page or make multiple copies of the numbers from it. (Important: Ensure printer is not connected to Wi-Fi at this point).

  • Delete saved web page. You can now safely reconnect to the internet.

  • Store your private keys in their long term, private, secure home.

  • Do not expose yourself to looters by bragging about your digital investments.

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.





Importance 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.





Paper 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 quick transaction.

Security of your wallet is important and must not be underestimated and risks must be minimal to prevent inaccessibility of your digital currencies.





Which Hardware CryptoCurrency Wallet is Best?


Ledger Nano S Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet: Though, I think Ledger supports more altcoins. You can see the cryptos that Trezor supports at (the table at the bottom).


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: (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 interface.

         The visuals on the screen, including the full address are very clear and readable.

         Trezor implementation of BIP39 and hidden wallet passphrases is interesting.

         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 Wallet

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.

  Scamming and phishing tend to be a major problem for users of Ledger and Trezor because they are unable to identify a bad or good place for seeds.





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 CryptoSteel.





Diversify Your CryptoCurrency Portfolio: Diversify into Various Wallets - Both Hardware and Online Wallets.


MetaMask: A crypto wallet & gateway to blockchain apps -


MetaMask Set up:



Trust Wallet: The most trusted & secure crypto wallet -





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 -


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.


Electrum Wallet:


The safe place for your coins: Official Trezor site:







How to use Trezor step by step:



Ledger Hardware Wallets: The world’s most popular hardware wallet -  



How to Setup a Ledger Nano S Hardware Wallet: Step-by-step





  You can also find some useful resources on: that may help you choose which wallet is best for you.



Crypto Private Keys

It is not possible to get private keys from exchanges like Coinbase and Binance. These exchanges and platforms are used mainly for buying and selling CryptoCurrencies.

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 ask?

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.


Written by Sarah Uwajeh for



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All investments has risks and digital currency is no exception.

Some 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.


Note: Sending Crypto is irreversible

·       Before you send Bitcoin (BTC) or any CryptoCurrency to recipient, please make sure that:

·       You're sending to the correct wallet address.  




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