2 types of crypto storage to keep your coins and tokens safe

  • The world of cryptocurrency (crypto) offers a wealth of opportunities, but with great reward comes the need for great security. 
  • A cryptocurrency exchange is a digital marketplace where traders and investors buy and sell crypto assets to one another while cryptocurrency wallets are software applications on computers or mobile devices such as phones or tablets. 
  • These 2 types of crypto storage guides will explore the storage factors to consider before choosing an option that meets your preferred safety, security, and accessibility needs.

Crypto is bought and sold on the internet, which means it comes with risks, just as there are with any asset you purchase online.

In general, remember that crypto is highly volatile, and may be more susceptible to market manipulation than securities. Crypto holders do not benefit from the same regulatory protections applicable to registered securities, and the future regulatory environment for crypto is currently uncertain.

If you’re a cryptocurrency investor, one of the most pressing questions you’ll face is where to keep your crypto safe. In this blog post, we’ll explore the 2 types of crypto storages, the pros and cons associated with each, and how to keep your crypto safe.

1. Cryptocurrency exchanges

Cryptocurrency exchanges are online platforms hosted by companies or other entities that make it convenient for users to purchase and sell cryptocurrency.

When cryptocurrency was first introduced, you had to manually enter a command in a terminal to send a coin to someone. Eventually, user interfaces were designed that made it easier to access cryptocurrency. 

When considering the use of a cryptocurrency exchange, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons to determine if it aligns with your investment strategy and risk tolerance. Here’s a breakdown based on the information provided and general knowledge about cryptocurrency exchanges:

Pros of using a crypto exchange

Accessibility: Exchanges provide an easy way to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies. They are user-friendly platforms that facilitate transactions for a wide range of digital assets.

Liquidity: Reputable exchanges often have high liquidity, meaning you can quickly and efficiently execute trades without significantly affecting the market price.

Security measures: Many exchanges implement robust security protocols, including two-factor authentication, encryption, and cold storage of funds to protect against hacks and theft.

Regulatory compliance: Some exchanges are regulated and compliant with financial authorities, which can offer an additional layer of protection and trust for users.

Advanced trading features: For experienced traders, exchanges offer advanced order types, charting tools, and access to futures or derivatives, which can be used for hedging or speculative purposes.

Cons of using a crypto exchange

Security risks: Despite security measures, exchanges can still be targeted by hackers, leading to potential loss of funds.

Regulatory uncertainty: The regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies is still evolving, and some exchanges may face legal challenges or restrictions in certain jurisdictions.

Technical issues: Exchanges can experience downtime or technical issues, which can prevent users from accessing their accounts or executing trades at critical times.

Potential for human error: Users can make mistakes, such as trading the wrong asset or inputting incorrect order details, which can lead to financial loss.

Also read: What is hybrid cloud architecture?

2. Cryptocurrency wallet

A cryptocurrency wallet is an application that functions as a wallet for your cryptocurrency. It is called a wallet because it is used similarly to a wallet where you put cash and cards. Instead of holding these physical items, it stores the passkeys you use to sign for your cryptocurrency transactions and provides the interface that lets you access your crypto.

Hot wallets

One of the foremost crypto wallet types brings hot wallets to the discussion. Hot wallets are the wallets that connect to the internet and generally offer lesser security. On the other hand, hot wallets offer better accessibility due to their connection to the internet. Even if hot wallets are vulnerable to fraudsters and hacker attacks, they are highly user-friendly. 

Cold wallets

Cold wallets are another prominent answer to ‘What are the different types of cryptocurrency wallets?’ next to hot wallets. They are specific variations of cryptocurrency wallets that are designed for cold storage. Cold storage implies that the wallets store the crypto tokens of users in offline mode. As a result, they serve as vaults that you can use for everyday transactions. Interestingly, some types of cold wallets connect to the internet even while retaining their basic working functionality. 

Cryptocurrency wallets are essential tools for managing and storing digital assets. Like any financial instrument, they come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Pros of crypto wallets

Control over funds: Wallets give users full control over their cryptocurrencies without having to rely on a third-party exchange. Users maintain the private keys, which are crucial for accessing their funds.

Security: Reputable wallets offer strong encryption and security features to protect against hacks and theft. Hardware wallets, in particular, are considered very secure as they store private keys offline.

Privacy: Transactions made from personal wallets can offer a higher degree of privacy compared to exchanges, as they don’t require the same level of personal information.

Accessibility: With a digital wallet, users can access and manage their crypto assets from anywhere in the world, as long as they have an internet connection.

Support for multiple currencies: Many wallets support a wide range of cryptocurrencies, allowing users to hold multiple assets in one place.

Cons of crypto wallets

Technical complexity: For some users, especially those new to crypto, the technical aspects of managing a wallet can be daunting.

Risk of loss: If a wallet is lost or stolen, or if the private keys are forgotten, the crypto assets are often irretrievable.

Security threats: Despite security features, wallets can still be vulnerable to hacking, malware, and phishing attacks if not used carefully.

Regulatory concerns: Depending on jurisdiction, there may be legal or tax implications associated with holding and using cryptocurrencies in wallets.

Technical failures: Wallets can be subject to technical glitches or failures, which may temporarily prevent access to funds.

Scams and fraud: Users need to be vigilant against scams, as there are fraudulent wallet services that aim to steal crypto assets.

Volatility: As with any crypto investment, the value of assets in a wallet can fluctuate significantly, leading to potential losses.

Also read: What is Perplexity AI?

Best practices for securing your crypto

Diversify your storage: Don’t keep all your crypto in one place. Use a combination of hot and cold storage to balance security and accessibility.

Backup your wallet: Regularly backup your wallet, especially if it’s a software or hardware wallet. This can help you recover your funds if something goes wrong.

Be wary of scams: Be cautious of phishing scams and only use reputable wallets and exchanges.

Stay informed: Keep up-to-date with the latest security practices and threats in the crypto space.

The safety of your cryptocurrency is paramount. By understanding the different storage options, being aware of the risks, and following best practices, you can protect your digital assets. Remember, the world of cryptocurrency is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay informed and adapt your security measures as needed.


Fiona Huang

Fiona Huang, an intern reporter at BTW media dedicated in Fintech. She graduated from University of Southampton. Send tips to f.huang@btw.media.

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