Once you’ve decided which cryptocurrency you are interested in buying, the next step is to find the right crypto wallet. There are plenty out there, offering an array of services, but there are also plenty of scams. This guide will explain what a wallet does, why you need one, and how to find the right one for you.
A digital place to store your crypto. It enables you to send and receive your cryptocurrencies, and monitor your balance. Crypto Wallets don’t actually “store” your crypto, as crypto does not exist in a physical form, instead it stores the records of transactions that exist in the blockchain. With your wallet address, you will receive two sets of keys: public and private keys.
Public and private keys are a pair of uniquely related cryptographic keys (basically long random letters and numbers). While the public key is available for anyone to see, the private key is what “unlocks” the cryptocurrencies, and must remain confidential to the user. The one encrypts (hides) the code, while the other decrypts (unlocks) the code. Your wallet address is a shortened version of your public key, allowing you to receive coins. Your private key allows you to send coins. Your wallet address, public key and private key are all mathematically related, and will be given to you so you don’t need to worry too much about these.
There are three different types of crypto wallets that one may use. See which appeals to you best, and from there decide which one specifically is best for your intended use (be it everyday transactions, or merely to buy and store):
These wallets are downloaded and stored on your computer, laptop or phone. They are only accessible from the device on which they are downloaded. While they offer a high level of security, they can also be prone to hacking / viruses. Make sure you do your research before downloading one.
Hardware wallets are stored on external storage devices like a USB drive. Transactions are made online when the USB is connected to a device with internet. This offers a heightened level of security, but if the USB device is lost, your wallet keys are gone forever. I’m sure you heard about the guy who lost his Bitcoins.
A paper wallet is a print out of your public and private keys. To transfer funds, you use the paper wallet key and send the funds from a software wallet connected to the internet. Keeping your keys offline offers an extra layer of security, while the software wallet is a gateway to make payments. Paper wallets are easy to use and offer a high level of security as they cannot be hacked.
Many wallets support a range of cryptocurrencies, so make sure the wallet you are looking for supports the crypto you will be purchasing. If you are planning on storing several cryptocurrencies, make sure that the wallet supports all of them so that you do not need to open several accounts. We have put a number of trusted wallets together for you on the CryptoFish site, check them out here.
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