Kelley is your go-to for all things NFT!
Kelley is your go-to for all things NFT!
Keeping your crypto assets safe and secure is of paramount importance, and it’s something we’re keen to help with. So today we’re examining whether the best crypto hardware wallets are worth investing in.
We’ll be examining the benefits of hardware crypto wallets to determine why they’re important, as well as taking a look at the pitfalls. And we’ll help you to pick out the very best cold storage wallets to ensure your cryptocurrency remains firmly under your control at all times.
With more people than ever before considering trying their hand at buying cryptocurrencies, the question arises of how to store your funds safely. Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, aren’t controlled by banks, governments or financial institutions, and they operate in an unregulated market. That presents a high degree of risk, along with the inherent volatility of crypto, which can see its value rise and fall dramatically within the space of a few hours.
You keep your fiat currency in bank and savings accounts, with cash stored safely in a wallet that you carry with you. But when you’re dealing with cryptocurrencies, those options simply aren’t available. And since cryptocurrencies only exist online, there are no actual physical coins or notes that you can hold in your hands.
Here at BitStacker.com, we’re by your side to guide you through every step of buying, storing and trading crypto. And we start by directing you towards the safest and best crypto exchanges to suit your needs. Thanks to our insightful guides, reviews and comparisons, it’s easy to make the right decisions about where to purchase Bitcoin and other altcoins.
From checking out our Trezor review, to discovering how to make the most of your cryptocurrency investments, we’ve got all the information you need to know. And that includes explaining how to keep your crypto assets protected when you’re not actively using them. But before we take a closer look at the top crypto hardware wallets, we need to examine all the alternatives.
We’ve already established that you can’t keep your cryptocurrency in a traditional bank or savings account. Cryptocurrency only exists within digital blockchains, so these aren’t assets that you can physically hold in your hands. In fact, you won’t ever hold any of your crypto assets even in a wallet, as they can’t be accessed. What you will have is the keys that give you access to those digital coins, which grants you ownership over them.
Clearly, you won’t want those keys to fall into the wrong hands. And you can rest assured that hackers and scammers are constantly on the lookout for new ways to part you from your crypto. So safe storage is non-negotiable, and should be at the forefront of your mind when buying any new assets.
Cryptocurrency wallets come in two types – hot wallets and cold wallets – and they both have very different uses and levels of security. But whichever type of wallet you select, you’ll benefit from a number of features, including:
These are software wallets, either hosted by a cryptocurrency exchange, or in the form of a download that you store on your PC, laptop or phone. Easy to access and use, hot wallets enable you to buy, store and send cryptocurrency quickly and efficiently.
Some hot wallets are custodial, which means you don’t own them. These are the hot wallets provided by brokers and exchanges, so your private keys to your crypto aren’t actually in your possession.
Hot wallets that you store on your own devices offer you more control over your digital currency. But your crypto is still vulnerable to attack, with a risk of being compromised – and no chance of recovering it, if that occurs.
With a cold wallet, you purchase hardware that stores your crypto safely. Offline storage of your private keys means that nobody else can access them, giving you an extremely high level of privacy and security.
The best cryptocurrency hardware wallets are packed with useful features, allowing you to store multiple cryptocurrencies in the equivalent of a bank vault, albeit one that you have overall control of. Any transactions are digitally signed offline, with the device connecting to the internet to action the request. And the very best cold storage wallets give you layers of protection and security that online hot wallets can never hope to match.
There’s also a third option for crypto wallets, although it’s not one that most minor investors and traders will need to know about. A paper wallet is simply a printed sheet containing those all-important keys along with a QR code.
To use a paper wallet, you’d need to transfer funds into a software wallet first, before moving them to the address shown on your wallet. This is considered to be an exceptionally safe method for storing large sums of cryptocurrency – although it’s essential to store the paper wallet in an extremely safe place!
When considering your options from the best cryptocurrency hardware wallets, you need to choose the one that offers the features you’re looking for. That’s easy enough to do if you already have experience of buying and storing crypto, but it’s not nearly so easy if the world of digital currencies is still very new to you.
We’re unwilling to recommend any single wallet as being the absolute top crypto hardware wallet for every user, as that simply wouldn’t be practical. But there are so many types and variants of wallets that it’s possible to find the perfect option to suit your needs and your circumstances – and we can help you find it!
Start by answering the following questions, which will help to give you an overall picture of your needs.
If you only intend to buy and store Bitcoin, you can focus on a hardware wallet that just gives you that option. But if you intend to explore a variety of crypto assets, it’s essential to choose a wallet that offers you the flexibility of multiple cryptocurrencies.
If you really don’t have any cash to spare once you’ve set some aside to purchase crypto, then a hot online wallet is probably your best option for now. Online and downloadable crypto wallets are usually free, so they’re a good option when you’re first starting out, or if you’re only holding very small amounts of crypto.
But if you’re building up an impressive portfolio of crypto assets, whether in a single currency or multiple cryptocurrencies, a cold hardware wallet is always going to offer much higher levels of security and control.
As we’ve already discussed, hot wallets don’t offer the highest levels of security. A determined hacker has the potential to access an online wallet, and once they’re acquired the keys to your crypto, you’ve lost control over it completely.
While this might not be a disaster for you if you’re only holding a very small sum of crypto, it could be devastating if you have a bigger portfolio of digital assets. So if security is of primary importance, we strongly recommend you take a look at our crypto hardware wallets comparison to find the option that’s best for you.
The device you use to access your cryptocurrency will have a bearing on your choice of wallet. You’ll find both hot and cold wallets created specifically for mobile users, for example, so if you intend to trade using your smartphone, this is an option to consider.
A hot online wallet is always accessible whenever you have an internet connection, so you can act quickly to purchase or sell your digital currencies. But unless you happen to store your cold wallet hardware close at hand, you won’t necessarily have instant access to your crypto funds, which could be an issue, depending on your crypto uses.
If you’re only purchasing and storing very small amounts of crypto, then you could probably get by just using the broker’s own hot wallet option. This gives you easy and instant access to your assets, but it doesn’t guarantee much safety and security.
Any crypto investors wanting to hold their assets securely should take the time to source an appropriate wallet. And if you’re intending to deal in larger sums, the expense of a cold hardware wallet is definitely worth considering, as it’ll give you greater peace of mind.
The very best crypto hardware wallet is the one that gives you the security you need, along with the flexibility to access your funds at any time. And that depends to a certain extent on what you intend to do with your crypto.
Plenty of crypto investors are wondering, ‘Is crypto mining profitable ?’, for example, to which we respond by directing them to our selection of the very best crypto mining platforms for every type of crypto enthusiast. If you intend to mine cryptocurrencies and hang onto any profits, you’ll need safe and secure storage for your newly released crypto. And we can guide you towards the best cryptocurrency hardware wallets that will suit your purposes.
Online wallets can be hacked, so although they’re convenient, it’s highly inadvisable to keep large volumes of cryptocurrency stored in them.
The safest way to store your crypto is a cold, offline wallet, but it’s still down to you to take good care of it. All of the best cold storage wallets require a passcode or biometric check to be accessed, so they’re exceptionally secure, but also very small. Some are no bigger than a regular USB drive, so it’s essential to organise a safe storage place.
All crypto wallets come with a ‘seed’, which is a unique code that can restore your crypto keys to you in the event that you lose your wallet. The seed should be written down – never stored electronically, as the risk of someone else finding it is just too great.
It’s important to keep your seed somewhere far away from your wallet, whether you go for an online option or a hardware version. This string of random words is generated by your wallet when it’s first activated, and it represents your key to restoring your assets if your wallet is lost, corrupted or damaged. Never reveal your seed to anyone – you’d be handing over full control of your crypto portfolio – and remember, unlike with fiat currencies there’s no compensation if digital coins go astray!
Even if you’re only trading in a very modest amount of crypto, it’s well worth using some form of digital wallet to keep it safe while it’s under your control. First-time investors and anyone just testing the waters, should acquire a digital wallet in some form. There are plenty of free downloads available, as well as the options from some crypto exchanges.
Anyone storing large amounts of crypto, or holding onto their digital assets over the long term, should take the time to source the best cryptocurrency hardware wallets for their needs. There’s a model suitable for every type of investor, whether you’re looking for something easy and intuitive, or you require a wallet with more complex features.
The price of a cold crypto wallet varies quite widely, depending on how feature-rich you need it to be. Smaller, USB-drive style models certainly won’t break the bank, and what price can you put on peace of mind anyway?
Investors with more complex needs, such as functionality across a range of cryptocurrencies, or a desire to purchase new crypto directly via the wallet itself, could spend much more on a suitable cold wallet. Larger options come with touch-screen displays, and it’s even possible to purchase models with fiat currency conversion opportunities.
If you’re still not sure whether a crypto hardware wallet is right for you, be sure to take a look at our article on the crypto wallet hardware vs software debate. But if you’ve made up your mind that a cold wallet is right for you, don’t rush out and buy the first one you see.
The important thing is to do your research, including checking out what other users have to say. Look at the features, and consider your future needs too. You might want to add to your portfolio over time, so go for a slightly higher spec than you actually need, to give yourself room to manoeuvre.
Be sure to explore other parts of our site while you’re here. If you’d like to try generating new crypto for yourself, we can direct you to the best crypto cloud mining sites, which won’t require you to invest in expensive equipment. We’ve also got crypto news, reviews and guides covering just about every aspect of purchasing, using, storing and trading cryptocurrency. We update our information regularly, so be sure to keep checking back to see what’s new!
Storing your crypto assets safely is essential, as digital coins aren’t regulated by any financial institutions or governments. Here at BitStacker.com, we’ve got everything you need to know, from how crypto hardware wallets work, to how to find the model that perfectly suits your needs. Come and take a look!
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