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What is a Hardware Wallet ?
For those who want to have the utmost security for their bitcoin investment, or plan to deal with a lot of high-value cryptocurrency in general, a hardware wallet is a must. By storing your bitcoin on a specific piece of hardware that is “cold,” I.E., not connected to the internet, you can be sure that no one will be able to steal your cryptocurrency. Hackers and malware will find it very difficult to infiltrate your wallet, and barring someone physically stealing the device from you, it’s almost impossible to lose access to it.
What is a Software Wallet?
Offline software wallets, sometimes called “desktop wallets,” still retain some of the ease of use and access. Some are aimed specifically at use on desktop and laptop PCs, while others have a more mobile focus, and are app exclusive.
The big advantage of this approach is independence. Every exchange in the world can go down, yet and you still have technical ownership and access to your cryptocurrencies. It also means that you would have to be specifically hacked or attacked to lose access to them. Your identity is protected, with no need to sign up anywhere or provide some form of identification to set up, or access your wallet.
What is a Web Based or a Hot Wallet?
The best option for those just getting started with bitcoin (generally when using small amount), online wallets let you store your cryptocurrency in a place that’s easily accessible from anywhere in the world, on any device you choose. Often linked to an exchange, they make trading for fiat currencies (like the US dollar), or other cryptocurrencies, quick and easy, and are straightforward to set up and get started with. Many also feature smartphone apps to give you easier access to your bitcoin.
Most offer decent security in terms of two-factor authentication, or better, and some will require forms of photo I.D. to sign up to confirm your identity. That does mean there’s less anonymity with these wallets than some of the other options on this list.
What is a Paper Wallet?
Although less secure than hardware wallets in terms of physical durability, a paper wallet is a very inconspicuous way to store your bitcoin. They do allow you to ‘send’ bitcoin using neat homemade gift-cards, and store your bitcoin in an entirely non-electronic medium, but if you decide to utilize this option we would seriously recommend a waterproof, airtight bag, and fire-proof safe as a secondary measure. A piece of paper is far too fragile a thing to store lots of ‘money’ on.
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Disclaimer: I’m not a financial advisor, and nothing I say is meant to be a recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument. Don’t invest money you can’t afford to lose. My videos may contain affiliate links to products I believe will add value to your life.