Storing your cryptocurrency tokens safely is a very important topic that everyone dealing with digital coins should know about.
In times where wallets are being breached (Parity!), ICOs being hacked (Dashcoin!) and Exchanges are facing major struggles (Poloniex!), having a safe option to store your crypto investments should be a top priority.
Especially if you hold large amounts of cryptocurrency, leaving the coins in an exchange platform is NOT SAFE.
In 2014, one of the biggest exchange platforms of the time, Mt. Gox, collapsed - leading to a loss of 650.000 Bitcoins. Hundreds of thousands of users who were holding cryptocurrency on Mt. Gox lost all of their funds - just like that!
And sadly, there is no guarantee that something like this won't happen again.
Especially with the upcoming Bitcoin Hardfork, no one knows exactly what will happen to the network and to your Bitcoins - you should store them in a secure location, better safe than sorry!
So what are the alternatives for storing your cryptocurrency safely?
There is a number of different options, the cheapest one being paper wallets.
A paper wallet means that you print out the private and public keys to your bitcoin storage wallet. Those printed keys grant access to your funds, and losing your paper wallet also means losing access to your coins! So make sure to make several copies and store them in a safe or give one to someone you trust, for example your parents.
But of course a paper wallet can easily be lost, burnt or destroyed in any other way - which is why they are not the optimal storage solution.
The best solution for storing your coins are hardware / cold storage wallets.
Such wallets store your coins offline, and therefore protect them from being hacked.
It's basically a small hard drive (which would be indestructible, in the best case scenario) that securely contains your cryptocurrency wallet information.
There are a number of hardware wallets available, and many companies have come out with new products or added new features to their offline wallets as demand has increased a lot recently.
Below I'd like to share 3 of the most popular offline wallet solutions!
#1 - TREZOR: "The original & most secure hardware wallet."
Trezor is a very small device that securely stores Bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies.
It's very simple and quick to setup - you set a 9-digit pin code to secure your coins, as well as a 24-word long recovery seed with which you can restore your wallet in case you ever lose access.
The Trezor costs $89, is only 60 x 30 x 6 mm large and comes in black and white.
Just take these 3 simple steps to have everything solved: Get your own TREZOR. Set it up. Store your recovery seed in a safe place. It will help you regain access to all your coins and transaction history in case your device is destroyed or lost.
#2 Ledger Nano S: "Small & Secure Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet"
The Ledger Nano S is a hardware wallet the size of a USB stick.
It supports Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies like Ethereum or Litecoin.
You secure your coins with an 8-digit key, and then connect the wallet to your laptop via USB.
The Ledger Nano S works with wallet providers like Mycelium or BitGo, is 98mm x 18mm x 9mm small and costs € 69.
When you own cryptocurrencies, you need to protect your confidential data and the access to your funds. With Ledger Nano S, secrets like private keys are never exposed: sensitive operations are isolated inside your hardware wallet within a state-of-the-art Secure Element, locked by a PIN code. Transactions can’t get tampered with, they are physically verified on the embedded screen with a simple press of a button.
#3 Keepkey: "The Simple Bitcoin Hardware Wallet"
The keepkey hardware wallet looks like a small hard drive and supports major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash and more. What's unique about this wallet is that it has Shapeshift integrated - with this feature, you can exchange between assets directly on the device.
The keepkey wallet is 38 x 93 x 12mm small and costs $99 on Amazon.
KeepKey is a hardware wallet that secures bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, dogecoin, dash, and namecoin. Your assets are protected from hackers and thieves. It works with the wallet software on your computer by taking over the management of private key generation, private key storage, and transaction signing.
How do you keep your cryptocurrency coins safe?