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Are cold wallets really that secure?
"People believe that cold cryptocurrency wallets are the most secure. Personally, I use TREZOR. I have immediately noticed that it is impossible to use your wallet if you have no access to Trezor's official website (www.trezor.io). So I have a question: if anything happens to the official website (e.g. it gets hacked), will I part with all crypto I have on my wallet? Will I NEVER be able to use it? Thanks!"
Author of a popular blog on cryptocurrencies
Expert commentary
First of all, Trezor is a hardware wallet. Secondly, if you are located in Russia, you should know that Roskomnadzor (the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media) has recently blocked trezor.io wallet bridge, so you have to use VPN. Thirdly, if SatoshiLabs, a company that owns the Trezor project, gets shut down, it will pass APIs to another company. Thus, everything is going to be alright. Yet, a cold wallet which is a single node, is always better. In the case of Ethereum, it is Mist.
And now we have come to the main point – security of wallets.

The main parameters which you can use to assess the wallet's safety are provided below. Indeed, there are cases when hardware wallets lose to full node wallets, such as Bitcoin Core or Mist.
It is important to understand that none of the wallets enlisted on the official website of Bitcoin, does not comply to all the requirements in the 'Maximum protection' field. Even Bitcoin Core is vulnerable as it is launched in an unsafe environment (PC), although it provides maximum protection in all the remaining fields.
Viktor Ptitsyn
Mathematician, trader, cryptoinvestor
Expert commentary
It is true that full node wallets are quite safe and secure; however, if hackers get a remote access to your PC, they can access your wallet as well. In this respect, I consider Trezor hardware wallet the safest. Even if you always keep it connected to a PC (and you certainly should not do that), a transaction can only be performed after you push a hardware button.

As for accessing your funds in case www.trezor.io is unavailable or even shut down — you will be able to access your funds any moment, if you remember your 12 or 24 secret words. Here is a list of wallets, via which you will get your money in the event when Trezor is down or if its servers are unavailable.

I have tried these apps and they actually work:

  • Copay (Linux, Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Windows phone)
  • Electrum (Linux, Windows, macOS, Android)

By the way, Trezor also allows you to create a 25thword, which add to security (only in case if you don't store it with all the other keys).
To sum up:

If you have decided to install such cold wallets as Bitcoin Core for Bitcoin or Mist for Ethereum, you should:
— have at least 2TB of free disc space (you'll need even more storage space in time, so you'd better buy a 4TB disc in advance!)
— back up your wallet
— not store .dat file (your key) and your wallet on the same device
— fragment your key and store it in different places, with different people

You can find more safety tips in this article..

In any case, pay close attention to a secret key (12 or 24 secret words) you get when you create a wallet. It will help you to access funds using any interface!


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