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How do I choose the most secure cryptocurrency wallet?
"Can you recommend a relatively secure wallet to deposit cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum, in particular? Thanks in advance!"
Support team of
Published: September 10, 2018
In order answer this question, let's take a step back and discuss how cryptocurrency wallets work.

All the transactions between wallets are made in a network (Bitcoin, Ethereum). In order to connect to the network, you need an interface.

What interface types are there?
Interfaces are, first and foremost, programs which manage your keys, allowing you to make e-transactions. In other words, they are cryptocurrency wallets.

What does your wallet consist of?
— a set of keys (codes, secret words, passwords – whatever you like to call them)
— an interface (environment where the management of your funds is carried out)

What types of keys are there?
— Public (your address)
— Private (your 12 words for the restoration, passwords)

Cryptocurrency wallets can be hot (faster transactions, less secure) or cold (offline, require more complex confirmations to make transactions).

Hot wallets
There are different types of hot wallets: web- or desktop applications (e.g., Exodus), browser expansions or smartphone apps.
Remember, that having only one wallet on all devices is unsafe. So, don't put all your eggs in one basket – create a few separate wallets and distribute funds. To provide better security, install MetaCert extension: it'll make sure you are on a right website and protect you from phishing.
You exchange account is the most common hot wallet. It's better not to store large sums of money there. Cryptocurrency exchanges do not guarantee your safety and do not insure funds in case of an incident yet.

We recommend: for Bitcoin
MetaMask for Ethereum ERC20 tokens
Cold wallets
Cold wallets are either hardware wallets or single nodes designed to calculate transactions. These wallets are offline, meaning they provide greater security of your funds.

Cold hardware wallets (Trezor, Ledger) deserve special attention. Very simply put, a cold hardware wallet is a kind of a secure flash drive where all you wallet data is stored. Sure, you have to pay money for this type of wallet but it's worth it if you store from $2000 and more in crypto.
In order to access money on such wallet, you need a direct access to the hardware wallet; it's impossible to hack it remotely as the wallet is not connected to the Internet.

Hardware buttons on such devices ensure the protection of your funds even if your computer is virus-infected (to perform a transaction you need to push a hardware button).

By the way, you can buy Trezor wallet on without converting your cryptocurrency funds to fiat:

Cold full node wallets
Cold wallets can also take the form of software for PC or Mac, a full node: all calculations are performed locally and only then, they are put online, which adds to security.

You will need a lot of free disk space on your computer to run a full node wallet (up to 100 GB) – this is one of the disadvantages of this wallet type. By the way, the more transactions are there on the Internet, the more disc space you'll need.
The most prominent examples of such wallets are Bitcoin Core for Bitcoin or Mist for Ethereum. Our expert Genady Medetsky talks more about these wallets here.
There is also pretty exotic thing called 'paper wallets' (a type of cold offline wallet) — even if written on a piece of paper, an address can become a wallet that deposits funds. It can also be a receipt from crypto ATMs which accept fiat, convert it to Bitcoin and print a receipt with a QR-code to access your cryptocurrency.

Zakhar, the participant of our crypto marathon from Zurich, has shared a story about using this wallet type. Long story short, we don't recommend using such wallets to store crypto unless it's absolutely necessary — receipts tend to fade over time, so you can lose access to your money forever.
To sum up:
None of the cryptocurrency wallets is 100% secure.
However, there is a set of rules you can follow to reduce risks:
Never lose your keys
Wallet protection can actually turn against you. No words — no access to the wallet and even developers won't be able to help you. Keep you passwords safe and secure (in a safe or a special program that stores passwords, e.g. LastPass).
Never lurk in dark alleyways (of the Internet)
Install MetaCert extension to make sure you don't find yourself on a malicious website.
Hot n Cold
Store small sums for fast transactions on a hot wallet and large sums – on a cold wallet.
Keep silent ;)
According to my friend who is also a crypto millionaire and trader with over 30 years of experience: 'any cryptocurrency wallet can be simply hacked with a blowtorch. A blowtorch in the ass'. So, don't go spreading information about being a crypto millionaire, not to endanger yourself and people close to you.
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