What Is a Cryptocurrency Wallet?
One of the significant issues for cryptocurrency holders is where to store their tokens. In this article we will focus on what a crypto wallet is, where it is used, how it works, and what types of wallets exist.
We will look at functions and precaution mechanisms built into the wallet to ensure fast and secure transactions. Since there are many crypto wallets, we’ll delve into their differences in usability, security, popularity, and exchange rate fees.
What Is a Crypto Wallet?
A crypto wallet works similarly to an ordinary physical wallet. Namely, it saves currency and makes it possible to instantly access assets. The main difference is that the assets on crypto wallets are digital (intangible). Any type of wallet is part of a blockchain technology.
How Does a Crypto Wallet Work?
Blockchain, on which wallets are based, is a public ledger, which is a chain of a large number of blocks containing information about transactions. Transactions are carried out and verified without external control and intervention.
Crypto wallets are software programs designed to store money and serve as access points for users to manage their crypto assets. They allow you not only to store but also to make transfers to other users on the network using the public key and wallet number.
Characteristics of Crypto Wallets
There are some key features of crypto wallets:
- Ease of Use: Wallets have user-friendly interfaces, which allow users to understand their structure and functionality.
- High Level of Security: Private keys are encrypted and protected by your password.
- Barrier-free Transactions: Wallets allow instant transactions worldwide.
- Low Transaction Fees: A transaction using a crypto wallet is cheaper in comparison to traditional bank money transfers.
- Accessibility: Wallets have a currency conversion function, which makes funds more accessible.
What Are the Types of Crypto Wallets?
Hot Wallets: Hot wallets are online wallets for fast transactions. Most often they store funds that are in operation. They are less protected from hacker attacks because private keys are stored online on cloud servers.
Cold Wallets: Cold wallets like Trezor and Ledger are digital offline storage. They are more protected, but working with funds takes a lot of time because they’re not connected to the internet.
Custodial/Non-custodial Wallets: With custodial wallets, the private key is held by an intermediary, a third party, that controls the funds and makes transactions. A non-custodial wallet allows you to manage your assets as they are located on an external device with built-in redundancy and several connections and security levels.
Hardware Wallets: Hardware wallets are portable devices connected to a computer. They have a vital protection from hacking since they’re cold storage devices. Ledger and Trezor currently dominate the market.
Web Wallets: Online wallets are great for instant token transactions, however, this is the most vulnerable category to hacking. Just like with hot wallets, all data is stored in the cloud.
Why do I Need a Crypto Wallet?
As a rule, investing in cryptocurrency requires a wallet. Crypto wallets can be of several types, depending on the purpose of use. It is better to use hot wallets in the short term, and cold ones when you need a high protection level. An important factor is transaction and currency exchange fees. Before you determine which wallet fits your needs best, explore their types and compare individual features of hard (cold) and web (hot) wallets.