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3 Bitcoin Wallets That Are Iron-Clad, Unhackable and Time-Tested

3 bitcoin wallets that are Iron-Clad, Unhackable and Time-Tested- CoinZodiacAre you worried that your Bitcoin might getting stolen?

Constantly second-guessing your wallets authenticity?

That means you’ve a significant investment and you want to make sure that your wallets are secure.

Very smart people have specific methods and strategies to keep their Bitcoin safe. I will show what you need to know, the best safety practices and the hardest wallets to break-in.

Storing your wallet on an exchange site like Coinbase or any other large trading platforms where you buy your BTC is never a good practice.

If they’re Not Your Keys, they’re not your Coins. That’s a mantra you should practice if you’re new.

Don’t second guess, Bitcoin is very new and different from what you already know and use every day. It’s still very early in this space.

To give you a perspective of how early it is, imagine 1994 during the internet boom. Yeah, that’s right. That’s why it pays to HODLE it appropriately.

We’re very used to custodians (banks) to keep our money safe and we’ve come to accept the monstrous fees that comes with simple services like remittances.

I first began to question these intermediary services in the mid-2010s when I sent $80 from Singapore to the United States — that simple transaction ended up costing me an additional $50 just to send $80. It totaled up to $130.

When it comes to money, I bet we can all agree that the banks are like a parasites, they don’t stop until they have emptied the host.

In bitcoin, moving $300M is the same cost in electricity as moving $3. The amount doesn’t matter.

If you already know how revolutionary bitcoin is, then I’ll won’t bother you with all the good stuff. Let’s dive straight into securing your bitcoin wallet.

Remember, this is a new era of regaining your independence from banks and the government. Its now your responsibility to adopt good practices and choosing your wallets carefully in order to protect your wealth.

No one else should do it for you.

Bitcoin should be treated with the same care as you would with your banking details and passwords.

Some Things You Should Know Beforehand

There are hundreds of new wallets in the market that allows you to store and keep your bitcoin safe.

They’re generally divided into Cold Wallets and Hot Wallets.

The easiest way to describe them is this: hot wallets are connected to the internet while cold wallets are not.

Generally, I hold my Bitcoin on both cold and hot wallets because I intend to use them differently.

Hot wallets are like checking accounts, its easy access, you can use it to instantly send and receive btc on the go; while cold wallets are bank vaults, it doesn’t offer you the convenience and flexibility, but it does offer you iron-clad security.

People who have bitcoin keep a small portion in their hot wallets for everyday purchases like buying coffee or sending money to their friends. They keep the vast majority in their cold wallets.

Bitcoin allows you to transfer money anywhere in the world, even to weird and remote places such as Antarctica. With such monumental features, it doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg just to send money across the internet.

For the very first time, the banks have a real competitor, one that cannot be bribed, controlled or manipulated in any way.

But with such great new features, these bitcoin wallets do encounter grave security concerns.

Bitcoin itself is highly secure, but the on and off-ramps that create bridges to and from the bitcoin network is highly insecure.

Not only that, your Bitcoin payments are irreversible.

When you use your credit card, you have to benefit of using charge-backs to reverse a mistake or a fraudulent charge.

With Bitcoin, there is no service desk or telephone number you can call to help you get back your money.

This is a feature and not a weakness.

Unlike fiat money where banks can create money out of thin air, there are only 21 million bitcoin in the world. Like it or not Satoshi Nakamoto can never print more of it, even if he’s god.

When you consider something rarer than gold, that cannot be duplicated, and transactions can be authenticated without any humans stamping their approval, you have to treat it a differently from what you would with your fiat money.

In fact, you have to treat it closer to what you would if you had gold stashed under your bed.

So how do you store something that characterizes digital gold?

Well, a lot of people start off getting involved with Bitcoin on cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase, so generally many would just buy and then leave it on that platform.

That is a very bad practice and a big NO-NO!

After major security breaches like the one on Mt. Gox, which saw many Bitcoiners lost hundreds, if not thousands of bitcoin overnight, you can be certain that the only types of exchanges that exist are the ones that have been hacked and the ones that will be hacked.

Some who has small amounts of bitcoin, store it in their software wallets in an app on their mobile phone. Its fine if you are planning to use your bitcoin, only small amounts for everyday use cases.

If you’re treating it like cash, its fine.

If you’re a long term HODLer, you should ONLY use Hardware Wallets. You could use paper wallets, but it isn’t recommended for most people simply because it has too many technical steps.

For those of you unfamiliar with the HODL meme, it’s an intentional misspelling of the word “Hold” that is commonly repeated during turbulent periods in the cryptocurrency market.

Over time, HODL has become synonymous with investors abating fear, and not selling in times of market despair.

Hardware Wallets are recommended even by Network Security Experts like Andreas Antonopoulos, who is also a long time Bitcoin advocate. You can watch his ground-breaking Bitcoin speech here.

Q: So is a Hardware wallet a cold or a hot wallet?

A: Cold Wallet

Q: Why do most people recommend a cold wallet?

A: It’s NOT connected to the internet.

Q: Why are Hot wallets unsafe?

A: You have to trust third parties. The whole idea of Bitcoin is so that you can regain your independence from intermediaries or bankers and not just replace the status quo with new faces that acts like banks.

The hot wallet in your mobile phone is constantly accessing the internet, sending and receiving data packets sometimes even without your knowledge. For the average internet user, it is highly unlikely that you can be 100% certain that your phone/laptop is clean from malware.

Examples of HOT WALLETS

Your Exchange Account

Exchanges such as Coinbase, Bittrex, Poloniex and Binance are considered hot wallets because they own the private keys to your wallet. Essentially, what you have is just an account tied to your email and name with your funds associated with a corresponding private key store within their servers.

While some exchanges are safe, I personally wouldn’t keep my btc on the platforms itself. Always be paranoid and Keep it tucked away in your Ledger Nano S or Trezor. 

Its connected to the internet all the time, how do you think they are able to conduct trade 24/7. Its their core business element.

If there is a vulnerability on a platform, or a hacker successfully exploits that vulnerability and drains all the funds, you end up losing all your funds stored on that exchange.

The biggest Theft in the History of the World happened to an exchange in Japan, CoinCheck precisely because hackers managed to steal the private keys for the hot wallet where the NEM coins were stored.

No matter how big these companies are, or how much publicity they can create to install customer confidence, nothing beats a good ol’ hardware wallet.

They can claim to have the best and most secure practices compared to their competitors, but at the end of the day, a hot wallet is still a hot wallet.

If you have a Coinbase account, its the same. If Coinbase gets hacked, you WILL lose your coins and all your investment. Don’t trust any company just for the sake of flexibility and convenience.

Software Type Wallets

Mark Zuckerberg Puts Tape Over His laptop

Another kind of hot wallet like the Exodus.io is a deskstop application that allows you to send and receive Cryptocurrencies. Exodus claims to not storing your private keys on its servers. So your money is sort of under your control.

The issue with these kinds of wallets isn’t about trust or vulnerability, its whether your computer is completely and entirely secure. Even computer security experts aren’t 100% certain their computers are squeaky clean.

 

Example of HARDWARE WALLETS

A hardware wallet is pen-drive like device that is kept offline but can be plugged into a computer when you need to transact. Hardware wallets are unhackable because the private keys are store within the device, and never revealed out in the open, even to you.

Its secure because only you and you alone can ever approve a transaction because you have to confirm each one by pressing a button on the device.

There are three main hardware wallet brands: Trezor.io, Ledger Nano S and KeepKey.

Each one has a unique set of features, so DYOR.

I decided to go with the Ledger Nano S mainly because it was the industry standard at that time. And it still is till this day.

However, there are still certain precautions that you need to know and take.

For instance, this story happened last year when a reddit user, who bought his Ledger from an eBay seller, and it turned out to be compromised.

Only Buy directly from Ledger’s website or any of its authorized resellers.

But again To be safe, buy directly here.

The issue here isn’t because his device was tampered with. Hardware wallets are tamper-proof.

The reason here is that he received an already authorized device with a scratch-away 24-word passphrase. He should be writing down the passphrase onto the white paper sheet, and not getting one that already comes with it. When you first initialize you device, it will display the 24-word seed passphrases, where you have to write it down on the empty piece of sheet.

The reddit user woudn’t have experienced this nightmare if he’d bought directly from Ledger.com

A little research and reading might have also saved his money.

You see, if somebody already initializes the 24-word seed phrase, they can sell the device to you.

Then an unsuspecting buyer would buy and store his coins inside his device thinking he owns them. Over time, he transfers more and more of his coins into the ledger.

The seller can then duplicate his ledger by buying a new device, restore based on the 24-word seed he got from the device he sold, and then monitor the transactions.

When he’s happy with the amount, he can simply transfer all the funds out to another wallet.

Imagine the huge difference it would make taking the time to carefully learn and adopt good practices in order to protect his money.

Conclusion

If you want to secure your Bitcoins for the future, you have to stay ahead by focusing on adopting good habits. Do what’s best to protect your wealth and you won’t have to deal with unfortunate scenarios such as the above.

If you don’t follow the tips above, you’ may get by without a hitch in the short run, but you’ll find yourself playing a game of cat and mouse in the long run. And That’s just plain ignorant.

I don’t pay too much attention to day to day price volatility these days, neither should you. Instead, focus on preparing yourself for this bitcoin gold rush.

If you continue to wait on the sidelines, and only decide to invest when all the obstacles and uncertainties are lifted, it’s going to ultimately cost you the price of entry.

Buying 1 btc and hodling it in your hardware wallet is a sound economic decision considering that fiat currencies are subjected to the whims of our politicians.  It will help you to win in the long run.

You best bet, is to buy the cryptos you really believe in and Hold on For Dear Life! (HODL) Never ever sell at a loss. Keep it tucked away in your Ledger Nano S or Trezor. 

Now, there will be times where the price will drop drastically, but don’t freak out. You can eventually come out on top by focusing on the future of this technology.

Real money is only made when there are dirt roads. Click To Tweet

And if you are patient enough in 3-5 years time, you will eventually get to decide whether to let your investments ride or take some profits off the table. When that happens, remember these wise words from Billionaire investor Tim Draper:

“Why Would I Sell the Future for the Past?”Click To Tweet

You can also buy Bitcoin on a few different websites conveniently with your debit/credit card. I mostly use Changelly or CoinMama to quickly buy small amounts of Bitcoin to capture the price movements. 

To find out more about buying Bitcoin, check out these comprehensive guides:

    1. Buy Bitcoin With Paypal Instantly on these sites (Explained Step-by-step)
    2. How to Buy Bitcoin In Different Countries [+International Infographic Guide]
    3. The Easiest Way to Buy Bitcoin without Paying Any Fees
    4. CoinMama Walkthrough Guide for Beginners: Buying BTC and ETH with USD/EUR Cards

ps– I’m still learning a lot every day about hot and cold wallets. If you have additional information about anything I’ve discussed, add your comments below. I’ve been involved in Bitcoin since October 2017, so in many ways, I’m new and everyday is a steep learning curve.

When Is It the Right Time to Sell your Cryptocurrencies? Read this…

 

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Winson Ng

I Started hearing about bitcoin only in November 2017. As a solo-preneur who has build around the Maverick Philosophy, I found bitcoin to be just the tip of the spear. I watched to see who was getting into it, some of the smartest entrepreneurs who has made their fortunes being the first movers allocated portions of their investment portfolios to Bitcoin. I studied and realized that if it worked, bitcoin was going to be the first global decentralized currency. And that has never existed before. Ever. I was Hooked!

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