Simple Steps to Store Your Bitcoin
Think about how many ways we can hold and store our money, such as savings accounts, safes, or even using a wallet!
Bitcoin also has many methods of storage. The only difference is that rather than using a leather wallet, you simply download an app or software onto your respective device.
It’s basically the same, just in a more digital manner!
Probably the easiest way to store Bitcoin securely is either through using a desktop/mobile wallet or an offline device (more on offline storage later).
Desktop/mobile wallets are a great way of keeping your Bitcoin moderately safe and easy to use if you want to purchase anything online, although I do not recommend storing ALL your Bitcoin on one device – ESPECIALLY your mobile device. I will provide solutions to these dilemmas and quickly review some of the well-known wallets that aren’t making you rely on a third party to store your cryptocurrency.
When downloading and creating your Bitcoin wallet, please always remember to store your seed – this is a twelve or twenty-four word password that lets you restore your cryptocurrency balance on another device. Don’t worry if your hard drive crashes or the kids spill a drink on your laptop; you can restore your balance on another machine with the seed passcode!
I highly recommend storing all keys to your digital wallets with the same effort as you would store a passport or bank account details. Safety first.
Some of the More Beginner/User-Friendly Wallets
An extremely user-friendly wallet, you can easily download Jaxx on nearly any device and then link your devices with the same wallet for convenience.
Jaxx is open-source software, meaning that it’s free and anyone can look at the code and see any bugs or errors in the wallet software. It’s a great way to show transparency for new users.
The software is very easy to set up and looks quite professional. With a choice of many other popular digital currencies, passwords and pin numbers you set up stay on your device and don’t get transferred to any third party, which means only you can access your digital funds.
There is also a very supportive Jaxx help team, which new users will undoubtedly welcome.
One of the more popular wallets, it’s simple, yet effective!
Similar to Jaxx in terms of setting it up, the layout isn’t as pretty, but the simplicity is always welcomed. Electrum has a Bitcoin wallet, and there is also a separate wallet download for Litecoin users.
Electrum is one of the more basic wallets, which is usually a good thing, as less can go wrong. It is very easy to download and doesn’t require much storage space on your respective device.
Bitcoin Core labels itself as the ‘’official’’ wallet, although it is not as popular as Electrum. Core is easy to use for newbies but is slightly slower than Electrum and doesn’t have as many features as Jaxx.
Cold Storage/Offline Wallets
For high levels of safety and security, cold storage is the best choice, by far. Cold storage basically means the wallet is offline and not linked to any network. If the network is compromised somehow, your cold/offline Bitcoin will be unaffected.
This method is great for users who wish to store their cryptocurrency in long-term storage, like a vault.
The original method for cold storage was using a paper wallet, simply meaning that you print your wallet’s keys onto paper and store it safely.
Provided the wallet’s keys are generated and printed from a secure, offline device, paper wallets are secure cold storage.
Another secure and very popular way to store your Bitcoin offline is using a hardware wallet. They are the size of a memory stick, which makes them easy to hide away, and there are many different manufacturers, although these two are the most popular:
The Ledger Nano is a smartcard hardware wallet. They vary in price and are affordable for the everyday person, and the more expensive Ledgers support other cryptocurrencies.
That being said, it is better to keep it simple, as less can go wrong in a worst-case scenario. The Ledger Nano generates a twenty-four word seed during setup, which can then be written down and stored offline.
A pin code is also required, adding an extra layer of security for your funds.
Remember that with the seed password, you can restore your wallet’s balance on another device in the event of fire, theft, or damage.
This is very similar to the Ledger Nano, except that the popular Trezor is more like a memory stick-sized computer than a smartcard.
The Trezor also creates a twenty-four word seed, which you can write down and store, and the Trezor has a built-in screen to show the seed.
This means that only the owner of the device can see the password, and no one else.
What’s the Best Solution?
In conclusion, the best way to store your Bitcoin and other similar currencies is to put them in cold/offline storage. Online desktop wallets are useful for speed and necessity, but they are prone to hackers.
If your computer does become compromised, your funds are potentially at risk, so the best approach to this is to spread your funds across different wallets and devices.
This may make it harder to maintain, but could save your wealth from being lost. If one wallet or device gets stolen or damaged, you’ll have your hard-earned digital money stored elsewhere.