After navigating the murky waters of an exchange, and trying to figure out the differences between truth and hype, you’ve managed to buy your first Bitcoin. Congratulations! Now what the hell do you do with it? Well, first and foremost, you have to learn very quickly how to protect your investment.
We all have that friend. The one who just happened to put money into crypto in 2014 and can’t wipe the smug grin from their face. Chances are it had some hand in your decision to buy in the first place. Regardless of the market trends when you bought it, now that you own a crypto-asset, you need to decide if you want to hold onto it for future gains, or try to make the most of the current market cycle and increase your holdings.
For most new investors to the space, trading, especially with the volatility of the crypto markets, can be intimidating at best. For the vast majority, it is a one-way street to losing your hard earned money. With the current market adoption figure hovering around 4–5%, and talk of bitcoin reaching the $100k mark by the end of 2018, the most sensible option for the hobbyist is to hold and wait for value increases.
Although we refer to ‘wallets’ as a means of storage, it isn’t quite the same as the wallet you use to store paper money. You have the choice between a hot or cold wallet and as we are dealing with digital assets, it’s important to understand that you aren’t actually storing anything physical. Rather a storage wallet is actually a way to store your private keys. These are lengthy number/letter combinations that prove to the network that you are the legitimate owner of the asset, as well as confirming the transfer or trade of it to another address.
By storing your assets in hot wallets, you are giving the responsibility of storing your private keys to a third party, a mistake that continuously sees investors lose their assets. In 2017 alone, more than $200m worth of crypto-assets were stolen, hacked or locked up, all as a result of hot wallet storage.
Cold storage refers to the secure storage of crypto-assets on a device that cannot be accessed by the online world. It puts the ownership of private keys back into your hands. In the past, these have typically been USB style devices, or ones that require a wired connection. More recently, however, the Secure Wallet has become the world’s most secure cold storage wallet, whilst still providing the ultimate in portability and functionality.
Currently supporting 5 of the main crypto currencies (BTC, BCH, LTC, ETH, XRP) and some ERC20 support, with plans to hold more than 20 by the end of 2018, the Secure Wallet, offers a one-size-fits-all solution by being:
To protect yourself from hackers, theft, and a host of other potential hazards, you need a cold storage device.