Understanding a Cold Wallet
9 Nov 2023 by Harry Newman 3 min read
Understanding a Cold Wallet

Cold wallets are designed to provide the highest level of security for digital assets, whilst maintaining user-friendly functionality. 

Cold wallets, also called hardware wallets or cold storage wallets, allow you to store your crypto safely and securely.

What is a Cold Wallet?

In recent years cold wallets have become essential for securing cryptocurrencies and managing digital assets.

Cold wallets get the name cold as it is not connected to the internet, whereas hot wallets are connected to the internet.

Cold wallets are a dedicated portable device that gives a user secure access to their crypto.

Cold wallets function in an offline environment, they are not connected to the internet and usually connect via USB or Bluetooth to internet-connected devices, such as your computer.

Cold wallets securely store your private keys offline, protecting you from online hackers.

In traditional finance, if your bank account was to be compromised, the bank can refund the lost or stolen money back to the account holder. However, if your crypto wallet or account has been compromised and your crypto is removed, the owner is unable to recover that crypto.

This is because cryptocurrencies are decentralized, as a result, crypto investors must be aware of the risks and take appropriate security measures to protect their cryptocurrencies.

Using a cold wallet is a safe way to store your cryptocurrency over a long period, one disadvantage however, is that not all cryptocurrencies are supported by the different cold wallet manufacturers.

How Does a Cold Wallet Work

To access your cryptocurrency, you need a public and private key, the private key is only known by you for security and to safeguard your assets.

The public key is similar to an email address, it identifies the wallet so other users can send crypto to a user, the private key is your email password, this is something you should never give to anyone.

A cold wallet stores your private key in a small portable device, often in the shape of a USB stick; these wallets are also protected by passwords, often pin codes.

Cold wallets are not free, nor cheap, this is the price to pay for added security.

Managing your private keys with a cold storage hardware wallet, you know that you are 100% the owner of that crypto.

Cold wallets are limited in what they can do, with an inability to easily plug into a DEX or NFT marketplace. However this functionality is slowly improving.

Different Types of Cold Wallets 

Choosing the right cold wallet for your needs is essential to keeping your assets safe.

There are a variety of different cold wallet types you can choose from, the most popular being Ledger and Trezor

A comparison between the best cold wallets can be found here.

Final Thoughts 

Crypto hardware wallets play a crucial role in the security and management of cryptocurrencies.

Choosing the right hardware wallet for you is a personal decision, with a wide variety of different wallets available it’s easier than ever before to keep your crypto safe and secure.

Crypto ledgers add an extra layer of protection against online threats and unauthorized access. 

It is best practice for a cryptocurrency user to store their crypto on a hardware wallet crypto ledger.

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This article is intended for educational purposes and is not financial advice.