3 simple ways to protect your cryptocurrencies

Speculation and money invested in cryptocurrencies attract many scammers. There are several solutions to secure your currencies quickly.

Cryptocurrencies are based on blockchain technology and therefore have a reputation for being safe currencies. Paradoxically, not a week goes by without the media talking about the sometimes astronomical theft of virtual currencies. These breaches most often occur during transfers or simply by capturing the owners.

If you, like most crypto holders, use an online exchange, then at protocol level you are not really in possession of your coins. The platform has your money and the keys to transfer it. When you decide to withdraw the currency, you ask the exchange to sign a transaction on your behalf.

However, all of these services are online and assume that a third party may at some point interfere with the transfer. It is possible to transfer your cryptocurrencies to your hard drive or USB keys specially designed for this purpose. The last resort in terms of security is still sheet of paper, but be careful not to tear it to pieces. Overview of simple methods to protect your cryptocurrencies.

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Ethereum // Source: Ethereum Foundation

The hot purse (warm purse)

The most accessible way is to download an application on the smartphone. In general, the services offered are very easy to use and suitable for daily use. For example, they allow you to scan an address in the form of a QR code to speed up the transfer. The apps offered are often free, and those that specialize in security offer affordable plans.

The companies behind these apps use combinations of online and offline server storage to protect users’ wallets. In general, the new tenors in crypto are also the ones who offer the most secure solutions.

However, you should be aware that wallets and keys on an application are connected to the Internet and therefore more vulnerable to attack. It is not recommended for large amounts.

Some recommended apps: Coinbase, Binance, Zen Go, Trust Wallet, Exodus, Ku Coin, MetaMask.

The cold wallet (cold purse)

A cold wallet is a physical wallet, completely offline, for storing currencies. In most cases, it is a USB key. Unlike secure applications, these tools are not connected and therefore less susceptible to attack. Currencies can stay hot on the key while panicking on a platform. In addition, some companies offer an encrypted wallet to provide even more security. This is the most recommended solution when the values ​​are very high.

3 simple ways to protect your cryptocurrencies
Ledger and Trezor, the two market leaders. // Source: Unsplash

Cold Wallet requires a signature for each transaction to confirm that the currency is actually the owner of the currency. Exchanges therefore take a little longer than on apps. Count about a hundred euros for a key.

On the other hand, if you lose your device, you will never get your money back. You always run the risk of having your credentials stolen, so be sure to take the proper precautions not to have them stolen.

Some recommended brands: Ledger, Trezor, Coolwallet.

Paper purses (paper wallet)

The crypto world offers ways that were still unthinkable a few years ago to store money. You can actually print an address to store your currencies. The QR code drawn on the sheet is used to receive transactions. This wallet is of course considered extremely secure as it is not connected to the internet.

3 simple ways to protect your cryptocurrencies
A paper purse can have this shape. // Source: Wikimedia Commons

To make the famous wallet, go to a website that creates a randomly generated key. The best known are bitcoinpaperwallet.com or bitaddress.org. Then click the “Generate New Address” tab or “Generate Key and Print Paper Wallets” to create a new address.

To transfer your crypto again, you need to review an application, and therefore potentially take a risk.

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Bye-bye bitcoin // Source: CC0 / Mohammed Hassan for Pxhere

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