When it comes to storing cryptocurrencies, the concept of a wallet can be a bit scary for the newcomers.

Crypto wallets are just like leather wallets which some of us still use in our real life for carrying cash and credit cards. A crypto wallet is a lot smarter and has all the benefits of your physical wallets with additional refined flexible features.

For instance, your crypto wallet will let you know about the details of your crypto expenditure. Whether you want to buy and sell cryptocurrencies or you want them to be as your asset for that you need to have a wallet account.

It doesn’t store your crypto’s directly. It’s more accurate to consider a wallet as storing your private keys. Public-key cryptography allows cryptocurrency to work in the first place and utilizes its specific algorithms to create pairs of keys. Your public key is the address to which everyone can send cryptocurrency. The subsequent private key is what allows you to pay out funds from that address.

What is a Crypto Wallet?

In simple terms:

It’s a software program that stores your coins.

According to Technical Definition:

Software that stores up your private & public keys, allows you to send & receive coins via blockchain, as well as scrutinizes your balance.

How They Work

Unlike normal wallets, digital wallets are not going to store up crypto assets. In fact, it doesn’t get stored up at a single location or exist anywhere in any physical form. All that exist are records of transactions stored on the blockchain.

Once you have bought Bitcoin or other crypto’s via an exchange and if you plan to pay out your crypto right away that you can do it directly from the exchange. If you wish to save your digital assets, you will need a crypto wallet which is safe and secure in which you can transfer your virtual coins.

When you are holding digital assets such as ICO tokens and cryptocurrencies in a wallet, there is no excuse for not taking proper steps to protect your private key backups. You will need your private key to access your assets and authorize transfers from your wallet. So never lose them, share them with anyone and always keep them somewhere safe where you can retrieve when necessary.

Classification of Crypto Wallets

A Bitcoin wallet closely resembles your bank account. There are different types of wallets out there to opt from, and they vary in characteristics and devices on which they are used. It is advisable to know these categories so that you always choose one that suits you.

Cold Wallets and Hot Wallets:

Wallets are classified either as hot or cold. One that is online is said to be hot and the other one as a cold wallet. Most people who hold digital assets have both cold and hot wallets because they are designed for different purposes. Offline wallets are considered safer than the other and it is recommended for storing a large amount of Bitcoin. Hot is apt for frequently access funds. Therefore, the best strategy is to use cold storage for a longer period and a hot wallet for normal use.

Hardware Wallets:

Hardware wallets store the user’s private keys on a hardware device like a USB. Although hardware wallets do transactions online, they are stored up offline which provides additional security.

Paper Wallets:

The term paper wallet can simply refer to a physical copy or printout of your public and private keys; it can also refer to a piece of software that is being used to generate a pair of keys securely which is then printed.

Desktop Wallet:

Desktop wallets are downloaded and installed on your computer, storing your private keys on your hard drive. By definition, they are more secure than online and mobile wallets, as they don’t rely on third parties for their data and are harder to steal. They are still connected to the internet, which makes them naturally insecure. If your Personal computer is hacked or gets a virus then there is a possibility that you can lose all your keys.

Online Wallets:

It runs on the cloud and is accessible from any computing device at any location. As it is more convenient to access, online wallets store up your private keys online and are controlled by the third party that makes them more susceptible to hacks and theft.

Mobile Wallets:

It runs on an app on your handset and is useful because it can be used anywhere including retail stores. Mobile wallets are generally smaller and more compatible than desktop wallets.

Multi-signature wallets:

Transactions that are processed through a multi-signature wallet need two to three keys in order to access funds. It makes it too difficult for hackers to access the information and the ability to guess multiple private keys.

Are cryptocurrency wallets secure?

They are all built to be secure, but the exact security varies from wallet to wallet. The protection of your wallet depends on you how you manage it and keep using best way. We recommend you do not keep additional currency than you require at one time in a single wallet that can be utilized frequently, using Google authenticator for additional layers of protection, encrypting your wallet, and via an official or officially endorsed wallet. You can also utilize multi-signature transactions.

Are Crypto Currency wallets anonymous?

It’s pseudonymous. While wallets aren’t coupled with the genuine identity of a client, all transactions are stored up openly and permanently on the Blockchain. Your name or personal street address is not going to be there, but information like your wallet address could be traced to your identity in a number of ways. While the efforts are ongoing to make privacy and anonymity easier to attain, there are obvious downsides to full ambiguity.

Single or Multi-Currency Use?

Although by far the most renowned and trendy digital currency is Bitcoin, hundreds of new cryptocurrencies have come out, each with unique system and structure. If you’re interested in using a variety of crypto’s, the good news is, you don’t have to set up a separate wallet for each currency. Instead of using a crypto wallet that supports a single currency, it might be more convenient to set up a multi-currency wallet which allows you to utilize several currencies from the same wallet.


Hopefully, this guide has endowed you with important information on what wallets are, how to use them, what they do and how to keep the money in them safely. When it comes to secure your crypto asset, there are many alternatives. The most important takeaway is every user’s requirements are different, and it’s on you to do your own research. Always be cautious and double-check everything. For instance, you could receive an email made to look like it’s from BlockWallet, but it is actually from BlokcWallet. If you authorize it, your Bitcoins will disappear immediately.

Author's Bio: 

Ricky Makan is a venture capitalist and Crypto Enthusiast best known for pioneering the market for Digital Marketing. He is a Co-founder of Unkrypted, a platform which provides the latest news and information that helps understand everything about the ever-evolving world of digital currencies.