On bitcoin cold storages: pros and cons

To date, a hardware wallet is the safest way to store your bitcoins. There have been no verifiable incidents of bitcoins stolen from hardware wallets ©. This fact makes cold storages suitable to keep huge amounts of money. Do you have more then 2 bitcoins? Go for one of the hardware wallets. Or maybe two.

Cold storages are pretty much physical — hardware USBs, paper wallets, physical bitcoins. They are less convenient than hot wallets, but fundamentally safer.

Cold wallets are good to store your money if you deal with large amounts of bitcoins.

hardware wallets

A hardware wallet resembles a USB stick in appearance. It is a device that keeps your private keys in safe offline environment. Yet, you might have to install some software to use it.

Despite on the fact that those wallets are the safest in the market there’s a fair number of possible problems with this storage type.

  • Malware on your PC could trick your device into sending bitcoins to the wrong addresses.
  • The gadget could be vulnerable to a corrupted production process that introduces holes for crooks.

Be wise to keep your eggs in as many wallets as possible.

Popular options:

Ledger Nano S ~ 58 €, beginner friendly, HD wallet, Windows, Mac, Linux, two secure elements/chips, aluminum, two physical buttons, 24 words seed
Trezor ~ 89 €, very good general feedback, HD wallet, Windows, Mac, Linux, plastic (drop resistant), two physical buttons, 24 words seed
KeepKey ~ 159 €, easy leading, additional transaction conformation, HD wallet, Windows, Mac, Linux, aluminum, one physical button, uses a rotating cipher to enter the mnemonic words (with this wallet your computer doesn’t know the seed, in contrast to other two wallets), 12 words seed

paper wallets

A paper wallet is an offline BTC storage with QR codes and corresponding keys printed out on a bare piece of paper.

Proper paper wallets are often a very secure way of storing bitcoins, since they are not typically exposed to malware. They can also be easily stored securely in safes and safe deposit boxes © Don’t forget, though: paper wallets are made of… paper which means they could be stolen, lost, get soaked or even burnt.

To generate your first paper wallet and send bitcoins to it follow the link.

physical bitcoin wallets

A physical bitcoin wallet is a cold BTC storage in a shape of a real-life coin. An attractive hologram on the back of the coin hides a private key and must be peeled off. Once the hologram is damaged the private key is considered to be compromised.

Because of its shiny shell your physical bitcoin could become a rad gift, a convinient item for offline trade or an exspensive collectible item.

Due to its digital nature physical bitcoin is just a hideout for your private key. Ultimately the new owner of the coin may need to use an online wallet (for example, blockhaininfo), a desktop wallet (for example, Electrum) or a mobile wallet (for example, Mycelium) to sweep the private key and spend their money. It’s useful to bear in mind that all that is not so easy for absolute beginners.

Popular Options:

Casascius~ out of production, a collectible item
Denarium ~ can be bought empty or with a various amount of BTC

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