To be clear on the subject of cryptocurrency wallets. There are many types. Some wallets you can install on your phone, computer and you can even print a paper wallet. But this article is about the way I protect my crypto investments with a hardware wallet.
The most popular hardware wallets are the Ledger and Trezor hardware wallets.
My experience is with the Ledger Nano S and will cover the basic function in this article.
Securing your cryptocurrency private keys off the exchange is a top priority. Because if you don’t have your private keys, then you really don’t own your coins (even though you paid for the cryptocurrency.) Also, it’s important to fully isolate your private keys from your easily hacked computer and mobile phone.
A hardware wallet is simply a high tech usb storage device that encrypts your private keys. Some wallets now have bluetooth.
With the Ledger hardware wallets you install a program called Ledger Live and the program communicates with your physical hardware wallet. You will have to create a 24 phrase backup and a pin.
Once the setup is done. You will be able to see a list of your coins that you send to your wallet in Ledger Live. I really like using Ledger Live, because it lists how much your coins are worth and how many coins you own. Plus you can track when your confirmations are complete.
Each crypto coin works at different speeds and different confirmations. Some coins might have three confirmations and other coins could have hundreds of confirmations. Confirmations confirm the transactions are legit or secure.
Until the confirmations are complete you can’t do anything with your coins.
Ledger live is where you install the coin apps and create coin accounts. So for instance if you bought bitcoin you would install the bitcoin app on your Ledger wallet and also create a Bitcoin account in Ledger live. The process is pretty straight forward.
Then when you decide to send your crypto off the exchange to your wallet. Ledger live would create an address that you would send your crypto to. Kinda like sending an email to a certain address. You just copy and paste the address.
It very important that the address is correct and you check it twice. Coins sent to a wrong address are lost forever.
You can also buy cryptocurrency from Leger live, but I’ve never used that service before.
The bottom line is you are your own bank with cryptocurrency. No one is going to do it for you. You must store yours coins off the exchange for ownership. Do it!
Ledger Hardware Wallet https://www.ledger.com/
Trezor Hardware Wallet https://trezor.io/
How to make a Paper Cryptocurrency Wallet https://walletgenerator.net/