People who fall down the rabbit hole of bitcoin and blockchain technology are exposed to an entirely new universe. With the territory comes a brand new vocabulary full of unfamiliar words and phrases such as ‘Satoshi’, ‘HODL’ and ‘To the Moon!’ . Those looking to invest in cryptocurrency are pulled in many different directions and are presented with many different options. Purchasing bitcoin is confusing because it seems like there are two similar options – Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. How would a first time investor know which is the real Bitcoin?
It’s extremely important to do your homework before making any final purchasing decisions. There are evil scammers trying to separate people from their money. Friendly Tip: Bitcoin Cash is not the real Bitcoin.
Once you decide the best method for investing in cryptocurrency you are again faced with more critical decisions. Perhaps the most important decision after choosing where and how to purchase is: How to store cryptocurrency safely? Again, there are so many options each with advantages and disadvantages. Failure to make the correct decision can result in a complete financial loss.
Everyone I come across has a different assumption about storing his or her cryptocurrencies. Getting coffee with a friend yesterday we naturally struck upon our favorite topic of cryptocurrency. He nonchalantly mentioned that he “read” somewhere that you should avoid Coinbase because it’s not a safe place to store cryptocurrencies.
Let’s dig in to that.
Coinbase has become the most downloaded iPhone app in the U.S with monthly unique users over 4.3 million. Coinbase generated over $1 billion of revenue in the year 2017 alone. Recently they valued themselves at over $8 billion dollars. Coinbase is an enormous company and the largest in the space – meaning it represents the largest reward if it were to ever to be hacked. Fortunately, Coinbase has a dedicated team working around the clock to constantly improve their security. But is Coinbase the best place to store cryptocurrency?
In general, leaving your crypto on an any exchange is one of the riskiest methods of storing cryptocurrency.
When you choose to store cryptocurrency through Coinbase, you don’t actually own your crypto. Coinbase doesn’t actually run an online wallet. Meaning they store your coin in their wallet, and they hold the private keys to your money. This method of storing your crypto may be fine if you’re a first time buyer and are just embarking on your journey in the world of crypto. However, it’s not wise to trust a third party with the safety of your cryptocurrency, especially when there are better alternatives.
“Do you control the keys to your money? Yes? It’s your money. No? It’s not your money. If you give control of your keys to someone else, it is no longer your money. It is a promise from the other person to maybe pay you back later.” – Andreas Antonopoulos
Storing cryptocurrency on Coinbase has advantages if you’re looking to quickly buy or sell, but any serious investor with the long-term in mind will take matters into their own hands and store the majority of their cryptocurrency in their personal wallet. So the question still remains – what is the best way to store cryptocurrency?
I have been using the Trezor Hardware Wallet to store my cryptocurrency for years and can personally attest to its usefulness.
What is a hardware wallet and why is it important?
A hardware wallet is a special type of bitcoin wallet that stores the user’s private keys in a secure hardware device. In this case, the hardware device is the Trezor. Storing your crypto on hardware wallet over a standard software wallet has several major advantages:
- Private keys are stored in a protected area and on the hardware itself
- Immune to computer viruses that steal from software wallets
- Can be used securely and interactively
Online exchanges and wallet providers can disappear, go offline, and get hacked among a host of other vulnerabilities. With the Trezor Hardware Wallet, your cryptocurrency is stored completely offline – by far the surest way to ensure your cryptocurrency is protected. The Trezor device makes it painless.
It’s straightforward to use as well.
Trezor introduced a unique way of PIN entering preventing key loggers from recording it even when entered on a compromised computer. All you do is plug in your Trezor device via a USB cord to your computer, log in to the Trezor website from your web browser, enter the PIN and follow the easy steps to login.
From there, the user interface is extremely easy to understand and manage your cryptocurrency. I personally hold 5+ cryptocurrencies on there among various different wallets. Trezor has support for over 500+ cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and so on. It’s extremely intuitive and simple to generate new wallet addresses and make transactions.
The Trezor device is easy to travel with and transport your precious cryptocurrency along with you. I have traveled with my Trezor device and gotten through TSA security without any hassles or questions. The device is small enough to be overlooked, but large enough for you not to misplace and lose track of. If your Trezor does get lost for whatever reason, there is good news. You can use your recovery seed to recover your wallet addresses and order a new Trezor device.
Take special care to remember where you place your recovery seed – or else you could end up like this person who recounts a thrilling tale of losing $30,000 in Bitcoin because he threw away the 24 word recovery seed.
Don’t just take my word for it, the Trezor is trusted by companies of all sizes such as Forbes, CNN, Coindesk, Bitstamp, and Bitwala. It has been analyzed, reviewed, and endorsed by experts. A Coindesk review states that the Trezor hardware wallet “works as advertised”. Leaders in the industry such as Andreas Antonopoulos use the Trezor hardware wallet as well.
When purchasing the Trezor you are faced with two options:
The Trezor Model T is a newer model that was released by Satoshi Labs in early 2018. You can check out the difference between the Trezor One vs. the Trezor Model T and decide for yourself which is best. I personally use the Trezor One device and love it. Plus, the Trezor looks sleek and stylish as well. I got mine in the color grey, but will be purchasing another in black.
Satoshi Labs is running a promotion from now until the end of the year – offering 20% off all of their products. If you’re in the market for a secure solution for storing cryptocurrency – now is a fantastic opportunity to capitalize.
So what are you waiting for? Make the move and purchase a Trezor Hardware Wallet today!
Have you used a hardware wallet before? How has your experience been? Thanks for reading!