How to Store Cryptos
You registered with an exchange, funded the account, and made your first purchase. You're now the owner of some shiny new cryptocurrency! Now that it's yours, though, you don't know what to do with it. Sound familiar? If so, keep reading.
While it may seem convenient to leave your cryptos in the exchange account you used to purchase the cryptocurrency in the first place, you should not get into a habit of doing this. Rather, you should store cryptocurrencies in a wallet.
Wallets can vary in many ways, but the three basic types are: (1) online; (2) offline (usually called "cold" storage); and (3) desktop wallets. Cold storage wallets tend to be the safest from a hacking perspective, but you don't want to forget where you put it (a cold wallet is usually about the same size as a thumb drive)! A desktop wallet is like a cold wallet, but instead of using a thumb drive, you use your desktop or laptop computer to store the coins. A desktop wallet is also known as a "QT" wallet.
ICOs and Token Sales: if you want to participate in an ICO or token sale and you're wondering how to store your coins, you are likely in need of an ERC-20 wallet (double check this on the token seller's website, it will be explicitly stated). For ERC-20 token needs, I recommend myetherwallet.com or MetaMask. If the token being offered does not run on the Ethereum network, you might need a different wallet and you should do your own research to find out what is required.
IMPORTANT: Always make sure you know how to backup your wallet and access your private key to prevent calamity in the event of a hardware failure.
- Ledger Nano S (this is what I use and I am extremely happy with it; know that you can only store about 4 different types of cryptos on this wallet at anyone time, although it is compatible with a vast amount of cryptos): https://www.ledgerwallet.com/products/ledger-nano-s (last accessed Jan. 9, 2018)
- Trezor: https://trezor.io/
- More information can be found on each respective cryptocurrency research page. For more info, click HERE to be redirected to the research lab