Although the Crypto space has been here for over a decade, it’s still important to be informed about various decentralized apps and exchange platforms in blockchain technology. For example,when you go to the market,you need a secure place (that is not a bank) to properly store your money,e.g a purse or wallet.
To properly trade on the various exchange platforms with crypto, one needs to have a place of storage for crypto coins and tokens. This place of storage is called a crypto wallet.
A crypto wallet is software or hardware that allows you to store a cryptocurrency or token and ensures easy, fast, and secure transactions. A hardware (physical) crypto wallet is called a cold wallet(but it’s not really cold in reality,it’s kind of a cool name given to it). While a software crypto wallet is called a hot wallet,this also doesn’t mean that the wallet is hot in reality,it is just a generally accepted name given to it . It’s advisable to start with a hot wallet and then transition to a cold wallet when you’re ready. This is because of the technicalities and expenses involved in having a cold wallet. For now, we will talk about opening a hot wallet.
How To Open A Crypto Wallet
There are various crypto wallets to choose from such as Metamask, Trust Wallet, Coinbase wallet, and more. The examples above are the hot wallets that are well-known by the public and they are safe. After downloading your wallet you will see easy steps to open your wallet based on the particular wallet app you downloaded. Make sure you read through the procedures properly to ensure that you have a secured wallet.
A crypto wallet originally has two keys.
A Public Key
It links you to an address that allows you to send and receive transactions. This is well likened to a bank account number, everyone can see it and you can use it to send and receive tokens.
A Private Key
It indicates that you own the assets associated with your address. This is more like a BVN(Bank Verification Number), it uniquely identifies a person as the owner of a wallet.
A seed phrase: it is the 2-24 words that let you access your private key. A seed phrase is issued to you when you first create a crypto wallet. Each seed phrase is unique to each original wallet created. This also is more like a personalized password to gain access to your credentials.
For easy comprehension: if your wallet was your bank account, your public key will be your account number and your private key will be your password. Of course in Web3, your assets are on the blockchain.
With the information above you are all set to create a wallet, make sure you read thoroughly through every instruction to avoid any costly mistakes.
Security In The Crypto Wallet
The crypto world is a fascinating place to explore. Because of its increasing growth and scalability, there has been a massive improvement in blockchain technology. The hype around the Crypto world and decentralized ecosystem has attracted both good and bad operators. Therefore it is important to ensure one’s security when making transactions and carrying out operations on the blockchain network. As the saying goes, it is better safe than sorry.
When opening your crypto wallet, it is essential to protect your seed phrase and private keys. Without these two, your wallet would be lost or even stolen. And if this happens, you will permanently lose access to your assets. Trust me, nobody wants to be in this kind of situation, especially if you have a large amount of tokens or currencies in your wallet. Here are some simplified steps that help you add extra protection to your crypto wallet.
Easy steps to secure Your Wallet
- Save your private keys and seed phrase in a trusted and safe location. This location could be both offline and online. When storing offline, try remembering the site where your assets were stored, you could also write it down in a journal or disclosed book which is easily accessible to only you. If choosing to save your seed phrase and private keys online, use a password. Make sure your password is strong and easy to remember.
- DO NOT share your private keys or seed phrase with anyone. This is very important to remember, there will be occasions where you will be asked for your private key or seed phrase, remember that no competent trader will ask you for these information.
- Use a unique password for your wallet, and ensure top-notch security by turning on two-step verification.
- Create various wallets in your original wallet, dummy wallets can be used when you’re carrying out a transaction with an untrusted source. After the transaction, you can transfer your assets back to your original wallet. This is a very tactical step to follow, it saves you from future regret.
- Check the website URL, email address, or social handle before taking action. This is because there are a lot of scam websites out there that look like the original ones. There will always be a slight difference,this is why it is essential for you to know how the original website looks like.
- If you’re in a discord server and unsure of the safety of the server, turn off discord direct messages. Most times community leaders in authentic servers will inform you that they won’t send you a person message asking for private information.
- Don’t interact with unknown assets in your wallet.
Examples of Crypto Scams
Fake customer support: for example, if you receive a message stating that your trust wallet or Coinbase wallet account has been blocked, remember to always verify the website URL, email address, and social handle first. No reputable platform will ask for your private key or seed phrase.
Fake Token or NFT Drops (Airdrops ): “you were given a free NFT for your loyalty to the community”, or “you have $100 in pkswap.io in your wallet”, etc. Don’t interact with an anonymous cryptocurrency or NFT in your wallet, Google forms that ask for seed phrases, and fake cold wallet (physical wallet).
Other forms of crypto spam include:
- Phishing scam
- Man in the middle attack
These scams have to do with password and seed phrases
The following information and examples above makes securing your crypto Wallet and assets easy to understand and follow.