When it comes to your Bitcoin funds, it is always worth choosing a reliable and secure crypto wallet to store your private keys. While there are many different wallet options these days, it is cold storage wallets that can protect your keys most effectively.
So, what is a Bitcoin cold storage wallet and could it be right for you?
What is a cold storage wallet?
A cold storage wallet, also known as a hardware wallet, is a physical device. Hardware wallets are generally small, lightweight and have no Wi-Fi capabilities. This means they can store your private keys offline. But why is this so important?
Today, most cybercrime takes place online, through social media, email, malicious websites or similar. This means that many threat actors rely on an internet connection to carry out their illegal transactions. So the risk of remote hacks is very real when it comes to hot wallets (or software wallets). Since hot wallets often have a direct connection to the internet, your private keys can be exposed to cyber criminals.
So isolating your private keys in an offline environment makes them drastically more secure. This is why hardware wallets are seen as more secure than software wallets. While it is not impossible to hack into a cold storage wallet, it is very difficult to do so as the attacker needs physical access to the wallet device and any protective PINs or passphrases set by the owner, must bypass.
So with a cold storage wallet, you can keep your Bitcoin private keys safely isolated and cut them off from remote attacks. But what kind of Bitcoin cold storage wallet are out there on the market today?
Bitcoin Cold Storage Options
There are currently two main protagonists in the cold wallet game: Ledger and Trezor. These manufacturers each have two hardware wallet models that have become extremely popular among crypto owners.
While Ledger uses closed source software and a Secure Element chip, Trezor prefers open source software and therefore does not use a Secure Element chip. Ledger also uses a unique operating system known as BOLOS, which is designed to further protect your private data.
We have a piece comparing the Ledger Nano S and Trezor Model One if you want to learn more about these products.
But it doesn’t stop there. KeepKey, SecUX, and ColdCard are some additional Bitcoin cold storage options to consider if you’re not too keen on Ledger or Trezor’s products. In fact, ColdCard is specifically designed for the storage of Bitcoin private keys.
All of these wallets have slightly different features and functions, but they can all provide you with a safe, offline place to safely store your sensitive information.
Keep in mind that cold storage wallets are not free and can be a bit pricey at times. Every cold wallet has a different price, so don’t settle for a super expensive model before considering more affordable options.
Your Bitcoin private keys deserve the utmost security
Your private keys allow cybercriminals to transact and spend your money on your behalf. Therefore, it is critical that you consider a cold storage wallet when choosing a safe place for your Bitcoin private keys.
This way you can keep your private keys isolated from the internet and out of the hands of malicious actors.