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By Zach — 3 years ago
In this article, I am going to dive into hot wallets vs. cold wallets – which one should I use? This is an interesting topic, and in fact, it was one of the first topics I started researching when I first discovered cryptocurrency and ultimately inspired me to create this website. As you can see, I have a bias towards cold storage wallets, but what exactly is the difference? I am going to discuss below what the pros and cons of a hot wallets vs cold wallets are and in what scenario you would need to use both. As cryptocurrency payments become ubiquitous, it’s important for your own safety and best security practices in managing your wallets and private keys on an on-going basis. Let’s begin.
WHAT IS A HOT WALLET?
In short, a “hot wallet” is a digital wallet for your cryptocurrency that is connected or is easily connected to the internet. This provides a lot of convenience for making day to day purchases as most active hot wallets are either on your smart phone or also on a desktop wallet on your computer for easy access for making online purchases. I always use the comparison of using your hot wallet like you would for a wallet in your back pocket that holds your credit cards, ID, and fiat. By a general rule of thumb, you should never hold more money on your hot wallet than you would normally keep in your leather physical wallet on a regular basis. Most people never keep any more than a couple hundred dollars in there at any given time, which is smart. The same applies to a hot wallet.
These wallets are designed for your average day to day spending. This could be at your local merchant down the street, or even if you’re browsing online at and trying to purchase gift cards at a site like bitrefill.com. This is done typically by scanning the screen’s QR code with your smartphone via your own wallet to make a quick transaction and simple transaction or even buy something off Amazon (like millions do everyday), but by using Purse.io, which is a platform that is built on top of amazon but accepts multiple cryptocurrencies as payment, and at a steep discount. Click this link to get some free BTC if you want to get started. Most purchase discounts range anywhere from 15-33% off anything at Amazon through this site.
These are just a few examples of how/when you would use your hot wallet for a simple transaction. You can also pre-load Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) on Bitpay’s visa debit card. I will link my video review of this from Youtube HERE.
WHAT IS A COLD WALLET?
A “cold wallet” is also a digital (or sometimes physical, in the form of a hardware wallet) wallet that is kept completely offline. Why? Because any funds that are kept offline cannot be hacked or tampered with. You can think of this as virtual bank vault, that is very secure, hard to access, and is designed to store your larger amounts of crypto and primarily your longer term holdings. There are many advantages to having these wallets, and even safer to implement Multi-Sig wallets. It is also recommended to diversify your holdings between multiple hardware wallets when you start to accumulate a vast sum of crypto.
I have a soft spot specifically for hardware wallets as I’ve actually designed and built one for a prominent cryptocurrency company (although due to an NDA, I cannot discuss it yet). But the reason I think it’s important is because using and owning this kind of device is like putting up a nice big middle finger to the big banks and over-reaching governments that tend to control our money supply and bank accounts whenever they see fit. No “authority” should have that kind of power. Hardware wallets are symbolic of sovereignty and self-reliance. That is why literally “becoming your own bank” is so important. One of my favorite quotes in this space is “Whoever controls the people’s means of exchange, controls the people”. This is scary, but very true. When you use cryptocurrency, you are taking personal control and responsibility of your finances, and that is SO empowering. Just writing about it send chills down my spine, but I digress.
If you are new to hardware wallets, I recommend getting a Keepkey device for beginners. Why? I have been testing their closed beta of their new platform and it is by far the easiest and most user friendly hardware wallet platform I have used (and I’ve used almost every one of them). I think I could teach my grandma how to use it, and that’s saying something. The current platform works fine, but the future platform is very exciting and if you are brand new, you will be pleasantly surprised. I will be writing a review on this platform shortly and I will update this post with a link as soon as I do, so stay tuned.
WHY WOULD I NEED EITHER ONE?
As you can see from the examples of use cases listed above, it is important to protect your cryptocurrency and make it useful and convenient when you need it. But it’s even more important to protect it and secure it when it’s required. As the user adoption begins to snow ball, it’s crucial for everyone to understand that they will need both a hot and cold wallet for their various uses. You can even make transactions online with your hardware wallet connected via USB for even more protection. Most hardware wallets never expose their private keys to the internet when making the transactions by design. This is super helpful because you want to ensure that from every point in a given transaction, you do not want your private keys to be exposed in transit and potentially have your keys copied by a 3rd party before it reaches the intended destination.
Having said that, most digital wallets on your smart phone are typically secure enough for day to day spending and you shouldn’t be too concerned, so long as you have a trusted wallet for your phone. The top 3 I use on a regular basis is Bitpay, Jaxx, and Blockchain. These are all non-custodial wallets and have security features built in and can have 2FA or (two-factor authentication) enabled to confirm each transaction and will include Touch ID and Face ID, if you enable it.
I already recommended my top hardware wallet for beginners in the previous section, but any of the wallets that I offer through this website, are all trusted and good to use, it just depends on your needs and wants out of a secure air-gapped device.
Please sound off below! What hot and cold wallets do you like? Do you have any other wallets you can recommend not listed above? Let me know in the comments!
The Crypto Renegade
NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links. This adds no cost to you but it helps me focus on giving as much value as possible in every single post by being compensated for recommending products that help people succeed.Post Views: 1,079
By Zach — 3 years ago
SafePal vs BC VAULT! In this comparison, we are going to do a head-to-head of two of the most competitive and popular new cryptocurrency hardware wallets in this edition of the hardware wallet roundups.
I am going to dive into which of these hardware wallets is better and more secure. How big is your portfolio? Do you need mobile AND desktop support? Do you use any 3rd party wallets for integration? Do you need web-based access instead of a required download?
These are all questions you will need to consider when deciding which of these wallets will be best for you. At the end of the day, the coin support is one of the most important factors (besides security) when deciding which hardware wallet is best for you.
Ultimately, if it doesn’t support the coins you want to store offline, it won’t work for your particular situation. So keep that in mind as we dive into what I consider to be the most important factors when making such an important decision, such as choosing a cryptocurrency hardware wallet.
BC VAULT: Overview
Unlike most other popular cryptocurrency hardware wallets, like Ledger Nano X and Trezor Model T, you do not set up a recovery seed card before you initialize the device. In fact, there is a gyro sensor for you to randomly generate private keys by physically shaking the device (seriously).
You can also hold more than 2000 unique wallets within the web app, and can granularly set specific passwords for each one and setup multiple PIN’s to not only make it more secure, but also allows for an easy way to share the device and use Multi-Sig. In fact, this is the first device that natively allows you to use Multi-Sig on a per wallet basis and set multiple PIN’s.
This wallet does not use HD wallets, so each wallet has its own unique backup. This does make it more secure, however, if you lose or forget the global PIN and global password for the device, your funds are locked inside forever. They do have an encrypted QR code backup for each individual wallet, or you can create a backup on the included micro SD card that comes in the box.
BC VAULT: Security
The storage is reliable. The BC Vault’s private keys have complete encryption and they are stored in the FRAM device. The FRAM is fully tamper-resistant and thanks to the reversible USB 3.0 Type-C connector any damage occurring from mechanical error is fully prevented.
In addition to the secure FeRAM that is securely encrypted, and the large display which is useful when confirming transactions, you have peace of mind not having to worry about anyone locating or using a recovery seed phrase to render your funds useless.
You can also import any private keys you have elsewhere via the SD card as well, so you can easily interchange private keys from other wallets if you have them in the correct format.
BC VAULT: User Experience (UX)
This wallet has some pretty unique features I will admit, and it’s pretty refreshing. For example, you can use multiple cryptocurrencies at once. There are no “apps” you need to install or fear or worry of running out of space that most wallets have when upgrading the firmware.
Additionally, the amount of coins and wallets that can be used/stored simultaneously is astounding. As mentioned above, you can have up to 2000 unique wallets and can interchange multiple cryptos in multiple wallets.
BC VAULT: Coin Support
This is usually one of the most important factors when deciding on a hardware wallet (with the exception of security). If the wallet doesn’t currently support the coins you need to store offline, you can’t really take it too seriously as a deciding factor for purchase. Regardless of whether or not they claim to add more coins in the future.
Needless to say, they have some unique choices for coin support HERE.
This device was originally created by Binance Labs division and wanted to have a unique approach to a hardware wallet that was cheap enough for the average user, but also supported the Binance chain and added support for their internal projects. This really is a unique entry level hardware wallet, that greatly differs in terms of design, functionality, and overall user experience.
This can be considered one of the most attractive features of the device as it’s only $39.99 for this hardware wallet. Yes, you read that right. But why is it so cheap? Well, even though it looks like a very sleek and expensive device, its is made of plastic coating and a very small camera module that is used to transact at a very low resolution.l It’s obvious that they built this as cheaply as they could, while still remaining secure.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, but you also get what you pay for. One of the key features that sets this device apart from most other competing hardware wallets is the fact that there is NO:
- EXTERNAL DEVICE CONNECTIONS
This gives it extra security, but it also makes it easier to use, as there are no extra devices necessary for this to operate, other than your smartphone. All you need right out of the box is a charger that supports USB-A to charge the device and a smartphone to download the Safepal App to setup and initialize the device.
SafePal: User Experience (UX)
This is the cheapest completely wireless hardware wallet on the market. It interacts only with your smartphone and the camera embedded into the device that allows you to transmit encrypted data via the QR code. This is truly a unique device.
This is a pretty solid introductory hardware wallet. It’s unique from it’s direct competitors and its simple and easy to use. As mentioned above, it has no connection weaknesses and cannot be hacked by any radio frequency or directly connected internet device. It’s truly a unique wireless hardware wallet that can be used on the go and is one of only a few hardware wallets that are “truly wireless” with no dependence on other devices. Oh, and did I mentioned it’s under $40?
SafePal: Coin Support
This is the one weak point of this product is the lack of coin support, as it only supports: Bitcoin, Ether (and ERC-20 Tokens), BNB, Litecoin, Dash, and Bitcoin Cash. However, they have mentioned that there is Ripple (XRP) and Tron (TRX) coming very shortly. They truly are attempting to add more coins, and over time, if they don’t raise their price, this option will be a slam dunk for most users.
Additionally, I will add that the Binance Chain Coins (BEP2) tokens are also supported as this is a Binance hardware wallet after all. Below Is a full list of coins currently supported.
SafePal vs BC VAULT: Conclusion
Overall, these are two very unique wallets at two ends of the spectrum in terms of quality, price, and overall usability. On the one hand, the SafePal is an entry level device which you can get for under $40 and is completely air-gapped and wireless. It doesn’t hold that many coins yet, but it will slowly add more coin support over time.
The BC VAULT is more of an advanced user wallet, that not only supports multiple wallets, but can securely share wallets with multi-sig and also securely share it among family and friends. This is a very robust wallet offering and the easiest one to use with multi-sig, which is inherently more secure.
You can’t really go wrong with either of these wallets, but I would have to say the BC VAULT is going to be my choice here. It holds hundreds of more coins and have a very easy to use UI. Yes, this is NOT a wireless device, but its robust security features and vast coin support easily make up for its usability factor. I absolutely feel that this device is going to allow me to securely store all of my private keys offline, especially with shared wallets.
What do you think? Would you choose the BC VAULT over the D’CENT Wallet? Let us know down below in the comments!
The Crypto Renegade
NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links. This adds no cost to you but it helps me focus on giving as much value as possible in every single post by being compensated for recommending products that help people succeed.Post Views: 779