You Might also like
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: 1,052
By Zach — 3 years ago
Nordstrom and Whole Foods to accept cryptocurrency payments directly. It has come. The first big announcement coming from Consensus this week in New York, and it’s a big one. One of the newest payment processors called Flexa has launched and is partnered with Gemini, which is a large bitcoin exchange based out of New York and is underpinned by it’s own ERC-20 token called Flexacoin.
How does it work? You pay for your items using Flexa’s app, Spedn, which generates a QR code that you scan at the checkout register. The merchant receives immediate payment in dollars, and the equivalent amount of cryptocurrency is debited from your cryptocurrency wallet in the Spedn app.
Whole Foods, which is owned by the e-commerce behemoth, is now accepting bitcoin as a payment method. The mind-blowing development was made possible thanks to a deal between payments startup Flexa and Gemini, the latter of which is the crypto exchange launched by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss.
Users only need to download an app dubbed Spedn and can make everyday purchases using cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ether, Bitcoin Cash, and Gemini Dollar (GUSD). Considering that GUSD is the stablecoin of the Winklevoss’ Gemini exchange, it’s not surprising that it’s being supported as well. GUSD should will introduce some stability into crypto payments given its peg to the U.S. dollar and the volatile nature of the bitcoin price. As crypto investors have come to expect, there are no hidden fees or markups, so consumers will be incentivized to use the app.
Everyone knows that Nordstrom and Whole Foods customers are already “being green” given that the grocery no longer uses plastic bags. Wait till shoppers outside of the crypto community learn about bitcoin.
AMAZON’S MARKETPLACE COULD BE NEXT
Earlier this week, it was rumored that Amazon’s competitor eBay would stop using paypal and start accepting crypto payment directly on the site, and will facilitate payouts to sellers via that method as well. This is a key move as this is a large eCommerce retailer that does millions of transactions each month have found a way to implement a safer, faster, and cheaper payment system.
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss have been mum about this secret but now that it’s out of the bag, there’s nothing stopping wide-scale adoption of bitcoin.
The Flexa/Gemini/retailer partnerships are really a reflection of the best of both worlds. The technology builds on existing payments infrastructure that’s used to accept digital payments such as Apple Pay, for instance. All the retailers must do is tweak their scanners to identify payments from the Spedn app. Customers are already familiar with tap-and-go with their mobile device, so there’s nothing new for them to do. There are no additional hoops for the cashier to jump through that might slow down the line. As for the merchant, they can either accept to take the payment in crypto or convert it into fiat money.
For the crypto ecosystem, the announcement is what everyone has been waiting for. It means that if Whole Foods can accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, theoretically Amazon’s entire marketplace can integrate the infrastructure to do the same, seemingly with Flexa. In the U.S., Amazon Prime customers reportedly dole out an average of $1,300 per year on the e-commerce marketplace vs. $700 for non-members.
In addition to Whole Foods, the initiative extends to other merchants including Crate and Barrel and high-end retailer Nordstrom. The Flexa network is comprised of more than 30,000 stores and finally thrusting crypto into the spotlight for micro-purchases such as a cup of coffee, pizza, or electronics.
WHY THIS IS GOOD AND BAD
This will require people becoming aware of this change. This is amazing news, but there is always a learning curve when people start to adopt a new method of payment. People have been using only cash and credit card essentially for the last 60 years and it will take a an older generation and a newer generation to find ways to change their spending habits. That is the Bad.
Here is the good. With new innovation, comes new possibilities. Why would merchants want to start accepting crypto? First off, there are no chargebacks. It was reported that merchants can be charged upwards of $300 per chargeback when accepting credit cards. With cryptocurrency, the charges are irreversible. That’s not to say that you will not be dealing with customer service and/or returns in your business, but this is a HUGE advantage for no longer having to deal with credit card disputes.
Additionally, the fees to accept credit cards are typically anywhere from 2-5% per transaction, plus a $0.39 cent fee each time you accept a credit card. That’s absurd. As more and more awareness of this alternative, mixed with consumer confidence and adoption of spending cryptocurrencies on a consistent basis, the credit card companies and banks will hopefully soon be a thing of the past. Soon, it will almost be as antiquated as paying with a check.
THERE IS STILL A BETTER ALTERNATIVE TO THIS!
What if you could EARN cryptocurrency by shopping at these stores already? You can. I recently wrote an article on the new Life Info App that allows you to connect your bank account or credit card and use a shopping app that essentially allows you to create an instant electronic gift card, and save anywhere from 2-10% off on any purchase you make at thousands of retailers (including Nordstrom and Whole Foods).
How does this work? When you download the free app, you can use online or in person purchases on thousands of stores and brands and save on each purchase. The money that you save on each transaction is accumulated in the wallet and can be converted directly into Bitcoin! You can also convert it into several other altcoins that are supported by Coinbase as that is how you convert your savings directly.
This is a GREAT way to dip your toe into the cryptocurrency world, WHILE saving money at these stores you are already spending money at anyways, you may as well get free Bitcoin to do so.
If you refer to my review link I mentioned above, there are some demo videos that explain the entire process and it’s super easy to use. To me, this is a great bridge to get people familiar with the process. Additionally, you can then send your newly acquired bitcoin to the Spedn app, if you so choose. Please use my link here to get your free download and check it out.
All in all, this is very positive news for the cryptocurrency world, and this is a large first step in bringing the utility of cryptocurrency into the real world and offering people a BETTER alternative to our failed legacy financial system. Any tool that helps people transition from the inflationary dollar to the sound hard money of bitcoin, is something I support. The easier it becomes and the lower the barrier to entry is, we will begin to see MASSIVE droves of people start to transition from fiat to crypto.
What do you think? Is there a better way for us to start gaining mass adoption and utility for crypto payments? Let me know in the comments below!
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: 583