What is a crypto wallet?
Crypto for Beginners
Cryptocurrency wallets are similar to the programs you'd find on your phone or computer. You can also buy a physical device that runs a wallet software if you want the tactile feel of holding a wallet. Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the first cryptocurrency wallet when he first disclosed the bitcoin protocol in 2009. Although Bitcoin is the most frequently used cryptocurrency, others based on the blockchain technology have arisen, and any of them can be held in a cryptocurrency wallet. Multiple cryptocurrencies can be stored in a single wallet.
You direct the sender to a unique cryptographic address issued by the wallet when you want to acquire cryptocurrency, whether by purchasing it on a currency exchange or getting it as a gift or as revenue. Your cryptocurrency may appear to be saved on the wallet in the same way that files are on a USB drive, but the information on the wallet just points to your cash's location on the blockchain, which is a public ledger that records and authenticates all cryptocurrency transactions. Scanning a retailer's QR code or sending a certain number of crypto coins to the retailer's public address are also straightforward ways to spend with the wallet.
Crypto wallets keep your private keys, and they come in many forms – from physical appearance which could be USB to an application on mobile phone. We know:
- Paper wallets: private keys are written on a piece of a paper, and they are stored in a safe place, away from other people’s reach.
- Hardware wallets: private keys are stored on a device, which will be connected to PC only when you want to use crypto. These devices can be USB, external hard disk, etc.
Online wallets: private keys are stored in an application or software, to which you can access through your mobile phone or computer.