Security in the modern digital era is becoming a topic that is laced throughout the conversation on cryptocurrency. As the industry continues to tokenize real world assets and give digital intangible currency value, the questions surrounding digital security as becoming extremely relevant to tomorrows investors. Should you invest, where do you keep all your assets? An Ethereum wallet is certainly an option. RealT lends explanation on the topic:
What Is An Ethereum Wallet?
Cryptocurrency wallets are how users interact with their funds. Wallets are similar to an account with a bank, but with very important differences. Like a bank account, they can receive and send funds and assets that they have inside them. Unlike a bank account, if you lose access to your account, it is gone permanently, along with all the assets inside. There is no central authority to go to, to regain access to your wallet. While self-management of your funds can be liberating, it also comes with the increased responsibility of proper private key management.
A cryptocurrency wallet is two things:
A public address: This is the address that you send funds to.
A private key: This is the secret password that has control over the funds inside a public address.
Think of these things as a mailbox, and a key. You can share the address to the mailbox as freely as you like; anyone can come and drop anything off inside of it. The key is for you, and you alone. Whoever has the key can open the mailbox.
All RealTokens are inside Ethereum wallets. Users who are beginners to cryptocurrency and digital assets may want to keep their purchased RealTokens inside of the wallet that the RealT website generated for them. Those who are ready to take custody of their RealTokens themselves, need an Ethereum wallet they control.
Software exists where you can keep a digital wallet and all its assets accessible as long as you have access to the web and a browser with the right program installed. If having all your assets on the web makes you feel uncomfortable, make it tangible with a USB key. Learn more below:
MetaMask is a browser extension that manages your private keys for you. MetaMask is great for beginners who only hold a small amount of funds and assets. MetaMask makes it very easy for users to send and receive assets, and it is also well-integrated into other Ethereum applications. MetaMask is one of the most-used wallets in the Ethereum world.
MetaMask is considered a ‘hot-wallet’, as it stores private keys on a device that is also connected to the internet. Users who plan on storing large amounts of value and assets inside their wallet may want to consider a wallet-management system that does not have internet-exposed private keys.
Hardware wallets are small devices that look like a USB-stick. Hardware wallets are great for keeping a private key off internet-exposed devices, like your computer, but still allow you to make transactions. Hardware wallets work by keeping your private key inside it, without letting the information about the private key move to the computer. The private key is totally enclosed inside the hardware wallet, and cannot get out. They connect to your computer via a usb-cable, and allow you to make transactions by verifying it on the device.
Hardware wallets are more cumbersome than a MetaMask wallet, but come with increased security around your funds. Applications like MetaMask, MyEtherWallet, or MyCrypto make it easy to use your hardware wallet, by making an easy-to-use interface for your hardware wallet.
The most common hardware wallets are:
Mobile wallets are great for users who want to have full-control with the smartphone. The world of mobile wallets is progressing at lightning pace. New innovations keep coming out each wallet faster than articles can keep up with. Mobile Wallets are great for users who use their phone for financial applications, but also have drawbacks due to their rigidity.
Common mobile wallets are: