Before I go any further, I want you to think about how you store your real-world cash. You don’t walk about holding it in your hands, do you? Instead you most probably store it a leather wallet or purse, or maybe even a piggy bank! Either way, it is wise to store your money where it is safe. A cryptocurrency wallet follows the same core principles. Nevertheless, by obtaining a crypto wallet, you will have the ability to send and receive Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (there are now more than 1,500!). So, now that you have a basic understanding of what a cryptocurrency wallet is used for, I’ll explain in more depth how it works. How Does a Cryptocurrency Wallet Work?
In the above section, I used the example of a real-world leather wallet, insofar that the wallet physically stores your cash. However, things are slightly different in the digital world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Coins are not actually stored in a physical wallet, as cryptocurrencies do not exist in a physical form. Instead, the blockchain consists of transactional records that details which private and public key has control over the funds. To make sure you have a full understanding, I will quickly explain the role of a wallet address, as well as a private and public key, as they are all related. A wallet address is like a bank account number. There is no harm in giving somebody else your bank account number, as people will need it if they are to transfer you funds. This could be so your employer can pay you your salary, so a customer can pay your invoice or so that your friends and family can send you some birthday money! In the world of cryptocurrency, if somebody wants to transfer you coins, you simply give them your wallet address. Just like in the real-world, no two wallet addresses are ever the same, which means that there is no chance that somebody else would get your funds. Also, there is no limit to the amount of wallet addresses you can create. To give you an example of what a Bitcoin address looks like, here is the wallet address that is believed to belong to the creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto! 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa As you can see, it uses a combination of numbers and letters, using both upper case and lower case. As most blockchains are transparent, it is easy to find out how much money a certain cryptocurrency wallet has, as well as the transactions the owner has previously made. However, a cryptocurrency wallet address does not reveal the real-world identity of its owner, which is why the blockchain is referred to as “pseudonymous”.
How Do Private and Public Keys Relate to a Wallet Address?
So, now that you know that a wallet address is very similar to a bank account number, I am now going to explain how you are given control of the funds. People often think that a public key is the same as a public wallet address, however, this is not correct. Essentially, each individual cryptocurrency wallet address (remember, no two addresses can be the same) each have a unique private and public key. The private key allows you to access the funds that are related to the crypto wallet address. To give you a real-world example, when you want to transfer money from your bank account to somebody else’s bank account, you will need to enter your private password. Nobody else has access to this password, not even the bank. Otherwise, if somebody knew what it was, they would be able to send money from your bank account! A private key does the exact same job and it is linked specifically to the individual crypto wallet address. So what about a public key? A public key is mathematically linked to your wallet address! However, it is a “hashed version”, which I will explain below. A hash function allows a sequence of letters and/or numbers (called an “input”) to be encrypted into a new set of letters and/or numbers (called an “output”). This adds an extra layer of security and ensures that your wallet cannot be hacked. Here is a quick example to make things simple. Private Key: 03bf350d2821375158a608b51e3e898e507fe47f2d2e8c774de4a9a7edecf74eda Public Key: 99b1ebcfc11a13df5161aba8160460fe1601d541 Now, I know what you are thinking: these two sets of keys are completely different? To the human eye, yes, however the software technology knows that they two keys are specifically linked to each other! That proves that you are the owner of the coins and it allows you to transfer funds whenever you want! The important thing to remember is that everything I have explained here is very technical. However, when you use a cryptocurrency wallet, the software does everything for you. It’s like using the internet to send an email! You don’t actually need to understand the technology that runs in the background, the likes of Gmail and Hotmail does everything for you regarding emails – just like a cryptocurrency wallet does regarding crypto transactions! But You Said the Coins Aren’t Actually Stored in Crypto Wallets?
If you have read my guide so far, you should now have a good understanding of what a cryptocurrency wallet is and how public and private keys are linked to a public wallet address. However, you might remember earlier that I said the coins aren’t actually physically stored in the wallet? That’s true! Let me clear things up. As Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not physical money, they are digitally stored on the blockchain. The blockchain is like a giant accounting ledger that stores every single transaction that has ever occurred in the system, as well as the total account balances of each public address. The software within the cryptocurrency wallet is connected directly to the blockchain, so it allows you to submit transactions to the ledger. However, the crypto wallet is the protocol that generates your public and private keys. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to access your funds in the real-world. To get a better understanding of this relationship, think about walking in to a store and paying for goods using a debit or credit card. There is no physical exchange of money between you and the store. However, by entering your private pin number, you verify that you own the funds and so they can move the funds from your account to the account of the store. This is the same as a cryptocurrency wallet. By entering your private key, you verify that you own the coins and then you can transfer them to someone else. That is the only way that the coins can move from person A to person B. So, now that you know the function of a cryptocurrency wallet, let’s take a look at the different types available! What Are the Different Types of Cryptocurrency Wallets?
There are lots of different wallet types available and the one you choose will depend on your personal needs. Essentially, different wallets offer different things, such as extra security, user-friendliness or convenience. I will now list the most popular types of cryptocurrency wallets.
Desktop wallets are to be downloaded to a specific laptop or computer and they can only be accessed from that particular device. Generally speaking, they offer a good combination between security and convenience. However, it is important to remember that if a hacker were able to remotely get hold of your device, they could gain access to your wallet.
A mobile wallet is very similar to a desktop wallet as the wallet is downloaded directly to your device. You normally access your cryptocurrency wallet by downloading a mobile app, which also allows you to spend your coins in a physical store by scanning a QR code.
Web or Online Wallet
A web wallet offers the greatest level of convenience when sending coins to another person, however, they are also the least secure. This is because the wallet provider usually has full control over it. An example of this would be storing coins in a cryptocurrency exchange. The exchange will store your coins on their central server, which means that if it hacked, the criminal could have access to all of your funds. It is best advised to only keep a small amount of coins in a web crypto wallets.
Paper wallets are one of the most underrated crypto wallets available. All you need to do is to print your private and public keys onto a piece of paper — and that’s it, your funds are secure! This is because the keys are not connected to any servers, meaning the only way somebody could access them is if they had the physical paper! When you need to transfer funds, you simply enter the keys into a software or web wallet, or even easier, just scan the QR code that you printed!
In terms of security, it doesn’t get any better than a hardware wallet. This is a physical device that has the sole purpose of storing your private and public crypto keys within the hardware. The device is never connected to the internet, unless you need to transfer funds. However, you enter your private pin directly on to the device, making it virtually impossible for a hacker to access your keys.
Are Cryptocurrency Wallets Secure?
So, now that you know the different wallet types, along with their levels of convenience, I am now going to talk about how secure they are. Generally speaking, no matter which wallet you use, if somebody has access to your private key, then they have access to your funds. However, the key question is what safeguards are in place to prevent it from happening? Any cryptocurrency wallet that has a relationship with the internet (e.g. a desktop, mobile or web wallet) will always be vulnerable. Although abusive hackers are unethical people, they can be very intelligent. They are always creating new ways to access other people’s data, which is why you need to make sure you do everything you can to protect your private key. Here are some examples of how a hacker could access your funds that are stored alongside an internet connection.
Remote access to your device
There are a number of things that you can do to protect yourself from the above threats. Firstly, you should always make sure your device is using the latest software. As hackers find new methods, they are able to override the inbuilt safety controls, so by updating your software, you will always have the highest level of security. It is also a good idea to set up extra layers of security. There are many crypto wallets that allow you to set up two-factor authentication, which means that to access it you need to confirm a code that is send to your mobile phone. It is also a good idea to consider a wallet that allows multi-signatures. Basically, a multi-signature wallet means that to send funds, the user must authenticate the transaction using two or more separate devices. This way, if one of your devices is lost, stolen or hacked, the criminal won’t be able to access your cryptocurrency, as they would need the other device(s) too! Finally, it is also recommended to back up your wallet on regular occasions. This allows you to write down a backup password phrase, so that if anything happened to your wallet, you could still regain access. By making sure you follow all of the above security measures, you will ensure that your cryptocurrency wallet is safe and secure against hackers!
Can I Store All of My Cryptocurrencies in the Same Wallet?
This is the golden question — with the answer being sometimes, as it depends on the specific coins you are holding! For example, if you are holding Bitcoin only, you just need to find a wallet that is compatible with Bitcoin. However, what if you are holding Bitcoin and Litecoin? Although they each have their own blockchain, it is possible to use a multi-currency wallet. These crypto wallets allow you to store different cryptocurrencies within the same wallet, which is much easier than having to use a different wallet for each coin. However, it all depends on what the wallet can support. Interestingly, most tokens that are available were built on top of the Ethereum blockchain – meaning that they are “ERC-20” compatible. So, if you have lots of ERC-20 tokens, then they can sometimes all be stored within the same multi-currency wallet! Other coins are not as flexible though, so always check with the wallet provider before you attempt to transfer funds across, as if the coin is not compatible you will lose them forever!
Is it True that Cryptocurrency Wallets are Anonymous?
If you have read my guide up to this point, you might remember how I mentioned that the blockchain protocol is pseudonymous, not anonymous. This means that although your wallet address does not contain your name, people still have access to lots of other information. This includes all of the previous transactions that the particular wallet address has made (both sent and received), including the amount and the other addresses involved in the transaction. In reality, this isn’t really an issue, as unless you give somebody your real-world identity, it would be very difficult for someone to know who owns the address. Just remember, governments now regulate cryptocurrency exchanges, which means that if you want to buy coins using real-world money, then you need to identify yourself by submitting documents. This means that even once you have withdrawn your funds to your wallet, the exchange will know that your identity is linked to the wallet you sent them to.
Which Cryptocurrency Wallet is the Best?
I am hoping that you now have a very good understanding of what a cryptocurrency wallet, how the technology works and the different types available. You should also have a good idea of how to protect your wallet from hackers, as well as what information you reveal or don’t reveal when you use it. The final part of my guide is going to talk about some of the best cryptocurrency wallets available. Unfortunately, as there are now hundreds of different providers, I can’t review them all. Instead, I will recommend four of the most popular!
Exodus is a multi-currency desktop wallet that allows you to store lots of different coins, such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Dash, as well as various ERC-20 tokens. One of the best features of Exodus (other than it being free) is that it is really user-friendly. When you log in, you can view you entire cryptocurrency portfolio on a visual pie chart, which also lets you know the current market value of each coin.
The wallet provider never has access to your private keys, nor are they connected to the Exodus servers. For even more convenience, Exodus even has a ShapeShift API built in, which allows you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies within the wallet. Bread Wallet
If you are looking to store your Bitcoin on your mobile phone, look no further than the Bread Wallet! The developers claim that the wallet offers “Nerd-level security”, as the wallet is connected directly to the Bitcoin blockchain. The user interface is really clean, making it perfect for beginners. Bread also has a really cool feature that allows you to scan the QR code of the wallet address you want to send funds to, which also allows you to spend Bitcoin in a real-world store! Unfortunately, Bitcoin is the only coin the wallet supports, however don’t forget, it’s completely free!
Ledger Nano S
For the ultimate layer of security, it doesn’t get any better than a hardware wallet, such as Ledger Nano S. You will receive a physical device that allows you to store a range of cryptocurrencies offline.
More and more cryptocurrencies are being added all the time, however, to check which coins they support. When you want to send coins to someone, you simply need to plug the wallet into your device (such as a laptop) and then enter your private pin number. If the wallet is lost or stolen, you can recover your coins by entering your backup passphrase on another device! You will need to pay about 90 Euros for the Ledger Nano S, however, if you have a large amount of coins, it is well worth the investment. Only ever buy it from the official Ledger Nano S website.
Jaxx is also one the most popular multi-currency wallets and it is available for download on most desktop and mobile devices. For extra convenience, you can also access your wallet through a Google or Firefox browser extension, making it great if you need to send funds on the go.
The Jaxx developers never hold your private keys, as these are only stored on your device. Moreover, just like Exodus, there is a built-in ShapeShift API that lets you easily trade/swap coins directly from your wallet!
I hope you have enjoyed my complete guide on cryptocurrency wallets! If you have read it from start to finish, you should now have a really good understanding of what a wallet is, how the technology works and what it can be used for. You should also have a good idea of the different types of wallets available on the market. As you now know, different wallet types suit different needs. I store the majority of my coins in a hardware wallet, however, I also keep a small number of funds in a mobile wallet so that I can access funds when I am travelling! Which wallets have you used before, or are you yet to set one up? The main thing is that you keep your funds safe by following the security measures that I mentioned earlier. I would also like to know what your favourite wallet is. Do you have any suggestions that didn’t make my list? If so, let me know! Link: https://cointelegraph.com
Global Equity Markets: Mixed outlook keeps investors confused
Strong earnings reports were supportive of U.S. equities as Amazon saw revenue rise at its highest growth rate in more than six years, while net income doubled. Its stock jumped to a new record high on the news. Other tech leaders such as Microsoft and Intel reported strong earnings, but their stocks backed off following initial breakouts to new record highs. The S&P 500 however ended flat, down by only 0.01% for the week.
Rising interest rates remain a concern globally as U.S. Treasury 10-year yields briefly nudged above 3.0% on Wednesday, a key level watched by many market participants, before ending the week at 2.96%. Meanwhile, inflation pressure remains with the U.S. Labor Department reporting that wages and salaries rose at their fastest pace in 11 years.
U.K’s FTSE was the top performer, up 1.82%, for its fifth consecutive week of gains and highest weekly close since late-January.
The historic summit between North and South Korean leaders eased geopolitical tensions, but there is further progress to be made, and markets will be watching new developments closely. Japan’s Nikkei Index advanced by 1.38% to end at its highest weekly close in 12 weeks.
Chinese stocks are expected to underperform due to the threat of expanding U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods. Trade talks between the two countries continue next week in Beijing. China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.35% for the week while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped by 0.45%.
India’s BSE 30 Sensex: Equities could soon run out of steam
Since hitting a low of 32,483.03 six weeks ago, the Sensex has been able to rally as much as 7.95% as of last week’s high of 35,065.37. Momentum picked up a month ago as the index broke out of a bullish falling wedge pattern as it is coming off support of the 200-day moving average (brown line).
Last week’s 1.61% gain included the completion of a 61.8% Fibonacci retracement at 34,931.21, and the index remains strong. This would seem to support the idea that the index can keep rising at least to the next potential resistance zone. That price zone, which is identified with a red oval on the enclosed chart, is seen as the bottom of the lower rising trend line and the completion of the 78.5% Fibonacci level, which is at 35,596.51.
U.K.’s FTSE 100: strong but heading into resistance
The FTSE also broke out of a bullish falling wedge a month ago and has been rapidly rising ever since, in addition to closing strong each week. It’s come up 9.32% as of last week’s 7,507.10 high. Last week the FTSE topped its competitors with a 1.82% gain as it reached and exceeded the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level (7,439.0) and ended the week back above its long-term uptrend line for the first time in 12 weeks. In addition, the FTSE is back above its 200-day moving average (brown line).
At the same time, the index now faces a resistance zone going up to the 78.6% Fibonacci retracement level at 7,594.5. That potential resistance zone is around prior multi-month resistance from 2017 and where two rising trend lines converge.
Cryptocurrencies: Performance mixed as retracements set in
The performance in the eight cryptocurrencies shown in the accompanying table was mixed last week, with Bitcoin Cash leading the way, up 18.2%, and Ripple taking up the backside, with a 12.9% decline. Overall though, digital currencies continue to recover and are in the early stages of potential uptrends since rallying off bottoms from four weeks ago. Further signs of strength are needed over the coming weeks as the trend structure organizes and pullbacks get completed.
Breakouts above falling trend lines have occurred in most of the eight cryptos we look at, and some have also risen above their 200-day simple moving average lines. Each is a sign of strength. When the next wave of buying comes those that are above their 200-day lines may move faster and further to the upside as they are showing relative strength in regards to the 200-day. The following digital currencies are above their 200-day lines: Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, IOTA, Monero, and Ripple.
Keep in mind that once breaking through a clear resistance zone (trend line, for example) markets will eventually retrace the prior advance to some degree before the trend is ready to proceed. So far, the retracements of the recent strong advance have been mild. This means there could easily be further and deeper retracements before the uptrends are ready to resume. It would be healthy and normal for this to occur. If, however, the rallies occur sooner with breakouts above prior trend highs, this is a sign of strength, but it also increases the odds that price will get ahead of itself and a more chaotic retracement/correction could eventually follow.
Looking to the following week, there is some concern that downward pressure could prevail if the so-called ‘Tokyo Whale’ dumps Bitcoin into the market from the shuttered Mt Gox exchange. There is an estimated $170 million or more of Bitcoin that’s been moved out of the wallet and ready for sale. No one knows what’s actually going on in this regard but the perception of a big seller lurking could hamper investor sentiment and therefore dampen buyer enthusiasm.
Last week the XRP/USD pair advanced off its $0.45 bottom from a month ago stalled right at the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement zone of the internal downtrend. The high for the week and the uptrend was $0.964, for a 105.9% gain in less than five weeks. So far the pullback has been mild with support found where the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level and 200-day moving average come together. Up until two weeks ago, Ripple had been below its 200-day line.
If it can make a decisive move above last week’s high the February swing high resistance zone, first around the 78.5% Fibonacci line of $1.06, and then the swing high around $1.23, are the next targets. A rally above that swing high will provide a more definitive bullish signal for the long-term recovery of the recent correction.
A drop below last week’s 0.758 support leads to a deeper correction where Fibonacci levels, as seen on the accompanying chart, can be used to gauge potential support zones.
Bitcoin Cash shows similar relative strength in that it moved above its 200-day line (brown) last week and has recognized it as support since. Leading the way, the BCH/USD pair had one of the strongest moves off the bottom, rising 162.3% as of last week’s high of $1,573 in four weeks.
If the recent low of $1,228.90 is broken to the downside, then it should target the 50% retracement at 1,086.3 next, followed by the 61.8% retracement at $971.40. A move above last week’s high and then the $1,636.8 swing high from February is the next key sign of strength pointing a likely continuation of the upside move over the intermediate-term. Keep in mind that nothing goes straight up, and pullbacks and consolidation periods are normal and healthy for the evolution of a trend.
VeChain is the fifteenth-best token in terms of market capitalization. The smart recovery from its recent lows has been on the back of the strong fundamental news. The market participants are excited about the VeChainThor Blockchain whose Mainnet Launch is expected in end-June.
So, can it move further or has it run its course? Let’s see its charts.
VEN remained in a tight range from mid-November to mid-December of last year. It started an uptrend in end-December, which took it from the lows of 0.00002184 on November 30 to an intraday high of 0.00081678 on January 22 of this year. That’s a 3639 percent return within two months.
The subsequent correction took support close to the 61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement levels of 0.00032752. The digital currency bottomed out on March 30, at 0.00031748.
After a strong break out from the downtrend line, VeChain can reach 0.00062102 levels where it might face some resistance. Once this level is crossed, a retest of the highs will be on the cards.
On the daily chart, the VEN/BTC pair has broken out of an inverted head and shoulders (H&S) pattern, which has a minimum target objective of 0.00063 levels. This is close to the overhead resistance at 0.00062102, therefore, we can expect a dip or a consolidation at this level.
On the downside, support exists at the 0.00047 levels, below which the neckline of the inverse H&S pattern will provide support.
How to trade the VENBTC pair now?
Traders who already own the cryptocurrency should hold their positions because a move to 0.00062 is possible. There is a high probability of a dip from the overhead resistance or a consolidation. Therefore, traders can book a small percentage of their position and attempt to buy it at lower levels. Long-term holders can trail their stops higher instead of getting in and out of the position because above 0.00062102, we can expect a straight dash towards the lifetime highs.
Others, who haven’t purchased the virtual currency should wait for a dip towards the 20-day EMA to buy and keep a stop loss at 0.0004, just below the 50-day SMA. Failure of a bullish pattern is a negative sign; below 0.0004, a retest of the 0.00032 levels is likely.
If we don’t get a dip to the 20-day EMA, traders can wait for the consolidation or correction at the overhead resistance and then buy the breakout. A break out confirms the resumption of the uptrend and a rally to the lifetime highs is likely. Once the bulls succeed in breaking out the lifetime highs, the digital currency can extend the uptrend to 0.00111242 levels. However, as most cryptocurrencies tend to give up their gains quickly, traders should trail their stops higher to lock in the paper profits.