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Author : Matt at Matt Matrix 19 Dec 2017
ERC-20 based tokens (the exception). To dive a little deeper, there are certain tokens based on the ERC-20 protocol (generated from the Ethereum blockchain), that can be stored in the same ERC-20 compatible wallet. So for example, if you have two ERC-20 tokens, “Apple Coin” and “Orange Coin”, you can send them both to an ERC-20 wallet, such as MyEtherWallet.com at https://www.myetherwallet.com/. Make sure you always double check that the link you are visiting is correct, there are lots of sites out there with a confusingly similar spelling attempting to trick users into logging in, thinking it’s the real site, therefore “phishing” or stealing your login info! Try not to search Google and click into a site, always enter it directly or visit from a bookmark. Always make sure you are on a secure connection, and double check it’s a legit web address. Different types of wallets. Online wallets are often regarded as the least safe, although most convenient for trading. If you have your tokens on an exchange, you can trade with them immediately. However, there are a few main types of wallets. Desktop wallets. These are wallets usually created by the token developers. For example, to find an official supported wallet for Bitcoin, you can download one from https://bitcoin.org/en/choose-your-wallet. Mobile wallets. These are app-based wallets that you can download and install on your phone, although more common for Android based phones.
Examples include the Blockchain mobile wallet at https://blockchain.info/wallet/android-app for Android. Online Wallets. All exchanges offer online wallets, to allow you to send and receive tokens. For example, Coinbase at https://coinbase.com/ or MyEtherWallet.com. at https://www.myetherwallet.com/. It is highly recommended to store tokens offline to reduce risks of hacks, phishing attempts, and also the collapse of exchanges. While most exchanges have security protocols in place, there have been disasters like the infamous Mt Gox hack in 2014 at https://www.wired.com/2014/03/bitcoin-exchange/ where $460 million worth of Bitcoin was stolen. Paper Wallets. Paper wallets are basically a print out of your wallet’s public and private keys, along with a QR code you can scan. A private key is basically a sequence of letters and numbers (much like a long password), that you, and ONLY you should know, in order to unlock your wallet and access your tokens. Coindesk has a guide on how to create a paper wallet. at https://www.coindesk.com/information/paper-wallet-tutorial/. Hardware wallets. These are the most secure way to store your tokens. Hardware wallets are completely offline (often referred to as cold storage). Hardware wallets do not support every token out there, so you will need to find out if the tokens you want to store are supported by the hardware wallet.
Popular options are the Ledger Nano S at https://www.ledgerwallet.com/products/ledger-nano-s and the Trezor Hardware Wallet at https://trezor.io/. The Ledger Nano S hardware wallet at https://www.ledgerwallet.com. To learn more about wallets, Coindesk has a great article on wallet options at https://www.coindesk.com/information/how-to-store-your-bitcoins/. Exchanges. Unlike traditional stock markets, crypto exchanges never sleep, it’s global and it trades 24/7. To start trading cryptocurrencies, there’s a few key things to understand. 1. Only a few exchanges allow you to buy Bitcoin with Fiat currency (your domestic currency, such as the US dollar). 2. Bitcoin is currently the most common trading pair, meaning in order to invest in other tokens or projects, you’ll most likely only be able to trade/buy it against Bitcoin. Thus, you will need to hold Bitcoin to make most trades. Ethereum is also starting to be more widely accepted as a trading pair, so there are tokens you can trade against Ethereum as well. 3. Most exchanges are not regulated, invest at your own risk. 4. Unlike the traditional stock exchanges, crypto exchanges have no opening and closing hours, they are always open, 24/7, 365 days, globally. With those in mind, here’s a few of the most popular exchanges. Popular Exchanges. Coinbase at https://www.coinbase.com/. Based in the United States, Coinbase is one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in the world.
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