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The question of how to correctly store coins still has some of us scratching our heads.

Understandably so…Even though Bitcoin’s a household name, as of Feb 2021, digital coins were used by only 10% of Britons… But the truth is that all you need - to get started - is a trustworthy crypto wallet.

Bitcoin Wallet

And securely holding coins doesn’t need to be all technical… Simply use a ‘hot wallet’ service on the exchange itself. Or go the extra step and buy a cold one (not a pint of Guinness), then access via an app.

In this guide, we’ve neatly arranged the top crypto wallets for any user.

Table of Contents:


Our Selection Process ๐Ÿ“š

Each platform in this guide has a world-renowned reputation for being secure and simple to use.

For safely trading crypto in the UK, it’s key that wallets are encrypted and easy to recover (in this guide, each wallet has these features, so you can regain access to your account balance even if you lose your password; or in the event of the wallet being stolen, broken, or hacked).


The Best Crypto Wallets โ€“ UK Review ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง

Let’s go ahead and enter the review portion of this guide, to help you select the top-rated crypto wallet in the UK, for you. Later on, we have a beginners guide to using crypto wallets. (The Buying Guide and FAQ areas should provide a good basis for starting out.)

Best โ€˜Hotโ€™ Wallets

“Hot” wallets are software-powered cryptocurrency storage solutions. They give only the account holder access - and this means they’re the quickest, most budget-friendly and convenient approach to store crypto as a beginner. Users can set up within minutes, without any charges.

BEST 2 HOT WALLET PROVIDERSPRICEFEATURESRATING
1. eToroX: Comprehensive cryptocurrency exchange and walletFreeStoring, investing, doing banking, credit lines - with tight regulations. Suitable for all levels.โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
2. Coinbase: Comprehensive cryptocurrency exchange and walletFreeEverything all the way from investing in bitcoin to holding capital. Suitable for all levels.โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

Looking for a Cold Wallet? Click here.


1. eToroXโ€“ Overall Best for Beginners & Passive Investors

Newbie investment deals hotter than a pizza parlour

Key Features

  • iOS & Android, Mobile or Tablet
  • 56 Different Crypto Coins 
  • Direct Connection to eToro Crypto Exchange

Wallet and Exchange services provided by eToro X Limited ('eToro X'), a limited liability company incorporated in Gibraltar with company number 116348 and with its registered office at 57/63 Line Wall Road, Gibraltar. eToro X is a regulated DLT provider licensed by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission under the Investments and Financial Fiduciary Services Act with licence number FSC1333B.

PROS

  • Regulated by the FCA
  • Very secure levels of encryption
  • Interface optimised for beginners
  • Hot wallet: directly links with eToro

CONS

  • No desktop or laptop version

๐Ÿ““ Reputation

If you’re bouncing your head in familiarity at the number-one crypto wallet for the UK market, that’s because you craned your neck at the advertisement boards on the tube, recommending this trading platform. So let’s be succinct:

Features

Grab this on android or iOS, and get going with: 

  • Buying and selling right from eToro exchange.
  • Using this like a regular bank account, to send or receive coins from other addresses.
  • Diversify your crypto assets to other digital coins or traditional financial investments.

Do remember that the EtoroX wallet is a custodial wallet; theoretically, the platform retains control over your funds if you keep them stored on the exchange.

You’ll be able to find a wide range of different cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum, Bitcoin and Litecoin. The privacy coin Zcash is even included, although eToro doesn’t currently hold Monero. Stablecoins EURX & USDx are also available. Note that the exchange and wallet balances are segmented - you’ll need to withdraw funds back and forth even though it’s a custodial wallet.

For investment opportunities, there is no more beginner-friendly and passive method than using the copy trading feature. eToro is light-years ahead in making this easy to use.

Setup instructions for eToroX Wallet:

eToro automatically assigns you a wallet once you register an account. After verification, the eToroX wallet instantly syncs up with the main exchange. This form of software wallet is what we call a “hot wallet,” which means the least minimal barriers between your funds and the market.

1. Sign up

To get started smash the button below - all you need to register is as follows: Your email address, full name, and a strong password.

2. Add Money

Before you can trade, you’ll need some funds - for this, select “deposit” and go through the instruction process. You can even fund your account with crypto.

3. Download the Actual Wallet App

Now you’re verified, you can download the app onto your device and get logged in. From that point, you can transfer coins from your current wallet somewhere else to another wallet. (For this, you just need the recipient’s QR.) You’re good to go.


2. Coinbase โ€“ Powered by 10th Most-Used Exchange in the World

Hell hath no popularity like a Coinbase exchangeโ€ฆ

Key Features

  • Over 3,000 Crypto Coins 
  • Strong Encryption With Two-factor Authentication 
  • Syncs With Coinbase’s Exchange

PROS

  • FCA regulated
  • Easy-to-use UI
  • Very competitive fees
  • Hot wallet: connect with Coinbase

CONS

  • No copy trading
  • No social trading

Coinbase is the 10th most-used exchange on the planet, according to Statista’s March 2022 metrics on cryptocurrency exchanges by 24-hour volume movements. It’s no wonder why. Compared to the 56 coins available on eToro - Coinbase offers you over 3000.

๐Ÿ““ Reputation

All in all, Coinbase and its custodial wallet service is well-known for its trustworthiness and security; this is one of the most secure wallets to store your cryptos (as far as hot wallets go).

This list includes Monero, Zcash, Bitcoin…and pretty much any altcoin that is being popularly used. That said, there are 18,000+ currently circulating, according to CoinMarketCap, so take that with a large pinch of salt; it’s tricky for any exchange to keep track of all of the new kids on the block.

And for investments that are less likely to fluctuate, stable are linked to fiat currencies, such as the dollar or pound sterling - so these make for a more predictable investment. Find them there too. If copy trading is no big deal for you, then this can easily be the best exchange use of the two. 

Features

Another beginner friendly wallet that gives you all of the following features: 

  • Strong security: Two factor authentication and multi-signature functionalities. 
  • Speed: Syncs directly to the live exchange.
  • Investment: add more diversity to your crypto holdings, by selecting from 3000+ different coins - and traditional financial markets and instruments such as stocks and bonds.

Setting up a Coinbase Hot Wallet:

Any crypto wallet should allow you to securely hold your coins. Coinbase offers a software or “hosted” service also known as a hot or custodial wallet. This is a quick setup process:

1. Download

Grab the app for Android or iOS, on your mobile. After installing, choose “create a new wallet,” approve the TOCs, and set up an account username and password - select public or private (for the visibility of your wallet).

Make sure to failsafe your wallet in the settings panel, by choosing a Recovery Phrase.

2. Sync up to the exchange 

To use your wallet on Coinbase’s exchange, you first need a Coinbase account. Once you do, select “connect to Coinbase'' in the settings area and go through the on-screen process to sync your account. You can now store, receive, send, buy, and sell crypto.


3. Exodus Wallet โ€“ Best Wallet for Beginners

An Interface Cleaner than a Nunโ€™s Hands

Key Features

  • Desktop, mobile, and even hardware options
  • 180 different currencies
  • News and research on leading industry trends

PROS

  • Huge number of currencies supported
  • Guided tutorials on how to use it in both text and video form
  • Great interface for people who are unfamiliar with crypto wallets
  • Connects to exchanges for each of its currencies

CONS

  • Does not offer custom connections

Designed for the smoothest user experience possible, Exodus Wallet brings together nearly 200 different cryptocurrencies into one app. This app uses deep encryption to protect your keys, as well as allowing you to track what is going on in the world of cryptocurrency through its news features.

๐Ÿ““ Reputation

All crypto wallets are a little new, but there are different degrees of “new”. A new iPhone is going to be barely functional due to lacking apps and addons. But a new car will have more features due to how new it is. Exodus Wallet resembles the latter more than the former, meaning that it is on the cutting edge.

Features

There are two things that Exodus Wallet has that will appeal to beginners in particular: Its interface and its exchanges. It is hard to overstate the value of Exodus Wallet’s interface, as it is pervasive in every action you take on the app. What makes it so good is the help it offers you along the way.

Basically, everything you can do on the app has a knowledge base article associated with it. Never used your encryption before? They will walk you through it. Never connected to an exchange? They’ll show you how. That leads to the next facet of Exodus Wallet: The exchanges.

Remember, having 180 cryptocurrencies does not just mean being able to trade for them. It also means being able to trade between them. Trading Dogecoin for Bitcoin, Ethereum for the Graph, and so on.

Setup Instructions for the Wallet:

There are two layers to setting up Exodus wallet: The mobile app and the desktop app.

1. Download

The app can be found on the Android or iOS stores. It will bill itself as a “Bitcoin Wallet”, but it will take many different kinds of currencies.

2. Connect Your Wallet or Your Exchange

You will have two options when you open the wallet: You either connect an existing wallet, or you connect an exchange key to bring your holdings directly to Exodus Wallet. Both work the same.

The tutorials will guide you to securing your crypto with their encryption.


4. Mycelium โ€“ Best Security Focus

The World at Your Fingertips

Key Features

  • Hierarchical Deterministic Seed
  • Single Address Lock
  • Options for trade-proof accounts

PROS

  • One of the most secure wallets out there
  • Offers tons of control over how your Bitcoin is stored
  • Integrates with 3rd party tools and exchanges
  • Comes with its own Exchange

CONS

  • Only allows for Bitcoin

Mycelium is built from the ground up to support Bitcoin storage with security in mind. This means making sure that keys can be deleted, trading can be turned off, and every other method of accessing Bitcoin can be restricted at your order.

๐Ÿ““ Reputation

Mycelium is known as a strict taskmaster. The focus of all of their marketing and all of their research and development is security. They do not work to incorporate more crypto. They let third parties handle connections to exchanges. This focus on security has drawn many eyes to their innovations.

Features

Being so security-focused, you will not be surprised to learn that the best features available to you through their wallet are all about keeping your Bitcoin from moving.

  • Encryption methods that can be backed up through hardware and then deleted in software
  • Watch-only account options
  • Decentralised Marketplace Access

Essentially, Mycelium’s great innovation is that you can lock up your Bitcoin and throw away the key. But what is the purpose of that? Well, while many people get Bitcoin in order to trade it or make purchases with it, other people get Bitcoin as a method of establishing a savings fund.

If you want Bitcoin for this reason, then there are few wallets out there that support you as much as Mycelium does. Where most wallets are trying to get you to buy and sell crypto as much as possible, the focus on security means that Mycelium helps you save your crypto up.

Setup Instructions:

Mycelium has a more involved setup process than some of the other wallets on this list. Though it starts from the same place.

1. Get the app

It is an Android or iOS app, so it should be easy to find.

2. Backup your wallet or sync your exchange

Depending on where you are pulling your crypto from, this step will be different. You will then be prompted with a series of methods for securing this wallet. Each one is important, so be sure you set aside sufficient time to review them all.

3. Setup a PIN

This is a simple step, but just as important as the last one. Write the PIN down as it is the first line of defence against fraud.

4. Send and receive Bitcoins

Now you can exchange your Bitcoins or move on to securing your account.


5. Electrum โ€“ Best Trading Wallet

Trade the Most with the Fastest App in the West

Key Features

  • Connects to multiple wallets and exchanges
  • Multiple recovery methods
  • Supports addons

PROS

  • Letโ€™s you use addons to optimise or even automate trades
  • Tons of ways of disputing trades and securing your funds
  • Layers of security to make sure your Bitcoin stays where you want it

CONS

  • Only supports Bitcoin

One of the central tensions in Bitcoin trading and storage is that the more you trade, the less secure the storage is. But at the same time, the more secure your storage is, the less you are able to trade. Electrum focuses on the trading side of things without skimping on the security features.

๐Ÿ““ Reputation

Already we have talked a lot about trading and security. Why are these two so at odds? It is easy to make it sound like trading your cryptocurrency opens you up to fraud. That is technically true, but the reality of the situation is that it opens you up to ambiguity more than anything.

Electrum is known as a tool for settling disputes and dispelling ambiguity. That means you use it to verify trades and make sure that all the right crypto arrives in the right places.

Features

This leads to the question: How does it do that? The answer is not simple, but it is important.

  • Electrum allows you to implement third-party tracking software in your trades
  • It also employs several methods of authentication, from two-factor to proof checking
  • Multisig is supported, meaning you can trade with other wallets and have Electrum track it

These features allow Electrum to cover multiple angles of a trade. Programs scanning the blockchain can make sure your currency is listed properly, while authentication methods within and between your wallet or wallets help you keep track of where your Bitcoin is coming from.

While Electrum is known for only storing Bitcoin, connecting other wallets like this allows Electrum’s security protocols to extend to other cryptocurrency trades as well, allowing for complex trading.

Setup Instructions:

There are Electrum apps for Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS. Be sure to start with one of those.

1. Setup your account

Then, set up your account. This step includes putting together whatever authentication methods you want on your Electrum account. You do not have to do those all at once, however.

2. Connect other wallets and install addons

This step is also technically optional. This is also mostly for experienced traders

3. Move the holdings you want to trade with

Then, just move whatever Bitcoin you want to trade with to your Electrum wallet.


Best โ€˜Coldโ€™ Wallets

Think of a frozen YouTube video when the wifi goes down. Hard wallets are also known as cold wallets because they aren’t online, except when connected, to make a transfer. This is the safest, strongest way to block hackers… They can’t pry during moments when you’re simply storing.

BEST 2 HARDWARE WALLETSCOSTOFFERINGSRATING
1. Ledger Nano XRoughly ยฃ136Compatible with over a thousand cryptocurrencies and tokens.โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…
2. Trezor OneRoughly ยฃ92Compatible with over a thousand cryptocurrencies and tokens.โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…


1. Ledger Nano X โ€“ Highest-Reviewed

Worldโ€™s iciest

Key Features

  • USB-C, Bluetooth-Enabled 
  • One App: Buy, Sell, Exchange, Grow Crypto
  • Withstands Sophisticated Attack-Attempts
  • Easy Recovery Using PassPhrase

PROS

  • Easy-to-use app
  • Manage your assets & tokens in one place
  • Cold wallet: Not connected when not live

CONS

  • Pricey upfront cost
  • Learning curve to set up

๐Ÿ““ Reputation

Thousands of global ratings on the ledger nano X rate this 4.5 stars out of 5. The company advertises itself as a beginner-friendly way to start out your crypto journey.

With this hardware wallet, you’re given a private key that grants only you access to your coins. Keep the key secure so only you can dive into your crypto funds. Hackers can’t peek into your account - this is the same when you are connected to your computer.

Not even the Ledger company will be able to access your coins, giving you control over your crypto and nobody else. This contrasts with custodial wallets, which are theoretically controlled by the platform. And security is industry-leading.

Features

A few notable features you get when you use the Ledger Nano X wallet:

  • Coin Compatibility: More than a thousand tokens and coins, including the more meme worthy names can be stored in this device. This includes ERC-20 tokens (popular with ICOs), which in that event requires additional software linked to your Nano wallet. 
  • Cutting-edge Security: The advantage to using hardware storage for your crypto is much-reduced exposure to online threat-points. Your private keys always remain on the hardware chip, with only public keys being Bluetooth-transmitted. Transmissions are end-to-end AES encrypted. 
  • Beginner-friendly: There is a learning curve, but the hardware wallet can be simplified using the desktop or smartphone app. There’s a Ledger Live software that manages your registration, transactions, and the management of your account. The wallet itself can be folded, making it ultra-portable.

Setting up your Ledger Wallet:

Ledger Live simplifies the process:

1. Prepare new device

First press the button next to the USB until the logo appears. Go through the on-screen guide, to newly set up your device.

2. Create PIN

The option to Choose a PIN will appear; choose digits one-by-one by tapping the left and right buttons. Your pin needs to be between four and eight digits-long. When ready, confirm with the tick button.

3. Backup

A key staple of crypto wallet risk-management is a recovery phrase. Nano X will not finish the setup until this is made; your phrase is automatic (24 separate words that you need to write down and store somewhere safe).

Once done, set up the app on your device so that you can begin sending and receiving crypto live. Now you’re ready.

START NOW!


2. Trezor One โ€“ Most Sophisticated

Pocket-sized glacial security

Key Features

  • 3-Step Setup Process
  • Universally Compatible: Windows, MacOS, Linux
  • Eliminates Internet Dangers; and Backup Against Loss Using Passphrases

PROS

  • User-friendly
  • The original, secure bitcoin wallet
  • Cold wallet: stay offline

CONS

  • Longer learning curve than hosted wallets

๐Ÿ““ Reputation

Trezor One is a very well-established crypto hardware wallet well-suited to beginners. It’s easy to set up and get started. It’s an ultra-advanced wallet that gets you going easier than Nano X. for this reason, it’s grown in popularity over the years. 

Features

Trezor One offers the following features:

  • Coin Compatibility: Manage more than a thousand coins and tokens; buy coins using fiat currencies and plop them drop them directly onto the wallet (this feature isn’t available with Nano X). 
  • Tight Security: Strong trust-rating, with restoration automation.
  • Easy App: Makes it surprisingly similar to using a hot what it; simply purchase crypto using the trays or app and store them instantly onto the wet; blending the best of both worlds. Your first processes do not even need a registration, something that most wallets do not offer.

Setting up a TrezorOne Wallet:

The Trezor One app means it’s simply a matter of setting up an account, in order to buy and sell crypto; There’s no need to register to an exchange to begin trading. So it’s a combination of higher security and speed.


3. Cool Wallet Pro โ€“ Best NFT Trading Walle

The Newest Form of Crypto at Your Command

Key Features

  • Can connect and disconnect with other devices at will
  • Highly secure
  • In-app trading for multiple kinds of crypto and NFTs

PROS

  • Mobile and compatible with practically any device
  • Not only lets you trade many currencies, but helps you track them too
  • Deals in NFTs with a knowledge base to back you up

CONS

  • Not for beginner users of cold wallets

Cool Wallet Pro is one of few cold crypto wallets that deals in “NFTs”. These are a bit hard to understand and describe but suffice to say you have probably heard of them anyways. They are the newest advancement in securities trading, making Cold Wallet Pro an advancement in storing them.

๐Ÿ““ Reputation

Cold Wallet Pro has made a name for itself in recent years for its variety of different products. Each of them has different uses and different price points. But what they all have in common is that they are all well-regarded as different degrees of cold and hot wallets. That diversity is exemplified here.

Features

The priority with Cold Wallet Pro is to have a cold wallet that can easily interface with devices and be used in trading as well. This duality lets the wallet be versatile, but also means that it needs security.

  • Passive staking and yield farming while connected
  • Let’s you store and trade more than a dozen major cryptocurrencies
  • Rarible and OpenSea NFT trading and tracking

These are not your ordinary cold wallet options. Cold wallets are usually concerned with making sure your keys are in order. Cold Wallet Pro does this too, but the most stand-out features it has are the ones that allow you to trade just by hooking the device into a computer of any kind.

Setup Instructions:

1. After opening your product, connect it to a device with an internet connection

This is the last time you will have to do this if you want

2. Update the firmware of your device

Updating your cold wallet is important for keeping its security features current

3. Transfer your keys to the cold wallet

You do this by connecting the Cool Wallet Pro app with your own blockchain app

4. Follow the prompts to activate authentication

This means one, two, or three factor authentication. After this, your wallet is secure!


4. Safepal โ€“ Best Budget Option

Not all Wallets Need to be Feature Heavy

Key Features

  • Military grade encryption
  • Biometric authentication
  • Self-destruct mechanism

PROS

  • Highest grade encryption possible, making it truly impossible to crack
  • Access is restricted to just you through your fingerprints and face
  • Killswitch on your holdings to keep them safe
  • Holds many different kinds of cryptocurrency

CONS

  • No trading functionality

Most people get crypto to trade it and get a cold wallet to keep it secure. But there are plenty of people who do not need a cold wallet to be able to trade. If you wanted that, you could get it almost anywhere. Only Safepal gives you a cold crypto wallet designed to go down with the ship, as it were.

๐Ÿ““ Reputation

The main thing that Safepal is known for is their focus on focus. That might seem like an odd sentence, but consider this: Do you need a cold wallet that does everything? Hot wallets usually pride themselves on versatility. But cold wallets are mainly used for security. Safepal’s is better at getting results on a single axis than any other company out there, and their devices show it.

Features

Safepal’s devices are encrypted at military-grade levels. This means they are almost impossible to crack. They also come equipped with self-destruct features that let you wipe the information from the device should it fall into the wrong hands. This can be critical to anyone with large holdings.

  • Lots of ways to configure security
  • Fail Safes on top of failsafes
  • Low price point

The low price point on top of all of this is what usually convinces people to go for it. What makes it special is that it allows you to own multiple instances of the same cold wallet. You can carry one around while leaving another as a backup somewhere in case the first self-destructs.

Setup Instructions:

1. Plug in the device and download the app

The app is critical to updating your device and setting up your device. You only need to run it once.

2. Set up encryption and self-destruct conditions, as well as biometrics

There are a lot of different security features, but they are all important if you have more than a few Bitcoins.

3. Store it anywhere you like, because then it is done

The simplicity of the setup reflects its lack of features, but as we’ve said before: You get this because it is cheap and highly secure.

 


Best Crypto Wallets - Buying Guide ๐Ÿ“š

This section is dedicated to understanding some of the key topics surrounding crypto wallets, to provide you with a bit more context before you commit to a new service.


What are crypto wallets? ๐Ÿ’ผ

Crypto wallets are pieces of software - sometimes also with physical hardware, as in the case of cold storage devices - that provide a service for securely transacting and growing holdings of cryptocurrencies. 

It’s akin to carrying around a physical wallet. But rather than wadding up banknotes in your back pocket, you’re holding coins and tokens, either in cyberspace or on a USB.

Indeed, crypto wallets require a pin and work using private keys: these are hexadecimal strings that only the user can see. They need to correlate with a publicly visible key, in order to successfully carry out transactions.

Physical crypto wallets

The closest thing to traditional wallets are crypto hardware wallets or crypto hard wallets. They resemble external hard drives, but are controlled by encrypted software that logs their holdings independently of an online exchange.

When a user buys crypto via an online crypto exchange, this unique asset exists online, connected to the exchange’s system. Crypto hardware will need you to take it online, to your laptop or another device, in order to withdraw or add more of these funds.

After you withdraw those funds onto your hardware wallet, they no longer exist on the exchanges online service. The advantages of this is that your crypto holdings can only be accessed using your physical wallet which needs its private key. But in the event of damaging or losing your wallet, what if that happens…?

Today, hardware works are protected from misfortunes. For example, if you dropped your Nano Ledger into a stream - as long as your recovery seed phrase is safely stored somewhere - you simply need to purchase a new Ledger and that recovery phrase can be used to recover your crypto cash. (Which means you should maintain a good record of backups!)

What are hot wallets? ๐Ÿ—‚๏ธ

As mentioned in the intro, these are purely software services that can be downloaded onto your device.

You create an account, and a password is all you need in order to access your funds. (Two-factor authentication may also be needed.) Each session is encrypted. And recovery works in a similar way, via a recovery seed - even if your device or password is compromised, this can be used for recovery. It’s generally faster and there is no charge.

The biggest risk to this approach is increased exposure to cybercrime or malware that may already be on your device. Any single online session could bring new invisible threats. For example, your computer session could be spied on by a malicious third-party.

Extreme convenience is the main reason to use software wallets. Attempts are made all the time on the big crypto exchanges such as coin base. But there are generally very good protective policies in place, servers are extremely secure, and the services make a strong effort to monitor and thwart hacking attempts. A trustworthy VPN is one way to further isolate your session.

Is a software or hardware wallet most recommended? ๐Ÿ†š

In January 2021, £400M+ of BTC was migrated from live exchanges and moved into cold storage by unnamed institutions. The size of this transfer should indicate enterprise level sentiments on extra security provided by keeping crypto holdings off-line.

How important this is may depend on the size of your holdings. The greater the capital to protect, the more seriously you should consider physical wallets; they instantly provide natural isolation from 24/7 online threats. (With failsafe systems that are robust enough for enormous sums.)

The biggest argument against may be that you’ll need to handle physical devices during each future transaction. Although you can keep some pool of capital permanently stored on exchanges. You also need to buy a device. And you’ll need to save your recovery seeds somewhere safe. 

So the question boils down to whether it’s security or convenience - or whatever intermediate balance - is most important to your circumstances.


Are crypto wallets hack-proof? Common hacking methods

Crypto Hacking Methods

The key to good crypto practices is awareness. This area of the guide, I go through the most popular tricks used by crypto hackers and jackers:

Phishing Tricks 

Which is where bad actors obtain your private data by creating a clone site. Their website looks like the legitimate one. You are tricked into heading there by an illegitimate email account that mimics the true domain (e.g. Binance.co instead of Binance.com). 

The fake website or platform looks so similar to the UI/UX of the legitimate one, that users get catfished into typing in their account details, which hackers promptly log. They use this to log into your real account, on the real crypto platform or exchange.

*The greatest safeguard against this is to never log into any platform or website directly from an email. And always review sender credentials.

Fake Hardware Wallet

Fake hardware wallets are usually real hardware wallets that have been modified to give hackers ways to break in later. The wallet gets programmed to transmit key data to a hidden third-party.

This trick works best with current users of hardware wallets.

These users are tricked into believing that they need a replacement. They are sent a replacement wallet, with a letter that warns that their current wallet is compromised. The replacement has usually been programmed to tell them to plug it into the device and to key in their recovery seed. Once this has been done, this information is secretly sent to the attacker.

*Now that you know that this scam exists, you already have the best way to prevent it: awareness.

Cryptojackers ๐Ÿคฟ

Cryptojacking has the alias “malicious cryptomining” - this is one of the least insidious of those mentioned so far. But since 2017, when the range of cryptocurrencies on the market expanded, it’s been a popular attack method.

Here is how it works: Instead of crypto being directly stolen, your idle processing power is stolen in order for the attacker to do crypto mining, usually Monero, as its pseudo-anonymous. Targeted machines do not give permission for this; their machine is “hijacked” and they may have no clue that mining is being done secretly. The proof-of-work briefings given to the hacker.

This attack normally happens using the user’s browser. No malicious application is required. Just basic JavaScript enables this browser-powered mining exploit (Cohive). The biggest risk is to Android devices, which can become physically damaged (“bloated batteries”).

*Your biggest protection against this is game-ready antivirus. End your browser session if you notice unusually high processing, such as a loud fan or astonishing CPU rises.

Basic malware 

A wide range of malware exists that are programmed to affect clipboards when crypto wallet addresses are copied (crypto addresses are identifiable due to their uniquely patterned string of sequences). The malware discreetly alters this copied address to the hackers wallet address. The targeted user, thereby, unwittingly sends them their funds.

Once upon a time, hackers needed to trick users into first downloading malicious software. But today, hackers can simply redirect you to a URL with malware… Once you access the site, trojans invisibly board the machine, looking for ways to feed into your clipboard modules.

*As mentioned earlier, a trustworthy VPN, robust antivirus - perhaps also a secure web browser - are all worthy ways to safeguard your machine. 

Tricks involving two factor authentication (SMS) 

Two-factor authentication (2FA) via SMS is an industry-standard verification protocol. Some attackers use certain transmission vulnerabilities to run exploits using social engineering.

In some cases, the telecommunications firm itself is deceived… Transmissions via SMS are intercepted by the attacker using “SIM swaps.” Pretending to be you, they request for administrators to move your SIM details from your ownership to their control. From this point, the attacker is able to middle-man 2FA transmissions associated with your crypto accounts.

More advanced uses of this manipulate SS7 vulnerabilities. Signalling System 7 is a critical telecom feature that lets different firms communicate. It’s also involved in 2FA transmissions.

*To reduce the chances of this, and for damage-control, app-based two-factor authentication is superior to SMS-based 2FA.


FAQs

What are private keys?

Private keys are secret strings of letters and numbers - that function like a second password - giving only you access to your funds. For a transaction to successfully go through, this private key must be validated. In essence, for crypto transactions, private keys prove that a public address inside the blockchain is actually owned by you.

Your public address can be seen by anybody it is shared with, whereas private keys should be kept secret. Private keys are an extra safeguard from thievery. If an illegitimate party attempts to grab your crypto, Though need your private key: itself, this key is a long sequence (that can be in the hundreds) of cryptographic letters and numbers.

How long it takes for crypto currency transfers, on average

Someone has sent you crypto… Before the full transaction completes, and money reaches your wallet, calculations need to play out on the blockchain. How many validations are required is affected by the cryptocurrency and the type of transaction. (EOS crypto holds the title as the world’s speediest). As a demonstration, Bitcoin needs six confirmations per complete transaction.

Overall, Bitcoin takes between 10 minutes to an hour per transfer. But this will depend on how busy the network is; the more popular the slower, which explains why Bitcoin can be so slow. Ripple is probably the fastest for transaction-speeds today, at around 1,500 transactions a second - one Ripple transfer takes under 20 seconds (ETH is a bit behind this).

How to keep crypto coins safe

First, consider using a hardware wallet. Take time to be aware of crypto handling best practices. Never give away your private keys. Be aware of common crypto hacking tricks used to scam crypto holders. And consider using an antivirus on your mobile as well as other devices. Keep your OS up-to-date. And use the more well-known and well regulated exchanges.

Is it wise to leave Crypto on an exchange?

Attackers do snoop around for substantial amounts of crypto left on accounts on crypto exchanges… Hot or software wallets give you a way to segment your funds from the exchange. However, in truth, the big exchanges today are very good at keeping their servers secure. That said, for users who want more insulation from hot wallet hacks - such as the £4+ million of crypto robbed from the Roll exchange, in 2021 - hardware wallets provide an extra layer of security.

How to set up a Crypto wallet? 

How will you access your funds day-to-day? Pretty much all of the wallet providers offer an app that can be installed on your device(s). This generally gives you straightforward instructions for getting started. 

What Bitcoin wallet is most recommended for beginners?

Sue plan unless you plan to do long-term investment, Coinbase offers the best combination of crypto wallet and exchange - download It right onto your Android or iOS device. Almost 60 million users already use the app, which runs you through the whole setup process, so it’s straightforward even for newbies.

This is a very liquid market for holding and investing in crypto. Access over 3,000 different digital currencies. From the big-name coins like BTC and ETH, to stablecoins, and privacy coins.