Now that the Bitcoin price has been surging as of late, it is due time to ensure that wallet funds are kept safe at all times. Most people continue to store their bitcoin balance in an exchange wallet, even though that means that they are not in control of their own funds. Now is a good time to remind people that moving funds off exchanges and online wallets is of the utmost importance.
Exchanges And Online Wallets Are Not The Best Options
Although there are reasons to use exchanges and online wallets as a way to store Bitcoin balances, they should never be seen as long-term solutions. Using an exchange as your Bitcoin wallet means that you, the user, is never in full control of your money, as you do not have access to the private key. Online wallets fall into the same category, and these services have been a prime target for hackers throughout the years.
There is nothing wrong with buying or selling Bitcoin through exchanges, though. But there is very little point in keeping either bitcoin or fiat currency balances in an exchange account for long periods of time. A cryptocurrency exchange does not act like your typical bank, even though they do control funds as long as users allow them to.
Moving funds out of the exchange or online Bitcoin wallet service is of the utmost importance. Multiple wallet solutions exist, although some of the choices still rely on third-party involvement. The Blockchain.info wallet, for example, is very popular among novice users. However, if the company were to suffer from server issues, users would not be able to access their funds through the wallet itself. Thankfully, they offer a way to export the private key and import it into a different wallet solution.
Unfortunately, the list of “exceptionally great” Bitcoin wallets is not all that long. It usually comes down to individual needs and preferences, which means that there is no specific top list of wallets to use. Software solutions and hardware options should both be considered when it comes to keeping cryptocurrency funds safe these days.
Open-source solutions, both digital and physical, are always a good place to start. Electrum, Breadwallet, Airbitz, and Trezor seem to be excellent choices, although it entirely depends on what the individual user is looking for. But there’s also the ledger line of hardware wallets and various other software offerings to take into account. Beware of fake Bitcoin wallets on iOS, though.
In the end, exchanges should only be used for one purpose: immediate Bitcoin or fiat currency transactions. Once that process has been completed, the new funds should be removed from the exchange as quickly as possible. Taking full control of your finances also means ensuring that funds are kept safe, and in the Bitcoin world, that is the user’s responsibility.
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