What Is a Cryptocurrency Wallet?



A cryptocurrency wallet is a digital storage device that stores currency as well as additional digital assets.

A cryptocurrency wallet is a place to store digital currency, as well as other assets. The majority of digital wallets can be described as software or hardware devices, however the crypto wallet could even be an actual piece paper. The cryptocurrency wallet is the combination of a public wallet address and a private security code.

If you’re looking to invest in crypto or other non-fungible coins (NFTs) or any other service that relies on blockchain, then you’ll require a crypto wallet. Continue reading to find out how cryptocurrency wallets function and how you can utilize one to begin your journey as an investor in cryptocurrency.


Definition and Example of a Cryptocurrency Wallet

The crypto wallet is the digital version of an actual wallet that you carry around in pockets. 1 But instead of storing money or credit card, a crypto wallet holds the data needed for accessing digital assets such as bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin or a different kind of crypto. 

Digital wallets, more than holding actual cryptocurrency, is made up of the two string of randomly generated numbers and letters. 2 The first is a wallet address that is public. address, usually 30-50 characters and is used by other people to transfer you money or other digital assets. 3 The second is a longer private key and is a huge number that has certain mathematical properties needed to access the assets of your wallet. 


Cryptocurrency wallets that aren’t custodial (those that aren’t managed by the exchange) are protected by an initial seed phrase that you set yourself. Note it down, or make sure you don’t forget it, as knowing the seed phrase, which is usually comprised of 12-24 words is the only way to access your wallet should you lose your personal keys. 

Utilizing the cryptocurrency with a non-compliant wallet isn’t possible. Bitcoin wallets let users transfer and receive funds to anyone with a wallet compatible. 

They are not completely anonymous. Anyone can access an open blockchain Explorer tool to look at the transactions and contents of any cryptocurrency wallet however, you won’t be able to identify who the person responsible for that wallet is. 8 If you sell and buy cryptocurrency via an exchange or broker the wallet could be managed by the company.

A few examples of the cryptocurrency wallet manufacturers comprise Exodus, Ledger, and Coinbase.


How Cryptocurrency Wallets Work

Imagine you wish to purchase Ethereum. It is possible to use a cryptocurrency exchange, such as Binance, or Coinbase and your wallet may be hosted on its own or through the exchange. This is a step-by-step guide on the way a cryptocurrency wallet can be used to make transactions:

  1. The transaction in cryptocurrency, along with details about the wallets used to send and receive will be sent through the system.
  2. It is then processed and results in the blockchain system recording that a wallet has transferred the specified sum of currency to a different wallet.
  3. The transaction is verified by multiple blockchain network users and is added on the Blockchain. The balance of the wallets of both the receiver and sender will immediately update.


The receiving and sending crypto wallets must be compatible in order for a transaction to be successful. If you’re sending cryptocurrency to a wallet sure that the wallet you receive is compatible prior to sending, or else you could send money which are not received and are not easily recoverable. 


Types of Cryptocurrency Wallets

There are three kinds of wallets for cryptocurrency that you could choose from:

    • Software Software wallets for cryptocurrency are typically free and can be accessed via your phone, computer or even a browser plugin. The ability to access online software wallets make them the most convenient, but they are also most susceptible to being hacked. Examples of these wallets include those offered by MetaMask as well as Coinbase Wallet.
    • HardwareYour cryptocurrency wallet could be a physical device that canphysically holds your wallet’s private and public keys in a secure offline. You can access your hardware wallet through your computer, generally through a connection to the device using Bluetooth or your PC’s USB port. 10 Examples of hardware wallets are from Ledger, Trezor, and Keystone.
  • Paper is literally a piece of paper, a wallet is a handwritten or typed duplicate of your wallet’s address as well as your personal key. 1 Using an entire stack of paper to keep your wallet’s information is probably not the best option however, it may be the most secure, based on the precautions you use to store the paper.

While every type of crypto wallet has the same purpose of secure storage of all your valuable digital items, diverse types of wallets have distinct degrees of security and convenience. Let’s compare:

Software Wallet Hardware Wallet Paper Wallet
Cost Free Around $50 to $200 Very affordable
Ease of Use Easiest Varies Most difficult
Security Unsecure More Secure The most safe

How To Get a Cryptocurrency Wallet

The process of getting a cryptocurrency wallet will depend on the type of wallet you’d like to use

    • software wallet: Most software wallets, like those made provided by the major software wallet providers such as Exodus, MetaMask, and Coinbase Wallet, can be downloaded at no cost. With this Brave browser you are able to access a no-cost software cryptocurrency wallet pre-installed, with no downloading required. 11
  • Hardware wallet: You can purchase hardware crypto wallets directly from the company or through an established retailer. The use of hardware wallets is not recommended since they might not offer the highest security for your money.
  • paper wallet In order to create the paper-based wallet you have to create your wallet’s digital address as well as a private. It generally requires programming skills. You can then print this information with your printer at home or write it down on paper using your hands.

Whatever kind of wallet you pick ensure that you ensure that your wallet is secure once you’ve created it.


Do I Need a Cryptocurrency Wallet?

You require an electronic wallet for cryptocurrency if you are looking to purchase and store cryptocurrency or other digital assets. You require a non-custodial digital wallet if you want to keep your cryptocurrency independent of an brokerage or exchange. This is a good idea to ensure security, as the wallets of major exchanges are often targets for hackers. If you’re just beginning your journey and want to get started, you can depend on one of the many large, centralized cryptocurrency exchanges to store your crypto on behalf of you, in an account that is hosted in exchange.

As a crypto investor, you must choose a solution for your wallet that is compatible with your capabilities and investment goals. Remember that if you lose your wallet’s information or if your wallet has been compromised and you lose your wallet information, then you’re unlikely to retrieve any lost funds. 

Key Takeaways

  • Cryptocurrency wallets permit you to store, transfer, as well as receive electronic assets which includes cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
  • Digital wallets typically come available in hardware or software formats, however they could be as simple as paper sheets.
  • The crypto wallet you have in your account contains private and public keys – long collections of letters and numbers which must be safely kept.
  • You’ll need a crypto wallet to purchase any type of cryptocurrency.


the authorAaron Krause

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