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How to securely store your currencies on your own?

Last revision: September 21, 2016

The main solution is cold storage

Cold storage in the context of cryptocurrencies refers to keeping a cryptocurrency offline. Most of the cryptocurrencies have a public wallet address which is needed to receive money and it can be freely shared without any risk (like a bank account number). The other part is a wallet file encrypted with a password which is used to transfer money (like physical keys from a safe) - it needs to be secure. Cold storage means that the wallet file of the cryptocurrency is encrypted on a computer which is not connected to the internet and/or will not connect later to share the password and the wallet file. This can be easily done on any computer using a bootable live usb stick with linux OS. Methods of cold storage include keeping cryptocurrencies:

  • On a USB drive or other data storage medium in a safe place (e.g. safe deposit box, safe).
  • On a paper wallet.
  • On a bearer item such as a physical bitcoin or monero.
  • Online, but on encrypted media where the encryption key is offline.
  • Use of Hardware wallets.

Deep cold storage refers to keeping cryptocurrencies offline, using a method that makes retrieving coins from storage significantly more difficult than sending them there. This could be done for safety's sake, such as to prevent theft or robbery. A simple example of deep cold storage is opening a safe deposit box and putting a USB stick containing an encrypted Bitcoin wallet file in it. The public (sending) addresses can be used any time to send additional Bitcoins to the wallet, but spending the Bitcoins would require physical access to the box (in addition to knowledge of the encryption password).

For our more tech savvy readers we share some outside tutorials:

Warning: We do not take any responsibility for the information provided in outside links!

Bitcoin paper wallet tutorial: https://blockchain.info/wallet/paper-tutorial
Bitcoin cold storage tutorial: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/How_to_set_up_a_secure_offline_savings_wallet
Ethereum cold storage solution: http://ethereumforum.org/index.php?topic=75.0
Maidsafe storing solutions: https://forum.safenetwork.io/t/how-to-store-maidsafe/3644
Monero paperwallet/cold storage solution: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7241339#msg7241339

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