A cryptocurrency wallet stores Public Keys and Private Keys, which can be used to send or receive cryptocurrency. It is not the Bitcoins that need to be stored and secured safely on the Blockchain, but actually the Private Keys that give you access to them. Hardware wallets specialize in keeping these keys nearby for ease of access, while protecting them from being misused or stolen.
What are the different Crypto Wallet types?
A Crypto Wallet could be a website, a software App, or a hardware device that manages your private keys.
There are two kinds of Software Wallets available:
a. App Wallet: Your private keys are installed locally on a computer, telephone or tablet. However, as these are not specifically manufactured for crypto security, they may be easier for thieves to access, and if they must be “wiped” for any reason, your private keys may be erased.
b. Web Wallet: Your private keys are managed by a trusted third party. With the current scandals about data sharing that have rocked major companies, we must advise extreme care in placing your trust in a third party website.
Because the private keys never leave the physical wallet, hardware wallets are considered most secure. They are born, or generated, live, by signing transactions, and die, or are deleted, all inside the hardware wallet. If a hardware wallet uses a mnemonic sentence as a backup, users should not electronically store the mnemonic sentence, but instead write it down and store it in a separate physical location. Storing the backup electronically lowers the security level to the equivalent level a software wallet might have. If a thief has access to your cryptocurrency accounts, it would not be difficult for them to access the rest of your computer.
Hardware wallets require the user to physically press or touch the wallet in order to sign a transaction, using biometrics to physically confirm the destination address and the amount of coins to be exchanged. This way, the private keys remain safe inside the hardware wallet. Without the requisite correct private key, a signed transaction cannot be altered successfully. Some hardware wallets are equipped with a display, where the user can either enter a PIN to access to the wallet or where the transaction can be verified physically by sight before being officially signed.
Why transaction time can take so long?
Cryptocurrency security requires a huge amount of computing time and space, and in this case price reflects urgency. If a lower-fee encryption plan is chosen, it may take a longer time until your transaction is included in the next available block (it will be confirmed by the respective network). In some cases, it could take as long as a few days.
Will my transaction vanish on the blockchain?
The transaction depends on the network behavior and this can vary widely and can be quite unpredictable. However, there is no cause for worry as the transaction will be resumed at the soonest possible opportunity, or, in the case of a complete inability to transmit the data, a refund.
My wallet has been stolen? (I lost my wallet!)
Anyone who obtains your wallet cannot access into your account unless they obtain the PIN code for your wallet. If an incorrect PIN code is entered to set number of times, the device will reset and wipe the memory. You may enter your 24-word seed codes on a new hardware wallet to recover your account.