Wallets & Exchanges
Exchanges are places where you can purchase and trade cryptocurrency. Online exchanges can be based out of anywhere and may have to follow certain
rules and regulations. You should be very careful when you use an exchange. Do your research and only deal with reputable third parties such as exchanges.
You should use a new email or at least an email address dedicated to crypto when you sign up to an exchange. Make sure your email and exchange
have 2 factor authorization set up. We recommend using Google Authenticator and not using SMS 2FA as it is not as secure. Make sure you have back ups
for your 2FA. Use a unique and strong password for every site. Many recommend to use a password management software to help prevent hacks by keyloggers.
It is not recommended to leave your cryptocurrency on an exchange. It is normally not insured and even if an exchange says in their terms it is covered, good luck on them having funds to cover it if anything happens. Exchanges can be hacked or shut down by regulators. Some exchanges just take off with their users money.
We recommend using a wallet that you have backed up safely and securely to store your cryptocurrency in when it is not needed on an exchange. Some new users may chose to store their cryptocurrency on a reputable exchange long term when they start out and while we recommend against it, it may be a good option for some people as long as its an amount that they can afford to lose.
Be extra careful when dealing with cryptocurrency exchanges. You should always use bookmarks to get to them and never answer any emails or messages with any private information. Phishing websites and emails are very common in cryptocurrecy. MetaMask is a browser extension and Ethereum wallet that can detect malicious websites and is recommended by many in the community.
To start out in Cryptocurrency you will need to purchase it with fiat currency and this can get tricky. It is a lot easier than ever before but recent interest by regulators and banks have been a minor speed bump in that progress. We want to recommend a few options to help make things safer and simpler for our visitors, To purchase with fiat currency, We find Coinbase to be the easiest and cheapest, and this is our invite link that gives us both a bonus. Bitstamp is also easy and has been around a long time. LocalBitcoins is an option for doing peer to peer transactions and uses a rating system like Ebay. Bittrex is a good exchange to purchase altcoins that is based in the USA. We also like Kucoin, which is a newer altcoin exchange based in Hong Kong.
Wallets are how you will interact with the blockchain of your choice. Your coins are not actually stored on your wallet program, but it will store the private keys that control access to the coins you control on the blockchain. If these coins are on an exchange, then that exchange controls the private keys for those coins because they are in the exchanges wallet. We recommend withdrawing your coins from exchanges and into your wallets when you are not trading them.
There are many types of wallets that work in different ways with different features. Some coins have their own wallet and some do not. Some wallets are safer and some are easier to use. The wallets you will use will depend on the coin and how you use the wallet. Some people will prefer to do everything on their phone and some will prefer their computers. Keep in mind whatever wallet you chose is only as safe as the device it is on. We recommend using a new or fully wiped and updated devices. This includes updating the BIOS on computers. You should keep this device off public wifi. You should make sure your router is updated and does not have open ports for attackers and may even want to look into offline transactions. We recommend using hardware wallets when possible as they help limit the risk from infected devices and unsecured networks. The Nano S and Trezor are two inexpensive and trusted choices. If you have over a weeks pay worth of crypto a hardware wallet is a must in our opinion.
Not all coins can be used with a hardware wallet, but more are added all the time. A lot of cryptocurrencies have their own wallets that they develop and these are a great option on a safe device when encrypted and properly backed up. We always prefer to use open source code wallets. Be careful with new and unknown wallets as they can easily contain malware. Some wallets store the entire copy of the blockchain on your device but there are also "lite" versions that do not require much space or time to install. You can also create paper wallets to safely store offline. Some wallets store multiple crypto currencies. If you use a wallet of this type you should make sure it has a BIP39 compatible recovery option for your private keys, like most hardware wallets do. Always research the proper way to backup your wallet information and and then backup your backups.
Here is some information on a few wallets that should cover most new peoples needs, at first at least. While these are reputable and safe options, they are not the best options for long term storage of large amounts of cryptocurrencies. These wallets are all easy for beginners and non technical people. They are also convenient for people who want to have easy and fast access to smaller amounts.
Exodus is a computer based wallet that supports Bitcoin and a lot of popular coins.
Coinomi is a phone based wallet that supports Bitcoin and a lot of popular coins including ERC20 tokens.
MetaMask is a computer based ETH and ERC20 token wallet. It has a ton of other uses as well.