Bitcoins are digital coins that cannot be stored in any physical location. For their safety, there is a need to use digital wallets. Most exchanges do provide wallets of their own, but their main aim is not security. So choosing a wallet apart from the exchange wallet is best suited for long-term or large holdings of this decentralized currency.

The features and pricing of wallets differ. Some might allow only Bitcoin, while others might allow storage of numerous variety of altcoins. Some wallets might give the facility to swap one type to another. The choice is endless when it comes to choosing a wallet for Bitcoins. But one should know about the basic classifications of these elements, i.e. hot wallets and cold wallets. While the former are online wallets, the latter are hardware or paper wallets.

Hot wallets: 

These are online wallets, and they run on devices connected over the internet like phones, computers, or tablets. This can lead to vulnerability as these wallets have the private keys to your cryptocurrency on these devices. It is a convenient way to access your coins and do transactions using them quickly. But storing the private key on a device connected using the internet makes it susceptible to hacking.

Users who do not use proper security precautions while using these wallets via might have their funds stolen. This is quite frequent and happens in multiple ways. Some people boast on social media or forums about the number of Bitcoins that they hold. But they do not care about securing their hot wallets. This can lead to compromising their public key. One should use techniques such as two-factor authentication, strong passwords, and safe browsing protocols to avoid such scenarios.

These types of wallets are best suited for a small number of coins that you would be actively trading. You should only hold the money that you would spend in this account. Bulk money can be store elsewhere. Hot wallets include web, desktop, mobile, and exchange account types. The exchange variants are custodial accounts that are provided by the exchange that you use. Here the private key is kept by the exchange itself.

Cold wallets:

This is a system that is not an internet connection, and so there is less risk of any hacking or compromise. They are also referred to as hardware or offline wallets. Here the private key is stored on something which is not connected over the internet and makes use of software that works parallelly. The user gets the benefit to view the portfolio without risking their private key.

The best way to store the private keys offline is to use a paper wallet. This is a type that can be generated off of some websites. It creates both private and public keys that can be printed on paper. The cryptocurrency can be accessed only if the person has the paper containing the private key. These papers should be laminated and stored safely in safety boxes or bank lockers. It is used for long-term investments and high amounts that need high security. It is not possible to trade or sell Bitcoin, which is stored in this manner.

A hardware wallet is commonly used, and it is a USB device that stores the private keys of the user securely offline. This device remains unaffected by any viruses present in the user’s computer. The keys remain secure and never come in contact with the internet network or any vulnerable software. They are most often open-source devices that allow the community to ensure that it is safe to use through code audits rather than a particular company mentioning that the product is safe and secure to use.

Cold variants are the best way to store Bitcoin or other decentralized currencies. But one should have the proper knowledge to set them up; else they might lock in their coins.

The best way of Bitcoin trading is to have an exchange account for trading, a hot wallet that can be used to store some amounts, and a cold wallet for larger holdings that you would store for longer durations. It is best suited to start out small and then make bigger purchases as one gains experience.