what are hardware and software wallets

If you know that in the world of cryptocurrencies, every user is his/her own bank, you must also know that in this world you can’t do anything without cryptocurrency wallets. Cryptocurrency wallets are hardware or software tools that hold your cryptocurrencies, and enable transferring them. Exactly as we mentioned, these wallets have hardware and software types. But what differences do these two types of cryptocurrency wallets have? Stay with us to figure out.

What is a cryptocurrency wallet?

A cryptocurrency wallet is a software or a hardware tool that lets you hold, send, and receive cryptocurrencies. One important point you have to know about cryptocurrency wallets is that they are tools that let you access your assets on the blockchain. Pay attention that cryptocurrencies are not stored on these wallets. They are stored on the blockchain. These wallets let you access the cryptocurrencies you have on a specific blockchain. For example, if you lose the private key of your wallet, your cryptocurrencies are not destroyed. There are there on the blockchain. The problem is that you can’t access those cryptocurrencies without your wallet.

Cryptocurrency wallets have hardware and software types. Software wallets are usually free and can be easily downloaded and installed, but hardware wallets have to be bought. If you have no idea what a hardware or a software wallet is, stay with us in the following parts.

What is a software wallet?

A software wallet is a mobile/desktop application, or a browser extension, that provides you with an address and a private key, and lets you hold your cryptocurrencies. As we mentioned, these applications are free and easily downloaded. They are usually multicoin and support a wide range of cryptocurrencies. When you download a software wallet and run it, it provides you with 12 to 24 words in a specific order. This is your “seed phrase”, and actually acts as your private key. It is significantly important that you write down these words in the correct order, and keep them safe. If your phone/PC gets damaged, or you lose it, you can download the same application on another device and import your cryptocurrencies using the seed phrase. By the way, if you forget your seed phrase, you have to forget your cryptocurrencies either. Another important point you have to remember is that if anyone gets access to your seed phrase, he/she in fact has access to your cryptocurrencies. So, take care of your seed phrase and try your best to keep it safe.

Software wallets are practical and easy-to-use. They are always with you, and you can use them to send/receive cryptocurrencies whenever you need. However, they are always online, and they suffer from the risk of getting hacked. For this reason, some crypto experts believe that hardware wallets are more appropriate for larger amounts of cryptocurrencies. Let’s investigate what hardware wallets are and how they work.

What is a hardware wallet?

A hardware wallet is a physical device designed to hold cryptocurrencies. Unlike software wallets, they have to be bought from certain stores. Hardware wallets also provide you with a seed phrase. When you want to send or receive a certain token, you have to connect your hardware wallet to an application. However, these are the only moments your wallet is online. As soon as you disconnect your hardware wallet, it becomes offline. So, they are much more secure than software wallets, and they can’t get hacked so easily. Besides, they have some buttons with specific functions that are required for finalizing a transaction. For example, they may require you to press both buttons simultaneously to finalize the transaction. They also have some other security layers like pin codes to completely ensure the security of your cryptocurrencies. Ledger and Trezor are two well-known samples of hardware wallets.

Conclusion

As you may have figured out, hardware wallets and software wallets have their own pros and cons. Software wallets are more practical and easier to use. They are with you always and anywhere, but they suffer from a low level of security. On the other hand, hardware wallets are more secure, but they are not as handy as software wallets. For this reason, some crypto experts suggest transferring the big part of your cryptocurrencies to hardware wallets, and keeping a small amount in software wallets.