Crypto-currencies are technically speaking, just some numerical gibberish that some long complex algorithm spits out after doing a very complicated and expensive (in terms of computational resource) task. That’s the reason there is only a finite amount of each type of cryptocurrency because after a certain point, doing that task becomes more expensive than value of the currency it generates. For now, there are around 1,300 different cryptocurrencies and that number is only going to rise as user interest develops and market gains confidence. The most popular cryptocurrency is, of course, Bitcoin which became a household name when its value shot up more than 1,200% last year.
Now here’s a teaser- how do you store something that doesn’t exist? After all, because cryptos are managed by public ledgers and work on consensus, the only guarantee you have a cryptocurrency is that majority of them say you do. So if you somehow get them to recognize you (an address) and give you permission to spend cryptocurrencies (through private keys), you effectively own them!
So the answer to the earlier question is- you don’t! As counter-effective as it may sound, cryptocurrency wallets don’t actually store cryptocurrencies. They just hold one or more pairs of public and private keys associated with any particular currency. To put it in the simplest terms, the address and the public key are used to receive payments and private keys are used to spend them. So if you lose your private key or someone else accesses it, you effectively lose all your cryptocurrencies. It’s like if you forgot your Internet banking password, all your money in your bank account would be lost forever.
And this isn’t just a hypothesis. There have been instances where wallet service providers were hacked and lost access to all the private keys of their users, losing all their cryptocurrencies. So if you have cryptocurrencies to manage, you have two feasible options- 1. Download them on an external drive and keep somewhere secure; 2. But if you need to continuously make transactions and receive payments, you definitely need a wallet. But given the immense popularity of the technology, there are countless such services available but once you decide to hire a developer to build such application, make sure they are credible-enough to be trusted with all your virtual currencies. And you are looking for the best ones available on the market, here is a quick roundup:
If you have Bitcoins or intend to transact in them, BTC Wallet is the best option available on the market. With a simple-enough interface for beginners and rich-enough features for experts, it is suitable for all types of users. Available for both Android and iOS users, it promises to give users full control of their private keys and lets them transfer payments even without those long complicated addresses or QR codes.
This is much more than a wallet. Along with storing and transferring your cryptocurrencies, it also lets you buy and sell them at the prevailing market rates. You can shop using cryptocurrencies at legitimate price. Available as an Android, iOS and even web application, it claims over 20 million users and promises secure offline storage with insurance in case something goes unexpectedly.
If you have ever used one of those stock market trading applications, this will feel a lot familiar except all the commodities and trading will be of different cryptocurrencies. So you don’t store them but can also see their value in 60 different currencies in real-time and manage your portfolio accordingly. Available as a mobile app for both Android and iOS, Blockfolio is free to use and takes considerably low cuts for each transaction.
Now if you want a crypto-wallet with full-scale trading capabilities, there is none available better than Coin Tracking. It the perfect Blockchain application that comes with all the features you can think of including trade analytics, coin analytics, portfolio management, high-end security and even tax declaration tools. Also, if you are using any other wallet or trading application, Coin Tracking can easily import all your data from most of such applications. You find it on both Android’s Playstore and Apple’s App Store.