A place where cryptocurrency users can store, send and receive digital assets.

What Is a Wallet?

Just like you’d keep banknotes and coins in a wallet, you can do the same with crypto.

Crypto wallets come in all shapes and sizes. Whereas some can only support one digital asset, such as Bitcoin, others allow you to store multiple coins.

Hardware wallets are physical devices where the private keys of cryptocurrencies can be held — but alternatives include wallets that are based online or inside mobile apps, and even written down on paper.

It’s also important to make a distinction between hot wallets and cold wallets. Whereas hot wallets are connected to the internet, cold wallets are not.

A common misconception with crypto wallets lies in what the private keys they hold are for. The information they store merely enables a user to access their assets on the blockchain. In this way, it’s comparable to the PIN that you might enter to log in to a bank account.

As you might imagine, desktop wallets are often installed on PCs and Macs — while mobile wallets pave the way for crypto transactions to be completed on the move.

Hardware wallets are often considered to be the most secure, and least prone to virus attacks.