What is a cryptocurrency wallet?
It has been many years since I first got involved with cryptocurrency. So much has changed since the early days of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Cryptocurrency used to be only for the computer nerds like myself. You either had to learn to install software and configure a node and use command line tools to generate a wallet or have someone help you do it. Only recently in the last several years has wallets for cryptocurrency been made super available for average internet users. Now there are easy to use wallet creation tools in your internet browser and for those wanting hardware style wallets built on their computer using special blockchain software, things keep getting easier.
What is a cryptocurrency wallet exactly?
First we might need to define what cryptocurrency is. There are many different kinds of cryptocurrency. Most consider cryptocurrency to be a currency that is built using blockchain technology. Some people might call it digital currency or internet money. Cryptocurrency is really special because it is virtually hack proof and the record of all transactions are typically held on a public ledger a.k.a. blockchain. Cryptocurrency is very awesome because of this blockchain technology which makes it generally a decentralized currency. Government issued currencies are centralized and can collapse easily based on policies, laws, wars etc of the government. Cryptocurrency popularity really came to life as a result of the world financial crises that started around 2008 where many banks and countries had to be bailed out or were chosen to be bailed out verses letting the free market clean house.
Cryptocurrency with their immutable, decentralized nature yielded way to the trading of the currencies against each other and government back currencies. Some have argued that they have no intrinsic value and the same can be said for many government backed currencies. Cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin made recent news as many people who purchased them in the early days became Bitcoin millionaires as the value of the currency went from pennies and dollars to over 18,000 USD per bitcoin. (Now hovering between 6,000 and 6,500 USD.) Other cryptocurrencies began around the same time often being built on the same technology with enhancements to the underlying code or protocol. In the last 2 years many new and improved cryptocurrencies have been developed such as Ethereum, Waves, EOS and Steem. (There are many others).
The really neat thing about several of the new blockchains is the ability for developers to build currencies on top of the blockchain. Many have chosen to use Ethereum to build their currency. Ethereum offers many tools that allow users to easily build wallets and applications that can run on their blockchain. Stish crypto currency is one such currency built on Ethereum. This allows for start-ups like https://Stishit.net to have the ability to launch products and services and raise capital faster than ever before and integrate a currency into a platform without having to also build the blockchain infrastructure which can literally take years to fully develop. We could get into more of exactly what cryptocurrency is and how cryptography works and private keys etc but we will save that for a whole different article.
Moving on to cryptocurrency wallets.
What is a crypto wallet again? Cryptocurrency wallets are the place where your digital cryptocurrency are stored. Cryptocurrency wallets come in many different flavors. The most important thing to understand about cryptocurrency wallets is that they are generally currency specific. For instance a Bitcoin wallet should only be sent Bitcoin. The litecoin wallet address should only be sent litecoin. Sending Bitcoin to a waves wallet address will likely cause you to lose your currency. Some wallets are smart and will simply ignore the transaction. Other wallets are not so smart and might allow the transaction to happen and the currency to be lost. When dealing with cryptocurrency it is like real money so you definitely do not want to throw it away. If you have a currency and are sending it to someone else make sure they give you the correct wallet address. If you maybe have purchased some cryptocurrency from an exchange such as changelley or coinbase and are then wanting to send that currency to another exchange or platform always make sure you are sending to the correct currency receive wallet address. This is the biggest mistake and can happen to even experienced traders and cryptocurrency gurus.
Most cryptocurrencies have a trading symbol. Often the currency and blockchain might be referred to by this trading symbol. The United States Dollar uses the Symbol USD and the Euro uses the symbol EUR. With cryptocurrencies they often use a trading symbol. Typically this symbol is between 3 and 5 letters as most exchanges will not list more than 5 letters for a symbol. Some of the popular cryptocurrencies frequently will not have anything mentioned about them but their Symbol. For instance you might read a whole article about bitcoin but never see bitcoin spelled out. The whole article might just use the symbol for bitcoin which is BTC. If you are new to cryptocurrency this can be confusing at first. Especially when maybe trying to send crypto for the first time. After a few times you will get the hang of it and start having an eye for different popular trading symbols.
Bitcoin is one of the most popular examples and is often talked about the most online. BTC is a common currency so much so that many currencies and tokens will trade in the pairing of their currency and BTC. For instance you might see a pairing such as ETH/BTC. ETH is in reference to Ether the cryptocurrency that runs on the ethereum blockchain. ETH is a very popular cryptocurrency also and will often be talked about as ETH, Ether, or Ethereum though Ethereum is technically the name of the blockchain and Ether is technically the cryptocurrency. Other popular trading symbols of top currencies you might see from time to time are LTC for Litecoin and BCH or Bitcoin Cash. ETC is Ether Classic and there are tons of other cryptocurrencies with various trading symbols. Stish is our cryptocurrency for the Stish community and the trading symbol is Stish! We make it easy.
With a common mistake of the wrong currency being sent to the wrong wallet address there have been many new types of wallets pop up mainly for mobile devices that help negate this. Some platforms offer one wallet type systems that allow for the sending of multiple crypto currencies and they sort our and organize the currency through their software to help you manage things. Being old school the convenience of this is nice but the security risks are too high for my personal tastes. I like to keep my wallet addresses and what they are used for on a flash drive that I keep in a safe. The private keys are on a seperate flash drive in another safe. If for some reason I forget the keys or need to restore a wallet I can access this data but it is not readily accessible or connected to the internet typically when accessing this data.
There are many wallets now like Trezor.io and Ledger Nano and Keep Key which are referred to as hardware wallets. Each having their own unique usefulness. There is a great article that really gets into each one and compares them for the average consumer. They also compare various other hardware wallets and for now they can do this area far more justice than I can. You can copy and paste the link for yourself. https://99bitcoins.com/hardware-wallets/
For the most part personally I’m an Ether guy. Sometimes even Ether Classic comes in handy. Ether wallets all generally start with 0x for their wallet addresses which helps keep things in order for me. My Ether wallet addresses dominate my usb sticks and I really could consolidate at this point and burn a few wallet addresses.
THE COOLEST THING ABOUT ETHER WALLETS!!!
Wallets built for Ethereum are freaking awesome. These wallets can accept Ether, ETC and over 1000 Tokens built on the Ethereum blockchain with little effort from the end user. WELL MOST WALLETS ADDRESSES CAN>>> PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY!!! Far too often I have seen people send tokens to a wallet that is tied to an exchange and lose their currency forever! Many new people just getting started my use an Ether wallet address provided to them by a website or exchange. Generally speaking Ether wallets that are provided by a website or exchange do not provide the customers with the private key. Often they do not have the private key or access to your wallets any more than you do. These wallet addresses are often referred to as HOT WALLETS or Light Wallets! They are convenience wallets built to help new people send and receive a specific currency but not necessarily have full access to the wallet.
For instance sending Stish crypto to a hot Ethereum wallet will typically result in the loss of Stish…If you were to send Stish to an Exchange Ether wallet address ( a hot wallet) you will likely not be able to retrieve your Stish. When sending Ethereum Based Tokens you will want to make sure you send and receive the tokens to and from an Ether Wallet you have full control of with a private key or that the wallet address can accept, send and receive the token you are sending. You can build an Ether wallet specifically designed to handle Tokens using the MetaMask Extension for most internet browsers or by using the MyEtherWallet website. The Stish wallet is a perfect example of a hot wallet designed for sending and receiving Stish and Ether. You can send and receive ETH or STISH to this hot wallet. It is not designed to send or receive other Ethereum based tokens. Sending Random Tokens To Your Stish Wallet will cause you to lose those tokens and we cannot get them back as we do not have the private keys or access to your wallet addresses either.
These Hot or Light wallets are designed for your convenience and temporary storage of a currency. Many people use the wallets to Tip other users or to buy things from the website. Most people once they learn more about the platform and Ethereum will create their own wallet address using Meta Mask or MyEtherWallet.com and move their Stish to a wallet they have full control of. We encourage this. The Stish wallets are great for people who are just getting started using crypto as they have a place to store their cryptocurrency until they learn more about Ether and can create their own powerful fully controlled wallets.
Ether wallets are powerful. When you create an Ether wallet that you have full control over where you own the private key no one can touch your tokens. Always follow the online prompts about storing your Seed phrase and private keys in a secure place. You really cannot get access if you lose them and your funds can be lost forever! When you have a wallet address that you totally own and your private key which is just a fancy password basically is secure you can not send literally 1000’s of Ethereum based tokens to the wallet address. Personally I generally only keep ETH and one token per wallet address. Risk management in the event I do get hacked somehow only maybe one wallet address is lost!
With meta mask one Seed phrase will restore the whole list of wallets you have created using meta mask if you ever need to restore it maybe because you changed laptops. I generally will name each wallet address the name of the Token that it holds. You could add as many tokens as you want to a wallet address but there is another reason I do them seperate also. Some people hate having that much small Ether in all of the accounts because of all of the small transaction fees. I get this and if you are tight on funds then stacking 10 tokens per wallet might be what you need to do. Most tokens have to be added to your wallet to display. So you have to click add custom token and copy and paste the Token contract address then Meta Mask will display how many tokens you own and allow you to send and receive them easily from Meta Mask. Of course if you have not purchased or mined the tokens or someone sent them to you then they will also not display.
For many meta mask is the way to go to interact with Ether and Ethereum based tokens. My number one reason for liking Ether is that you are not burdened by using a centralized user interface to access your wallet or currency. There are many options that will allow you to utilize your wallet address and get the most out of your cryptocurrency. Exchanges such as RADEX.ai are allowing people to exchange P2p via a decentralized exchange. Another platform which will be out soon is AMP. It also will allow people to trade Tokens p2p without having to pay all of those middle man markup fees. We all hate fees and the decentralized exchanges are here to stay and help reduce any scams or manipulation by the large exchanges.
One thing that we all know is that when there is large amounts of money to be made there is always some bad apples that will look for ways to scheme or scam their way into your pocket. Often the media tries to make crypto look bad but it is no different than traditional money scams that go on all of the time. If some Prince or Princess from a long lost land wants to wire you money and they call you on the phone it is a scam and you should not accept their wire transfer and keep half and then send the rest back to them…Just do not do this… It is a known scam using government issued money. This doesn’t mean that all government issued money is bad, just like not all crypto is bad or being pumped and dumped to hurt buyers or investors.
With all things related to anything where you are spending your hard earned cash you should do your due diligence. Caveat Emptor or let the buyer beware is definitely at play often. Each person is responsible for their crypto currency holdings and you should not let someone else manage this for you. Really do your research and know that people who are getting rich in crypto are there but there are just as many who have lost everything. Cryptocurrency trading like day trading is very volatile. You really need to know what you are doing and how you are investing and know that it is a huge risk so never risk more than you can afford to lose. Many people think they will get rich overnight with crypto but it is not a get rich quick scheme. Most currencies take years to fully develop their brand and community and getting in on the ground floor of the right projects might make you filthy rich one day and if it all doesn’t work out you might lose your hard earned money. Be careful and use common sense.
Crypto currency wallets have varying levels of security. With most looking at desktop application that create wallet addresses and private keys offline as being the most secure. No online generated wallet should really be used for long term storage or large amounts of currency. Crypto is virtually hack proof ,at least the major players in the space always say that it is, but if a wallet has a big enough value there will be someone who is smarter and faster that will likely try to access it. Don’t take unnecessary risks. If you are super computer savvy then building a wallet on a desktop is the way to go. If you are pretty smart but not that smart or bored then building an online wallet might make sense just don’t store your password or private keys online. So many idiots store them in like a public gmail account or drop box account and it is just stupid. Do not share your passwords, keyword phrases, or private keys with anyone. I have heard of people being scammed into letting someone else manage their crypto assets to help make them grow…DO NOT DO IT! They will only make their own assets grow… There are smart contracts out there and companies popping up from time to time that offer staking or placement of your tokens so that they earn some interest. Some of these are real and some have been found to be total scams and fraudsters. If it sounds too good to be true it might very well be.
I say that alot and it is often true. One thing people often ask about Stish crypto is how can we give it away? Well, we can’t just give it away as we would go out of business very fast but we can allow people to do tasks and provide value to the community and then assign them some of the Stish crypto for being a part of it all. Each member can get some Stish for building a crypto economy. Eventually we will have a large distribution and people may want to trade it and some will think it is worth more than others and this can often lead to trading opportunities that some will find favorable and others might not. At the end of the day the free markets will determine the value of Stish cryptocurrency and the members will make up the free markets we hope and help create a solid store of value token for all of us cryptocurrency lovers. If we all prepare for the next big major government meltdown maybe our micro crypto economy survives and our members live happily ever after.
Stish is the first of its kind. It is not backed by major corporate sponsors or financiers. Stish crypto is a grassroots small team dedicated to the love of crypto and community free speech. With the help of a lot of small contributions Stishit.net has been formed and helps spread the Stish love around to as many as possible. From time to time Stish does have set aside some Stish crypto for contests and special air drops to help encourage growth and brand awareness. We get that for a currency to be successful it takes a large distribution and a strong community dedicated to that success. Stishit.net is growing and the currency is spreading and people are starting to see real progress and many are starting to buy Stish to show support for the platform. Instead of donating their money to an unworthy cause and getting nothing in return, members of Stish make contributions and receive Stish cryptocurrency built on the Ethereum blockchain. These contributions help fund further development and operation costs and also provide a voice for so many looking to be heard! Thank you for your support.