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What is a wallet and how do I keep it safe?

You can think of a wallet like your very own home or account on the blockchain. This is where you store all of your assets, and it is the interface that you need to interact with the blockchain. A wallet is software (or even hardware) that stores your private and public key pair.
Your wallet could be in an app on your smartphone, in an app that syncs between your smartphone and browser extension, or a physical device that you connect to your computer. The former two are always connected to the internet and are called hot wallets. The latter is kept offline, and is known as a cold wallet.
There’s a third type of wallet that you may also hear about, and that is a multi-signature wallet. The idea with this wallet is that you use multiple other wallets as the keys to approve transactions in your multi-signature wallet. This wallet can be more difficult to hack than a standard hot wallet, but it is also typically less convenient to use. Where these wallets shine are in projects or as shared wallets. In this case, multiple people have their own key to the main wallet, and there is a minimum threshold set so that multiple key holders need to approve transactions before they can be executed.
You’ll need to evaluate which wallet type is best for you, but we can offer some tips to keep your wallet safe.
First, never ever share your private key or seed phrase with anyone. If someone has gained access to either of these, then they can access everything in your wallet and steal it. On the other hand, you need to keep this somewhere safe because it is not possible to recover a wallet if you lose it. This is the reason that you may have heard news stories about people who would be millionaires if they still had access to their Bitcoin that they bought years ago.
This is essentially your password, so it sounds obvious that you shouldn’t tell this information to anyone. However, it’s not uncommon for people to send you messages claiming to be from “customer service” or that you have won a contest. This is almost always a scam using what is called social engineering to manipulate you into doing something that you would not otherwise do. Keep in mind that a legitimate customer service representative would never ask for your seed phrase, private wallet address, or ask you to connect your wallet to a website or app.
Second, never connect your wallet to an app or website that you don’t trust. Connecting your wallet to malicious software is one way that bad actors can steal your assets. To stay safe, it’s also best to disconnect your wallet whenever you’re done using an app or site, just in case a bad actor is able to gain access to something that would not otherwise be a threat. Again, there are many scammers out there that will tell you to connect your wallet to something to fix an issue, collect free tokens, or something else that sounds okay on the surface. Be careful what you do with your wallet.
This next one may be less obvious, but don’t share your public address or any information about what you have in your wallet. Especially if you have a lot of assets or a particularly valuable one, you’re opening yourself up to attacks by bad actors. Hackers don’t like to hunt on BscScan for valuable wallets to steal from, so you can bet that they’re keeping an eye out for people who talk a lot about their valuable wallet. They’ve even been known to compromise your entire computer or smartphone just to gain access to your wallet.
Finally, there’s something called “dusting” that you need to be aware of. One way that hackers will try to gain access to your wallet is by sending you some malicious tokens. If you interact with these tokens, it could allow bad actors to gain access to your wallet. While there isn’t currently a good way to avoid receiving those tokens, make sure that you never sell, transfer, or otherwise do anything with tokens if you don’t know whether they are safe.
So far we've spoken about non-custodial wallets where you are in full control of your private keys and seed phrase. Another alternative is to use custodial wallets where your keys are stored by a third party provider.