A hot wallet is a crypto wallet that is constantly linked to the internet and the crypto network. Hot wallets are designed for the flexible storage and retrieval of crypto assets. They may be used by miners and crypto traders to have their funds transferred instantly to internet storage. A hot wallet also provides a simple way to store, transfer, and receive crypto. Public and private keys that are connected to hot wallets often serve to protect users and facilitate transactions.
Yet, the fact that hot wallets are connected to the internet makes them slightly more susceptible to theft and hacking as compared to cold wallets. So what should you take into consideration when deciding whether or not to use a crypto hot wallet? Well, read on to find out more about the features, benefits, and drawbacks of hot wallets!
Security Concerns Regarding Crypto Hot Wallets
Hot wallets with serious security flaws are vulnerable to attack by external sources. Furthermore, the security and safety of the hot wallet are determined mainly by the end user’s behaviour. Hot wallets are prone to security problems due to the fact that the public and private keys are kept online. For instance, data interception and online fraud are more likely in single bottleneck systems like the hot wallet server or a web server where the end user’s verification takes place. Theft of virtual money from a hot wallet can be feasible if the login and password are compromised.
Custodial & Non-Custodial Crypto Hot Wallets
Hot wallets are classified as either custodial or non-custodial. The main distinction between these comes down to security over practicality, as well as who is in charge of safeguarding a wallet’s private keys.
A custodial hot wallet is one that you usually have on a crypto exchange. With a custodial wallet, a third party holds the user’s private keys and uses them to “confirm” transactions that have already been made on the owner’s behalf. Users who want to avoid dealing excessively with security and who aren’t worried about entrusting a third party with their private keys could utilize custodial wallets. It’s typically not recommended to hold significant quantities of cryptocurrencies in a custodial wallet due to dangers like hackers or even an exchange going bankrupt (which has occurred previously).
On the other hand, smartphone or desktop applications are the norm for non-custodial hot wallets. Non-custodial wallets are frequently chosen by more experienced crypto users or people who desire full ownership over their private keys. The owner of a non-custodial wallet is entirely accountable for safeguarding their private key. Non-custodial wallets don’t demand that a user put their faith in a third party to protect their funds, but they do demand a high level of self-trust. Keep in mind that if a user’s private key is misplaced or stolen, their funds might be gone forever.
3 Different Types of Hot Wallets
There are many different variations of hot wallets available nowadays such as desktop, mobile, and online wallets.
Desktop wallets are software programs that you download on your and are often non-custodial. Although they are a practical solution to keep your crypto assets, desktop wallets also involve the danger of hacking. You should always make a backup of the private keys and secure your machine. Significant currency and token holdings on a desktop wallet should only be done in conjunction with a hardware wallet, as a desktop wallet is prone to numerous viruses and spyware that target computers.
One of the simplest and most practical methods to create a non-custodial crypto wallet is through mobile wallets, which are apps that can be downloaded to a mobile device. The majority of them will guide you through backing up your seed phrase and getting you started by having you create a new wallet. However, a smartphone is susceptible to mobile malware and viruses. It can also be easily misplaced or taken.
Online wallets can be accessed with a web browser. Without the need to download any additional software, they allow you to manage your crypto holdings through an internet portal. Several of them, like MetaMask, are even available as browser plugins. Nevertheless, it is also important to recognize that web wallets also have a high risk of getting exposed to viruses and hacking.
Storing Crypto in Hot Wallets
It is a wise practice to retain a modest quantity of your crypto in your hot wallet; you could also consider depositing only when you need to purchase something with the use of crypto. With this approach, you would keep what you need in the hot wallet and the rest in a cold wallet. To ensure the safety of your crypto, only store a modest sum in your hot wallet, back it up regularly, keep the software updated, encrypt it, and safeguard your password.
Some Examples of Crypto Hot Wallets
There are a few popular crypto hot wallets in the market now. Some examples of hot wallets are Exodus, Edge Wallet, and Coinbase Wallet. If you would like to find out what other crypto hot wallets that are available or the best crypto hot wallets out there, you can take a look at the list here.
Are Hot Wallets Safe?
While hot wallets offer convenience, they come with an increased level of risk compared to cold wallets. By adopting good security practices, using reputable providers, and maintaining device security, you can help enhance the safety of your hot wallet.
A multitude of traders believe that holding crypto in hot wallets is not a smart move, mainly due to the fact that hot wallets are connected to the internet and their keys are more vulnerable to cyberattacks. This has led many to think that cold wallets are a better option. Even so, retrieving crypto held in cold wallets can be troublesome for frequent traders. Hot wallets are definitely more convenient and handy for individuals who trade often.
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