Wallet: A storage for private and public blockchain keys to access, receive, or spend cryptocurrencies.
Where do you keep your Bitcoin? Is your crypto SAFU? Hot or Cold storage?
There are numerous software and hardware cryptocurrency wallets today, that are safe and easy to use. But back then the first crypto wallet was a full node, which you had to download the whole blockchain on it. Today, the BTC blockchain is approaching 250 GB.
Bitcoin-Qt, currently known as Bitcoin Core, is the first desktop client that allowed regular payments. It’s important to understand, that cryptocurrency is not stored in a wallet, in fact, it’s registered in the system of ledgers on the blockchain. What we know as a crypto wallet is a device or a program that stores private/public keys to access, receive or spend cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin-Qt was released by Satoshi Nakamoto in February 2009. The private keys for the Qt wallet were stored in a file on the user’s desktop titled “wallet.dat”. While functionality was limited, the Qt wallet did have a few advanced features to it. In addition to sending and receiving coins and incorporating an address book, it enabled the user to digitally sign a transaction, proving that they were the owner of a particular public key.
Courtesy of Gavin Andresen, starting from version 0.9.0, Qt was renamed to Bitcoin Core. “Bitcoin Core” sounds strong and rock-like, which is what you want for something that forms the backbone of the network,” – said Andersen.
Today’s wallets can either be digital apps or hardware-based. Cold storage is a frequent topic of discussion. Cold wallet is an offline wallet used for storing cryptocurrencies. Any transaction initiated online is temporarily transferred to an offline wallet kept on a device such as a USB, CD, hard drive, paper, or offline computer, where it is then digitally signed before it is transmitted to the online network.
The most basic form of a cold storage is a paper wallet. A paper wallet is simply a document that has the public and private keys written on it. It’s printed from the crypto online wallet tool with an offline printer. Another form of cold storage is a hardware wallet that uses an offline device to generate private keys offline. Ledger USB, Trezor and KeepKey are the most popular devices at the market right now.
BTCMEX currently uses a Multi-Signature Cold Wallet – the most secure storage available – to keep the user’s assets safe.