Our DeFi experts share their knowledge and answer your questions about decentralized finance, covering topics like dApps, DEXs, DAOs, yield farming & staking, DeFi protocols, and more.
Crypto Hot Wallets Explained
A crypto hot wallet is an online vault that connects to various blockchains to allow users to manage their digital assets. The different types of hot wallets are popular because you can get them for free or at lower prices, they're easy to set up, and assets are quickly accessible, making them convenient for active crypto users, like day traders. You can install hot wallet software on your computer or smartphone, or access it through a web browser without downloading. They guarantee some level of security but be vigilant against online attacks. How Do Hot Wallets Work? To receive crypto, you must have a wallet to facilitate blockchain transactions. However, all crypto wallets don’t physically store digital assets—they simply offer the tools necessary to manage, transfer, and receive crypto through blockchain transactions. Therefore, they act as the interface for accessing your digital assets. To acquire crypto, you receive private keys that give you access rights. They let you manage your account, view balances, execute transactions, etc. As such, these keys act as your banking pin. On the other hand, you need a public key to receive crypto without revealing your identity. A public key resembles your bank account number. Both public and private keys are kept in wallets. The Security of Hot Wallets One of the most significant risks of crypto hot wallets is the security breaches of private keys, which are kept online and in wallet browsers. Your online habits greatly affect the safety of your wallet. A hot wallet server, where user verification takes place, forms a single-point-of-failure, increasing the chances of seizing your personal information and online spoofing. Hackers who gain access to your login details may steal your crypto. Therefore, it’s advisable to hold only a small number of assets in a hot wallet and the rest in a cold wallet. Crypto exchanges are highly compatible with most hot wallets and they have extra levels of security in place, like Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) and Biometric Identification, to protect their users’ private keys from unauthorized individuals. Therefore, ensure you leverage these extra security measures to protect your hot wallet.
Asked 7 months ago
Different Types of Cryptocurrency Wallets and Their Benefits
You need a cryptocurrency wallet to interact with a blockchain network. A wallet acts as an interface between you and the network. Similar to how you need a bank account number and pin to access your funds, you also need a public and private key to access your crypto savings account. Some cryptocurrency wallets offer improved security over others, but crypto wallets don’t store cryptocurrencies. They simply connect users to blockchains and ensure the storage of keys. Different Types of Crypto Wallets These are the five types of crypto wallets: 1. Online Wallets Online crypto wallets are owned and controlled by third parties. You can store the keys remotely or download them as encrypted files to your computer. Examples include HolyTransaction, Coinbase, and Cryptonator. Pros of Online Wallets Easy to set up and useAnonymity, because most of them don’t require identity verification Cons of Online Wallets Share the risks of centralized exchanges Highly vulnerable to online attacks and censorship 2. Mobile Crypto Wallets These are software wallets you download on your smartphone. They're ideal for people who use crypto to pay for goods and services regularly and day traders. Examples include MetaMask, Trust Wallet, and NOW Wallet. Pros of Mobile Wallets Safer than online walletsMore convenient than paper and hardware walletsHave extra features such as face identification and QR code scanning Cons of Mobile Wallets Prone to online attacks and aren't ideal for long-term holding 3. Hardware Wallets These are offline wallets that often resemble USB devices. While they're ideal for long-term holding, hardware wallets aren't widespread. Examples include Ledger Nano S and Trezor Model One. Pros of Hardware Wallets Don’t expose private keys to computers and are immune to computer viruses Require users to verify transactions on their devices (not a downloaded app on their desktop or mobile) before adding them to blockchains Cons of Hardware Wallets Costly (but still a good investment because they provide more security). 4. Desktop Wallets Desktop wallets are software you install on your desktop. Examples include the MetaMask browser extension and Exodus. Pros of Desktop Wallets Store private keys on your hard drive, which is less risky than storing them online. Cons of Desktop Wallets Require regular updates, consuming much memoryProne to computer viruses 5. Paper Wallets Paper wallets present a unique way of storing keys in written or printed papers with QR codes. Examples include MyEtherWallet, Wallet Generator, and Bitcoin Paper Wallet. Pros of Paper Wallets Store private keys offline, minimizing online attacks Cons of Paper Wallets Easily lose or misplace the paper containing your keys
Asked 7 months ago
Crypto Wallets Explained—How They Keep Your Crypto Safe
A crypto wallet is an interface between you and a blockchain network when you want to access your cryptocurrency holdings. Like the way you need an account number and pin to access your bank account, you also need a public and private key when using a cryptocurrency wallet. There are different types of crypto wallets: Hot wallets (online vaults): Mobile wallets: Software wallets you download on your smartphone.Desktop wallets: Software you install on your desktop.Online wallets: Owned and controlled by third parties. Cold wallets (offline vaults): Paper wallets: A unique way of storing keys in written or printed papers with QR codes.Hardware wallets: Offline wallets that often resemble USB devices. What Happens When You Put Your Crypto in a Wallet? While bank accounts store fiat currencies, cryptocurrency wallets technically don’t hold digital assets. Your assets live on blockchain networks which you access through an interface and keys. The keys prove ownership of crypto holdings and let you perform transactions. Once you lose or misplace your private keys (particularly for cold wallets), you'll most likely lose access to your funds. Therefore, storing your private keys safely or using wallets is essential. Since crypto wallets are digital asset management solutions, there are best practices you should implement to keep your account safe: If you're using a software wallet, update it frequently since the latest versions are advancements of previous versions.Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) if your wallet or exchange allows it.Don’t share your private keys with anyone. Treat your keys as your Social Security Number or banking pinIf you're using a crypto exchange or online wallet, create strong passwords using password managers. Do You Really Need a Crypto Wallet? From a technical point of view, you don’t need a crypto wallet to own digital currencies. You can purchase coins and leave them in exchange. However, you need a crypto wallet when you want to: Manage your crypto holdings in one placeControl your private keysTransfer and receive crypto to and from various addressesInteract with domain names instead of the long and complex public keysInteract with decentralized finance (DeFi) appsPay for goods and services at various online stores that accept crypto
Asked 7 months ago
Is Buying Stablecoins Worth It?
A stablecoin is a digital currency whose value is pegged to a real-world asset like the US dollar. Crypto users buy stablecoins to retain their investments in marketplaces and wallets without necessarily converting them to fiat currencies. Thus, they save money by eliminating the hefty conversion fees imposed by card processors. Another reason people buy stablecoins is to use them to transact between cryptocurrency businesses and hold crypto without the volatility risk. However, these coins are controlled by centralized companies, which, to a large extent, operate opaquely. Are Stablecoins a Good Investment? Apart from using stablecoins to avoid volatility and transact between crypto businesses smoothly, stablecoins also have other uses that make good investments. They are valuable in ways standard cryptocurrencies aren’t due to their stable prices. As such, though you can use digital currencies for day-to-day transactions, their volatility is a major barrier to mass adoption. Business owners are hesitant to receive payments in assets that could dip with a single tweet from Elon Musk. At the same time, customers are unwilling to pay using an asset that could increase in value within the next hour, month, or year. Stablecoins offer solutions to both challenges. Other Features That Make Stablecoins a Great Investment They act as an effective way of moving funds between crypto exchanges and wallets.People from countries with unstable currencies can use stablecoins to beat the inflation of their currenciesYou can lend your stablecoins in lending platforms like Compound and generate passive income. As a matter of fact, you can earn interest rates of up to 25 by lending out stablecoins, especially during the bull market. The Safest Stablecoins to Buy Following the recent collapse of TerraUST, many people have been asking, “Which is the safest stablecoin to buy? Well, USDC is often considered the safest stablecoin to buy. Better still, it has the second largest market cap after USDT, which most crypto users have little trust in because of its lack of transparency and lawsuit history. USDC custodians are Coinbase members, a regulated US crypto exchange, and its reserves are fully verified by an independent agency. Bearing that in mind, some crypto users who prefer decentralization to centralization strongly feel DAI is the safest stablecoin. They argue that not being under a centralized issuer makes DAI less vulnerable to crashes and attacks. Is market cap necessarily an issue for you? Do you fully trust a centralized authority to control your money, or do you prefer trusting an algorithm? When all is said and done, the safest stablecoin to invest in depends on your money safety principles and what you want in a stablecoin.
Asked 8 months ago
Here's Why Stablecoins Should Be FDIC Insured
To be FDIC-insured simply means that, if you hold assets of up to $250,000 in a financial institution and the institution fails or becomes bankrupt, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) refunds all the losses you incur. If you have an individual account with more than $250,000, you must spread it into several FDIC-insured banks to qualify for FDIC insurance. Luckily, you don’t need to apply for or buy FDIC deposit insurance. You automatically qualify for coverage when you open a deposit account at an FDIC-insured financial institution. Are Stablecoins FDIC Insured? Currently, stablecoins are not FDIC insured. However, a decentralized insurance program similar to traditional deposit insurance can be created. Projects that wish to participate can give information about their tokens’ stability mechanisms and reserve portfolios, similar to the supervisory assessments the FDIC applies to gauge a financial institution’s general condition. Once the stablecoin structure has been assessed and its potential risks better understood, the FDIC can classify it into the appropriate risk group to determine the fee the project needs to pay. Benefits of Blockchain Since stablecoins run on a blockchain network, the FDIC can leverage this technology for its insurance program to improve efficiency, cut costs, and increase transparency. Furthermore, the agency can issue a stablecoin insurance token on a permissioned blockchain and only give access to stablecoin projects that have completed a risk evaluation. Like in deposit insurance, FDIC can place the money it collects in a stablecoin investment fund to ensure public trust and bail out failed projects. Projects that don’t join would be disqualified, further assisting in preventing potential problems, like those caused by TerraUSD. Why Should Stablecoins Be FDIC Insured? Stablecoins should be FDIC insured because they present three risks to the financial industry, the economy, and investors: Loss of value/risk to the holdersPayment system riskSystemic risk The news that TerraUSD, one of the biggest algorithmic stablecoins with a market capitalization of over $18 billion, broke its peg to the US dollar resonated throughout the financial markets in May. Considering the increasing importance of stablecoins, which have seen an incredible surge in total supply in the last three years to almost $180 billion, regulators should ensure the responsible development of cryptocurrencies. Therefore, agencies like FDIC and SEC should formulate policies and measures for mitigating the above risks while backing innovation that improves efficiency, minimizes expenses, and increases financial inclusion. In conclusion, stablecoins should be FDIC insured if they genuinely want to be the future of commerce.
Asked 8 months ago
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