With centralised platforms being rocked right now I’m sure I’m not the only one weary of using them. Self-Custody is looking like the way to go.
Paper and hot wallets are cool, they give you an extra layer of security. I’ve been using these for years and I know how wlefdective they work in both security your funds and encouraging HODLing.
Usability wise, You can use them in-conjunction with a compatible hot wallet. So that’s a useful extra layer of security if anything on the computer you use gets compromised.
Hardware wallets make it easy for you to have cold storage and still provide relatively easy access to the storage. They are designed such that your private key never leaves the device. When you want to transfer your crypto, your computer or App actually sends the transaction to your hardware wallet to sign the transaction. Your keys are never exposed to any connected system. In fact, you don’t even know what your private key is (though you know how to deterministically recreate it).
This is possible to do on your own with a machine that is air gapped, but requires a much greater level of expertise. Just having it stored on a USB isn’t sufficient if you plug that USB into a networked computer.
Unlike a public key, which is both searchable and shareable, a private key must be kept, well, private. Bottom line is, if you lose your private key, you lose access to your wallet, where your crypto is held. If someone else learns your private key, then they can perform transactions from your wallet on your behalf. For that reason, it’s always advisable to keep your private key offline to limit any risks of hacking.
Hardware wallets are secure because the private key you own never leaves the device and gives the user full control over the private key.
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