Hot wallets - an address is all you need to mine with us
For cloud mining with us, we just need a bitcoin address. If you look up "bitcoin wallet" you will find a plethora of free options. Here's some that we recommend:
- Coinbase.com - Also an excellent exchange
- Blockchain.info - Has great stats on the blockchain network as well
- Bitcoin.org - Has information on software wallets you can run on your computer
Note that "hot wallets" are not very secure. It's okay to keep small amounts of bitcoin on them when you need to do many transactions but we do not advise you keep large sums of bitcoin on them. For that, you should look into cold storage (below).
Why do I need a wallet?
This might all sounds a little paranoid, but one of the great things about bitcoin is you control the level of security for your crypto holdings. I'm just recommending that you do your due diligence and keep it safe. For the uninitiated, yes, the blockchain is virtually un-hackable. But transactions give opportunity for your private key to be discovered. That's why exchanges and online wallets are very hackable, even if they claim to have "bank standard" security.
Takeaway message: never trust having your money on an exchange! Even if it's a reputable one, they can all be hacked. Don't take a chance with that. There's so many horror stories online abound with people losing money like this.
What's Cold Storage?
Secure offline storage of coin, or just "cold storage," is good for long-term storage of bitcoin, essentially acting like a safe. Thats why extra precautions are taken to keep private keys physically segregated from the internet. Once a private key is exposed to the internet, the wallet becomes compromised, and could theoretically be accessed by anyone. This is why it's worth it to spend a little bit to make sure you're protected. If you own more than a couple hundred dollars in any cryptocurrency, you NEED to get a hardware wallet of some kind. It just makes things easier and safer.
Also, because of the "seed" concept, you can still access all of your coins even if your physical cold storage wallet is lost or destroyed. Likewise, if someone stole your cold wallet somehow, they can't access it without your password or recovery sheet. You will need to write down some "recovery" words on old-fashioned pen and paper (because paper can't be hacked) and keep that, ideally, in a physically separate location (what if your house burns down or something?). You can enter these words to recover your money if something bad happens. It sounds a little weird, but this saved my butt once. As long as you are diligent and actually do this and make the effort to find a second safe place for the recovery sheet, you're golden.
I'm a big believer in ledger wallets, and we actually use a Ledger nano to secure our funds, here's a review I did a while ago. It's lasted through a fair degree of use and abuse for nearly 3 years, but I've heard a lot of good things from Trezor too. I feel that ledger wallets are priced a little better though, and essentially do the same thing. And yes, these work with all major cryptocurrencies too, not just bitcoin.
To use, deposit bitcoins from any "hot wallet" using a bitcoin wallet app with the public key/QR code on the front or with the address (Blockchain, Coinbase, Xapo, etc). You can keep depositing bitcoin safely using the public key, like a piggy bank. However, it's best to limit the number of small transactions of less than about 20 mBTC. Use your hot wallet to limit the number of "input" transactions on your cold wallet, too many of these can cause long processing because it has to decode each transaction individually when sending. For example if you do a lot of trading or mining, use a hot wallet for that and do a regular cold wallet dump every 4-7 days or something.
Throw it in an actual safe if you got one and don't take your crypto off the cold wallet unless you plan to do something with it!