What is Cold Storage?
Let me reassure you right away, I'm not going to talk about putting your food in the fridge or the freezer, to keep it a little longer than leaving it at room temperature (even if the idea could have been cool).
Do you know what Cold Storage is?
The principle of Cold Storage is to secure its assets in cryptocurrency offline, far from any internet connection. Which is the opposite of a Hot Wallet (which are online wallets).
The very principle of cryptocurrency is that it is inviolable. This money is actually only a quantity of data. To have access to this data you will need what is called the "Private Key", as opposed to the "Public Key" which represents your Wallet address. This address can be given to anyone because with this information you take no risk. The "Private Key" as the name indicates is private, YOU ONLY should be the holder of it.
A Private Key is composed of 52 Alphanumeric random characters, even if you take the most powerful computer in the world which will make millions of guesses per second for millions of years, it is virtually impossible for it to find your Private Key.
Then you might think, "Okay, how come we often hear that this or that site has been hacked and stolen several million dollars worth of cryptocurrency"?
Well the answer is quite simple! The Hackers got their hands on the Private Keys that were obviously stored on the site concerned. Quite simply, they took advantage of a security breach and they were able to have access to all the Wallets because they had in their possession the "Private Keys"!
So in fact, the principle of Cold Storage is to keep the Private Key away from any internet connection making it virtually inaccessible. Making your assets totally secure!
There are a number of ways you can store Private Key offline:
- Write it down on a piece of paper
- Using an external hard drive
- A USB Stick
- Put it on a CD
- Engrave it on a metal piece
- Or opt for the "Brainwallet" to memorize this Private Key.
However, you must not store it like these:
- Save the Private Key on your computer.
- Do not take a photograph.
- Do not send it to yourself by email.
- Do not print it.
Cold Storage, unlike banking institutions as we know them, removes a trusted intermediary. So if by misfortune you lose this Private Key, you also lose access to your assets and they will be irretrievable
Cold Storage is currently the safest way to secure your crypto assets but there are some drawbacks to be taken into account:
- The paper, can tear, burn, the ink could fade with time.
- The USB Stick or External hard drive may be compromised.
- The CD is a technology that is used less and less and fewer and fewer computers are able to read it.
- The metal part can be misplaced
It is up to you to take care to store this Private Key in the best possible conditions.
At Rapids, we offer you this possibility. Using Cold Storage to secure your RPD with our partner Whopper
By going to their website, you will have a choice of 2 designs of Cold Storage Rapids cards. Which are sold for $9.95 (shipping is free and sent by letter).
You will also have the choice between:
- A " Public Only Wallet" where if you have already secured your Private Key. Just send them your RPD Wallet address so that people can scan your Wallet QR code to send you RPD (if you are not at home).
- A "Full Wallet" : The total package. They generate an RPD Address as well as a Private Key (QR Code + Written) securely hidden behind panel you have to scratch off.
It will be presented as follows:
- On the front you will have your Public Key (written) and a QR code linked directly to your RPD Wallet.
- And on the back (depending on the choice of the card) you will have the Private Key and instructions of what you can do with this card.
However, like all the other Cold Storage methods that I have presented to you, the Whopper card doesn't break the rules, if you lose it or if you damage the QR Code of the Private Key, Whopper will not be able to do anything for you. To ensure your security, they don't keep any sensitive information, the cards are unique.
If you wish, you can order a "Full Wallet" card, as soon as you receive it, you will have your RPD Wallet address at your disposal (as well as the Private Key). And then you can order a "Public Only Wallet" card which will allow you to carefully store your private key and always have your public key with you.
Just before closing this article, there is a last point that I want to explain to you. Some Wallets ask you to save a "SEED Phrase" or "Mnemonic Phrase" (a number of randomly generated words) that allow you to recover your Private Key if you lost it for whatever reason. However you need to remember, if you choose the SEED or Mnemonic Phrase it means that your Private Key is stored somewhere, so its not safe from hacking.
Thanks to all of you for holding so far, I hope this article has taught you 2-3 little things, to secure your crypto assets.