How to Safely Backup your Cryptocurrency
NOTE: the Easy Crypto wallet is no longer offered for new customers. If you have an existing Easy Crypto wallet, read on, otherwise please check out our wallet guides to setting up your own wallet.
If your computer broke down, your phone got dropped in the loo or your house burnt to the ground, would you still be able to access your cryptocurrency? If you are not confident that you can access your digital assets remotely, it is likely you do not have your cryptocurrency backed up properly.
Having your crypto safely stored is one thing, but being able to access that backup when you need it is another. In this guide, we are going to talk about all the three primary different wallet types and how to give yourself peace of mind that your assets are secure and accessible.
In this guide, we will cover how to back up the following wallets:
- Cold wallets (like the Easy Crypto wallet)
- Hot wallets (like Exodus wallet)
- Hardware wallets (like the Trezor or Nano Ledger)
Why should you back up your wallets?
Since cryptocurrency is decentralised, there is no customer service number you can call when you make a mistake or lose access to your wallet. This can be scary, but if you are on top of wallet security, this attribute is very empowering.
For each wallet, you will be given some form of passphrase or key as your backup, but these passphrases and keys are only as secure as how you store them. Each wallet type will have a way to do a backup – this guide is about how to backup your backups.
If you have your wallet password, key or passphrase written on a piece of paper in your sock drawer, what happens when you lose that piece of paper? If you have your passphrase written in a text document on your computer, what happens if your computer suddenly craps out?
Assuming that your crypto is not as safely backed up as it could be, in today’s guide, I am going to teach you how to backup your crypto so securely that if you lost access to your computer, phone, or filing cabinet, you would still be able to access your crypto remotely.
Backing up your wallet
In the sections below, we’ll walk through how to back up each of the following wallet types:
- Cold wallet (e.g. the Easy Crypto wallet)
- Hot wallet
- Hardware wallet
A “Cold Storage” wallet is the safest type of wallet there is. This is because cold wallets are not connected to the internet, and they are constructed out of the two raw keys that make up any crypto wallet, your public and private key.
Your public key is the address that other people or organisations can send you crypto to, and your private key is like the password to the funds inside the public key. You can share your public key with anyone who wants to send crypto to you, but you should never share your private key.
If you select ‘I don’t have a wallet‘ when making an order through Easy Crypto, our system will automatically generate a cold wallet for you, (AKA a public and private key.)
We can’t however, just send you these keys over your email or through our website, as that could put your wallet at risk of someone else seeing it.
This is why we provide you with a passphrase and wallet file, which contains your public and private keys inside. This wallet file is highly encrypted, and it acts as a highly secure place to store your keys for you.
You are going to want to unlock your Easy Crypto wallet here, because we are going to be backing up your public and private key, and not just your Easy Crypto passphrase/file.
To learn how to safely backup your Easy Crypto wallet, click here to see our guide.
Hot Wallets – (Exodus or other desktop / mobile wallets)
Your crypto is currently stored inside a software wallet like Exodus, where Exodus holds onto your private keys for you and protects them behind a master password. Exodus is very easy and safe to use, but what happens if you lose the computer or device that has your Exodus wallet on it? You will lose access to everything – unless you have your password and passphrase backed up.
The guide below will cover how you can easily and safely back up your hot wallet passphrase and password, using Exodus as our example of how to do it. We like to use Exodus as it is a superb crypto wallet, but most hot wallets function in the same way.
To learn how to backup your Exodus wallet or alternative hot wallet securely, see our guide here.
Hardware Wallets – (Trezor or Nano Ledger)
Hardware wallets are immune to remote attacks, and they are widely known to be the pinnacle of cryptocurrency safekeeping. Hardware wallets hold onto your public and private keys (which are disconnected from the internet) and secure their access behind a passcode. Before anyone can ever send cryptocurrency out of one of these wallets, the transaction must be manually authenticated by the hardware device.
In saying that, if you lose your hardware device, not only have you potentially lost your public and private keys but you have also lost the only device that can authenticate outbound transactions – unless you backup your Backup phrase.
Once you have your passphrase, you are going to want to read our guide on how to backup your passphrase and password securely using Keepass. The start of the guide will be based on backing up your Easy Crypto wallet, but the Keepass section will apply to all wallet backups. 🙂