How to store Bitcoin Safely

The Ultimate Guide to Safe Bitcoin Storage in 2023

In the ever-evolving world of cryptocurrencies, safeguarding your digital assets has become more crucial than ever before. Our guide to safe Bitcoin storage for 2023 will unravel the complexities of Bitcoin storage and arm you with the knowledge needed to protect your hard-earned investment.

From understanding the difference between hot and cold wallets to exploring the latest and most secure storage solutions available, this comprehensive guide will help you navigate the Bitcoin storage landscape with confidence.

So, let’s delve into the best practices, top-notch tools, and expert tips that will empower you to secure your digital fortune and stay ahead in the game of cryptocurrency storage.

Bitcoin Storage Explained

The way we store Bitcoin and other digital assets falls primarily into two categories: custodial and non-custodial storage. These categories are further divided into hot and cold storage methods. Grasping the distinctions between custodial versus non-custodial and hot versus cold storage is paramount for newcomers to the cryptocurrency space. By making an informed choice about your storage method, you empower yourself to safeguard your digital assets effectively.

Bitcoin Custodial Wallets

Custodial wallets entrust your digital assets to recognized third parties, such as prominent cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase. With these wallets, the third-party custodian is responsible for safeguarding your private keys. They often bolster this security with insurance policies covering your holdings, typically up to a certain threshold. Even though they’ve been the targets of several cyber-attacks, these wallets have significantly enhanced their defences, including migrating users’ keys to ultra-secure, enterprise-level cold storage systems. Custodial wallets can exist in both hot and cold storage forms.

Bitcoin Non-Custodial Wallets

Non-custodial wallets empower users with full control over their private keys and, consequently, their digital assets. These wallets operate without needing a third-party intermediary to oversee the funds. The primary edge of non-custodial wallets is eliminating counterparty risk, offering users amplified security and autonomy over their cryptocurrency.

However, this autonomy also means users bear full responsibility for their private key security. Should a user misplace their private keys without setting up adequate recovery measures, they risk permanently losing access to their funds.

Bitcoin Hot Wallets

Hot wallets are digital-based storage solutions continuously connected to the internet, keeping your private keys readily accessible. While they offer convenience for quick transactions, this constant online presence also makes them more vulnerable. Given their online exposure, hot wallets can be targets for cyberattacks, emphasizing the need for enhanced security measures and regular updates.

Bitcoin Cold Wallets

Often referred to as cold storage or offline wallets, cold wallets are designed to remain disconnected from the internet. This absence of online connectivity drastically minimizes potential security breaches, making cold wallets preferable for long-term cryptocurrency storage. Compared to hot wallets, they offer a more fortified barrier against hacking, ensuring your digital assets remain secure over extended periods.

10 Security Precautions to Safely Store Bitcoin

To ensure the safety of your Bitcoin holdings, following a set of best practices for security is essential. By following these ten security precautions, you can confidently protect your Bitcoin investments and minimize the risk of theft or loss.

Here are some key precautions to keeping your Bitcoin Safe:

1. Backup Your Wallet

Consistently backing up your Bitcoin wallet is essential to protect your digital assets from loss due to computer failure or other issues. When creating a backup, ensure it is encrypted if exposed to the network. Regular encrypted backups provide an additional layer of security, making it difficult for unauthorized users to access your wallet information.

2. Use Multiple Secure Locations

Storing your wallet backups in various safe locations reduces the risk of a single point of failure. This practice ensures that even if one location is compromised, you can still recover your wallet using backups stored elsewhere. Diversifying storage locations makes it less likely for a single adverse event to prevent you from accessing your Bitcoin wallet.

3. Maintain Strong & Unique Passwords

To secure your Bitcoin wallet, it is crucial to use strong and unique passwords. Avoid sharing these passwords with anyone, as it may jeopardize the security of your wallet. A password manager can help you generate and store complex passwords, preventing the reuse of passwords across different platforms, which can expose your digital assets to potential theft.

4. Keep Recovery Seed & Private Key Private

Safeguarding your Bitcoin backup passphrase (recovery seed) and the private key is essential to maintain control over your wallet. Sharing these critical pieces of information with anyone can lead to unauthorized access and the potential loss of your digital assets. Store your recovery seed and private key securely, separate from your primary wallet storage.

5. Multi-Signature

Multi-signature (or multi-sig) is an advanced security measure requiring multiple private keys to authorize a transaction. This means that a single private key cannot initiate a transaction independently, thus reducing the risk of theft or unauthorized access.

By implementing multi-signature technology, you can ensure that your assets remain protected even if one private key is compromised, as the attacker still requires the other private keys to execute a transaction. This additional layer of security is particularly beneficial for businesses, joint accounts, or significant cryptocurrency holdings where multiple parties are involved and the risks are higher.

6. Avoid Storing Cryptocurrency on Exchanges

Storing your digital assets on exchanges can expose them to the risk of being stolen in the event of a hack. Instead, transfer your holdings to a secure wallet, such as a hardware wallet or an adequately secured software wallet. This practice ensures you maintain control over your private keys and reduces the risk of losing your assets to exchange hacks.

7. Install Anti-Malware Software

Running anti-malware software on all devices that store your Bitcoin wallet is crucial to guard against phishing attacks, fake websites, and malware. Regularly updating this software ensures you have the latest protection against emerging threats, keeping your digital assets safe from potential theft.

8. Secure Mobile Devices with PIN/Fingerprint

Ensuring that mobile devices storing your Bitcoin wallet are protected with a PIN or fingerprint recognition helps prevent unauthorized access. This additional security measure ensures that only authorized users can unlock the device and access the wallet information.

9. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Implementing 2FA on computers and mobile devices running wallet software adds an extra layer of security to your Bitcoin wallet. This security measure requires users to provide a second form of identification (typically a one-time code) when accessing their wallet, making it more difficult for unauthorized users to gain access.

10. Use a Secure Email

When dealing with crypto, it is crucial to maintain the privacy and security of your account credentials, such as exchange login details, wallet passwords, and recovery phrases. Using a secure email service like ProtonMail to manage these credentials can help prevent unauthorized access and the potential loss of your digital assets.

ProtonMail is a secure email service prioritising privacy and security by utilizing end-to-end and zero-access encryption. Their security features make them more resilient to data breaches than traditional email services like Gmail. In case of a breach, messages stored in ProtonMail remain encrypted and secure, whereas messages in services like Gmail may be exposed.

What is Bitcoin Cold Storage?

Bitcoin cold storage refers to keeping a reserve of Bitcoins offline. This method protects private keys from possible online risks such as hacks, malware, or phishing attacks. Keeping the private keys offline can’t be accessed by cybercriminals even if they compromise a computer or online system.

There are several forms of cold storage, including:

  1. Paper Wallets: This is one of the most basic forms of cold storage. It involves printing out your private and public keys (or generating a QR code for them) and storing this paper securely. This method is entirely offline and is considered cold storage as long as the paper wallet is generated safely and remains untouched by online systems.
  2. Hardware Wallets: Devices like the Ledger Nano S, Ledger Nano X, and Trezor are specially designed to secure Bitcoin private keys. They allow users to send and receive Bitcoin without exposing the private key to an online environment. Transactions are signed within the device, so the key never leaves the hardware wallet.
  3. Air-gapped (Offline) Computers: Some users use a computer that has never been (and will never be) connected to the internet to generate a wallet and manage transactions. This “air-gapped” computer can securely hold private keys, and transactions can be prepared offline and then transferred to an online system for broadcasting to the Bitcoin network using a USB drive or other means.
  4. Deep Cold Storage: For substantial amounts of Bitcoin (like those held by exchanges or investment funds), deep cold storage might involve creating a multi-signature wallet and placing parts of the keys in bank vaults or other highly secure physical locations. This method ensures that even if one site is compromised, Bitcoin cannot be accessed without the other keys.

When using cold storage, it’s essential to remember that the loss of access to the private keys (for instance, if you lose the paper wallet or forget the passphrase to a hardware wallet) means the loss of the Bitcoins associated with those keys. There’s no way to recover Bitcoins without the private keys. Thus, while cold storage significantly enhances security, it also necessitates meticulous key management and backup practices.

What is the Safest Way to Store Bitcoin?

The safest way to store your Bitcoin is through cold storage methods, which involve keeping your private keys offline and away from internet access. The Bitcoin organization recommends splitting your storage between two types of wallets: hot spending wallets and cold savings wallets.

Hot wallets are meant for everyday use, storing a small or medium amount of Bitcoin for spending. They are typically stored digitally on a mobile device and connected to the internet. In contrast, cold wallets (or cold storage) store most of your Bitcoin holdings offline, providing an extra layer of security against hacks and unauthorized access. Cold wallets can be hardware or paper wallets, which keep your private keys physically disconnected from the internet.

Remember that the private key is crucial for proving ownership and accessing your Bitcoins stored in a specific address. Keeping your private keys offline in cold storage significantly reduces the risk of theft or unauthorized access.

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Examples of Bitcoin Hot Wallets

Coinbase Wallet

The Coinbase Wallet is a user-friendly and secure mobile wallet that supports multiple cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. It is designed for beginners and experienced users, offering an intuitive interface for managing and transferring digital assets. With features like ERC20 token support, decentralized app (DApp) integration, and a built-in exchange, the Coinbase Wallet provides a seamless experience for managing cryptocurrencies.

Exodus Wallet

Exodus Wallet is a versatile and user-friendly wallet that supports various cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. It is available on mobile and desktop platforms, allowing users to manage their digital assets effortlessly. Exodus provides an integrated exchange for seamless trading and offers a visually appealing interface for easy navigation. With robust security measures and a straightforward setup process, Exodus suits beginners and experienced users.

MetaMask Wallet

MetaMask is a popular Web3 wallet primarily focusing on the Ethereum ecosystem. It enables users to interact with decentralized applications (DApps) and manage their digital assets, including ERC20 tokens, NFTs, and other Ethereum-based cryptocurrencies. While MetaMask can store Bitcoin, it’s important to note that it only stores Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), which is an ERC-20 token representing Bitcoin on the Ethereum blockchain. MetaMask is available as a browser extension and a mobile app, providing a secure and convenient way to access the decentralized web and manage digital assets across multiple platforms.

Electrum Wallet

Electrum is a lightweight Bitcoin client that has been around since 2011. It’s known for its speed, security, and simplicity. Electrum provides various features like cold storage support, integration with hardware wallets, multi-signature capabilities, and SPV (Simplified Payment Verification) for fast transaction confirmations without needing to download the entire blockchain. Electrum is available for multiple platforms including Windows, Mac, and Linux, and even has a mobile version for Android.

Examples of Bitcoin Cold Wallets

Ledger Nano X

The Ledger Nano X is a top-of-the-line hardware wallet with high-level security for storing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. With Bluetooth connectivity, the Nano X allows users to manage their assets securely through a mobile app while keeping their private keys offline and safe from hackers. The device supports over 1,800 cryptocurrencies and integrates with popular software wallets for added convenience.

Trezor Model T

The Trezor Model T is a premium hardware wallet designed to provide advanced security for storing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. With its full-colour touchscreen, the Model T offers an intuitive user interface for managing digital assets. The device supports a wide range of cryptocurrencies and integrates with various software wallets for seamless asset management. With advanced security features like a secure chip and password manager, the Trezor Model T is a popular choice for serious investors.

Ledger Nano S

The Ledger Nano S is a popular hardware wallet that offers a high level of security for storing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. With support for over 1,100 digital assets, the Nano S provides a secure environment for managing your investments. The device connects to your computer via USB and uses a built-in OLED display and physical buttons for secure transaction confirmation. The Nano S is known for its affordability and robust security features, making it an excellent choice for those looking to store their cryptocurrencies offline.

Trezor One

The Trezor One is a reliable and affordable hardware wallet designed for securely storing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It features a small OLED screen and physical buttons for secure transaction verification, ensuring your private keys remain offline and protected from potential threats. The Trezor One supports multiple cryptocurrencies and can be integrated with various software wallets for seamless asset management. With its focus on security, user-friendliness, and affordability, the Trezor One is an excellent choice for those looking to safeguard their digital assets without breaking the bank.


The responsibility of securing your Bitcoin investments ultimately lies in your hands. While this guide has provided valuable tips on safeguarding your Bitcoin, it is essential to remember that the onus is on you to take appropriate precautions and not rely solely on third-party services. Keep informed of the latest security measures and best practices to protect your digital assets from potential threats.

By staying vigilant, taking responsibility for your own security, and adapting to new technologies and trends, you can effectively safeguard your Bitcoin and enjoy the benefits of participating in the exciting world of cryptocurrencies. Stay secure and continue to thrive in the ever-changing landscape of digital finance.


Is Bitcoin safe?

Bitcoin as a technology is considered relatively safe. However, it is essential to note that investing in Bitcoin is risky and highly speculative due to its price volatility. The currency’s value has experienced significant fluctuations over time, and it is not always safe from hackers or other potential threats. While Bitcoin disguises your transactions, it still relies on passwords and is not entirely anonymous.

Can Bitcoin Cold Wallets be hacked?

While no storage method is entirely foolproof, cold wallets are less susceptible to hacks compared to hot wallets because they are offline and not connected to the internet. However, there is still a slight risk of hacks if the wallet is physically accessed or if the user unknowingly exposes their private keys when using the cold wallet to make transactions.

Can you Lose Real Money on Bitcoin?

Yes, you can lose real money on Bitcoin. While some early investors have made significant gains, some retail investors have lost money on their investments. It’s crucial to be aware of the risks and potential security issues before investing in Bitcoin to minimize the chances of losing money.

What are Bitcoin Multi-Signature Wallets?

Unlike standard cryptocurrency wallets that require only one party to sign a transaction, multi-signature (multi-sig) wallets necessitate multiple parties to sign a transaction. These types of wallets are crafted for enhanced security. Typically, a multisignature algorithm will produce a joint signature that is more concise than a collection of individual signatures from all users.

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