Altcoins guide: Part I. Where‌ ‌should‌ ‌you ‌keep‌ ‌altcoins?

Altcoins guide

Let’s start with the question:  What are altcoins and what are they for? Altcoin is an acronym for Bitcoin Alternatives. This is the name given to all cryptocurrencies except Bitcoin. Most altcoins hope to either replace BTC or improve at least one of its parameters. One of the first altcoins was Litecoin, which positioned itself as an improved version of Bitcoin. In 2017 and early 2018, there were many altcoins, and at the time of writing, there were more than 2,000 of them, and the full list is available at Coinmarketcap. From this article you’ll learn where to store altcoins, this can really help you after you’ll find altcoins to keep an eye on.

Storing

You can keep altcoins:

  • On the crypto exchange;
  • On wallets with token support of a certain standard (own blockchain);
  • On a multi-currency wallet;
  • On hardware wallets;
  • On the “native” wallet of altcoin.

Exchanges

After purchasing altcoins on the exchange, you can leave them there as well. What are the advantages of this method? The fact that you can sell at a convenient and necessary moment for you, without spending time on transfers, enrollment, etc. Also on exchanges it’s easy to difine which altcoins to invest.

But where there are advantages, there are also disadvantages – exchanges are subject to hacking and there is a high probability to lose money. Do not keep large amounts of money on exchanges! Leave there only what you may need in the near future to buy some token.

Pro’s

  • Quick purchase/sale at the right time;
  • Convenience;
  • No need to deal with the wallet file, private key, etc., only login:password and two-factor authentication are required.

Con’s

  • Exchanges are vulnerable to hacker attacks;
  • Your username and password may be compromised;
  • Availability of exchange commissions for any transactions, including withdrawal.

For instructions on how to register, buy/sell on exchanges, please refer to this section of our website:

Wallet with ERC-20 support

Maybe you are familiar with these wallets and the term “token”, we do not argue, but this article is for beginners, so let’s deal with this issue.Means that can be stored on an ERC-20-enabled Ethereum wallet are called tokens, not altcoins. But basically it’s the same cryptocurrency, but it’s not complete (it doesn’t have its own blockchain, because it’s built on ETH, Waves, etc.) and performs certain functions.As we have already mentioned, tokens can only be stored on wallets that support the ERC-20 standard. Here are the examples that we recommend you to use to participate in tokensales:

MyEtherWallet

MEW

One of the most popular and comfortable wallets. 

Pro’s

  • Security (you have the private key, the wallet file and the password to it);
  • User-friendly interface;
  • Many ways to access your wallet;
  • Full control over your wallet;
  • The ability to work with “cold” wallets (Trezor, Ledger).

Con’s

  • Probability of phishing (this is a minus of human inattention rather than this service);
  • Probability of losing the password / private key, or worse than that of being stolen.

MetaMask

Metamask

Wallet, made in the form of an add-on in the browser. And on this wallet there is already an instruction, you can read our MetaMask guide.

Pro’s

  • Security (you store the private key, wallet file and password to it);
  • Easy installation and start of operation;
  • Multi-accounts (you can manage multiple wallets at once, you can just switch between them).

Con’s

  • Convenience (not everyone is comfortable with the browser extension, so they tend to choose MyEtherWallet).

Multicurrency wallets

Extremely convenient way to store assets. Quick access to the wallet, exchange inside the wallet and clear interface. Attention! Do not store all your funds on such services! In case you lose your password from such an account, you risk losing all your funds!

Pro’s

  • Perfectly suited for operations with small amounts of money;
  • Simple and easy to use;
  • Does not require special gadgets for separate storage of information (private keys, etc.).

Con’s

  • Care considered vulnerable because of their permanent connection to the Internet;
  • There is a chance to forget your login, password or worse – they can be stolen from you and all your funds can be taken away.

Exodus

Exodus

The Exodus wallet is a desktop wallet for cryptocurrencies. It supports 100+ currencies.

Holy Transaction

Holy Transaction

This is a multi-currency wallet for cryptocurrency, where you can store 15 types of the most common digital coins, as well as euro and dollar. It has a user-friendly interface, which is especially important for beginners. Supports: Litecoin, Dash, Blackcoin, Bitcoin, PIVX, Decred, Ethereum, FlypMe, Gridcoin, Gamecredits, Faircoin, Dogecoin, Zcash, Syscoin, Peercoin.

Hardware wallets

Hardware wallet is a small device that connects to your computer via USB.

Pro’s

  • High reliability of cryptocurrency storage;
  • There is no permanent connection to the Internet.

Con’s

  • High cost (in case of purchase of Ledger/Trezor);
  • It is not very convenient to make regular transactions.

Trezor

Trezor

It is considered the best of the hardware wallets, has a convenient interface and small size. 

Supports: Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), DASH (DASH), Zcash (ZEC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC) and ERC20 tokens.

To start using this device, you will need to order it from the official website of the manufacturer —Trezor.

USB-drive Ledger

Ledger

Multi-currency wallet. Ledger Nano S allows you to take advantage of the 2FA authentication directly from the device.

Supports: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC) and ERC20 tokens (almost all major existing tokens). Included with the device, which looks like a small USB-stick, come: instructions, a card with individually generated encryption (security card) and a data recovery sheet.The wallet is accessed through the Google Chrome browser.

“Native” altcoin wallets

Also, each of the established altcoins has its own personal wallet. You usually install them on your computer/smartphone. It is quite safe, but not very convenient, because each wallet has its own seed phrase and password, and if you have a lot of storage facilities you will get confused. Now we’ll go through the top 50 altcoins in the list of Coinmarketcap and check the presence of “native” wallets: Ethereum,Bitcoin Cash,Litecoin,NEO,Cardano,Stellar, Dash,IOTA,NEM,TRON,Ethereum Classic,Tether,Lisk,Qtum,Bitcoin Gold,Nano,Zcash,ICON,Bytecoin,Waves,Stratis,Verge,Status,Siacoin,Dogecoin,BitShares,Augur,Decred,Komodo,Electroneum,Veritaseum,Ark,Ardor,Syscoin.

Conclusion

Every  storage method has its pros and cons. By the security of the exchange are in last place, due to the fact that they are susceptible to hacking and on top of that you do not have access to wallets, the whole crypto is stored on the balance of the exchange. Hardware wallets are the most secure but expensive.

We define “native” wallets as the most inconvenient (but safe) ways of storage. To spend a lot of time and a place on a hard disk, the interface not always the most convenient and affable for beginners (safety demands victims!). More or less universal method of storage is multi-currency wallets. The ability to store a lot of altcoins in one place is tempting. But not only for you, usually the data from your wallets try to get hold of cheaters using different ways. There is also a possibility of hacking such services.

Also a general disadvantage is the human factor. Most often, wallets are cracked because of human inattention, people give out their login/password themselves. If you are really worried about your savings, write down all the passwords, private keys, data for entry to the sheets and hide it in the safe, always carefully check the sites you visit.In conclusion we would like to encourage you not to keep large amounts of money on exchanges, multi-currency wallets. Keep there only that part of the funds that you may need in the near future. Aim for “cold” storage methods, such as “native” and hardware wallets.

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