What is the safest bitcoin exchange


Bitcoin, Ethereum and Co. are moving ever closer to the mainstream - despite all possible risks. In the meantime, cryptocurrencies are used for almost every conceivable purpose, whether as an alternative everyday means of payment or as a long-term investment. If you already own crypto currencies or are thinking of getting involved, one of the most important aspects is how - or in what form - you hold your crypto holdings.

A so-called "wallet" is usually used for this purpose. This works very similarly to a real wallet, with the difference that it is software. This should not only make the path of your digital gold traceable, but also provide protection against criminal hackers.

Online exchange as a Bitcoin wallet

Of course, online exchanges or platforms are not wallets in the technical sense. Nevertheless, they are used by quite a few users to hold cryptocurrency. Since these platforms usually also have a security architecture, there are certainly similarities to "traditional" crypto wallets.

A cryptocurrency exchange is used for trading Bitcoin and Co. and also enables the (exchange) exchange of cryptocurrencies. If you value being able to swap your cryptocurrency holdings quickly from one currency to another and generally want to take advantage of market fluctuations, you should keep a certain amount of holdings on such a platform.

There have been some major problems with crypto exchanges in the past - most notably the incidents surrounding the Bitcoin platform MtGox - in which millions of dollars simply vanished into thin air. And even if that was no less than a catastrophe for everyone involved: Many crypto exchanges and platforms have since tightened their security measures. However, it is not the safest way to store Bitcoin (or other cryptocurrency).

Binance and Coinbase are currently two of the largest platforms for cryptocurrencies - with a daily trading volume of more than a million dollars and a lot of reputation advance praise. When choosing your trading platform, you should always keep an eye on the security measures.

Online wallets for BTC, ETH & Co.

Online wallets only serve one reason: to store Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin and other cryptocurrencies. These are always accessible as long as you have an internet connection.

Online wallets differ from an exchange or trading platform in that direct trading is not possible here (they would first have to transfer the corresponding amount of Bitcoins or the like to a trading account). Compared to trading platforms, online wallets are usually much better protected and therefore of less interest to criminal hackers.

Online wallets for cryptocurrencies are usually accessible via a browser - the most popular example of such a wallet is Blockchain.info.

  1. Ethereum
    Another cryptocurrency based on the blockchain principle. Provides a platform for programmable smart contracts. The "ethers" are seen by fans as the legitimate successors of the Bitcoins (see also the picture above).
  2. Cryptlet
    Service developed by Microsoft for the Azure cloud, with the help of which users can enter external data into a blockchain without destroying its security and integrity. As individualized middleware, cryptlets can also be developed by Azure users themselves - in any programming language - and are intended to bridge the gap from the blockchain to new business services in the cloud.
  3. Cryptocurrency
    Digital money, without coins and bills. With the help of cryptography, a distributed, secure and decentralized payment system is built. Does not require banks, but computing power and technical aids such as the blockchain.
  4. Blockchain
    A blockchain is a decentralized database that keeps a constantly growing list of transaction data records. The database is expanded linearly in chronological order, comparable to a chain, to which new elements are constantly being added at the lower end (hence the term "blockchain"). When a block is complete, the next is created. Each block contains a checksum of the previous block.

    The technical model of the blockchain was developed in the context of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin - as a web-based, decentralized, public accounting system for all Bitcoin transactions that have ever been made.
  5. Bitcoin Core
    The open source software validates the entire blockchain and was approved at the beginning of 2009 by a certain 3220391 "target =" _ blank ">" Satoshi Nakamoto " published under the name" Bitcoin ". Bitcoin Core was initially programmed in C ++ primarily for Windows systems. Porting to GNU / Linux followed a little later. Because the developers fell out, there are now some derivatives of Bitcoin software, including Bitcoin XT, Bitcoin Unlimited or Bitcoin Classic.
  6. BigchainDB
    The "scalable blockchain database" can manage up to a million write operations per second, store petabytes of data and still have a latency of less than a second - all of this managed in a decentralized manner and with the highest data integrity. The technical basis is blockchain technology.
  7. Distributed ledger
    Financial term for "distributed account management". Bitcoin is a completely new technical approach to distribute information about certain mappings. There is no longer a classic account that is managed centrally at a bank, but "account management" is based on a network of communicating systems.
  8. Smart contract
    A computer protocol that can map or check contracts or provide technical support for the negotiation of a contract. Could replace the written contract in the future.
  9. R3CEV
    The startup R3 CEV is building the blockchain-based "Global Fabric for Finance". The largest blockchain in the world is to be developed with around 50 financial partners - a first test run with eleven major banks, including Barclays, Credit Suisse, HSBC, UBS and UniCredit, has already been successfully completed. R3CEV has entered into a strategic partnership with Microsoft to develop blockchain infrastructure and technology in the Azure cloud.
  10. Ripple
    An open source protocol for a payment network - currently still in development. P2P payment method and foreign exchange market in one, based on the crypto currency "XRP". However, Ripple users are not limited to this one currency, but can use any currency - for example, euros, dollars or yen.

Cryptocurrency in the offline wallet

Offline wallets are basically an application that you download to your computer - such as the Bitcoin wallet from Electrum. This offline wallet for bitcoins is especially designed for ease of use and has a well-made interface. The app is considered trustworthy within the cryptocurrency community and is accordingly widespread.

In comparison with the online wallet, it is noticeable that offline wallets basically work in the same way. The difference: You now have control over your "private key" - the most important part of every crypto wallet. The fact that no internet connection is required creates a further layer of security.

Hardware wallet for more security

If you are increasingly concerned about the security of your Bitcoin holdings, hardware wallets are for you. These are physical objects that are connected to the computer via USB when you need them. If not, they are in a (hopefully) safe place.

There are different hardware wallets for cryptocurrencies - the two most popular ones come from Ledger and Trezor. Both wallets are very secure, easy to use and also make your cryptocurrency mobile at all times. Wallets cast in hardware are particularly recommended for people who have a slightly larger supply of Bitcoins.

Of course, there are also security risks here - for example if a hardware wallet comes into contact with a malware-attempted computer. If you want even more security, there is only one thing left: "Back to Oldschool".

Old school flair with a paper wallet

In other words: you need a paper wallet. As the name suggests, this is a piece of paper. It contains all the information you need to access your cryptocurrency holdings - for example in the form of a QR code or the actual (private and public) keys.

If you keep this paper wallet in a safe, it is currently the safest of all methods for the safekeeping of crypto money. After all, no information flows through any network or device - criminal hackers have absolutely no chance.

The disadvantage: If you lose your paper wallet, you probably don't just have one big problem.

This article is based on a contribution from our UK sister publication PC Advisor.