A Bitcoin wallet stores public and private keys that can be used to receive or use bitcoins. A wallet can contain multiple public and private key pairs. In January 2018, there were more than 13,000 crypto-currencies; the first and best known is bitcoin. Cryptocurrency itself is not in the wallet. In the case of bitcoins and cryptocurrencies derived from it, the cryptocurrency is stored in a decentralized manner and kept in a public register, called blockchain. Each piece of cryptocurrency has a private key. With the private key, it is possible to digitally sign a transaction and write it in the public ledger, thus spending the associated cryptocurrency. When choosing a wallet, the owner should keep in mind who is supposed to have access to (a copy of) the private keys and thus potentially have access to the cryptocurrency. As with a bank, the user must trust the provider to protect the cryptocurrency. Confidence was misplaced in the case of Mt. Gox Exchange, which has “lost” most of the bitcoins of its customers. Downloading a cryptocurrency wallet from a wallet provider to a computer or phone does not automatically mean that the owner is the only one with a copy of the private keys. For example, with Coinbase, you can install a wallet on a phone and also have access to the same wallet via their website. A wallet may also have known or unknown vulnerabilities. A supply chain attack or an auxiliary channel attack are ways to introduce a vulnerability. In extreme cases, even a computer that is not connected to any network can be hacked. To receive a cryptocurrency, access to the receiving wallet is not necessary. The sending party only needs to know the destination address. Anyone can send cryptocurrency to an address. Only the person who has the private key of the corresponding address can use it. Hardware wallets keep private keys in a physical wallet. They are born (created), live (transaction signature) and die (deleted) in the hardware wallet. If a hardware wallet uses a mnemonic for backup, users should not electronically store the mnemonic phrase, but write it and store it in a separate physical location. Electronic storage of the backup lowers the level of security in the software wallet. Hardware wallets have templates in which the user must physically tap or touch the wallet to sign a transaction, the destination address and the number of coins. Private keys remain secure inside the hardware wallet. Without the private key, a signed transaction can not be changed successfully. Some material wallets have a display (see photo) in which the user can enter a pin to open the wallet and the transaction can be verified before being signed. When reading a mnemonic phrase from the physical display of the hardware wallet, a screenshot of an infected computer will not reveal the mnemonic phrase. You can buy a Bitcoin Hardware Wallet in Montreal with D-Central Shop.