Ether Wallets and How to Buy It
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There are many options of wallets to store cryptocurrency: desktop wallets, web wallets, hardware wallets and paper wallets.
Choosing one depends on your preferences for convenience and security. There are concepts that are at odds with one another: the more convenient, the worse the security (and vice versa).
We’ll talking about those four first.
Desktop wallets: As its name, desktop wallets run on your PC or laptop by doing an option of downloading an ethereum client (a copy of the entire ethereum blockchain). There are a few ethereum clients written in different programming languages and with different performance tradeoffs, and you can choose one you like. Thus, the process can take up to a couple days, and will only increase as ethereum grows. However, the wallet needs to stay in sync with the latest transactions on the blockchain.
Web wallets/Mobile wallets: The light client option is more convenient, but not quite as called as safe. Full ethereum clients offer a more secure way of receiving transactions because they do not need to trust miners or nodes to send them accurate information. It gives big security by storing private keys on a device that is detached from the internet (a method known as ‘cold storage’), it is harder to hack and is best used for storing large ether holdings. However, the method is not as easy to use as when ether is stored on a smartphone or internet-connected computer.
Hardware wallets: These wallets are often as small as a finger or two, arguably offer the best of both worlds. These secure devices that can often be detached from the internet, and can sign transactions without being online.
Paper wallets: Another cold storage option is to print or carefully handwrite a private key on a slip of paper, a ‘paper wallet’, and lock it somewhere secure like a deposit box. But, if you lose your private key, it’s gone for good.
How to buy ether
Buying ether with another currency might take an extra step. While, Bitcoin is the most commonly used cryptocurrency, and people around the world are more likely to want to trade for it in their currency. So, if you want to buy ether for rubles, for instance, the easiest way might be to purchase bitcoin at an exchange and then trade that for ether. Once you have ether, you can send it directly to another person (‘peer-to-peer’). It will cost you a small transaction fee paid to miners.