June 16, 2023

Your Crypto Will Get Hacked!

GM DOers! 🚀

Hacks suck… And they’re a nightmare for crypto holders in particular. Why?

Because most participants in the space are here to stack their beloved crypto for the long-term to create generational wealth.

And when a hack occurs, they lose it all. 

In web2, various governments in most developed countries have a so-called deposit insurance in place, where they’ll ‘refund’ you the money in case your bank goes bust.

In the US, you have $250,000 secured while in the EU, the government will reimburse you $100,000.

In crypto, there’s none of that (yet). So you must protect your crypto with your life (not literally).

In the last couple of years, we’ve seen more and more hacks occur, with years 2021 and 2022 having been the worst.

Not too long ago, Atomic Wallet was compromised and $35M was lost. And that motivated us to ensure that our DOers are safe. 

So… Today’s question is: How do you keep your crypto safe?

Generally, people will tell you to self-custody your crypto in a hardware wallet, because your keys will never leave your device, and your crypto is therefore safe.

However, the Ledger drama lately suggests that your keys can leave your device if you opt-in. You can read more about that here.

So what should you believe? What should you do? How do you ensure that your crypto remains safe?

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Where Can You Keep Your Crypto? 🔐

Before going into where we think you should keep your crypto, we’ll explore the different ways you can custody your currencies.

Software Wallets: These are applications you can install on your computer or smartphone. They generate and store the private keys for your crypto assets on your device. 

Metamask is a popular example and a perfect tool that enables you to interact with web3.

Smart Contract Wallets: A smart contract wallet, is a self-executing contract with the terms of the agreement written into code. 

These wallets can manage multiple addresses, allow seamless interactions with dApps, and offer advanced security features like daily spending limits and multi-sig recovery options. 

The most popular smart contract wallet is Argent, who we had on the podcast a while back.

Hardware Wallets: These are physical devices that store your private keys offline in a secure element. Since your keys never leave the device, it's more secure against online threats. 

Examples include Ledger and Trezor and these are perfect for your long-term holdings. 

Paper Wallets: This method involves printing out your public and private keys (often as QR codes) on paper and storing it in a safe place. It's an offline method and is safe from online attacks, but you could lose your assets if you lose or damage the paper.

These are good if you have a very secure place that only you have access to.

Custodial Wallets: These are provided by third-party companies. When you deposit your crypto assets with them, they are responsible for its security. 

Companies like Coinbase or Binance fall into this category and they’re the perfect onboarding ramp for beginners, because they make it easy to convert FIAT to crypto.

Multi-signature Wallets: This setup requires multiple people (or devices) to approve a transaction.

The most popular choice is Gnosis Safe and it's useful for organizations who require more than one person to make decisions.

Brain Wallets: This involves memorizing a passphrase which is used to generate your private keys. Not recommended unless you have a photographic memory.

Now that I’ve confused you even more, with the abundance of choices I’ve provided, let me tell you what I think you should do!

🤝 Thanks to our trusted exchange partner, BYDFi.

We believe that we’re in the early stages of a bull run and there’s no better time to buy crypto. This is when you should be practising monthly dollar cost averaging into strong network tokens like Ethereum and Bitcoin. 💪

And if you’re buying it’s important to do so with a licensed and reputable exchange. That’s why we recommend using BYDFi. 🚀

Where Should You Keep Your Funds?

Keep in mind: one size doesn’t fit all.

A trader has different needs than an NFT collector.

A long-term crypto holder’s needs are different from web3 users’ that interact with apps daily.

We all have different needs for security, based on what actions we take in this space, so let me tell you which wallet everyone should have, and what they should use that wallet for.

Whatever you’re doing in the space, you need to at least have the following 3 wallets:

  1. Wallet 1 – A custodial wallet (ex: BYDFi, Binance, or Coinbase). 

  2. Wallet 2 – A non-custodial software wallet (ex: MetaMask).

  3. Wallet 3 – A hardware wallet (ex: Ledger or Trezor).

Here’s why:

As a Daily Web3 User

If you’re experimenting with this space by interacting with various apps, you mainly use Wallet 2.

But you also need to purchase crypto to pay for gas, mint NFTs or whatever else the cool kids do these days.

To buy crypto, use Wallet 1 and transfer the funds to Wallet 2. 

If, along the way, you collect any valuable items that you’d like to store safely for the long-term, transfer them from Wallet 2 to Wallet 3. 

As an NFT Collector

Here, it’s the same as above. There’s only 1 thing to add.

When minting NFTs, you should create a second Wallet 2, just in case the mint is a scam and people are out for your assets.

Upon minting, transfer the NFT to your main Wallet 2.

As a Business

If you’re a business run by 1 person, and you’re storing crypto, a Wallet 3 should do. 

However, if the business is run by more than 1, you’ll need a multi-sig wallet like a Gnosis Safe! 

In this case, I recommend you buy your crypto using your Wallet 1 and immediately send it either to Wallet 3 or your Gnosis Safe.

If you’re looking to play around with various web3 dApps, send some money from Wallet 1 to Wallet 2 (nothing substantial, though).

As a Long-term Crypto Investor

For the record, if you’re in this space and want to capitalize the most, we recommend you stick to being a long-term investor.

Simply use your Wallet 1 to DCA into your favorite crypto. (We recommend keeping 80%-100% in $BTC and $ETH).

Whenever you have a substantial amount on your Wallet 1, send it over to your Wallet 3 for long-term, safe holding.

Wrapping Up

Staying safe in crypto isn’t rocket science. You just need to follow a few principles.

  1. Never hold a substantial amount of money in a custodial wallet because you don’t own your keys

  2. Never hold more than you have to in a non-custodial software wallet because you’re exposed to (minimal) smart contract risks.

  3. Never connect your hardware wallet to the internet. Always keep it offline.

  4. Never share your private key with anyone, and try to keep it in an exclusive location that only you know about.

If you’d like to dive deeper into how to successfully invest in web3, we wrote a very comprehensive PRO Report, which you can check out below.

We share best practices along with a suggestion of how you should build a portfolio that grows 150% per year on average.

Thanks for reading. And remember, you're strong, you’re powerful, you’re alpha! ❤️

See you soon. ✌️

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and not financial advice. Conduct your own research and consult a financial advisor before making investment decisions or taking any action based on the content.