How To Create a Crypto Wallet
If you’re going to buy something, it’s usually a good idea to work out where you’re going to keep it! But, if you just impulse-bought Bitcoin on an exchange, then don’t worry: we can still help you stash it away with the best of them.
If you’re not keeping your crypto at a centralised exchange (right next to the trading), then you’ll need a crypto wallet.
That’s a combination of hardware, software and (believe it or not) paper that allows you to access and manage your digital assets. While your assets never leave the internet, the keys that you need to control them are generated and stored by the software.
(See “crypto wallets explained” for more).
What can a crypto wallet do?
Crypto wallets offer a range of functionality (varies by wallet, of course):
- Providing addresses for you to receive your crypto
- Sending crypto and helping calculate fees
- Keeping your crypto address list friendly
- Token swaps and crypto sell/buy in-app
- Access to decentralised finance activities
- Web3 wallets such as Metamask can connect to websites so that you can use your crypto directly.
There’s no shortage of companies wanting to offer you a safe home for your crypto: in fact, some exchanges purposely build their websites and apps to look more like wallets than exchanges: trading interfaces tend to be scary.
If you want to go down this route, then you just need to find an exchange and sign up. There are plenty of exchanges that have signed up to pledge to be responsible and safe. If you can, check deposit and withdrawal fees before doing anything – they can be steep.
Of course, then you need to fund your account and buy crypto. Normally you’d fund by bank transfer or sending in crypto you already owned. Some exchanges offer debit card deposits, direct purchase of crypto by debit card, and other features. Debit card options tend to be more expensive, though.
While exchanges have become a lot better recently, they’re still prime targets for hackers and are a central point for governments to lean on, too. Most crypto experts would advise keeping your crypto nearer to you unless you were actively buying and selling, though that means possible withdrawal fees.
The upside is that at long as the exchange has decent account/password recovery, you’ll be able to regain access to your coins after a hardware disaster.
Do you want to keep your crypto close to your chest? Well, then there’s an app for that. Or rather, many apps. All of them would keep your crypto keys on your phone or hard disk, and some of them provide more features, including buying and swapping crypto. It’s important to look at the safety record of the wallets because bad programming can result in funds being mis-sent, or hackers getting in. Objective reviews are your friend!
If you’re using a more basic wallet, you should download the app and follow its setup instructions to add a user and create a wallet. During this process, the wallet software will give you a passphrase to write down. This passphrase can be transferred between copies of the same app (for instance, desktop and mobile versions).
While there’s a possibility it could be imported into other wallet software, you won’t see all your assets if the wallet doesn’t support them.
You should write the passphrase down and keep it safe – anyone could use it to access your stash.
Once you’ve set up the wallet, then you can transfer your crypto into it. Generally, the wallet will give you a QR code to scan, which is also your public wallet address, which people can send funds to, but not take funds from.
While software wallets keep their keys on a hard disk, hardware wallets are (generally) USB devices that are designed for safely holding crypto keys. Quite often they’re password-protected, encrypted, or protected by a PIN. The big names on this are Trezor and Ledger.
When your keys are on one of these things, no hackers can touch them. Having said that, you will still have a piece of paper with a passphrase…
After buying a hardware wallet, you would follow the instructions to set it up and install whatever software is advised. Then, you’d send in the crypto to the addresses the wallet set up for you.
Fun fact: did you know you can see your coins on the blockchain through a browser? You can’t do anything with them, and no one can see who owns them without doing a lot of forensic research, but sites such as Etherscan and Blockchain.com’s Explorer will allow you to reassure yourself your coins are still there.
Or, you can use AQRU and see your crypto grow
Wallets are all very well, but in the end, the funds are… well, sitting there.
With AQRU, you can park them in a hosted wallet with bank-grade safety that allows you to put it to work and earn yields up to 7% (as at the time of writing).
How do you do that? First, sign up on AQRU’s friendly website or download the even-friendlier app from the App Store or Google Play. Create a login, and then go through verification – KYC (“Know Your Customer”) and AML (“Anti-Money Laundering”) are there for your protection!
Once that’s done, add extra security to your account, and then get to the fun(d) part!
Alternatively, it’s easy to send in sterling/euro as a bank transfer, and then buy the crypto you need with that (with competitive exchange rates and fees).
Lastly, you could use “MoonPay”, our third-party payment provider to buy crypto with a debit card.
While AQRU doesn’t charge deposit fees, there would be third-party exchange fees using MoonPay. Don’t forget the minimum deposit is the equivalent of 100 euro.