My recommendation for controlling your Bitcoin private keys: Coldcard
There are plenty of reasons to be excited about buying Bitcoin.
- It’s the worlds hardest money. There will never be more than 21 million.
- It’s the worlds most secure and decentralized cryptographic currency.
- It’s immutable – it cannot be censored by anyone
- It’s the easiest way to store value, and the easiest way to send value to anyone, anywhere in the world, anytime you need to do it.
There are plenty of other reasons, but none of those reasons matter if you are not in control of your private keys. What does that mean?
When you purchase Bitcoin from an exchange, like the cashapp for example, you do not yet have direct ownership over those coins. The exchange that you purchased from holds the private keys still.
It would be as if you purchased Gold bullions and stored them with a 3rd party. The risk to that is there may be a change in their terms of service, or the government may swoop in and take control of that 3rd party. With gold the convenience of a 3rd party storing gold for you may outweigh the (small) risk of an event where the gold is no longer accessible to you. With Bitcoin there is no reason for you not to take ownership and responsibility for those private keys. This is an important step. A favorite phrase Bitcoiners throw around is “not your keys, not your Bitcoin.” It is a cliche at this point, and can be annoying to be reminded of, but it is critical that you learn this if you are new to Bitcoin. Take control of your keys.
So how do you do that? There are different methods. There are software wallets for your PC, or mobile device. There are also hardware wallets, and combinations of the two. The best of these is the coldcard, and it is also the most technically intimidating.
I thought a lot about this part of my recommendations. I would prefer to keep things as simple as possible for newcomers in all aspects of your Bitcoin journey, and the coldcard is not the simplest. The problem I ran into is that it is by far the best way to store bitcoin keys, and the others are not close. Finally, we are talking about your money here. We are talking about storing your wealth, YOUR TIME, and for that there should be no compromises. The coldcard is the way to go.