If I’ve purchased coins (bitcion, ethereum, litecoin) using a hot wallet on coinbase, is it possible to transfer them to a Hard wallet I’ve purchased for secure keeping?
Yes indeed, this is entirely possible. The first step is to setup your hardware wallet. This involves ensuring it’s using the latest firmware (this is especially important in the case of a Trezor HW wallet; their latest firmware fixes a security vulnerability) and generating a seed phrase. It’s critical that you backup this seed phrase securely.
From there, you can access your hardware wallet, via the wallet’s online interface or any other compatible software wallet. It’s then simply a matter of transferring your various coins from your Coinbase wallet to the corresponding addresses generated by your hardware wallet.
Let me know if any part of this process is unclear and I’ll give you some more specific instructions. It would help to know what type of HW wallet you have.
I’ll suggest putting a guide together which covers this process to Ofir, thanks for the idea.
As I said, transferring the coins is a fairly simple process if you’re familiar with Bitcoin operations. The hardware wallet will generate a multiple-word seed when you initialise it, this seed must be securely backed up by you. The wallet will then use the seed to generate a private key. You won’t need to backup or ever directly interact with this privkey under normal circumstances. This privkey is then used to generate your public Bitcoin address within whichever wallet you use, whether that’s your hardware wallet’s official online wallet or another compatible software wallet, like Electrum.
Once your wallet has spawned a few public address, you send your bitcoins from Coinbase to these address and voila, your coins are now held “within” your hardware wallet and protected by its security.
As for testing the accuracy of your hardware wallet’s seed backup, you can do this before transferring any of your Coinbase coins to it. You can plug your HW wallet into whichever device you like and go through the seed / wallet creation process, ensuring that you make an accurate backup of the seed. I would recommend getting a Cryptosteel for storing this seed, or making your own DIY Cryptosteel with some sheets of metal and a stamping kit (they’re cheap).
To test your backup (if it’s wrong and your hardware wallet is lost, stolen or destroyed, your coins will be gone forever), you can import your seed backup into a compatible software wallet… However, this process should ONLY be performed on a computer which NEVER connects to the internet and is NEVER accessed by anyone but yourself. The reason being, your hardware wallet’s entire purpose is to keep the key totally secret and never allow it to “leak” from the HW… By importing it, you are purposefully leaking the seed in order to test it. This is why the computer you test the seed on must be 100% offline and secure – I would go so far as to format it after doing the test. Maybe even microwave / burn / smash the memory chips and hard drive afterwards, if you’re especially paranoid.
Hope this helps!
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