I am only buying crypto for investment reasons and only spending a little bit of $ (couple/few grand at most) to do so while I learn. Do I need a wallet if I’m just buying BTC, ETH, and LTC for investing only and not to spend? I use coinbase/GDAX as my only access for everything.
Technically you don’t need a wallet if you intend to leave your coins on an exchange – you just need to fully trust the exchange with your money. As various major and minor cryptocurrency exchanges have lost or stolen customer funds over the years, this is a definite risk. Coinbase is America’s biggest Bitcoin exchange so you can bet that it’s also a big target for hackers… Whereas a personal wallet is a much smaller target and unlikely to be specifically targeted.
Provided that your computer security is decent, your bitcoins are MUCH safer in your personal keeping than entrusted to an exchange or any other third party. One way to ensure great personal security, without having to make any real changes to your computing habits, is to purchase a hardware wallet. These devices will securely store your bitcoins even if your system becomes compromised by malware. They are also PIN (and optionally, password-) protected against physical loss or theft.
As a hardware wallet can be picked up for under $100, I’d say that it’s a wise investment in the security of your bitcoins… It’s also empowering to “be your own bank,” rather than relying on big corporations!
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