What happens if you own a desktop wallet containing a cryptocurrency, and your hard drive is wiped out? Assuming we have stored any passwords safely
It depends on your type of wallet. If you’re using an HD wallet based on a seed phrase (a list of random words, which the wallet asks you to backup) then you can restore all your addresses from that seed, no problem. If you’re using a non-HD wallet (such as Bitcoin Core) and haven’t backed up the “wallet.dat” file found in the Bitcoin data directory… your bitcoins will be gone.
Of course, for both types of wallet, you’ll also need your own password, if you set one. Without this password, your bitcoins will be lost… Although as user passwords are usually much simpler than Bitcoin private keys, it may be possible to guess or brute force your password and recover the coins.
Best not to take any chances – backup your seed phrase / wallet.dat and password (if any) as securely as possible!