Secure crypto storage: How to choose between different wallets

January 30, 2024

In the rapidly evolving world of cryptocurrencies, the secure storage of digital assets is critical. With the increasing popularity and acceptance of this new form of wealth, comes the need for robust security measures. This comprehensive article explores the various storage methods for cryptocurrencies, analyzes their advantages and disadvantages, and offers insight into the secure approach of BCM, a leading Dutch crypto service provider. We explore the nuances of different wallets and exchanges, highlight their security aspects, and evaluate how BCM manages its clients' funds with maximum care.

Crypto wallets: your digital Fort Knox

‍Acrypto wallet can be compared to a digital vault, essential for managing and securing your cryptocurrency. Ranging from physical hardware devices to software applications on your computer or smartphone, these wallets are designed to securely store your digital currency. They contain two essential components: public keys and private keys. The public key, similar to a bank account number, is used to receive crypto and can be securely shared. The private key is like a PIN and must be kept strictly confidential to secure access to your funds.

Different types of wallets

Choosing the right crypto wallet is an important decision for any cryptocurrency user. The wallet you choose determines not only how you manage your digital currency, but also how secure it is. There are different types of wallets available, each with unique features and security levels. These wallets can be roughly divided into two main categories: non-custodial wallets, where the user has full control over the private keys, and custodial wallets, where the private keys are managed by a third party such as BCM, for example. Below is an overview of the most common types of crypto wallets, to help you make an informed choice.

Non-custodial wallets

  • Features: User has full control over the private keys and thus full sovereignty over their funds.
  • Security: Generally high, as the user is responsible for the security of the keys.
  • Use: Requires a higher degree of technical knowledge and user responsibility.

Types of non-custodial wallets

  • Hot Wallets: Online connected (web, desktop, mobile wallets). Easy to use, but more vulnerable to online threats.
  • Cold Wallets: Not connected to the Internet. Includes hardware wallets (such as Ledger and Trezor), offer better protection against online threats. Suitable for long-term storage of cryptocurrencies. Note: Despite their lower susceptibility to cyber attacks, brands such as Ledger and Trezor faced data breaches recently, which may raise doubts about their infallibility.
  • Paper Wallets: Physical copy or printout of public and private keys. Require accuracy in storage and management of keys to prevent loss.

With these forms of crypto storage, full responsibility lies with the user, with no safety net to correct mistakes. These factors make cold wallets suitable for storing large amounts of crypto or for long-term investment, but require a high degree of personal diligence and security awareness.

Custodial wallets

  • Features: The private keys are managed by a third party, such as a cryptocurrency exchange like BCM.
  • Ease of use: Useful for users who do not want to manage their keys themselves.
  • Security: Depends on third-party security measures. Lower risk of user error, but potentially higher risk of security breaches from the administrator.

The role of crypto exchanges

‍Inaddition to custodial and non-custodial wallets, crypto exchanges are essential as online trading platforms. They allow users to buy, sell and trade a wide range of cryptocurrencies, often with integrated wallets for storage. These wallets are managed by the exchange, meaning they manage the private keys. This offers convenience, but can also lead to less direct control over your digital assets. So choosing a wallet or exchange depends on individual preferences and the balance between security and convenience.

Centralized vs. decentralized

‍Inthe world of cryptocurrency exchanges, there are two main types of platforms: centralized (CEX) and decentralized (DEX) exchanges. These differ significantly in how they regulate access to and management of private keys and user funds.

Centralized exchanges (CEX).

  • ‍Features: Managed by an organization responsible for managing user funds and private keys.‍
  • Wallet type: Custodial wallet. The user trusts the exchange to manage their funds and keys.‍
  • Example: Platforms such as BCM fall into this category.‍
  • Security and convenience: Offer ease of use, but the user has less direct control over their private keys.
BCM custodial wallet

Decentralized exchanges (DEX).

  • ‍Features: Handles a peer-to-peer trading model without the intervention of a central authority.‍
  • Wallet type: Non-custodial wallet. The user retains full control over their private keys.‍
  • Example: Platforms such as Uniswap fall into this category.‍
  • Security and autonomy: Give the user more control and autonomy, but require a higher degree of responsibility. There is no margin for error; a small error can result in permanent loss of funds with no backstop.

With a DEX, the user has complete control over her private keys, which offers a higher degree of autonomy, but also means that there is no margin for error. A small error can result in losing funds permanently, with no backstop or backup system for help in case of error or loss. So the choice between a CEX or DEX depends heavily on personal preferences and the user's willingness to take on this responsibility.

Trade-offs between wallets

‍Whenchoosing a wallet, there are several considerations to make. Hardware and software wallets offer full control and autonomy over crypto assets. However, the lack of a recovery option in case private keys are lost or forgotten can lead to permanent loss of access to crypto assets. Exchanges offer more user-friendly platforms, but in doing so, users give up some of the control over their crypto assets.

BCM's security approach

BCM is distinguished by an innovative and security-focused approach in managing client assets, with a strong emphasis on security and regulatory compliance. BCM's Third Party Foundation is a key measure that separates client assets, both in fiat currency and crypto, from BCM's assets. This protects customer assets from claims by creditors in the unlikely event of bankruptcy. BCM's registration with De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) under its statutory name Coin Meester B.V. adds an additional layer of trust and responsibility. BCM maintains strict procedures in accordance with the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act (Wwft) and reports annually to the Dutch regulator.

BCM's cold storage policy, in which most of the crypto is stored offline, minimizes the risk of hacks, as the cryptos are isolated from the Internet and therefore inaccessible to hackers.


In the dynamic and complex world of cryptocurrencies, it is essential to make an informed decision about storing digital assets. Whether for long-term investors or active traders, choosing the right storage method can have significant implications for both security and accessibility of funds.

Making the right choice in crypto storage requires a balance between security, convenience and personal responsibility. It is important to be aware of the various options and their implications. Whether you choose the security of a cold wallet, the convenience of a custodial wallet at an exchange, or a combination of both, a well-informed choice is crucial to a safe and successful experience in the world of cryptocurrency.


‍Thiscontent is educational and should not be construed as financial advice. Inform yourself well and be aware of local regulations before investing in cryptocurrency.