Bitcoin made its humble beginnings in 2009 as an open-source code software. Since that year, it has steadily increased in popularity, and more and more people are investing in the digital currency. There are around 18 million Bitcoins currently in the world, about 160 billion USD as of March 2020. Time and time again it has been proven to the world there are considerable dangers associated with storing your crypto coin money online in wallets or exchanges. With a bunch of different viruses, scams, and sophisticated hackers out there, taking this risk might leave you totally wiped out. With some Bitcoin holders storing millions upon millions of dollars, it makes sense that these people would use more secure methods of coin storage in order to keep their Bitcoin safe. Most of these people use extreme cold storage to ensure their funds stay safe from malicious malware and hackers.
Some of these cold storage options include Glacier Protocol, a high-security protocol made especially for Bitcoin cold storage. Another such company offering a tamper-proof solution for coin storage is Coinfinity’s Card Wallet. This article will give you some insight into how these cold storage options work, what the benefits are for each, and how to use them. If you are looking into cold coin storage for your Bitcoin hopefully this review will help you on the way to making a smart, secure decision for safely storing your coins.
Extreme Cold Storage-Glacier Protocol
If you are a serious Bitcoin investor looking to store your coin for a longer period of time and don’t want to use it every day, then Glacier Protocol might be a good fit for you. This free software is self-managed and provides a solution for keeping your private keys isolated, and offline for high security. And if you find yourself questioning the vulnerability of USB connections, Glacier was intended to eliminate this fear. Although there is never a completely safe method of storing such valuable assets, Glacier comes pretty close and is widely considered a secure coin storage method.
Self Managed Software
As the title of this section indicates, this protocol is totally self-managed, and actually requires a fair amount of skill and a LOT of spare time if you want to set up the software correctly. At the absolute minimum, an individual setting up their Glacier security system will need two separate computers, both factory sealed and equipped with USB ports, USB drives with a minimum of 2 GB, along with a camera. This, however, is the minimum requirement for the process, and more cautious investors might look into purchasing multiple different computers and a variety of parts in order to strengthen the system and lower the risk of theft.
Glacier recommends a user invest in 2 brand-new computers for the security protocol to work at its best, however, there are plenty of individuals out there using second-hand computers. For the more cautious, there is plenty of additional equipment that can be purchased to strengthen their system. These things include casino dice for generating private keys, tamper-resistant seals, a home safe, or a Faraday bag. These add-ons aren’t necessarily vital to the security of your personal system, although it definitely won’t hurt.
If you’re strongly considering setting up your Glacier system, it’s important to review the negative aspects before investing your precious time and money into the project. The protocol is still in beta form, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Most coin storage options are far less costly and time-consuming than this software, ironic considering the software itself is free. And, for less tech-savvy users, it might be a very hard system to set up. Software rot is a very real threat for this system also, as its is not maintained or managed by anyone as of September 2019. Lastly, there are a few gaps in the extensive instructions provided to its users, so some functionality is limited.
If you have sufficiently reviewed the cons of owning your own Glacier security system, and still feel it is the best software for you, your next steps are setting up! Now, I won’t go through the specific details of setting up your very own Glacier System, as the process is actually pretty complicated, and very, very long. Not to mention this info is provided to you upon download. Essentially, by the end of the setup process, you will be able to generate your private keys totally offline, with the option to secure it among a group of people. Basically, setting up this system is a bit grueling but the result is undeniable. When you download the software, Glacier provides you with all the information you need in extremely detailed steps. It also gives you great hacks like how to create un-crackable key combinations.
Confinity Card Wallet
There are a plethora of options for more secure coin storage, one of these is a Card Wallet. This card wallet is designed to be a type of private, offline key, in a way that flies under the radar. If you decide to utilize this method, it’s essential to remember not to scratch the hologram area on the back that conceals your crypto address. Keeping this hologram intact is vital to keeping your funds secure. Although it might seem basic, this little card wallet has a few tricks up its sleeve to keep your Bitcoin safe and secure. The company has taken special measures to implement some great counterfeit prevention methods. This includes continuous color gradient methods, and microprinting to give it a cash-like resemblance.
How it works
Confinity has put a major focus on anti-forgery techniques, using a high tech Austrian Printing house to ensure there are no fake cards in circulation. The Card Wallet is also specially designed for users who wish to keep their bitcoin stored for future use. Meaning you can send fund to your wallet address, but if you want to withdraw them at any time, you’ll need to remove the hologram seal on the back and pay almost 70 dollars in fees as a penalty. If you lose this physical card, your secret key code will be lost along with any funds it holds.
A passive experience until you withdraw
The Card Wallet differentiates itself from a hardware wallet as it’s a very passive experience. In order to send fund to the account, you can simply scan the address on the front with a QR scanner, and send your desired amount of BTC. As long as you have no desire to remove the funds, there is no interaction at all. You can however check your available balance with a QR code printed on the card, using Coinfinity’s mobile app.
When you do want to make use of or move your bitcoin to another address however, the process is actually very simple. Simply remove the hologram seal from the back of the wallet, reveal your private key, and import it into a wallet that is noncustodial. Simple as that. From this point on though, the wallet is ‘compromised’ and no longer secure.
Essentially, although this Coin wallet might be a great option for some, it comes off a little pricey for what it is. The fact that there is only a one-time withdrawal option, which will put you out-of-pocket almost 70 bucks will likely be off-putting to some. It does have its advantages though. The card is significantly more sturdy than a simple piece of paper, and it comes equipped with a tamper-proof seal. It is also a good way to incentivize yourself to keep saving your Bitcoin due to the high fee and one-time withdrawal.
Bitcoin Value increase and the implications
If the forecast is correct, and Bitcoin continues to grow and increase in value, then the demand for more extreme coin storage measures will be greatly in demand. With the millions of dollars in nest egg Bitcoin stores potentially increasing into the billions it’s no surprise that people would be seeking better ways to protect themselves. Not only individuals but enterprises and exchanges are building up reserves of bitcoin in hopes of increasing value.
Both the Glacier Protocol and the Coinfinity Coin Wallet are great options for cold coin storage. Some would argue the Coin Wallet is overpriced and unnecessary and could be easily replicated for free. And some might say Glacier is over the top, and far too complicated to set up. Not to mention the danger of software rot. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, but it really comes down to the individual.