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26 January 2021

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The master seed is a list of words that in combination represent the encrypted version of your private key or ‘secret key’. In a sense, the master seed is the key that unlocks your cryptographic secrets, and it is not just a common password or pin. It is a collection of randomly selected words generated by your device at the initial setup. If you lose access to your device, then you can unlock access to your assets on another device of the same type with this set of words.

The device has a small screen you can use to manage your secure connection. Currently, you can buy the introductory-level trezor one for $55 or the higher-end model t for $169.99.

A simple cryptocurrency wallet contains pairs of public and private cryptographic keys. The keys can be used to track ownership, receive or spend cryptocurrencies. A public key allows others to make payments to the address derived from it, whereas a private key enables the spending of cryptocurrency from that address. A cryptocurrency wallet is a device, physical medium, program or a service which stores the public and/or private keys for cryptocurrency transactions. In addition to this basic function of storing the keys, a cryptocurrency wallet more often also offers the functionality of encrypting and/or signing information. An example paper printable bitcoin wallet consisting of one bitcoin address for receiving and the corresponding private key for spending.

Coinbase is primarily a cryptocurrency exchange, and as such it does not meet the strict definition of a bitcoin wallet. The platform does not allow users to deposit or withdraw bitcoin from their accounts, and may expose users to increased risk of loss from hacking. However, coinbase does allow users to hold cryptocurrency traded on its platform. All of the providers included in this article can help investors gain exposure to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Some of these providers may also subject investors to increased risk of loss from hacking.

To better understand the risks involved, be sure to read the full provider sections below. In short, a bitcoin wallet stores a collection of bitcoin private keys. Typically, the wallet is password- or otherwise protected from unauthorized access. A bitcoin wallet is controlled solely by its owner, not distributed and shared like blockchain technology.

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