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Finance NFT

The 10 Best Crypto Wallets To Try in 2021

Looking for a new crypto wallet? Looking to start your first one? Here are ten recommendations for the best crypto wallets in 2021 (no particular order). If you don’t know what a wallet is, you should learn more about bitcoin first.

Different types of wallets

Before diving into my favorites, let’s distinguish between different types of crypto wallets. Cold wallets are made from hardware. They are physical devices where you can “cold” store your crypto. “Hot” wallets operate through software or web-based applications. They require an on-grid connection (in most cases). There are certainly other wallet types, like paper, for example. But those are the main wallet types most beginner or intermediate users end up using.

Good Cold Wallet: Ledger
https://www.ledger.com/
Ledger

Platforms: Mac OS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android

Coins: 1,000+ (all the big ones and more)

Ledger is one of the most popular hardware crypto wallets available, boasting over 1,000,000 devices sold. These handheld devices are perfect for anyone looking for secure storage of their cryptocurrency. There is an LED display for payment validation and PIN required for access. There is also a two-factor authentication option for increased security. The device runs on its own OS called Ledger Live, compatible with Windows (7+), Mac (10.8+) and Linux. There is also a mobile app version available on iOS and Androids. Ledger Nano S runs for about $59.

The original model, the Nano S, does not have bluetooth compatibility. The main perk of the Nano X version (double the price) is the ability to connect your wallet anywhere you have a mobile phone and internet access.

Good for beginners: Coinbase
https://www.coinbase.com/
Coinbase

Platforms: iOS and Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux

Coins: 20 (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, TRON, and BAT)

Coinbase is an easy solution for users looking to purchase Bitcoin. In crypto, there is a slight barrier to entry for users with US bank accounts (regulations are slowly evolving). Coinbase makes it easy to link your bank account, buy crypto, convert your crypto to fiat and send it back to your bank account. It sounds simple, but the more you immerse yourself in the world of blockchain, the more you’ll appreciate a product that can efficiently accomplish that. Coinbase is also a large player in the space, so you can trust their customer support and infrastructure.

Good for mobile use: Coinomi
https://www.coinomi.com/en/
Coinomi

Platforms: Mac OS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android

Coins: 125 cryptocurrencies and 382 tokens (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, etc.)

With millions of active users and no hacks reported to date, Coinomi is a convenient option for both mobile and desktop users. There are no flat fees so you can get different rates depending on the market. The interface is customizable, and they offer plenty of coins to build a diverse portfolio.

Good cold wallet: Trezor
https://trezor.io/
Trezor.io

Platforms: Windows, Linux

Coins: 1,000+ (Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, Dash, etc.)

Trezor, made by Satoshi Labs, Inc, is another widely popular wallet. Trezor operates either as a Desktop app or through their website. There are thousands of coins available on their platform. The hardware is secured through a user-generated pin on an LED display. You can plug your Trezor into your device via USB. The good part about Trezor is its integration with other popular tools like MetaMask. You can reap the benefits of both cold storage and many third-party apps.

Good for web users: Blockchain.com
https://www.blockchain.com/
Blockchain.com

Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux

Coins: Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, and Stellar Lumens.

Blockchain.com started out as a block explorer, but it’s quickly become a large company with a wide range of financial services. Boasting over 40 million users, Blockchain.com has low commission fees and proper security measures. The trade-off? The verification process is as rigorous as it gets, so users looking for anonymity should look elsewhere. There is also a limited number of tokens available on their platform: Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, and Stellar Lumens.

Affordable cold wallet: SafePal S1
https://www.safepal.io/
SafePal

Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux

Coins: 20+ blockchains and 10,000+ tokens

The SafePal is shaped like a credit card, so it fits right in your regular wallet. It does not rely on WiFi or Bluetooth to connect, but rather a local QR connection. This enhances security. Users can access their crypto using the SafePal app. SafePal has thousands of cryptocurrencies available on their platform, making it easy to store all your portfolio needs. 

Good for security: KeepKey
https://keepkey.shapeshift.com/get-started/
KeepKey

Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux

Coins: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Dash, Dogecoin, Litecoin

KeepKey separates itself from top competitors like Ledger and Trezor through increased security. KeepKey does not use an operating system, making it near impossible for malware to occur. As a USB-enabled device, it is also super easy to use. This is a good option for more passive wallet users, since KeepKey has only 35 cryptocurrencies available.

Good for on-the-go users: WalletGenerator
https://walletgenerator.net/
WalletGenerator

Platforms: Windows, Mac

Coins: 197 (Bitcoin, Cashcoin, Litecoin, Emerald, Dash etc.)

WalletGenerator is a paper wallet. What does that mean? It’s a crypto wallet… made of paper. You can access WalletGenerator on GitHub and open the index.html to generate a public address. In order to store and use the coins, you have to improve the private address on a client provided on their website. You can then print out a sheet with a QR code and take it with you on the go. You don’t have to depend on any device to make a transaction as long as the other party has a way to send or receive the crypto. This is a great option to prevent malware, the only downside is the risk of losing your paper wallet, since it is a physical asset!

Good for desktop: Exodus
https://www.exodus.com/
Exodus

Platforms: Windows, Mac, and Linux, iOS and Android

Coins: 70+ cryptocurrencies (on native app)

Exodus is an ideal wallet for desktop users. The app is anonymous and can be used to exchange crypto. You can see real-time charts and Exodus provides round the clock support. Like some other exchange apps, Exodus is compatible with Trezor wallets. You can also link up your Exodus on mobile to get regular updates on your wallet.

Good for Bitcoin: Electrum
https://electrum.org/#home
Electrum

Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux

Coins: Bitcoin

This is a good choice for Bitcoin beginners. Electrum is one of the oldest wallets in the game, forming in 2011. It operates around 10% of all Bitcoin transactions, charging 0.2 mBTC per transaction. In some instances, you can reduce that fee. The interface is easy to use and navigate, making it an easy choice for first-timers looking to get some skin in the game. Electrum is entirely web-based, meaning you can connect anywhere to get on. There are compatible mobile apps as well.

There are thousands of wallets available on the market. What works best for you largely depends on what you are looking to get out of your crypto wallet. Some people just want to buy coins and let them sit, whereas other folks want to regularly make transactions on-the-go. I’d recommend choosing companies that have already built a solid reputation (look for subreddits, discussion forums, reviews). That’s my list of the ten best crypto wallets in 2021. What’s yours?

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Finance NFT

Get to Know CryptoStache: A Beacon of Information In The CryptoVerse

Navigating the wide world of cryptocurrency can be quite daunting for newcomers. You can do all the Google searches in the world for the terms Basic Attention Token, NFT’s, Ethereum, etc. But without proper guidance, you’ll quickly find yourself overwhelmed by the constantly evolving crypto space and its latest trends.

If you’re desperate for a savior to make sense of all this, then allow us to introduce you to Shea Newkirk aka “CryptoStache.” The crypto guru runs a personal blog where he gets into the nitty-gritty of all things bitcoin and crypto. Besides offering readers a treasure trove of worthwhile advice to follow, CryptoStache also dishes out useful information and insightful podcast sessions on his growing YouTube channel. 

To say that CrytpoStache is a man of many talents would be a severe understatement – his Twitter bio describes him as a bitcoiner, blockchain gamer, content creator, entrepreneur, musician, and designer. And he sports a pretty sick handlebar mustache to boot. His cryptocurrency knowledge reaches far and wide, which is why our very own Tyler Schmitt spent some time picking his brain and learning about his interesting backstory.

Tyler kicked his conversation with CryptoStache off by letting him provide us all with a brief breakdown of who he is and what he does in the crypto world. “All NFT roads lead back to ‘Stache. That’s how I set it all up, guys. For years, I’ve been laying the tracks and now the time has come. I’m all about stashing my crypto. And the tagline is not just clever, it’s literally what I built my educational platform on from the very beginning when I first started doing it. It’s an underlying ethos to what I’m doing here in crypto. I got started in the industry in really 2013, is when I really slowly took a look at Satoshi’s [Nakamoto] [The] White Paper. And that’s when it was like BOOM!”

CryptoStache went on to explain how he initially got put on to the cryptocurrency scene. “The first time was like early 2012 and I was just surfing around on Reddit’s and news forums out there. And I saw a link where someone was talking about magic internet money. And I was like ‘that’s weird. Magic bitcoin money? Alright…’ So I clicked the link, go to the website, and it’s like right there. Hey, buy Bitcoin!”

Tyler then asks if CryptoStache considered himself a techie at that point in his life. “I’ve been a techie my whole life. I started building computers when I was like 14 years old. I taught myself how to code at 16 and do graphics, HTML, and all that good stuff.” CryptoStache also delved into his teen years and noted how he didn’t look like your average nerd. “I look cool. I don’t look like a nerd. I was always good at really hiding it. Because in high school, that was not the cool thing. I did sports too, so when I’m at home I’m computing. It was a crazy kind of juxtaposition.” As the interview goes on, CryptoStache covers a wide range of topics, such as his working past in the field of architecture, his crypto know-how, and his interest in blockchain gaming.

Be sure to listen to the full conversation between Tyler and CryptoStache to fully immerse yourself in all the goings-on playing out in the cryptocurrency medium. And do yourself a favor and give CryptoStache a follow on Instagram and Twitter.

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Finance NFT

NFTs and Patience: A Short Guide for Creators Entering the World of NFTs

Note: the header artwork for this article can be found on SuperRare.

So you just learnt about NFTs… Welcome!

Maybe you landed here after hearing about Beeple’s $6.6 million NFT sale at Christie’s. Or perhaps you’re just tuning in after learning about electronic musician 3LAU’s whopping $11.6 million NFT auction this weekend.

It’s no surprise you’re here. These headlines are sure to turn heads. And there is good reason to get excited. Artists who just months ago were reliant on intermediaries and/or freelance gigs to make a living off their art, now suddenly have real power in their hands. 

These numbers — along with the ones we’re hearing out of NBA Top Shot, Cryptopunks, etc — are going to get people’s hearts pumping. There’s no doubt. 

However, it’s important to recognize that underneath these eye-catching headlines lies a completely fresh landscape of opportunity for creatives and fans alike — not to necessarily make a million dollars overnight — but to collectively build a sustainable online ecosystem for creatives of any level to thrive. 

For some of us, this newborn excitement in the NFT space can come with a package of anxieties that we might categorize as FOMO. Perhaps questions pop into your head like, “ok how do I get a piece of this action?” or “I don’t want to miss the boat!” or “what do I dooo?!?”

As this energy bubbles up in you, I think it’s important we tease apart a few nuances in all the excitement and come to some sensible plan of entry into this brand new world. 

Emphasis on brand new

The first being just that: understanding that this space is brand friggin’ new. It’s like we’re in 1994 and the World Wide Web has just been born. What excitement! 

The difference though was, that back then, practically nobody had email yet. Let alone anything resembling Instagram, Twitter, and every other mode of instant connection we have today. So unlike in 1994, the excitement over these new technologies is catching like wildfire. As soon as any single experiment gets underway, everyone else knows about it instantly.

But the storm of hurried anxiety that this causes only stirs up more unnecessary dust and blinds us from seeing things as they really are. A much more effective way to approach this space is from a place of patient excitement — knowing full well that the NFT game is going to be a long one.

Step 1: Learn

First things first: get a good understanding of what NFTs really are. If you haven’t already, we put together a beginner’s guide on NFTs for just that purpose. 

It’s important to understand how non-fungible tokens work, and how they carve out a potential value for digital stuff in a way that wasn’t possible before. It will take this story of NFTs from one that’s about multi-million dollar transactions to one that’s about the future of the Internet. It just might get your wheels turning on how you can use this technology in a way that hasn’t been explored yet. (reminder: most haven’t)

After that, the best way to learn about NFTs is to jump into the scene and make some online friends. It just so happens that the NFT community (which exists primarily on Twitter) is actually a group of extremely friendly people. So get involved, ask your questions, and there is likely someone out there happy to answer. 

Here are just a few of the people I am learning a lot from (extremely non-exhaustive list):

@thesarahshow — NFT artist + writer

@AxieKing — excellent teacher in all things NFT

@jessewldn —  Investor at Variant Fund

@FEhrsam — Cofounder of Paradigm and Coinbase

@whatdotcd — Creator of the Friends With Benefits community

@coin_artist — NFT artist 

@coopahtroopa — crypto strategy at Audius

@dg_goens + @js_horne — building Zora

@literature — building Mirror

@cheriehu42 — writing about NFTs and music at Water and Music

@matdryhurst — Co-host of the Interdependence podcast (which I highly recommend!)

Step 2: Taste

It’s one thing to learn about this stuff. It’s a whole other thing to actually experience it.

I can tell you everything there is to know about strawberries. The only way you’re really going to know what a strawberry tastes like is to put one in your mouth.

At the end of the day, you’re going to have to taste this stuff for yourself. 

One way to do that is to buy an NFT. 

This isn’t the only way to take your first steps, but in my experience, it is the game-changer. To feel what it is like to purchase and own an NFT will be one of the best ways to learn. One of the things it will teach you, for instance, is that it feels really good to own something you actually truly like. Suddenly all that talk of money and millions gets drowned out by the simple pleasure of feeling provenance over this thing you think is cool. 

The very first NFT I purchased was The Lava Popsicle by Roger Kilimanjaro. It cost me 0.6 ETH, which was a good chunk of the amount I had. But I just thought it was so dope, and I jumped on it. 

https://app.rarible.com/token/0x424db67b40b15ed85475c3f29dedf601b6ee75b2:8:0x5090c4fead5be112b643bc75d61bf42339675448
The Lava Popsicle by Roger Killimanjaro

I learnt that buying an NFT feels like forging an intimate bond with the artist. I love watching Roger do his thing, and every new work he puts out gets me super pumped. His success feels like my own. I also learnt that, as an edition of 5, it felt as though this tiny family of 5 owners of The Lava Popsicle was formed.

Rarible

Step 3: Experiment

Once you taste what it’s like to step foot in the world of NFTs, there’s a good chance that ideas will start wafting through your head about what kind of NFT projects you might want to launch. 

Something to remember here: the goal isn’t to make millions or thousands or hundreds of dollars off a sale. It is to build something for the long term. The true power that NFTs give you is to carve out value around the content and community you create. 

The same principles relevant to building a connection with people through your art before NFTs are also relevant now. The only difference is that instead of only receiving Instagram likes and YouTube subscribers, you are now able to find actual buyers for your work and give them something of value in exchange. So build your narrative around NFTs with the same care and intention you’d put into any of your other work. 

That said, it is extremely early here. That means we don’t really have any idea as to how this ecosystem will mature. There is a very good chance that the most popular ways we create, distribute, interact with, and buy and sell NFTs has not been created yet. So while intention and long-term thinking matters, so too does experimentation.

A healthy balance between long-term strategy and experimentation, and you’re well ahead of most on your way to finding success in this new weird world of NFTs. 

Even more exciting, you are part of a historic wave of new tech that is sure to eat its way into every industry you can possibly think of. So be patient, be present, and enjoy the sheer fun of it all. 
Any questions you’ve got, my DMs are open. 🙂

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Finance NFT

I Just Learned About NFTs A Week Ago: A Newbie’s First Impressions

About a week ago, I was working on a project that, honestly, I just wasn’t all that jazzed about. 

I’ve been writing for a while in the tech space, mostly covering topics like cloud services, cybersecurity, and JavaScript optimization—things that may not be super exciting to most people but that I’ve got enough exposure to via my training as a developer to discuss with some level of understanding. 

On this particular day, though, my work had more to do with legal and regulatory requirements in an area barely adjacent to my primary areas of interest. Yay.

So, in a highly predictable moment of distraction, I found myself on Twitter, where I came across this tweet by one of my favorite content creators, Gary Vaynerchuk:

Passionate seems a little strong for something I know nothing about, I thought. And yet…

I was intrigued. So, being the voracious Googler that I am, I dug a little deeper. 

After I finished what I was originally working on, of course.

Anyway, over the next few days, I went and found everything I could about NFTs. What follows is one tech enthusiast’s take on an incredible new(ish) technology that might have some pretty wild implications for the future.

What even is an NFT?

I’m not going to take up too much time here defining NFTs, because there are plenty of resources about that (and here’s one!,) but it’s good practice to let you know that NFT stands for “non-fungible token.” 

Still, as one introductory guide to NFTs put it, “trying to understand an NFT through the expansion of its abbreviation is like answering the question ‘what is an mp3?’ with ‘it’s a MPEG Audio Layer-3.’” 

The key word here, then, is “fungible.” 

A fungible asset is something that is mutually interchangeable with something else of its kind. 

There are plenty of these on the blockchain; Dogecoin is a fun example. So, if I sent you one Dogecoin from my wallet, and you sent me one of yours at the same time, nothing really happened aside from the two of us paying some unnecessary fees. What makes NFTs special, though, is that each one is unique. No two people can own the same token, and they can’t be divided into smaller units. 

This doesn’t mean you can’t exchange them, of course. But if you do trade one NFT for another, you do so knowing that even if they both command the same price on a certain day, the value for each is determined only by the demand for it.

But rather than getting into the technical and financial details, let’s have a look at a couple of interesting contemporary use cases.

Digital Art
Everydays: The First 5000 days – Beeple (Mike Winkelmann) | via Makersplace

One of the most popular applications of NFTs at this particular juncture in spacetime is digital art. 

Even outside of the digital world, the art space has always struck me as a funny one. There’s no way exactly to quantify what a piece is worth — though you would expect it to be at least the cost of the materials with some consideration for the time taken in its creation. But what about the time taken before that, in learning how to create it? And then, what if it has some particular cultural relevance or encapsulates a moment in history? 

All this comes into play when art collectors determine how much they’re willing to fork over for a piece, and they’re going to want some kind of proof that they’re dealing with the original work. This part is tricky because people have become quite adept at producing fakes. 

With NFT art, however, the ability to verify authenticity is baked into the blockchain. The technology is designed for meticulous recordkeeping, making the owners and creator of a particular work decidedly unquestionable. 

So yeah, I can copy and paste Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5000 Days until my computer crashes — which it might, because at a whopping 319 MB, it’s pretty beefy for a JPG. But unless I hit up Christie’s auction house with a digital boatload of Ether come auction time, my newly-conceived dreams of legitimately owning this historic piece will, for now, remain just that: Dreams. 

Trading-tokens
Steph Curry 3 Pointer | Via NBA Top Shot

Sports memorabilia has come a long way since the early days of trading cards back in the late 1800s. Collectors still covet both antique and contemporary cards, but NFTs have allowed a newcomer to step onto the scene — officially-licensed “Moments” from NBA games via Top Shot.

A “Moment” is a high-definition highlight from a particular game —often from several different angles—along with details about that highlight, such as player stats, box score, the game scores, the number of tokens of its kind, and more. If you look at the Moment shown in that gif of Steph Curry, you’ll get a better picture of what this is all about.

The thing that makes this incredibly dope to me is that it seems to be what sports cards always wanted to be. Bringing together HD footage with 3D animation and a nice soundtrack seems like the perfect way to immortalize the best highlights of NBA history going forward, and more broadly, moments from other sports and live performances as well. 

What comes next?

I could go on (and on and on) about awesome things happening with NFTs right now. Still, as someone deeply interested in the technology itself, I can’t help but think about some of the more practical applications for something like an NFT. 

For example, what if the title deed for a house lived on the blockchain in the form of an NFT, supported by a smart contract? This guy who had to take a 400km round trip twice to have a deed reprinted could’ve saved himself and his family a lot of time on the road.

Or what about ticketing systems? Digital technology is already eliminating fraud in the NFL, but NFT tech could take what’s already been done a step further by allowing purchasers to see a clear chain of ownership. 

I can even see governments adopting the tech years from now in the form of state-issued identification. How cool would it be if NFTs were used as secure, verifiable driver’s licenses, vehicle registrations, or social security cards? You’d never have to worry about leaving them behind or losing them again!

It only seems natural that as the world moves more and more away from physical paperwork, the only thing stopping us from digitizing important documents like these is the problem of authenticity and security. After spending the last week learning about NFTs, I believe we’ve found a solution.