What is Cold Storage?

What is Cold Storage?

Cold Storage is achieved when bitcoin private keys are created and stored in a secure offline environment. Cold storage is important for anyone with bitcoin holdings. Online computers are vulnerable to hackers and should not be used to store a significant amount of bitcoins. The most common types of cold storage are hardware wallets and paper wallets.

Hardware Wallets

Hardware wallets are probably the most common means of storing bitcoins offline with quick and easy access for both sending coins when needed and capable of easily receiving additional coins while still preserving privacy. Most, if not all, hardware wallets are equipped with something called Hierarchical Deterministic (HD for short) functionality. HD wallets allow hardware wallets to create multiple addresses from a single starting point known as a seed or seed phrase.

This seed is usually a collection of 12 random words that can be written down on paper to restore your wallet if you ever want to erase your hardware wallet to sell or if you just want more security. In doing this, the user creates a form of paper wallet. KeepKey is one hardware wallet that is capable of doing this.

Paper Wallets

Paper wallets are a more static form of cold storage. They have much less flexibility than hardware wallets because each paper wallet only has one public key and one corresponding private key. Technically a paper wallet can receive bitcoins more than once but each and every additional payment to the same address erodes the privacy of not just the user but of the entire bitcoin network.

Paper Wallets are more like a savings account that you do not want to access after you have made your initial deposit. Since paper wallets can be printed on a whim, you can print a new wallet every time that you want to receive and store funds. To remove funds from a paper wallet, you will need a way to import or sweep the private key with a mobile wallet like bread wallet or an online wallet like blockchain.info.

Piper Wallet

Piper Wallet is a Raspberry Pi based paper wallet printer (Piper is a combination of Pi and Paper) that lives entirely offline for increased privacy and the ability to print paper wallets a the push of a button. If a paper wallet has never been online, then the private key can never be compromised by a hacker.

What is a bitcoin term that you would like us to further define for you? Let us know with a comment below or a tweet @WhatIsBitcoin.

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Browse Faster, Safer and Ad-Free with Brave

Brave, a web browser for a better internet

One of the newest and most exciting tools in the bitcoin space is not really known as a bitcoin tool but rather as an ad-blocking web browser. What separates this browser from others is that it has a built in payment mechanism that allow both users and content creators to earn bitcoin from ad revenue. Now everyone can browse safer, faster, ad-free and also earn bitcoin while doing it.

A Brave New World

If you aren’t paying for a service, you are not the customer. You are the product being sold. Currently, the way that most ads services (if not all ad services) work is reliant on monetizing the personal data of the end user. In order to do this, these services need as much of your personal information as possible. This is where trackers, cookies, phishing, malware and any other means to collet and mine your personal data come in to play and Brave hopes to counter this.

Block Ads & Trackers

Ad Blockers are one of the fastest growing services on the internet today. In 2016, ad blocker usage grew substantially and is expected to double by 2020. It seems pretty clear that people want more privacy, less popups, trackers, spam and unwanted ads.

While I personally don’t believe that people are using ad blockers to shave milliseconds off of web page load times, I do believe that ad blockers are playing a big part of preserving online privacy and it seems like Brave team is hoping to position themselves at the center of this.

Replace Ads

Brave is also currently working on a system that not only blocks existing “dirty” ads but also replaces them with what they call “clean” ads that aren’t privacy invasive. Brave Ad Replacements are just part of a new system called Brave Payments that I personally believe is going to change the way we consume online content.

Brave Payments

Brave has not only managed to create a tool that seamlessly increases privacy of all of their users but with the release of brave payments, they have created a tool that allows users to voluntarily pay small amounts of money to the websites that they visit the most and even earn money for browsing the web. Visit the Brave Payments FAQ page for more info on how it all works.

Brave Payments

The way that traditional ad payments work is between the ad agency and the site where the ad is displayed. This is a pretty two sided way to advertise which is why I believe Brave Payments was created.

The 4 Brave User Types

At first glance, most people probably won’t understand why Brave is such a powerful tool. To make things easier, they have provided some press content to help users better understand how they will turn traditional ad systems upside down while simultaneously increasing the revenue generated by content creators and publishers.

Who uses the Brave browser?

Donating Ad Share with Brave Ads – Andy

Some users who want to block ads are not concerned with making money from their browsing so they opt to donate their brave payments earning to the sites, publishers and content creators. This results in sites and publishers receiving 70% of revenue which is higher than most existing ad networks.

Keeping Ad Share with Brave Ads – Beth

Your attention is worth money to advertisers. This is where I personally believe that Brave changes the way that we will browse and monetize content. Brave ads enables users to get paid to browse the web by allowing them to earn a percentage of the ad revenue that they generate. Yes, this means that you can earn money for browsing the web. Think about that for a minute.

Ad-Free Browsing – Cathy

Some users do not want to see any ads at all and would rather contribute some of their own money to the sites they visit most. This type of user has the option to make a small payment with bitcoin or credit card for an ad-free browsing experience. This user sees less ads but also contributes to the sites that the visit the most.

Ad Blocking – David

The fourth and final type of browser loathes ads of any kind and as a result has opted to block any and all ads and chooses not to contribute in any way. This user just wants to browse the web with increase speed and privacy.

Do you think that Brave has the potential to change the way we consume online content? Let us know with a comment below or a tweet at @BitcoinReasons

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