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Master Don Juan
May 3, 2013
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I am building a small weighting into crypto as part of my long term savings.

I have bought some crypto on wirex exchange. Only a small amount as a test.

I have ripple and bitcoin but will add a range of others.

Under the details of my holdings, I have a key (which I presume is my private key)

However, what I want to do is buy some large amounts, and then take it offline and erase from online for security.

I’m confused about the public and private wallets. So, wirex is my wallet. If I note down the private keys, what about the online wallet? Do I need to keep this public key and address or can I just note down the private codes and close wirex account?

Nothing online explains how you can buy crypto, put the codes in cold storage on paper and then erase the online presence.

Also, the public wallet....do you have one for life or is it basically whatever wallet you use for purchase? Ie if I take the private codes, get rid of wirex....can I come back in 3 years, make a new wallet and then use the private codes to access my holdings?

Just a bit confused on how wallets and public keys work.



Master Don Juan
Jun 9, 2019
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Read on bitcointalk.org. it's dense but the most comprehensive place to find the answers you seek. A wallet is tracked in the ledger because the ledger shows where the coins are. You can have a local wallet, that's probably what you're referring to by an offline wallet. This is what you want if you're not actively trading and are holding for a long time because you won't rely on the exchange. If it gets hacked it'll make no difference to you because your holdings will be local. Keep in mind the wallet address your coins are in will always be public, but there will be no way to determine it belongs to you without tracking all the transactions going through it and performing an annoying investigation. That's why exchange wallets are so dangerous. Not only is your coin centralized, creating a point of attack for hackers, but the exchange also requires KYC, so they have all your personal info to hand off to the tax man. They can freeze your account if they want, it's no fun.

If you're really trying to obfuscate you can look at things like monero or cross chain tumbling, which is a fancy way of performing millions of extremely small transactions between many many wallets between multiple coin chains in an effort to create a very long and obnoxious paper trail that becomes increasingly difficult to follow. But this is probably not something you're going to have to worry about unless you make millions.

Yes wallets are for life, but only local wallets. Never share or lose the private key. If you're holding coin on an exchange you are at their mercy. They could close your account, take your coin, do whatever. There is so little regulation that this is risky. I have some in cold wallets lying around, and some on exchanges that I actively trade. I assume I could lose the exchange coin at any moment due to fraud or mishaps on their part. The cold wallet I know will never be touched unless the actual coin chain is compromised, but at that point it will be worthless anyway.


Master Don Juan
Mar 12, 2017
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Never lose the private key. If you're holding coin on an exchange you are at their mercy.
I made that mistake and paying for it big time. Had my code saved but thought it was my log in pass word so I deleted only to quickly realize it was my private. I've tried to get new 2fa from each exchange with no luck after trying over 8 times now. Now they want facial recognition, pic of me holding a handwritten note. They make it so hard to get a new key knowing some will give up trying. I dont feel comfortable giving doing the whole facial recognition crap whatsoever.


Master Don Juan
Sep 8, 2016
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I'd recommend the Model T Trezor [google trezor]. Good price and comes with a variety of wallets. You can even trade between them if you want.

Plenty of vids on-line about how adresses/ keys work~


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