This holiday season is the perfect time to protect your loved ones from hackers who have stole $14 billion in crypto this year alone, according to Chainalysis. There’s also no sign hackers or exchange volatility is slowing down, so what can you do? Can this be solved through a simple, easy-to-use gift?

Protecting your crypto wallet is key. Although investment might come with risks, there is no reason your crypto wallet should be open to thieves this Christmas. To understand how to avoid this, it’s helpful to understand how crypto wallets work. Unlike physical wallets or digital bank accounts, crypto wallets do not hold your money – they store private keys. This is a string of letters and numbers known only to you. Think of it as your password; it enables you to prove your ownership of crypto on the blockchain, as well as buy, sell or trade crypto.

What is a Hot Wallet vs. a Cold Wallet?

Your cryptocurrency exists and is stored on the blockchain, a digital ledger that publicly records every transaction. But on the blockchain, the person who controls the keys ends up controlling the crypto.

The most important question is where you will store your crypto and your private keys.

Many crypto investors rely on “hot wallets” or “custodial wallets”– these are convenient wallets that are often hosted by crypto exchanges connected to the internet. But when you rely on a hot wallet, you’re handing over your private keys, security, and identity to a third party. That means you often lose the privacy promised by crypto transactions, and you’re putting a middleman between you and your money.

These wallets are also vulnerable to attacks, viruses or phishing schemes. If the exchange faces a security breach, your wallet’s funds can be drained or your identity exposed. Worse, if an exchange shuts down, you might be out of luck – locked out and frozen out of your funds forever. Given that crypto assets are not regulated by the government or FDIC-insured, there is no solution if digital crooks siphon money from your wallet.

In short, it’s risky business not to host your own wallet.

So, how can you protect yourself? Cold storage wallets or “self-custody wallets” are devices disconnected from the internet that offer maximum protection. Given that there’s no connection to the web, it’s harder for hackers to break into the device, and you also do not need to hand over a large trove of data. You also don’t have to worry about the interference of a third party – think of it like you being your own bank manager and security guard in one. You can rest assured your money is secure.

Arculus: Safe, Secure, and Easy to Use

Arculus offers an easy-to-use, self-hosted wallet to manage and secure your crypto and NFTs. You start with something that resembles a metal payment card – but offers more security. The card never connects to the web, and your private keys on the card are encrypted, allowing you to guard your own crypto and online identity. Even if you misplace the key card or someone steals it, they won’t be able to access your private keys – or your crypto.

How does it work? The security Arculus offers has two parts: a physical key card and an Arculus wallet app for your phone. When you’re making a transaction, the wallet on your phone interacts with the key card and a public blockchain network. You just tap your key card to your phone, which has a secure, near-field communication connection. There is no wi-fi, USB, bluetooth, or corded connection that would create a security risk.

It’s easy to buy, sell and trade crypto by using the Arculus key card and wallet. When you create your Arculus wallet, you will be prompted to set-up the critical 3-factor authentication that sets Arculus apart from its competitors. Arculus’ Web3-enabled wallet uses (1) a biometric fingerprint or Face ID lock, (2) a 6-digit PIN code, and (3) the Arculus key card to carry out a transaction. The wallet app is free to use and helps manage your crypto and NFTs, with a built-in integration with WalletConnect, a bridge allowing you to access Web3 decentralized apps in a breeze.

The key card enables you to “sign” each transaction with your private keys. But even when you tap your card on your phone, your private keys will not be stored anywhere on your phone or online. In fact, the private keys never leave the key card – ensuring that your crypto will never leave your wallet. Your Arculus Wallet App also never accesses your private keys when you buy, trade or sell crypto. This means your assets will always be safe.

Arculus offers a hardware, cold storage solution for your crypto. With self-custody being so important, give yourself the gift of control - and security - this holiday season.

Learn more about the Arculus cold storage crypto wallet or purchase one for a loved one at getarculus.com/product/cold-storage-wallet. Your crypto and their crypto will be safer, and you will be gifting yourself and your friends with something more precious – peace of mind – this holiday season.