What is a wallet?
A Bitcoin wallet can be a device, program, or service which allows you to store your Bitcoin. A wallet is used to track ownership, receive, or send your coins. Contrary to popular belief, your Bitcoin wallet doesn't actually store your Bitcoins, but rather the private key needed to access them.
Wallets are available in many forms including hardware devices, mobile applications and web-based. To store your Bitcoins safely and securely, you need to choose a wallet that is compatible with your needs.
What is a private key?
Your Bitcoin wallet is a combination of your public and private keys. Your public key is your Bitcoin wallet "address" and your private key acts as the "password" to access the coins in your wallet.
A Bitcoin private key is a secret number that allows you to access coins. Every Bitcoin address (public key) has a matching private key. The private key is mathematically related to the address, and is designed so that the Bitcoin address can be calculated from the private key, but importantly, the same cannot be done in reverse.
The public key is the address of your wallet and the private key works as a password. Because the private key works as the password to your account, it is important that these keys are kept secret and safe.
What is a seed phrase?
A seed phrase is a random string of 12 to 24 words that can be used to recover your Bitcoin wallet in case you lose access to it. This seed phrase can also be referred to as your recovery seed.
Your seed phrase needs to be kept somewhere extremely safe, protected from fire, water, and any other kinds of potential damage. Most people will store their seed phrases on a piece of paper. We recommend using an indestructible stainless steel enclosure like the Billfodl or the Cryptosteel.