A beginner's guide: Where should I store my NFT?


How will you store your first NFT now that you've obtained it? Here's a primer on how to manage and store NFTs safely.

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If you owned a piece of physical artwork worth millions of dollars, such as a Monet or a Van Gogh, you would spend a significant amount of money and time determining the best place to store it securely.


The same is true for nonfungible tokens, or NFTs. They are not yet considered on the same level as the masterpieces of history's greatest artists, but some are worth thousands or millions of dollars. Learning how to store nonfungible assets may thus be a necessary practice to avoid losing access to personal investments.


Nonfungible tokens are more than just works of art. They can represent anything from a creative image or music video/audio to digital personal identity documentation, academic titles, car ownership, house ownership, and so on.


Digital assets could be replicated and distributed prior to blockchain. Most items were essentially worthless without knowing what or where the original digital asset was located.


Blockchain enables artists to create and validate originals by providing an immutable digital ledger, allowing them to manage their assets without intermediaries in a trustless environment.


This breakthrough is a significant step forward in digital asset ownership, paving the way for a thriving marketplace — not just in digital arts, but also in digital real estate, identities, and gaming, to name a few — over the next decade. As digital ownership grows into valuable assets, it becomes critical to properly store NFTs to avoid theft and other digital scams.


The growing market of NFTs


According to Reuters, the NFT market will reach $2.5 billion in the spring of 2021, up from $13.7 million the previous year at the same time. Following the explosion in popularity of NFTs, sales volumes have recently remained high, reaching nearly $5 billion.


Christie's sale of an NFT by digital artist Beeple for $69 million (£50 million) in March set a new record for digital art. Another notable NFT sale was a "CryptoPunk" that fetched $11.8 million at Sotheby's. In October, sales volumes on the popular NFT marketplace OpenSea reached a new high of $1 billion.


In recent months, musician Grimes sold some of her digital art for more than $6 million, and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey sold the first-ever tweet as an NFT, with bids reaching $2.5 million.


Given the Metaverse's popularity and financial impact on NFTs, the potential for this type of asset is enormous.


Why is it important to properly store NFTs?


Nonfungible tokens have become high-valued rare assets in recent months, attracting investors while also becoming targets for hackers looking to steal digital artworks or credit card information in order to buy more.


Hackers stole assets worth thousands of dollars from accounts on the NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway a few months ago. The platform blamed the hack on consumers' lack of two-factor authentication, which allowed hackers to easily detect users' credentials and steal their assets.


The company’s security was not compromised. However, some serious concerns were legitimately raised on how safe it is to leave NFTs or any other digital item stored on these third-party solutions.


The famous mantra “Not your keys, not your crypto” can and should also be applied to NFTs. Crypto enthusiasts will be familiar with the phrase, which means if you do not hold your private keys, as in the case of storage in exchanges, you do not own the cryptocurrency.


While cryptocurrency wallets have so far worked for crypto assets only, with the evolution of NFTs, other types of crypto wallets have been created explicitly for storing NFT data. 


What types of storage are available?


Security is just as important when it comes to storing NFTs as it is for cryptocurrencies. If you leave them in an exchange (or, in the case of NFTs, marketplace platforms), you are vulnerable to hacks, fraudulent activity by the exchange, or single points of failure.


Blockchain-based storage, as opposed to centralized storage of digital assets, is much more secure and gives owners complete control over their property. Furthermore, it offers a variety of solutions for greater peace of mind.


It is important to remember that you do not keep NFTs or cryptocurrency in your wallet. A wallet, on the other hand, guarantees access to investments held on the blockchain via a private key.


You effectively own a cryptographic address and anything at that address if you have the private key. When your digital asset is online, however, it is vulnerable to hacking attacks.


As a result, it is critical to save and store NFTs in offline solutions for cold storage, which assume storage in a platform that is not connected to the internet and thus less vulnerable to unauthorized access, cyber-attacks, and other vulnerabilities common to internet-connected data.


Purchasing a cold storage hardware wallet and transferring the digital assets there is the best way to store NFTs offline. Because the wallet remains offline, hackers and keyloggers will be unable to gain access. In addition, each hardware wallet includes an ID and password for added security.


Before delving into the various solutions, users can take a few precautions to protect their privacy and avoid becoming the target of hackers and thieves.

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When deciding on NFT storage options, it's critical to ensure compatibility across different chains and with the marketplace where NFTs are bought and sold. You should also ensure that the wallet has strong security and an easy-to-use interface.


Because most NFTs are Ethereum-based, it is important to ensure that the wallet is compatible with the Ethereum blockchain.


Most common ways to store NFTs


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Software Wallets


Even for novices and non-techies, creating an online software wallet is relatively simple. Because of their user-friendly interface, software wallets are the most popular choice for storing digital assets.


In the NFT space, there are numerous software wallet options, and the majority of them have both mobile and web applications.


A software wallet like Metamask, which is simple to set up, is considered standard security for your NFTs. Metamask transactions are encrypted and secured by a password and a 12-24 word seed phrase, and are only available as a Chrome application. It is compatible with DeFi and Ethereum.


Metamask and other online solutions are vulnerable to hacker attacks. They have previously been hacked and may be compromised in the future. Keep an eye out for the original and approved application, as many fake Metamask apps have previously duped users.


Enjin wallet, with a market cap of $10.3 million, is another software solution for storing crypto as well as creating, distributing, and integrating NFTs. It also supports Defi and Ethereum and will soon be integrated as an official NFT wallet app with Samsung S10 smartphones.


The Math wallet stands out for its extensive native support for over 70 public blockchains. Furthermore, the Trust wallet supports numerous blockchains and functions as a DeFi, crypto, and NFT wallet.


Coinbase recently announced the launch of a peer-to-peer marketplace where NFT holders will be able to mint, purchase, showcase, and manage their assets.


InterPlanetary File System (IPFS)


IPFS is a peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol that allows users to store their decentralized NFTs off-chain, reducing the possibility of hacking.


IPFS alters how information is distributed around the world by employing content-based addressing rather than the traditional location-based addressing. When you add a file to IPFS, it is divided into smaller chunks, cryptographically hashed, and assigned a unique fingerprint known as a content identifier (CID).


Content identifiers are hashes that are directly linked to a user's NFT content rather than an HTTP link that can be modified and hacked, providing significant security. This CID serves as a permanent record of your file, and if you upload a new version to IPFS, the cryptographic hash is different, so it receives a new CID.


This means that files stored on IPFS cannot be tampered with or censored, and no changes to a file can overwrite the original. If a hacker node ever generates a CID hash, you will be notified of the false data on your end.


The additional advantages of IPFS make it a more secure storage option for your NFTs. Furthermore, the decentralized and distributed architecture of this type of storage is consistent with blockchain principles; in particular, intermediaries are unnecessary.


Pinata is an NFT wallet based on IPFS. It was founded in 2018 and already has over 45 million files and over 70,000 users worldwide. Despite not being the most popular storage solution, it has the potential to grow in popularity, particularly among developers, due to its enhanced security.


Cold Storage Hardware Wallet 


If NFT holders want to significantly increase the security of their assets, they should consider purchasing a hardware wallet that supports cold (offline) storage. This means that the private keys used to access users' digital assets are stored in an unhackable hardware wallet device rather than on the web, where they are vulnerable.


The hardware wallet adds an extra layer of security by always enabling two-factor authentication. It is impossible to hack and steal the content without physically holding the wallet device. Trezor and Ledger are the most popular hardware wallets. The artwork, or any cryptocurrency, is not physically stored in the wallets. They do, however, store the private keys that allow users to access their on-chain holdings.


Finally, owning collectibles or any other type of digital asset should not cause headaches or concerns about security. There are now options for everyone and every need, from more expensive solutions to low-cost online platforms that provide a relatively safe environment. Hardware wallets are more expensive, but the increased security they provide may be worth considering for investors with a large number of NFTs.








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