Didi Taihutu, along with her husband and three children, traded for approximately $2017 in 900 He bought Bitcoin. Now the five-member Dutch family keeps most of their crypto wealth in secret vaults on four different continents.
“I keep Bitcoin wallets in several countries so I don't have to fly far if I need to access my wallet to exit the market,” says Taihutu, head of the Bitcoin family.
Taihutu has two stashes in Europe, two in Asia, one in South America, and six in Australia.
It's not a buried treasure—none of the locations are underground or on a remote island—but the family told US-based broadcasting station CNBC that cryptocurrencies are stored in a variety of ways and places, from rental apartments and friends' homes to personal storage locations.
“I would rather live in a decentralized world where I have the responsibility to protect my capital,” Taihutu said. says.
How are cryptocurrencies stored?
There are many ways to store cryptocurrencies. Online exchanges such as Binance and PayPal store tokens for users, while the more technically savvy may choose to stop using the tool and keep their cryptocurrencies in their personal hardware wallets.
Flash drive-sized devices like the Trezor or Ledger offer a way to protect crypto tokens. Square also creates a hardware wallet and service “to make Bitcoin surveillance more common.”
People who choose to hold their own cryptocurrency can keep it “hot,” “cold,” or a combination of the two. The hot wallet is connected to the internet and allows cryptocurrency holders to have easier access to their own money. Thus, they can both spend and gain access.
Philip Gradwell, chief economist at blockchain data firm Chainalysis, said: “Cold storage often uses private keys (the passwords that allow cryptocurrency to be removed from the wallet). to cold wallets refers to the cryptocurrencies that are carried. In this way, hackers are prevented from entering without permission.”
Gradwell said that exchanges often use cold wallets to protect the cryptocurrencies their customers have deposited.
A recent report on Bitcoin wallets shows that 11,8 million Bitcoins are in the hands of long-term investors, 3,7 million are lost, 3,2 million are in circulation among merchants, and the remaining 2,4 million have not yet been mined.
“We can guess which wallets are for cold storage – because they have certain behaviors, such as receiving large amounts of cryptocurrencies from a single source and not sending it for a long time until it is emptied at once – but we cannot say for sure that a wallet is used for cold storage,” Gradwell says.
When it comes to the Taihutu family, 26% of Didi's cryptocurrencies are "hot". He calls this crypto stash “venture capital”. He uses these cryptos for day trading and potentially uncertain betting.
The remaining 74% of Taihutu's total crypto wallet is kept cold. These cold hardware wallets found all over the world include Bitcoin, Ethereum and some Litecoin. The family refuses to disclose how much they hold in the cryptocurrency.
Moving Bitcoin to cold storage is not a new idea. As long as Bitcoin has existed, there has been a way to store it cold. However, this requires technical expertise.
“Cold storage, whether buried in a bank vault or buried in the Andes mountains, requires a lot more permissions to access,” says Wang Fu, a software engineer at crypto fintech startup Floating Point Group.
While Taihutu says it's easy to fill the addresses of these cold storage wallets with cryptocurrency, getting them back is another story. Attracting cold cryptocurrencies requires physically flying into their countless stashes.
Taihutu is trying to deploy a cold crypto wallet on every continent to facilitate access to its assets.