Setting up Keplr Wallet and Best Practices for keeping your crypto safe!
Blockchaining on Regen Network, the safe way.
TLDR: Setup Keplr wallet using the instructions below or this article. Always store your mnemonic seed and never give out your private keys. Not your keys, not your crypto.
What’s a Cryptocurrency Wallet?
Similarly to our everyday life, in blockchain we store our currencies in wallets. Whether you are storing fungible or non-fungible tokens you will be storing them in one of the many types of wallets.
Custodial vs Non-Custodial Wallets
When creating wallets we have the option of using two different types, custodial or non-custodial. Custodial wallets are ones where we do not own the private keys and are operated in a centralized manner. They offer some flexibility by allowing us to reset our passwords and in case of losing our passwords we are able to recover the account. The downside of using a custodial wallet is that you do not own the key and as Andreas Antonopoulos so elegantly put it, “Not your keys, not your crypto!”. These types of wallets are also susceptible to hacking attacks which can unnecessarily put your keys in harm’s way. That being said, pension funds or other big entities that hold crypto use highly-secure and insured turnkey custodial services (and are often required to do so).
To avoid a central authority controlling our cryptocurrencies we have the option of creating non-custodial wallets. These are the most secure type of wallets and offer not only financial independence but true control over your assets. I recommend using non-custodial wallets whenever possible and only using custodial wallets when purchasing or selling cryptocurrencies for fiat. Non-custodial wallets come in three varieties all of which have their own level of security.
Before describing the difference between the varieties of wallets I need to explain what a mnemonic seed is. Mnemonic seeds are a string of 12 to 24 words or more which represent your private key. Private keys are what allow you to access your accounts and without them there is no way to recover your account. Private keys are made up of a long string of random letters and numbers and are in many ways undecipherable strings of text which have no meaning to humans. Mnemonic seeds offer us the ability to view our private keys in a manner which we can easily understand. Most custodial wallets will generate a mnemonic seed for us which can be memorized, if needed, or copied down and stored securely. You can see an example of a mnemonic below.
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Paper Wallets and Backups
In my opinion, paper wallets are one of the most secure and basic varieties of wallets. Hackers cannot gain access to them because, as the name suggests, they are pieces of paper that do not live on a computer or on the internet. However, to use this type of wallet the key must be entered into a computer so they pose a security risk in this instance. In order to use a paper wallet simply carefully write down your mnemonic on a piece of paper and store the wallet securely in a fireproof home safe or safety deposit box.
Hardware wallets are another variety and can be acquired from various companies that sell them online. This type of wallet is very secure and can store your private keys in an encrypted manner on a device which looks like a thumb drive. These wallets also allow users to interact with different decentralized applications, exchanges and payment gateways. Once they are set up, we can simply plug them in to our computer and begin interacting with our favorite blockchain software online.
Common and trusted types of hardware wallets include
Software wallets are by far the most convenient type of wallet. They can be installed on a mobile phone or as a browser extension in chrome, firefox or safari as an example. They allow us to store our mnemonic locally on a computer and allow us to interact with the previously mentioned dapps, exchanges and payment gateways. Some downsides to using browser extensions and software wallets are that they live on your computer and that hackers could potentially exploit security vulnerabilities to gain access to them. They also store your mnemonic on your computer which is not the most secure place to store them. That being said, many of the extensions can be encrypted and secured with a password. Many security-conscious users only hold small amounts of crypto in this sort of wallet.
Wallet Backups and Secure Wallet Usage
Hardware Backup Examples
Crypto-Steel and Cryptotag are physical hardware (actual metal) backups which keep your mnemonic key secured and safe from natural events such as flooding and fire. This may not be the most economical solution but it is by far the most secure way of storing your seed phrase.
Importance of Backups
I cannot stress enough the importance of backing up your mnemonic seed phrase. I have come across many users who have lost access to the wallets unintentionally and have needed to recover their crypto. It is absolutely essential that you backup your seed phrase because, due to the nature of crypto, there is no way of recovering your cryptocurrency without it. Luckily for us most wallets force you to save your seed phrase and repeat it back to the wallet before allowing you to create your account. BACKUP YOUR MNEMONIC SEED! Do not store backups in digital form (text, photograph, etc.), as this significantly reduces their security. You should have backups of your seed stored in at least two locations (such as in a safe in your house and in a secure deposit box). Of course, the security of your crypto is only as secure as the location of these backups. On the other hand, more crypto is lost because people lose their seed than because their seed was stolen.
Minimum and Maximum Usage and Backup Requirements
Backing up your seed phrase is not the only recommended way of securing your crypto wallet. In fact, there are other ways to keep your wallet secured. In the software wallet section above, I mentioned that this type of wallet offers the most convenience but it is not the most secure way of interacting with decentralized applications(dapps). The reason for this is that your key is stored in memory and if there is a breach in local security your key may be vulnerable to attack. For this reason the best way to interact with dapps is using a hardware wallet such as the Ledger wallet. Using this type of wallet is fairly easy and your key never actually enters the computer memory.
Minimum Wallet Usage Requirements
When interacting with any dapp we require, at minimum, that you use a software wallet such as Keplr and securely backup your wallet’s mnemonic seed on paper.
Maximum Wallet Usage Requirements
At maximum the most secure way of interacting with dapps is using a hardware wallet such as your Ledger wallet and storing your mnemonic seed on a hardware backup such as the previously mentioned crypto-steel.
Setting up Keplr Wallet
Regen is working closely with Keplr wallet which is our preferred interface and software wallet extension available for Chrome/Brave. This section aims to get you set up using Keplr with ease.
- Download the browser extension and click the [Add] button — Chrome/Brave Extension
- [Add “Keplr”] window will show off. Here you have to choose [Add Extension]
- At the end of the download, you can start to interact with your browser extension by clicking on it.
- A new tab will now open, and here you have to choose the create an account option by pressing the [create account] button.
- Time to set your Keplr Wallet password! Choose carefully, if possible one password you’re not using in any other application, and then click [Confirm]
- Your Keplr Wallet is now ready! — Congratulations!
Security Best Practices
With financial freedom comes great responsibility and when using non-custodial wallets we must use the utmost care in securing our private keys and cryptocurrency. The best way to do this of course is to use a variety of different wallets. In this section I will describe how to gain access to your mnemonic inside of Keplr in case you have lost the mnemonic after creating your account. We will then copy our mnemonic to a paper wallet.
- Log in to your Keplr browser extension
- Click on the profile icon
- Find your wallet and click the three dots
- Click view mnemonic seed
- Enter password
- Write down your mnemonic and store securely
Using a Hardware Wallet
Keplr gives us the option of connecting to Ledger and storing our cryptocurrency on the hardware wallet. In this section, I will explain how to set up the Keplr extension to use Ledger as your hardware wallet in order to use them in conjunction and keep your keys secured. Here is a useful guide with images in step one.
If you have set up the Keplr extension in your browser you are ready to connect to Ledger by following the steps below.
- Power on your Ledger and connect it to your computer
- On your Ledger device navigate to cosmos and open the app
- Open the Keplr wallet extension
- Enter your password
- Click the profile icon
- Click the Add Account button
- In the following screen click on import Ledger
- Follow the instructions in the popup window
- If you are using windows click the “using windows” check mark and follow the instructions
- Create an account name
- Keplr is now ready to be used with your Ledger wallet
- To access your Ledger account inside of Keplr perform the following
- Click the profile account
- Choose your newly named Ledger account
Cryptocurrency Best Practices
- Always save your mnemonic or private key
- Don’t use ctrl-c or copy when copying. Instead use the built in function within wallets to copy your keys
- Use a hardware wallet if possible
- Store multiple copies of your mnemonic
- Use a hardware option such as crypto-steel to save your mnemonic seed
- DO NOT lose you passwords or private keys/mnemonic seeds — You cannot recover them under any circumstances.
- Never share your private keys, mnemonic seed or password with anyone.
- DO NOT screenshot your mnemonic seed
- (OPTIONAL) Use a computer exclusively reserved for accessing and interacting with your crypto assets.
Regen Best Practices
With the general knowledge outlined above we can derive some best practices for using wallets and backups within the Regen Network ecosystem. This will ensure maximum security and create cohesion in our community.
Accessing Regen Wallet on Keplr
The Keplr extension makes it very easy for users with a cosmos wallet to access a Regen wallet. Once inside the Keplr extension simply click the Cosmo dropdown and select Regen after which you will be given access to a Regen wallet address. Upon doing so you will notice the only difference in your wallet address is that the word cosmos is replaced by the word regen. If you would like to create a new wallet simply follow the creating a Keplr wallet instructions above and make sure you have selected Regen in the dropdown when accessing your newly created wallet.
Similar to the sections on minimum and maximum wallet usage and backup practices above we will require at minimum that users within the Regen Network ecosystem use a software wallet such as Keplr and securely backup your wallet’s mnemonic seed on paper. Maximum requirements follow a similar procedure outlined in the same section and require using a hardware wallet such as your Ledger wallet and storing your mnemonic seed on a hardware backup such as the previously mentioned crypto-steel.