My lovely abuela (that’s my Spanish granny to those who don’t speak Dora!) kept her spending money in her bra and her savings in her wardrobe – so that was her banking, she didn’t earn any interest but when she went to get money out her wardrobe she hadn’t been charged 25% by her twinsets for keeping it there! She couldn’t spend money she didn’t have in the wardrobe (or her bra!) but no one could take it either – except maybe abuelo (grandad) if he was feeling cheeky/brave!
My Mum had a post office account with a wee ledger book of deposits and withdrawals (OG blockchain?) then a cheque book and ‘paying in’ book for her current account and these days she has debit cards and banks online. I also had a wee post office account, cheque and paying in books and currently use debit cards as well as banking online – I would totes keep my money in my wardrobe if I had one but y’know it’s 2019 and I’ve got storage drawers!
Wot no banks? Do tell….
I have 10 bank accounts, 7 with Barclays and 3 with RBS, of my Barclays current accounts 3 are overdrawn (overdraft charges billed as ‘interest charged’ are about £25/month) 3 are savings accounts (the highest interest I’ve ever received was on £14k that I had deposited and it was less than a fiver!) and one is a blue rewards thingamabob.
My accounts at RBS all have credit but none yields more than £2 interest and they are currently frozen by RBS because I have been unfairly sequestrated by the local council (more about that later). I used to have a shop so I also had a business account with RBS but I shut it down because after I closed the shop there was money owing to a company and my ‘business manager’ at the bank transferred money out of my personal account without my permission to cover it, I was less than impressed but he’d already done it so there was nothing I could do – I was raging!
Earlier on this year I was scammed out of £4000 by professional fraudsters on eBay – they provided id and seemed to be using a legit website but it was a forgery of a PayPal page with a remote assistant who ‘helped’ me to pay them out of my bank account – neither eBay or PayPal would accept any responsibility for my loss (I no longer use eBay as they knew the site was a scam and just took it down with out helping) Barclays were also less than useless even though I gave them all the details I had of which bank account I’d paid the money into and the eBay account, the email address etc they basically did fuck all – my money was gone and they told me to report it to the police – smh
Possibly on the back of that – there was some strange activity on my account including the gas and electricity provider Npower suddenly poaching me from my actual provider without any input from me whatsoever – they set up a DD on my account, changed me over to them then sent me a bill! When I asked the bank how they had been able to set up a DD without my knowledge or permission they had no real answers for me – still smh!
All these bad experiences have left my confidence in the bank at an all time low, I’ve been with Barclays since I was 10 years old that’s more than 30 years of loyalty and at least 20 odd years of bank charges during my working life – showing my age but whatevs – yet when I need their help they are all looking at their shoes!
Hot Wallet (Comparable Security Level – Abuela’s Bra)
Hot wallets are an online wallet where you store your crypto. You can deposit your coin from wherever you’ve collected it (check out my referrals page for researched sources of free crypto!) directly into your hot wallet using your public key. Public keys are a special encrypted address that you can publicly share wherever you want to transact with crypto, they look like this :-
My bitcoin public key – 14dwT6sZ2FwWvcPW4WX6pgRYADjHyqvY1c
My ethereum public key – 0x3E23654879ECd022EcCE322569fe3Ad2814E1755
My Hora token public key – TFEA5FYs95Prbr1g1B33LEUfngd6XAj8sy
The above are some of my own public keys to my btc, eth and Hora wallets which are linked to FaucetHub. When someone wants to pay you with crypto you simply enter your public key where directed for a deposit direct to your wallet. You can also use your public key to claim from faucets or to link to a micro wallet like FaucetHub. As you can see each one is very different and each corresponds to its own wallet. When combined with your private key that is how you access your coin.
Hot wallets are popular, there are lots to choose from so research carefully. If you download a wallet to your phone, tablet or desktop that will also be a hot wallet while the device is connected to the internet.
The main advantages of a hot wallet are high accessibility to your funds because it is connected to the internet but unfortunately this leads to one of the main disadvantages which is that online wallets can be vulnerable to phishing and hacking by unscrupulous individuals/companies.
Cold Wallet (Comparable Security Level – Abuela’s Wardrobe)
If you don’t need immediate access to your assets then the best place to store them is in a cold wallet. There are different types of cold wallet available such as Ledger Nano S or Trezor both of which I have reviewed here. I own a Trezor (ngl I bought it because it’s small and has the cutest wee accessories – I have a purple cover and a wee leather pouch, you can also get teeny handbags for them! I’ll try and find the link and put it on my referrals page if anyone is interested) I’ve not used it yet but I’m also going to try to get a Ledger Nano S and do a comparison review.
Both Trezor and Ledger Nano S are external devices that store your private keys called hardware wallets, there are others available too. Hardware wallets are kept offline and require physical pushing of a button to complete transactions making them impervious to online hackers. Your coin is still fairly accessible to you as long as you have access to your wallet.
Paper Wallet (Comparable Security Level – Your responsibility!)
Paper wallets can be a printout of your public and private keys or a written record of them in a notebook for instance. This type of storage is generally considered quite risky as the paper can be lost, destroyed or stolen which means someone else could have access to your coin. Some people store their paper wallets in a safety deposit box or bury them in the garden beside the dog’s favourite bone!
There are other storage options such as crypto exchanges where they use a mix of hot and cold wallets for easy access or secure crypto exchanges that only use cold storage.
Be Like Abuela
If, like me, you’ve had it with banks then be your own bank, control your own wealth – be like Abuela and say yah boo sucks to officialdom!