Crypto wallet security: Best Practises

Andrii Stepanov
Marketing Manager
4 Minutes Read

In recent years, the cryptocurrency landscape has seen a dramatic surge in both participation and market value. While this exciting frontier offers unprecedented opportunities, it also has unique challenges and risks. The crypto industry recently witnessed another high-profile hack, underscoring the critical importance of crypto wallet security.

Atomic Wallet, a centralized storage and wallet service, fell victim to the breach, resulting in the theft of $35-100 million worth of various tokens

In this highly competitive and fast-paced arena, the security of crypto wallets is not just a necessity but a fundamental pillar of trust and reliability.

Understanding Crypto Wallet Security

The linchpin of a secure crypto wallet lies in its ability to safeguard the private and public keys—two cryptographic keys that ensure the security of transactions on the blockchain.

The private key, known only to the wallet owner, allows access to the wallet and initiates transactions, while the public key is used by others to send cryptocurrency to the wallet. Therefore, the safekeeping of these keys is paramount to crypto wallet security.

Despite these measures, crypto wallets can face a multitude of risks and threats. Hackers may attempt to steal keys through phishing scams, tricking wallet owners into revealing sensitive information. Malware is another serious threat that can infiltrate devices and pilfer private keys or seed phrases. Understanding these threats is the first step toward building a secure crypto wallet or enhancing the security of an existing one.

Identifying Key Vulnerabilities in Crypto Wallets

Awareness of these weak points allows developers to incorporate the necessary safeguards and countermeasures in the design and management of crypto wallets. Here, we’ll examine three key vulnerabilities that can affect crypto wallets:

Private Key Exposure:

The exposure of private keys is arguably the most critical vulnerability in a crypto wallet. If a hacker gains access to the private keys, they can make unauthorized transactions, essentially draining the wallet. Such exposure can occur due to poor key management, such as storing keys in unencrypted files, using insecure third-party services, or falling victim to phishing attacks.

Insecure Random Number Generation:

Crypto wallets rely on RNG for the creation of private keys and seed phrases. If the RNG process is insecure or predictable, it can be exploited by an attacker to generate the same keys, leading to a security breach. Hence, the RNG mechanism used in wallet development must be cryptographically secure.

Software Flaws and Vulnerabilities:

Software bugs and vulnerabilities can open the door for various attack vectors. For instance, buffer overflow vulnerabilities might allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code or crash the system. Injection vulnerabilities could enable an attacker to inject malicious scripts and gain unauthorized access or extract sensitive data. Regular code reviews, security audits, and updates are essential in mitigating these threats.

Building a Secure Crypto Wallet

Understanding the Ecosystem

Developing a secure crypto wallet is a comprehensive process that starts with a deep understanding of the network and ecosystem. As the risks associated with crypto wallets span across blockchains, platforms, and applications, the first step is to identify and understand the unique risks associated with the specific crypto asset you’ll be working with.

Implementing Design Choices

A secure crypto wallet also involves careful consideration of design choices. One such choice is whether to implement Multi-Party Computation (MPC) or Multi-Signature (Multi-Sig) solutions. While these choices often involve trade-offs between speed, cost, and security, remember that an insecure digital signature scheme will invariably compromise wallet security.

Practicing Secure Key Management

Key management is an essential part of the development process. If you’re using a custodial or non-custodial solution, have a backup and recovery plan in place to reconstitute key shares and move assets unilaterally. It’s crucial to practice secure Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) practices and use static code analysis (SAST) tools. Make sure to add friction for sensitive user actions, like requiring a password or PIN for fund movements.

Regular Updates and Security Audits

Regular security updates and patches are vital to counter evolving threats. This necessitates reviewing all dependencies and libraries before incorporation into your build, and continuously auditing them wherever possible.

Best Cryptography Practices

Following the best cryptography practices is a must – do not implement your own ciphers or protocols. Use strong encryption and exercise extreme caution about where you store sensitive keys such as private keys.

Enhancing User and Device Security

Consider adding tamper protection for wallet apps and implementing ways to alert users if their device is not trusted. For mobile-based wallets, prompt users to set a device-level passcode. Limit the wallet application’s functionality on rooted or jailbroken devices and avoid supporting outdated operating systems or devices

Importance of a Bug Bounty Program

A Bug Bounty Program is an important part of securing your crypto wallet. It incentivizes independent security researchers and white-hat hackers to identify and report vulnerabilities in your system in exchange for rewards or recognition. Implementing such a program not only helps you discover potential weaknesses before they can be exploited but also demonstrates to your users your commitment to security.


Building a secure crypto wallet is not a simple task. It requires a deep understanding of the ecosystem, informed design decisions, rigorous key management, regular security updates, strict adherence to the best cryptography practices, and a robust approach to user and device security. The implementation of a Bug Bounty Program can further help identify and address vulnerabilities.

Want to know more about bug bounty programs? Get in touch to request a demo with our team today!

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