I hope most people realize that you should never store your Bitcoin on an online exchange. Mintpal recently went under, as did Mt. Gox before it wiping out many people’s savings. Coinbase seems like a reputable company that is quickly becoming the PayPal of the Bitcoin world, and BitReserve has the added option of keeping your Bitcoin balance in fiat to avoid Bitcoin price fluctuations, but even there I wouldn’t leave more than what’s required to conduct your daily business.
Safe long-term Bitcoin Storage
- Keep your wallet offline, and generate your security keys offline as well (can’t be too careful with keyloggers and other viruses).
- Don’t keep your entire Bitcoin amount in any one system. Spread around the risk.
- Always prefer hardware solutions (including pen and paper) to software solutions (i.e. if someone takes a magnet to your hard drive will your Bitcoins survive?)
- Whatever Bitcoin solution you choose, always backup your wallet!
Hardware Bitcoin Wallet Options
Trezor is a really good option and easy (costs $120).
A cheaper option is https://www.ledgerwallet.com which looks like a usb drive and costs $30. It has a Google Chrome extension for easy interface with their service.
Other Ways of Keeping Your Bitcoin Safe
Everyone will have their unique way of storing their Bitcoin that balances their needs for security with ease of retrieval for spending saved Bitcoins. Here are some suggestions from the Bitcointalk.org forum on how individual systems for storing Bitcoin safely long term.
If you want to store them a paper wallet. simply make a paper wallet , send your Bitcoins to that address and hide that paper
I prefer a pen and paper. Create a key using dice and save the base6 key. Then I use my offline PC to make a digital backup and put it on a USB thumb drive and store an extra copy in a safe deposit box.
I personally have just printed 2 copies of each paper wallet, each paper wallet has 5 BTC in it.
One copy of each paper wallet is in a safe in my house.
The other copies are under the spare tyre in my car.
I also have some coins on Bitcoin QT & some on a hot wallet.
I feel I’m very unlikely to have an awful car crash that sets my car on fire & a house fire at the same time.
All paper wallets are encrypted with passwords I won’t forget.
I’d say best it to generate keys offline and print/write out the paper wallet.
Put it in a fireproof box and lock away somewhere or put in a safety deposit box somewhere.
And if you’re looking for some creative places to park your Bitcoin:
• Lend your Bitcoin micro-loan style at BitBond and earn 8-13% interest (but do your due diligence first).
• Don’t forget you can also do web billpay using Bitcoin.
• Xapo.com offers a debit card as well as smartphone app to balance easily conducting transactions while keeping your Bitcoin safe in a vault.