Which are the most frequent reasons for private keys being lost?
Regardless of which cryptocurrency is used, it is essential to keep the private keys safe in case a non-custodial wallet or exchange is used.
A recent Twitter survey asked users to respond to the reasons why their private keys have been lost.
How did you lose your Bitcoin private keys this year?
— jimbo (@jimbocoin) December 16, 2019
Leaving aside ridiculous comments reminiscent of the Darwin Award black humour, the survey showed that most cases of private key loss have occurred either in accidents on ships or in fires.
But let’s look at the problem from a different point of view.
Let’s assume that it is a common practice to save private keys with traditional pen and paper, this method certainly poses the risk that the paper may tear, deteriorate with time or get wet.
One way to avoid some of these problems is to laminate the sheet and put it in a safe.
For the more paranoid, it is best to avoid printing your private keys to prevent the file from remaining in the print pool.
Another way to protect your private keys is to use a hardware wallet, such as the Ledger Nano.
Is it enough to secure the private keys? No.
Naturally, if the keys are secured with one of the two methods, it is also necessary to properly store either the sheet or the wallet.
To achieve greater security it is advisable to have more backup copies in different places so, in case one of them is lost or destroyed, there will always be a backup copy.
Another precaution is to divide the funds into several addresses so as to minimise a possible loss of cryptocurrencies.