How To Import Your Crypto Wallet to Cold Storage
Owning a Hardware Wallet
This should be one of the first things you look into doing when you get into crypto or decentralized finance. This gives you added security and protection against hackers, scams, phishing attempts and more. All of which are pretty prevalent in this space.
My rule of thumb is, you can generally pick up a hardware wallet for $50-$100 relatively easily. If you are investing more than that amount of money into crypto, you 100% should also be investing in a hardware wallet.
If you want to learn more about hardware wallets and see a review of some of the top wallets, you can check out one of my previous articles here:
Risks of Hot Wallets
When you use a hot wallet through popular extensions such as MetaMask or WalletConnect, you are running an inherent risk of losing your funds. This can be as easy as interacting with airdropped tokens, giving out your seed phrase, connecting your wallet to a phishing site and more.
I’ve had a lot of people come to me and say, “well I am super careful when interacting with crypto so I know I won’t get caught up in any of those attempts.”
These hacks become more elaborate by the day, so don’t think you are invincible, get a hardware wallet and protect yourself.
I hate receiving DMs saying “My wallet got hacked and my accounts have been drained, how can I get my money back?” Those messages suck because most of the time the answer is, you can’t get it back, it’s gone.
Getting a hardware wallet can significantly decrease the chances of any of the above things happen to you.
Migrating A Hot Wallet
A lot of people didn’t realize this, including myself when I first started out. You can import your hot wallet into a hardware wallet saving you the time and confusion of transferring all your crypto investments to another wallet address.
Each hardware wallet does this slightly differently, but the general gist of it is the same regardless. I will outline the process to importing your hot wallet into a Ledger Nano S/X. Again, this process can be followed even if you have a different type of wallet as it is very similar for all wallet types, just may be worded slightly differently depending on the type of wallet you have.
Also just as a reminder, to import your wallet to a hardware wallet you must know and be able to input your seed phrase onto the device.
The first thing you want to do with your wallet is plug it into your computer upon initial setup. On the Ledger you will be greeted with a screen to “Setup as a New Device” or “Restore from a Recovery Phrase”. You want to select the Restore option.
Once you click on “Restore” the device will ask you to create a pin code for the device, enter whatever pin you want to use and make sure you memorize it because you will need to enter it every time you want to use the device.
The device will ask you how many words your seed phrase is (12, 18, 24), make sure you have it handy and select the correct option.
Once you have done that, you will now be able to enter your seed phrase on your device. This is kind of a pain on a Ledger but you only have to do it one time.
If you don’t know where to locate your seed phrase, on MetaMask you can go to settings-security and privacy-reveal seed phrase.
Once you have entered all the words of your seed phrase, you then will see a “processing” message on the device and after that you should see a screen that says “Your Device is Now Ready”
Once you get to that point, you have successfully imported your hot wallet onto a hardware wallet.
Now that you have imported your hot wallet into a hardware wallet, you now need to connect it to MetaMask.
To do so, click on the MetaMask extension in your browser, then click on your profile and select settings-advanced and find the “Preferred Ledger Connection Type”. Here you can select either Ledger Live or WebHID.
Once you have that enabled be sure to go back to MetaMask extension, then click on your profile and then select “Connect to Hardware Wallet”.
Once you have selected “Connect to Hardware Wallet” you should see a locating “Ledger Wallet” screen on MetaMask show up. After it has located the wallet you should see a list of wallet addresses appear.
You should see your wallet address in the list and it should have a checkmark next to it, if it doesn’t be sure to check the box.
If you don’t see your wallet address in the list, you will see above the addresses a “Don’t see your account, click here” message. Click that and select BIP44 Standard in the drop down. Once that has been selected you should see your wallet address appear in the list.
Now you may be asking yourself, ok I see the accounts but it doesn’t allow me to continue. This is because the accounts are already on your computer as hot wallets so it won’t allow you to also add them as hardware wallets.
You have to remove the hot wallets first. To do that you have to completely remove the MetaMask extension first. To do this, you can right click the extension and select remove.
This will remove all networks and tokens you manually added so make sure to write those down or screenshot them before removing MetaMask.
Now you need to reinstall MetaMask, make sure you are getting the correct extension and not a fake one. The real one can be found here.
With MetaMask installed, you will want to click “Get Started” and “Create a New Wallet”, do not select “I Already Have a Seed Phrase” or you will have to restart back at Step 6.
Once you select Create a New Wallet, you will then need to create a MetaMask password.
You will then be given a new seed phrase, this account will basically be a dummy account so you don’t really need to keep this information secure but you will need to verify the seed phrase in the next steps so at least temporarily write it down or store it somewhere to complete the setup process.
Once you have verified the seed phrase with MetaMask you will have completed the setup and see a new account with a new wallet address showing.
I’d recommend renaming this account by clicking on the 3 dots in the top right of MetaMask and selecting Account Details then edit the account to “Dummy or Demo Account or Do Not Use.
Now we will be repeating steps 4-5 to complete the process. So first go to MetaMask Advanced settings and turn on Ledger support via either Ledger Live or WebHID.
Then click on your profile icon and select Connect Hardware Wallet.
Now you will be back to a screen that says “Select an Account” with a bunch of wallet addresses on it. Just like in steps 4-5, if you don’t see your wallet address click on the “click here” text above the addresses and change the drop down to BIP44 Standard and you should see your imported wallet address appear.
Once you see your wallet address, check the box next to it and click the blue Unlock button.
Once you click unlock, you now should see that account added to your MetaMask profile. From here you can click Account Details and rename the account to whatever you would like.
Congrats! You have officially imported your hot wallet into a hardware wallet!
The last thing you need to do is re-add any tokens or networks you had loaded previously prior to uninstalling MetaMask.
This concludes my guide on how to import your hot wallet into a hardware wallet. Hopefully for those of you that don’t have a hardware wallet yet, this helps ease your mind in converting your current wallet over to a hardware wallet. If you have an questions or want to interact with me further, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter.