Cryptocurrency is stored on the blockchain to which it is native. Wallets do not store cryptocurrency. Instead, wallets store private keys. Whenever you want to access your cryptocurrency, you need your private key.
Public key is a publicly known address from which your cryptocurrency is sent and received. Private key is used to access the funds associated with a public address and should be known only to the account owner.
You can store your private keys—and, by extension, your cryptocurrency—by using either a custodial or non-custodial storage method. There are pros and cons to each method.
A wallet is a device, platform or service that lets you access and interface with your private keys. Hot wallets exist online or on an internet-connected device. Cold wallets are physical devices which are not connected to the internet. Relatively speaking, hot wallets are more convenient whereas cold wallets are more secure.
There are several types of wallets.
Choosing a wallet comes down to many factors, including:
Security tips for private-key storage include using a password manager and never keeping a digital copy or taking a photo of your seed phrase.