Cryptoware can be divided into two primary categories: wallets and miners.
Standard hardware wallets
Hardware wallets are the safest way to store your private keys and keep your cryptocurrency holdings safe. The two most popular hardware wallet brands on the market today are Trezor and Ledger.
Advantages of Hardware Wallets
- Immune to computer viruses
- Keys stored on a protected area of the microcontroller device – prevents plaintext removal
- Interactive – easier to use than paper wallets
Disadvantages of Hardware Wallets
- Price – hardware wallets cost upwards of $50 USD
Other types of wallets exist such as internet connected staking wallets for staked cryptocurrencies like NXT but they are essentially small internet connected computers rather than a hardware wallet just for keys.
- Central Processing Units (CPU) – the primary chip in a personal computer, not very effective compared to more specialized hardware
- Graphical Processing Units (GPU) – most commonly used to mine newer less popular algorithms, NVIDIA and AMD
- Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) – common for SHA-256 (Bitcoin), Scrypt (Litecoin)
- Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA) – less common, require advanced programming skills in low-level programming languages