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Definition: hot and cold storage


(1) Storage that holds data based on usage. Hot storage devices, such as disk and solid state drives (SSDs), contain data that are frequently accessed. Cold storage, such as magnetic tape, holds data that are accessed infrequently. See HSM and hot backup.

(2) Storage of the private key used to access data on a blockchain. Hot storage means the digital wallet or website that contains the private key is online all the time, whereas cold storage is offline. See Bitcoin wallet and blockchain.