Every currency needs a wallet – most especially cryptocurrencies. Yes, your digital cash has to be stored in a secure crypto wallet. However, with the many options of crypto wallets available, it’s a challenge to find that one crypto wallet to match our needs.
Crypto wallet, or cryptocurrency wallet, is used to safely and securely store digital currency. Crypto wallets can also be used to send and/or receive cryptocurrency. The most popular digital currency includes Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP).
Once you are ready to trade digital currency, you will invariably need a secure crypto wallet. These digital wallets are software programs that store public keys and private keys. They can easily be linked to the blockchain, allowing you to transact with digital currency, keep tabs on your balance, and keep your digital currency secure from prying eyes.
What is Crypto Wallet?
A crypto wallet is a software program where your BTC is stored, and each crypto wallet has a private key along with the public address of the crypto wallet. When it comes to the transfer of BTC, it happens basically between two crypto wallets on the blockchain network. It doesn’t matter what type of wallet the user has because all of them have private and public keys and are doing the same function of keeping your BTC safe. Some of the forms of crypto wallets are desktop, hardware, mobile, web, and other storage options.
The difference in the format as some need to be connected to the Internet in order to function and the others are considered cold storage options because they are not connected to the Internet. For example, hardware wallets are considered a cold storage option because you use them to store your BTC, and they are specifically considered very secure. The wallets that are connected to the Internet are also known as hot wallets, and they are more accessible, cheaper, as well as convenient for daily use or trading.
How Do I Use Crypto Wallets?
First, private keys are also known as seeds, and they are used to sign the transactions, and by doing so, the mathematical proof is generated that this transaction was initiated by the owner of the wallet. The private keys are also important because it prevents anyone from altering the transactions. After the BTC transaction is initiated, it is sent to the blockchain network, where through the mining process, it is validated or processed within a few minutes.
On the other hand, the public address of your wallet, which corresponds with the private key, is used for receiving BTC transactions. The public address is displayed as a random string of alphanumeric characters, and it is not completely anonymous, as data about the transactions are transparent in the network. Also, if you are a business owner, regardless if you have an online shopping site or brick-mortar store, your customers would need to know your public address in order to make purchases.
It should be pointed out that digital wallets don’t actually store cryptocurrency in a traditional sense. Your cryptocurrency remains a non-tangible asset. Details of your holdings are found on the blockchain, nowhere else. The crypto wallet you choose is a software program that stores your public and private keys. It also serves as an interface between you and the blockchain.
Whenever anyone conducts a transaction with digital assets, they are releasing ownership of their cryptocurrency to someone else’s wallet address. There are two types of addresses with any crypto wallet: a public address and a private address. The public address is the address to which cryptocurrency is sent. The private address allows the user to access their cryptocurrency as their own. For this reason, it is vital that the crypto wallet you choose is 100% secure.
What Crypto Wallet Type Fits You?
There is a crypto wallet for every crypto enthusiast out there. You just have to determine which type fits you best. There are hardware wallets (physical wallets) such as the Ledger Nano S, Trezor, and the Ledger Nano. These wallets can have LCD screens and come in the form of a USB-style device.
Paper wallets are also popular. These wallets require the user to print the public and private keys and store this information offline. By taking your information offline, you are avoiding cybercriminals who may be attempting to hack your personal key.
Mobile wallets and desktop wallets are other popular options available to users. Yet another option is a web wallet. These can be accessed directly through your browsers such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox. These may be hosted or non-hosted wallets.
How To Choose the Best Crypto Wallet?
You have to be very picky when it comes to choosing the right crypto wallet service. You have to look into multiple factors. The reputation of the company is a big factor when selecting a crypto wallet. Look for a crypto wallet or company that has unmatched and tested integrity, credibility, and performance.
Given the complexity of blockchain operations, the right crypto wallet should make it as easy as possible for everyday users to simply download the wallet and transact. It cannot be stressed enough how important regulation is with the burgeoning cryptocurrency market. Too many operators have been hacked and millions have been stolen. With regulated financial companies, users can expect a much higher level of confidence in the safety of operations.
With certain crypto wallets, it’s not necessary to save any private keys or write down random phrases. This makes it much easier to control a crypto wallet more effectively. Ultimately, it is a personal choice. The number of digital currencies you will be using, the type of security you require, the level of anonymity you demand, your personal experience, and the type of technology that is available all come into play. It’s important to focus on quality, security, and reputation when picking a crypto wallet.
What Features to Look For in a Crypto Wallet
When you are bombarded with a ton of options mixed with a lot of techno talks, you’d fall for anything. When it comes to crypto wallets, it’s perfectly okay to overthink before you choose the best option.
When looking for the best crypto wallet, you have to make sure you understand it in its entirety. Your crypto wallet must also be compliant with the highest industry standards in ISO 27001 and ISO 27032. Besides regulation, the best digital currency wallets are big on security features.
To this end, multiple security layers are preferred. This includes secure socket layer encryption (SSL), DDOS protection (Distributed Denial-Of-Service), and multi-sig wallets. The multiple signature wallets require more than one key to authorize a crypto transaction. This enhances the security of the wallet. It’s important to choose a regulated wallet since these are compliant with strict industry standards.
Here are a couple of features that you should look for in a crypto wallet:
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to crypto wallets. Basically, all cryptocurrency wallets are created with different users in mind.
Here are some questions that you have to ask yourself:
Do you need a hardware wallet?
Do you prioritize desktop or mobile access to your crypto?
Do you want easy access to buy, sell and exchange cryptocurrencies?
What features or functionalities do you need in your crypto wallet?
Would you like to earn interest in your cryptocurrencies?
As you go over these questions, you’ll figure out what crypto wallet would best fit your usage needs.
Security is a critical factor to consider when scoping out potential cryptocurrency wallets. Take some time to determine what level of security you are comfortable with. Once you decide, then choose a wallet based on this comfort level. Here are a couple of security features you may want to consider.
Cryptocurrency wallets that require multi-signature support will involve two or more private keys. You’ll need all of the private keys to sign or send a transaction. Although this can be tedious, it is highly secure.
With two-factor authentication, you get an extra layer of security. Presumably, two-factor authentication ensures that only you will be able to access your cryptocurrencies.
You don’t want to be stuck in a situation where you cannot access your cryptocurrency wallet. Take the time to consider the backup options that you want available.
Are you planning to purchase specific currencies? Or do you want to have access to a large swath of cryptocurrencies?
Ensure the wallet you choose supports your cryptocurrency usage intentions.
Cryptocurrency exchanges are likely where you will purchase your new assets. Consequently, it is critical that the wallet you choose is compatible with the exchange you want to use.
Best Cryptocurrency Wallets
There is a crypto wallet that is designed for you. All you have to do is keep looking and we have the list to help you find the perfect match.
Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange that offers you a wallet to store your newly purchased cryptocurrency. Keep in mind that exchanges don’t give you access to a private key.
While this means that your cryptocurrency is more vulnerable to hackers, you’ll find that Gemini takes security very seriously.
As the world’s first cryptocurrency exchange and custodian to become SOC compliant, Gemini focuses on protecting cryptocurrency you place in their care.
From Gemini Pay to Gemini Earn and more, the wallet’s wide array of tools are useful to all traders and are worth evaluating while you determine which crypto wallet to use.
- Protected by insurance policy
- 30+ cryptocurrencies supported
- Confusing transaction fees
- No private key
Coinbase is primarily used as a cryptocurrency exchange and is one of the most popular ways to buy and sell cryptocurrency. While you can store cryptocurrency on the platform, it should not be a long-term storage solution.
Similar to Gemini, you won’t have access to a private key with Coinbase. This makes your cryptocurrency more vulnerable to hackers.
However, an exchange like Coinbase could serve as a short-term storage solution as you set up your private wallet and get started with cryptocurrency.
Just remember that you should upgrade to a more secure wallet as you put more funds into cryptocurrency.
- Easy to navigate
- Mobile and web access options
- Protected by insurance policy
- Relatively high transaction fees
- No private key
Exodus is a software wallet for people who are new to cryptocurrency. It is secured within your computer or mobile device and supports over 100 types of crypto.
You won’t have to register for this wallet. Instead, you can simply download it to your computer. Additionally, Exodus can integrate with Trezor if you’d like to upgrade to a hardware wallet easily later on.
Once downloaded, a password will protect your wallet. However, there is no two-factor authentication or multi-signature address required.
That said, according to its developers, Exodus is a secure environment to store your cryptocurrency thanks to your private key.
Since Exodus is highly user-friendly, it is a good choice for those who are new to the space. Thanks to its intuitive design, you can feel comfortable with your cryptocurrency storage while you get your feet wet.
- Intuitive desktop design
- Hardware integration available with Trezor
- No registration required
- 100+ cryptocurrencies supported
- No two-factor authentication
- No multisignature address required
Trezor is a hardware wallet. These look like a small external hard drive that you can connect to your computer or smartphone when you want to add or remove cryptocurrencies from your wallet.
You have two choices for the Trezor hardware wallet, including:
- Trezor One for $59
- Trezor Model T for $181
Both wallets support 1,000 cryptocurrencies and have a small screen to view your holdings. However, you’ll have to connect it to your desktop or mobile device to add or remove crypto.
As a limited USB connection, your crypto will be safe even if you connect to a compromised computer.
It’s important to note that your Trezor wallet will come with recovery information. If you both lose the wallet and the recovery information, you’ll lose your crypto for good. As a result, it’s critical to keep track of this information.
- Secure offline storage
- 1,000 cryptocurrencies supported
- Upfront cost for the hardware wallet
- Relatively complex setup
Electrum is one of the more established Bitcoin wallets. Although it may be a recognizable name in the Bitcoin space, it is not ideal for newbies.
The wallet is full of useful tools and features, but it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the options. Consequently, more advanced users stand to gain the most by using Electrum.
If you use Electrum, you’ll need to download the software wallet onto your desktop or mobile device.
There are also options available for offline or ‘cold’ storage that you can use to safeguard your Bitcoin.
- A suite of features designed for the experienced user
- Two-factor authentication
- Only Bitcoin transactions are supported
- Complicated features could be overwhelming
Like Electrum, Mycelium is an older name in the crypto space. Since Mycelium was first released, it has expanded to be compatible with Android and iOS devices as a software wallet.
A couple of standout features you’ll find within Mycelium include control over your private keys and payment options based on QR codes. Additionally, the wallet works seamlessly with offline storage options.
Although the developers of Mycelium claim that it was created for cryptocurrency newbies, most users find it slightly overwhelming. The features that serve as an asset to experienced users may confuse newer users.
- Mobile friendly wallet
- QR-code payment options
- Offline storage options
No desktop version available
Overwhelming features for new to crypto users
5. Ledger Nano
Ledger offers two different kinds of hardware wallets, including the Ledger Nano S and the Ledger Nano X. They cost $59 and $119, respectively.
Both are relatively small devices that offer the opportunity to store your cryptocurrency safely offline. Additionally, the stainless steel cover provides a sturdy design to safeguard your crypto physically.
With each model, you’ll have access to Ledger Live software to check your balance and make transactions.
Although Ledger supports over 1,800 cryptocurrencies, the hardware wallets can only store a fraction of that at a time. Fortunately, the stored currencies will be very safe in their offline storage.
- 1800+ cryptocurrencies supported
- Secure offline storage
- Upfront cost of the hardware wallet
- Lengthy setup process for beginners
Atomic Wallet is a software wallet that allows users to buy cryptocurrency. This can be an easier option for beginners because there are fewer steps and accounts involved.
Although you will receive private keys from Atomic Wallet, other security features are not provided. For example, it doesn’t offer two-factor authentication.
However, the company’s website indicates that increased security measures may be released soon.
- Mobile and desktop options
- Ability to buy cryptocurrencies directly through the wallet
- 500+ cryptocurrencies supported
- No hardware support options
- Not all cryptocurrencies are available for purchase
- No two-factor authentication
This crypto wallet is a software wallet for mobile use only. Once you download the app, you’ll be able to purchase Bitcoin with a card in less than 5 minutes.
You can continue to buy and exchange cryptocurrencies through the app. This creates less of a need to maintain an account at a separate exchange.
A feature that sets Trust Wallet apart is the ability to earn interest on your cryptocurrency. You can earn up to 130% APR on your cryptocurrency if you choose to stake your assets.
Although this is not the right choice for everyone, the opportunity to earn cryptocurrency through Trust Wallet shouldn’t be overlooked.
- Can earn interest on your crypto
- Straightforward design
- 160+ cryptocurrencies available
- No desktop options available
- No two-factor authentication
- Best for: Earning interest on your cryptocurrency
MetaMask is a browser-based cryptocurrency wallet. With a MetaMask wallet, you can receive and transfer cryptocurrency and tokens. Furthermore, you can store your NFT art and other collectibles.
However, the storage is limited to Etherum and ETH-based coins. As a result, MetaMask is for users who are interested solely in the available cryptocurrencies.
Although there are a limited number of cryptocurrency options available on MetaMask, the interface is easy to use. Anyone who is new to cryptocurrency will be able to navigate the wallet’s features easily.
- Buy coins directly through your wallet
- Private key storage
- Browser only options
- Only supports ETH and ETH based coins
- Best for: Ethereum cryptocurrency specialists
Are Crypto Wallets Safe?
Not all cryptocurrency wallets are equal when it comes to security features. So, when you are looking for crypto wallets, you must look into the number of security measures in place. The more security measures embedded in the wallet, the safer it is to store your cryptocurrency.
In general, hardware wallets are deemed to be the safest option for cryptocurrency storage. However, they are not infallible. If you lose the physical device, then you will likely lose access to your cryptocurrencies.
Many users prefer to use software wallets which allow for users to have more convenient access to their cryptocurrencies. However, this comes with higher risks for hacking.
Do I Have to Pay to Get a Crypto Wallet?
Yes, many crypto wallets have fees of some kind. Before you move forward with a particular wallet, make sure you are comfortable with the fee structure.
How Do You Add Funds to a Cryptocurrency Wallet?
The exact method for adding funds to a crypto wallet will vary based on the wallet. However, the general method is to provide the receiving address to your wallet. At that point, the transaction can take place.