Digital Wallets essentially incorporate the general idea behind a physical wallet with complex features that give them an added advantage over the latter. As more cryptocurrencies emerge, storing them becomes more important to avoid loss and theft.
This article gives the best cryptocurrency wallets in the market today that will keep your coins safe and secure. We also comprehensively look at the ease of use and price of each of the wallets named such as Trezor, Ledger Nano S and Jaxx mobile wallet.
Why you need a cryptocurrency wallet?
Due the fact that there exists no set rules on how exchanges are run and on cryptocurrencies in general, the best way to ensure your currency is safe is by maintaining maximum control over it. Wallets give you the forum to do this.
Types of wallets
To get a desktop wallet, you need to simply download it onto your computer. They are rather inconvenient since you can only log onto them using the computer that you installed them on. Although these wallets guarantee maximum security, there is a risk that should this computer be hacked or get a virus, your wallet would be compromised. Check the 5 best desktop wallet here >>
Online wallets are stored on a cloud and thus one can log into their wallet on a computer in any location provided there is an internet connection. They offer maximum convenience although the introduction a third party (company managing the cloud) the security of the wallet is a bit compromised. Check the 5 best online wallet here >>
Mobile wallets are installed as applications from iOS store or Android play store. They can thus be accessed simply by accessing the application on your phone. Some have the ability to transform your phone into a hardware device, and storing your private keys offline on your phone. They are very secure and convenient, though their space is limited, seeing as a smartphone has limited space when compared to a laptop or computer.
The private key is stored on a hardware wallet. One can thus connect their hard drive to a computer with internet connection, make a transaction, save the transaction on the hard drive and should it be external, remove the same from the computer. Because private keys are stored offline, these particular wallets are favored by most of the crypto community. This essentially because there is almost zero risk of being hacked. Check the 5 best Hardware wallet here >>
This is another offline wallet, which is also tangible. Private and public keys are printed out in QR form. It is regarded as the best for beginners seeing as its tangible, mirroring fiat currencies. Keys are copied and then pasted onto a document after which one can print this document. The keys are generated through one’s browser. It is advisable to clear the history of the browser after making a transaction as an added layer of security.
The keys are stored on a server that allows you to log in at will. This implies that one entrusts the security of their currency to a company.
They apply the concept of a joint bank account. For a transaction to go through, two signatories have to sign on it. This additional security measure is quite attractive.
It applies the paper wallet concept, except that the cryptographic technology used leaves no record of the private key. It is assumed to have been stored in one’s brain.
As indicated earlier, for digital currency users, a crypto wallet is essential as it’s basically the only way to store one’s currency safely. It also enables one to keep easy track of their currency.
Considerations when picking a crypto wallet
The crypto world has evolved greatly over the past few years and users have numerous wallets at their disposal. Factors to consider when choosing a wallet include:
The 10 best cryptocurrency wallets
|Cryptocurrency Wallet||Wallet Review||Wallet Type||Security||Ease of Use||Price (USD)||Check Website|
|Ledger Nano S||Ledger Nano S Review||Hardware||High||Moderate||75||Check|
|Ledger Blue||Ledger Blue Review||Hardware||High||Easy||300||Check|
|GreenAddress||GreenAddress Review||Mobile and Desktop||Moderate||Easy||free||Check|
|Bread wallet||Bread wallet Review||Mobile||Moderate||Easy||free||Check|
#1 Best Cryptocurrency Wallet: Ledger Nano S
Ledger Nano S wallet has been voted as the best wallet of 2018 by the crypto community on multiple sites.
Unlike other Ledger wallets, Ledger Nano S comes with a screen. This enables it to function even with computers that have malware. Additionally, the screen displays the recovery phrase, hence no traces of the phrase make it to the internet. The Ledger Nano S can be set up using this guide.
Stores private keys offline reducing chances of the wallet getting hacked and thus providing ultimate security. It also has a 4-digit PIN that you need to input to be able to use it.
- Currency support
The wallet has the ability to store multiple cryptocurrencies simultaneously.
- Recovery phrase
Ledger Nano S wallet also provides you with a recovery phrase which can be used to recover your account in case of loss of the wallet.
Disadvantage: Lacks the passphrase feature that enables one to add customized words to the original recovery phrase.
One can purchase Ledger Nano S by ordering it from the official Ledger Nano S website.
#2 Best Cryptocurrency Wallet: Trezor
Trezor is Ledger Nano S main competitor. Its most exciting feature is its size, which is as small as a car key, making it very portable.
Its top cream security features have earned it a spot as one of the best bitcoin wallets in the market. It was launched in 2014 by a company called Satoshilabs based in Czech Republic- a matter that has raised concern in terms of trust.
Check this article to know Trezor VS Ledger Nano S
- Security: being a hardware wallet, Trezor stores private keys offline and this guarantees its users of the security of their currency.
- Currency support: at the time of writing, Trezor currently supports more than 10 crypto coins. Reports indicate that the Trezor 2 wallet is still in development and will soon support more coins.
- Recovery system: the wallet provides users with a recovery phrase with which to recover ones account in case you lose the wallet device.
One can buy the Trezor wallet from several sites including Amazon. To be sure of authenticity it is however safe to purchase it from the official TREZOR shop on the website. This guide describes how to configure trezor and transfer coins to your trezor device.
#3 Best Cryptocurrency Wallet: KeepKey
KeepKey applies Hierarchal Deterministic (HD) technology and is thus considered a small computer created especially for the storage of private keys. To install and use the KeepKey wallet to store your coins, follow this guide and proceed to the steps recommended.
- Currency support: the wallet supports an approximate of seven coins including BTC, BCH, DASH, DOGE, ETH, LTC and NMC.
- Compatibility: it is compatible with Mac, Linux, Android and PC systems
- Security: KeepKey has a PIN code feature, a recovery phrase and a passphrase feature. These are used to keep the coins safe and will help you recover your coins in case of theft, loss or malfunction of the wallet. The passphrase feature enables one to customize their recovery phrase with an additional word.
KeepKey can be downloaded from their official website. These two are listed as the sole official vendors and thus one should be cautious when purchasing the wallet elsewhere.
#4 Best Cryptocurrency Wallet: Ledger Blue
The Ledger Blue is considered one of the most expensive wallets in the market, many people are curious to know if it’s worth its price. The wallet starts from $300 making it one of the costliest wallets around.
- Secure architecture: It applies unique modular architecture that allows for mate applications to function in seclusion on top of the original firmware. This also makes it malware proof.
- Password reset: the user has the ability to change the password any time.
- Currency support: the wallet can support approximately 12 currencies.
#5 Best Cryptocurrency Wallet: Mycelium
Mycelium was launched in 2008. This wallet has made major success in revolutionizing the storage of Bitcoin since inception. It can be downloaded from Mycelium’s official website as well as Google Play Store and iTunes.
- It has HD security features and all-encompassing backup options. The Sign-Up process requires one to generate a PIN that locks features such as adding new accounts and sending Bitcoin payments.
- Currency support: Unfortunately Mycelium currently only supports Bitcoin.
Despite offering very speedy connections for Bitcoin, it is not recommendable for beginners. It however boasts much success and was declared the ‘Best Mobile App‘ in 2014.
#6 Best Cryptocurrency Wallet: GreenAddress
This is regarded as one of the most flexible wallets available seeing as it has the ability to be both mobile and desktop. It uses Chrome, Android and iOS respectively where you can access through GreenAddress’ official website. To set up the wallet, use this guide.
- Security: Each new transaction acquires a new address, an excellent security feature. It also doesn’t store keys.
- Watch only feature that allows users to check their balances without fully logging onto the application. It has a rather complex set up process and thus would not be the ultimate choice for beginners.
#7 Best Cryptocurrency Wallet: Bread Wallet
Breadwallet is a free digital application for bitcoin that is available as a mobile app for both iOS and Android users. Follow this guide to store your cryptocurrencies on the wallet.
It ensures maximum privacy by connecting users to the Bitcoin Network directly from within the app as opposed to sending information to the Bread server first. It does not retain user’s data or private keys on its servers.
Disadvantages: Despite being very promising, the app does not offer two factor authentications, a rather integral security measure. Some transactions also go through third parties who may not uphold high security standards. There have been recent complains of the application hanging.
#8 Best Cryptocurrency Wallet: Electrum
Emerged back in 2011 when Bitcoin was still at its early stages of development. It is attuned with several operating systems like Windows, Mac and Linux.
Currently, it is only compatible with desktop computers and you can download it here.
- Security: Private keys are encrypted and not shared onto the server, providing them with maximum security.
- Speed: Does not download the entire blockchain on the first run and is thus very fast.
- Compatibility: it is compatible with both Trezor and Ledger Nano S, allowing you to transfer coins to and from your hardware storage as well.
#9 Best Cryptocurrency Wallet: Exodus
It has an excellent backup system through its servers but still doesn’t store keys on servers. It also has the much-coveted passphrase feature.
Disadvantage: it lacks two factor authentications and as indicated earlier, this is an integral security feature.
#10 Best Cryptocurrency Wallet: Jaxx
Jaxx has been specially crafted to function across all possible devices. It has compatibility with;
– Windows, Apple and Linux
– Android and iOS
– Google Chrome extensions
Asides from being compatible with virtually all devices that one may own, Jaxx is extremely secure as it does not store private keys on its servers but on the local device wallet. This diverse and versatile wallet can be downloaded on its official website.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know which wallet is best for me?
The information provided in this article should be able to effectively guide you while choosing a wallet. However, to ensure you’re making the right decision, consider the following questions:
– How often will I use this wallet, is it for long-term savings?
– How many currencies will I be using?
– Will I need to access my wallet from anywhere or will I only use it at home?
Any common mistakes to be careful of?
It is very important to ensure that your private keys always remain private. One of the most common mistakes that crypto users have made is compromise the security of their private keys. This can lead to loss of crypto currency worth billions.
Additionally, ensure you have a backup of your recovery seed stashed somewhere space. Again, this is a common mistake that leads to major loss.
Lastly, always ensure you send currency to the correct wallet. While this may be a rectifiable mistake on some exchanges and wallet, some may not be so empathetic and a wrong transaction could lead to the loss of your hard earned currency.
What happens if the hardware wallet company goes out of business?
Users of a hardware wallet need not go into panic mode should the company providing the wallet go out of business. The quality that makes hardware wallets the most revered is the storage of private keys offline. As such, affected users can reinstate their wallets on a different platform using the recovery seeds that hardware wallets issue.
Do hardware wallets work with Coinbase?
It is possible for one to transfer their coins from Coinbase to a hardware wallet of choice. One needs to acquire the ‘receiving addresses of their hardware wallet of choice and then proceed to send coins from Coinbase to that address.
Why are hardware wallets more secure?
As indicated earlier, hardware wallets are perceived as providing more security due to the fact that they don’t store private keys online. This makes it almost impossible for the wallet to be interfered with or hacked. Additionally, hardware wallets provide users with a recovery phrase which can be used to recover an account in case of loss of the hardware device.
Why do hardware wallets have buttons?
Some hardware wallets, e.g. Ledger Nano S have two buttons on the device. The major function of this buttons is to authenticate and confirm payments. For a payment transaction to be complete, one needs to physically press on this two buttons simultaneously.
How many times should I backup and is it okay to store a photo of my seed on my phone?
Recovery seeds come in handy when one has misplaced their hardware or mobile wallet. This is why it is very crucial to have them backed up. The recommended procedure is to write down the recovery seed on a piece of paper and then store the paper in a secure place such as a safe. One can back up the seed as many times as one deems necessary. Users are advised to never store their recovery seeds online or on devices that they use to access the internet, as these are susceptible to hacking. It would therefore not be advisable to take a photo of your recovery seed.
How to secure wallets
Amongst the best methods to secure a wallet is to ensure it to encrypt your private keys. Additionally, one is advised to have to wallets. One for using to make transactions and the other for savings. The latter account should preferably have the ability to store private keys offline.
If a wallet has the two-factor authentication option, it would be wise to activate it as it increases security. Some applications use a 6-digit code that changes very often, at times even every 30 minutes. This ensures security is highly mentored.
The crypto market currently has very many diverse wallets to offer users. Users should however be very careful before choosing one. They should ensure they pick one that suits their needs best and most importantly, ensures the safety of their common keys.
Hardware wallets provide the best security yet to your cryptocurrencies. We recommend that you store your coins in a compatible hardware wallet to ensure top notch security.