Buying, trading, and selling cryptocurrencies all need the use of cryptocurrency wallets. Traders rely on them to securely store crypto, as well as to protect and validate transaction data. Custom crypto wallets, whether hardware or software, also known as hot and cold storage, provide traders with tailored solutions that are not available on crypto exchanges.
Well-known platforms such as Robinhood, PayPal, and Venmo make it easy to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with little technical knowledge. The majority of these online services, as well as their associated cryptocurrency wallets, are “custodial,” which means you’re entrusting the company with the security, protection, and storage of your money. They ultimately control the situation, and your crypto is in their hands.
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Continue reading to learn more about the many types of bitcoin wallets, how they work, and which one you should choose.
Table of Contents
- User-friendly interface that is easy to navigate
- Supports more than 500 cryptocurrency assets
- Multi-signature and 2-factor authentication support
- Backed by a reputable exchange that is able to recoup lost or stolen assets
- Other hot storage alternatives have similar security risks and flaws.
- Mobile and tablet devices are the only ones that have it (except for Chrome extension)
What made us choose it? We recommend Coinbase Wallet as the best crypto wallet for beginners since it’s a simple and secure wallet that’s backed by a well-known exchange.
Coinbase Wallet is a great wallet for people who are just getting started with cryptocurrency. The software can link to most major bank accounts and features a friendly, user-friendly interface with a simple three-tab structure and easily distinguishable functionalities. Coinbase Wallet offers over 500 crypto assets, the most of any hot wallet on this list. It can store non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and digital collectibles.
It’s crucial to understand the difference between Coinbase the exchange and Coinbase the wallet. It is possible to utilize the Coinbase wallet without first creating an account with one of the big bitcoin exchanges. It’s also non-custodial, which means your private key is held on your device rather than on Coinbase’s servers, so you don’t have to worry about your funds being frozen or exposed to a website cyberattack.
Other highlights include:
- Provides biometric authentication using the Secure Enclave chip included in Android, iOS, iPad, and Mac devices (e.g. FaceID, TouchID)
- In-app access to decentralized exchanges that can convert tokens without the need for a third party
- Cloud backups are an option for safeguarding your digital keys.
- Setup is quick and simple.
- Other hot wallets don’t have the same level of security as this one.
- Transaction costs that can be customized
- Due to server arrangements, wallets do not experience any downtime.
- Only Bitcoin trading is supported.
- For newbies, the setup and interface are not optimal.
- There is no customer service available via chat, email, or phone.
Why did we pick it? Because of its extensive security features and high degree of customizability, we chose Electrum as the best Bitcoin wallet.
Electrum, which was founded in 2011, is one of the most well-known and widely used cryptocurrency wallets today. It’s also one of the few remaining crypto wallets that only accepts Bitcoin, a money for which Electrum is specifically designed. Users can change their fees depending on how long they’re prepared to wait for a transaction to be completed, and the wallet has a range of powerful security measures that others lack: If you pay more in fees, your transaction will be completed sooner.
One of the wallet’s best features is that it runs on a light client. Light clients are simple to set up and take up less space on your computer than regular wallet clients. The wallet only downloads sections of the blockchain when utilizing simple payment verification (SPV), which speeds up transactions without compromising security.
Other highlights include:
- It is an open-source wallet, which means that its code can be scrutinized, which aids in the development of trust and security.
- It also has unique transaction fees that users can change according on how long they’re prepared to wait for a transaction to complete, as well as various distinct sorts of user accounts.
- Cold storage integration with hardware wallets (KeepKey, Ledger, Trezor).
- Support for two-factor authentication and multi-signature
- Compatible with common cold storage solutions (Ledger, Trezor, KeepKey)
- High-density spending accounts and single-address savings accounts are available in-app.
- Provides for offline transactions
- Inherently not as secure as hardware wallets
- Only supports Bitcoin, Ether, and ERC-20 tokens
- It may be confusing for first-time users
Because of its great focus on security and advanced transaction history information, we chose Mycelium as the best crypto wallet for mobile devices.
Mycelium is another well-known cryptocurrency wallet that focuses heavily on Bitcoin. It has long been a mobile-only software wallet and continues to be one of the top solutions for Android and iOS users, having been introduced to the market in 2008.
The wallet’s security and transaction choices are two of its biggest selling points. The software is completely repeatable, which means its code can be reproduced and compared to the original to identify any potential security flaws, and it has many pin protection levels. Custom transaction fees with four recommended levels — low priority, normal, economy, and priority — as well as various other types of user accounts are available in the wallet app.
Other highlights include:
- Block height, which is a specified location in the blockchain; miner fees, which are paid to miners in the blockchain network; and inputs/outputs, which show addresses in a transaction.
- Inter-wallet interoperability via the FIO network, which includes some of the most well-known crypto companies.
- Payment processors, wallets, and exchanges
- Users can employ a watch-only mode to block outgoing transactions while still keeping track of their stocks and trades.
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Ledger Nano X
- It can handle a vast amount of digital assets.
- Built with unique hardware to keep your private keys safe.
- Trading via the Ledger Live mobile app is possible thanks to Bluetooth.
- A built-in battery with an 8-hour battery life is included.
- Unlike other cold wallets, this one is a lot more pricey.
- For others, the use of Bluetooth technology may be a source of privacy concern.
- No touchscreen
Because of the variety of supported currencies, excellent security requirements, and mobile trading features, we chose Ledger Nano X as the best offline crypto wallet.
Ledger is one of the most well-known hardware wallet brands on the market today. The Ledger Nano S, a feature-rich and extremely secure cold wallet, spurred the company’s early popularity. The Ledger Nano X builds on the success of the Nano S by including a built-in battery as well as features like Bluetooth connectivity and enhanced asset management.
The Ledger Nano X is presently $119, has a 128 x 64-pixel screen for cycling through apps, and comes in a matte black finish. The wallet supports over 1,800 currencies and tokens, the most of any wallet on our list, and can manage up to 100 of them at once using the device’s apps. The Nano X can be used with the Ledger Live software on Android or iOS devices to swap crypto on the go. Its Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity may be switched off at any time.
Other highlights include:
- The Secure Element chip from Ledger is a customized chip that protects from numerous forms of assaults and is also used in high-end security solutions such as credit cards and passports.
- The Ledger Live app can be used to lend and stake cryptocurrency in order to create revenue in addition to purchasing and selling it.
- Supports over 145 crypto assets
- Compatible with Trezor One and Trezor T hardware wallets
- Allows users to buy Bitcoin with Apple Pay
- 24/7 customer support
- The in-wallet crypto exchange has high transaction costs.
- Some users may be bothered by the lack of native two-factor authentication.
- There is no support for multiple signatures.
Exodus was chosen as the best crypto wallet for desktops due to the speed of its transactions, ease of use, and wide range of client features.
Exodus is one of the most graphically stunning and user-friendly wallets available. Exodus was originally a desktop-only wallet, but it now offers iOS and Android apps and is compatible with Trezor hardware wallets. Despite this, the wallet’s fundamental feature remains the desktop wallet application, which is updated every two weeks.
The number of currencies supported by Exodus is one of its most appealing features. Higher than 145 bitcoin assets are supported by the wallet, which is more than many other hot wallets. This includes popular meme coins like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu, as well as established altcoins like Ether, Litecoin, Tether, and Dash.
Other highlights include:
- Fees can be customized, but only for Bitcoin transactions as of September 2021.
- A rising number of apps for live charts, crypto staking, and crypto deposits have been created to expand the wallet’s capabilities.
- To speed up transactions, it runs on a light client, which means it employs SPV and doesn’t download entire blockchains.
- Trezor One and Trezor Model T are both more cheap options.
- Intuitive & convenient interface
- Other hardware wallets with similar features are more expensive.
- No support for iOS devices
Trezor is a well-known cryptocurrency brand that was one of the first to offer hardware crypto wallets. Both of its current models have great security features and can accommodate a large number of assets. It didn’t make our top ten list because Ledger’s models outperformed Trezor’s in terms of build quality and quantity of supported currencies. Nonetheless, because to its optimal interaction with Trezor models, we strongly recommend Trezor to anyone who utilizes Exodus as their primary crypto wallet.
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- Reasonably priced hardware wallet
- Device display supports QR codes
- Supports a limited number of coins
- Heavier than similarly priced competitors
The KeepKey, another hardware wallet, is a fantastic option for individuals looking for a low-cost option, with a current MSRP of $49.00. It has a more appealing display and interface than the Trezor and Ledger wallets, making it more user-friendly. The wallet also adheres to the highest levels of security. When it comes to the greatest offline wallet, KeepKey, like the Trezor versions, was outclassed in some respects.
- Supports over 300 coins and tokens
- Supports credit card purchases and in-wallet exchanges and conversions
- No hardware wallet integration
- Not many coins are available for the atomic swap feature
Atomic Wallet is a popular storage wallet that has a lot going for it. Users do not need to create an account to utilize it, and customer service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It also supports a large number of assets. The wallet’s Atomic Swap function, which employs a decentralized crypto exchange housed within the wallet to trade currencies without the use of third parties, is a standout feature. Because other wallets offered better versions of most of its features, it didn’t make our list of the top cryptocurrency wallets.
Crypto Wallets Guide
Digital money transactions have become more helpful, practical, and accessible thanks to blockchain technology. However, as the number of crypto users has grown, so has the rate of cryptocurrency-related cyber theft. That’s why having a highly secure crypto wallet, whether digital or physical, is more crucial than ever.
What is a crypto wallet?
Traders keep the secure digital codes needed to connect with a blockchain in cryptocurrency wallets, or simply crypto wallets. Despite what their name suggests, they do not actively store your cryptocurrencies.
Crypto wallets must connect with the blockchain in order to locate the cryptocurrency associated with your address. In truth, crypto wallets are more like ledgers than wallets: They serve as the owner’s identification and account on a blockchain network, as well as providing transaction history.
How do crypto wallets work?
You are not actually transferring any coins when someone gives bitcoin, ether, dogecoin, or any other sort of digital currency to your crypto wallet. They’re transferring ownership of the cryptocurrency to your wallet’s address, which means they’re certifying that the crypto on the blockchain no longer belongs to their address, but to yours. To accomplish so, you’ll need two digital codes: a public key and a private key.
A public key is a string of letters and numbers that the crypto wallet provider generates automatically. A public key may look something like this: B1fpARq39i7L822ywJ55xgV614.
A private key is a string of numbers and letters that should only be known by the wallet’s owner.
Consider a crypto wallet to be similar to an email account. You must give someone your email address in order to receive an email. In the case of crypto wallets, this is your public key, which you must share with others in order to participate in any blockchain transaction. However, you would never give out your email account password to anyone. For crypto wallets, that password is the equivalent of your private key, which should never be shared with anyone else.
Crypto wallet users can participate in transactions utilizing these two keys without jeopardizing the integrity of the currency being traded or the transaction itself. To authenticate any cash sent or received by your digital wallet, the public key issued to it must match your private key. The balance in your crypto wallet will grow or decrease as soon as both keys are validated.
Types of crypto wallet
Hot wallets are internet-connected digital tools that cannot be disconnected. They are bits of software that may be used to track and trade currencies from your phone or desktop computer. Some hot wallets may be accessed directly from your browser, allowing you to use them on a number of devices.
The most significant benefit of hot wallets is their portability. Your public and private keys are kept and encrypted on your wallet’s app or website, so you can access them from anywhere with an internet connection unless they’re tied to a specific device. This accessibility makes them excellent for folks who trade frequently and plan to spend bitcoins.
Hot wallets are more vulnerable to intrusions since they are always accessible online. Hackers can employ malware or attack hidden weaknesses in the software that supports your wallet to gain access to your account. This is especially problematic for wallets hosted by cryptocurrency exchanges, which are more common targets for cybercriminals.
- It is extremely convenient because it can be accessed from any location with an internet connection.
- If you lose your private key, it’s far easier to regain access than with cold wallets.
- Less secure than cold wallets, and more susceptible to a wider range of threats
- Your keys are held on the exchange’s servers for custodial wallets.
Your digital keys are stored offline on a piece of hardware or a sheet of paper in a cold wallet. Hardware wallets are often USB drives that allow you to purchase, sell, and exchange cryptocurrency while connected to a computer. Your keys may be available via print-out QR codes, printed on a piece of paper, or engraved on another material, such as metal, with “paper” wallets.
Cold storage wallets were created with the intention of being difficult to hack. Hackers have no way of remotely accessing the wallet owner’s keys unless the wallet owner falls victim to a phishing attempt. A thief would have to first steal the USB device required to access your crypto and then crack its password for something like a hardware wallet.
This high level of protection may make it easier for wallet owners to make mistakes. You’ve effectively lost access to your crypto if you lose your USB drive or sheet of paper and don’t have your private key backed up anywhere. In contrast to hot wallets, which allow access via a seed phrase, retrieving access to a cold wallet is nearly hard in the majority of circumstances due to the two-key security method.
- Because of the offline storage, it is more secure than hot storage wallets.
- Hot storage wallets are compatible with a wide range of hardware wallets.
- On average, transactions take longer.
- Without a backup of your digital keys, recovering currencies is nearly impossible.
Best Crypto Wallets – Compared
|Best for beginners||Best for security||Best balance between accessibility and security||Best for desktop||Best for mobile users|
|Wallet||Coinbase wallet||Trezor Model T||Ledger Nano X||Exodus||Mycelium|
|Mobile version||Yes||Compatible with mobile app||Compatible with mobile app||Compatible with mobile app||Yes|
|How many supported coins and tokens||11+||1,800+||1,800+||140+||10+|