For those of you who have landed in this article without a clear idea of what a cryptocurrency wallet is, please allow us to elaborate. A Bitcoin Wallet or Cryptocurrency Wallet is the crypto-world’s equivalent of a bank account. With one of these wallets, you can send, receive, and store your cryptocurrency securely.
A wallet is provided in one of four ways:
- Hot wallet – a website, mobile app, or desktop wallet. An internet connection deems this kind of wallet ‘hot’, or less secure
- Cold wallet – The keys are held on a device that has never been connected to the internet, like a hardware wallet or paper wallet.
- Hosted wallet – A hosted wallet acts as the bank, holding wallets for people. This makes them a target to hackers, but they offer a popular service nonetheless.
- Decentralized wallet – This type of wallet removes some of the risks but it gives you much more independence as you and you alone hold the keys to your crypto.
Your wallet is the bridge between you and the Bitcoin world, and to use it you need private keys, which are long codes that allow you to make transactions. Interestingly, your wallets primary function is to protect the private keys, rather than to protect the cryptocurrencies, although you can’t have one without the other.
Now, let’s discuss some of the industry’s top products.
There are many users who berate Coinbase for its high fees, but it can’t be denied that for ease of use and overall wallet performance, they’re the market leader. You can buy cryptocurrency from their incorporated exchange with money directly from your bank account (fiat currency), which is something few rivals can offer. The mobile and web wallet holds 20 different cryptocurrencies and is considered the best option for ‘newbies’.
Security, privacy, and strength. Trezor is built on good foundations, by working on the quality and security of their cold storage devices, they’ve come out as one of the top performers in this part of the industry, along with Ledger. Trezor’s offline hardware stores more than 1,000 different cryptocurrencies and must be plugged into your computer to use. It requires multi-factor authentication, can be a little complex, yet offers great security. That security comes at a cost: if you lose your Trezor device, you’ve lost your coins…
Ledger and Trezor are arguably the two top dogs in the cold storage market, so it’s not hard for us to find dozens of positives to say about either. It could be argued that Ledger’s hardware is physically more durable, made of higher quality materials, and more likely to avoid being damaged. Ledger also offers ‘Ledger Live’, their own software which facilities sending and receiving crypto assets, as well as coin staking, once connected to a computer. Ledger devices can handle over 1,200 different coins, however, the top model (the Bluetooth-fitted Ledger Nano X) can handle only 100 different types at the same time.
This mobile and web wallet provider is great for people who are just getting into the whole crypto-world, namely because of a low level of entry, minimum complexity in getting started, and great user experience. Those who have been in the game for a while would gain nothing from switching over to SoFi. Their incorporated exchange works with 5 different currencies and transactions occur at 1.25%.
If you’re looking for a way to buy and sell cryptocurrencies for free (without transaction costs or commissions) then Robinhood is the web or mobile app for you. Really, it’s commission-free, which makes is something of a unicorn in this industry, but with that saving comes limitations, including the inability to transfer coins from another wallet in and out of Robinhood. Their platform also only offers 7 cryptocurrencies, so for altcoins enthusiasts, it’s not very useful. Regardless, it’s still a trustworthy wallet.
The champion of mobile wallets, Edge is a great app and trustworthy security provider for crypto-traders. Available on Apple or Android devices, this app will let you buy crypto from fiat within the app (meaning you can use your own money to buy crypto, rather than trading crypto-to-crypto). The app also boasts the ability to buy and trade 30 different types of crypto on their incorporated exchange. Security is paramount to Edge, which is commonly used by other online sites as an authentication system and includes automatic backups.
If you’re a desktop trader, Exodus might just appeal to you as it is a high-quality free-to-use, multi-cryptocurrency desktop wallet. User experience is pleasant, security is tip-top, and it supports over 100 of the most well-known cryptocurrencies. They have no hosted servers or logs and no registration or identity verification is needed to get started. Just set a password and make sure you take a backup of your seed key (you will need some balance in your wallet to do this). The UI is pleasant, the platform features a ShapeShift exchange, and Exodus can be integrated with Trezor’s hardware products if that appeals to you.
ZenGo aims to solve issues of complexity and security by making a secure and easy-to-use crypto wallet for mobile. Sites like Binance and Coinbase don’t offer the same level of security because your currency sits on the exchange, meaning anyone who logs into your account could steal it all. ZenGo has solved some security issues by requiring users to pair their smartphone with a ZenGo server in order to sign and confirm a transaction – this means ZenGo can’t access your funds, but if you lose your smartphone, you could recover them easily. The app is quick too, you can access your portfolio in around 20 seconds.
Electrum has been around for a long time, almost 10 years in fact. Since 2011, they have offered a Bitcoin-only wallet with advanced features, promoting freedom and independence through this new monetary system. Many of their safety features pioneered what we now see today on other crypto wallet apps, such as the ability to turn the wallet into cold storage.
This iOS and Android crypto wallet includes a great incorporated exchanged as well as free and fast bank transfers for users. Their exchange has been around since 2013, though it’s come a long way since then and has developed into a beautiful platform with great UX and UI. Easy-to-use and very clean both on desktop and mobile.
When it comes to elegant and simplified wallets for iPhone, this open-source option might be the top pick. You also have full control over your private keys. There aren’t many different cryptocurrencies on here, but it’s still a fantastic option.
Billed as the ‘bitcoin wallet for the streets’ this Android wallet is hugely popular for having the best features, great privacy, and an active team of developers working hard to include new and exciting features. The wallet has been available for several years and is fully open source. Transactions are private, funds are secured, and your identity is masked.
As Android’s most popular Bitcoin wallet, Mycelium has built up a bit of a cult following for its clarity, simplicity, and functionality. New tools are constantly being released by the creative development team to improve the experience for their loyal users.
GreenAddress was rebranded as Blockstream Green as their native android crypto wallet. The security is high and their multi-signature wallet can also be combined with cold storage wallets from Trezor and Ledger. Their multi-signature feature requires users to make a manual confirmation of transactions.
GreenAddress is available on the web, desktop, Android (now Blockstream Green) and iOS.
This was the first mobile Bitcoin wallet, and despite being the oldest, it’s also far more secure than many of the modern market competitors. The security is strong because it is connected directly to the Bitcoin network. Beginners who are primarily trading Bitcoin, or simply holding it as an investment, would get a good education from using this app and its great features and interface.
Bitcoins and Altcoins such as Monero, Tether, and Ripple, are stored in this multi-asset crypto wallet which has been developed by a high-quality development team who quickly put together great new features at a surprising rate of regularity. Their UI is seamless and enjoyably there’s no email verification, onboarding, or annoying signups needed in order to start using the service. With over 1 million users, they have (like their name) become a mobile app wallet that you can trust.
This open-source crypto wallet is designed for desktop and mobile users. Their developers are constantly innovating new features and ensuring that the platform is smooth and simple for people to use and to get started on. Beginner traders love Guarda, but advanced traders feel that it lacks a few key features. Users gain great levels of control, backup seed keys, and the ability to connect the platform to their Ledger Nano wallets.
The Atomic Wallet desktop client and mobile app are anonymous, decentralized, and secure. It allows users to manage over 300 different coins, and the option to purchase 5 major coins such as Ripple and Bitcoin.
Whilst Sugi is primarily a mobile app, the way in which it differs from competitors is that it offers a hardware wallet in the form of a card. By using the card in conjunction with the app, users are able to send or receive cryptocurrency assets, as well as check their balances. If the phone or card is lost, users are still able to recover their assets thanks to Sugi’s security system.
Whether you’re an iOS or Android mobile user, Unstoppable offers you one of the most advanced apps on the market. Interestingly, this crypto wallet is not designed for blockchain users, it’s a decentralized and non-custodial platform. It meets all the compliance requirements (BIP44, 49, and 84), it can be used to move cryptocurrencies between the major platforms and exchanges, and it looks great too. It’s peer-to-peer with no central servers, meaning hackers, corrupt forces, or governments can’t take it down. It’s unstoppable, and as their website states, “The engineering process behind this wallet is radically driven by libertarian principles”.
Did your favourite crypto wallet make the list?
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