Your capital is at risk
After reviewing top-rated wallets highly recommended within the crypto community, we have compiled a list of the best cryptocurrency wallets that are trustworthy, secure and convenient to help you keep your cryptos as safe as possible.
It can be confusing when you first venture into the world of cryptocurrencies to understand the intricacies of different wallets. Between hardware, hierarchical deterministic, and multi-sig, there is enough terminology to confuse anybody. This guide is going to break down the need-to-knows when choosing the best cryptocurrency wallets.
Simplified Definition: A cryptocurrency wallet is a piece of software that enables you to store, send and receive cryptocurrency.
Advanced Definition: A cryptocurrency wallet is a software which tracks all the transactions on the blockchain for a specific cryptographic key and allows its holder to perform transactions on the blockchain.
Every wallet consists of a public address and a private key. As the same suggests, the private key you must keep it safe and share it with no one. On the otherhand, you will need to share your public address (aka public key) should you wish to send/receive money from/to your wallet. Instead of introducing all of the boring terminologies before presenting the wallets to consider, we are going to flip it and present you with some wallets you can consider straight away.
When choosing the best cryptocurrency wallets, we recommend you to make use of 2 types of wallets, a web-based wallet and a hardware wallet. On the web-based wallet, you store your petty cash, and on the hardware wallet, you store all your other cryptos. Via the web-based wallet, you’ll be trading to and fro other exchange based wallets, and then transferring trading profits from your web-wallet onto your hardware wallet for long term safekeeping.
The Ledger Nano X is a cryptocurrency wallet which supports a great selection of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and over 1150 more. The Nano X allows owners to trade crypto on the go by making use of their smartphone. The Nano X uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone and allows you to download the Ledger Live app to transfer cryptocurreny.
The Ledger Nano X has a 128×64 display screen that shows all data regarding your transactions. You control the device using 2 small buttons. The device is also has a built-in 100 mAh battery which lasts for hours when the device in use regularly.
Since Ledger Nano X uses a highly secure chip, similar to the one used in credit cards, and because this is not directly connected to the web, it is extremely difficult for hackers to steal your coins from this hardware wallet. With such a fact taken into consideration, Ledger Nano X’s price tag of €119 is pretty reasonable. If €119 sounds expensive, you can check its predecessor, the Ledger Nano S hardware wallet, priced at €59.
Ledger Nano S is a multicurrency wallet which supports a great selection of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin. The cold storage wallet guarantees maximum protection for your digital assets as it is built using a secure chip, similar to the one used for credit cards.
The Ledger Nano S comes with a crisp and clear screen that displays information on your current transactions. Two buttons allow you to manage your device conveniently, including sending and receiving funds. The wallet doesn’t require any charging for its functionality as it draws power from your PC whenever it’s connected.
Since Ledger Nano S uses a highly protected chip and is not connected to the web, it is virtually impossible for hackers to steal coins from it. This security feature makes the Ledger Nano S’s price tag of €59 a reasonable one. The development team behind the product even gave special consideration to its appearance, which is why it is available in various colours, from Matte Black to Flamingo Pink.
Ledger also offers more advanced hardware wallets, in case you decide to upgrade your Nano S further on.
Exodus has quickly gained popularity among traders, mainly thanks to its adaptable design. Demonstrating real-time value of your digital assets using fantastic live charts. Moreover, Exodus Wallet also lets you personalize your portfolio by changing themes, background colour and more to suit your preferences.
As a multi-asset cryptocurrency wallet, Exodus supports more than 100+ coins and tokens. It has an easy-to-use interface which guarantees accessibility even for the newbie traders. It’s good to know that you cannot buy/sell cryptocurrencies using fiat currency but can only exchange between the digital assets.
Exodus is not considered the best choice when it comes to storing large amounts of cryptocurrency, since it isn’t as safe as a hardware wallet. In fact it recommends users to go for other reputable hardware wallets when it comes to storing large amount of digital assets.
Perhaps one of its drawbacks is the fact that it doesn’t offer any advanced security features to protect funds, apart from a recovery phrase and password. As it doesn’t store any of its users’ information like private keys, passwords on its server, it becomes the sole responsibility of the user to protect their funds.
KeepKey is yet another major player within the hardware wallet world, albeit lesser known than the top two brands. Its price has recently been lowered, whilst its features have been maintained or improved. KeepKey provides a high level of security and valuable features. This include integration with ShapeShift, which facilitates cryptocurrency exchange directly from your wallet.
Supporting more than 55 cryptocurrencies, the wallet is a great way to store some of the most popular tokens and coins in circulation. KeepKey is also hierarchical deterministic and the code for the wallet is an open-source, enabling the development community to evaluate the security standards of the wallet. While it is not as well known as Trezor and Ledger Nano S, KeepKey still ranks as one of the best cold storage devices available today.
The Trustology wallet is an innovative solution to solve common issues, including speed and security. By combining the best features of hardware and software cryptocurrency wallets, the TrustVault allows you to store your cryptocurrency securely whilst availing of some of the fastest transaction speeds available.
Currently only available on iOS systems, the TrustVault installs a hardware wallet directly into your phone and uses biometric information to ascertain your identity. Offering a recovery option and a convenient way to protect your funds in case your phone goes missing, Trustology is indeed a very secure crypto wallet. An Android version is in the works, as is a solution for business clients.
Unlike most hardware wallets, the company charges a subscription-based service instead of a one-off fee. The affordable subscriptions include insurance against theft but are limited to up to £10,000 worth of cryptocurrency. Trustology also offers a free version, where funds are limited to £1,000 and are not insured.
One of the key limiting factors of the TrustVault is that it only supports 11 cryptocurrencies and tokens, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. It is likely that as the system grows, additional coins will be supported.
Through a partnership with MoonPay, you can buy selected cryptocurrencies directly from your wallet using a credit or debit card. This means that you won’t need to open an additional exchange account to buy Bitcoin or Ethereum with fiat currency.
TrustVault is a truly innovative cryptocurrency custodian wallet which promises to revolutionise the way you store and manage your funds. It’s affordable pricing structure and functional features place it as one of the best wallets available today.
When wondering why you really need a crypto wallet, you should first consider what cryptocurrency is really for. The Bitcoin whitepaper published by Satoshi Nakamoto on the 31st October 2008 proposed a peer-to-peer cash system that removed the need for intermediaries and middlemen. The system used a decentralized network of computers expending power to build the trust that the intermediaries and middlemen have always provided.
If you buy cryptocurrencies and you leave the funds on the wallet provided by the exchange, you are returning the trust back to an intermediary, which in this case is the exchange. The only way you can be in complete control of your cryptocurrencies is to own your own wallet and control the private keys.
While some users of cryptocurrency are only interested in speculation and do not worry too much about not being in complete control of their funds, there are also other factors to consider. Cryptocurrencies are an emerging field and have only been developing for around ten years. This means that many of the businesses being set up now are destined to fail in the years and decades ahead. This includes exchanges. By leaving funds on an exchange, users take extra exposure to the risk of losing their funds as the exchange might file for bankruptcy. Back in January 2019, the well known Cryptopia exchange filed for bankruptcy after it has been the victim of a hack worth $16 million to the company and its users.
We have already covered hardware wallets, desktop wallets, and mobile wallets. There are other forms of wallets also including paper wallets, web-based wallets, and exchange wallets. Each type of wallet has its benefits and drawbacks. Security is typically the most important factor to account for and the following are presented in order of best security.
Hardware wallets use a high level of encryption to provide the best possible security to the funds stored. They come in different shapes and forms, some look like a pen drive, others like a credit card and others like a tiny calculator. These devices leverage the best benefits of both cold storage and hot storage solutions to provide its holder maximum security at all times. Overall, they all use the same concept, that is, keeping your funds off the internet and away from hackers as much as possible, yet do it in a way where you can then efficiently transfer the funds to another wallet or to an exchange.
The private key is stored on the device itself and even if a user accesses the wallet on a compromised device, the funds will still be secure due to the high level of encryption applied. Apart from the price, hardware wallets tick all the boxes when it comes to security and features.
When purchasing a hardware wallet, it is important to purchase the device from the official retailer’s website. There are numerous fake versions online so don’t bother buying it second hand or from any other site, including Amazon and eBay. You can use the links found on this site to take you directly to the official retailer’s websites.
This type of wallet should only be used if the user is comfortable knowing how it works. Paper wallets are exactly what they say they are, they provide both a public and a private key printed on paper. Paper wallets can be generated from online services such as walletgenerator.net.
Users can use the public key to receive cryptocurrency transactions. It is important that the paper wallet is generated for the particular cryptocurrency the user wishes to store. Different cryptocurrencies will have different public and private key formats. One of the key benefits of paper wallets is that funds are stored completely in cold storage. When the funds need to be accessed, there are services online that enable users to import their paper wallet such as blockchain.com.
The key drawback with paper wallets is that if anybody gets access to the paper, they will know the private key. For this reason, extra measures are typically taken to store the paper securely or to store halves of the private key in two separate locations. Another drawback is efficiency to access your funds. There can be difficulties when it comes to retrieving your funds from the paper wallet if the user is not comfortable with how wallets work.
Desktop wallets come in a wide variety. Desktop wallets will typically store the private key of the wallet on the users hard drive. This is a secure way of holding private keys as it mostly keeps the private keys offline.
The main risk with this type of wallet is if the device gets compromised. Devices which are hacked will have a serious risk of losing their funds. Where the private keys are stored on the device is another key point to note. If the private keys are stored in a cloud-based storage system, this also runs the risk of the private keys being accessible to third parties. It is also important for users of these wallets to carefully record the recovery procedure.
In the case that the device gets lost or stolen, users will be able to recover the wallet and funds from another device via the recovery phrase. While the private keys are secured offline, users can still benefit from the features of being connected to the internet via the wallet interface. Desktop wallets make it quick and easy to move cryptos from one place to another but come with higher risks than their hardware wallet competitors.
Mobile wallets are similar to desktop wallets in the manner that they come in a wide variety and mostly store the private key on the device itself. While mobile wallets are typically not as secure as desktop wallets, as most mobile devices are constantly connected to the internet, they have a number of benefits in terms of convenience and functionality.
Wallets such as Coinbase Wallet enable users to interact with DApps. It is also easy for users to make and receive payments as they conduct their daily activities. Additionally, users can easily use mobile wallets to make payments to merchants who accept cryptocurrencies.
A QR code can be easily loaded from the wallet to accept payments. Some mobile wallets will be far less secure. It is important to research how each mobile wallet secures the private key before trusting funds within these wallets.
Another great solution to send, store and manage your cryptocurrency is offered by Freewallet.org. As the name suggests the service is completely free of charge to download. They only charge a small transfer fee when sending your funds to other wallets. The fee solely depends on the network load and on the level of difficulty to perform that transaction. The beauty is that off-chain transaction between Freewallet customers is free of charge. Available on both mobile and desktop, on Freewallet you are able to store 127 different coins and tokens, including the most popular ones such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stellar, Monero and Ripple, with new ones added frequently. A couple of unique features offered by this wallet service is the possibility to choose between 4 different transaction fees (the higher the chosen fee the faster the transaction will be executed) and the ability to top up your mobile directly from the wallet.
Web-based wallets are a poor form of security for funds compared to the already mentioned cryptocurrency wallets. They typically store the private key with the third party that is providing the wallet. Sometimes, the private key is encrypted so that access to it is limited. This is better than a web-based wallet without encryption but it is still a poor level of security compared to the higher tiers of wallets as encryption can be decrypted.
Other web-based wallets also enable the users to add a further layer of security to the wallet by adding their own password or 2FA. This is better but web-based wallets still remain one of the lowest quality of wallets in terms of security. Yet, their convenience is not to be disregarded. They come in very handy for trading and safekeeping small amounts of money.
Exchange wallets vary widely based on the exchange operating the wallet. These are the lowest tiers of wallets in terms of security as in most cases, users have no idea whether the funds are even there. Exchanges may only reserve a fraction of the funds and use the rest to make risky investments. Some exchanges such as Kraken have applied methods where users can verify that the exchange holds the funds for their account but in most cases, there is no way to verify this. Many exchanges also pool all of the user’s funds together as opposed to providing a secure account for each. This represents an even further risk if the main account is hacked, all of the user’s funds are at risk. Exchange hacks such as the 740,000 Bitcoin stolen from Mt.Gox are clear examples of this.
However, even though exchange based wallets are the least secure form of storing your cryptos, it is inevitable you’ll be making use of one. These wallets are an extra service offered by the exchange platform that allows crypto traders to store a small percentage of their portfolio on the platform. The benefit is that traders have quick access to their funds directly from the exchange. In a world of high price volatility, quick access to funds is crucial as it allows traders to instantly trade cryptocurrency to make a profit out of price drops and bull-runs.
Here are the top key factors to take into consideration when deciding on the wallet.
Not every cryptocurrency wallet supports every cryptocurrency. The reality is far from it. Most wallets will focus on just a few cryptocurrencies. Some might specialise on just one cryptocurrency. There are also wallets such as Ledger Nano S and Nano X that provide support to a large number of cryptocurrencies. Which cryptocurrencies a wallet supports is an important consideration when choosing it. If users have most of their portfolio in one cryptocurrency such as Monero or Bitcoin, they need to make sure that the chosen wallet supports this cryptocurrency.
Security is the single most important factor to take into account when choosing a wallet. Choosing a wallet with poor security could result in the user losing all of their funds as opposed to securing them. Specific points for security to be noted include the following:
While features and functionalities add to the attractiveness of a wallet, it’s first and foremost function should be to secure your funds effectively. For that reason, the security features of a wallet should be the first consideration when making your decision.
Building a solid reputation among wallet providers is not an easy thing to do. There are so many wallets available that users can often leave bad reviews for a wallet even if one or two features are substandard. Wallet service providers which have a high reputation and level of trust among users have typically earned it the hard way. Great reviews are a crucial part of the trustworthiness and reputation of a wallet.
Secure wallets can sometimes be complicated to use, hence, it is is not advisable for beginners to adopt wallets that they find difficult to use. Using a crypto wallet that the user does not fully understand represents more risk than it is worth. The high-security features of the wallet will not matter if the user loses access to the wallet. Start with something simple, easy to use and user-friendly such as a web-based wallet or mobile/app wallet.
This can often be a tradeoff when it comes to wallets. More portable and convenient wallets may have lower levels of security. It is important for the user to consider what the wallet will be used for. If it is going to be used regularly to make payments to merchants, a mobile app wallet may be the best option. If it needs to be highly secure but also somewhat portable, hardware wallets would likely be the best option.
Recovery options are crucial to wallets. Having a wallet without a recovery option is like having all your funds secured by an unbreakable lock without having a second key in case you lose one. Without a recovery option, if you lose the only key, the access to your stored funds is gone forever without any hope of accessing your funds ever again. Any wallet worth its weight in Bitcoin will have a clear and easy-to-understand recovery process. It’s important to pay close attention when setting up the recovery process. If a cryptocurrency wallet has already been set-up and the user is unsure of how to recover it in case he loses access, we recommend him to set up another wallet, take note of the recovery phrase, and transfer his funds on to the new wallet.
While hardware wallets are the best and most secure option, they are not within everybody’s budget. Everybody individually needs to assess whether a hardware wallet is worth the investment. The price between wallet hardware products varies by model and brand, however, you would typically be looking towards $60 and $150. If users hold a large number of cryptocurrencies worth over $1000, it will be worth it to spare $100 for the added security.
For example, a user owns $500 worth of Bitcoin, spending $100 on a wallet is 20% of the entire portfolio and could be alternatively used to increase his holdings. It is an entirely different case if the user holds $10,000 in cryptocurrencies. Purchasing the hardware wallet would just be around 1% of the value of their portfolio and would provide the gold standard of security. It is advisable that every individual decides the point at which they will invest in a hardware wallet.
Readers should now be familiar with both the types of wallets and the key considerations when choosing one. Taking these into account, we present more top-tier wallets that perform well across the key considerations.
Developed by SatoshiLabs, a company founded in 2013, Trezor is a hardware wallet launched a mere year after. This means it has the longest history of operation of any major hardware wallet providers. So, it is really no surprise that it is so well-known, and probably has the best reputation among its users.
Trezor offers two different models, each with varying features. The Trezor Model One was the initially released product in 2014. The recently released Trezor Model T sells for a higher price. The main difference is the Trezor Model T has no buttons and its functionality is controlled by a colour touchscreen.
The Model T supports 1180 different cryptocurrencies, with the Model One supporting fewer. Both devices are designed to make the set-up as clear and straightforward to users as possible. This wallet certainly prides itself in the user-friendliness department. Generally, hardware wallets can be somewhat more complex than other kinds of wallet, nevertheless, Trezor offers easy-to-understand instructions to the user.
To ensure maximum convenience, SatoshiLabs even provides a selection of other applications and features which can be used with this hardware wallet. Users can use the Trezor to create and/or their passwords via the Trezor password manager. It is good to highlight the fact that this application uses a high level of encryption to secure passwords for different accounts, guaranteeing that they are not accessible to third parties.
Trezor boasts a high level of security, offering 2FA and FIDO2 methods of authentication. This is something every customer looks for when storing their funds. Add accessibility (thanks to the straightforward set-up instructions) to the mix and it is really no mystery why you should opt for Trezor when choosing your first hardware wallet.
Coinbase Wallet is predominantly used to store Bitcoin, Ethereum, ERC20 tokens and other digital collectibles. Although Coinbase Wallet is a software wallet, it provides full protection for cryptos using advanced security features similar to the hardware wallets. Moreover, this wallet can be used to receive tokens purchased from other exchanges or directly from ICO token sale events. Additionally, Coinbase wallet lets users interact with Ethereum-based DApps with its integrated DApp (Decentralized Applications) browser.
It isn’t mandatory to create an account on the Coinbase Exchange to use the Coinbase Wallet, since it functions as a standalone software. It can be downloaded and installed by anyone without any geographical restriction. Thanks to its accessibility, the wallet is a good choice even if you’re new to the world of trading and would like to ensure your cryptos are safe or would like to send or receive digital currencies anywhere in the world.
CoolWallet can be used to store, swap, send and/or receive cryptos with a mere click of a button. Unlike other hardware wallets like Trezor or Ledger, which needs to be connected to a computer or laptop via USB, CoolWallet is designed to connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth or NFC (Near Field Communication). Its physical appearance also differs from the other cold storage wallets, in that it looks exactly like a credit card with a button and an integrated display.
Owing to a great strategic investment from SBI Holdings (previously called Soft Bank) in 2018, the company introduced the S version of its wallet. This product aims to provide an accessible, safe and sophisticated, lightweight mobile-based hardware wallet for those who would like to trade and secure cryptos on the go. As it uses a highly-secure element (SE) to store the private keys, it is basically impossible for hackers to steal coins funds from this wallet.
Apart from passcodes and touch ID, CoolWallet also makes use of facial recognition to provide 2+1 Factor Authentication to secure customers’ digital assets. Moreover, this credit card-sized wallet offers a complete offline storage for users to save their crypto-based assets safely. On top of being super reliable and stable, CoolWallet S is also waterproof, shockproof, tamper-proof, temperature-resistant and extremely simple to store and trade cryptos -even when on the go.
Guarda is a lightweight, multicurrency wallet that allows users to quickly store, send, receive, buy or swap the leading cryptocurrencies and ERC20 tokens. Originally, Guarda was developed as an Ethereum wallet for Android in 2017. Eventually, it expanded its services with the goal of building an ecosystem of blockchain-related products. Guardarian OÜ, the company which has developed Guarda wallet is licensed to operate as a virtual currency against fiat currency exchange.
Since Guarda provides as a non-custodial service, it doesn’t store the private keys and personal information of its users on its servers. Should a user lose the device and forget his password and backup phrase, Guarda will not be able to help out and the funds are lost forever. Therefore, it is the users’ responsibility to keep their digital assets safe and secure.
Being a multi-platform wallet, Guarda allows users to quickly set up a wallet on any kind of device like computer, smartphone or tablet, as long as they are connected to the Internet. Guarda Web/Desktop wallet is compatible for all platforms like Windows, Linux and MacOS. Guarda multicurrency mobile wallet can run on both Android and iOS devices.
By partnering with other reputable exchanges, Guarda wallet provides an option to instantly swap cryptos. It is also possible to buy cryptos using credit/debit card or via bank transfer from within the wallet. At the time of writing, Guarda wallet supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and more than 49+ altcoins including ERC20 tokens and BEP-2 tokens.
Guarda is a fantastic option for novice traders to quickly buy, sell, swap and store cryptocurrencies.