Are you considering buying cryptocurrency? If the answer is a resounding 'YES,' you would need a place to keep it safe. The most basic aspect of storing digital currency is using a crypto wallet. But newcomers to the crypto space may be overwhelmed by the variety of options and fail to select the online wallet that best suits their needs.
In the not so distant past, cryptocurrency wallets have been hacked into and all of the crypto stored in those wallets were stolen. It is therefore crucial to choose a wallet with optimal security features. But don’t be alarmed, we have some good news for you! After doing extensive research and trying out a wide range of different wallets, we have compiled a comprehensive list of the best cryptocurrency wallets in the market. This post will cover everything you need to know, so let’s dive right in!
What Kinds Of Crypto Wallets Exist?
There are different types of crypto wallets that allow you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. You can even send payments and interact with third-party applications as well.
Before we get you accustomed to the world of crypto wallets, it is important to understand the concept of 'private keys' and 'public keys.'
Private Key: Also known as 'secret keys,' private keys are used for decryption and encryption. The 'private key' is only known to the user (you). It is similar to the password of your email address. Without the private keys, you will not be able to access your assets. The primary purpose of a wallet is to store the 'private keys' securely.
Public Key: Public keys are mainly used for 'data encryption.' They are accessible to everyone. By using public keys, you can transfer funds from account A to account B.
Now that you know the difference between 'public keys' and 'private keys' let's get you familiar with the types of wallets you can choose from.
Also known as 'hot wallets,' these types of wallets are specially designed for storing a small amount of crypto. You can use the online/web wallet to make transactions online. However, due to the high volume of customers using web wallets, there is always a risk of hackers stealing the crypto stored in hot wallets. This risk can be mitigated, however, if the crypto wallet offers advanced security features.
Desktop wallets are easily downloadable on your desktop. These wallets also offer advanced security. The only risk is that you may forget or lose your private key. In addition, there is always the possibility that your desktop could get hacked by a malicious party.
These are special mobile applications that are used for storing your 'private key.' You can simply download the app on your mobile device to acquire the service. Mobile wallets are gaining in popularity, especially because they offer enhanced security.
The majority of hardware wallets are 'cold wallets.' Plug in the cold wallet to any device or computer (internet-enabled), and follow the process to make transactions.
Paper wallets refer to 'private key' printouts. It may seem counterintuitive to use a paper wallet to store digital currency, but these are by far the most secure types of wallets. After all, an online hacker cannot steal your private key if it is not stored online. Just be sure to hide the printout in a secure place and have it readily available when you need it.
Anonymity and security are the two main features that you should look for in a crypto wallet.
The privacy-focused wallets ensure that your funds are safe against hackers. Samourai, BitLox, and Wasabi are some examples of privacy-focused wallets.
A multi-currency wallet is also known as an 'Atomic wallet.' It allows you to manage and store over three hundred cryptocurrencies. With multi-currency wallets, you can bid adieu to the days when you needed different wallets to store different types of currencies. Moreover, the Atomic wallet is not just about storage, as they also offer crypto exchange and trading services.
Smart Contract Wallet
Smart contract wallets are useful and versatile. You can use them for dapp interaction, borrowing/lending, buying/selling tokens, and token exchange.
All of these details bring us to the main question - How do you choose a wallet? The answer is below.
How to Choose a Wallet?
Let's face it: This is the most important question you can ask. When it comes to choosing a crypto wallet, you need to keep three things in mind:
- Purpose of using the wallet
- Frequency of use
- Security Features
Wallets serve many different functions, and particular wallets are better suited for distinct purposes. If, for example, you do not plan on making transactions that are very large, it is advisable to use an online or 'hot wallet.' However, if you plan on using your wallet to make sizable transactions, cold wallets are ideal. On the other hand, if you are looking for long-term storage and advanced security, then you should choose a paper wallet or hardware wallet.
Perhaps even more important than a wallet’s purpose is its security features. Just to give you a sense of the dangers of not doing your research, Google recently removed 49 cryptocurrency stealing chrome extensions from its play store. Sadly, these crypto chrome extensions were caught stealing private keys.
You are responsible for keeping your private key safe. Never disclose it to anyone, no matter how close they are to you. Additionally, you must always triple-check the email address you’ve provided before transacting in cryptocurrency.
Choosing a wallet that offers you full control over the keys is highly recommended. Ideally, a larger sum of currencies should be stored in hardware and paper wallets. Online wallets are best for smaller amounts of tokens.
Be sure to do as much research as you can (this article is a great start!), reading reviews of different crypto wallets and understanding their functions.
Examples of Crypto Wallets
Now that you have a sense of the crypto wallet landscape, take advantage of this list of top crypto wallets that we spent a considerable amount of time compiling.
Which one should you choose? The answer depends entirely on your needs.
- Online Wallet/Hot Wallet: Coinbase and Blockchain
- Desktop Wallet: Exodus and Electrum
- Mobile Wallet: Jaxx Liberty and Guarda
- Hardware Wallet: Ledger
- Paper Wallet: Cold storage method.
- Privacy Focused Wallet: Samourai and Wasabi
- Multi-currency wallet: Guarda and Jaxx Liberty
- Smart contract wallet: Zerion and InstaDapp
Before concluding, here’s a brief background of some of the most popular wallets out there.
Guarda: This non-custodial and lightweight wallet supports more than a dozen stablecoins and 45+ blockchain networks.
Ledger: Ledger is one of the best cold wallets on the market. It supports multiple coins, accepts transfers even if you are offline, charges reasonable fees, and is maximally secure. It is also compatible with all popular platforms such as Android, Linux, Windows, Mac OS, and iOS.
Exodus: Exodus is ideal for desktops. It has a functional mobile application. It also boasts a portfolio-managing feature.
This multi-currency wallet supports 100+ assets and you can get it in both mobile as well as desktop versions.
Coinbase: If you are looking for a crypto wallet for buying cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin, and Litecoin, then go with Coinbase. The number of supported coins is not massive (only 20), but you can use the web browser or the mobile application to access your wallet. It is a trusted and reliable wallet. Additionally, you have to go through two-step verification, so the wallet is extremely secure.
Atomic Wallet: A secure crypto wallet for Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin, and 300+ tokens and coins. You can even buy and exchange crypto currencies using the Atomic wallet.
Here are some final safety tips before you go off searching for a suitable crypto wallet:
- 2-factor authentication is an important security feature. If a crypto wallet is offering a 2-factor authentication, enable it immediately.
- Use a unique password. It should not be easy to guess! Just like your unique password for your email, your crypto wallet password is used to guard valuable assets. Your crypto can easily be lost to hackers if your password is easy to guess.
- Another essential pointer is to choose a multi-signature wallet. Signing each of the transactions may take time, but it will be far more secure.
- Secure the device (computer, mobile, and laptop) by updating your anti-virus protection.
- Always backup the wallet. The device could break, or you might lose access to it. The ability to recover funds with a 'backup' will give you peace of mind.
- Never use public WiFi to access a wallet. The secret information may get revealed to prospective criminals. Even a saintly hacker may not be able to resist the temptation to access a tantalizing crypto wallet over public WiFi.