A cryptocurrency wallet is essential to start investing in Bitcoin or any other digital currency. Find out which are the best wallets, and how to choose the one that suits your needs.
Cryptocurrencies are a risky, but potentially extremely profitable investment. However, to start investing, it is necessary to create a wallet or crypto wallet.
It is a safe place where you can store thehe proof of ownership of the cryptocurrencies you purchase. Usually, this wallet takes the form of a software program. However, there are wallets in the form of a physical electronic device.
In addition to security, crypto wallets offer better control than exchange services. You can manage your assets and transactions more easily.
Several exchange services allow you to buy cryptocurrencies without using a wallet. Examples include Robinhood, PayPal or Venmo. In reality, these services store the crypto within a wallet managed by them.
By choosing such a service, you entrust the heavy responsibility of protecting your assets to a third party. This can be very risky, especially if the platform is not trustworthy. It is recommended to opt for a portfolioand preferably a hardware wallet that allows offline access.
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Coinbase Wallet: the best crypto wallet for beginners
Coinbase is the most popular cryptocurrency exchange. This American company simplifies the exchange of cryptocurrencies, and offers its own Visa-based debit card integrated with Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Coinbase Wallet is ideal for beginners. It can be downloaded as a mobile app for Android or iOS, with an intuitive interface.
In addition, this wallet is fully integrated with the Coinbase exchange. This facilitates transactions, including the purchase of coins and tokens with traditional currencies.
You will be the only one who can access the private key of your wallet, consisting of a 12-word recovery phrase. This phrase must be noted when you register.
Trezor Model T: the most secure crypto wallet
The Trezor Suite portfolio is the new version of the Trezor web application, launched in 2011 by the eponymous subsidiary of the Czech company SatoshiLabs.
The Model T is the second generation of the hardware portfolio from Trezor, sold for $280. This device has many similarities with the Ledger Nano X.
The main difference is that Trezor’s software is open-sourcetheoretically offering additional protection since the source code is publicly available.
The Trezor Suite is designed to run natively on a PC. The security is thus reinforced compared to a web-based application. However, it is still possible to access it from the company’s website.
Currently, more than 1600 coins and tokens are supported by the Trezor wallet. You can make transactions directly from the integrated exchange of the firm.
The Model T takes the form of a bracelet with a touch screen and a USB cable for connection to the computer. A microSD port allows for additional storage capacity. However, Bluetooth is not supported.
Ledger Nano X: the most balanced crypto wallet
The Nano X is the Ledger’s second hardware portfolio. Its integrated Ledger Live platform is easy to learn and use, and compatible with more than 1,800 different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ether and XRP.
This wallet can be connected to a computer via a USB cableor to a mobile device under iOS or Android through Bluetooth.
This device is robust and with a small LED display. The configuration starts with the creation of a PIN code, and a seed phrase of 24 words. This phrase acts as the private key for the wallet. This key must be kept secret to prevent any risk of theft.
Note that Ledger suffered a data breach in July 2020. The personal data of several customers was stolen, but not their crypto. No private keys were stolen, but the affected customers received phishing emails.
Huobi Pro: a lighter crypto wallet
Originally created in China, Huobi had to move to the Seychelles following the banning of cryptocurrencies in his home country.
Since 2018, following the acquisition of Plantonics, Huobi is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Few companies in the cryptocurrency space can boast this status.
The Huobi Pro wallet is a multichain wallet light. This means that it does not download the entire Blockchain to validate a transaction. Instead, it uses “block headers” making it lighter than the competition’s wallets in its operation.
On the other hand, Huobi Pro is extremely complete in terms of functionality. It supports over 1000 cryptocurrencieswhich can be purchased from traders on the P2P market or directly through the firm’s international exchange Huobi Global. Most fiat currencies are also supported.
In terms of security, Huobi Pro is distinguished by a guarantee of assets. The operation of this guarantee is not specified, but funds lost due to errors have already been returned to users in the past.
Exodus: the best crypto wallet for PC
Exodus is a wallet of type “hot wallet”. : this means that it is connected to the internet. However, only the user can access it with his private key, taking the form of a sentence with 12 words Protecting access to cryptocurrencies.
The Exodus wallet is compatible with Mac, Windows and Linux computers. It is also available as a companion app for Android and iOS mobile devices.
The desktop interface is simple to access and easy to master. The portfolio is directly integrated with the Exodus exchangewhich greatly simplifies transactions.
More 130 types of cryptocurrencies are available on this exchange including Bitcoin, Ether, Tether USD or Dogecoin.
However, to buy crypto currencies in dollars and store them on an Exodus wallet, it is necessary to buy them first on a centralized exchange like Coinbase before transferring them to Exodus.
L’mobile application allows direct purchase of Bitcoin in US dollars. After storing the asset on the wallet, it is very easy to exchange it for another supported currency.
This wallet is free, but Exodus takes fees on every transaction made on its exchange. Finally, note that hot wallets are generally considered less secure.
Mycelium : the best mobile crypto wallet
Mycelium is one of the oldest crypto walletsand still remains one of the best options today. It is a wallet available only on Android and iOS, as there is no PC version.
Its interface is simple and attractive. However, few cryptocurrencies are supported. It is possible to receive and send the major currencies like Bitcoin, Ether or ERC-20 tokens like tether USD or Binance USD, but the variety of crypto remains limited.
This application allows you to buy and sell Bitcoin directly, including with conventional currencies. Only the user has access to his private key and PIN.
Note that this is a open source portfolio. This is an advantage in terms of security, but it limits the possibilities in terms of technical support in case of problems.
OPOLO: the best crypto wallet for Android
Based in Luxembourg, OPOLO offers its own free encrypted hardware portfoliobased on EAL 6+ security certified chips.
It is therefore possible to store any crypto asset offline. In addition, this platform bundles anti-theft protection, USB encryption, USB encapsulation, randomized keyboard access and many other security features.
With this software you can set up wallets for more than 120 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum and more than 280,260 tokens based on existing blockchains. The Bitcoin hardware wallet allows you to backup and restore any asset.
The OPOLO mobile application is only available on Android devices. However, the wallet is also available on Mac, Windows and Linux for PC and laptop.
Electrum: a Bitcoin wallet for advanced users
Launched two years after the creation of Bitcoin, Electrum is a wallet that stands out for its private encryption key system and its two-factor authentication options.
This is a wallet type “hot wallet”, like Exoduswith an online encryption system. The multi-sig function allows Bitcoin to be combined from several wallets.
In addition, Electrum is compatible with several other wallets including Ledger, Trezor and Keepkey. On the other hand, Bitcoin is the only supported cryptocurrency.
This software is available on PC, mobileand compatible with a command line interface. With the cold storage offerit is possible to sign transactions from an offline computer.
Unfortunately, there is no no telephone customer service for this crypto wallet. On the other hand, the publisher provides a lot of information via the official documentation and FAQ sections. There is also a support page on Reddit, and it is possible to ask questions via bitcointalk.org.
Trust Wallet: the official crypto wallet from Binance
Originally, Trust Wallet was developed by Victor Radchenko. However, the company was acquired by Binance in 2018.
Now it is the official Binance crypto wallet. It is necessary to use it to access Binance Smart Chain or Binance Chain and invest in Binance Coin.
The Binance platform has been created by Changpeng Zhao in 2019but laws banning cryptocurrencies forced him to leave China. Today, it is based in the Cayman Islands.
In addition to Binance Coin, Trust Wallet is compatible with a wide variety of cryptocurrencies. Its many security features have also contributed to its good reputation. You can use two-factor authentication, Google Authentication, or email and SMS verification.
Trust Wallet is a hot wallet, but the cryptocurrencies are stored on cold storage servers. The level of security is therefore comparable to that of a cold wallet.
The use of Trust Wallet is almost entirely free. The only fees are those of the Blockchain transactions, as on any wallet.
Crypto purchases are made directly with Trust Wallet. The only exchanges directly accessible via the platform are MoonPay and Simplex, but it is possible that other platforms will be added in the future. Of course, there is nothing to prevent you from buying your cryptocurrency on any exchange and sending it to Trust Wallet afterwards.
One of the weak points of Trust Wallet is that it is only available on mobileas an application for iOS and Android. There is no PC version.
Luno: a crypto wallet created by a former Google engineer
Luno is present in many countries of the worldwith offices in the UK, Singapore, South Africa and even Australia. This company was founded by a former Google engineer, and was able to attract massive investments.
This portfolio is particularly suitable for beginners, as it is distinguished by its simplicity. Just set up your account, and you can buy cryptocurrencies immediately.
In addition, in countries where Luno is firmly established, it is possible to go to the bank to deposit funds to your account. This close relationship with several fiat currencies makes it an excellent choice for users accustomed to traditional online banking.
Luno is not only available as a mobile application, but also via the web. The interface is in all points similar between the two versions.
The big weakness of Luno is the low number of supported cryptocurrencies for the moment. It is only possible to store Bitcoin, ETH, XRP, BCH or LTC.
Types of crypto wallets
There are two main categories of crypto wallets: Hot Wallets and Cold Wallets. The difference is simple: Hot Wallets are connected to the internet, Cold Wallets are not.
The Hot Wallets are based on an applicationand are therefore based on existing hardware. There are Hot Wallets for PC, mobile or hybrid.
Desktop wallets run on devices such as PCs or notebooks, while mobile wallets are applications for smartphones or tablets. The hybrids are compatible with both types of devices.
The Cold Wallets can take different forms. The main advantage is that they work offline, removing any possibility of access to the network. Only the user can access it, and the connection only takes place during a transaction. The security is thus largely reinforced.
How does a crypto wallet work?
Crypto wallets are based on the Blockchain, allowing to record a history of each crypto transaction.
A wallet does not store cryptocurrencies directlybut the information needed to find and authenticate them on the blockchain.
This information is protected by a pair of keys: one public and one private. The public key serves as an identifier to receive cryptocurrencies from others.
The private key acts as a password. It is needed to perform a cryptocurrency transaction.
How to choose a cryptocurrency wallet
There are a wide variety of wallets available. To choose the one that suits your needsYou must take into account several criteria.
Check the list of compatible cryptocurrencies. Today there are more than 4000 of them, but some wallets are only compatible with Bitcoin. Flexibility is an important criterion, because you can quickly find yourself limited.
A another essential element is security. Cryptocurrencies attract cybercriminals, and some developers neglect protecting their blockchains. Make sure you choose a wallet with cybersecurity features that meet your requirements.
Also check whether the supplier has had any incidents security incidents in the past. It is usually best to opt for a Cold Wallet.
The Hot Wallets are more commonbecause they are cheaper and faster to develop than those requiring hardware components. This type of wallet is also preferable if you intend to make many transactions.
A another criterion is the price. Be sure to check if the wallet of your choice has hidden transaction fees. Some providers take extra commissions on each transaction.
Finally, customer support is a real advantage. If you are going to store large amounts of crypto-currencies, it is better to be able to get quick assistance at the slightest problem…