Cryptocurrency wallets allow you to send and receive cryptocurrency. There are different types of cryptocurrency wallets. Some are good for secure storage, while some are more geared towards convenience.
This article will cycle through the best cryptocurrency wallets and help you decide which one is right for you.
Hardware wallets are small devices that are plugged into your computer or phone. The hardware wallet generates your private keys securely in an offline environment. The innovation is that many wallets generate private keys on internet connected devices like computers or mobile phones.
By generating your private keys on an offline device, your keys are out of the reach of hackers.
The Ledger Nano S is probably the most popular cryptocurrency hardware wallet at the time of writing. It costs about $95 and is sold by Ledger, a Bitcoin security company based in France.
The Nano S supports Litecoin, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash, Ripple, Dash and many other altcoins. The device creates your private keys in its secure chip and stores your keys offline away from the internet.
The Nano S has a screen so it helps you verify and confirm all outgoing transactions, which provides additional security.
You can check out our Ledger Nano S review for more info.
TREZOR is very similar to the Nano S, but is sold by Satoshi Labs. TREZOR was actually the first hardware wallet to have a screen, which provides extra security.
TREZOR supports Litecoin, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash, Dogecoin, Dash and many other altcoins. The device creates your private keys in its secure chip and stores your keys offline away from the internet.
TREZOR will cost you $99 and ships from Europe.
Note that to use a cryptocurrency hardware wallet you need a software wallet to interact with the device.
All of the hardware wallets have default software wallets made by the company. However, you can also install separate software wallet to use the hardware wallet with an altcoin.
One may want to do this because Electrum has some unique features that TREZOR’s wallet doesn’t have, like spending from specific outputs or “freezing” certain addresses so they can’t be spent from.
Jaxx is probably the only option for a multi-cryptocurrency wallet for iOS and iPhone.
Jaxx supports a number of cryptocurrencies, including:
The wallet is integrated with ShapeShift, so you can actually exchange coins from within the wallet.
Jaxx is also available for Android.
The most popular crypto desktop wallet, Exodus, is not open source so we do not recommend it. If you use it, use at your own risk.
Jaxx, the iOS and Android wallet we mentioned above, is also available for desktop. Jaxx is open source so this wallet is a better option between the two.
This section will aim to answer some of the most common questions related to cryptocurrency wallets.
The cryptocurrency wallet that is best for you will depend on what you’re using cryptocurrency for.
If you just need a wallet for some small, infrequent payments then using one of the Android, iPhone or desktop wallets mentioned above would be fine.
If you are investing in cryptocurrency and need secure storage for your funds, then a hardware wallet like Ledger or TREZOR will better fit your needs.
Paper wallets are a cheap way to create secure storage for crypto. The main issue is it’s very confusing and hard to do right. This is why we don’t cover it in this post. If you want to use a paper wallet, please do your own digging on Google.
You’ll have to first buy cryptocurrency on an exchange and then transfer the coins from the exchange to your wallet. This is the only way to fund your wallet.
Some wallets allow you to buy bitcoins from within the wallet, but there is yet to be a wallet that allows you to buy a coin other than Bitcoin.
Coinbase is an exchange and should not be used as a wallet. Coinbase is definitely a trusted place to buy bitcoins, but once you do so move your Bitcoin, Litecoin or Ether off the site into one of the wallets discussed in this post.
Your wallet will automatically generate addresses for you. Each crypto has slightly different formats for the addresses.
Bitcoin addresses start with a 1 or 3 and look something like this:
Ethereum addresses start with a 0 and usually look something like this:
Litecoin addresses start with an L and usually look something like this:
There is no such thing as a cryptocurrency account.
You can have a wallet, which stores your coins.
You can create an account on a cryptocurrency exchange, but this is not a default cryptocurrency account in the same way that you have a bank account.
The biggest mistake we see people make is to store money on exchanges. Then the exchange gets hacked or exit scams and people lose their money.
DO NOT STORE YOUR MONEY ON AN EXCHANGE!