The 7 Best Cryptocurrency Wallets

Last Updated November 22nd 2021
22 Min Read

If you want to buy or invest in cryptocurrencies, a crypto wallet is essential to store your crypto securely and protect and validate crypto transaction information.

There are many different types of crypto wallets available, and it's necessary to understand the differences, so you know which crypto wallet is best to store cryptos.

If you're a crypto beginner looking for your first crypto wallet, it may seem complex to understand what a crypto wallet is and how it works - bearing in mind that you aren't transferring coins into your wallet. You are moving a digital address into your crypto wallet that identifies ownership of your crypto on the Blockchain.

Is a hardware crypto wallet safer than a hot wallet? What are the most important things to look for when choosing a crypto wallet?

Are cold storage crypto wallets expensive, and how reliable are they?

Do you need a different crypto wallet for trading crypto, or can you use the same wallet for investing in cryptocurrencies?

No need to worry. We explain everything about crypto wallets in this post, and we feature the top 7 best crypto wallets, including the pros and cons for each.

Contents

What Is A Crypto Wallet?

It's easier than ever before to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. As Blockchain technology became more user-friendly and accessible, the rates of cryptocurrency cyber theft have increased.

Leaving your crypto exposed on an open crypto exchange increases the risk of losing your crypto, so a secure cryptocurrency wallet is essential to protect your crypto assets.

The term 'wallet' is misleading because a crypto wallet does not actively store your cryptocurrencies. When you purchase crypto assets, you receive a digital code for your crypto to enable interaction with your address in the Blockchain.

Your crypto wallet has to check all transactions from and to your crypto wallet to identify the crypto linked with your blockchain address.

A crypto wallet is more like a ledger than a wallet.

How Do Crypto Wallets Work?

When someone sends digital currency to your crypto wallet, there's no actual transfer of coins. Think of it more like the other person relinquishing ownership of their crypto by sending it to your wallet. The crypto, let's say it's Bitcoin (BTC), is no longer associated with that person's address on the Blockchain. Now it belongs to you and is registered on the Blockchain with your address.

Two keys (digital codes) are required to send crypto to someone else, a private key and a public key.

The public key is a mix of numbers and letters automatically generated by the crypto wallet provider.

A public key might look like this: B1jcAXq48iK866yxJ66xgV5514, and it's the key you can share with others.

A private key looks similar. It's a mix of numbers and letters in the same way.

However, your private key must be secure and not shared with anyone else.

What's the difference between a private key and a public key?

To explain, think of a crypto wallet like your email account. If you want to receive emails, you need to give people your email address, and that's fine. Your email address is the equivalent of a public key. You need to provide this address to others to receive crypto into your wallet.

The private key is like the password to your email account. This address gives access to your crypto wallet, allowing your crypto to transfer to another address. If this situation happened, there'd be nothing you could do about that.

Always keep your private key in a secure place.

Using the two keys together means you can send and receive transactions safely. The private key must match the public key assigned to your digital wallet because this authenticates funds by verifying both keys.

Read Also: How To Choose A Cryptocurrency Wallet

Types Of Crypto Wallets

Crypto wallets can be classified into two groups, either a hot wallet or a cold wallet. Hot wallets permanently connect to the internet, and cold wallets are offline and typically hardware.

Hot Wallets

Hot wallets are pieces of software accessible from a desktop computer or mobile phone. Some hot wallets are accessed from a browser and used across a variety of devices.

Hot wallets are popular because they are convenient to use with easy access - the app or website stores your private and public keys. You can access your hot wallet from anywhere in the world, no matter where you are, as long as you have an internet connection.

Hot wallets are popular with crypto traders who want to access their cryptocurrencies quickly.

The potential downside to a hot wallet is the risk of a cyber attack. Hackers try to break into the system with malware and find hidden vulnerabilities. Your crypto is more at risk with a hot wallet, though levels of security are typically high.

Cryptocurrency exchanges that host crypto wallets are the biggest targets for cyber attacks.

PROS

Easy access, convenient to use on the go as long as you have an internet connection

Your data is easier to recover with a hot wallet as the host stores your private and public keys

CONS

Hot wallets are more vulnerable to attacks than cold wallets

The custodial host stores your keys on the exchange

Cold Wallets

Cold wallets are usually a USB drive and may look somewhat like a memory stick.

They store your digital keys offline via the hardware or a sheet of paper. Paper wallets are usually accessible with print-out QR codes. When you connect the cold wallet to a computer, you can buy, sell or trade crypto.

Cold storage wallets are resistant to cyber-attack because hackers cannot obtain the crypto owner's keys remotely. The only way to access the data on the cold wallet is for a thief to steal the wallet and then solve the password.

For cyber attackers, it's much easier to target hot wallets.

Top-level security is the best option for a crypto wallet, and most cold wallets have a 2FA security system and multi-signature.

But it can create problems if a cold wallet owner makes a mistake. A hardware wallet is the size of a memory stick, which makes it easy to mislay. It's also easy to lose printed QR codes or sheets of paper.

The criteria for owning a cold wallet is to back everything up at least twice. Because if you lose it, it's gone for good. There are no avenues for recovering your crypto.

PROS

Better security than hot storage wallets

Most cold storage wallets are supported by hot storage wallets

CONS

Transaction speeds may be slower

Virtually impossible to recover your crypto holdings if you do not have a backup for your digital keys

What To Look For In A Crypto Wallet

All crypto wallet holders have different needs for their cryptos.

There are several questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I investing or trading my cryptos? – if you're trading cryptos, fast access may be your priority.
  • How often do I trade cryptos? – if you trade crypto daily, the ability to transfer cryptos fast may be more critical than for crypto investors.
  • How quickly can I access my cryptos? – for instance, do you travel regularly and need to access your crypto wallet on the go?
  • Can I make safe backups with a cold storage wallet? – making mistakes with a cold storage wallet can be costly.
  • What cryptos do you want to invest in or trade?– some of the crypto wallets support only a small range of cryptos. Know what cryptos you want to buy, and then choose a crypto wallet that supports them.
  • How much am I happy to spend? – Most hot wallets are free, but cold storage wallets may be from $49 to over $100.
  • Do I require transaction speed? – Hot wallets are often faster and have greater functionality than hardware wallets. But crypto trading fees may be higher.
  • Can I make money from staking cryptos or crypto lending? – some wallets have the functionality to stake cryptos and earn rewards, or you may wish to get involved in crypto lending.

Choose a wallet that supports a good number of cryptocurrencies, unless you plan only to trade Bitcoin. An intuitive and accessible interface makes it easier to implement transactions. Check customer support levels. 24/7 is ideal because things can and do go wrong occasionally, especially during wallet updates.

Although you may prefer a hot wallet, it's a good idea to consider a compatible cold storage wallet as a way to safeguard your crypto assets. You can then move your crypto quickly as needed.

Top 7 Best Crypto Wallets for 2022

  1. Coinbase - Best crypto wallet for beginners
  2. Mycelium - Best crypto wallet for mobile users
  3. Electrum – Best crypto wallet for Bitcoin
  4. Ledger Nano X - Best Offline Crypto Wallet
  5. eToro wallet – easy to use, secure crypto wallet suitable for beginners
  6. Trezor – one of the best hardware crypto wallets
  7. Exodus- Best Crypto Wallet for Desktop

 

1.  Coinbase – the Best Crypto Wallet for Beginners

Coinbase is a highly reputable cryptocurrency exchange that provides a high level of security for users of the platform.

The Coinbase crypto wallet has an easy to navigate, intuitive and user-friendly interface for beginners. It supports a staggering 500 cryptocurrencies, which is the most storage amongst hot wallets. And, for added security, the Coinbase wallet has 2-factor authentication and multi-signature functionality.

As it's a hot storage wallet, it has the same potential security issues and areas of weakness as other hot storage wallets.

The Coinbase wallet is available to mobile and tablet users. There's a Chrome extension for PCs and laptops. It's ideal for beginners due to the simplicity of the interface.

You can connect to most major banks via the app, and the wallet can also store NFTs (Non-fungible tokens) and digital collectables.

You can open a Coinbase wallet without signing in to open an account with the Coinbase Exchange as the two entities are separate. The wallet is non-custodial as the private key is not on Coinbase servers. The key is in your wallet, so your cryptos cannot be locked by Coinbase and are not vulnerable if there's a Coinbase cyberattack on the exchange website.

There's a backup option to protect your digital keys in the clouds if you wish. There's also a function for biometric authentication with FaceID or TouchID, which is the ultimate security.

PROS

Simple and easy to navigate and the user-friendly interface is suitable for beginners

Can store 500 cryptocurrencies and NFT tokens

2-factor authentication and multi-signature for security

Option for biometric authentication

Coinbase is a reputable exchange that takes security seriously for their users

CONS

A chrome extension required for laptops, Macs and PCs

The usual security risks associated with all hot wallets

2. Mycelium – the Best Crypto Wallet for Mobile Devices

The Mycelium crypto wallet is an established mobile-only crypto wallet with advanced transaction history data and attention to security with several levels of pin protection.

The focus is on Bitcoin (BTC), although the wallet also supports Ethereum (ETH) and ERC-20 tokens.

The app is reproducible to expose potential security issues. Transaction fees can be customised by priority on the app:

  • Low
  • Normal
  • Economic
  • Priority

The advanced transaction history can highlight things like block height (a specific location in the Blockchain), inputs and outputs (the transaction addresses) and miners fees (Bitcoin miners' fees for validating blocks).

Mycelium also has Inter-wallet operability through the entire FIO network.

The FIO Protocol is "an open-source usability-layer solution that makes sending, receiving and even requesting cryptocurrency across all blockchains easy and near error-free by providing a decentralized human-readable address (NFT)." (CoinMarketCap).

There's also a watch-only mode. Users can disable ongoing transactions and, at the same time, still track their trades.

PROS

The Mycelium crypto wallet is compatible with cold storage solutions such as Ledger, Trezor and KeepKey

Single Address saving accounts and HD spending accounts are available

Educational material and a crypto exchange on the in-app

Offline transactions available

CONS

The Mycelium crypto wallet may not be as secure as hardware wallets

It's not easy to use for beginners. The interface can be confusing.

Limited to Ether (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC) and ERC-20 tokens

3. Electrum– Best Crypto Wallet for Bitcoin (BTC)

The Electrum wallet is a highly customisable, open-source crypto wallet with top-level security features.

Founded ten years ago, Electrum is an established Bitcoin wallet. Users can adjust fees to suit priority needs, such as lower fees for slow transactions and higher fees for priority transactions.

The Electrum wallet uses SPV (simple payment verification), which means that setup is fast in a matter of minutes. It can integrate with other wallets such as Trezor, Ledger and KeepKey for cold storage.

PROS

Easy and fast to set up the wallet

Security is better than other hot wallets

Transaction fees can be customised

No downtime for wallets

2-factor authentication and multi-signature for security

CONS

The wallet is limited to Bitcoin (BTC) trading

The setup is not easy, and the interface is complicated for beginners

Electrum provides zero support – no email, phone or chat. If something goes wrong, you're on your own!

4.  Ledger Nano X – Best Offline Crypto Wallet

The Ledger Nano X Crypto Wallet is the most popular and well-known cold storage crypto wallet. It has mobile trading functionality and high-security standards and supports many cryptocurrencies, around 1,800 to date, of which it can manage up to 100 simultaneously.

The built-in battery lasts for eight hours. It has a 128 x 64-pixel screen and Bluetooth connectivity, which you can switch off if not required or for extra security.

The Ledger Nano X is one of the most expensive cold storage wallets, priced at around $119.

You can exchange crypto on the go via the Ledger app available on iOS devices and Android. You can buy and sell crypto via the Ledger Live app and generate revenue by lending and staking your cryptos.

PROS

Supports a vast number of digital assets

Secure Element chip for high-end security (credit/debit cards, passports etc.)

The specially designed hardware protects your private keys

Bluetooth functionality means you can trade live on the mobile app

Excellent 8-hours of battery life

Staking and lending options

CONS

It's one of the most expensive cold wallets

It does not have a touchscreen

Bluetooth technology could cause security concerns

Check Out: 7 Safe Cryptocurrencies To Buy With High-Quality Ratings

5. eToro – Easy to use, Secure Crypto Wallet Suitable for Beginners

eToro is the leading social trading platform in the world. They describe their crypto wallet as an "easy-to-use, multi-crypto, secure eToro Money crypto wallet."

The wallet supports over 120 cryptocurrencies, and you can change over 500 pairs to other cryptos. The eToro wallet makes it easy to transfer, buy, store and receive cryptocurrencies.

eToro provides an unlosable private key. If you lose it, they can recover access to your wallet.

You have a private on-chain address which means you can transfer, send or receive your cryptocurrency to any address on the Blockchain.

The eToro crypto wallet is available in most countries, with a few exceptions.

PROS

eToro is regulated with GFSC

Reputable platform

Easy to use – access with your eToro credentials

Over 120 cryptos

High security, online hot wallet

Free to download

On-chain address

CONS

eToro is not available in all countries

6. Trezor – One of the Best Hardware Crypto Wallets

Trezer was the first to release a hardware crypto wallet.

It's a well-known brand with two models, both with excellent security features and support for multiple assets. It doesn't support as many cryptocurrencies as the Ledger, but it remains a popular hardware crypto wallet. The Trezor one is around $100 to buy and the Model T is around $70.

If you use Exodus as your main crypto hot wallet, it can integrate with both Trezor models.

PROS

You can choose a Trezor One which is more affordable than the Trezor Model T 

The interface is easy to use and intuitive, so suitable for beginners

Compatible with Exodus hot wallet

CONS

The Trezor is more costly than other hardware wallets with similar functionality

There is currently no support for iOS devices

7. Exodus - Best Crypto Wallet for Desktop

The Exodus wallet is easy to use, with broad functionality and fast transaction speeds. The wallet is intuitive and visually appealing compared to many other crypto wallets.

Apps are available for Android and iOS devices, and it is also compatible with Trezor cold storage wallets.

The desktop wallet is updated every fortnight and is Exodus core offering.

The Exodus crypto wallet is a hot wallet supporting 145 cryptocurrencies, more than most hot wallets and more than enough for the average crypto investor or trader. It supports popular coins such as Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Litecoin (LTC) and Shiba Inu (SHIB).

Fees are only customizable for Bitcoin transactions, though hopefully, at some point, this may include other cryptocurrencies.

Exodus uses SPV, meaning it runs on a light client, not downloading complete blockchains. SPV speeds up transactions.

Exodus is releasing more apps to help diversify the wallet's functionality, which includes crypto staking, live charts and crypto deposits.

PROS

Exodus supports over 145 cryptos

Compatible with Trezor T and Trezer One hardware wallets

You can buy Bitcoin (BTC) with Apple Pay

24/7 customer support

CONS

Transaction fees can be high on the in-wallet crypto exchange

No 2-factor authentication or multi-signature support

Two Other Crypto Wallets Worth Mentioning

KeepKey – Most Affordable Crypto Hardware Wallet

The KeepKey is an affordable crypto wallet at less than $50. The attractive interface is suitable for beginners, more so than the Trezor and Ledger crypto wallets. It has high-level security standards. If you are just starting with buying crypto, the KeepKey is an ideal hardware wallet.

PROS

The KeepKey is affordable at $49

The device displays QR codes

Beginner-friendly

High-level security

CONS

A limited number of coins

Heavier than other crypto hardware wallets

Blockchain Wallet – a Popular Online Crypto Wallet

Blockchain is an established crypto wallet provider, with 79 million self-custody wallets created to date.

To open a wallet, Blockchain verifies your identity. With the Blockchain wallet, you can transfer cryptos such as Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC) and many other cryptos. You can set up a rewards account and earn annual yields up to 13.55 APY, paid monthly.

PROS

2-step verification

Easy to use

12-word Recovery phrase functionality

Customer support

Easy swap function

Option to stake cryptocurrencies

CONS

Identify verification required to open a wallet

Recap of the 7 Best Crypto Wallets

Choosing a crypto wallet is a personal decision. We chose 7 of the best crypto wallets available, and they are all different to suit the needs of individual crypto users. KeepKey and Blockchain are also worth a mention.

The most critical function for a crypto wallet is security, and if possible, choose a crypto wallet with 2FA and multi-signature capabilities. Very few crypto wallets offer biometrics security, but this function adds a new level to protect your crypto assets if available.

Hot wallets are more accessible, but there's always the risk of a cyberattack on the exchange. Cold storage wallets can be costly to buy and, although there's little danger of being hacked, it is easy for a user to make a mistake, lose or damage the hardware or the printed QR codes.

Most hot wallets are free to open, and cold wallets vary between $49 to over $100.

Unless you only plan to buy Bitcoin and a few other coins, choose a crypto wallet that supports multiple digital assets. 

eToro – The Best Platform To Buy Cryptocurrencies

eToro have proven themselves trustworthy within the Crypto industry over many years – we recommend you try them out.

Virtual currencies are highly volatile. Your capital is at risk.

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