We’re examining the top wallets in these categories: Best overall, Best for security, mobile and desktop, Best private crypto wallet and Best for Hardware.
The world of cryptocurrency is an exciting and fast-paced place but there can be quite a lot to learn to get up to speed. Choosing the right wallet is of paramount importance for your experience as a holder and trader of crypto assets, and this guide will hopefully make that decision easier. We’ll give you a clear rundown of what we think are the best Crypto Wallets on the market right now and you can find your answer to the burning question – which wallet is right for me?
First things first, what exactly is a Crypto Wallet?
A crypto wallet is what you use to keep track of your digital assets, like how much BitCoin you have. It can either be in the form of a digital app, optimized for PC or mobile use, or it can actually be a physical piece of hardware that you’ll plug into your computer to access. Much like with an internet bank account, you can send and receive currency and everyone has an address – only they’re called ‘keys’. Every wallet has at least two, a ‘public key’, which is your address for receiving funds from others, and a ‘private key’ which is used for sending funds.
What makes a good Crypto Wallet?
There are many aspects that can be taken into consideration when evaluating how objectively good a wallet is. We’ve considered aspects like ease of use through its interface, the security on offer, the privacy that can be obtained, the fees payable for transactions and many others.
So without further ado, let’s get into it!
For those in the know, it’s unsurprising that the CoinBase Wallet tops our list. It’s been the largest BitCoin exchange in the world for some time, has in excess of 30 million users and boasts a market cap of over a billion dollars.
One of the reasons for their success is that the CoinBase Wallet is perfect for beginners. The interface is simple to use, it’s intuitive and incredibly straightforward to connect a bank account or card to add funds, with an ‘Instant Buy’ option available after some identity verification.
There is also the peace of mind that users have from the fact that their wallets are FDIC insured up to $250k and that the company holds all the certification and licensing to operate in 32 countries. If you combine all of this with an impressive degree of liquidity and comparatively high buying limits, you’ve got a seriously impressive product.
The only downsides are the relatively high trading fees compared to some other wallets and that they hold and control your private key, which doesn’t sit well with some.
Conclusion: A great starting point for newbies as it’s easy-to-use, fees can be relatively high compared to other options.
If you’re gravely concerned about security, then you’re going to need to take your wallet offline, in the form of some seriously cool hardware. Czech company Trezor offers a slick solution here starting at 59 euros for their basic model.
The key factor with this bit of kit is actually the lack of connectivity it provides – it doesn’t have a battery, there’s no wireless, Bluetooth or NFC available – meaning that the device can’t be compromised. Twinned with the PIN required, on-device verification requirements for transactions, and your crypto wallet and the private key stored on the device are as safe as can be.
Trezor is compatible with the big 3 operating systems (Windows, Mac and Linux) and users have the option of either using their native interface or connecting to a third-party wallet, in order to trade. In any case, there’s support for over 1000 coins. Secure and versatile.
Conclusion: The safest way to store your assets with plenty of verification points, but hardware can be lost or stolen and it doesn’t offer quite as much as the Ledger.
Relative newcomers to the Crypto world, Incognito, have developed a wallet that focuses on an often neglected issue that has plagued blockchains for some time, that of privacy.
Right now, public ledgers on blockchains actually display a whole raft of financial information, that anyone with a search program can start piecing together. With sender and receiver IDs out there, with balances and transaction details being on show – it’s not hard to work out who has what in terms of crypto assets. With tens of millions of assets hacked and stolen in recent years, it’s clear that something needed to be done.
The Incognito Wallet is currently the best private crypto wallet that gives holders of tokens ‘Privacy’ equivalents that are pegged at a ratio of 1:1 to the respective currency, which allows transactions and balances to be securely masked and hidden on their blockchain. Users can send bitcoin anonymously along with other popular coins/tokens with complete privacy. The wallet also allows users to hold and manage their own private key, giving them a greater degree of control.
The Incognito Wallet itself is optimized for mobile use and is also incredibly user-friendly, so beginners and seasoned veterans alike can enjoy the benefits of ‘going Incognito’.
Conclusion: An innovative wallet that solves existing security issues, making it the best private crypto wallet out there, while many major cryptocurrencies are supported, not a huge number of assets available for privacy mode just yet.
In terms of desktop wallets, we found Electrum to offer the most. Electrum is a popular and free open-source crypto wallet and as it has been around since 2011, it is well-established in the cryptoverse.
Supported on the big 3 operating systems (Windows, Mac and Linux), it offers speedy transactions and some great safety features, such as fund recovery (via the recitation of a personal seed phrase) and encrypted private keys that do not get sent to servers. With the ability to synchronize wallets over multiple desktops and the support for cold storage options, such as Trezor and Ledger, it has many useful features and options for holders and traders.
The user interface is simple and basic, but it isn’t the clearest for those who aren’t experts and might be off-putting for newcomers. Electrum does have an associated Android app but it has been getting mixed reviews, hitting just 3.6 stars on Google Play at the time of writing.
Conclusion: Excellent secure service for more experienced traders, a Lite Wallet (doesn’t require the whole blockchain to be downloaded) only works with BitCoin, not beginner-friendly, the app hasn’t been incredibly well-received.
Mycelium crypto wallet with private key
Mycelium is the best mobile crypto wallet available on the market and is available on both Android and iOS. While it should be stated that this wallet is definitely one for more advanced users and traders, there are a ton of benefits associated with its use.
Firstly, save for mining fees, it’s totally free to use and as it’s a Lite wallet, you don’t need to download the whole blockchain to get involved. It has many safety features, such as PIN protection and encrypted PDF backups, and as your private key is stored on your mobile device, there’s enough to keep your assets secure.
It has are 5 different account types to choose from, including integrating a hardware wallet, with support for cold storage devices, such as the aforementioned Trezor and upcoming Ledger Nano S.
Mycelium has also outlined some interesting plans for the future, including the introduction of fiat currency accounts and the ability to create and exchange new currencies.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t have an associated desktop interface and that can be somewhat limiting.
Conclusion: Free to use, nice safety features and variation in accounts, doesn’t have a desktop interface to connect to, isn’t the easiest to use.
The second ‘cold’ or hardware crypto wallet in this article is arguably the best. French company Ledger’s Nano S is their base model, also costs just 59 euros and just edges out Trezor for our top spot in this category.
The Nano S is a sleek, stainless steel USB device that connects to your PC or smartphone with ease while also offering PIN and passcode verification for that extra layer of security. The device can be accessed and managed through the user-friendly app, Ledger Live, which as mentioned previously, can be accessed through a smartphone or PC. Holders of tokens can move crypto assets onto the Nano S from some of the bigger exchanges, such as Binance or CoinBase with ease and the wallet supports 23 coins and over 1250 ERC-20 tokens.
Nano S owners aren’t limited to Ledger Live, as the wallet can be integrated into many other software wallets, which would definitely be of interest to holders of premium wallets they’re already paying for. This device is ideal for novices as it is simple to set up and use but also offers the impenetrable security of cold storage for one’s digital assets.
Conclusion: A nicely packaged and secure piece of kit with the ability to integrate into other wallets, but obviously costs more than a free solution and cold storage isn’t for everyone.