For crypto newbies, finding out how to securely store digital assets can have a big learning curve. This article will help you discover the best crypto wallets available on the market.
Unlike fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies offer transparent transactions and eliminate the role of third-parties. Without third parties like banks, keeping crypto assets safe is much different from how we secure other assets. In this article, we’ll look at several types of crypto wallets and how they cater to various needs, including security, convenience, and anonymity.
Different types of cryptocurrency wallets
Crypto wallets are classified in two categories:
Online (“hot”) wallets store your private key online or on devices connected to the Internet. This is done via digital platforms such as software, mobile apps, or websites.
Offline (“cold”) wallets, on the other hand, store the private key completely offline on paper or hardware devices like a password-protected USB or other encrypted cold storage devices.
Each type of wallet has its pros and cons. While offline wallets keep your assets away from hackers, online or “hot” wallets are more flexible and easier for daily use. Thus, it is highly recommended for crypto holders to use both types of wallets, depending on the situation.
Let’s take a look at the best crypto wallets that you can download and start using right away.
Best crypto wallets for beginners
1. Web: Coinbase
Coinbase is one of the best crypto wallets for selling, buying, and holding cryptocurrencies. It’s highly secure and super easy to use. If you’re based in the US, you can connect the wallet to your bank account to buy and sell coins directly, which is a service rarely seen from crypto wallets.
In addition to Bitcoin, Coinbase currently supports Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. More coins are added to the list frequently.
However, Coinbase is not a top choice for privacy-conscious users. In order to get its licenses from the US government, Coinbase has to adhere to KYC regulations on cryptocurrency, therefore users’ identities are stored and may be at risk.
2. Desktop: Exodus
Though Exodus is a relatively new software wallet in the cryptosphere, it’s high up on the list of the best crypto wallets. It’s beginner-friendly and able to work on various operating systems such as MacOS, Windows, and Linux.
Exodus wallet supports the storage and trading of multiple cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Dash, through a handy and intuitive interface. The main innovation of Exodus is that it has a built-in “shapeshift exchange” that allows users to trade altcoins for bitcoins and vice versa without leaving the software.
There is no account setup requirement so you can have full ownership of your currency and wallet. Despite not having a password-protected layer, Exodus does include private key encryption and other useful security tools to keep your crypto assets safe. Therefore, Exodus is seen by some as the best cryptocurrency wallet for desktop users.
3. Mobile: Incognito
The Incognito Wallet offers an “Incognito mode” for your crypto transactions by turning coins and tokens into privacy versions of the same coin. By doing so, Incognito gives you full control of your personal data and assets. As a result, you can send, receive, invest, trade, and store Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, and over 80 other currencies in complete anonymity.
Functioning as a privacy sidechain, Incognito connects to the Bitcoin blockchain via a trustless portal. Thus, Bitcoin users can get privacy bitcoins (or other cryptocurrencies) issued at a rate of 1:1 on the Incognito chain, through the utilization of smart contracts and trustless custodians. These privacy coins can also be switched back to normal coins in just one tap, without involving any third party.
When you use Incognito for your crypto assets, no one can see your balance or the details of any transaction, so there are no clues for anyone to piece together your identity or activity – that’s why Incognito is one of the best crypto wallets to try in 2020.
4. Paper: Bitcoinpaperwallet.com
A paper wallet is basically a document that contains a public address and a private key printed out in the form of text and QR-codes. To make a transaction, you just need to scan the QR-codes and add the keys to a software wallet.
Paper wallets can be generated for free using an online service like Bitcoinpaperwallet.com. On this site, you can also order a tamper-proof design or holographic labels to add an extra layer of security to the wallet.
As mentioned earlier, the main advantage of paper wallets is keeping your assets offline and away from the dangers of the Internet. Therefore, this is the best crypto wallet for those who are worried about connectivity. However, if the document is lost or stolen, your funds will more than likely be gone forever.
5. Hardware: Ledger Nano X
Hardware wallets are believed to be the most secure way of storing any amount of cryptocurrency and are especially useful for long-term investments. Unlike paper wallets, which must be imported to a software wallet at some point, hardware storage devices can be connected to electronic devices quite easily.
Ledger Nano X is one of the best crypto wallets in the form of a hardware device. It supports more than 100 wallets at a time, allowing users to hold millions of different addresses created from these wallets.
Moreover, Nano X is able to connect with any iOS or Android device thanks to the unique Bluetooth connectivity. Users won’t need to worry about the security vulnerabilities of this feature since the Bluetooth connection is end-to-end encrypted and each user’s private keys are stored on a secure chip.
For additional privacy when using your wallet, mask your IP address with a paid VPN.
How to keep your crypto wallet secure
Security is a major concern among crypto users. However, the level of safety depends on the type of wallet you use. Even the best crypto wallets might have some security risks. For instance, online wallets are more vulnerable as they might expose users to the risk of hackers who are looking to steal their assets. Therefore, some safety measures should be taken in order to keep your wallet away from the threat of security issues.
- Back up your wallet: Store only a small amount of cryptocurrency in your “hot” wallets and keep the majority of your funds in a safer place. Cold or offline wallets like a Ledger Nano or paper wallet will protect your assets against hackers or computer/server failure.
- Update your software: Keep your software and mobile wallets up-to-date with the latest security improvements so as to avoid safety issues.
- Add extra security layers: Start with something as simple as setting long and complex passwords for your wallet and any withdrawal made. Using wallets that provide extra security layers like two-factor authentication or PIN code is also a good idea. In addition, you may want to consider trying multi-signature wallets that require the permission of another user before a transaction can be made.
Choosing a suitable crypto wallet is an essential task when stepping into the crypto field, as the type of wallet you use determines how your crypto assets are stored and traded. Although there is a variety of wallets available on the market, the options mentioned in this article are the best crypto wallets available. As we’ve seen, each meets different requirements. In any case, make sure that you consider what’s important to you when selecting a cryptocurrency wallet.