If you’ve heard about Bitcoin, you almost certainly heard of Bitcoin wallets.
Bitcoin wallets are computer files that can hold an infinite amount of Bitcoin. Wallets are necessary for storing Bitcoin as well as transferring it to other users.
Each Bitcoin wallet has a unique wallet address, a random string of numbers and letters that identify the wallet on the Bitcoin blockchain. To send Bitcoin to another user, you need to know their wallet address and vice versa.
Bitcoin wallets are broadly separated into two categories: software wallets and hardware wallets. Software wallets are digital applications that you access via a mobile device or computer, while hardware wallets (sometimes known as “cold storage”) are physical devices on which you store your Bitcoin.
Here’s a rundown of the best wallets for Bitcoin.
10. Wallet Generator
Wallet Generator is a simple, no-frills paper wallet system. A paper wallet is a low-tech hardware wallet that consists of a piece of paper with the wallet’s public and private keys printed on it in QR code format. You then store this piece of paper in a secure location.
The biggest advantages of Wallet Generator are that it is easy to use and gives total control to the user. Anyone can use Wallet Generator by simply filling out the web form and printing the wallet off. All you need is a computer, a printer, and a secure location to store papers. There is no learning curve at all.
Additionally, with a paper wallet, you don’t have to worry about hackers or security breaches like you would with a software wallet, nor do you have to worry about hardware failures with a hardware wallet such as Ledger or Trezor’s devices. You simply need to print off a piece of paper and securely store it.
The biggest problem with Wallet Generator is that it is ill-suited for any kind of transaction. Paper wallets are the cryptocurrency version of keeping your money under the mattress; good for absolute security, but bad if you need freedom and functionality.
Additionally, because there are no accounts or records of your paper wallet aside from the paper itself, if you lose or damage your paper wallet, you cannot recover your funds. It’s a good idea to laminate the paper wallet after printing it to secure it against water damage.
Wallet Generator is a good choice for those who don’t want to deal with the complexities of software and hardware wallets and simply want the most secure option for storing their Bitcoin. While it’s a poor choice for traders and those who need to make frequent transactions, if you have Bitcoin that you simply want to store and hold for a long time, Wallet Generator is a good option.
Samourai Wallet is a mobile wallet that places specific emphasis on security and user privacy. Indeed, the wallet’s creation was designed to bring it in line with Bitcoin’s original purpose: decentralized, private transactions.
One of Samourai Wallet’s most notable features is its private transaction system. Because Bitcoin wallet addresses are publicly traceable, each time you make a transaction using Samourai Wallet, it will generate a new address in order to keep your transactions from being traced. Samourai Wallet also boasts the Ricochet feature, which is designed to confuse and misdirect anyone who is attempting to trace transactions on the network.
Adding to this, Samourai Wallet is compatible with both Tor and VPNs. This allows you to conduct transactions while keeping your true location hidden. The wallet also boasts SMS command functionality, allowing you to recover your funds if you switch mobile devices or even wipe your account clean in the event your device is stolen.
Samourai Wallet even has a “stealth mode,” which removes the app icon from your apps list unless you dial your PIN into the phone pad, allowing you to hide your Bitcoin activity from prying eyes.
One convenient feature built into Samourai Wallet is adjustable transfer fees. This allows you to speed up transactions by increasing the fee that you pay for each transaction. This is helpful if you want to make transactions quickly.
Samourai Wallet’s major downside is that it is currently only available for Android devices. Additionally, some may find its security features to be overkill. Samourai Wallet is ideally designed for those in more repressive countries, who need to keep their online activities hidden.
However, for users who need the utmost privacy in a software wallet as well as the ability to make fast and reliable transactions, Samourai Wallet is a strong choice.
Ledger is recognized as one of the world’s leaders in reliable hardware wallets. The Ledger Nano S in particular is a compact, USB drive-sized wallet that is compatible with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It uses PIN codes for security and also features a private key system, as well as a recovery sheet in case you lose or break the device.
In addition to its security features, Ledger wallets are compatible with a number of software wallets and also allow the installation of third-party apps. It also has a straightforward installation process and its recovery process can be completed using the device itself without having to connect it to a computer.
One of Ledger’s biggest selling points is cost, with Ledger devices priced more inexpensively compared to Trezor wallets. This makes Ledger a good choice for those who want to keep their Bitcoin in cold storage without breaking the bank. Ledger devices are compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux computers.
One minor problem with Ledger is that it does not use open-source software. Additionally, if your recovery sheet is stolen, whoever takes it will be able to gain access to your funds.
However, if you can overcome these hurdles, Ledger’s hardware wallets are a good, budget-conscious option for keeping your Bitcoin safe.
Mycelium is a mobile-only Bitcoin wallet that boasts “bank-grade security” and a clean, user-friendly interface. In contrast to many other wallets, Mycelium is anonymous, allowing you to trade Bitcoin in privacy. In addition to this, Mycelium is integrated with Trezor, allowing you to easily keep track of your crypto holdings.
Among Mycelium’s other security features, it offers PIN security and multiple accounts, and it also does not reuse wallet addresses, making it far more difficult for third-parties to follow your transactions, since wallet addresses can be publicly tracked on the Bitcoin blockchain.
Mycelium is noted for its speed, as it allows you to make transactions and use your Bitcoin without having to download the entire blockchain onto your device. Aside from mining fees, it is also free to use.
As a bonus, it has a Local Trader feature, which allows you to find people in your local area to trade Bitcoins with, a good option for those who want to make in-person transactions.
Mycelium’s lack of a desktop interface may be a deal-breaker for some users, and the app also has a steep learning curve. However, if you’re experienced with Bitcoin and want a wallet that affords you total privacy, Mycelium is a strong choice.
Exodus is a software wallet similar to Electrum but offering a cleaner, more graphically-enticing interface. More than a wallet, Exodus acts as a crypto portfolio, allowing you to see all of your crypto holdings and their value over time in U.S. dollars or your preferred currency.
One of Exodus’ biggest selling points is that it has a peer-to-peer exchange system built in. This allows you to directly exchange one type of cryptocurrency for another without having to go through a middleman such as Coinbase. This is a great feature for those who want to acquire certain types of altcoins more easily. This is aided by Exodus’ automatic fee adjustments, allowing for speedy transactions.
As a software wallet, any cryptocurrency you add to Exodus is stored locally on your computer or other device. There’s no login required, though Exodus has support for passphrases and passwords, though it currently lacks two-factor authentication. Exodus also boasts some of the best customer support among Bitcoin wallets, with extensive documentation on their website, allowing anyone to start using the software.
Exodus is also integrated with Trezor, allowing for easy transfers to and from your hardware wallet. Unlike other wallets, Exodus is explicitly designed for newbies, meaning even those without extensive experience in using Bitcoin can easily get a handle on it.
One major downside with Exodus is that its mobile app is underdeveloped compared to its competitors and is not usable on older smartphones and tablets. However, Exodus is a good option for those who want an all-in-one wallet that can help them track the value of Bitcoin and their other crypto holdings.
Exodus is also useful for those who want to easily purchase other cryptocurrencies without having to go through the extra step of using an exchange. Because of its built-in portfolio system, it is also a strong choice for those who don’t want to deal with dedicated portfolio apps.
Originally created as a stock trading platform, Robinhood has recently begun offering cryptocurrency wallets and trading. Its biggest selling point is that buying and selling cryptocurrencies on the platform is 100 percent free, with no added fees or commissions.
As an officially-licensed stock trading platform, Robinhood offers extensive security in compliance with U.S. financial laws. While designed for mobile use, the site also has a robust online platform for trading and selling. For stock traders who also want to diversify their holdings into Bitcoin, Robinhood allows you to do so without having to sign up for a dedicated crypto exchange.
One major downside of using Robinhood is that Bitcoin you store in its wallets cannot currently be transferred to other wallets, nor can you transfer Bitcoin into a Robinhood wallet. It also lacks a number of features that are common to dedicated Bitcoin wallets and cryptocurrency trading platforms, making it a hard sell for experienced users.
However, for those who want an all-in-one wallet and trading platform with the security of a stock trading service, Robinhood is a good option.
Blockchain is an online wallet that allows users to store Bitcoin, as well as send and receive it for a small fee. While not a full-fledged exchange, it offers peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trading through both its online portal and its mobile apps. In addition to Bitcoin, Blockchain supports Ethereum, Stellar Lumens, and a number of other cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain touts its security features as “best in class,” and their suite of offerings lives up to the hype. In addition to two-factor authentication and email authentication, Blockchain also supports recovery phrases. Additionally, Blockchain regularly backs up its users’ wallets and other data in the event of system failure.
Blockchain is available in many countries around the world, making it a good option for those whose local crypto exchange options are limited.
Electrum is viewed by Bitcoin users as one of the best software wallets. Launched in 2011, Electrum is a software program that stores your Bitcoin on your computer or other device. It is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux computers, as well as iPhones and Android devices.
One of Electrum’s selling points is that it offers some of the security of a hardware wallet with the flexibility of a digital wallet. Electrum boasts two-step authentication, recovery phrases, and a number of standard security features, and it stores your Bitcoin locally instead of on an exchange. You can also move Bitcoin in and out of your Electrum wallet with the click of a button, and it is compatible with a number of hardware wallets, including Trezor, Ledger, and KeepKey.
Electrum is one of the fastest software wallets on the market, offering quick transactions without the need to download the Bitcoin blockchain to your device. It also offers automatic synchronization across all devices, allowing you to access your funds whether you’re on your computer or mobile device.
An important downside to using Electrum is that it is tied to a certain extent with the device that you install it on. If your computer or other device breaks or otherwise becomes inoperable, you may lose your Bitcoin. Fortunately, Electrum supports a physical “cold storage” process where you can recover your coins with a printed or handwritten key phrase.
Additionally, unlike Exodus, Electrum does not support any cryptocurrencies aside from Bitcoin. Its Android app is also buggy and generally inferior to the desktop app, which may be a deal breaker for those who need a software wallet with mobile functionality.
If you are looking for a wallet that gives you both security and freedom, Electrum is worth considering.
Trezor is recognized as one of the world’s best hardware wallet manufacturers. Trezor wallets are small physical devices that you can plug into a computer like a USB drive. By keeping your Bitcoin on a hardware wallet that is only connected to the Internet when you choose to plug it in, you can keep it as secure as possible.
Trezor wallets are inexpensive, easy to use, and support multiple cryptocurrencies. They also feature password protection, recovery phrases, and a number of other security features that can protect you from having the device hacked or stolen. Trezor devices are also compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux computers.
One of the most notable features of Trezor wallets is their random PIN system. Each time you plug in your wallet, you will be required to generate a new PIN. This protects your Bitcoin from keyloggers, since the constantly changing PIN means they will not be able to gain access to your wallet even if they have gained access to your computer.
One downside to Trezor wallets is that because they need to be plugged into a computer, tablet, or phone, they aren’t a good option if you need to access your Bitcoin quickly. Additionally, you are responsible for safeguarding your wallet and preventing it from being lost or damaged.
Trezor wallets are also considerably more expensive than other hardware wallets and their design is somewhat conspicuous. This is in contrast to Ledger wallets, which are designed to resemble USB drives and don’t draw as much attention.
However, if you’re looking for maximum security for your Bitcoin and aren’t too concerned about cost, Trezor’s hardware wallets are one of your best options.
Coinbase is one of the U.S.’ top cryptocurrency exchanges, offering unparalleled security and ease of use along with low costs. In contrast to many exchanges, Coinbase allows users to directly buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with a credit/debit card, PayPal, or direct bank transfer. In addition to Bitcoin, Coinbase offers Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and a number of other currencies.
In addition to its normal wallet options, Coinbase offers “vaults,” which are super-secure cryptocurrency wallets that utilize additional security features, such as two-step verification. If you have Bitcoin that you want to be as secure as possible but don’t want to go to the expense and hassle of purchasing a hardware wallet, Coinbase’s “vaults” are a good choice.
Coinbase is free to use and features a robust web interface as well as a mobile app, allowing you to easily access your funds no matter where you are. It is also in full compliance with U.S. law and boasts robust security options to keep its users’ money safe.
One downside to Coinbase is that they charge relatively high fees compared to other wallets and cryptocurrency exchanges. Additionally, due to legal issues, Coinbase is not available in many places, and some customers may not have access to certain features. For example, New York residents cannot trade certain coins on Coinbase due to regulatory hurdles.
Coinbase’s sleek design, security-conscious approach, and legal compliance has made it one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. If you are looking for a service that allows you to both buy and sell Bitcoin easily as well as store it securely, Coinbase is one of the best options out there.
1. What is a Bitcoin wallet? A Bitcoin wallet is a digital file that can store an unlimited amount of Bitcoin. Bitcoin wallets can come in hardware or software forms.
2. Why do I need a Bitcoin wallet? Wallets are the only means by which Bitcoin can be stored and used in transactions. All Bitcoin in existence is held in a wallet of some kind.
3. How does a Bitcoin wallet work? Each Bitcoin wallet is assigned a wallet address, a means of identifying the wallet on the Bitcoin blockchain. Bitcoin wallet addresses appear as a string of random numbers and letters; they can also be generated as QR codes that can be scanned with a smartphone or other mobile device. In order to send Bitcoin to another individual, such as when making a purchase, you must know that individual’s wallet address; the reverse is true if you need someone to send you Bitcoin. To send Bitcoin, you simply input the amount you want to send and the wallet address of whom you want to send it to.
4. What is the difference between hardware and software wallets? Software wallets are websites or apps that store your Bitcoin on the Internet or on your computer or other device. Hardware wallets are physical objects similar to USB drives onto which you download your Bitcoin. The primary differences between them are security and convenience. Hardware wallets are the most secure means of storing Bitcoin because they are only connected to the blockchain whenever you physically plug them into your computer or mobile device. However, software wallets allow you to more easily spend or receive Bitcoin since they allow you to access your Bitcoin with less hassle.
5. If hardware wallets are more secure than software wallets, why not use them instead? As mentioned above, hardware wallets are more cumbersome when it comes to making transactions because they must be plugged into a computer or other device in order to be used. For anyone who uses Bitcoin to make purchases, hardware wallets are a poor option due to the lack of convenience. Additionally, if you lose the hardware wallet or damage it somehow, you can potentially lose all of your Bitcoin. Hardware wallets are best for those who have a large quantity of Bitcoin and want to store it securely, without using it to make frequent transactions.
6. What is a paper wallet? A paper wallet is a low-tech type of hardware wallet consisting of a piece of paper on which the Bitcoin wallet’s public and private keys are written in QR code format. Unlike other hardware wallets, they don’t consist of electronics and are easy to use and store. They are also impossible to hack. However, transferring Bitcoin from a paper wallet is extremely cumbersome, and if you lose the paper wallet or it is damaged, your Bitcoin is lost forever. For best results when using a paper wallet, laminate it to protect against the elements and store it in a secure location.
7. Are software wallets safe? While no computer system is 100 percent hack-proof, most credible software wallets have a number of security systems built in. These include two-factor authentication, PIN codes, passphrases, email verification, and more. Many software wallets also perform regular backups, and a number keep their Bitcoin in “cold storage” for added security. These features make the chance of your Bitcoin being hacked or stolen extremely small, and you should look for these security measures when choosing a software wallet.
8. Is it safe to keep Bitcoin on exchanges? Many Bitcoin users remember the collapse of Mt. Gox, one of the earliest Bitcoin exchanges and the largest by volume until it ended operations in 2014, with roughly 850,000 Bitcoins (valued at $450 million at the time) stolen from its users. Since then, Bitcoin exchanges have greatly improved their security and integrity, in large part by complying with national and international regulations. Major exchanges such as Coinbase are fully licensed by the U.S. and other national governments and adhere to the law, meaning the chance of a Mt. Gox-like collapse happening again are remote. They also boast standard security features such as two-factor authentication. That said, you should always review a potential exchange carefully before using it to store or buy Bitcoin.
If you want to buy, sell, trade, or hold Bitcoin, you need a wallet. What type of wallet is best for you depends on what you need.
If you’re planning on holding your Bitcoin and want to keep it as secure as possible, a hardware wallet will provide you with unparalleled security. If you want to trade Bitcoin and use it in transactions, you’ll want a software wallet that can connect to the Internet easily and is accessible on multiple types of devices.
Choosing a Bitcoin wallet is an important decision because many users have lost Bitcoin due to hacks, security breaches, or carelessness. You want a wallet that can keep your investments secure in the face of online threats.
Additionally, if you want to keep your Bitcoin transactions away from the public eye, you’ll want a wallet that offers privacy and anonymity features.
There are many types of Bitcoin wallets available on the Internet, each designed with a particular type of user in mind. Before choosing to invest in a wallet (particularly a hardware wallet), ask yourself what you need before you make the leap.
Whether you want to trade Bitcoin, use it to buy and sell things, or simply hold on to it for the future, there is a wallet out there that will serve your needs.
Ranking the best Ethereum wallets of 2020
If you are interested in using Ethereum, you need to know about Ethereum wallets.
All cryptocurrencies require wallets, which are digital files that can hold an infinite amount of cryptocurrency. You need a wallet in order to store Ether, send it to other users, and receive it.
Every Ethereum wallet has a unique wallet address, which is a series of letters and numbers that identify it on the Ethereum blockchain. If you want to receive Ether, you need to give your wallet address to the person who is sending it to you; the reverse applies if you want to send Ether.
Ethereum wallets, like all cryptocurrency wallets, are separated into hardware wallets and software wallets. Software wallets are digital programs that can be accessed from your computer or smartphone, while hardware wallets are physical devices.
Here’s our rundown of the best Ethereum wallets on the web today.
KeepKey is a hardware wallet noted for its security features.
The KeepKey wallet is distinguished by its PIN system, which must be entered using the keypad on the device in order for transactions to be approved. This prevents hackers from tampering with the device, since all transactions need to be physically confirmed using the device.
KeepKey is more expensive than other hardware wallets and its bulky, plastic frame make it more prone to damage if dropped. However, it is still a quality hardware wallet.
MyEtherWallet is an open-source software wallet that is popular among Ethereum enthusiasts due to its ease of use.
MyEtherWallet does not require personal info to be used and is distinguished by its private key functionality. Additionally, MyEtherWallet allows users to directly create and access smart contracts, a key aspect of Ethereum’s appeal to users.
In addition to this, MyEtherWallet allows users to directly exchange Ethereum and Bitcoin. It is also integrated with Ledger and Trezor hardware wallets, making moving money incredibly easy.
MyEtherWallet is not as feature-rich as some other software wallets, but its smart contract functionality, compatibility with hardware wallets, and open-source nature make it appealing as an option.
Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange that is widely recognized as one of the most trustworthy and intuitive in the world.
Fully regulated by U.S. and international finance laws, Coinbase boasts bank-grade security for storing and trading Ethereum. It allows users to purchase Ether and a number of other cryptocurrencies using bank transfers or debit/credit cards, and it also features “vaults,” specialized cryptocurrency wallets with added security measures.
In addition to this, Coinbase features a robust mobile app in addition to a web interface.
Overall, Coinbase is a good choice for both holding Ether and buying and selling it.
MetaMask is a software wallet designed for those who want to use decentralized Ethereum apps.
Unlike other software wallets, MetaMask functions similarly to an Internet browser, allowing you to not only send and store Ether, but search for decentralized apps to install. This is a good option for those who are looking to use Ethereum for software usage and development.
MetaMask boasts password-encrypted private keys, securing your Ether from hackers and making accessing your funds a cinch.
While MetaMask’s specialized design may be off-putting to more casual users, it’s a strong choice for those who are looking to download, install, and develop decentralized apps.
One of the world’s first multicurrency crypto software wallets, Exodus is a flexible platform for storing, buying, and selling Ethereum.
Exodus’ most notable feature is a built-in peer-to-peer exchange system, which allows you to buy and sell cryptocurrency without using a separate exchange such as Coinbase. It also offers an attractive user interface with price charts, allowing you to track the value of your Ether over time.
Exodus supports a large number of cryptocurrencies and is noted for its tight security protocols. It also does not require an email to use. One downside to Exodus is that it requires an Internet connection to use.
While it can be unwieldy for some users, Exodus is a strong option for those looking for an all-in-one wallet, portfolio system, and cryptocurrency exchange.
Jaxx is an Ethereum software wallet designed for accessibility and usability.
Jaxx supports several different cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum and Bitcoin, and is noted for its secure private keys, which are fixed to your mobile device. Jaxx offers seed keys to allow you to restore your account from another device.
In addition to this, Jaxx is an anonymous wallet that does not require you to input any personal information in order to use it. This makes it ideal for those who put a premium on privacy online. Jaxx is available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS, and Android.
For privacy-concerned users, Jaxx is an extremely strong option.
Argent is a software Ethereum wallet noted for its top-of-the-line features and mobile functionality.
Designed for mobile use, Argent is distinguished by its integration with Compound.Finance, a service that allows you to earn interest on your Ether by lending it out. It also features a built-in DApp (decentralized app) browser, allowing you to download and install apps that are powered by the Ethereum network.
Argent is also noted for its ease of use, tying your wallet to your email address and phone number and allowing you to recover your account with either.
While not as feature-rich as some other software wallets, Argent’s simple interface make it a good choice for newbie investors, while its integrations make it a solid choice for those who want to earn interest or use apps.
Atomic Wallet is an all-in-one software wallet and exchange that makes storing Ether, as well as buying and selling it, extremely easy.
Unique among software wallets, Atomic Wallet has a built-in exchange system that allows you to purchase and sell Ether using a debit or credit card. Atomic Wallet touts its coming Atomic Swap system, which will allow users to directly exchange cryptocurrencies without relying on a middleman.
In addition to this, Atomic Wallet uses private keys for security, encrypting them on your device in order to protect your funds against hackers.
Atomic Wallet is easily the best choice for those who are interested in storing and buying Ether without having to jump through many hoops.
Guarda is a software wallet that is compatible with Ethereum, Bitcoin, and a number of other cryptocurrencies.
Available for desktop computers as well as mobile devices, Guarda protects your Ether through the use of a private key. No one can access your wallet without using the private key, making it highly secure. Guarda is also noted for its privacy features; no personal information is required to use the service. This makes it a good choice for those who want to keep their Ethereum activities secret.
While Guarda’s interface can be wieldy for first-time crypto users, its surfeit of features make it a powerful choice for those who are looking for a good software wallet.
Trezor is one of the leading hardware wallet manufacturers, and the Trezor hardware wallet is noted for its affordability and usability.
Originally designed for use with Bitcoin, Trezor hardware wallets are now compatible with Ethereum, including all non-Ether tokens. Trezor wallets store Ether in a secure computer chip that can only be accessed with a password, insulating your money against hackers.
The Trezor wallet is lightweight, making it easy to store and carry, and also comes in a number of different colors. It is also modestly priced compared to other hardware wallets.
Overall, the Trezor hardware wallet is a good choice due to its reliability, price, and security features.
The Ledger Nano S is a budget version of the Ledger Nano X, great for those looking for an inexpensive hardware wallet without sacrificing security and usability.
One of the Ledger Nano S’ best functions is its LED screen, which allows you to use your Ether directly without having to plug the device into a computer. This feature safeguards your currency against hackers, since all operations involving the Ledger Nano S must be confirmed by physically using the device.
In addition to this feature, it boasts many of the same features as the Ledger Nano X, including support for all Ethereum tokens as well as support for non-Ethereum cryptocurrencies.
The low price of the Ledger Nano S makes it a strong choice for consumers who are looking to save money while still keeping their Ether secure.
Ledger is one of the world leaders in hardware wallets, and their Ledger Nano X model is easily their best in terms of security, flexibility, and technological advancement.
The Ledger Nano X is a hardware wallet that integrates with many popular software wallets and exchanges, allowing you to easily move money between your wallet and the wider blockchain. This model includes a longer-lasting battery as well as Bluetooth functionality, making it easier to manage your funds.
In addition to supporting Ether itself, the Ledger Nano X is compatible with all Ethereum-based tokens and also supports many other cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. This makes it a handy way to keep all of your crypto investments secure.
Further adding to its value, the Ledger Nano X is modestly priced and comes with free firmware upgrades for life.
Overall, the Ledger Nano X is the best hardware wallet for those concerned about keeping their Ethereum investments safe.
1. What is an Ethereum wallet? An Ethereum wallet is a digital file that is used to store an infinite amount of Ether, Ethereum’s base token. Ethereum wallets are classified into two types: software wallets and hardware wallets.
2. Why do I need an Ethereum wallet? Wallets are the only means by which you can send, receive, or store Ether. All Ether in existence is held in a wallet.
3. How does an Ethereum wallet work? All Ethereum wallets have a wallet address, which identifies the wallet on the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum wallet addresses are rendered as a string of random letters and numbers, though they can also be generated as QR codes, allowing them to be scanned by a tablet or smartphone for easier use. If you want to send Ether to another user, you must have that person’s wallet address; the reverse is true if someone wants to send you Ether. To send Ether, you enter the desired amount and the wallet address of whoever you are sending it to. If you use QR codes, this can be done instantly.
4. What is the difference between software and hardware wallets? Software wallets are websites or apps that store Ether on your computer, mobile device, or on the Internet. Hardware wallets are physical devices that you download your Ether onto in a fashion similar to a USB drive. The primary difference between hardware and software wallets is convenience and security. Hardware wallets are the safest way to store your Ether because they are only connected to the blockchain when you physically plug them into your computer or other device, minimizing the chances that your money will be swiped by hackers. Software wallets, on the other hand, are better for making transactions since they don’t require you to plug in a physical device. Many Ethereum users will use hardware and software wallets in combination, using the former for long-term storage and the latter for making transactions, so you will likely find yourself using multiple wallets depending on what you are looking to do.
5. What is the difference between “hot” and “cold” storage? A “hot” wallet is a wallet that is always connected to the Ethereum blockchain, while a “cold” wallet is only connected to the blockchain when the user chooses to connect it. All hardware wallets are “cold” because they are disconnected from the blockchain and the Internet until the user chooses to connect them, while most software wallets are “hot” because they are always connected online.
6. If hardware wallets are safer than software wallets, why doesn’t everyone use them exclusively? Hardware wallets are more cumbersome than software wallets because, as noted above, they must be physically plugged in in order to be used. If you are planning to use Ether to make purchases, hardware wallets add an additional step that may be inconvenient. Adding to this, the fact that hardware wallets are physical objects means that they can be lost or damaged, and if this happens, any Ether stored on them is lost forever. Hardware wallets are best for those who wish to store their Ether and are not planning on making many transactions with it, while software wallets are ideal for those who wish to buy and sell Ether without having any delays or difficulties.
7. Are software wallets safe? There is no computer system in the world that is 100 percent safe; any computer can be hacked given enough time and resources. Having said this, most popular wallets have security measures in place designed to make hacking difficult to near-impossible. These include passphrases, mnemonic seeds, private keys, PIN codes, two-factor authentication, email verification, and a host of other features. Many software wallets will also make redundant backups as insurance against server failures, while hardware wallets are often used in tandem with some software wallets for added protection. These features greatly reduce the chances that your Ether will be stolen or hacked. When looking for a software wallet, you should examine its security features carefully before entrusting it with your money.
8. Is it safe to keep Ether on exchanges? Many veteran Bitcoin users will remember the collapse of Mt. Gox, one of the first Bitcoin exchanges and the largest by volume until it closed operations in 2014. The fall of Mt. Gox resulted in the theft of 850,000 Bitcoins, worth roughly $450 million at the time. Since that time, cryptocurrency exchanges have become more secure, adding additional security features and also becoming compliant with national and international finance laws. Major Ethereum exchanges such as Coinbase are officially sanctioned by the U.S. government and other governments, giving users legal recourse in the event of theft and hacking. This makes a collapse on the scale of Mt. Gox unlikely to occur in the future. Having said this, you should always do your research on an exchange before entrusting it with your money.
9. What is an ERC-20 token and are Ethereum wallets compatible with them? ERC-20 tokens are non-Ether tokens that use the Ethereum blockchain as a base. Ethereum is unique in that it allows users to create their own tokens, which many have done in order to accomplish things that are not possible with the existing Ether token. Many popular cryptocurrencies such as CHAINLINK either operate as ERC-20 tokens or began on the Ethereum network before moving to their own blockchains. Most standard Ethereum wallets are also compatible with ERC-20 tokens due to the fact that they utilize the same technology. Having said this, you should ensure that your chosen wallet is compatible with the ERC-20 token you want to store, as things may change in the future. Wallets that are compatible with ERC-20 tokens will typically have separate wallets for these tokens in order to keep the tokens separate from any Ether that may also be in the wallet.
10. What is a decentralized app (DApp)? A decentralized app is a program that uses the Ethereum network to operate. Ethereum’s nature as an all-in-one computing platform has made it an attractive option for software developers who wish to create apps that are not possible using traditional programming methods. Many Ethereum wallets allow users to access and download DApps, making the process of getting them considerably easier. Some wallets also allow users to develop apps, making them an attractive option for programmers.
If you want to buy, sell, trade, or hold Ether, you need an Ethereum wallet. Which kind of wallet you need depends on what you want to use Ether for.
If your plan is to hold Ether and protect it from thieves and hackers, you’ll want to get a hardware wallet because you’ll be able to keep it off the Ethereum blockchain and in your physical possession. If you’re planning on using Ether to buy things, you’ll need a software wallet so you can easily connect to the blockchain using your computer, smartphone, or tablet.
Choosing an Ethereum wallet is important because countless users have lost Ether and other cryptocurrencies due to hacking, poor security, or their own lack of precaution. You want to use a wallet that will keep your investments safe in the face of threats not only in the present, but in the future as well.
If you are interested in keeping your Ethereum activity private, you’ll also want to select a wallet that will offer you anonymity and privacy options. Many Ethereum wallets allow users to trade without providing personal information, keeping your transactions private and personal.
There are many different types of Ethereum wallets available, each designed with a certain type of user in mind, whether they are day traders, HODLers, casual traders, or people who want to use Ether to buy and sell things. No one wallet can offer everything to everyone, so it’s up to you to determine your needs before you entrust your money to a particular wallet.
Before you choose an Ethereum wallet (particularly a hardware wallet), you’ll want to determine what your goals are with Ethereum and what you need to achieve them. No matter whether you are planning to buy and sell things with Ether, trade it to make money, or simply hold on to it for the foreseeable future, you can find an Ethereum wallet that will give you the features and security that you seek.
Ranking the best Ripple wallets of 2020
If you’re familiar with Ripple, you almost certainly know about Ripple wallets.
Ripple wallets are computer files that can hold an infinite amount of XRP, the digital currency that Ripple is based on. You need a wallet to both store XRP and transfer it to other users.
Each Ripple wallet has a unique wallet address. A wallet address is a string of numbers and letters that identify the wallet on the Ripple network. If you want to send XRP to another user, you need to know their wallet address; if you want to receive XRP, the person sending it to you must know your wallet address.
Ripple wallets are separated into two types: hardware wallets and software wallets. Hardware wallets, also known as “cold storage,” are physical devices used to hold your XRP, while software wallets are digital programs that can be accessed via a computer or mobile device.
Here are our picks for the best Ripple wallets available on the Internet.
Exarpy is a software wallet that combines the flexibility of other software wallets with the privacy and security of a hardware wallet.
In contrast to “hot” (online) and “cold” (offline) wallets, Exarpy is characterized as “warm” due to the fact that it is only connected to the Internet when you wish to make a transaction. Exarpy wallets are generated offline and public addresses and private keys are stored locally, providing an additional layer of security.
Exarpy features standard security features such as two-factor authentication, PIN codes, and passphrases, though using these can be somewhat cumbersome as you are required to log in with your PIN and passphrase every time you wish to access your funds. Exarpy also has a built-in exchange system for purchasing XRP on the fly.
One notable downside to using Exarpy is that it does not support any other cryptocurrencies aside from XRP. However, for those who want added security from a software wallet and are primarily interested in Ripple, it’s a viable option.
Uphold is an online software wallet and cryptocurrency exchange that has gained popularity for its ease of use, particularly for those who use debit cards to purchase cryptocurrency.
Uphold’s most unique feature is that it allows users to purchase XRP and other cryptocurrencies with their debit card, allowing for instant transactions and avoiding the delays that are common with bank transfer purchases. Users can make purchases of up to $1,000 without having to complete a KYC procedure, another selling point.
In addition to this feature, Uphold has two-factor authentication and a number of other security features. One downside in this regard is that Uphold does not give users access to their own private keys, meaning you do not have complete control over your account. Additionally, debit card purchase fees on Uphold are fairly high and can add up over time.
For users who are looking for a combined Ripple wallet and exchange, Uphold is a good choice.
Coinpayments is a Ripple-focused software wallet, exchange platform, and online marketplace designed for users who want to make frequent purchases with their XRP.
Along with standard security features such as two-factor authentication and private keys, Coinpayments uses Multisig technology to encrypt and speed transactions. It also allows users to convert XRP to fiat currencies, with U.S. dollars and euros being among the currencies currently supported. Coinpayments is also one of the few Ripple wallets that is integrated with PayPal.
Perhaps Coinpayments’ biggest feature is its online marketplace, allowing you to make purchases from a number of online retailers using XRP. The app also supports a number of other cryptocurrencies for convenience.
One downside of Coinpayments is that its PayPal integration adds vulnerability due to PayPal’s integration with bank accounts. However, for those who are interested in using XRP to make purchases online, Coinpayments is one of your best options.
Cryptonator is an online software wallet known for strong security and ease of use.
Compatible with multiple operating systems as well as Android mobile devices, Cryptonator distinguishes itself by offering a plugin for the Google Chrome browser as well. Cryptonator offers two-step verification and uses an encrypted SSL connection for all interactions, ensuring that your data cannot be accessed by hackers.
In addition to this, Cryptonator allows users to convert XRP into fiat currencies at the click of a button, and it boasts low transaction fees compared to similar wallets.
Due to it being an online wallet, Cryptonator has some added vulnerabilities, but the wallet also boasts a 24/7 support line that can be contacted to recover your funds. For Chrome and Android users, Cryptonator is a strong choice.
Atomic Wallet is a software wallet that is recommended for its ease of use, particularly for newcomers to Ripple and cryptocurrency in general.
The biggest selling point of Atomic Wallet is its slick user interface, which makes accessing your XRP and seeing its value over time a cinch. It also boasts a built-in peer-to-peer exchange system, allowing you to purchase or sell XRP without having to go through a separate exchange, and Atomic Wallet also features support for other cryptocurrencies as well.
Unlike many other software wallets, Atomic Wallet features local private keys that are not stored online, providing additional protection from hackers. Atomic Wallet uses a mnemonic seed to generate private keys, making them difficult to guess and difficult to crack.
While not as feature-rich as some other software wallets, Atomic Wallet is a strong choice for cryptocurrency newbies.
Toast is a mobile-centric software or “hot” wallet known for its privacy features.
While an online wallet, Toast provides added security compared to similar wallets. Toast’s encrypted keys are generated locally, meaning that only you have access to them, preventing hackers from finding them. Toast is also open-source, which has facilitated add-ons by third-party developers.
Toast features PIN locks and passphrases as well as two-factor authentication, and it also allows you to generate a backup of your account, allowing you to retain access to your XRP even if you switch devices.
As a web-based wallet, Toast has some added vulnerability compared to hardware or local wallets, but it is still a strong option for those looking for a wallet that combines flexibility and security.
Guarda is a desktop-focused software wallet that is noted for its transaction-focused nature.
Guarda is distinguished from other software wallets by charging lower transaction fees on its platform, which allows you to buy and sell XRP for less money than its competitors. Additionally, you can use Guarda to purchase XRP with several fiat currencies, including U.S. dollars, euros, and yen.
It is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, and it also features standard security features such as two-factor authentication and private keys.
As an online wallet, Guarda has security vulnerabilities that more isolated wallets lack. However, for those who are looking for a way to save money on transactions, Guarda is a good choice.
Gatehub is a software wallet that combines the security and flexibility of a Ripple wallet with the usefulness of a portfolio app.
Many cryptocurrency users are used to relying on portfolio apps such as Delta in order to track the value of their investments. Gatehub has a built-in portfolio system, eliminating the middleman and allowing you to access your wallet and check its value all at the same time. Gatehub also supports other cryptocurrencies aside from XRP, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
In terms of security, Gatehub has two-factor authentication and other standard security features. It is also listed as a recommended wallet on Ripple’s own website, giving it added credibility. You can also use Gatehub to make instant payments without having to jump through the hoops that other wallets sometimes force on their users.
The biggest downside to Gatehub is that it requires you to own a minimum of 20 XRP in order to function, and it is not as secure as some of the other wallets on this list. However, Gatehub is ideal for those who wish to make easy trades and payments and want to cut down on the amount of work they need to do for both.
2. Edge Wallet
Edge Wallet is a mobile-centric software wallet that is noted for its usability and functionality.
For added security, Edge Wallet uses local usernames and passwords instead of a centralized login, meaning that information is stored on your device instead of being fed to a central server. It boasts two-factor authentication and password recovery functionality, and as an added bonus, the two-factor authentication does not require an external app, removing a potential weak spot for hackers.
In addition to Ripple, Edge Wallet supports a number of other cryptocurrencies, and it is compatible with iOS and Android devices. It also has a built-in decentralized exchange system, allowing users to directly purchase any cryptocurrency without having to use a centralized exchange such as Coinbase.
One major downside to Edge Wallet is that it is mobile-only, meaning that users who need access to their XRP on a desktop computer will have to look elsewhere. However, if you’re fine with a mobile-centric wallet, Edge Wallet’s security features and ease of use make it a strong choice.
The Ledger Nano S is a hardware wallet that is recognized as one of the best Ripple wallets for its security features, ease of use, and affordability.
As a hardware wallet, the Ledger Nano S can be easily secured from hacking, since you only need to connect it to your computer or another device when you want to send or receive XRP. It is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Chrome OS devices, and can also be connected to an Android phone via an OTG cable.
The Ledger Nano S boasts its own display screen, allowing you to check details such as transaction information and the amount of XRP stored without having to connect it to an external device. It also requires you to physically use the device when engaging in transactions, which insulates it from remote hacking.
For added security, the Ledger Nano S also uses cryptographic keys and PIN codes that can only be seen and programmed by you, and are not transmitted outside of the device itself.
While many XRP wallets have limits on the amount of currency you can store, the Ledger Nano S allows you to store an unlimited amount of XRP. It is also compatible with other cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin.
As a hardware wallet, the Ledger Nano S requires you to keep it safe from theft and damage, and its price point may be a cause for concern from some users. However, in terms of protection, usability, and features, the Ledger Nano S is easily one of the best Ripple wallets available.
1. What is a Ripple wallet? A Ripple wallet is a computer file that can be used to store an infinite amount of XRP, Ripple’s base token. Ripple wallets can come in software or hardware forms.
2. Why do I need a Ripple wallet? Wallets are the only way you can store XRP or use it in transactions. All XRP in the world is kept in a wallet of some kind.
3. How does a Ripple wallet work? All Ripple wallets are assigned a wallet address, a marker identifying that wallet on the Ripple network. Ripple wallet addresses appear in strings of random letters and numbers and can also be generated as QR codes, allowing them to be scanned with a smartphone or tablet. If you wish to send XRP to another individual, you must know that person’s wallet address, and the opposite is true if someone wishes to send you XRP. To send XRP, you simply enter the amount you want to send and then enter the wallet address of whoever you are sending it to. With QR codes, this can be done in a snap using your smartphone or other mobile device.
4. What is the difference between software and hardware wallets? Software wallets are apps or websites that store your XRP on your computer, mobile device, or online. Hardware wallets are physical objects that function similarly to USB drives where you can download your XRP. Software and hardware wallets are distinguished by convenience and security. Hardware wallets are the most secure way to hold XRP since they are only connected to the Ripple network when you physically attach them to your computer or other device, minimizing the likelihood that your XRP will be stolen by hackers. However, software wallets allow you to more easily send or receive XRP since they don’t require you to access a physical device. Many hardware wallet owners will also make use of software wallets when they wish to make a transaction, so you may find yourself using different types of wallets depending on your needs at the time.
5. What is the difference between “hot,” “cold,” and “warm” storage? A “hot” wallet is a wallet that is always connected to the Ripple network, while a “cold” wallet (also known as “cold storage”) is one that is physically disconnected from the Ripple network except when the user chooses to connect. All hardware wallets are “cold storage” because they are not connected to the Ripple network unless physically plugged in by the user. Most software wallets are “hot” due to the fact that they are always connected to the Internet. Some software wallets are defined as “warm” wallets due to the fact that they are only connected to the Internet when the user specifically chooses to do so.
6. If hardware wallets are more secure than software wallets, why does anyone use software wallets? Hardware wallets are far less convenient than software wallets because, as mentioned above, they must be physically connected to a computer or other device in order to be used. For those who wish to use XRP to make purchases, hardware wallets add an additional layer of access that can be annoying and inconvenient. Additionally, because hardware wallets are physical objects, damaging or losing them means you can potentially lose all of your XRP forever. Hardware wallets are ideal for those who have a large amount of XRP and want to store it securely without using it to make transactions, while software wallets are ideal for those who want to make transactions without having to jump through too many hoops.
7. Are software wallets safe? There is no such thing as a computer system that is 100 percent secure from hackers. That said, most popular software wallets have a number of security measures designed to keep users’ XRP safe. These include PIN codes, passphrases, mnemonic seeds, two-factor authentication, email verification, and many more. Many software wallets also provide regular backups in the case of server failure, and some also use hardware wallets as a form of “cold storage” for added protection. These security measures greatly reduce the likelihood of your XRP being stolen or hacked, and when looking for a software wallet, you should evaluate what kinds of security features it has before entrusting it with your XRP.
8. Is it safe to keep XRP on exchanges? Some veteran cryptocurrency users may remember the fall of Mt. Gox, one of the earliest Bitcoin exchanges and the largest by volume until its collapse in 2014. The Mt. Gox collapse resulted in roughly 850,000 Bitcoins (roughly $450 million in value at the time) being stolen. However, since then, cryptocurrency exchanges have become more secure and have also sought compliance with national and international exchanges. Major XRP exchanges such as Coinbase are licensed to operate in the U.S. and other countries, meaning that users have legal recourse in the event of hacks and theft, making the chance of a Mt. Gox-esque happening again unlikely. However, you should always evaluate an exchange carefully before using it to buy or store XRP.
If you are planning on buying, selling, trading, or holding XRP, you need a Ripple wallet. What kind of wallet is ideal for you depends on what you are planning to use XRP for.
If you plan to hold XRP and want to keep it safe from hackers and thieves, a hardware wallet is your best option due to the unmatched security of being able to keep it off the Ripple network and in your physical possession. If you plan on using XRP to purchase items, you’ll want to use a software wallet that can easily connect to the Internet and can be used on computers and mobile devices.
Choosing a good Ripple wallet is important because many users have lost XRP and other cryptocurrencies because of hacks, lax security, or their own carelessness. You want to choose a wallet that will secure your investments in the face of present and future threats.
Additionally, if you want to keep your XRP activity away from the prying eyes of others, you’ll want to choose a wallet that offers anonymity and privacy options.
There are countless Ripple wallets available on the Internet, and each is designed with a certain type of user in mind, whether they are high-volume traders, HODLers, casual users, or people looking to conduct transactions quickly. No one wallet is best for everyone, meaning that you will want to evaluate your needs and goals before diving in.
Before you choose a Ripple wallet (particularly a hardware wallet), you’ll want to assess what your needs and goals are and what, exactly, you want. Whether you are planning to buy and sell things on the Ripple network, trade XRP to make money, or simply hold on to your XRP for the future, you can find a Ripple wallet that will be able to meet your needs.
Ranking the best hardware wallets of 2018
Many people use a hardware wallet to store their private cryptocurrencies offline.
Think: portable hard drive for your digital assets.
A hardware wallet, also known as a “cold wallet” or “cold storage,” is distinguished from software wallets or “hot wallets,” which are based on the Internet or on your computer.
Hardware wallets are more secure than software wallets because the private keys used to access your cryptocurrency are embedded onto the microcontroller of the device itself, making them impossible to hack.
If you have a significant investment in cryptocurrency, hardware wallets are a necessity for keeping your coins safe and away from the possibility of a cryptocurrency exchange getting hacked.
Our research team ranked the the best hardware wallets of 2018.
CoolWallet is a rather unique hardware wallet that is designed to look and feel like a credit card. It features an LCD screen that is used to input passwords and read off seeds, making it impossible for anyone to steal them off you unless they’re physically watching over your shoulder. Hardware wallets with screens are exceptionally useful because it means that they can be used even with computers that have been infected with malware, since all transactions are displayed on the screen.
CoolWallet also boasts a control button that allows you to manage your cryptocurrencies easily, and is also built to be resilient, as it is bendable up to 15 degrees and is heat resistant up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius).
CoolWallet is oriented for mobile users instead of computer users, so the setup process might be cumbersome for some. The device requires you to download an app to your smartphone, then pair your phone with your CoolWallet. Additionally, some users have reported glitches and bugs when setting up their CoolWallets. Finally, CoolWallet only supports Bitcoin at the moment, meaning you can’t use it to store other cryptocurrencies.
At a price of $119, CoolWallet is a decent option for Bitcoin HODLers who want a cheap and secure way to protect their investments. Its resilient, compact design and ease of use are definite selling points for newbies. However, more serious cryptocurrency enthusiasts may want to pass on CoolWallet due to its lack of altcoin support, its glitchy setup, and its mobile-centric design.
Case is a self-contained hardware wallet that boasts a number of unique features, from fingerprint swiping to multisig security.
Case’s most important feature is the way it stores users’ private keys. Of the three keys used by its multisig system, one is hardwired into the wallet itself, another is stored on Case’s servers, and the third is held by Third Key Solutions, a trusted cryptocurrency security firm, though users can override this and carry the third key themselves. Setting up the device via the Internet is easy and fingerprint swiping adds an extra level of security.
Additionally, Case has built-in support for the Celery exchange, allowing users to buy and sell Bitcoin directly from their wallets, without having to transfer anything to a online “hot wallet” or exchange wallet. This is a nice option for traders.
Downsides to Case include the inability to remove the first private key from the device—which means that users will not be able to access their money should Case go out of business—as well as a lack of altcoin support. Case is also priced somewhat steeply, at $199.
Case’s security measures, fingerprint support, and built-in exchange functionality make it a worthwhile option for Bitcoin traders and HODLers, though more advanced users will want to look elsewhere.
The Cryo Card and Cryo Coin are two products from CryoBit that function similarly, offering resilient and secure cold storage for Bitcoins.
The Cryo Card is a credit card-sized hardware wallet featuring a Bitcoin address printed on the front and an encrypted private key on the back. Users who purchase a Cryo Card offer their existing wallet information when checking out, as the card itself has no interface. The Cryo Card is manufactured from stainless steel, making it the toughest hardware wallet we’ve found, able to survive just about any form of abuse.
The Cryo Coin is roughly the same as the Cryo Card, only it is slightly less expensive, as it is manufactured from nickel-coated brass.
Due to their lack of many of the features of most hardware wallets—you can’t plug them into a computer, they have no interface, and all transactions must be done manually—the Cryo Card and Cryo Coin are not recommended for anyone who needs easy access to their funds. Additionally, the Cryo Card and Cryo Coin only support Bitcoin at the moment, making them useless for anyone who needs to store other cryptocurrencies.
However, for users who want a low-tech solution when it comes to crypto storage, the Cryo Card and Cryo Coin are worth a look. Their low price—the Cryo Card retails for $50 and the Cryo Coin for $30—belies their solid construction and ability to withstand punishment, making them good long-term ways to store your Bitcoins.
OpenDime is a hardware wallet that functions as a hardware bearer bond or “credit stick,” and it is priced quite inexpensively, at $40 for a pack of three.
OpenDime’s unique feature is a physical seal on the wallet itself that secures the Bitcoins contained on it against being hacked or transferred. When the user is ready to spend the Bitcoin online, they merely need to break the seal, which reveals the private key and allows the Bitcoin to be used. An unsealed OpenDime allows the user to conduct as many in-person Bitcoin transactions as they want.
Because of this seal, OpenDime has been likened to a piggy bank, in that it needs to be destroyed in order for the Bitcoin to be used. While seemingly wasteful, this security feature makes OpenDime wallets a great long-term store of value, since users merely need to check the seal to determine whether the device has been compromised. OpenDime wallets are also great for person-to-person transactions, since these transactions take place outside of the blockchain and the Bitcoin contained in each wallet will be secure so long as the seal remains unbroken.
Like the wallets previously mentioned on this list, OpenDime does not support altcoins. Additionally, its nature as a bearer bond means it cannot be used for online transactions, at least not without destroying the seal and rendering the device useless.
However, OpenDime’s inexpensive price and unique security features make it a worthwhile option for those looking to hoard Bitcoin over the long term.
Digital Bitbox is a USB stick hardware wallet notable for its altcoin support and wide variety of features.
A minimalistic device similar to the Ledger HW.1, Digital Bitbox is notable for its microSD support, allowing users to make offline backups of their wallets with a microSD card. Digital Bitbox also stores users’ private keys on a high-security chip that boasts a lifespan in excess of fifty years, ensuring that users will never lose access to their funds.
Most notably, Digital Bitbox boasts support for cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin. At the moment, Digital Bitbox supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ethereum Classic as well as ERC20 tokens, making it a good option for users who need to store these coins offline.
Finally, Digital Bitbox is priced at €59 (roughly $75), making it an affordable option as well.
Digital Bitbox’s primary downside is the lack of a display, requiring it to be paired with a computer in order to be used at all. However, its combination of accessibility, security, afforability, and altcoin support make it one of the strongest options available for cryptocurrency users.
BitLox is a luxury hardware wallet designed for Bitcoin HODLers and others with cash to spare. Its suite of elite features sets it apart from the competition in myriad ways.
Similarly to CoolWallet, BitLox is designed to resemble a credit card, with a thin titanium build that is resistant to heat and water damage. BitLox also features a unique e-paper display akin to the Amazon Kindle that consumes very little battery power and functions even when the device is powered off. Most impressively, BitLox features a full keyboard, allowing users to make transactions without the use of a computer.
BitLox also boasts a large number of security features, such as an emergency PIN that irreversibly wipes all user data from the unit and the ability to generate over a hundred wallets with each unit. BitLox also features a number of convenience options, such as an internal calculator that automatically displays fees when making transactions, as well as support for multiple languages. BitLox is also compatible with Tor, allowing users to make transactions in total anonymity.
Where BitLox largely falters is its price. Its least expensive variant, the BitLox Advanced, retails for $199, while more comprehensive models are priced even higher. Additionally, BitLox currently lacks support for cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin, though the developers claim that they will be adding altcoin and Ethereum support soon.
For Bitcoin HODLers who are looking for the ultimate in features and luxury, BitLox may be worth its steep price tag. However, altcoin users and more casual crypto traders may want to look elsewhere due to BitLox’s high price.
KeepKey is a hardware wallet that is widely recognized as one of the best on the market due to its combination of security and convenience features and reasonable pricing. It is based off of TREZOR’s hardware and firmware, but boasts a heavier aluminum design for added durability.
One of KeepKey’s most distinguishing features is its privacy and security. It supports seeds of up to 24 words in length for added insulation against hackers and also supports PINs and number randomization. KeepKey uses a Google Chrome plugin to allow users to manage their wallets via a computer, making the wallet compatible with any device so long as it is capable of running Chrome. KeepKey also boasts a high-quality LCD screen.
KeepKey’s most notable feature is its strong altcoin support. Indeed, KeepKey is currently compatible with all altcoins currently available on the market, including Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash, provided the user pairs their KeepKey with a compatible software wallet.
The one major downside to KeepKey is its $99 price tag, which may be out of the range of some buyers. However, if you want a reliable, secure hardware wallet that is compatible with a wide variety of altcoins, KeepKey is easily one of the best options available to you.
The Ledger Nano S is one of Ledger’s most recognized and popular hardware wallets due to its reliability, security, speed, and features.
Unlike the discontinued Ledger HW.1, the Ledger Nano S comes with a screen, making it possible to use the wallet with a computer even if that computer is infected with malware. The wallet also boasts two buttons which must be pressed at the same time in order to confirm a payment, making it impossible for hackers to hijack the Ledger Nano S and use it to make unauthorized transactions.
Like other wallets, the Ledger Nano S boasts PIN support for added privacy when using it. However, it lacks passphrase support, which may be a dealbreaker for more security-conscious users. Additionally, unlike most hardware wallets, the Ledger Nano S does not include a battery, meaning that it will shut down when not connected to an external power source.
Like KeepKey, the Ledger Nano S supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, and a wide variety of altcoins, giving it a flexibility that many hardware wallets lack.
The Ledger Nano S’ steep price of $95, its lack of passphrase support, and its lack of an internal battery are its primary downsides and may dissuade security-focused users and budget-conscious customers from buying it. However, the Ledger Nano S’ quality screen, strong security, and extensive altcoin support make it one of the finest hardware wallets available, and one of our top picks for 2018.
TREZOR is a high-end hardware wallet that offers one of the best blends of security and accessibility of any wallet on the market today.
TREZOR’s main distinguishing features are its PIN protection system and screen. Like most hardware wallets, TREZOR requires a PIN to be inputted during setup and used every time a transaction is made. Every time the wrong PIN is entered into the device, it raises the amount of time needed before inputting it again by a power of two. For example, entering 30 incorrect PIN entries would take 15 years. This makes TREZOR one of the most secure hardware wallets available.
In addition to standard seed technology, TREZOR also allows users to add a passphrase, which further adds to the security of their crypto stash. The wallet can also be set up via TREZOR’s official website, a Google Chrome plugin, and via command line for experienced users. Users who care about security should use the latter two options (and use the Chrome plugin on an offline computer), as there is a small risk of data leaking when using TREZOR’s website.
Finally, TREZOR is notable for its wide variety of supported altcoins, making it an extremely good option for those with diversified portfolios.
TREZOR is often compared to Ledger Blue, with the latter slightly edging out the former due to its greater breadth of features and superior interface. Both TREZOR and Ledger Blue are quite pricey, so lower-end users might prefer a less expensive hardware wallet. However, TREZOR’s suite of features and its slick, quality design make it impossible to ignore. If you’re looking for maximum flexibility and security in your hardware wallet, TREZOR is one of the best choices you can make.
1. Ledger Blue
The Ledger Blue is easily the most advanced hardware wallet currently available, and one of the best in terms of quality, security, and features.
The Ledger Blue sets itself apart from the competition by having a more advanced, smartphone-like design, with a high-quality touchscreen interface. It is easy to set up and offers seeds of up to 24 words in length for added security. It is also compatible with numerous desktop apps and software wallets, allowing you maximum flexibility in accessing and using your money.
Additionally, the Ledger Blue is secured against virtually all forms of tampering and hacking. Unlike other hardware wallets, the Ledger Blue does not ship with anti-tampering seals, because it doesn’t need them: due to cryptographic technology included in the wallet’s design, external tampering is ineffective. The Ledger Blue will also deactivate after three failed login attempts, while users who lose their Ledger Blues can merely buy a new one, then use their 24-word seed phrase to regain access to their funds.
The Ledger Blue is also immunized to malware attacks by virtue of the fact that it has a screen, meaning that you can set it up without connecting it to a computer and risking infecting it. Like Ledger’s other wallets, the Ledger Blue also features extensive support for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins.
The primary downside of the Ledger Blue is its price: at $199, it may be out of the range of most buyers. This is due to the touchscreen and tablet technology the wallet uses, which is head-and-shoulders above virtually all other hardware wallets.
However, for serious crypto users who have money to spend, the Ledger Blue is an unbeatable wallet, with enough security and other features to satisfy any users. Newbies may also want to consider the Ledger Blue, as its touchscreen interface makes it considerably easier to set up and use than any other hardware wallet.
Hardware wallets represent a significant investment for any cryptocurrency user due to their cost and what they represent.
While many people have dabbled in cryptocurrency through day trading and other means, purchasing a hardware wallet means you are serious about protecting the integrity of your money. While keeping small amounts of currency on software wallets and exchanges is okay, if you’re a long-term HODLer or investor, you need a hardware wallet to ensure that your assets don’t get hacked or stolen.
When looking for a hardware wallet, you need to consider security, flexibility, and usability above all else. A hardware wallet needs to be capable of protecting your assets from hackers and phishers, it should be easy to set up and use, and it should offer support for as many different cryptocurrencies as possible. Effectively, hardware wallets need to be as easy to use as regular wallets are.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your crypto adventures and purchase a hardware wallet, we highly recommend the wallets listed above. You can be sure that your assets will be safe if you use any of them. They also offer a different variety of features and are priced accordingly, so you can find a wallet that meets your needs and fits within your budget.
Given the nature of cryptocurrency, you cannot afford to take risks with your assets. A hardware wallet will allow you to safely store your crypto holdings while making it possible for you to buy and sell them and use them in business transactions. No matter your level of involvement in cryptocurrency, hardware wallets are a worthwhile investment that will pay for themselves many times over.
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