A cryptocurrency wallet is the first step in using cryptocurrencies. Without it we cannot receive, send or store Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. In other words, it is essential for the management of cryptocurrencies.
There are many types of wallets. Some of them are compatible with only a single cryptocurrency or the most popular of them, but the most popular wallets can be used to simultaneously use several different cryptocurrencies.
Of course, we can have more than one crypto wallet, as each has its own characteristics.
While we buy cryptocurrencies from exchanges like Binance and CoinBase, and we have the ability to keep them there, it is a high risk option. The best advice is to use the exchanges only when you want to buy cryptocurrencies, make them in cash, or convert them to some altcoin, and when you're done, transfer them to your wallet.
In fact, it's not the cryptocurrencies that need to be protected, but the private keys that give us access to them.
So now the question is, where can we store our cryptocurrencies? Therefore, we need to look for the following features to choose a reliable wallet.
- Control private keys – A wallet where you own and control your keys.
- Backup features – Seed backup keys and pin codes.
- Active developer community – Active community for maintenance.
- Ease of use – Elegant interface for fast and easy use.
- Compatibility – Compatible on different operating systems.
Now that we know what features we want a cryptocurrency wallet to have, let's take a look at some of the best.
Types of crypto wallets
Cryptoccurency wallets are divided into three main categories depending on where they are located. Software wallets, hardware wallets and paper wallets. Let's look at them in more detail.
Software wallets are open source programs that are installed on a device and store cryptocurrencies in the device's storage space. There are three types of software wallets.
- Online, - can be managed from any device connected to the Internet
- Desktop - for desktop pc usage only
- Mobile - applications for mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets.
These are wallets that companies manage through a website and provide access to cryptocurrencies through passwords. Their biggest advantage is the ease of use and the fact that we can recover passwords even if we forget them, so that we can regain access.
An online wallet can be compared to our regular wallet that has our cash. The usage of an online wallet is by no means recommended for storing large amounts, except for small amounts for daily use. Just like we do with a regular wallet with cash.
The reason for that is because the onlinewallets do not really have the keys for the cryptocurrencies and access to the online wallet can be interrupted at any time, for example if the company that manages it goes bankrupt or decides to shut down unexpectedly.
There are several websites that undertake to keep our cryptocurrencies in our personal online wallet. Here are some of the most popular:
It is a wallet that can be installed on either a desktop computer or a laptop. Windows, Linux and Mac OSX operating systems are supported. Desktop wallets are very popular, due to the relative security over the internet, and for the simply installation process.
Private keys are installed on the local computer disk. While these wallets are more secure than online wallets, they don't provide the maximum security. The reason for that is because computers are vulnerable to hackers, which can lead to the theft of private keys.
Here are some of the most popular desktop wallets compatible with all operating systems:
This type of wallet is an application for mobile phone or tablet device that allows the storage of private keys through the device. Compatible wallets are available for every mobile operating system available, such as Android and iOS.
Mobile wallets are the most suitable type of wallet for quick and easy transactions. Most of these also support a desktop wallet app version. See below some of the most popular mobile wallets for Android and iOS.
Hardware Wallets are a secure and offline form of cryptocurrency storage. It is an external device, in the form of about a USB flash drive, where private keys are stored for more security.
Private keys are always on this device and the transaction is signed, usually by typing a PIN from the device buttons inside it, after connecting to the client wallet or via a browser on a web wallet, where the server simply transmits the signed transaction . These devices allow you to back up your private key to another medium.
They are the safest type of crypto wallet as they are stored in an offline environment. It is always recommended to use a hardware wallet to store high value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
We have tried the Hardware wallets of Ledger and we think that they are the best on the market:
It is a piece of paper, which contains printed the address of a cryptocurrency and the private key. It is used to store currencies without the need for or using any software or the internet.
A fairly secure solution for storing cryptocurrencies. The best practice is to create them through a computer that has never been connected to the internet. It is a secure solution for large amounts of cryptocurrencies, though they can not be used frequently for transactions.
Since the keys are offline, printed and secure, there is no threat unless the printed keys are lost.
You can also read: How To Make A Bitcoin Paper Wallet
Choosing the right wallet can be a real tough decision, as it’s really important in the crypto world. You need to think about how you plan to use it.
- Do you need a wallet for everyday use or will it be for short term investment?
- Do you intend to own only the most popular cryptocurrencies or several more?
- Do you want to have access to your wallet from anywhere or just from home?
Take some time to assess your needs and choose the right wallet for you. You need to be able to handle it comfortably and at the same time meet your needs. There’s a wallet for every type of need. All you need to do is decide on which one fit your needs.
Which of these wallets do you use?
Which one do you believe is the best for Bitcoin and which one for altcoins? You can mention in the comments below a crypto wallet that in your opinion it worths to be in the list of the best wallets for cryptocurrencies and don’t forget to subscribe!