The best cryptocurrency wallets. Find your perfect depository

13.06.18 13:49
Cryptocurrency

As soon as you decide to use virtual money, you have to see to a cryptocurrency wallet, because you cannot buy, store, or spend your digital coins without it.

What is a cryptocurrency wallet?

The wallet is your personal way to cooperate with blockchain and other users; it is a file that stores private and public keys. The file is managed by a program, which makes all the necessary changes in your wallet, and, inherently, carries out the transaction. The wallet can be available through a website, application or special electronic device.

Private and public keys

It is so convenient to pay with mobile bitcoin and altcoin wallets that they are often compared with ordinary wallets and purses. Usually, people who frequently conduct transactions during a day need them. These applications cannot be full nodes because of limited memory on mobile devices; due to a constant connection to the Internet, the storage of money in mobile wallets is a risky business. Therefore, people do not keep large amount on founds there. In addition, your smartphone can be lost or stolen.

A private key is a record that consists of a unique set of numbers and letters. In fact, it is a kind of your signature, which confirms every transaction you make. That’s why it is so important to care about the safety of your private key; everybody who possesses it, owns your digital money, too. Public keys are the addresses of all cryptocurrency wallets. Even though an address is generated from the private key, you can report it to third parties, as it can be used only to send money to the wallet.

Mnemonic phrase (seed)

A private key is not the only way to provide access to any virtual currency wallet. Developers took care of another chance for users to restore means of entry, and it is a mnemonic phrase. When you create your digital depository, the program generates a group of randomly selected words. Users have to remember it or write it down in a safe place; mnemonic seed cannot be changed unlike a password; it is needed in case you forget the login information. A stolen phrase is as dangerous as a theft of the private key.

How to buy cryptocurrency?

The easiest way to buy digital money is to use your credit or debit card. You may do this online through exchanges, and this way has compelling advantages. First of all, the payment with a card is common and convenient for us, so nobody faces any difficulties. Second, there is no need to wait until the transaction is confirmed and completed; you will have your digital money right after initial verification is done. However, this way includes some disadvantages; customers have to pay a high fee; as well, you cannot count on confidentiality with buying cryptocurrency through an exchange.

The most popular sites:

Coinbase. The service takes a fee of 3,75%. The exchange is available for the USA, Europe, Canada, and Singapore. Coinbase works with Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

Coinmama sells Bitcoin and Ethereum all over the world. The fee is 6%.

BitPanda provides the services only within Europe. It supports Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple. BitPanda charges a fee of 5%.

CEX.io is a global exchange service that sells Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dash. The commission fee is 3,5% of the sum.

You may buy Bitcoins with bank transfer. This way is economical because commission fee is minimal. However, you have to wait several days until you get your coins. This operation can be performed with online exchanges, such as Coinbase, BitPanda, CEX.io.

One more way to get cryptocurrency is to it buy for cash. Of course, there are no global organizations, which sell bitcoins for fiat money, but some individuals do it. You can find such options on localbitcoins. Here you also may buy digital money using other possible payment methods. As a rule, traders offer a sale of cryptocurrency at a favorable rate on the site.

Still, cooperation with individuals is quite a risky business, since you may face some swindlers.

When choosing a digital currency, you do not have to dwell on Bitcoin or Ethereum. There are many other coins that can suddenly impress us with resounding success and leave Bitcoin behind. You may use a cryptocurrency guide, a perfectly developed mobile app that helps to monitor the growth and decline of all currencies and thus predict further development.

How to store cryptocurrency?

Hot and cold wallets

These terms refer to security measures and a possibility to carry out transactions. Most of the wallets are kept on online servers or devices that are connected to the Internet. It allows transferring money easily, but owners of cryptocurrency risk to be hacked. Cold storage eliminates this risk; it is perfect for savings of a large amount of money. You need to have devices that are not connected to the Internet for this. The best choice is hardware wallets.

Hot wallets are storages of cryptocurrency, which are accessible through an application or website; the main feature is that these wallets always can be connected to the Internet. Due to this, you can manage your funds conveniently. In addition, it is easy to figure out how to set up such bitcoin wallets; the official sites allow creating it in a matter of seconds. However, this way to store money cannot provide reliable security. Usually, users apply these wallets to keep small sums of money, which they are ready to spend.

There is no a cryptocurrency wallet that suits every user. Different types of these digital money depositories have both pros and cons, and crypto investors choose which bitcoin wallet to use by themselves. When deciding on a wallet, you need to build on what currency you want to keep. Almost all the most popular devices and apps support Bitcoin; some of them can work with many altcoins, but there isn’t a wallet for all cryptocurrency types.

Types of cryptocurrency wallets: hot wallets

Desktop crypto wallet

A wallet of such type can be stored on your PC. It is considered as one of the safest ways to keep your money unless there is malware on the computer. You have access to all of the keys and can freely dispose of your digital funds. Bitcoin Core and Armory wallets work directly with the blockchain without intermediaries; unfortunately, it requires downloading the whole base of the blockchain. There is another type of desktop wallets that provide you with the keys, but the blockchain story is kept on a server, not your computer. However, you may transfer money by means of third parties.

Full nodes

Such wallet requires loading the whole blockchain to the computer; it becomes a part of the blockchain, that have to confirm every transaction to make it conduct. Only you have access to the keys. Therefore, nothing threatens your money if the computer is not infected with malware.

A full node requires a lot of space on the device; after installing, it can synchronize itself with the blockchain network for days.

Bitcoin Core (Bitcoin QT) This desktop cryptocurrency wallet is designed to store Bitcoins; it provides you with reliable safety and independence, as you will have the whole blockchain on your computer. The main disadvantage is a large amount of memory that is needed for the wallet; now it is about 150 GB, and this figure is constantly increasing. Also, all the actions via Bitcoin Core are carried out rather slowly. The only thing you need to worry about is the physical security of the computer and absence of malware.

Armory

Armory is perfect for people that care about the safety of their Bitcoins first of all; the working principle is similar to Bitcoin Core. The list of transactions is kept on your computer, and you can make payments, but keys are stored on a USB drive or a paper, and this is the main difference between Armory and Bitcoin Core. In this way, you will not lose money in case of hacking your computer.

Jaxx

Jaxx is available as a desktop, mobile, and browser extension crypto wallet. Customers can synchronize these options, and it provides access to one wallet from different sources. Jaxx allows storing Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and more than 50 other cryptocurrencies at the same time; also, you may exchange your currencies within the application due to cooperation with ShapeShift. The interface is customer-friendly and convenient, so Jaxx is perfect for newcomers. However, the app has few shortcomings, which are the slowness of transactions with unpopular currencies and high exchange commission fees.

Exodus

Exodus offers customers the same advantages as Jaxx: it is a multi cryptocurrency wallet that allows exchanging currencies; of course, it supports Bitcoin and Ethereum, too. The design is beautiful and intuitive. Yet, this is a desktop wallet, so that you can install it only on your computer. The app also requires a commission for transactions.

Electrum

Electrum is one of the most popular Bitcoin desktop wallets, which are famous for their safety. It is decentralized, so there is no organization that controls it; Electrum is improved by different specialists. However, customers will find the app not user-friendly because the emphasis is on functionality, not convenience.

Online cryptocurrency wallets (web wallets, cloud wallets)

Web wallet can be easily created on an appropriate website, and you will have access to it through the same site. It is the most convenient kind of wallets to make transactions, but also one of the least reliable. Users do not have any access to their private keys, which means they do not have any guarantees. In other words, the service allows you to use the wallet, but still, the wallet belongs to the service. Even though trustworthy websites would not risk the trust of users, they still do not have absolute protection from hackers. However, the convenience and enhanced privacy keep these sites highly popular. Customers are prone to store large sums of funds on their cold digital currency wallets, and use online services like a pocket – keep little money for near-term plans.

Green Address

Green Address supports only Bitcoins. It is a perfect wallet for storage little sums of money; user-friendly interface and reliable level of security have attracted many users. The wallet will provide a mnemonic phrase to restore the wallet in case of unforeseen circumstances. In addition, the site offers to configure two-factor authentication.

Blockchain.info

Perhaps, the name of the site provides an idea that it is an official service of Blockchain system, but it isn’t. Blockchain.info is the most popular among web wallets; it supports Bitcoins and Ethereum. The total amount of user accounts on the site is about 23 million. It is a trustworthy site with long-term experience and convenient functions.

Coinbase

Coinbase is a viable competitor of Blockchain.info. It is more than just a cyber cryptocurrency wallet, but also a kind of a crypto bank because the customers can exchange fiat money for digital funds within the system. Unfortunately, such a function is available only for US residents. The service allows working with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

The customers’ attitude towards Coinbase is rather ambivalent because it offers unique and useful services, but at the same time partially limits the users’ freedom. Positive sides of the website are crypto money insurance, quick transactions, and low commission fee. On the other hand, the site does not allow to stay anonym: access to all the functions of the service requires providing your official data. As well, Coinbase may track your transactions.

Mobile wallets

It is so convenient to pay with mobile bitcoin and altcoin wallets that they are often compared with ordinary wallets and purses. Usually, people who frequently conduct transactions during a day need them. These applications cannot be full nodes because of limited memory on mobile devices; due to a constant connection to the Internet, the storage of money in mobile wallets is a risky business. Therefore, people do not keep large amount on founds there. In addition, your smartphone can be lost or stolen.

Mycelium

Mycelium is a reliable Bitcoin software wallet for smartphones, which has positive feedback from customers. The app is protected with pin-code; it also creates a mnemonic phrase for disaster recovery. Users may check the condition of their other wallets, but cannot dispose of money from them; it guarantees the safety of the funds stored on other devices. The design is more suitable for advanced users of cryptocurrency; newcomers are unlikely to find it convenient.

Breadwallet

Beginners may choose Breadwallet to store Bitcoins; it is considered to be one of the best free cryptocurrency wallets for IOS users. However, it is also available for Android OS. The app is connected directly to Bitcoin network, so customers have not to cooperate with third parties. But still, users should not rely on high security; Breadwallet does not support multi-signature and multi-factor authentication. Thus, customers are strongly not recommended to store large amounts of money on the app.

Airbitz

Users highly appreciate this Bitcoin app for convenience. Furthermore, it provides a high level of security and does not cooperate with third parties due to the decentralized system.

An exceptional feature of Airbitz is a business directory; thanks to it, customers can see all the establishments that accept Bitcoins on a map. The only disadvantage is that commission for transactions depends on the workload of the system, and sometimes users complain about high fees.

Types of offline cryptocurrency wallets: cold storage

Paper wallets

The notion of paper wallet determines storage of your public and private keys on a piece of paper. Usually, it also contains QR-code for fast scanning. A paper wallet is highly secure because of inability to connect to the Internet, but still, it is important to care about its physical safety.

How to make a paper cryptocurrency wallet? You have to get appropriate access keys; then, you should import them into an online wallet. There are websites which generate keys for free, e.g., bitaddress.org or walletgenerator.net. Usually, such wallets support more than one or two currencies. For instance, walletgenerator works with 197 coins!

Of course, keys and codes are not enough to conduct transactions. You have to use mobile application for storing digital money (e.g., Jaxx) and scan public key. After, it is necessary to integrate online and paper wallets.

 

This way of keeping your bitcoins or altcoins is reliable but really inconvenient. Users must scan codes or enter keys for every transaction conducting. Some people confuse QR-codes and arrange transactions not properly, etc. The above mentioned shows that paper wallets are perfect only for virtual storage money.

Hardware crypto wallets

Hardware wallet is an electronic device that aims to keep and protect digital money. It looks like a USB flash-drive. Users can connect the device to a computer and work with it as with an ordinary digital wallet; in offline mode, it is a safe cold storage for virtual money. The most obvious drawback is the price. These physical depositories are not cheap, and you can get any other type of bitcoin and alt coin wallets for free. Still, many crypto-owners do not try to save on safety because hardware devices are believed to be the best digital wallets.

Regarding advantages, it is worth to mention small size and portability. You cannot carry around your laptop, and a piece of paper is vulnerable to being easily damaged. Still, hardware wallets are designed to be useless in the hands of someone who does not own them.

Ledger Nano S ($99)

Ledger Nano is a perfect example of price-quality ratio. It offers the best security, convenience, support of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash and many other popular cryptocurrencies, so every active user of digital money will find it indispensable. Security is protected by several means. The device has two buttons, and a user has to press them at the same time to confirm a transaction; therefore, hackers cannot transfer funds through remote access. The wallet requires an input of a pin-code. Thus, even if you lose your electronic storage, you will not lose money. Three invalid inputs block up the device; in addition, Ledger Nano S supports mnemonic phrase. Thanks to the screen, users can see the address of recipient’s wallet, and this prevents hackers’ fraud while transactions are conducting.

Trezor ($110)

Trezor was the first device that allowed storing Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other crypto coins safely. Over the years, it has been improved, and now customers can benefit from several services that excel other electronic mechanisms of reliable storing of coins. All the operations are carried out transparently: users are able to understand the algorithm. It is hard to find a safer wallet; your funds are in no danger even when dealing with an infected computer. The device is distinguished by the high resistance to moisture and extreme temperatures.

KeepKey ($129)

KeepKey is s a decent competitor of two above-mentioned giants in the field of storing digital money. It is easy to work with the wallet for users even from the very beginning. The device supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, and Dogecoin. The company plans to expand this list in a short time.

Thanks to the mnemonic phrase, you will not lose your money if anything happens to your wallet. As well, malware cannot harm the device. KeepKey is the most beautiful wallet to store coins; there is no person who wouldn’t like its’ laconic and elegant design. The device is equipped with a large screen, which further simplifies the use.

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of