What is the best crypto wallet? This might be the first question a serious cryptocurrency investor will ask.
Keeping your funds safe is the most important principle in cryptocurrency investing. The numbers of cryptocurrency exchange hacking incidents have already proven that despite added security, exchanges are not sure. Decentralization and dis-intermediary are some of the key ideologies of cryptocurrency. Users who utilize the network for peer to peer transactions are expected to keep their funds safe from theft and loss. In traditional banking, personal banking is the most important point during the transaction. If you lose your bank card, password, or become a victim of credit card theft, there is always the option of going down to a bank branch and verify your identity before resolving such issues.
However, in the cryptocurrency space, this is simply not true. The owner of a private key has the right to a certain amount of cryptocurrency tokens on the network. The blockchain network only cares if the private key signing the transaction is correct, the person behind the screen does not matter. Thus, once your private keys are compromised, it is the equivalent of handing over your cryptocurrency funds. Similarly, losing your access to the private key will also mean a permanent loss in funds as there is no customer support to help you retrieve your funds.
So how do you keep your funds safe? What is the best Bitcoin wallet?
With the steep learning curve of using cryptocurrency, it can be difficult to sift through the plethora of options and opinions. But don’t worry. In this article, we will be looking into the top 10 cryptocurrency wallets in 2019.
What Makes A Good Cryptocurrency Wallet?
There are five main factors to set the criteria for defining the best crypto wallet. They are control over private keys, ease of use, compatibility, development community, and backup security. For a cryptocurrency wallet to be considered good, it should be as secure as possible with some form of backup. Secondly, the wallet interface needs to be easy enough for users to pick up quickly without geek-speak or coding knowledge. Besides, the wallets should have a strong and active community around it to develop improvements such as updating patches and bug fixing to keep up with the rapidly evolving cryptocurrency industry. Lastly, the cryptocurrency wallet in question should be able to hold as many types of tokens as possible.
Further down this article, you might find wallets that do not meet all these criteria’s but are profound in a certain area. This is normal as anyone definition of the best cryptocurrency wallet is only as good as its ability for practical use and fulfilling user intent. As such, each cryptocurrency wallet has a niche value proposition.
Hot And Cold Wallets
If you have plowed through the internet searching for the best crypto wallet for your latest cryptocurrency investment, then you should have come across the terms ‘Hot’ and ‘Cold’ wallet. These wallets are very different and play an important role in the security and accessibility of cryptocurrency funds.
Before we go into an explanation of wallets, lets quickly run through two key concepts; private keys and public keys. The private key is the method in which transactions are signed mathematically on the network as the network will only approve signatures from a valid private key. On the other hand, public keys allow you to send and receive cryptocurrency tokens through a string of code or representation of those codes, the QR code.
Now that we have clear up the gist of those concepts, let’s delve in.
Hot wallets are connected to the internet and allow you to have more access to your cryptocurrency funds for transactions. This added accessibility comes at a cost of security when you connect to the internet. It exposes not only your device but also the private keys. A situation like this creates opportunities for hackers to act with malicious intent.
Cold wallets are offline. The private keys are inside a device. Moreover, any transactions are signed within it. After which, the result of the interaction will be sent outwards. This process is time-consuming as any transaction requires you to pull out the device. However, it is also the safest as the private key does not leave the device and not even the computer. It is connected to have access to it.
Paper wallets, as their name suggests, is having the private keys inscribed on a piece of paper. This can be the best crypto wallet to store the private keys and by extension, the cryptocurrency funds, if certain conditions are met. Firstly, the computer or device must be secured when the private key is initially accessed. Secondly, the paper itself is not lost or damaged such that the private keys are no longer legible. Lastly, the private keys are never seen by other parties online or otherwise. Paper wallets are safe as the private keys are stored offline, but there is always the risk of losing that piece of paper through accidents or theft. Accessibility can also be an issue as the piece of paper needs to be taken out every time the private keys are required.
Mobile wallets have the private keys stored onto a mobile device. The main appeal to this method of storage is the great ease and convenience in accessing the cryptocurrency funds. While it might not be the best blockchain wallet, it is the most compatible to use as the mobile interface is familiar to most users today. The practical application of a mobile wallet would involve the storage of a smaller amount of funds or funds that are expected to be moved frequently.
Similarly, with the mobile wallet, an application stores the private key. A desktop wallet not only brings greater convenience but also presents a greater risk than a mobile wallet. The activity that takes place on the device and frequent connection to the internet presents a huge risk in breach of security. Hackers can deploy common phishing techniques and other malicious means to acquire access to the device and thereby mine the cryptocurrency tokens.
Top 10 Wallets
1. My Ether Wallet
My Ether Wallet is an initiative developed by an organization of cryptocurrency enthusiast as a wallet client for ERC-20 tokens. These are tokens developed from the Ethereum network. With a My Ether Wallet, you can create an Ether wallet on its website, which allows you to interact with the Ethereum blockchain. Some will consider it as the best blockchain wallet because of the fast set up and ease of use. My Ether Wallet is browser-based with a large data bank for FAQs and user guides. On top of that, it is free to use and accessible.
However, it is not the best bitcoin wallet as bitcoin is not an ERC-20 token. This limitation to Ethereum based tokens reduces its compatibility, which in turn reduces convenience for users with a larger range of cryptocurrency holdings. My Ether Wallet is cooperative and not a company. Support can be difficult to acquire, especially in the case of a lost password. As such, users must take greater proactivity for safekeeping their cryptocurrency.
2. Enjin Wallet
Currently, available for both IOS and Android, Enjin is developed by Enjin Pte. Ltd. in Singapore as a mobile wallet for cryptocurrencies. It is a contender as the best crypto wallet for mobile application as it not only holds privacy ethics in high regards with no advertisements within the mobile application but also added security through features such as two-level encryption. Enjin makes it to the article’s top ten list as the best crypto wallet as it can combine high security with user experience. Its two-level encryption uses two separate layers of cryptography while its intuitive interface enables users to access details of transactions, block screenshots and is compatible with not only ERC-20 tokens but also bitcoin, Litecoin, etc.
3. Bread Wallet
Bread is a venture-backed company providing a decentralized wallet. This meant that there are no accounts or server to hack. User accesses this blockchain wallet and connects to the network via a twelve-word key. It is compatible with both bitcoin and ERC-20 tokens making it very convenient for users to store multiple types of cryptocurrency using the same interface. The crypto wallet is designed for beginners with an easy to use interface and an extensive knowledge bank. Bread makes it to the top ten list for the best crypto wallet as it differentiates itself through the availability of support and its decision to support the community by making its core wallet technology free and open-source.
Metamask is an Ethereum based web wallet that allows the user to connect to the Ethereum blockchain. It has extensions into different web browsers with a built-in exchange, thereby giving it greater convenience for users. Being a decentralized application, it is multilingual supported to cater to a varied global audience. A key feature to note is Metamask’s categorization as an HD wallet which relies on the single seed generated during initial set up. Since there is no customer support, users have to be more proactive and diligent in storing the required information. While it can contest as the best crypto wallet for web browsers, it is unfortunately not the best bitcoin wallet as Metamask does not support bitcoin.
Exodus wallet’s versatility is its greatest strength. Founded in 2015, it has a statement to empower people to control their wealth. This wallet has the most range in user experience as it can be a desktop wallet, mobile wallet, and compatible with the hardware wallet Trezor. Currently, it is compatible with 105 different kinds of cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin. It makes it to the list of the best crypto wallet as it has decent interface compatibility, coupled with responsive support and the ability to provide crypto exchange services.
6. JAXX Wallet
JAXX wallet is a contender for the best mobile wallet as it applies to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and 80 other cryptocurrencies. Besides being free, its cross-platform ability is the wallet’s main differentiating feature. It contains an exchange for supported digital assets, portfolio management to track each cryptocurrency’s performance, market data display, and a news feed. This convenience is combined with customer support and the ability to monitor transactional data.
Coinomi is a desktop and mobile wallet with a broad range of over 1,500 blockchain assets. That makes it one of the best blockchain wallets. Coinomi has certain distinct features, most notably its emphasis on anonymity. It allows users to anonymize the IP address as well as eliminating the bureaucratic KYC process. Also, it provides support and is readable in over 25 different languages. That makes Coinomi’s adoption practical for many around the globe. Besides being a wallet for cryptocurrencies, Coinomi has a partnership with entities such as shapeshift and change to enable cryptocurrency exchange functions for supported digital assets. Another versatile wallet, Coinomi certainly has a place among the best crypto wallet of 2019.
For cryptocurrency veterans, Electrum might be a familiar name. Created in November 2011 by Thomas Voegtlin, Electrum is a Bitcoin wallet with a long 8-year history. Since then, various contributing developers has been working on its source code. As a decentralized wallet for desktop and mobile devices, Electrum will never experience downtime. Moreover, it gives the user greater control over their private keys. In the case of accidents, there is a secret phrase for each user to recover their funds, making the wallet slightly more forgiving towards mishaps. Using your desktop or mobile wallet as a form of cold storage for the private keys does have its risks as mentioned in the earlier sections. However, Electrum still takes a spot in this list of top 10 best cryptocurrency wallet as its utility has endured the test of time.
By SatoshiLabs, Trezor is a cold wallet for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and over 1000 other supported cryptocurrencies. Being a cold wallet, the private keys never leave the device. It is one of the most secure cryptocurrency wallets in the market. Trezor has extensive customer support. It has the option to back up the device with a 24-word recovery seed. Somehow, it is slightly inconvenient for users who frequently transfer funds. However, the level of security it provides is well worth it.
10. Nano Ledger
Nano Ledger provides secure offline storage for your private keys. It can be the product rival of the Trezor with a range of cold wallet devices at different degrees of capability. As with Trezor, all Nano Ledger devices have the option to set a string of recovery seeds in the event the device becomes lost or damaged. Users choosing between the Trezor and Nano Ledger will likely be considering the price factor and capabilities required for its intended use.
With the list above, the article concludes the top 10 cryptocurrency wallet of 2019. Keep in mind that individual requirements are the basis for choosing wallets. What works for a user might not be optimal for another due to product usage behavior.
If you would like to learn more about cryptocurrency, stay tuned for more content from Robot.net.