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Top Crypto Wallets – Secure Your Crypto Ledger

We have now entered into 2019 and it’s time for reviewing which crypto wallets currently hold the top position in the crypto market. Do the old champions still standing tall or is there any new kid in the block taking the market by ‘storm’ nowadays?

Just as we are reviewing, we think it would be a good idea to revisit the fundamental again to jog your memory about what a cryptocurrency wallet is, just in case.

What is a Crypto Wallet?

A cryptocurrency wallet is a software program which holds your private key and public keys for storing, receiving, transacting crypto coins on different blockchains and you can check your balance as well.

For quick note –

  • The private key is what allows you to do the transactions and therefore you would be wise to keep it only to yourself. Every wallet has one or in case of a multicurrency wallet, you have a pair of private and public keys. 
  • The public key is derived from the private key using complex mathematical computation which the wallet software does. 
  • The public address is derived from the public key by hashing it and this address is stored in the blockchain and that is your identity in the blockchain. In case you have forgotten, hashing is an encryption technique where decrypting it is impossible (statistically highly improbable) without the key. 
  • While some of these wallets hold only one type of crypto coins say bitcoin only, some are capable of holding numerous cryptocurrencies. These are called multi-currency crypto wallets.

If you want to know how does the wallet work or simply looking for more detail in cryptocurrency wallet, we would recommend you to check out our earlier article – “What Are Cryptocurrency Wallets and How Do We Use Them.”

So, now that we are done with the basic, we would now lecture you on the type of cryptocurrency wallet are at your disposal presently in the crypto world.

Type of Cryptocurrency Wallets

Primarily Crypto wallet can be categorized into Hot Wallet and Cold Wallet.

Hot Wallets aka Hot Storages are the wallets that are connected to a peer-to-peer network i.e. which are connected to the internet. These are also primarily software-based wallets and therefore serve the purpose of  “full-service” wallets – it contains programs that carry out all of the necessary functions for storing keys, balance, and making transactions. Almost all of the best cryptocurrency wallets available on the market today can operate as a full-service wallet.

These wallets are great because of its innate convenience and easy-to-access characteristics making this type suitable for basic transactions and immediate transactions or purchase. But being of its online nature, these type of wallets are vulnerable to hacking and private key theft. Now we would like to stress on this here – though there are some dedicated hot wallets which don’t handle key generation, in most cases hot wallets store your private keys on the internet that are controlled by third-party and therefore getting hold of your private key means saying bye-bye to your fund.

Cold storages are, you have guessed it right, the ones not connected to the internet and therefore always require a hot wallet for interacting with the blockchain to function. They are immensely secure devices (look like pen drives) and suitable for long-term storing of coins mostly a large sum. The disadvantages with this type of wallets are you have executed a workflow of offline or online transactions needing you to physically copying or moving data between different devices. And if you lose the device, you lose your fund (no Google Drive to your rescue!).

Now, let’s see the main five types of crypto wallets are in use today

Hardware Wallet

 

 

The hardware wallets are dedicated devices like your flash drive or USB stick. Hardware wallets are often small devices thus making it portable. Hardware wallets do not require downloading and syncing of the full blockchain. There are some hardware wallets which have an LCD or OLED screen on top for displaying and verifying important details.

Setting up the wallets are easy as all you need to do is simply connect the wallet with your computer or laptop (of course with internet access) via USB port to access the wallet software. Next, you enter your pin, send the fund and confirm your transaction by clicking the button on the wallet case.

The wallet software interfaces are designed to prevent user error that is they are rather intuitive. Then there are some hardware wallets like Archos Safe-T mini which you can connect to your mobile phone as well.

Depending on which hardware wallet you opt for, you can hold multiple cryptocurrencies of your choice and may interface with multiple web interfaces. Hardware wallets store your private key and employ various encryption method to secure it, so you don’t have to rely on the security of a personal computer.

You may think that if you lose the device, you have lost your fund. Not exactly. There are some hardware wallets which can be restored using a seed phrase (sent to you earlier for backup) in case of any damage, loss or malfunction of the device.

Hence, even if your hardware wallet got stolen, the thief still requires to break the user-chosen security such as the pin to access the device. Though he may eventually break that protection, this gives you sufficient time to act, i.e. get your replacement hardware wallet, enter your seed phrases, and transfer the fund out of your restored wallet.

So what are the disadvantages of hardware wallets? The inability to download the whole blockchain data also arises because a hardware wallet has low storage space. Another reason for this is it is not wise to keep a lot of free space, according to the manufacturers. You can therefore only keep a few wallets in the device, and in case you need a new one, you have to uninstall anyone to make space for the new. You can always restore the uninstalled wallet when you require easily though, as the hardware wallet stores that private key.

Hardware wallets focus on less user error and therefore simplicity. So it does not download the full blockchain data, which leads to the lack of all the functionality that a full-featured wallet software or a specific cryptocurrency offers. For an example, the Ethereum Mist hardware wallet won’t be able to access the Ethereum DApps features.

Another problem with this type of wallet is, unlike desktop wallets, this supports only a limited number of coins. Thus you have to wait for the developers to add support for that unsupported cryptocurrency you want to store.

Example: Nano Ledger S and Trezor would be the main one that you have heard. Then there are others like Ledger Blue, Trezor Model T, KeepKey, CoolWallet S, Digital Bitbox, OpenDime,  etc. These wallets can cost you anywhere from $30 up to over $200.

So in a nutshell,

Advantages:

  • Offers stronger security than all the other type of wallets
  • It offers recovery methods in case of theft albeit within a short time
  • Great for storing a large sum of cryptocurrencies

Disadvantages:

  • Generally supports a limited number of cryptocurrencies
  • Difficult for beginners to understand and access.
  • Cannot avail the full features of a particular cryptocurrency

Cloud or Exchange-based Wallet

These are popularly referred to as Online Wallets.  This type of wallets is basically web-based wallets which are accessed through a web browser. So it is rather easy to access it from any device with an internet connection in an instant. These cloud wallets are very easy to create and the fastest among all to operate.

Sometimes, these wallets are hosted by exchanges like Poloniex, Bittrex,  or Bitstamp. Some online wallets are capable of holding multiple cryptocurrencies and even offer the swapping between crypto pairs and crypto-fiat pairs. Blockchain.info is a great example of such an online wallet.

Note here that there are also some online wallets that are referred to as custodial wallets meaning you do not control your keys directly, since these wallets keep your private keys on third-party servers, thus raising a major security concern. So if the server of that particular exchange gets hacked or is shut down, your private key and hence your fund is compromised. Mt. Gox is such an exchange which lost most of the bitcoin fund of their users.

Therefore you should not store all your assets on online wallets. These wallets are ideal for small amounts of cryptocurrencies only. We should advise you to use always use reputed exchanges, spread your assets and always enable two-factor authentication to add that extra layer of security. A very good example of an exchange-based custodial wallet is Coinbase. Other examples of online wallets are Coins.ph and GreenAddress.

Advantages

  • Fastest wallets and cover complete transactions
  • Some wallets hold or store multiple cryptocurrencies
  • Ideal for storing a small number of cryptocurrencies
  • TOR network can be used for more privacy

Disadvantages:

  • With this wallet, the user is susceptible to hacking, phishing or theft, scams i.e. a threat to your privacy
  • The coin information is stored with a third-party

Desktop Wallets

Desktop wallets are a most common type of wallet in use today. You basically just download this software and install these on your computer or laptop, making the wallet accessible from that device only. And it offers very high security as the keys are stored in the hard drive of that device.

The high security of these hot wallets comes from the level of user control it offers, allowing full access to your private or public keys as well as the wallet’s seed, which is used for restoring the wallet. Desktop wallets are full-featured wallets, offering you all the functionality of those cryptocurrencies it can hold.

But though you don’t disclose the key, that doesn’t mean that its security cannot get comprised. So how can this happen? Say if you damage the device or lose it you cannot access your wallet anymore. Then there is the threat of malware, virus, keyloggers, and hacks.

So your wallet can be compromised if a hacker gains remote access somehow, especially over public wifi, or say when you unknowingly click any malicious link or download files on that computer. Therefore, it is mandatory that you should always use very good anti-virus software, on that PC, besides taking other precautions.

Now desktop wallets can either support a single cryptocurrency or can support multiple cryptocurrencies. So to function the single-support desktop wallets always download the full blockchain data of that coin, which is known as running a full node.

Examples: Mist (for Ethereum), Bitcoin Core (for Bitcoin), and the Monero GUI/CLI wallet. Whereas Exodus and Jaxx are two very good examples of multi-currency desktop wallet.

Advantages:

  • Easy to use and full-feature cryptocurrency wallets
  • Private keys are not stored with a third-party server
  • Offers the highest level of security among all

Disadvantages

  • Vulnerable to malware, keyloggers, and hacking of your device
  • Need to download the entire blockchain data and sync it every time you open

Mobile Wallets

Mobile wallets are those wallets which you can download and operate on your mobile as an iOS, Android or windows phone app. Just like other mobile apps, these wallets are much lighter and simpler and therefore take very less memory space compared to their desktop peers. Mobile wallets use only a subset of the main blockchain ledger working with Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) technology and thus are made lightweight.

The obvious benefit of mobile wallets is the seer portability and convenience it offers. And with more and more people shifting to use of mobile from traditional computers and laptops, its popularity is soaring.

These wallets store your keys thus allowing you to pay anywhere anytime you want. You can also make of the very common QR code scanning facility or the NFC (if your phone has one) to transact, receive or check out your fund.

Examples: Breadwallet, Mycelium, Coinomi, Electrum, Copay, Jaxx etc.

Advantages:

  • It is very practical, portable and easy to use
  • Offers additional features like QR scanning, NFC
  • It offers more privacy
  • You can use the TOR network for extra privacy

Disadvantages:

  • Less secure as your phone is open to malware, viruses, and keyloggers.
  • Doesn’t offer as much security as other hot wallets

Paper Wallet

Before hardware wallet came up, the paper wallet was the de facto choice as cold storage but now really an underrated one. A paper wallet can be a piece of software that securely generates a pair of keys. These are then printed on a paper or simply the printing of your private and public keys on a piece of paper. You can also print out the QR codes for both keys and just scan that when need it.

If you want to transfer cryptocurrencies on your paper wallet, all you need to do is to transfer coins from your software wallet to the public address of your paper wallet. Similarly, when sending or withdrawing, you just put that keys from your paper wallet to your hot wallets. Thus all you just either enter the keys manually or scan the QR codes of the keys into a software or web wallet.

If generated in a trusted or safe environment, paper wallets are extremely secure. Since it is saved in a piece of paper, there is neither a centralized agency or a third-party involved nor it can be hacked by any digital means, therefore offering a very high level of security.

Paper wallets are the most inconvenient type of wallet to use and are only employed as a method of cold storage. In order to do create that, you need to generate the wallet in software and therefore forsake the offline or cold aspect of the wallet, whenever you want to access the fund.

The only way to keep the wallet offline but send the value would be the hand over the wallet document. Also, you can just tell the value to the receiving party but they may doubt you, therefore, it requires a lot of trust in the transaction.

Therefore these type of wallet requires responsible storage as you should create reliable backup copies, in case of loss or damage to the wallet, and keep those safe as well.

Example: BitAddress.org and Bitcoin Armory are two such software (wallets) which can help you create and print your paper wallet. MyEtherWallet is a great paper wallet for Ethereum and ERC-20 Tokens

Advantages:

  • It is totally hack-proof since the private key is not stored on a third party server. In fact, it does not even involve internet connectivity

Disadvantages:

  • Requires more effort to move the cryptocurrencies around
  • It asks for more technical understanding

Bonus Wallet: Multi-signature Wallet

Ok, this does not really fall under the category of crypto wallet in the respect of those earlier five, but let’s say it is in its category of its own.

Multi-signature wallets are very similar to those shared bank accounts you share with your partner or parents. And as the name suggests, this wallet requires signatures from more than one i.e. from all partners to authenticate any transaction – thus you can share it between people. Another great feature making it awesome is you can save one key on your laptop and another in your mobile, or so and you need keys from both devices to use it.

Example: Electrum, Blocktrail, Greenaddress.it, BitGo, Armory etc.

Advantages:

  • It is extremely safe and therefore offers the highest level of security
  • It is meant for the crypto wallet for Business mostly
  • Hackers need all keys to getting the  hold of your fund
  • The wallet naturally offer the key backup feature in case you have lost one of yours

Disadvantages:

  • Not really a convenient one if you want to get done with transaction quickly and definitely not really easy to use

So now let’s get into the top crypto wallets you should be using in 2019 and these are in no particular order.

Ledger Nano S

The first one is still the undisputed king of crypto wallets, more specifically in the cold storage category and it is none other than Ledger Nano S – a product of the France-based crypto asset security startup called Ledger that was founded in 2014.

The hardware wallet is basically a compact flash drive (or USB) like device based on a smart card. Made of brushed stainless steel and plastic, the device measures 98mm x 18mm x 9mm and weighs just 16.2gm making it pretty easy to carry in your pocket. There is an OLED screen on the top which lets you check all the information (balance or status) you readily need with the help of the two physical buttons found on its one side. The entire device is protected by a metal swivel cover. Apart from the device itself, the box contains USB Cable, Key Chain, Lanyard, Instruction Card and Recovery Card.

The ledger is a battery-less device and so you need to connect to a PC or mobile device via USB port (connector type B). Ledger Nano S is supported in desktop OS like 64-bit Mac (10.8+), Windows (7+), Linux, as well as on Chrome OS and mobile OS like Android and iOS as well.

The device is powered by BOLOS OS – a proprietary operating system developed by Ledger. offering individual shield around each app on your device.

When you connect it the first time you are using you will be needed to choose a secure four-digit PIN for the device. Note here if you fail to provide the correct pin thrice, the device wipes itself. The pin is required everytime you want to access the device.

A 24-word seed which will be used to create your private keys will be sent to you. This seed should be written down in a safe place and definitely not on your computer. If anyone can lay his hand on this seed will have control over your coins, therefore it would be wise to write this seed down using a Cryptosteel device or any other secure place you can think of. The benefit of the second screen here is the seed gets display on this device screen and not on your computer or mobile screen, thus making it near impossible for any hacker to get it.

Next, you need to your recovery phrase and to do that a 24-word recovery phrase is given which you can use to recover your account on another ledger device if the first one gets stolen. Now your device is set up, the next step for you would be to install Ledger Live – an intuitive software that lets you interface with the transaction. The Ledger Nano S can also be used to secure existing software wallets.

The device is compatible with a wide range of software wallets and eventually more will be added. The current list of these supported wallets includes Ledger Wallet Bitcoin, Ledger Wallet Ripple, Ledger Wallet Ethereum, Copay, Electrum, Mycelium, MyEtherWallet, GreenBits,  and BitGo.

Ledger Nano S is a multicurrency wallet and it supports over 700 crypto coins and tokens. While the main crypto coins can be sent and received via the Ledger Live software interface, the less popular coins and mainly the ERC-20 type tokens that are used in ICOs require alternative software connected to the Ledger to send and receive them – this is where MyEtherWallet or MyCryptoWallet. Some of the main cryptocurrencies includes Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC), Dogecoin (DOGE), Zcash (ZEX), Dash (DASH), Neo (NEO), Stealthcoin (XST), Stellar (XLM), Hcash (HSR), Digibyte (DGB), Qtum (QTUM), PivX (PIVX) etc. This also quite interestingly add Fido U2F to this list.

The apps have a minimalistic design offering a pleasant experience. If you are thinking that using this device may be a bit complex, worry not, cause the UI is very well designed with an intuitive layout thus finding the various options in the apps are pretty simple.

 

Though the Ledger Nano S will cost you $93 USD which is a bit high, it is still a value for money wallet if you have a large number of crypto coins to keep. Yes, the price is higher than other crypto wallets like Trezor, but it supports some additional coins, making it worth the extra bucks.

Pros:

  • Ledger Nano S is capable of running third-party apps and currently, as per the site there are 18 installable apps
  • Ledger Nano S support most altcoins available in the crypto market today which is about 718 crypto coins.
  • It can run 5 – 18 device applications simultaneously.
  • Integrates with a large number of software wallets
  • It is a very affordable hardware wallet, giving a very high-value proposition
  • Another great feature is the entire recovery process can be done from the device only without even connecting it to a computer
  • It is Segwit enabled

Cons:

  • Ledger Nano S is not as advanced wallet software (no transaction labeling)
  • No feature to create hidden accounts
  • There is no password manager present
  • Not as reputable as other hardware wallets like Trezor

Trezor

Developed by SatoshiLabs, a Czech Republic-based company operating since 2013, Trezor is the first secure Bitcoin hardware wallet in the world. The firm is cofounded by Slush, CEO and Stick, CTO.

Trezor is also a flash drive like device with an OLED screen on top for displaying important information, just like the Ledger Nano S. It cannot be infected by malware and never exposes your private keys thus making it as safe as holding traditional paper money.

Trezor’s software is open source and very transparent, with all technical decisions taken by consulting the wider community. The wallet has a very intuitive interface and it is easy to use. The device is compatible with OS X, Windows, and Linux as well as with iOS and Android mobiles and tablets. However, it is advisable to use Trezor via Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox for guaranteed support.

There are quite a lot of hot wallets available for you to use in conjunction with Trezor such as Trezor wallet, Mycelium, Electrum-DASH, Electrum, Etherwall etc. Also, there are some coins (ETH, for example) which require the use of an external wallet and therefore cannot be interacted with Trezor’s basic wallet.

Trezor also supports a wide range of crypto coins and ERC-20 tokens but that number is a bit lower than the Ledger Nano S.  As per the official site of Trezor, the device (both Trezor One and Model T) presently supports about 746 coins with some of them soon to be added. But here is a catch, if you are thinking that it supports all the cryptocurrencies, then you will be disappointed. Though the Model T now support coins like Ripple, Tether, Monero coins (but not third-party wallet for them), the Trezor One model doesn’t support those. In Addition support for other coins like EOS, Tron, Ontology etc. is missing in both models. So if you want more support then opt for the Trezor Model T, if you are ok with a couple of them missing (albeit a few major ones, though the support is expected to be added), then you can go with the cheaper Trezor One.

Trezor wallet gives you 100% control over your private keys and just like Ledger’s wallets, the Trezor offers to back up by using a 24-letter recovery seed, which is generated offline via the inbuilt random number generator which remains hidden from anyone over the internet.

For setting up the device the first time, you need to connect the wallet with your computer or mobile via the USB port, and you need to set up a PIN code. Every time you use the device you will be asked to give the PIN. But for Trezor One it employs a clever technique for you to enter the pin. When asked you will be entering the pin on your computer screen but the display of the actual numbers is only visible on your wallet device thus making the tracking of keystrokes impossible.

Next, it will give you a 24-letter recovery seed just like Ledger device, but on top of that Trezor offer further security in the form of an additional passphrase, thus working as the 25th letter as an additional layer of security.

Note that this seed is not unique to Trezor and therefore say if for some reason the firm goes out of business, you can still use this seed with other popular wallets (Electrum) to recover your Bitcoins.

There is some major difference between the two models of Trezor. The Trezor One is a bit more basic with a monochrome display and two physical buttons to navigate the data on the device screen. All the task like PIN entry, passphrase entry, and device recovery is securely done (input) through your computer and mobile screen. The model offers various features like encrypted storage, U2F authentication, Encryption via GPG and SSH.

The advanced Model T sports a color touch screen and all the above-mentioned password and pin input are entered in the device itself which gives a more secure approach and we recommend this. Among extra features, this model has all that the Android One has to offer with a MicroSD card and On Trezor data and file encryption features are soon to be added.

Among the two types of model available, the cheapest Trezor One White would cost you €69 excluding VAT (€83.49 including VAT), and with Cryptosteel added the cost will rise up to €180.29. The other expensive but the feature-rich model Trezor Model T is priced at €149 and this added with cryptosteel have an asking price of €277.09 including VAT. It offers a damage-resistant vault for recovery seeds alongside the newest Trezor wallet.  

The hardware wallet is best suited for investors and inactive crypto coin savers or people who want to just keep large amounts of coins in a  highly secure way.

Pros:

  • It is a 100% cold storage
  • Offers good security and privacy for the users
  • Trezor has a very easy to use a web interface is beginner-friendly.
  • It has open source software
  • Segwit Enabled

Cons:

  • The device faces security attacks through its firmware and cannot protect you from phishing attacks
  • It cost much more than Ledger Nano S
  • It is not hierarchical deterministic
  • If you want to send bitcoins, the Trezor wallet must be with you.  

Exodus

Exodus is a relatively new desktop wallet and in addition to its advanced features, what sets it apart from other wallets it is colorful, easy to use, intuitive have unique graphics features and reporting system. Any beginner can complete a transaction or operate in an easy to understand step by step manner –  something any non-technical person wil greatly appreciate.

Being a pure desktop wallet, it supports Windows, Mac OS, and Linux platforms and there is no mobile version available. You need to directly download and install the wallet into your computer.

Exodus wallet has a built-in shapeshift exchange which enables users to trade between bitcoin and altcoins inside the wallet itself. The desktop wallet clearly showcases the   of coins you are going to get in the trade in both crypto and fiat values as well as the current spread of the transaction. Additionally, not just Shapeshift, they also have multiple exchange partners (not just ShapeShift), which means they can now offer more exchangeable assets, and capability to source from various partners has enabled exchanging in Exodus faster and much more reliable.

Though it initially supported about 40 cryptocurrencies, the number has gone up as close to 100 now which includes most major ones such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, FunFair, Gnosis, Golem, OmiseGo, Qtu etc.

Being a desktop wallet, Exodus encrypts and stores all your data in your computer hard drive i.e. locally thus you are always in full control of your keys and data. The wallet offers a very simple guide when you want to back up and it does not store your keys on the server during backup.

When you need to restore the wallet, they email you a secure link that is protected by a 12-word passphrase and Exodus key to reactivate your wallet. This passphrase is very very important as you will be your only way to get your wallet back in case you have forgotten your password.  But if you lose your passphrase, then there is no other way to get access to your account.

Note here that though they take security very seriously, the team is yet to offer the two-factor authentication feature.

Exodus does not require a personal email and therefore does not store it – a great feature. You may choose to use any email address or none at all. It only needs an email id once for sending the backup link. Privacy is very important to the Exodus team and therefore they do not store any customer personal data, not even the email address.

Exodus users also have the option to send funds to and receive funds from smart contracts. For your information, the wallet charges a transaction fee every time your payment is processed, but this goes entirely to the blockchain networks and not to the Exodus team. The wallet always favors speed and reliability over lower fees, and so the fee is adjusted as per the demand in the blockchain network. The wallet does not offer the feature to manually adjust this fee as of now. As for some of the features, the real-time pie chart portfolio Exodus wallet offers is great for calculating and organizing your savings.

Exodus is known for its great support team which has been highly rated by the users. Its site has over 100 articles on various topics, explaining the features, fee structure, and how to troubleshoot in details with 17 other general topics. The site also offers an extensive list of FAQs with videos in case you need more detailed help.

Pros:

  • The wallet has great design
  • The desktop wallet is 100% free to use
  • Good privacy and security
  • It is engineered keeping beginners in mind therefore easy to use
  • Intuitive interface with powerful charting tool at your disposal
  • It supports multiple cryptocurrencies
  • It has built-in trading and portfolio functions
  • Offers automatic fee adjustment
  • Offers great help and prompt support

Cons:

  • Exodus doesn’t offer any web interface or mobile app
  • It has limited security features
  • There is no two-factor authentication in offer either
  • Not 100% open source

Jaxx

Now comes a wallet which is one of our favorite and it is simply because it is one of those feature-rich versatile wallets that we are so much after. It is Jaxx  – a multi-chain mixed wallet. Jaxx wallet can operate on 8 different platforms – be it the desktop platforms like OSX Windows, Linux, Chrome OS, or mobile platforms like iOS and Android running on devices such as tablets and smartphones. And that’s not it, you can also use Jaxx as Chrome and Firefox and Chrome extensions. And this wallet is so greatly designed that it syncs and function across all devices across all platforms.

Another point of Jaxx popularity and prestige comes from its background. The company who has created Jaxx is Decentral – Canada’s leading blockchain company and then the founder of Jaxx is Anthony Di Iorio, who was a co-founder of Ethereum.

The Jaxx wallet is 100% free and supports more than 85 crypto coins and tokens as per the site’s claim which includes Bitcoin, Ether, Ether Classic, Dash, DAO, Litecoin,  REP, Zcash, and Rootstock among others. In addition to crypto coins, Jaxx also allows you to hold fiat currencies. Jaxx is well designed to offer a smooth Bitcoin and Ethereum transaction experience to the users.

Jaxx user interface is simple and intuitively designed making it a user-friendly one in spite of being feature heavy and it is very good for beginners in the crypto world as well. The wallet also features a new portfolio module, market data, blockchain news section, and block explorers.

Jaxx employs the Shapeshift exchange facility – another great feature of Jaxx. This in conjunction with importing or sweeping Ethereum paper wallet allow the user to convert between Bitcoin, Ether and DAO tokens. This feature is a very important one for investors and traders. The developers have promised that this feature will be available for any other coin added in future as well.

Another perk of being a multi-platform wallet is you can simply opt for scanning the QR code of the receiver to send money, where normally, i.e. In the case of the desktop version, you need to manually enter receiver’s addresses.

There is three custom fee option available for you in Jaxx wallet – slow, average, and high fees as per your required transactions speed. Just like Exodus wallet, these transaction fees depend on the priority on the blockchains and the fee collected for every transaction is blockchain fee, not a penny goes to Jaxx. So if you are wondering how Jaxx team makes money then the answer to this is they get it by facilitating those ShapeShift transactions.

On signing up, Jaxx does not collect any information about you so there is nothing it saves on its server, meaning you have full control of your data. As usual, Jaxx offers back up facility through a single master seed. In 2017, hackers were able to steal $400,000 in Zcash and Ethereum by hacking the seed phrase of Jaxx and there has not been an official confirmation of that getting fixed yet. Another thing to mention here is the Jaxx wallet has missed on offering the two-factor authentication and as expected, the multi-signature support, which by the way is a nice option to have.

So many features, on-going integration, and mobility makes Jaxx an excellent choice for those who need a multi-currency wallet and or on the move often. Though it is not suitable to use in place of a hardware wallet, people with less money to store can opt for Jaxx.

Pros:

  • It offers multi-currency support
  • It is supported across multiple platforms and devices
  • Jaxx offers good privacy and security – one of the most secure software wallet available
  • It has an in-built exchange for fast crypto conversion
  • Offer great user support
  • Jaxx is feature-rich
  • The wallet is user-friendly
  • It is 100% free to use

Cons:

  • The code is not open source
  • It can be slow to load
  • Unsurity in rectifying the vulnerability in extracting user seed phrase
  • Risk of mobile viruses and malware.

KeepKey Wallet

KeepKey is a cryptocurrency hardware wallet which enables storage and transaction of multiple currencies. It is one of the most the most secure Bitcoin wallet available in the market. It allows you to safely recover your device in case it is stolen without compromising your security keys. It supports bitcoin, bitcoin gold,  bitcoin cash, Ethereum, dogecoin, dash, litecoin, Namecoin as well as multiple ERC-20 tokens. KeepKey hardware wallet also protects your assets from hacker and thieves. KeepKey cannot store Ripple at this moment but they will be adding the coin in the near future.

Launched in 2015, KeepKey uses advanced technology to secure the assets of users. Using its hardware-based random number generator, in combination with the randomness provided by your computer, it generates a private key.  After generating the private key, it gives a one-time opportunity to take a backup of your KeepKey in the form of a twelve-word recovery sentence. Even if it does manage to falls into the wrong hands, it will be totally useless as because it is PIN-protected.

Even if your KeepKey is stolen or lost, you can safely recover your device without compromising its private keys.  KeepKey doesn’t have any operating system, it is virus and malware Proof. The layers which viruses, malware, and keyloggers infect do not exist on this device. So you will have confidence that the hackers cannot get your bitcoins.

KeepKey allows its users to access their cryptocurrency even on insecure computers as it functions as a USB Dongle. All you need to do to initialize it is to just plug it in your computer To initialize your KeepKey, you have to first plug it in your computer and download the client software from the Chrome app store. The client has a very simple and straightforward interface and features are properly documented. In Fact, there are clear instructions for even basic actions such as sending and receiving funds, adding multiple accounts and viewing transactions.

KeepKey is compatible with almost all operating systems including  Android. KeepKey is also compatible with the other  Electrum, MultiBit and Mycelium software wallets. It has a Google Chrome plugin which is also available for you to use.  

On August 2017, Shapeshift.io had announced its acquisition of hardware wallet manufacturer KeepKey. Its acquisition by Shapeshift.io allowed KeepKay to convert coins from within the Wallet. In other words, by using ShapeShift, assets can be exchanged directly on the device.

Back in 2015 when it was launched, KeepKey was sold at an introductory price of $239 but the price has since come down and nowadays it can be bought from Amazon.com at only $41.99. At this price, you can now get a great product which has great value. You can even purchase KeepKey directly from their website instead of purchasing it from Amazon. You should avoid purchasing KeepKey from any other platform other than these two.

Pros:

  • Keepkey is most secure Bitcoin hardware wallet available in the market and it makes it virtually impossible for hackers or viruses to steal your private key.
  • Its attractive design and OLED display make it easy to use the device than any other similar products.
  • It has a metal body and a digital screen.
  • It is currently offered at a very high discount making it value for money product
  • It provides access to the world’s leading cryptocurrencies.
  • It offers the same security features such as Trezor which is a hardware bitcoin wallet.
  • Keepkey is an Open Source project and its source code is available on Github

Cons:

  • Its size is slightly larger than Trezor or Ledger and thus makes it less comfortable to fit in your pocket.
  • Since it is a new wallet, it needs to gain more trust.
  • It requires third-party software add-on such as Electrum or MultiBit to make use of its applications.
  • Setup is straightforward but you cannot save progress.

Coinomi

Coinomi is a mobile-based cryptocurrency wallet offering you the highest level of security along with easy and quick access to your wallet. It also offers exchange service for various cryptocurrencies like Etherium, Bitcoin, Litecoin, etc. Project Coinomi has been running successfully for more than the last 4 years providing services for free. It provides you with one of the best-secured currency exchange services and since it is totally free for its users, has been unrivaled in its niche.

Based on U.K. founded by George Kimionis, a Special Forces veteran, holding a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Manchester University, the wallet was initially was originally launched as a mobile wallet for Android devices, but as it gradually gained its popularity within cryptocurrency users, it was launched for iOS platform as well. Coinomi gained its popularity mainly because of its security.

It initially started with a small customer base and suddenly gained its popularity in 2017. Initially, it started with storage capabilities for popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. As it gained popularity it expanded its support for other cryptocurrencies. Currently, it supports more than 150 cryptocurrencies.

Coinomi app provides you with simple, attractive and aesthetically pleasing user interface allowing you to hold and manage your cryptocurrencies at ease. Its simple interface allows inexperienced users to explore cryptocurrency world and progress without fear.

Coinomni’s team’s decision to use Hierarchical Deterministic (HD) algorithm for securing the app has been the biggest factor in contributing the success of the wallet. This algorithm generates a seed – a protective phrase for each user – after every 100,000 rounds of SHA256, making it impossible to break through.

Another feature used by the Coinomi team for providing you with another layer of security is the use of IP masking. Coinomi ensures that user’s IP is never shared while doing transactions over blockchain.

Most wallets set a strict policy of setting a transaction fee by themselves, whereas Coinomni allows you to set your own transaction fee. This feature allows you to choose whether you want a low processing fee by bearing higher processing time or lower processing time by paying higher fees. This is the freedom provided to you by Coinomi.

The team initially launched the app as an open source wallet but changed their approach by closing certain parts of its source codes after being governed by a proprietary license.

As mentioned earlier, you can use Coinomi’s services for free. There is no service charge which is usually charged by most wallets. You don’t have to worry about paying any fees or taxes for using its services.

Along with providing you with one of the most secure and user-friendly wallets, it also allows you to exchange cryptocurrencies directly through your own interface without having to transfer their digital assets back and forth between cryptocurrency exchanges just so that you could trade them.

Through the Coinomi app, you can use the ShapeShift option to convert your available balance in cryptocurrency to another supported cryptocurrency of your choice. Since ShapeShift allows you to execute trades in two methods through its native platform, Coinomi does not restrict you from accessing the same facility through its own app as well.

Pros:

  • Provide you the best-secured wallet.
  • It is very fast and user-friendly, allows you to easily access to trade your currencies via ShapeShift exchange.
  • Coinomi stores private keys which are associated with your wallets, on your personal mobile device.
  • Even in case of a stolen or lost device, your wallet is safe as long as your password is not disclosed.
  • You can move your wallet or can fully restore anytime by using your seed phrase.
  • Since Coinomi support cross-platform payments and exchange, you can trade alternate coins to Bitcoin directly.

Cons:

  • You can’t buy cryptocurrency directly via Coinomi.
  • It is only available as a mobile app.
  • Coinomi was an open source at the start but after being governed by a proprietary license some parts of its codes are closed.

CoinPayments

CoinPayments is a web-based crypto wallet. So why it is a top crypto wallet? Because the number of crypto assets (coins and tokens) it supports is huge – more than 1100 of them – and that has made it a very popular wallet and on top of that, there is no limit to how many coins you can store in it. Another great feature of CoinPayments is that the wallet allows automatic conversion of over 55 crypto coins without incurring any fee and creation of multiple wallets

CoinPayments is an online wallet, but it comes in its mobile avatar as well, thus making it a more versatile, so the wallet is available on all major OS –  Windows, Mac OS, Linux as well as Android and iOS.

The wallet is 100% free and there is no charge on the registration. The only time you are going to pay is the transaction fee i.e. when you send your crypto assets through their wallet account.

CoinPayments’s appeal is also in its vast acceptance across the world. Apart from using it simply for trading, the wallet is also one of those few online wallets payment through which are accepted by hundreds of e-commerce sites. Copayments manage to offer this great service as it offers shopping cart plugins for various carts like Magento, PrestaShop, Blesta, etc.

The web-wallet focuses on security as well as quicker transaction and it does so by employing a unique feature called PayByName, which while simplifying the authentication process also makes the transfer of funds much quicker. On this note, it also utilizes BitGo which makes bitcoin transfer faster than usual. Also, the security benefit of enabling BitGo for CoinPayments hot wallet is all of the funds of the are protected by multi-signature technology.

There is another feature offered by the wallet called Vault the purpose of which is to protect your money from hackers. This allows you to set a   time before you can spend or withdraw your fund from the wallet making the process of money transfer difficult.

Other features of CoinPayments include multi-coin wallet feature which allows you to set an unlimited number of multiple coins on a single account, so there is no need to create multiple accounts for different coins.

The wallet allows US and Europe-based traders and merchants to do fiat settlements directly to their bank accounts. Also, CoinPayments has a simple POS interface that allows you to accept transactions in-person.

The wallet has a basic fee structure. While personal deposits are free, for both incoming payments and Commercial Deposits (Callback Addresses Created with the CoinPayments API) it charges .50% of the transaction amount. Presently the wallet subsidizes bitcoin withdrawals for its users, but this is only applicable for wallet withdrawals and not for any payments or commercial items.

Pros:

  • The wallet offers auto coin conversion feature for some crypto coins
  • The wallet can be used for purchasing items from online stores as well
  • It supports one of the highest numbers of coins and tokens available for any type of wallet
  • It offers faster bitcoin transaction
  • Offers good security
  • POS feature for in-person payment

Cons:

  • The wallet suffers from slow transaction fees as reported by some users.
  • Require a fee though nominal
  • It has faced bug issue due to which ripple from some users’ accounts was stolen. the team claims to have fixed it.

Armory

This wallet is only meant for Bitcoin. Then why it is here? Well, simply because Bitcoin is the most valuable cryptocurrency and Armory offers the greatest security you may want for your precious.

Armory is an open source security-focused Bitcoin-only desktop wallet which suited for more experienced and advanced users. It does not offer a mobile version and the wallet is supported on all desktop platforms – Windows, Mac OS X, Linux Ubuntu, and Raspberry Pi.

The wallet is free to install but it downloads the entire blockchain on Bitcoin Core which currently is at over 40 Gb. So as an Armory user you need to have more than this space on your hard drive to use it. Also, this means when installing for the first time it may need several days to download and get installed on your desktop.

Armory has a great feature – it allows you to build a secure offline Bitcoin wallet which lets you manage your wallet on a computer without it ever being connected to the internet, thus making it a completely closed wallet. This means all of your private key and data is kept only on the computer on offline mode, thus hugely reducing the possibility of hacking. With Armory you can set up multiple wallet addresses thus separating your personal bitcoin account from your business ones if you ever need to. The wallet also gives you an added layer of security by password protecting all your transactions.

On the security front, there are only a few bitcoin wallets available in the crypto market that can challenge Armory. Two features that make it so are the multi-signature support and decentralized lockboxes features which provides you total control over the generation and storage of private and public keys.

Another great feature Armory provides is the cold storage support. This feature allows you to store your private keys offline. In case you are thinking what if someone gets to your offline keys, well then he or she still need to break the sophisticated encryption of the wallet. Armory also works with the Glacier Protocol – one of the most famous and popular cold storage systems for bitcoin.

On the fee front, for sending bitcoin over the blockchain network you need to pay a transaction fee which is decided by the network or the blockchain itself. So as a general rule, the network incurs a fee for any transaction less than 0.01 BTC to discourage you.

Among other interesting features Armory offers,  there is one-time printable backups, GPU-resistant wallet encryption, key importing, key sweeping to say a few.

It is definitely not for beginners, rather for technically sound or advanced users who are getting into it. It requires some effort to get used to but given its potential and vast strong security features and flexibility it is an effort well spent.

However, when it comes to the customer support,  there is just the FAQ section due to the abandonment of the project. So there are no ticket or email systems for you, and you have to reach out to the online community for any issue. The abandonment of the development team also means that protection of your assets has been left to you.

Pros:

  • It is open source
  • Armory is free to use
  • It offers good privacy
  • Have absolutely great security features for your coin
  • Armory offers multi-signature support
  • It offers HD support
  • It offers great cold storage support
  • Armory comes from a reputed and established brand
  • Enjoys immense and strong community support

Cons:

  • It is not meant for beginners, as deep security features make it very difficult to use
  • No mobile support, only desktop client offered
  • Armory supports only Bitcoin
  • It Lacks two-factor authentication
  • Reported to have bugs and work slow
  • The site has only FAQ section for support

Guarda Wallet

Guarda Wallet is a robust and security-focused multicurrency light wallet that is available on the web, desktop, and mobile. It is one of the most trusted mobile wallets that can be used to store your crypto digital assets. It supports most of the popular coins and tokens like BTC, BTG, BCH, ETH as well as ERC20 tokens, ETC+ tokens, and Zcash. Support for many other popular coins is on the way.  Unlike many other wallets in the market, you don’t have to create an account on Guarda, if you want to use their wallet. They just give the users an opportunity to manage their cryptocurrencies and more importantly, they do not store any personal data.

To create a Guarda Wallet, first, you have to go to the Guarda website (https://guarda.co) and then click on the “Create Wallet” button. This will take you to the login page. Then you have to select on “Create a new wallet” button and have to choose your password. It will then encrypt your wallet and all of the private keys within. Make sure that you have a safe location so that nobody can access it.

Once you have stored it in a safe place click the “I’ve written it down” button.   seconds, you will be asked to download your backup file. The backup file is very important to make sure that you do not lose it. Access to the wallet is possible only using both password and backup file.

You should always keep in mind that you are the only person who has the full control of the funds you store on Guarda Wallets. So, you need to be careful and responsible for their safety and integrity. Guarda Wallet gives you access to all the private keys to your account. It cannot restore or edit your private keys, cannot restore or reset your password, neither can it reverse or cancel the transactions you made and cannot access your wallet. And for this, you have to keep your passwords and private keys in a secure place.

For this reason, Guarda has integrated an option to export every key separately. The only thing you have to do is to hide them. No one would have the capacity to enable you to reestablish access to your wallet if you lose them.

Guarda Wallet is just an interface. At the time of creating a wallet on Guarda, you need to make private and public keys for all the supported currencies. These are generated in your browser and stored in its cache.

Guarda Wallet gives you full control over the funds in your wallet. You can receive and send currencies. You can even use a credit card to buy tokens with it. When you make a transaction, you interact directly with the blockchain. It is very fast and in less than a second, your transaction will appear in the blockchain. You can backup your wallet at any time you wish.  The wallet also allows you to access your transaction history at any time. Guarda Wallet also offers additional features like QR code support.

Pros:

  • Guarda Wallet doesn’t store any client information, private keys or wallet data in the device’s safe memory It deletes itself if you log out from the wallet.
  • Without registration, you can smoothly shift your asset from one coin to another. There is no limits and complex verification procedures.
  • It supports Bitcoin Gold, which is one of the most decentralized versions of Bitcoin. Guarda is the first wallet to support Bitcoin Gold. This opens new roads for users who wish to trade in emerging cryptocurrencies.
  • The service team at Guarda is very responsive. Any technical difficulty or any problem, are addressed by their team within hours.
  • This platform is very user-friendly. Transaction times are extremely fast and within seconds the transactions are recorded on the blockchain.
  • The platform is almost bug free. If at all, any bug occurs, it is rectified within hours.

Cons:

  • The coins it supports is limited and is much less than the other hot wallets in the market.
  • Lack of additional security measures is a major concern as  Guarda offers only password protection for security
  • Guarda is vulnerable to thefts.
  • It also vulnerable to computer viruses and hacks.
  • It is not an Open Source project.

Atomic Wallet

This wallet is one of our favorite too. Atomic Wallet is designed to make things as easy as possible, while still providing a solid set of very useful features. Key among these are atomic swaps. Atomic Wallet is designed to utilize the potential of atomic swaps and thus part of a fully-fledged decentralized cryptocurrency ecosystem.

The Atomic wallet is available across all the major operating systems such as MAC, Windows, Linux Ubuntu, Fedora, and Debian. As per news, Its mobile versions should be available soon thus extending its service to iOS and Android users as well.

The wallet supports over 300 coins including the primary currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, XRP, XLM and virtually thousands of ERC-20 tokens as there are more than 500 tradable ERC20 tokens. You can also exchange your assets using its non-custodial Atomic Swap feature with the decentralized order book.

The atomic swap feature ensures that there is no need for you to worry about your transaction getting failed or scammed since atomic swaps either happen in entirety or does not happen at all.

When you get started with the Atomic Wallet, you set a password and also get a 12-words seed to secure your Atomic Walletthus granting you the total control of your wallet and data. Atomic Wallet employs the highest standards of encryption and your seed information is always secured in your device, making it a highly secured wallet.

Though there is a rather large range of feature being offered, Atomic wallet is rather easy to set up thanks to its intuitive user interface. The user interface is beautiful and easy to use and any beginner can find their way around – something which is very similar to what Exodus wallet is known for.

Functionally the wallet is an anonymous, automated, minimal-fee decentralized exchange built into the wallet. Using this feature you should be able to swap between any altcoins it supports, but as of now, only this facility is available for only three crypto coins – exchanging Bitcoin for LTC and QTUM and swap them back to bitcoin. For other coin pairs, the built-in Changelly or ShapeShift exchange functionality is being used for swapping. This feature supports more than 100 altcoins.

Though downloading and using Atomic Wallet is entirely free, using certain services may charge variable fees at different points. Though you may opt for buying coins with a credit card through the wallet, it will cost you a significant 7% commission and minimum $10 fee for that. So it is much more convenient to check out other more cost-effective options. Also, in-wallet peer-to-peer currency trading can incur varying fees depending on the currency and the options selected.

Pros:

  • Powerful yet Simple, easy-to-use and anonymous wallet
  • It has a built-in atomic swap currency exchange feature
  • Supports additional decentralized currency trading.
  • The wallet supports a wide range of coins.
  • Only you can store your important data, the wallet does not save any.

Cons:

  • No hardware wallet integration or compatibility option available as of now
  • You need to be sure of any infection in your network and computer as any malware already present can harm you

Edge Wallet

The Edge Wallet was launched in February 2018 by Airbitz. Though the company exclusively launched the wallet for Bitcoin in 2014, due to various security issues they had to rebrand it and add all the latest technologies they could to make it a feature-rich cryptocurrency wallet. But let us tell you it is worth the wait and being last in the list doesn’t mean it is any less.

So basically Edge is a mobile wallet which is free to download ad use. It is designed to make it simple to store and trade cryptocurrencies.

The Edge Wallet supports multiple currencies – 12 to be exact for now – like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple XRP, Litecoin, Augur (REP), Wings, and Matryx, with the Edge team planning to offer support for more crypto coins in near future. The developers can always extend the support through the use of simple plug-ins. The wallet has integrated Spaceshift technology in it allowing users to exchange crypto coins within the wallet.

The most important feature of this wallet is its easy-to-use user interface. It takes just about a minute to create a new user account within this wallet, as the users just need to supply a username, password, and a pin. Edge also offers the provision to easily restore the wallet. Also, you can transact cryptocurrencies just by logging in without any long verification process.

Edge uses client-side encryption to encrypt all of your private data on your device, meaning you keep complete control of your digital assets, with no need to pass your phone number, ID or any other private information to Edge.

For account retrieval purpose, Edge Wallet offers two-factor authentication as well as recovery code and seed phrase. The Edge team has recommended that the Wallet that the wallet should be used for storing small amounts.

There is no charge for receiving cryptocurrency into your Edge wallet, but mining or network fees do get incurred when you send funds.  Note here that these fees go to the moners of the blockchain network as a mining fee and not to Edge. For example, if you want to but coin through the app via Simplex, a total fee of 6% applies which consists of an Edge fee of 1% (no minimum) and Simplex fee of 5% ($10 minimum).

Pros

  • Beginner friendly with an easy-to-use interface
  • Stores 12 popular cryptos
  • Strong security features, including two-factor authentication
  • Offers in-app exchanges and crypto purchases
  • Open-source code

Cons

  • Lack of web interface

Conclusion

As you have seen some of the wallets mentioned here have kept their top spot from the last year, where some like Ledger Nano S has constantly been in the top.

Each of the wallet discussed here has something to offer that other either simply don’t have or not that much feature-rich, where some focus more on security, some are simply a joy to operate. Then there are some wallets coming up with immense flexibility and a few with their unique features.

All of these to say, there is no one wallet to rule them all. It ultimately comes down to your need  – how much amount do you have, do you plan on storing it or using it in almost daily basis for trade, how much money you can spare to avail a wallet, how much security you really need (no need to overkill), how much you value your privacy and so on and on – you need to ask yourself these question before you decide what is best for you at the moment and the long run.

Lastly, with more and more new wallets being offered and new features being added to the olds, any wallet can topple other as the year progresses. So it will be interesting to see what happens by the end of the year and be sure of it if we see any major changes we will make sure to let you know.

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