Cryptocurrency wallets exist in a variety of shapes, but fundamentally they all offer a mechanism to safeguard confidential data that gives you command over your digital assets. You don’t want to leave this up to chance because if you misplace your “private keys,” you might never get your bitcoin back.
Many crypto aficionados select non-custodial wallets as their preferred method of storing since they provide you control over your own personal information. You don’t have to rely on a third party to protect your private keys when using a non-custodial wallet, unlike when you store assets on a cryptocurrency exchange. Some of the problems with cryptocurrency are demonstrated by the demise of FTX and BlockFi, which have users fearing that their money is lost forever.
That does not imply that non-custodial wallets are risk-free. You must have faith in the functionality of the hardware and software in your wallet because they are less forgiving of mistakes like forgotten passwords.
Additionally, the costs required by underlying blockchain networks for transactions might make switching assets between wallets frequently expensive. These factors lead to some cryptocurrency users having various wallet types, some for long-term storage and others for active trading.
Examining the website of the cryptocurrency you want to store is one way to choose a wallet. There are numerous solutions made specifically for different cryptocurrencies. However, it’s a good idea to comparison shop if you’re trying to protect various cryptocurrency types in one location. How can I determine what’s right for you.
How to choose the best crypto wallet
If you’re going to use a non-custodial wallet, the first question is whether you want a hot wallet or a cold wallet. These terms may sound unfamiliar, but the main difference between a hot wallet and a cold wallet is whether it is connected to the internet.
- A hot wallet is on a device that is connected to the internet. These are often free to use, offering add-on services such as trading or staking in exchange for fees. A hot wallet makes it relatively easy to carry out transactions using crypto, but it may be more vulnerable to hackers who could theoretically reach your crypto over the internet.
- A cold wallet is on a device that is disconnected from the Internet. These tend to cost money, because you have to buy a piece of actual hardware that’s set up to store your crypto. Because they are not connected to the internet, they may be harder for other users to reach. But if you lose the actual device, recovery could be very difficult.
There is a large selection of hot wallets on the market, and most of them can support hundreds or even thousands of cryptocurrencies. They also generally can hold at least some types of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, and many connect directly to exchanges where you can buy or sell crypto.
The key differences between crypto wallets are:
- How many types of digital assets are supported?
- How easy is it to move crypto offline, into a cold wallet?
- Are there resources for in-app staking or rewards programs?
1. Crypto.com DeFi Wallet
Crypto.com DeFi Wallet is a wallet created by a company mostly known for its crypto exchanges. It’s specifically tailored for use in what is known as decentralized finance (DeFi), which is a sector of the crypto world focused on lending, saving and other financial products that don’t rely on a central broker. Users of Crypto.com DeFi Wallet can use their crypto holdings to interact with DeFi products both on their mobile app and in a browser extension. It also has a desktop app that integrates with Ledger hardware wallets.
Another offering that might be of interest to some security-minded users is the availability of two-factor authentication. It’s worth noting that many competitors, however, don’t have 2FA, arguing that it raises the risk of losing your crypto and is made redundant by some of the fundamental technology of wallets.
- Assets supported: More than 1,000.
- Can convert to cold storage: Yes, on desktop.
- Staking/DeFi support: Yes.
Overall, beginners in the market for the best crypto wallet will like eToro. This is a user-friendly wallet that requires no prior experience. Moreover, eToro is a regulated custodian, so there is no requirement to secure the wallet or safeguard the private keys. For reference, eToro is regulated by the FCA, CySEC, ASIC, and FINRA.
Moreover, not only is eToro the best crypto wallet, but it also doubles up as a licensed exchange. This provides unfettered access to over 90 cryptocurrencies. This includes Bitcoin and some of the best altcoins, including Dogecoin, Solana, Cardano, XRP, BNB, and Ethereum. eToro also supports some of the best ERC20 tokens, such as Uniswap, SushiSwap, and Shiba Inu.
All 90+ cryptocurrencies can be accessed via the eToro wallet at competitive fees. This includes a 1% commission on buy and sell orders. Best of all, debit/credit card and e-wallet payments are fee-free for US clients. While other currencies attract a small fee – this amounts to just 0.5%. After finding the best crypto to buy right now on eToro, the tokens are stored in the investor’s portfolio.
This is secured by eToro through cold storage, two-factor authentication, and a 24/7 risk management team. While the eToro hot wallet is ideal for long-term investors, some users might prefer its mobile app. While this still offers exchange services and trading, the eToro app also supports wallet-to-wallet transfers. This is because all users will have a unique crypto wallet address.
Both options are secure, user-friendly, and free of charge. Active investors might also like the eToro copy trading tool. Put simply, this allows users to mirror the crypto traders of an experienced investor. Everything is automated like-for-like, which is ideal for passive investing. Smart portfolios are also popular. These are professionally managed crypto portfolios created and maintained by the eToro team.
When it comes to customer support, eToro offers live chat on a 24/5 basis. It also offers email replies over the weekend. Finally, eToro also supports staking. There is no requirement to opt-in – simply hold an eligible staking coin. After 8-10 days (depending on the coin), staking rewards will be earned automatically. Users can unstake their coins at any time.
Binance is a leading cryptocurrency exchange that also offers an in-built wallet. This makes Binance ideal for storing and trading crypto simultaneously. The Binance web wallet also connects to an iOS and Android app. This enables traders to buy, sell, and transfer crypto while on the move.
There is no requirement to set the Binance wallet up, as it is automatically added to the user’s account. Moreover, it takes just seconds to register with Binance. Binance’s primary exchange and wallet support over 350 crypto tokens and thousands of pairs. Additional markets can be found in the Binance Innovation Zone – which hosts some of the best emerging cryptocurrencies.
The Binance web and mobile wallets are protected by various safeguards. This includes IP and device whitelisting, two-factor authentication, and cold storage. Binance also has a Safe Asset Fund for Users (SAFU). This takes a small percentage of trading commission revenues and adds the funds to an insurance pot.
The idea is that if Binance is hacked and users lose out – SAFU will cover the losses. Whether or not this is possible depends on the size of the SAFU and the extent of the hack. Nevertheless, Binance wallet users can also access its DeFi center. This covers dual investments, staking, savings accounts, and more. As such, Binance users can easily earn interest on their idle crypto investments.
4. Trust Wallet
Trust Wallet is one of the best Bitcoin wallets for smartphone users. Its native app supports iOS and Android, and there are no fees to get started. The only fees payable are when transferring funds to another wallet address.
Setting the wallet up takes seconds, and fingerprint ID is supported. The Trust Wallet app is compatible with over 70 blockchain networks, from Bitcoin and Arbitrum to Solana and Cardano. Trust Wallet also supports NFT storage and provides access to the decentralized web.
For example, users can anonymously connect to Uniswap to earn interest, or OpenSea to buy NFTs. Moreover, Trust Wallet has an in-built staking tool. This offers competitive interest rates, but higher APYs are often available when using a dApp. Nonetheless, Trust Wallet is also one of the best crypto wallets for beginners.
According to a Trust Wallet review, the interface itself is clear and simple, and customer support is available around the clock. However, only support tickets are available – meaning no live chat. Trust Wallet also falls short when it comes to fiat payments. While it supports debit/credit card purchases, transactions are processed by a third party. This will invariably increase the cost – often up to 5%.
MetaMask is a popular crypto wallet that was launched in 2016. Used by over 30 million people, MetaMask has become one of the best Ethereum wallets on the market. It’s also completely free to use. Smartphone users may prefer the iOS and Android app – which offers full functionality. Alternatively, desktop users can install the browser extension.
This is supported by Chrome, Edge, Brave, and Firefox. Both options initially connect to the Ethereum network – meaning support for thousands of ERC20 tokens. Additionally, Optimism, Polygon, Arbitrum, Avalanche, and Binance Smart Chain can also be added. But this needs to be done manually – which won’t appeal to beginners.
Moreover, MetaMask does not support Bitcoin deposits. There is also a lack of support for other large-cap cryptocurrencies, like Cardano, XRP, and Solana. Another drawback with MetaMask is its partnership with third-party payment processors. While this enables users to buy crypto with fiat money – fees are very high.
On the flip side, a MetaMask wallet review found that it does support a range of decentralized exchanges, including Uniswap and it’s considered to be one of the best crypto wallets for Android. This enables users to swap tokens and earn interest without leaving the MetaMask interface. Furthermore, MetaMask is also the best cryptocurrency wallet for investing in initial coin offerings (ICOs). This is because the best crypto ICOs almost always recommend using MetaMask.
6. Ledger Nano
Ledger Nano is one of the best crypto wallets for safety. While this wallet retails for up to $279, it is aimed at investors who seek the highest level of security. And Ledger Nano excels in this regard. The Ledger Nano device is never connected to live servers.
In turn, this protects investors from remote hacking attempts. What’s more, even if the device is stolen, access is near impossible. This is because Ledger Nano requires users to enter a PIN on the device before authorizing transfers. In the meantime, the wallet owner can recover their crypto tokens remotely. That said, no crypto wallet – even Ledger Nano, is completely hack-free.
As such, users should be sure to keep their devices somewhere safe and private. Another top feature of Ledger Nano is that it supports Bluetooth connectivity. In turn, users can connect their wallet to the Ledger Nano app and desktop software without connecting to the internet. In doing so, users can buy, sell, and swap cryptocurrencies through third parties.
Additionally, Ledger Nano also supports staking. This will appeal to investors seeking income on their idle tokens. Although the top model offered by Ledger Nano costs $279 – its entry-level option retails for just $79. This provides all of the security features discussed above – apart from Bluetooth connectivity.
Trezor is also one of the best cold crypto hardware wallets in the market. This provider offers two models – ‘T’ and ‘One’. The One model is the entry-level option costing just $69. This comes with offline storage, and transactions require users to enter a PIN onto the device.
The Model T costs $219 and comes with touchscreen access and support for USB type C. That said, for the huge price difference, there is little to separate the two models. For instance, both the model T and One come with a time delay feature. This adds a time delay every time an incorrect PIN is entered.
After too many incorrect guesses, seconds turn into minutes and hours. This is because the time delay doubles each time. As such, if the Trezor device is stolen, the owner should have sufficient time to recover the funds remotely.
Trezor also comes with an iOS and Android app. It also offers desktop software for Windows, Mac, and Linux. This enables users to view their portfolio of cryptocurrencies via a user-friendly dashboard.
Coinbase offers one of the safest ways to store crypto online. While its wallet is custodial, it comes jam-packed with security features. For example, all Coinbase accounts must be secured with two-factor authentication. Should an account holder log in from a new IP address or device – email authentication is required.
Coinbase also uses cold storage for 98% of client crypto assets. This ensures that the vast majority of its crypto holdings are kept away from live servers. We also like the Coinbase Vault feature. When activated, withdrawal requests must bypass a 24-hour grace period. This gives users time to recognize their account has been compromised and contact Coinbase accordingly. However, Coinbase also comes with various drawbacks – especially when it comes to fees.
For example, those wishing to buy and sell crypto via their Coinbase wallet will pay 1.49% per slide. Buying crypto with a debit/credit card is even more expensive at 3.99%. Moreover, Coinbase does give users access to their private keys. That said, Coinbase also offers a non-custodial DeFi wallet app, but this is separate from its main exchange.
Here are a few factors to keep in mind before you choose a cryptocurrency wallet.
Reputation: Unfortunately, scams and hacks are rampant in the cryptocurrency space. It’s important to choose a cryptocurrency wallet with a solid reputation.
Purpose: Before you choose a wallet, it’s important to understand why you’re in the market for a cryptocurrency wallet in the first place. The best wallet for you may differ based on your unique needs. For example, a hot wallet like MetaMask may be a good fit if you’re looking to experiment with decentralized protocols, while a cold wallet might be a good fit if you’re simply looking to hold your cryptocurrency for the long-run.
Blockchains supported: Before you choose a wallet, take a look at the list of supported blockchains to make sure your crypto-assets can be supported.