Crypto wallets seem similar, but the user experience can differ wildly, along with the fees chargeable. This variety means you’ll have to work the list to best match your needs.
Looking for the best crypto wallet? Our favourite is Trust Wallet for its sheer convenience and security.
Hopping onto the cryptocurrency bandwagon isn’t as simple as forking out some cash to make a few trades. An equally important aspect is which crypto wallet you’re going to use.
There are many brands available offering different feature sets, security, or even “storage medium.” Today, I’ll share top options and outline considerations for choosing the best wallet for your needs.
Choosing the best crypto wallet isn’t simply picking one that has the best of everything. You need to find the right one fitting your needs. For example, do you treat it as a one-way street to securely save crypto, or do you need more accessible transactions?
Be it for first-times or those simply seeking an alternative, here are some of the top crypto wallet options in the game;
Prices shown in this article were based on the time of writing. To view current prices, click on the various product links.
Hot Wallet - Mobile
Viktor Radchenko originally developed Trust Wallet, but Binance acquired the company in 2018. Today it is the official crypto wallet of Binance and one you’ll need to access Binance Smart Chain or Binance Chain, the portions of the crypto giant that deals with Binance Coin.
Changpeng Zhao founded Binance in 2019. However, laws banning cryptocurrency forced it to move out of China. The company shuffled around a few places before settling down in the Cayman Islands.
Aside from being a requirement for those dealing in Binance Coin, Trust Wallet can handle a wide range of cryptocurrencies. In addition, a formidable array of features contribute to a reputation for solid security. For example, you can use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), Google Authentication, and even SMS or email verifications.
For those who want the convenience of a hot wallet with the security of a cold one (I explain the differences later in the article), Trust Wallet keeps most of its currency on cold storage servers. So it’s like having a cold wallet as a service, as strange as that may sound.
In addition, there are very few fees associated with Trust Wallet. You don’t need to pay any wallet, swapping, or DApp fees. The only unavoidable fees are for blockchain transactions, and those go to miners or validators, not Trust Wallet.
You directly purchase various crypto using your Trust Wallet. For now, MoonPay and Simplex are the only on-platform exchanges supported. But, of course, you can buy your crypto anywhere and simply send it to your Trust Wallet as well.
One downside of Trust Wallet is that it’s purely mobile-based. You can get it for use on either Android or iOS, but there’s no desktop variant. For desk-bound types like me, it’s a little annoying, but a mobile app’s portability does mean greater convenience.
For more information, visit Trust Wallet official website to learn more.
Hot Wallet - Mobile
Huobi is another crypto service company that has its roots in China. Sadly, the nationwide cryptocurrency ban forced Huobi to move out of the country, and it is today based in Seychelles. Huobi Pro is the cryptocurrency wallet part of its portfolio.
Although the focus here is on the wallet, it’s worth noting that Huobi, as a whole, is one of the few crypto organizations that have a somewhat formal foundation. For instance, in 2018, its takeover of Plantonics allowed it to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Huobi Pro is a multi-chain light wallet, but don’t let that terminology fool you. Light simply refers to it not downloading the entire blockchain for transaction validation. Instead, it only uses block headers, making it “lighter” than others. It doesn’t mean that Huobi is light on features!
Functionally, Huobi Pro is highly comprehensive; some might even consider it overly so. My first launch experience was a bit of a culture shock since it packs so much detail onto very little screen space.
As expected, it supports most cryptocurrencies (over 1,000 of them), and you can buy them from traders on the P2P market or trade directly on Huobi Global, its international Exchange. Most fiat currencies are supported, and their rapid global expansion has put it in an increasing number of physical locations.
Security-wise, Huobi Pro has some interesting facets to consider. While control over private keys may not be unique, Huobi Pro seems to guarantee assets. How this works isn’t explicitly stated, but it has returned funds lost due to errors before.
For more information, visit Huobi Pro official website to learn more.
Hot Wallet - Mobile
Coinbase was founded considerably early, in 2012. It’s the first on our list owned ex-China, being the brainchild of Brian Armstrong. It has a surprisingly formal origin, initially powered via a Y Combinator funding event.
Although they claim desktop support, this is only via a Chrome extension and doesn’t qualify Coinbase as an actual hybrid model hot wallet. Still, that hasn’t affected volume, and Coinbase has gone public with revenue of over $1.14 billion as of 2020.
Coinbase has built a formidable formal establishment thanks to official licensing and regulation in the United States. The only location in the U.S. where you can’t use it is Hawaii. It’s another all-in-one service that’s tied closely in with their cryptocurrency exchange.
Unlike independents like Trust Wallet associated with Binance, Coinbase owns and operates both the crypto wallet and exchange. This integration makes things a lot easier since you’ll only need a single account to access everything.
Coinbase initially only supported Bitcoin, but today you can use it with almost anything. The list right now includes Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and many more. They’ve also clarified that more currencies will be available soon.
The simplicity of the interface in Coinbase makes it very attractive, especially for new users. However, the simplified interface takes slight advantage of newbies with somewhat higher fees.
If you’re a crypto shark, you might want to consider Coinbase Pro instead – it has more options.
For more information, visit Coinbase Wallet official website to learn more.
Hot Wallet - Mobile
Luno is another very formally established crypto giant that’s worked its way into many physical points of presence worldwide. Some locations you can find a Luno office include the United Kingdom, Singapore, South Africa, and even Sydney. Founded by a former Google engineer, the company has solid investment backing.
Luno makes things especially easy for new cryptocurrency owners. Grab the app and set up your account, and you can be buying crypto within moments. In addition, the high degree of localization for many places helps make funding your wallet easy.
For example, Where Luno has a strong presence, you can just head over to the bank and deposit funds into a local account. This close relationship with a few fiat currencies makes Luno an excellent choice for those too used to traditional online banking.
Unlike many crypto wallets that are highly mobile-focused only, Luno makes web access available as well. The experience mirrors the mobile one, so there’s no shock moving from one interface to the other.
Despite the many advantages of Luno, it’s interesting that they aren’t yet regulated. There is also a somewhat more limited scope of crypto supported here, just five. You can store Bitcoin (of course), ETH, XRP, BCH, or LTC.
For more information, visit Luno Wallet official website to learn more.
Hot Wallet - Hybrid
Exodus was founded in 2015 by the duo JP Richardson and Daniel Castagnoli. Exodos Movement Inc is a Delaware-based firm that even managed a US SEC-approved public funding. The exercise raised $75 million, garnering interest from thousands of investors.
Unlike many crypto wallets, Exodus has moved past the “most secure” label and gunned for billing as the un-nerdy public’s crypto wallet. It claims intuitive design and tries hard to simplify what many find to be a daunting topic.
Exodus is a hybrid wallet, meaning it works as a desktop app and mobile format as well. Honestly speaking, the way they’ve built it does make it stand out from other crypto wallets. They’ve gone for a very sleek look that seems more app-like than the stock market ticker design that many wallets seem to favor.
To expound a little more on the design, it works with just the base system, a simple wallet. You can then extend functionality through the use of apps. For example, you can add live charts or join a rewards system.
The problem is that Exodus’ app system is still pretty new (as is the design of the new Exodus interface). As such, you may find it not as comprehensive as some of the other wallets on this list; Huobi Pro, for instance.
For more information, visit Exodus official website to learn more.
Trezor is the main product of SatoshiLabs, a Czech-founded company that sounds a little formal considering it has just two products. This streamlined approach has managed to keep the organization lean and simply building towards supporting more cryptocurrencies.
For the unfamiliar, Trezor is a cold or hardware wallet. This type of wallet is meant for the morbidly paranoid, capable of keeping cryptocurrency away from the Internet. SatoshiLabs produces only two hardware wallets, the Trezor One, and the Model T.
The Trezor One is slightly smaller at a mere 60mm x 30mm x 6mm, weighing in at 12 grams. Model T, meanwhile, stretches that by a few millimeters to 64 mm x 39 mm x 10 mm and weighs 22 grams. The main difference is that the Model T has a touchscreen display while Trezor One users rely on two buttons.
Trezor wallets support a wide range of cryptocurrencies (see the complete list here), including Bitcoin, Monero, Litecoin, Dash, Zcash, and many more. Setting up the wallets is also easy; all you need is a PIN code and a recovery seed.
Both models get regular firmware updates; interesting since they’re unconnected devices. While Trezor One only costs 49 Euros (approximately $58), the Model T’s with touchscreen display comes in at a much heftier 159 Euros (roughly $188).
Ledger can’t make up its mind where they’re from, so they claim a diverse headquarters spread across Paris, Vierzon, New York, and Hong Kong. That confusion hasn’t stopped them from producing successful hardware wallets currently used by customers in over 165 countries.
If you aren’t fond of confusing your crypto hardware wallet with the car key fob-like Trezor, you can look at either of the Ledgers. Unfortunately, then you may mistake it for a pen drive since the form factor mimics one of these to a T.
Nonetheless, Ledger has the art of cold crypto wallets down to a science. The Ledger Nano X and Ledger Nano S are both packed into convenient form-factors, including micro-LCD. These then pair remarkably well with Ledger’s smartphone app.
For such small devices, the Nanos both include hardware that’s capable of supporting their apps. They not only work with over 1,800 cryptocurrencies but also play with a large number of other wallets.
The one thing I dislike about the Ledgers is that they have Bluetooth. While it may sound odd, I say this, I’ve never been fond of the glaring security gaps that Bluetooth leaves on devices. The saving grace here is that it’s possible to disable Bluetooth if you have the same fears as me.
For more information, visit Ledger official website to learn more.
Despite explosive highs and lows, cryptocurrency has maintained its strong interest over time. There’s a lot of mystique revolving around the topic, from overnight millionaires to the potential to create money out of thin air.
Yet despite an increasing user community, there is often a misunderstanding that crypto wallets store cryptocurrency. I’ll explain this in greater detail later on, but the reality is that crypto wallets store blockchain keys. Their purpose in life is simple; to provide access to blockchain transaction records.
Because of this, it’s inaccurate to say that crypto wallets store cryptocurrency. Yet, at the same time, you can’t have crypto without a crypto wallet.
Want to earn Bitcoin?
In recent years, there’ve been an increase in jobs that pay in Bitcoin. Check out our write-up on 5 places to find jobs that pay in Bitcoin.
Crypto wallets come in two main categories; Hot Wallets and Cold Wallets. The only difference between the two is that hot wallets are Internet-connected while cold wallets are not. There is a variation in security due to this.
Hot wallets are all application-based, meaning they run on existing hardware. We can also subdivide hot wallets into three classes; desktop, mobile, or hybrid.
Desktop wallets work on desktop devices such as PCs or notebooks. Mobile wallets are apps for installation on smartphones or tablets that run mobile operating systems. Finally, hybrid wallets support both desktop or mobile platforms.
Cold wallets come in varying form factors. The main idea behind cold wallets is that security is enhanced simply by removing it from possible access to networks. They are only connected when the owner (you) wants to conduct a transaction.
Earlier I made a slightly cryptic remark about how crypto wallets don’t store crypto. The hint to understanding this is knowing crypto wallet’s other name; blockchain wallet. Blockchain allows the linking of data sets across multiple devices. This model increases storage potential while increasing security.
The massive storage potential is important since crypto wallets don’t store your “balance.” Instead, the blockchain acts as a gigantic accounting spreadsheet, keeping records of every single crypto transaction that occurs.
What your crypto wallet stores is the information needed to operate as part of the blockchain. That means a pair of security keys, one private and one public;
Unlike physical wallets that are barely differentiable aside from brand, the crypto wallet you choose affects several things. These can range from essential elements such as cryptocurrencies supported, or can even jeopardize the security of your account.
If you’re shopping for the best crypto wallet that will meet your needs, here are some of the most important things to consider.
Many people are familiar with Bitcoin, but there are over 4,000 cryptocurrencies in existence today. Choosing the most popular can be a double-edged sword since network fees can be high for those transacted in large volumes daily.
Because of this, some flexibility in the cryptos your wallet supports can be crucial. Most crypto wallets will support at least several; make sure those fall within your ‘desired’ cryptocurrency range before signing up for the wallet.
Security is an area of focus these days, with increased cyber risks across the board. Cybercriminals love areas like crypto, where paydays can be significant for successful hacks. Even worse is the substandard approach some developers take towards their product security.
Make sure the digital wallet you choose has the security measures you want in place. Consider what level of security you need, like Multi-factor Authentication (MFA), a cold wallet, or even if the service provider has had security lapses in the past.
Hot wallets are extremely common since they are cheaper and faster to develop and release than those needing hardware components. However, the always-connected nature of hot wallets increases risk.
The type of wallet you choose can also affect how convenient it can be for you to carry out transactions. If you plan to use your crypto wallet frequently, a hot wallet could be a better choice, though.
Many crypto wallet service providers will tout things like “No Transaction Fees” or free downloads. Don’t be fooled by terminology like this. Like banks, some crypto wallet operators may charge extra fees for strange things like expedited payments, using specific payment channels, or even commissions.
There is also a significant discrepancy in pricing between vendors and even models for cold wallets. The Trezor Model T, for instance, triples in price over its sister Trezor One simply over a tiny touchscreen.
While customer support is crucial for almost all industries, none comes to the fore quite so much as crypto wallets. Remember that you’re entrusting what might be significant sums of cash to these vendors, so getting a response is vital.
Consider the support channels available for the digital wallet you’ll be using. At the same time, keep an eye on net conversation to see what others are griping about when discussing specific crypto wallets.
Yes and no. There are lots of crypto wallets capable of handling things outside of core functionality. However, the best wallet is one that suits your needs. For example, I favor Ledger since it is a hardware wallet but has access to native apps.
If you prefer greater convenience, a hot wallet might suit your style. In that case, there are options as complex as Huobi or simple as Luno and Trust Wallet. Each has its strengths, and any one of them can fit certain lifestyles.
In any case, here’s a recap of our top 3 crypto wallet: