Cryptocurrencies started in 2009 with the entry of Bitcoin. Now, blockchain technology is everywhere. In approximately 10 years, the cryptos are almost hitting the 1000 mark. The technology can be used to do literally everything. Put it this way; the blockchain technology is the new great thing. Though the main target of pioneers was creating a new currency that is free from manipulation by central authorities such as banks and political administrations, blockchain is now everywhere.
- 1 Blockchain technology yielded Cryptocurrency wallets
- 2 What exactly is a cryptocurrency wallet? How do they work?
- 3 The 5 main categories of cryptocurrency wallets
- 4 The best cryptocurrency wallet to use
- 4.1 Ledger Nano S
- 4.2 CoinBase
- 4.3 Mist Ethereum wallet
- 4.4 Copay
- 4.5 Exodus Wallet
- 4.6 Electrum wallet
- 4.7 The Mycelium wallet
- 4.8 KeepKey
- 4.9 Coinomi Wallet
- 4.10 Trezor Wallet
- 4.11 Bread Wallet
- 4.12 Jaxx Wallet
- 5 Applying the best practices to keep the cryptocurrency wallet secure
- 6 Caution when using cryptocurrency wallets!
- 7 The final take
Blockchain technology yielded Cryptocurrency wallets
Your preferred cryptocurrency is not simply a means of payment. It is more than that. Every new cryptocurrency is coming with new features, better capabilities, and introducing unique ways of doing things. Whether Bitcoin or Ethereum among other cryptocurrencies, users are now being used to do the following;
- Making payment
- Doing shopping
- Promoting content publishing
- Storing company data
- Carrying medical research
- Working on new apps
- Redefining their lifestyles
No matter your focus on cryptocurrencies, one thing that is common to all of them is cryptocurrency wallets. Whether you are coins miner or simply want to invest in digital currency, the first step is getting a cryptocurrency wallet. In this post, we will get to the bottom of the cryptocurrency wallets. We will specifically delve into the types of the wallets, demonstrate how they work, and outline the best cryptocurrency wallets that you can trust.
What exactly is a cryptocurrency wallet? How do they work?
It is a digital wallet used for storing, sending, and receiving digital currencies like Ether, Bitcoin, and DASH. Most cryptocurrencies have their wallets while others recommend third-party wallets that users can turn to. The bottom line to using cryptocurrencies is getting the right wallet.
Note the name wallet is actually a misnomer and you need to get it right at this point; cryptocurrencies are not actually stored in the crypto wallets. Rather, the wallets store private keys that demonstrate ownership of a public key. In reality, the coins are not stored anywhere because they do not have a physical form. They are digital!
A private key is a highly encrypted and secure code that only the cryptocurrency wallet and you know. A public key is a digital code connected to the amount of cryptocurrency you hold as well as the transaction history.
Therefore, the cryptocurrency wallet helps you to store both public and private keys that must be used when sending, receiving, or doing any other transaction on the respective blockchain network. The wallet is the personal ledger to all the transactions in your blockchain network.
Some coins are crafted with advanced features to give the direct performance of the respective native coin in the different exchanges. They also capture the shifting fiat currency value of the specific crypto coin under consideration.
The 5 main categories of cryptocurrency wallets
As blockchain technologies continue to advance, the number of supported wallets has also gone up. The level of sophistication is slowly yielding more wallets to help secure transactions and make transactions easy. There are five categories of the wallets that people can use;
The desktop cryptocurrency
These are the commonest types of wallets. They are downloaded and installed in a computer. They are very easy to install, maintain, and use on all types of operating systems ranging from Linux, Windows, and Mac. Most cryptocurrencies provide a desktop wallet designed for the native coin.
The desktop wallets offer a very high level of security because they can only be accessed on the computer they are installed in. However, you have to maintain the computer correctly because if it crashes or gets stolen, the details get lost. Therefore, you need to invest in a good antivirus, antimalware software, and a reliable firewall to keep everything safe.
Many people especially those who deal with many transactions or invest a lot of money in crypto coins have specific wallets installed on a computer for blockchain operations only. Some desktop providers also give a string of words during installation that can be used to help with wallet-reinstallation in case the computer needs formatting.
The hardware wallet
Hardware wallet is a special cryptocurrency wallet that stores the user’s private and public keys in hardware. The objective of using the hardware is to ensure that the highly sensitive keys are kept offline where the risk of attack from malware is very low.
The private keys are unique stores in a protected section of the hardware’s microcontroller where they cannot be moved in plain text. This means that they can only be used interactively when in the hardware, unlike the paper wallets that require moving to a computer for an application.
Because of the enhanced security, the hardware wallets are the most expensive in the crypto world today. However, the investment is worth because you will never lose the investment. In many cases, investors acquire 2-4 hardware wallets to help them spread risks in the case one of them gets lost. When you get a spare hardware wallet, the best thing is storing it in a safe at your bank or safest place at home. Though the risk of losing the wallets is still there, the hardware wallets are the most secure to-date.
The cryptocurrency web wallet
These are the simplest wallets to use for extra convenience. They operate as web-based apps that help with storing private keys. The apps operate just like personal emails but come with multiple authentications via Google, text message and Authy.
The danger of the web wallets is that they are always prone to hacking. Just like the blockchain technology is advancing, malware designers are also moving on and could get new ways of cracking your password. While very few cases of intrusion have been reported in the use of web wallets, entire exchanges have in the past been hacked and a lot of coins stolen. For example, Ethereum was hacked and millions of coins stolen in one of the most dreadful hacking. The intrusion led to the hard-fork giving Ethereum and Ethereum Classic.
The cryptocurrency mobile wallet
The cryptocurrency mobile wallets are designed to work on mobile phones with the help of specific apps. The wallets are designed for people who want to transact when away from their computers. They are especially useful for people who are always on the move and want to stay in touch with their cryptocurrency accounts. The wallets require less space on the mobile phone.
While the convenience of working when away from home is indeed fun, the associated dangers are very many. The greatest is the risk of losing the phone. The mobile phones are also becoming a major target by cybercriminals. Do not forget that once the wallet is lost, it cannot be recovered. It is not like an email address!
The paper wallet
The paper-based wallet, just like the name suggests, involves putting down the private keys on paper. In reality, it is a printout of the private and public keys that users must key when making transactions. There are special apps that help to generate and print the keys so that they are kept securely offline. Unlike other wallets, the paper wallet is hacker proof.
Notably, trading with the paper wallet is very difficult compared to the hardware and web-based wallets. Users are required to either manually type the address of scan the codes printed on the paper. This means that the risk of entering the wrong keys and sending funds to the wrong address if very high.
To send money using paper wallets, one is required to first send to a desktop wallet. Users must, therefore, identify and run another desktop wallet. For people who opt to use the paper wallets, it is extra critical to triple check the codes and address before completing the transactions.
The best cryptocurrency wallet to use
If you want to enter the world of cryptocurrency, it is now clear that you need a cryptocurrency wallet. As more cryptocurrencies enter the market, the number of supporting wallets keeps growing. Therefore, which is the best wallet? Here is a complete review of the top cryptocurrency wallets you can use today.
Ledger Nano S
This is a cryptocurrency multi-asset hardware with the shape of a folding flash-drive. Unlike its other sister drives, Ledger Nano and Ledger HW.1, the Ledger Nano S has a small LCD screen. Once a user sets up a Nano S, the wallet generates a recovery phase (a full backup of the wallet). The recovery phrase is displayed on the LCD screen and can be used for recovering the wallet.
This wallet allows users to store keys for their Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other Altcoins. It connects to the computer through a USB and has to generate an interaction to start confirming transactions. This means that Ledger Nano S is U2F authentication compliant to allow it work with multiple apps and services.
Today, Ledger Nano S is the most affordable cryptocurrency hardware wallet in the market. It is also relatively easy to use no matter the types of coins that one wants to use, send payment, or mine. It is malware-proof and extremely difficult to hack.
Pros of using Ledger Nano S
- It operates offline to guarantee users of extra security from hackers.
- As a portable hardware, it is very convenient to carry around. This means you can carry crypto related transactions from any place as far as there is a device to connect the hardware to and internet.
- It supports multiple cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum.
- It is among the cheapest among other hardware wallets with screens.
- Relatively easy to setup and use with different devices.
Cons of using Ledger Nano S
- Though considered the cheapest among other hardware wallets, it is very expensive when compared to the web-based wallets. Most online stores sell the hardware at more than $70.
- The supply is very limited. When you place an order, it takes a lot of time for it to be processed and delivered.
- As a pocket-size hardware, the risk of getting lost always looms. You should, therefore, consider getting a number of Ledger Nano S and maintain one of them as a backup.
CoinBase, commonly abbreviated as CB, is a very dedicated wallet that delivers more than simply storing the private and public keys. It is supported in over 30 countries where its network has helped to move over $20 billion. It runs as web and mobile-based cryptocurrency wallet depending on what the user prefers.
The wallet is designed with an easy to use interface to enhance UX. Many people who have used the CoinBase argue that it is the best because it connects directly to their bank accounts and credit cards so that they can buy and convert cryptocurrencies easily.
The main features of the Coinbase
- The Coinbase vault: This is a unique feature that makes using the wallet easy and fun. At times, your cash belongs to different places. It is because of this that people carry some money with them or in a checking account. Coinbase vault allows users to organize their funds into multiple wallets inside the standard Coinbase wallet.
- The Shift Card: Notably, the ability to use crypto coins is often slowed in the tracks because many stores do not accept cryptocurrencies. But Coinbase wallet helps people to address this problem. The Coinbase Shift Card is a Visa Card that allows the wallet holder to spend cryptocurrencies on shopping wherever Visa is accepted.
- The instant exchange: This feature allows Coinbase wallet holders to send Bitcoin and even pay for cryptocurrencies using fiat currency. The feature shows the current value of the cryptocurrency so that one can make the right decision on what to buy.
The pros of using Coinbase
- The wallet is very easy to use. It comes with great support so that even newbies to the crypto world can learn and operate like pros.
- The wallet allows users to link their bank accounts for easy transfer of cash to and from it.
- For miners, the account allows them to directly sell their coins and send their cash to bank accounts.
- It has numerous applications with extensions to the daily use such as shopping with the visa supported Shift card.
- It is also available as a mobile wallet for those on the go to enjoy more.
The cons of using Coinbase
- The number of cryptocurrencies supported by the Coinbase is very small.
- As a web-based wallet, the security threats are more compared to the hardware wallets.
Mist Ethereum wallet
This is a cryptocurrency wallet designed by the Ethereum team and only designed to work on the Ethereum platform. The wallet is also commonly referred as Mist Wallet. As part of the Ethereum network system, the wallet integrates well with all Ethereum related applications.
When you decide to use the Mist Wallet, it is free to download though the user will require some space on the hard drive and time. Besides, some costs will be incurred when sending cash on the network. Notably, unlike other wallets, Mist allows users to control the fees in every transaction using the flexibility feature.
Using the Ethereum wallet
Notably, the Ethereum wallet is a very young project under the Ethereum platform. The following are the main steps to successfully using the wallet.
- To use the wallet, the user is required to download the latest Mist version from the blockchain’s official page.
- Then, launch the application and choose between the Test Network and the Main Network. A test network is a special tool designed for developers who want to test different features without spending. Therefore, you need to select the Main Network if you want to send or make real transactions.
- At this point, Mist generates the key files that users are required to back up with strong passwords. The keys and passwords are important to help users recover their accounts in case something happens to their computers.
- After generating the keys, the wallet will download the entire Ethereum blockchain. It is at this point that the account overview is revealed. Now, simply hit the Main Account to add funds either with top fiat currencies or Bitcoin.
- The Ether balance will always be shown on the main account. Remember that whenever you visit the wallet, the password and keys generated earlier in the process will be required.
Multiple application of Ethereum wallet
Unlike other wallets, Mist is designed as a native wallet in the Ethereum blockchain network. This means that Ethereum team wants to achieve more with the wallet. These applications include;
- Holding digital tokens: For people who are involved in mining the Ethereum network, all their tokens are held in the wallet. Then, they can use them to buy other cryptos, trade in the top exchanges, or convert to fiat currencies.
- Implementing Casper algorithm: After participating and being a defining network especially on the way the transactions are approved in the crypto world, Ethereum team believes that change is necessary. The Ethereum wallet will be the pioneer the Casper algorithm which is a different model of consensus algorithm. The algorithm is still in the Beta version in the Mist wallet.
- Anonymous transactions: The Ethereum wallet factors the latest technology in enhancing anonymous transactions. These include the latest cryptographic technology called zk-SNARKs.
- Enhancing faster downloading and synching: The Ethereum team is considered the ultimate tool meant to enhance the performance of the platform significantly. The team is mainly focused on making the network less resource-intensive to reduce the download time and synching with the entire network.
The main pros of using the Ethereum network
- The wallet is very easy to use if you want to buy Ether with Bitcoin or fiat currencies.
- Since the wallet is designed by the same team that created Ethereum, it is considered one of the most secure.
- It allows users to have absolute control of their passwords, private and public keys without involving third parties such as software providers.
Cons of using Mist wallet
- The process of accessing, downloading, and using Ethereum wallet is very technical. Many new users might easily get lost.
- The documentation of the wallet is not easily available.
- The wallet requires users to download the entire blockchain before starting to send crypto coins.
- The app is only available as a desktop client. It is, therefore, not ideal for people who want to access and use their accounts on the go.
Copay is one of the most secure cryptocurrency wallets designed and supported by BitPay. The main objective of designing the wallet was to give users maximum control over their cryptocurrencies. Its unique infrastructure makes it a multi-signature wallet which means that it allows more than one users. Therefore, it is an ideal piece for businesses that want to make a lot of secure transactions.
When making payments, Copay verifies the transactions by providing the address and giving confirmation of the transaction. As an HD wallet, the Bitcoin wallet address is changed automatically after every transaction. The wallet makes it easy to maintain and secure both the private keys and public keys for faster transactions.
It is the best wallet for users who do not want to rely on third parties to keep their funds. Because it easily links and gives statistics on the performance of both cryptos and fiat currencies, it is considered a great asset by people deeply engaged in crypto mining.
Pros of using Copay
- The wallet is free
- It is backed by a highly reputable financial firm.
- It provides multiple wallet storage options.
- The wallet operates on multiple platforms and devices.
- It is enabled for multi-signature transactions.
- Designed for enhanced security and privacy management.
Cons of using Copay wallet
- Beginners joining the network often find it extra difficult to get into the system and optimize the wallet.
- Copay has very limited user support options. People using the wallet often find it difficult getting support for installation and application.
- The wallet only supports Bitcoin. If you want to trade or transact other types of cryptocurrency, it might be necessary to acquire another wallet.
This is a very ambitious desktop wallet structured to provide users with complete control over their crypto assets. For beginners, this is the first desktop wallet that provides complete compatibility with ShapeShift (a leading crypto exchange).
The wallet was designed in 2016. This makes it one of the latest entrants into the crypto world. The crypto wallet stores your crypto assets on the computer. However, the biggest selling point is its intuitive and user-friendly interface. It contains all the features that will note and send signals when a new thing happens. For example, it will notify you when there are changes in the wallet, updates are needed, and targeted cryptos hit the target line.
The charges and supported crypto coins
The Exodus team charges users a transaction fee when payments and other transactions are processed. This fee is paid to the respective blockchain network as opposed to Exodus.
Notably, the main priority of Exodus is reliability and speed as opposed to simply targeting charging the lowest fee. The wallet tracks the changes in the respective blockchain network and adjusts the prices accordingly.
Exodus stands out in the crypto world because it supports a lot of cryptocurrencies. This means that once you install the wallet, it is possible to store over 13 crypto assets including OmiseGo, Bitcoin, DASH, Ethereum, and Golem among others.
Pros of using Exodus
- The wallet runs a backup system which can help users to retrieve their keys in the event of computer crashes.
- The wallet has a very attractive and functional interface. It is very easy to complete transactions with only a few clicks.
- It is a great wallet for people who target making a huge investment in the cryptocurrencies.
- By providing access to multiple cryptocurrency assets, it means that a user can easily follow the most profitable in the exchange or mining.
- Its design is targeted at helping beginners get a smooth entry. It has multiple supports ranging from tutorials to videos on setting up and application.
Cons of using Exodus
- Concerns have been raised over the wallet’s failure to offer two-factor authentication
- As a new company, it means that most of the features are still being tested and it might take time to guarantee their effectiveness.
This is one of the most popular desktop wallets in the market today. It was established in 2011 and is, therefore, one of the oldest and most trusted wallets in the crypto world. About 10% of the entire Bitcoin transactions take place in the Electrum.
Though there are over 900 cryptocurrencies in the market, Electrum is only focused on working with Bitcoin. The wallet is also integrated with major hardware wallets including keepKey and Ledger Nano S. This means that Electrum can directly integrate with other premium hardware as well as most other Bitcoin wallets.
The cost and security of the wallet
To start using the wallet, you need to install it appropriately on your computer. At this point, you can transfer Bitcoins to the wallet from other wallets, top exchanges, or Bitcoin ATM. To receive Bitcoins, you must generate the receiving address by navigating to the Receive tab on the wallet.
To send Bitcoins, the wallet’s ‘Pay To’ tab requires you to input the target address. A fee of 0.2 Mbtc is charged for every transaction. Depending on the type of the transaction and performance of the Bitcoin, the price can at times go down to 0.1 Mbtc.
Electrum is considered very secure because it employs the latest encryption techniques for securing the private keys. It also uses a highly secure seed phrase for generating the private keys. Blockchain experts argue that the level of security for Electrum is the same as that of the Bitcoin network.
The pros of using Electrum wallet
- Because it has been in the market for a long time, it has won a lot of trust from the people.
- Setting up and using is very easy.
- It comes with great private features that help to keep your info extra secure.
- The wallet is integrated with most Bitcoin supporting wallets.
The cons of using the wallet
- The wallet is not ideal for beginners.
- This wallet only supports Bitcoin. If you are interested in a different crypto coin, this might be the wrong option.
The Mycelium wallet
This is a mobile cryptocurrency wallet that targets combining convenience and innovation. When it comes to the cryptocurrencies, many wallets and even users are trying to gain entry. The company behind the wallet entered the crypto world when the blockchain technology was introduced.
Though the wallet is free to download and install, transactions are charged a fee. If you want to use the wallet for mining Bitcoin, a fee ranging from 0.08mBTC/kb to 1mBTC/kb is charged. The design of the wallet only allows users to handle Bitcoin. You can easily withdraw or deposit your crypto in fiat currencies to Bitcoin. To ensure that users can operate at different levels.
The four main accounts that users can operate in the wallet
- Hierarchical deterministic
- Bit ID (this is an open protocol)
- Watch Only account
- Single address account
- Hardware account
Mycelium has regularly been voted as the best mobile wallet in the cryptocurrency industry. In 2014, Mycelium was voted the Mobile App of the year by the Blockchain.info. To make the wallet extra secure, the Mycelium team has unique features such as extensive backups for securing private keys and HD security.
Pros of using Mycelium
- It is backed by one of the oldest and most respected cryptocurrency companies.
- The wallet integrates with many services including other wallets such as the Ledger, Cashilla, and Trezor.
- Provides very fast connection to Bitcoin network. Besides, mycelium provides direct statistics so that users can easily follow the performance of Bitcoin in different exchanges.
- The Mycelium wallet has a very aggressive team that keeps working on new features. At the moment, they are working on DApps (decentralized applications).
Cons of using mycelium
- Though it is a great app for mobile users, it is only available to Android users. This means that people using phones with alternative OS have to look for alternative wallets.
- Getting started as a beginner is never easy. Though they have multiple supports that target helping people get started, many are those who indicate how difficult it is.
- It only supports Bitcoin. This is a great limitation because one cannot focus on other cryptos even if they are more profitable.
This is a Bitcoin hardware wallet designed with very advanced security against virtual and even physical theft. The hardware wallet is crafted to provide users with access to the top cryptocurrencies. It was developed and launched in 2015 with the main objective of ensuring that users are assured of the best security for their crypto assets.
The construction of KeepKey takes a Hierarchical Deterministic model which means that it is a type of a mini computer for storing the private keys and generating the public address.
Using the wallet and its supported cryptocurrencies
To get started with the KeepKey wallet is very easy. You will are required to get two apps and installing them on the computer. The first app is for generating the wallet whenever you plug it, and the second for connecting the KeepKey via Chrome. Once the two apps are installed, the process of using the wallet will be as simple as adding the personal account and picking the cryptocurrency of choice.
Notably, the process of receiving or sending payment through KeepKey does not change as other desktop wallets operate. Another difference with the desktop wallet is that the private keys are stored in the hardware and not the desktop. This means that transactions MUST be transferred to the KeepKey before getting signed and flagged off.
Once the KeepKey receives a request, it prompts the owner and asks him to give a manual confirmation. After approval, the transaction is returned to the KeepKey and announced on the respective network such as Ethereum or Bitcoin. The supported cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin, Ethereum, DASH, Namecoin, Litecoin and Dogecoin.
The security of the KeepKey wallet
Many people have been asking the question; why is KeepKey considered the most secure wallet? This is because the wallet uses multiple layers of security that makes intrusion very difficult. These layers of security include;
- The private key: Unlike the desktop wallets that stores private keep private keys in the computer, KeepKey only stores the keys in the hardware. Even during transactions, the keys never leave the wallet.
- The pin code: The wallet’s PIN ensures that no unauthorized person can get access to the wallet. It is only you and the wallet that knows the secret PIN.
- The recovery phrase: The wallet is backed up by a unique 12-word recovery phrase that is generated during the setup. If the wallet gets lost, the recovery phrase can be used to recover the private keys.
- Passphrase: This is another layer of security on top of the recovery phrase. It is very important to understand this feature before using it.
The pros of using KeepKey wallet
- It has top-notch security that makes it almost impossible for hackers or malware to gain access.
- It provides very high security that has often been compared to the main blockchain networks such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
- It features an attractive and expert designed OLED display that makes using the wallet extra easy and fun.
- It is considered among the best hardware wallets for linking users to the top cryptocurrencies.
Cons of using the wallet
- The hardware wallet lacks a web wallet. This means that all users are required to add other software such MultiBit or Electrum to use the hardware.
- The wallet is slightly bigger compared to the Ledger or TREZOR. This makes it less comfortable to carry in the pocket.
- While the hardware wallet demonstrates one of the greatest advances in the blockchain technologies, it omitted the capability to save progress.
If you are looking forward to a cryptocurrency wallet that supports the highest number coins, the Coinomi might be the best option. It is a mobile cryptocurrency wallet designed to help users in storing multiple cryptocurrencies. It comes with robust privacy features as well as a unique user interface for great user experience.
The core features of Coinomi
- Multi-coin support.
- Very easy to set up.
- Easy cryptocurrency trading.
- Very high level of privacy.
- Availability in multiple languages.
- It employs Hierarchical Deterministic model when creating the seed phrase.
Setting up and using Coinomi
The Coinomi team wanted to create a wallet that everyone could use and get the best results within the shortest time possible. To use the wallet, the first step is downloading and installing on the target phone. You can either access the apps from the home page or Google App Store.
Start by creating a new wallet after launching the app on the phone. Then, a unique seed phrase will be generated for you. This should be secured properly because the code that will be required if the phone gets lost.
The app will require you to select a password that must be used to open the wallet when sending payments. It is advisable to select the assets to be displayed on the wallet. However, this list can be adjusted anytime that the user prefers. The wallet supports about 75 cryptocurrencies. Some of them include Dash, Zcoin, Verge, Ethereum, Compcoin, Landcoin and Bitcoin.
To start using the wallet, the simplest way is getting someone to send you some supported coins. You can also convert fiat currency in a Bitcoin ATM and then send to Coinomi. Another way of getting some assets into the wallet is Online Exchange or Mining.
Pros of using Coinomi
- Coinomi helps to secure the users identify extra secure by anonymizing the IP address in its servers. This acts as another layer of security to the wallet.
- It is very easy to use when trading in different cryptocurrencies. It is also integrated with the ShapeShift exchange.
- All the private keys generated for different assets are stored in the personal device only.
- The wallet uses layers of protection so that even if the phone is stolen the thief cannot access the wallet.
- By supporting multiple cryptocurrencies, it means that you can send Altcoin to the target address without making new conversions.
Cons of using Coinomi wallet
- The wallet is only available as a mobile wallet.
- Only users with Android devices can use Coinomi cryptocurrency wallet. However, the Coinomi team has indicated that the wallet could be available for other mobile devices in future.
- It is impossible to buy crypto coins directly with fiat money through Coinomi.
Trezor is a hardware wallet that was introduced into the cryptocurrency niche in 2014. It was designed by a tech team associated with the Bitcoin founder, SatoshiLabs that has won a lot of praise in the blockchain technology. Indeed, it was the first Bitcoin Hardware wallet.
The architecture of the coin combines offline security with cold storage to make the wallet extra valuable to users. The wallet is easily notable because of its intuitive interface. Its small size, (like a car key) makes it extra easy to carry wherever the user goes. The hardware can also be used on a malware-infested computer without worrying of the private key getting stolen or damaged.
Ease of use and the supported coins
When you get Trezor, it connects you to the blockchain technology seamlessly via chrome extension. The user interface allows users to get full control of their coins, initiate transfers and manage the balances. To keep your crypto account anonymous, the hardware wallet generates many addresses when carrying any transaction. The hardware also allows users to reset their passphrase for enhanced security.
The wallet supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum classic, Dash, Zcash, Litecoin and All Ethereum Classic tokens.
Pros of using Trezor wallet
- As a hardware wallet, users are assured of the complete security of their crypto assets.
- The wallet is very easy to carry around. This means that you easily make payments no matter where you are.
- The fact that it has been on the market for longer has earned it a lot of trust. This trust also comes from the fact that the manufacturer is associated with Bitcoin blockchain network.
Cons of using Trezor wallet
- As a new wallet that has the tag of the latest advancement, the demand has surged so much. This has resulted in a lot of delays before orders are processed and delivered.
- Notably, setting the wallet is not very easy. Though Chrome extensions support it, many users find it relatively tricky to complete the process successfully.
- Though it supports many coins, most of them are left out. This is a great limiting factor for cryptocurrency handlers who want to diversify.
- By making the hardware wallet only finger size, it raises the risk of getting lost. You might, therefore, need to use alternative methods of securing the wallet.
This is one of the Bitcoin mobile wallets for cryptocurrency users. The main aim of Bread wallet is providing cryptocurrency users with a simple and highly effective way of storing private keys and Bitcoins. The wallet is available for users in the App Store for easy access, installation, and use.
The design encrypts everything including the private and public keys to ensure that every transaction is extra secure. They also have the latest backup and recovery to help users recover their wallets in case the phone is lost.
Unlike other wallets, Bread’s designer is not in control of your transactions. Rather, the wallet allows users to connect directly to the Bitcoin network for payments and other operations. This means that the users are in full control of everything that takes place in their wallet all the time.
Pros of using Bread
- The app is very easy to use for anything touching on Bitcoin.
- It has some of the best security features and privacy terms for users.
- It is a great app, especially for beginners.
Cons of using Bread wallet
- This is a Bitcoin-only wallet. You cannot use it with other crypto assets.
- The features of the wallet are very limited. This further limits how one can use the wallet.
- It is the only mobile cryptocurrency wallet that lacks a web or desktop based wallet.
Jaxx has recently received very negative publicity. But to shift to the positive side, the wallet is a great option because of unique features and link to the top cryptocurrencies. It is an easy to use platform that is engineered to work on both the mobile and desktops.
One outstanding thing about Jaxx is its progressive team that guarantees users of prompt updates in the crypto market. For example, Jaxx was prompt to redesign its operations to accommodate the SegWit2x fork during Bitcoin division.
The Jaxx wallet is multi-chain by supporting different assets. For those who are new to cryptocurrencies, the wallet provides access to the largest cryptos. The main currencies you can store in the wallet include DAO, Bitcoin, Dash, Ethereum, Litecoin, REP, and Ethereum Classic.
The three features and cost of using Jaxx
- Capability for cross-platform sharing.
- Integrating to ShapeShift (one of the largest cryptos).
- Multi-coin support.
The main focus of Jaxx team was the beginners who want to enter and become experts in the crypto world. Users only need downloading the app and installing either on the desktop or mobile device to start sending or receiving payments.
Once you join the wallet, the transactions are charged based on the respective blockchain network fees. For example, if you are making payment on the Ethereum network, a fee of 0.000441 ETHE is charged. The same fee is also charged when dealing with other cryptos such as Bitcoin. One thing to note about the payment is that they go directly to the respective network of the transaction.
How secure is the Jaxx wallet?
The Jaxx is designed to provide users with multiple layers of security to users. The sender is required to have a public address and share it in the network for confirmation when making or receiving payments. If a user wants to send some Bitcoins, the network requires one to give the Bitcoin address and confirm using the private keys.
For people using Jaxx on their mobile devices, the wallet also allows them to scan the SQ code. In line with the cryptocurrency philosophy of enhancing total safety, the wallet allows users to take full control of their wallets by linking directly to the respective blockchain network. But this can easily open you to the risk of getting attacked. To help you avoid losses in the cases of cyber-attacks or device crashes, the Jaxx system maintains an encrypted backup.
Pros of using Jaxx wallet
- The cryptocurrency wallet supports multiple assets. This allows users to easily shift to the most profitable assets or those that support direct shopping.
- It is accessible across multiple platforms such as desktop and mobile.
- It is very easy to access, install, and use.
- Beginners find the wallet an ideal selection when joining the crypto world.
Cons of the Wallet
- It has recently had very negative publicity about its security.
- The wallet lacks the 2-factor authentication system in its network.
- The charges are higher compared to other crypto wallets.
Applying the best practices to keep the cryptocurrency wallet secure
While the cryptocurrency does not contain the actual coins, it is the gateway to the funds. If the wallet gets lost through any means such as accidental uninstallation from the computer, the loss is permanent. Therefore, how do you keep the cryptocurrency wallets as secure as possible? The secret is following these best practices.
- Start by picking and only using the most trusted cryptocurrency wallet.
- Only use the computer that the cryptocurrency wallet has been installed.
- Make sure the wallet has a very strong password. Consider combining numbers, codes, and symbols to reduce the risk of intrusion.
- Install strong antivirus software and always keep it up-to-date.
- Make sure your network has a strong firewall.
- Avoid installing software whose authenticity is unclear or contested.
- Keep the cryptocurrency software updated to ensure it is protected by the latest security details.
- Always double and triple check every the public address when releasing it to the network to send or receive payment.
- Always avoid accessing online wallets via public Wi-Fi.
Caution when using cryptocurrency wallets!
Beware of Malware advertised as wallets
Some software offered out there as cryptocurrency wallets are actually malware targeting to get entry into your system. Therefore, you should not trust any software that is advertised as a crypto wallet unless it is from a source you knows. The best place to start is looking for any of the wallets we have covered above for assurance of top-notch security.
To use the wallet such as making payment or participate in mining, you should never share the private keys and passwords. Rather, only the address should be shared.
If the private keys are lost, they are gone forever
If you lose private keys, everything that was contained in it will be lost.
The final take
As cryptocurrencies continue gaining popularity day after day, the focus is shifting to proper applications. This means understanding them and using the right applications. Cryptocurrency wallets are at the heart of the blockchain technology. Their role in advancing the cryptocurrency to the next level is not in doubt.
Indeed, the focus is shifting to making the wallets easy to link and recover in case of loss. But the advancements are relatively slow because they have to follow the tenets of blockchain operations. Therefore, you must be-be extra careful when picking a cryptocurrency wallet to be sure that it will work in your situation.
- Understand the target cryptocurrencies
- Factor the involved costs
- Thing of the nature of transactions to anticipate
- Reach the larger crypto community
- Target wallets that have regular security updates
The wallets we have discussed above provide you with a great launching pad. You can simply pick the one that fits your situation and start enjoying the latest in the world of cryptocurrency.