When starting out with cryptocurrency, it is important for users to set up a cryptocurrency wallet that both is secure and allows for financial flexibility (ease of exchange, streamlined transfers, and so on). Nowadays, there are wallets that can be hosted online, procured in the form of a hardware entity, or accessed on a computer. However, most users make use of wallets that are hosted by the exchange.
With the recent surge of interest in the cryptocurrencies, it is now recommended that investors store their cryptocurrency holdings in a personal wallet. This is primarily due to the fact that hosted wallets are susceptible to a number of issues related to security and privacy that can be taken advantage of.
A cryptocurrency wallet, in its most basic sense, comes loaded with 2 key components – a private and a public key. The private key is used for personal access to the wallet as well as for authorizing transactions, while the public key is the address that is given out when receiving money from a third party.
The criteria to be considered when choosing a wallet are as follows:
- Accessibility. Some cryptocurrency owners like to be able to access their holdings from remote locations. Thus, when choosing a crypto wallet, it is important to know how important accessibility is for you.
- Security. This should be one’s primary criteria when choosing a wallet. One should find out whether a particular wallet is a “hot” hosted wallet or a “cold” wallet that can be accessed even without an internet connection.
- Pricing. While there are many free options out there, the paid ones usually provide extra features.
- Usability. For novice investors, it is best to choose a wallet that offers a highly intuitive UI.
Types of wallets:
- Hot Wallets: these are the most common crypto wallets used today. They are primarily utilized by online exchanges, but their safety features are inferior to those of both cold and hardware wallets. It should be understood that hot wallets are primarily suitable for storing small sums of money.
- Cold/Software Wallets: while still providing all of the core features of hot wallets, software wallets provide users with a host of added security features. They also provide more accessibility and can be used with a wide range of digital devices such as PCs and mobile phones.
- External/Hardware Wallets: these are hardware units that allow for access to currency even when offline. It is the most secure option of the three, and provides users with a storage solution that is free of all hacking-related issues.
The Top Ethereum wallets:
Quite unlike regular web wallets, MyEtherWallet has been designed to provide its users with full control of their ETH private keys on their machines themselves.
Here are its main features:
- Completely open source.
- Does not make use of any third party servers.
- Makes use of smart contracts for all transactions.
- Easy currency exchange.
- Compatibile with other commonly used software wallets.
Another good wallet for Ethereum is
This hardware wallet serves as the gold standard of affordable, secure ETH storage solutions today. Not only is it reasonably priced, but the Ledger Nano S also comes packed with an array of online/offline features that make it extremely secure.
It can be easily connected to one’s computer via USB, and makes use of an OLED display that allows users to double check all transactions. Lastly, it is completely immune to malware and secures one’s private keys from all third-party miscreants.
Jaxx is a free multi-asset wallet that supports over sixty different altcoins. Not only is its UI intuitive and customer-friendly, but it also comes loaded with many quality security features.
For instance, Jaxx makes use of seed keys, thereby enabling users to access and restore their funds whenever required. Additionally, the Jaxx development team is extremely responsive and resolves customers’ doubts and concerns immediately. Lastly, it supports Shapeshift functionality, thus making crypto trading even more accesible to users.
This wallet was one of the first hardware wallets to hit the market back in 2016. It is fully compatible with Ethereum, and can be used on a variety of platforms such as Windows, Linux, Mac and Android.
Trezor makes use of an authentication system that allows users to access their ETH only after the correct password has been entered. It stores all Ether offline.
This is a well-designed desktop wallet that offers its users a lot of security features as well as an intuitive interface. It is absolutely free for everyone to use, and presents relevant currency information in a highly simplified and easy-to-understand manner.
Exodus has been designed to support 7 different cryptocurrencies, and also comes with the ShapeShift module built into its code.
This wallet is marketed online as being the “Official Ethereum Wallet”.
It takes a little bit of time to set up a Mist wallet. Once it’s ready for use, Mist incorporates standard security protocols such as private and public keys. It also requires users to remember their password at all times, as it is the only way to gain access to the wallet.
This feature-laden hardware wallet has been described by various media outlets as being the most secure crypto storage solution on the market today.
This is one of the most popular ETH wallets out there. It makes use of a browser-like structure to access the Ethereum Network. However, what sets MetaMask apart from its contemporaries is the fact that it allows for streamlined access to a host of dApps within the ETH network.
While it may be fine to keep small amounts of crypto in hot wallets, when dealing with large sums of money, it is best to make use of a software or hardware wallet.