In just 7 years, the price of bitcoin (the most popular cryptocurrency in the world) has skyrocketed from a meager 6 cents to almost $20,000 and then back to $10,000. This is perhaps, why bitcoin ranked as the second most trending search query on Google. If you’re new to the crypto-party, you can quickly catch up here. This article is a pre-requisite to knowing the best cryptocurrency wallets in 2018.
For those who didn’t read through, here’s a cursory explanation. Basically, cryptocurrencies are digital currencies which cannot be physically accessed. From common logic, you can deduce that a wallet is that location where you store valuables. Hence, a cryptocurrency wallet is a location where bitcoins, Ethereum, and other forms of digital currencies are stored.
Types of Cryptocurrency Wallets
There are two main types of cryptocurrency wallets; software wallets and hardware wallets. Choosing a suitable wallet is totally dependent on your needs as they both have distinct pros and cons. For example, hardware wallets are generally seen as more secure and safe. This is due to the fact that it is not stored online where hackers can easily corrupt or assess it.
However, one drawback of hardware wallets is that they are extremely expensive. Meanwhile, some hardware wallets offer backup in case it gets lost. It can also be blocked in case of theft. Software wallets, on the other hand, are easily accessible and widely used. They are also free to use and sometimes, security is bolstered by using a Virtual Private Network.
Best Hardware Wallets
Trezor is touted as of the most reliable wallets in the cryptocurrency market and they do well to live up to expectation. It is a highly recommended wallet, especially for those who plan to invest huge sums of money into cryptocurrency. Being a hardware wallet, it is not affected by malware and there is no chance of your keys being exposed.
This hardware wallet is also not cumbersome to carry about. It resembles a small digital calculator, however, with an inbuilt screen to display the 9 digit pin it randomly generates. It also provides a 24-word recovery key which can be helpful if the device gets lost or damaged. Although it is expensive compared to other wallets which offer the same service, Trezor still makes a really good wallet.
This wallet, although not as pricey as Trezor, offers an equal level of security, with more modern enhancements. It employs the Ledger Chrome Application platform and it also supports two-factor authentication via the internal hardware.
It is a USB device and there’s an OLED display whereby transactions can be viewed. This eliminates the stress of plugging it to an external monitor in order to check transactions. The cryptocurrencies supported include bitcoin, Litecoin, and other Ethereum-based coins. A PIN code is the conventional method of accessing it, however, there’s another 24-word seed which is generated upon setup. In the event of theft, this seed can engender the content of the stolen wallet.
Best Software Wallets
This is one startling revelation in the crypto-wallet scene. One really impressive feature is the user-friendly interface. It has an easy-to-use platform with attractive graphics and a really useful reporting system. Apart from the aesthetics, it is also 100% free.
This wallet is not an online web-based platform, rather, the currency is stored offline. Although the wallet is created via the internet, on a website, the currency is actually stored your computer, not on the server. With Exodus, you can store multiple currencies in a single wallet without paying for an extra subscription. The ease of use also means you can exchange currencies with just the click of a button.
This is a web-based wallet with over 75 currencies supported. It is also free and easy to use. However, there are charges deducted in form of transaction fee when you transfer your currency to another location. One other notable feature of Coinpayments is the visibility. Apart from its use as a wallet, it can be used to make purchases online.
The platform also integrated BitGo in order to authenticate bitcoin-related transactions faster. However, a vault feature might make the transactions slower. This add-on provides an extra layer of security and makes it more difficult to withdraw currency from the account in order to guard against theft. Even though it is a web-based platform, it is has a mobile application which is compatible with major Operating Systems.
One of the oldest digital wallets around, Electrum is easy to use, safe, and free. It is also very popular in the bitcoin community. It is a desktop wallet and this means users have absolute control over the key used to access the funds. With this arrangement, you do not have to worry about their servers getting hacked or the company itself being fraudulent.
Upon initial setup, an arbitrary seed which consists of 12 dictionary words is generated. You need to write this down and keep it in a safe location. Reinstalling the software on another PC means that you can easily restore the content using the seed.
Jaxx is another easy-to-use cryptocurrency which stores any form of digital assets. It supports a wide range of cryptocurrencies including Litecoin, Dash, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum. These currencies can be converted easily using the shapeshift support and you view your balance almost instantly.
Like Electrum, it provides a 12-word seed which can be used to access the wallet in case you lose the pilot program. it works as a mobile application and it is also available as an extension in Google Chrome and this is accessible to Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Blockchain claims to be the most popular digital cryptocurrency wallet around and with over 100 million transactions & 15 million wallets, this might just be a fact. Transparency is one of the virtues which has sustained them for this long. They randomly generate the private keys used to access the wallet, however, they have no knowledge of it.
Best Paper Wallets
Another category of digital wallets available is referred to as paper wallet. As the name implies, it is a document which stores the needed information to generate private keys. These keys are then used to access the funds. This form of storage, according to experts, offers the highest level of security since there’s no digital access to it.
One drawback, however, is the required technological adeptness. It is an extremely complicated method of storage and it demands a high level of attention. Some of the popular paper wallets include BitcoinPaperWallet.com and BitAddress. As earlier stated, they are quite recondite. You might consider reading up extensively on it or requesting an expert’s knowledge.