A number of cryptocurrency wallet types are available, with their own costs, functions, security features, and mobility. But before you can choose the best one for you, you need to know the benefits and drawbacks of each wallet type.
- Understanding What Makes the Strongest Crypto Wallets
- Hardware Crypto Wallet
- Desktop Crypto Wallet
- Mobile Crypto Wallet
- Web Crypto Wallet
- Paper Crypto Wallet
Understanding What Makes the Strongest Crypto Wallets
You can leverage a number of crypto wallet types to store cryptocurrencies: desktop, hardware, mobile, paper, or web. Every type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and choosing one from the others involves understanding how you’ll use it.
- Are you planning to keep just one crypto in your wallet, or multiple?
- Do you expect to hold crypto coins for a long period or will you utilize the wallet for daily transactions?
- Is it important that your cryptocurrency wallet is accessible from home, or should you be able to use it while you’re on the go too?
Think about these questions carefully before you answer them: your conclusions will help you decide which cryptocurrency wallets are best. Below, we explore the five crypto wallet types to make your choice easier.
Hardware Crypto Wallet
The hardware crypto wallet stands apart from others as it keeps private and public keys on a physical device. This can be compared to a flash drive, the kind people still use to transport files from one computer to another.
As a result, hardware crypto wallets offer greater security than others, as they keep cryptocurrencies offline. Hackers will be unable to access them when they’re disconnected, bringing you better peace of mind.
- One of the most secure ways to store cryptocurrencies
- Outstanding option for keeping lots of crypto coins if you’re planning on long-term investments
- Sadly, hardware cryptocurrency wallets cost money — and certain ones are very expensive
- Hardware wallets might be easy to use but they’re not necessarily the right option for newcomers
Popular hardware wallets include Trezor Model T and Ledger Nano X.
Desktop Crypto Wallet
Keeping your cryptocurrencies in a desktop crypto wallet is a safe option, particularly if it’s usually kept offline. Alternatively, you may find a desktop wallet secure on computers which are free of viruses. They’re a popular choice, and most coins offer a ‘core’ wallet version suited to desktops.
However, desktop crypto wallets may still be vulnerable to security breaches targeting private keys. Yet if your computer has never actually been online, your desktop wallet is considered ‘cold’, which makes it just as secure as a hardware crypto wallet.
- A convenient option for crypto trading
- Enjoy total control of private keys
- Fantastic security when your computer has never been taken online
- Using cryptocurrencies for daily transactions can be hard with a desktop wallet
- Desktop wallets become less secure when the computer goes online
- All cryptocurrencies may be lost if your computer becomes unusable and you fail to back your wallet up
Popular desktop wallet options include Jaxx Liberty and Exodus Wallet.
Mobile Crypto Wallet
Crypto mobile wallets can be downloaded onto a mobile phone, as with all types of apps (games, etc.). They’re a convenient option for processing cryptocurrency transactions at any time or place, as with ApplePay. Certain online and desktop wallets offer mobile versions for more varied functionality, but others are designed for mobiles only.
Still, this extra convenience comes at the expense of certain functions that you can take for granted with core desktop wallets.
- Mobile wallets tend to be safer than online alternatives
- Convenient for users who pay with cryptocurrencies on a regular basis
- A lot of mobile wallets include a feature for scanning QR codes
- You risk losing your cryptocurrencies if your mobile phone goes missing
- Mobile malware and viruses are a danger
Popular mobile crypto wallets are Mycelium and the Coinbase app.
Web Crypto Wallet
Some people may feel web crypto wallets are the least secure option, and they could have a point — but there are still plenty of reasons to try them. One of the biggest is that you can gain access to funds you want to send or receive on any device connected to the internet.
But one major drawback is that you need to keep your private keys stored on the wallet provider’s server: this makes them less secure, even though the most popular ones offer solid encryption.
- Transactions are extremely quick
- Typically support a range of cryptocurrencies
- Web wallets can be used at any time, so they’re convenient
- Risk of security breaches
- Viruses could compromise safety
- Third-party private key access is worth considering
Popular web crypto wallets include MyEtherWallet and Green Address.
Paper Crypto Wallet
You may not hear much about paper wallets, despite their being user-friendly and offering a high standard of security. Paper wallets are little more than a physical version of your private and public keys, so you can make your own by — yes — writing them on a sheet of paper. It’s that straightforward.
But paper wallet generators are available, if you want to print out a pair of keys and a QR code. Paper wallets are easy to use: you can add funds to yours by making a transfer to the wallet’s public address. The wallet is a “cold storage” option ideal for keeping it out of the hands of cyber-criminals.
If you want to spend crypto coins stored in your paper wallet, just transfer them to a different wallet via private keys or scanning the QR code.
- Enjoy control of your private keys
- No need for online storage
- Paper wallets tend to be invulnerable to hackers
- Can be difficult for using for simple, daily transactions
- Not user-friendly for people new to cryptocurrencies
- Paper wallets may be destroyed easily, taking your funds with them
Popular paper wallet generators include WalletGenerator.net, allowing you to make paper wallets for 197 coins. If the crypto you want to use isn’t supported, you can make your own wallet manually or find an alternative online.