When it comes to crypto storage of Bitcoin or Altcoins, we must consider several aspects before choosing it. The type of wallet you may want needs to settle according to the usage and profile of the investor. There are several options available on the market, such as paper wallet, brain wallet, hardware wallet, mobile wallet, a desktop wallet, web wallets, etc.
We will focus on the types of wallets most requested by most people. A paper wallet, for example, as secure as it is offline and free, has disadvantages that involve high risks for beginners. As it is not a friendly option, it requires more excellent technical knowledge and a personal security protocol.
We will focus in this article on the most common types to use. These are the mobile wallets, hardware wallets, and desktop wallets. We will also talk within these types, which are the most reliable options – in our humble opinion.
What type of wallet to use?
It depends on your investor profile. Before choosing the type of wallet, you need to be clear about the usefulness you will give to your crypto assets.
If you are buying to trade, your assets must be with the exchange that best suits you. It is essential to pay attention to the volume of the brokerage in question, if people of trust manage it and if it has processes that guarantee the security of operations.
It is important to remember that in this case, your assets are in custody by a third party, so you depend on him to withdraw when this is your wish. So that way, you do not have the private key of where your assets are.
On the other hand, if you are buying to use your assets as a form of payment, you must store them in a mobile wallet. In this type of wallet, you need to write down your seed offline – a sequence of 12, 18, or 24 words – to restore it, if necessary.
Mobile wallets allow you to send or receive assets quickly, so it is the ideal type of wallet for everyday use. On the other hand, it is not the type of wallet that holds large amounts; after all, it is online and susceptible to hacker attacks – just like Exchanges.
Finally, if you are purchasing for the long term, the recommendation is to use hardware wallets. These are offline and are safer devices. Just like mobile wallets, hardware wallets have seeds that should also note offline, if your device has any kind of problem.
If you have very high values or do not intend to move your assets in the short term, this is, without a doubt, the best option.
There are two main types. The first are those designed exclusively for the Bitcoin storage. It makes sense since Bitcoin is the most valuable asset, the most traded and the one with the greatest computational strength for confirming transactions in the crypto market.
Mixed wallets are very common and versatile for users, as they store a variety of assets all in the same place, such as BTC, LTC, ETH, BNB, TRON, and several ERC-20 tokens. Another widespread type is the ERC-20 wallets, which store all assets created from the Ethereum blockchain – including the Ethereum token (Ether / ETH), which works as gas for all transactions. Another type is those dedicated to specific blockchains, such as Cardano (Yoroi) and Waves, for example.
- Transportable and useful;
- Ideal when making face-to-face transactions;
- Designed to use QR codes;
- Easily transactions.
- Susceptible to hackers for being online;
- Damage or loss of the device can potentially lead to a loss of funds if you have not correctly noted the seed.
Exclusive Mobile Wallets for Bitcoin
Samourai Wallet – Available only for Android, Samourai is modern, secure, open-source, and has privacy as one of its most significant advantages. The wallet already comes with integrated TOR (free and open-source software that provides anonymous and secure communication when browsing the Internet and in online activities, protecting against censorship and especially privacy). Also, it has SegWit addresses (update of the Bitcoin’s network that helps keep miners’ rates lower during transactions).
Samourai’s business model is the sale of privacy services. They make the wallet available for free and provide great tools focused on the privacy of its user. Some of these functions release to the user by purchasing the service. The tools have a small cost compared to the benefits, here are some of them:
- PayNym: By sharing your address publicly, you are providing surveillance companies with a starting point for tracking it. PayNym is a unique type of identification (a nickname) for each Samouray wallet, and the address will never be revealed to anyone, rather sender and recipient of the transaction.
- Batch Spending: it is a way to compose a single transaction that contains many separate transactions. It can be advantageous when the miner’s fees are high, and you have several operations to carry out at any given time.
- Scrambled PIN: The keyboard for entering the PIN is random with each load and does not provide visual feedback, to prevent screen recording spyware or someone to see you typing the password.
- Stealth Mode: The invisible mode removes Samourai from the launcher and your phone’s home screen. To reveal the wallet, just dial a secret code.
- Stonewall: Most bitcoin wallets leave metadata tracks that blockchain surveillance companies use to take your anonymity. Stonewall helps protect against attacks of this type.
- Whirpool: When you exchange your currencies at Whirlpool, you will be breaking the link between inputs and outputs of your bitcoin transactions.
OFFICIAL SITE: https://samouraiwallet.com/
Electrum – Created in 2011 by German scientist Thomas Voegtlin, Electrum is one of the oldest Bitcoin wallets on the market, processing approximately 10% of all Bitcoin transactions. It is a wallet for desktop (Windows, Linux, and Mac) and cell phone (Android only). Since its creation, several developers have made contributions to its source code, as it is open source.
OFFICIAL SITE: https://electrum.org/
Mycelium – Mycelium is a highly integrated bitcoin company, specializing in hardware, software, and security. The company has enterprise-grade security features, including HD security and extensive backup options to protect private keys. They are supported by a large team of developers who are always innovating. Some of its advantages are: having open source code, integration with hard wallets like Trezor / Ledger Nano, offering various types of accounts, and fast connection to the Bitcoin network. Its disadvantages are that it may not be ideal for beginners, and customer service does not always respond quickly and effectively.
OFFICIAL SITE: https://wallet.mycelium.com/
Bitcoin and Altcoins Mobile Wallets
Edge Wallet – With over 25 embedded cryptocurrencies, it has the right level of privacy, security, and decentralization (open source). Edge wallets are always automatically encrypted and backed up (one of the weaknesses, as they retain an encrypted copy of your wallet). It means that your bitcoins can be stoled if you don’t use a secure password, or the service is compromised/hacked. Available in Android and iOS versions.
Exodus Wallet – Exodus is one of the most modern and trendy wallets in the crypto market. Very intuitive, it has a modern and friendly interface. Exodus supports various types of cryptocurrencies (more than 55 according to the website itself) and has a brilliant integration with Shapeshift (simple to use currency exchange service). It designed for beginners. An excellent advantage is that you can keep almost all of your crypto in one place, making negotiation and control easier. It has excellent customer support and has an automatic rate adjustment. One of the disadvantages is that its source code is not 100% open.
Bread Wallet (BRD) – Bread is an open-source and allows the user full control over their private keys. It is considered by many to be the best mobile wallet for the iOS system, but it also has an Android version. Its design is modern, and it is intuitive and easy to use, making the user experience the best possible. Supports Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and all ERC-20 native tokens (including the native BRD wallet token).
Enjin Wallet – The Enjin wallet accepts all ERC-20 tokens and also considered mixed, as it accepts assets such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Bnb. As it is ERC-20, there is a need to have the Ethereum token (ether / ETH), which works as fuel for the execution of transactions.
It is an extremely intuitive tool (excellent user experience) and has several other attributes that make it much more interesting than ordinary portfolios. Some of these attributes are:
- Collectible Tab: Here, you have a portfolio of collectible items, format ERC-1155. Some things are pure art, created by the community, but mainly game items, that built from its platform for creating games and that are marketed between players;
- Marketplace tab: This is where items created by the community or game creators are sold in a marketplace format. That is if you have items you can put them on sale, available to those who want to buy;
- Exchange Tab: Here, there are embedded tools such as Changelly, Kyber, and Bancor, for example, which allow the instant exchange of assets. It is important to note that these instant exchange tools work almost exclusively with ERC-20 assets. That is, if you want to exchange ZRX for LINK, you can do this directly, without having to trade one of them for ETH to buy the other. Note: only Changelly offers to exchange bitcoin for other cryptos within the wallet – until now.
- Read QR Code tab: this is a simple QR Code reading tool, which is especially useful for reading QR Codes launched by gaming platforms, which distribute assets (airdrops) in a very recurring way, rewarding the most active community. An addendum to this technology is Enjin Beam, which allows the reading of QR codes through an image uploaded to the cell phone, thus facilitating the sharing of QR Codes.
OFFICIAL SITE: https://enjin.io/products/wallet
Trust Wallet – Trust Wallet is open-source and was purchased by Binance (the largest exchange in volume in the world) in July 2018. On the Apple Store and Google Play, the wallet is rated 4.7 out of a total 5 – a good grade making it one of the most popular and sought after in the market. Compatible with Bitcoin (BTC), Binance Coin (BNB and BEP2 network) Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dash, Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Ethereum Classic (ETC), GoChain (GO), ICON (ICX), Litecoin (LTC), Tron (TRX), VeChain (VET / VTHO), Wanchain (WAN), XRP, ZCash (ZEC), and Zcoin (XZC) and almost all types of ERC-20 tokens, which is very useful for users who participated in different ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings).
It gives users complete control over their private keys and completely preserves anonymity. The portfolio is integrated with exchanges such as Coinbase, Shapeshift, and also Changelly, facilitating the instant purchase of assets by users.
Decentralized application tokens can be added in the “DApps” section. It has several functions and accesses embedded within the wallet and subdivided into new dApps, popular, exchanges, games, market place, social networks, utility applications.
The trust is straightforward to use, suitable for day-to-day use, very intuitive, and agile, as all information is loaded immediately.
Available for Android and iOS.
OFFICIAL SITE: https://trustwallet.com/
Coinomi Wallet – One of the oldest wallets on the market (2014), it does not have open-source code, but it focuses a lot on user privacy. It supports a wide variety of crypto assets, the main ones being: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Monero, Dash, Bitcoin Cash, Tether, USDC, among others. Very useful for users who participated in different ICOs. Great wallet to store small amounts, it makes it much easier for the user who wants to know and test different types of cryptocurrencies. There is also the option to exchange inside the wallet. Coinomi does not collect any personal information and hides the IP address from users to prevent anyone from spying on wallet usage patterns or transactions. It is very intuitive and easy to use wallet.
Available for Android and iOS.
OFFICIAL SITE: https://www.coinomi.com/
Desktop wallets are software that stores your private keys on your computer’s hard drive, thus allowing total control over your funds. However, to keep your bitcoins safe, you must ensure that your computer is free of viruses, spyware, malware, a VPN connection, and other cyber care. Never forget to backup your seed in a safe place, just like any type of wallet.
- Bitcoin Core;
It is, for sure, the most secure way of storage because it is offline, therefore less accessible to hacker attacks. That is why they are considered maximum security wallets, when the investment is for the long term, without a doubt, the primary option.
There are two most popular hardware wallets, Ledger Nano and Trezor; both of them have some model variations. These variations (colors and displays) have the same primary function: they store private addresses offline and which require physical access to access that address. It makes this type of device the one recommended for storing higher values and/or values that do not intend repetitive movement.
According to Andreas Antonopoulos (legendary bitcoin evangelizer), physical wallets are the best storage solution for ordinary people. In his words: “I’ll go on the record and say the Hardware Wallets are better than software and paper wallets for all except a handful of opsec / infosec experts. Security isn’t about absolutes. It’s all relative and complexity / operator skill are of the utmost importance.” Translating: “I will register and say that the hardware portfolios are better than the software and paper portfolios for everyone except a handful of opsec / infosec specialists. Security is not absolute. It is all relative, and the complexity/skill of the operator is of the utmost importance.”
Trezor is one of the oldest hardware wallets on the market; it has already been very well tested, supports a wide variety of cryptocurrencies, and is affordable. The company behind TREZOR (Satoshi Labs) is considered one of the pioneers in the Bitcoin and Crypto industry. It contains additional security measures, such as PIN codes and passwords, that make this wallet as close to “hacking proof” as possible. It has two models: Trezor One and Trezor T.
Open source code: This means that any developer in the world can audit the code and ensure that the final software does not hide secrets.
OFFICIAL SITE: https://trezor.io/
Ledger provides the highest level of security for encryption assets. Its products combine a secure element and an operating system designed specifically to protect cryptography, allowing full control of private keys. In the recent past, Ledger has taken first place as one of the best producers of crypto wallets. It has two wall models: Ledger NanoS and Ledger NanoX.
The differences between the two are:
The Nano X ledger connects to iOS devices, while the Nano S works only with desktop and Android computers.
Both support the same currencies.
The Nano X also has a slightly larger screen and connects via Bluetooth.
It does not have open source code, but Ledger runs its firmware in open source applications. In electronics and computing, the firmware is a specific class of computer software that provides a control for specific device hardware.
OFFICIAL SITE: https://www.ledger.com/
Before purchasing a hardware wallet, take into account the value of the cryptocurrencies to be kept, to justify the investment.
Disclaimer: Use this information as a reference and as a basis for the study. We cannot guarantee the operation and security of each of the software and hardware contained in this article.