Cryptocurrencies are gaining a lot of momentum in recent times with Bitcoin prices skyrocketing to more than $4000 per coin as of August 2017. Cryptocurrency is a digital asset which uses encryption and other cryptography techniques to secure the transactions and is used as a medium of exchange instead of the traditional currencies. Bitcoin was the first Cryptocurrency introduced to the market in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto and is currently the largest blockchain network. The total Cryptocurrency market is worth more than $126 billion as of today which clearly indicates that many investors have turned their attention towards Cryptocurrencies.
There is an increased acceptance of Blockchain technology globally and numerous Cryptocurrencies have been introduced in the market like Ethereum, Ripple, LiteCoin, Monero, DogeCoin, Dash, Lisk, GridCoin, Namecoin etc. As more people have started using Cryptocurrencies recently, they are also looking for secure wallets which can be used to send, receive and store Cryptocurrencies in a safe manner.
Cryptocurrency wallets can be of categorized mainly into hardware wallets and software wallets. There are also different flavours of wallets based on the supported platform such as Desktop Wallets, Mobile Wallets, Online Wallets and Paper Wallets as well. The software wallets have better user-interface and are geared towards convenience while the hardware wallets are best suited for secure storage. The hardware wallets are small USB devices which can generate your private keys securely in an offline environment making it safe from hackers. There are also Paper wallets which allow you store bitcoins in a physical medium like metal or paper. We shall discuss the top 5 cryptocurrency wallets available in the market as of now,
Ledger Nano S
Category: Hardware Multi-currency wallet
Cost: 58 Euros (Excl.Tax) or $70
This is the most popular hardware wallet which supports multiple cryptocurrencies and looks similar to a foldable USB flash drive. It is sold by Ledger, a Bitcoin security company based in France. You can store Bitcoins, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Dash, and other altcoins in this wallet. The Ledger Nano S is also very secure and is Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) authentication compliant. Since the device creates your private keys in its secure chip and is stored offline, it cannot be hacked and is also malware proof. It has an OLED screen where you can double-check and confirm each transaction with a single tap on its side buttons.
The device creates and stores your private keys in its secure chip which keeps it out of reach from the internet and hackers. Also, you don’t have to worry if you have lost your device as the accounts are backed up by a recovery sheet and you can easily restore your lost data.
Category: Software Multi-currency wallet designed especially for Desktops
Cost: Free to download
Exodus is a widely used Bitcoin and altcoin software wallet with an intuitive user-interface designed especially for Desktops. They have different versions available for Linux, Macintosh and Windows Desktops. Live charts of different currencies are displayed and you can customize the look and feel of the UI as per your wish. Exodus allows users to store Bitcoins, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash and many others. It was the first software desktop wallet to integrate ShapeShift into its user interface that allows users to quickly convert between different cryptocurrencies. It’s also highly secure since the private keys are stored on the user’s Desktop and not on any external servers. This gives full control over the assets to the users since the application provides a customizable user-interface to store your private keys. Exodus also offers 24/7 live support through email or help desk.
Category: Multi-cryptocurrency hardware wallet
Cost: €89 for 1, 22€ discount is available if you purchase Multi-pack with 3 Trezors
It was the first hardware wallet to be introduced in the market and is considered as the most secure since they provide two-factor authentication. Trezor wallet is made of plastic and has a 64×128 OLED display with a microUSB port and two buttons on the front. It’s very easy to use and you can setup instantly by downloading and installing the Trezor bridge software from their website. They also provide a Google Chrome extension for desktops which can interact with your hardware and Google Manager for Android phones. Apart from bitcoins, you can store different altcoins like Litecoin, Zcash and Dash using Trezor. You can also store Ethereum with Trezor but you should use a different wallet interface provided by MyEtherWallet.
Category: Mobile Multi-currency wallet available for both iOS and Android. Online Wallet is also available.
Cost: Free to download
Coinbase is a popular cryptocurrency exchange which serves more than 9.4 million customers across 32 countries. They have facilitated the exchange of more than $20B worth of digital currencies so far. Coinbase wallet can be downloaded for free from both Google Play and iTunes store. Coinbase wallet has a very good user interface and you can sign-up for free. You can enable two-factor authentication to improve your account security and they also offer additional security with private storage, timed withdrawals and multiple signers through their Vault service. Since Coinbase also serves as an exchange, you can buy and sell digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin directly from your mobile wallet. You can link your bank account or credit card directly with your Coinbase account and make instant transfers. One drawback of using Coinbase wallet is they will be able to track all your transactions since they are an exchange.
Category: Software Multi-currency Wallet compatible with multiple platforms
Cost: Free to download
Jaxx is a popular software wallet available across multiple platforms namely Android, Linux, Apple iOS and Windows. It is also available as Firefox and Chrome extensions. The main advantages of this Wallet include cross-platform pairing and integrated ShapeShift which allows you to easily exchange between different crypto currencies. It has a modern and intuitive user-interface which allows you check balance, send and receive digital currencies from others and also switch to different currencies like Ethereum, Bitcoin, Litecoin and Dash. They also provide a client-side security model by storing private keys locally on the user’s device and not on any external servers. One drawback is they do not have InstantSend support.