Every trader and investor in the cryptocurrency industry needs to either buy and sell crypto from time to time. This means that you need to have somewhere to store your coins for future use. A bitcoin wallet is similar to a leather wallet used for fiat currency storage, only that the former is digital.
Primarily, bitcoin wallets do not store the Bitcoin by themselves; they only provide users with private cryptographic keys, which users can, in turn, use to access their funds among fragments in the decentralized online ledger, called Blockchain.
There are different forms of Bitcoin wallets. Each kind of bitcoin wallet is categorized based on their level of security and accessibility. The four categories of bitcoin wallets are:
- Cold Storage Wallets: These Bitcoin wallets are not linked to the internet in any form. They can be physical wallets or dedicated computers that have no web links. They are said to be more secure than those in the other categories because they help prevent an individual’s bitcoin from cyber theft. However, it takes some time and level of difficulty to access a cold storage wallet during emergencies.
- Hardware Wallets: These wallets are created in the model of a small storage device. So, a user has to connect them to the port of a computer or smartphone to access their bitcoin or make transactions in using their cryptocurrency.
- Software Wallets: These are downloadable applications that users can have on their desktop or smartphones. Accessing your bitcoin from this wallet is more comfortable than when you use hardware and cold storage wallets. However, this kind of wallet faces the issue of cyber insecurity from time to time.
- Online Wallets: These wallets make use of the browser option in reaching out to their users. Often, these platforms usually offer the software/application option with their online wallet option.
Most traders and investors make use of more than one of these categories when trading or holding bitcoin. This is especially true for investors who have a large amount of Bitcoin in their portfolio.
They might want to store some bitcoin in the Cold storage or Hardware wallet for a long time while trading with the currency in the software and online wallets.
BEST BITCOIN WALLETS IN EACH CATEGORY
BEST HARDWARE WALLET: TREZOR
Trezor is the most used and the first on the list of hardware wallets. This is traceable to its relatively affordable purchase price and, more importantly, its high-security level. Trezor takes the form of a small device that you can easily connect to your desktop or smartphone. It has a small screen from which you can manage your connections.
The smallest of the Trezor series is Trezor One, a black and white plastic device that sells for as low as $55. The most expensive Trezor hardware wallet sells for about $500 according to the present market price.
Trezor allows users to store up to 1000 different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. It also has multiple security features and multi-factor authentication, hence ensuring safety for its users.
- A touchscreen storage device makes it easy to use
- Secure offline storage
- Support multiple cryptocurrencies
- The more expensive the version; the more the features available
- Difficult to install and use for industry newbies
BEST DESKTOP WALLET: EXODUS
Exodus is about the most prevalent form of desktop wallet. It offers several features that make it stand out among the list. You will be pleased to know that Exodus comes with a mobile app version for its users. It provides a user-friendly interface and supports the trading of over 100 digital assets, including bitcoin.
Exodus offers real-time market prices and charts, making trading easy on its platforms. Traders and investors can quickly transfer their earnings into their wallets without going through the stress of creating an account. Traders can also make use of the app downloadable to different devices to track the value of their Bitcoin.
It requires no purchase cost, and users’ private keys are stored on the computer. This does not mean your account is not safe; however, you may need to backup your private key to be able to access your account on another platform if your computer gets lost or you decide to change it.
- Well-optimized user interface and layout
- Has an integration with Trezor
- Available on desktop and mobile devices
- Security is not topnotch because of lack of two-factor authentication system
- High transaction fees
BEST WALLET FOR MOBILE: EDGE
Edge is a top-level mobile wallet that allows users to access multiple crypto features from their mobile devices. An app is available for iPhone users on Apple Store and Android users on Google Play Store.
Edge allows users to access their account with their username and password and have access to trading over 300 cryptocurrency assets. Traders can buy and sell crypto coins and fiat currencies on Edge while making use of the different integrated discounts and other welcoming features.
Edge has a topnotch security feature for its users as it incorporates layers of encryption and authentication system, which other platforms use as their mode of authentication.
- Mobile app option makes it accessible every time and everywhere from anywhere
- Two-factor authentication support system makes it more secure
- Supports the trading of over 30 cryptocurrency assets
- No web version available
BEST OVERALL: COINBASE
Coinbase is regarded as the best bitcoin wallet because it has a user-friendly interface and robust features, making it easy to navigate by beginners and experts in the crypto industry. It supports the trading of several cryptocurrencies and allows users to store up to 20 coins, including U.S. dollars and USDT.
Another feature that stands Coinbase out is the ease of making deposits and withdrawals on the platform. It offers various deposit options, and US-based users can connect their bank account directly to the platform.
Coinbase offers mobile and web login options, and you can buy, sell, or hold various cryptocurrency assets on the web and app options.
- Best for beginners and experts
- Strong security system
- High transaction rates and flat fees
The wallets listed above made it to the list because of the unique features that they offer. This does not mean that those are the only wallets available; there are hundreds of others you can select from, but why waste your time when you can read this review and make a more informed decision.