Traders and investors cannot do much in the world of cryptocurrency without a good digital wallet.
Crypto enthusiasts need a wallet to buy, hold and sell their coins, tokens and NFTs.
Out of the hundreds available, iExpats has reviewed some of the ones labeled as the best and in no particular order, here are a few that we have deemed to live up to their praise.
Hopefully, they will protect your crypto holdings and make it easier to manage a portfolio.
What is a digital wallet?
A digital or electronic wallet is software that stores encrypted financial and personal data relating to cryptocurrency. The software works on smartphones, tablets and other computers.
Most digital wallets can manage multiple cryptocurrencies and connect with dApps (decentralized applications). dApps are blockchain-based financial applications.
Our favorite digital wallets
This list is based on iExpats staff preferences. The aim is to give a starting point for researching digital wallets and should not be taken as a recommendation.
Mycelium is one of the first digital wallets and is considered a step up from a basic entry tool. One of the favorite features is the ability to set a transaction fee to hold a payment until the required fee is met on Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains. Mycelium supports NFTs based on Bitcoin, Ether and ERC-20. Another highly appreciated feature was Mycelium’s connectivity with offline storage. Less confident users can benefit from a wide range of support available online.
A digital wallet for investing expats at any stage of their cryptocurrency journey. Sporting an intuitive design, the smartphone app from financial company deVere Group has been downloaded thousands of times. Crypto links with over ten popular cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ether. Users can switch from fiat currencies, like the US dollar and British pound, to cryptocurrency. Crypto connects to major exchange Kraken.
If you are concerned about protecting your crypto assets, then Trezor is the wallet for you. Trezor has some of the strongest digital wallet security features. Reviewers point out that the fees for using Trezor don’t outweigh the benefits of additional features if you don’t use them. Trezor supports nearly 2,000 cryptocurrencies – virtually everyone on the market. However, new users are reporting issues with the wallet setup, especially with the touchscreen interface.
Exodus is an entry-level digital wallet with a choice of links to 150 cryptocurrencies and an integrated exchange. However, intermediate or advanced users may find the software too simplistic with a lack of feature choices. These users may find Trezor a better wallet option. A winning feature for Exodus is helpful support to help newbies on their cryptocurrency journey. The wallet is available for desktop computers and smartphones.
Nano X Register
A digital wallet that connects to secure cold storage that also connects to up to 20 apps at once. Critics claim that the wallet’s Bluetooth capability is not yet fully perfected, which could leave the wallet open to hacker attacks. Ledger lost data to hackers in July 2020, which did not endanger personal keys but allowed other user data to be stolen. The predecessor to the Nano, the Ledger Nano S was one of the first wallets to hit the market and dominated the industry for quite some time.
Nano S Register
Old but still functional wallet technology without Bluetooth and limited to storing three dApps. As a former market leader, the Nano S is linked to over 1,800 cryptocurrencies. Storage is limited if you have a large crypto wallet. The Ledger Live software is a cinch to use for beginners with a smartphone or desktop computer, but more experienced investors and traders will find the limitations of the technology a problem. Ideal for new investors looking for easy, hassle-free storage of a few cryptocurrencies.
Electrum is a one-trick pony designed to do a job well – managing Bitcoin investments. The intuitive and streamlined interface likely appeals to more advanced crypto traders and investors due to the high-end functionality. Electrum comes with customs fees and optional security levels most helpful to traders. Other downsides are that Electrum only connects with Bitcoin, and user support is rare if not impossible to find. As the crypto market grows, users will find Electrum’s constraints too onerous.
Why do I need a crypto wallet?
A cryptocurrency wallet offers investors and traders a direct connection to the blockchains of their chosen coins or tokens. When a transfer of ownership of a coin or token occurs, the blockchain automatically updates the wallets of all parties involved.
Bitcoin wallets can hold as much cryptocurrency as you want.
Storing cryptocurrency is free, although buying and selling may incur fees. A setting to customize fees is important for merchants with many transactions. The setting allows them to withhold fees until the network is quieter and fees go down, making transfers cheaper.
Many exchanges offer wallets as part of the service, with the cost absorbed by a fixed monthly administration fee.
Another point to watch out for is when owners can withdraw their money in cash after a cryptocurrency transaction. Each wallet has specific rules on when fiat money is transferred, so make sure you know your wallet limits before withdrawing.
The average downtime is three days between performing a crypto transfer and converting the value into hard cash.
Our Favorite Crypto Wallet FAQs
What is a fiat currency?
Fiat currency is government-backed currency that is not backed by another asset, such as gold, but by a promise from the issuing government to honor the face value of the coin or note. A fiat currency is recognized as the legal tender of a country. Although many governments recognize cryptocurrency as a commodity, few have adapted one as legal tender.
What is Hot and Cold Wallet Storage?
Wallet storage can be hot – online all the time – or cold – kept on an offline device. Cold storage is preferred by many because data is only open to hackers when the drive is connected to an internet-enabled device. Hot storage is available all the time. The best security is cold storage, provided software and passwords are kept up to date.
Can I store NFTs in a digital wallet?
A crypto wallet will manage the buying, selling and holding of NFTs (non-fungible tokens).
How to choose a digital wallet?
You need to consider four factors:
- Wallet Security
- Ease of use
Security allows you to protect your investments. The ease of use makes the investment less complicated. You also need to make sure the wallet includes the features you need and is compatible with the cryptocurrency you want to trade.
Can I use a wallet without a link to an exchange?
No. You need to link to an exchange. The two services refer to different jobs:
- A wallet is a storage device for cryptocurrency investments
- An exchange is a platform for buying and selling coins and tokens
Some wallets come with built-in exchanges, while some exchanges offer their own white-label wallets.
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