There are many factors to consider when choosing the type of crypto wallet you’d like to store your cryptocurrency. Top of the list of things to consider when choosing a crypto wallet is a no-brainer – security. No one would like to have their valuable digital assets stolen or destroyed in a cyberattack. Then, there are other features like the coins supported by the wallet, the type of storage, the convenience of the wallet, and many more. Most of these features may be influenced by the user’s preferences. However, security is barely comprisable for any crypto user.
Cold and Hot Wallets
Cold wallets are offline storages for users’ crypto private keys, while hot wallets are web, mobile or PC-based wallets that store users’ private keys and require an internet connection to function.
Generally, cold wallets are more secure than hot wallets as they are offline and less exposed to cyber threats or other internet-based vulnerabilities. However, cold wallets are hardly convenient for daily crypto traders. They could be preferred for users looking to hold their crypto for long periods (HODLing).
Hot wallets offer more convenience for daily cryptocurrency users. Some of the popular hot wallets offer commendable security for users’ tokens. For instance, such wallets may require that you unlock them on each login attempt. These wallets often deploy multi-factor authentication with pins, fingerprint, or facial recognition for logging into the wallet.
Custodial and Non-Custodial Wallets
Who keeps your private keys? As we have seen, some wallets are custodial, meaning a third party stores your private keys. Such wallets are quite vulnerable to cyberattacks, and you may end up losing your assets to hackers or rug pulls – a fraudulent activity by the platform’s developers who run away with users’ funds.
It is important to remember that if you do not have access to your private keys to your cryptocurrencies, you do not control your digital currencies entirely. Even then, non-custodial wallets, which are provided mainly by decentralized exchanges, are quite unreliable for daily crypto traders. You may have to compromise between custody of your keys and the wallet’s convenience for your usage.
Recovery or Backup Features
One other critical factor to consider when choosing a crypto wallet is support for a backup feature. Backup features assist users in recovering their wallets in case of loss, breakdown, or damage to the device. Some wallets backup users’ private keys on the cloud platforms and may require them to use rescue links, passwords, and several passphrases to retrieve their wallets on another device. The backup feature also helps traders who manage many digital coins, as it is difficult to operate many private keys.
Wallet’s Historical Security Issues
When choosing a crypto wallet to store your crypto assets, ensure you research the alternatives available. Review the previous security flaws, vulnerabilities, or even successful cyberattacks on the exchange you want to select.
You may also consider the wallet’s public reputation. A good reputation will boost confidence among the platform’s users. You should also consider the reputation of the wallet provider company for security purposes. Read through blockchain community chats on social media like Reddit and Bitcoin Forum to stay updated on the crypto wallets.
Setting up A Wallet
Setting up a crypto wallet is simple, with only a slight difference for custodial, non-custodial, hot, and cold wallets.
For hot non-custodial wallets, all you need is to download the wallet app of your choice then create your account. Unlike custodial wallets, non-custodial wallets do not require you to complete KYC requirements by sharing personal information. The sign-up generates your private keys, which you should write down and securely store.
For hardware wallets, known as cold wallets, you need to first purchase the hardware. Such wallets are available for order online and in various official dealer stores. After purchase, plug the device into your PC to install its software, then follow the manual instructions offered by the manufacturer to operate the cold wallet.
Getting Your Crypto Wallet
Hot wallets are available as software that you can download online and set up by completing a few steps. Search for the web, mobile or PC apps on the respective official stores. Be careful to avoid unofficial apps, which are often malicious software built by cyber-attackers to steal users’ credentials and funds.
For cold wallets, you can order the gadget online from the official wallet manufacturer. Unlike hot wallets, you’ll have to pay to purchase the wallets, often costing at least $100. Alternatively, you can purchase wallets on online marketplaces like Amazon. This option is risky as most resellers on such platforms may be selling counterfeit products.
Top Cold Wallets
There are several cryptocurrency wallets available in the market today. Despite offering basic functions of a wallet – receiving, keeping, and sending funds – these wallets vary in features. Here are some of the best cold wallets in the market:
1. Ledger Nano X and Nano S
Ledger is a popular cryptocurrency wallet provider launched in 2014. Headquartered in Paris, Ledger wallets come in two models – Ledger Nano S and Nano X. Both models support multiple cryptocurrencies and enable asset swapping. The wallets connect with the Ledger Live App, through which users operate them. The wallet resembles a USB drive and connects to devices via a USB port or Bluetooth.
- The Ledger wallets have a display screen that helps in operating the wallet. The screen displays seed phrases and eases interaction through its user interface (UI).
- Ledger wallets connect to the Ledger Live app, available for both desktop and mobile. The app has an intuitive UI for operating the hardware wallet. Nano S connects to the app through USB, while Nano X supports both USB and Bluetooth, thus more convenient of the two.
- The ledger wallet supports multiple crypto apps. Nano S supports up to three apps at a time, while Nano X supports up to 100 apps at a go. It has two buttons for selecting options on the screen.
- The ledger wallet has a Blockchain Open Ledger Operating System (BOLOS) and special chips called secure elements offering a layer of security and convenience.
The Ledger Wallet has a built-in exchange that enables buying, selling, and swapping digital coins.
The wallet is highly secure and is element EAL 5+ certified.
The Ledger Wallet has a stainless-steel body that offers protection against mechanical damage.
The Ledger wallet supports more than 10000 currencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), and ERC 20 coins. Nano S supports three currencies at a go since it can only contain a maximum of three crypto apps. Nano X can support up to 100 cryptocurrencies at a time. You can always uninstall the used apps and download the one you want to use.
KeepKey is a multi-currency hardware wallet offered by the Swiss crypto exchange ShapeShift. It is one of the top three wallets available today, alongside Trezor and Ledger. The wallet is popular for its high-security features, elegant design, ease of use, and affordability.
- KeepKey has a sleek and simple display for viewing transaction details. Additionally, transactions are manually approved using the confirmation button.
- The wallet integrates an exchange that enables users to trade cryptocurrency within the wallet.
- KeepKey offers a backup and recovery phrase for the protection and recovery of the wallet.
- KeepKey supports sending and receiving coins through a web interface. The hardware gadget is connected to the computer and operated using the online KeepKey account manager.
- The wallet is also compatible with other cryptocurrency wallets such as Electrum and MyCelium.
KeepKey is secure, offering a PIN code and recovery phrases for protecting and retrieving the wallet.
KeepKey is easy to use using its intuitive and sleek design with a large display screen. KeepKey also has a competitive price tag compared to Trezor and Ledger wallets.
KeepKeys supports up to 40 coins including the main ones such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Gold, DASH, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum.
3. Trezor T and Trezor One
Trezor is a household name in the cold crypto wallet industry. The brand’s products offer secure multicurrency cold wallets that allow users to manage their digital funds easily. They can receive, store, send, and even exchange digital assets. The wallet connects to a browser where users can access the user interface. There are two types of Trezor wallet – Trezor T and Trezor One. Trezor was launched in 2013 by SatoshiLabs and is headquartered in Praha, Czech Republic.
- The Trezor Wallet has a display screen for displaying seed phrases and sending cryptocurrencies. Trezor T has an intuitive colored display screen.
- Trezor wallets connect to a computer through a web app on MyTrezor.com. The wallets also connect to mobile devices through the Trezor app. Both interfaces are intuitive and display the available cryptocurrencies and transaction history.
- The Trezor Wallet supports multiple cryptocurrencies and does not require additional apps except when using ETH or ERC-20 tokens.
- The wallets have two buttons for selecting options on the screen.
The Trezor wallet has advanced security features including Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIP39) and Shamir Backup (for Trezor T) that protect users’ coins.
The wallets have larger screens that are easier to read.
The wallet supports multiple cryptocurrencies and does not require downloading additional apps, except when using ETH and ERC-20 tokens.
Trezor wallet supports more than 1800 tokens, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Binance (BNB), Tether (USDT), and Cardano (ADA).
Choosing the Best Crypto Wallet
Before you own cryptocurrency, you should have the best wallet that will secure your tokens and enable you to manage them easily. The following are some factors to consider when choosing a cryptocurrency wallet.
A secure wallet should be the top priority for any crypto owner when choosing a crypto wallet. A good wallet must deploy top security features are to save users’ funds, so there are the lowest potential risks of exposure to threats. Preferably select a wallet with no history of hacking or other vulnerability issues. The wallet should offer a secure login via multifactor authentication (MFA). This way, you minimize the risk of theft or other losses in case your device falls into the wrong hands.
You may also consider a wallet that gives you full control of your private keys (non-custodial wallets). However, if the wallet’s convenience is a worthy compromise for your crypto activities, select a good custodial wallet with the least security risks.
Apart from the standard receipt, storage and transfer of crypto assets, different wallets offer contrasting features to users. Some features offer additional layers of security, enhance ease of use among other functions.
Other wallets offer built-in cryptocurrency swapping, support direct crypto purchase using credit cards, among other features. Evaluate your preferred wallet features and choose a crypto wallet that checks the most boxes for your list of features.
Most digital currency wallets support more than one crypto. Before signing up for a new wallet, ensure the wallet supports your favorite coins, so you don’t have to get more wallets to store different coins. You can confirm if the wallet supports your coins through the wallet provider’s online resources.
Opting for a cold wallet? You may have to consider the cost of buying and using the cryptocurrency wallet. Purchase prices for cold wallets often vary depending on the brand. Consider an affordable wallet, but do not compromise security and other essential features for a low-budget wallet. Keep in mind that wallets may charge dynamic fees for usage. Ensure you understand these hidden fees, if any, on your wallet before you sign up.
hi Wallet – The Best Hot Wallet
Among the many crypto wallets in the market, hi wallet stands out among the top hot wallets. Arguably one of the most secure crypto wallets, hi is developed on a secure blockchain infrastructure offering top-ranking financial services focused on cryptocurrencies. The wallet comprises multiple features that make its platform secure and easy to use. hi is also available across major platforms, including web apps, Android, and iOS devices, so you can buy, sell, send and earn crypto on-the-go.
hi wallet’s protocol has a native token, known as the HI, and the wallet supports popular cryptocurrencies in the market, including BTC, ETH, DAI, USDC, USDT, LTC, DOGE, and BNB. Here are key features of hi.com:
- Fast, simple, and secure sign-up: Sign up for a secure wallet in just a few taps! Hi wallet allows you to sign up via your favorite social messaging platform – Currently supporting sign-up by sending a message through WhatsApp and Telegram. What’s more, signing up is free.
- Instant transfers at no fees: Sending crypto funds from hi wallet to other wallets is absolutely free. Built on its fast and scalable blockchain, transfers on Hi wallet are instant.
- Built-in exchange: hi wallet integrates the Hi.com exchange, allowing users to trade cryptocurrencies on the platform without additional hassle.
- Earnings on crypto holdings: hi wallet incentivizes wallet owners by offering arguably the highest annual percentage yield (APY) at 40% for crypto holdings. The wallet offers 11% and 5.5% returns on USDT and ETH without users locking their funds. The platform also offers flexible terms for deposit and earnings to users.
- Premium perks for HI holders: Wallet owners who hold HI are legible for superb benefits, including air travel rewards and discounts in hotels and restaurants. The more HI a user holds, the higher their membership tier, meaning they will receive more exquisite rewards.
Hi.com operates a thriving online community for its users worldwide. The platform also runs a referral program that rewards users with more HI redeemable in 12 months. Sign up for the Hi wallet on the web, download the app on Google Play or Apple’s App Store.