There are several cryptocurrency wallets out there. A cryptocurrency wallet is like a bank account where you store your digital currency (and some people refer to it as an e-wallet too). It comes with an address for receiving digital coins, and typically has a private key for spending those coins. There are different types of wallets available on the market today including desktop, mobile (or app), web, hardware, paper, and brain wallets.
Desktop wallets are apps that you install on your own computer or laptop. The most popular one is Exodus. You can find two versions of Exodus – the standard version and the “secret” IOS version which will run only on iOS devices. However, if you want to install this type of wallet on your computer, you must be careful which version of the operating system – Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X- you choose to install it on says Brian Colombana.
Electrum is an open-source software wallet that’s available for download from its official site. This type of wallet can also work for mobile devices – Android and iOS versions are available. Again, this one is just a wallet – not a portal that lets you buy or sell virtual currencies. You have to use another service to do that action if you want to buy Bitcoin online with a credit card, Ethereum online with a credit card, etc. since none of these services have an option for buying cryptocurrency directly with fiat money (like dollars). KeepKey Keep Key is similar to Exodus and is a great desktop wallet to store your cryptocurrency. It comes with an attractive design and the hardware secures Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Dash, and Namecoin.
Mobile wallets run the gamut from apps on your phone (Apple iOS or Android) to fully functioning online portals that exist only in the cloud. You can find several types of mobile wallets including both hardware and software options. Hardware means it’s a physical device – like KeepKey – while software means there’s no separate piece of equipment involved – you download an app for this type of wallet onto your smartphone. Mycelium isn’t just one type of wallet but several: HD (Hierarchical Deterministic), Bitcoin wallet, secure messaging, and Tor. It is available for both iOS and Android devices. Jaxx is a multi-coin cryptocurrency wallet that also works on Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X computer browsers as well as mobile devices (Android, iOS). Exodus acts not only as a Bitcoin wallet but an app that keeps track of several types of cryptocurrencies including Litecoin, Dogecoin, Dash, and Ether. The user interface looks pretty good with charts to show the prices of different cryptocurrencies you hold in this one account.
Hardware wallets are physical devices where cryptographic information is stored – instead of being held by software alone. One example is Trezor – it provides advanced security for keeping cryptographic keys safe from hackers. It’s easy to use and can keep cryptocurrency offline for added security. There are several others to choose from out there – KeepKey or Ledger Wallet, for example – so do your research before purchasing one of these devices. Check their price too – some cost a few hundred dollars while others only a little over $100.
Web-based wallets, sometimes called online wallets, store your private key online using a wallet platform or exchange service. This is the least secure type of wallet available today because you’re essentially giving control of your cryptocurrency to someone else to hold onto it for you. If they get hacked, you stand the risk of losing everything in that account since the website administrators don’t necessarily have the responsibility of protecting your private key. Now, this is not to say that web-based wallets are necessarily bad – just be sure to do some research on the company before giving them access to your cryptocurrencies so you know who you’re dealing with and what their policies are.
Multi-currency online wallets
There’s another type of wallet called multi-currency online or cloud wallets – think of these as web versions of the Exodus wallet where you can store multiple types of cryptocurrency in one place. There are several companies that offer this kind of service including Coinomi, for example, which supports Bitcoin and Ethereum along with many other types of crypto coins.
Blockchain wallet is the only online wallet that Brian Colombana recommends. It’s secure, easy to use, and can help you buy Bitcoin with PayPal or a credit card if you’re looking for an alternative way to purchase cryptocurrency.
Most of these wallets are by nature free but there are some exceptions – Exodus comes with a nominal charge for example – so take your pick depending on what kind of features you want. Hardware wallets may cost you $100 or more but they also offer the best security out there since they keep your currency offline so it’s much safer than other kinds of wallets.