There are plenty of ways to carry money. A lot of people have a wallet in various shapes and forms. The wallet serves a few different purposes, but mainly it holds your cards and cash. Cryptocurrency wallets are wallets for cryptocurrency, but it is different than a traditional wallet. In this article, we will dive into cryptocurrency wallets, take a look a the most popular ones, no not the ones from The Bay, and the differences between different wallets.
What exactly is a cryptocurrency wallet?
A real wallet holds cash, but a crypto wallet doesn’t actually hold the Bitcoin you own, your coin is still in the blockchain, instead, your crypto wallet keeps your private keys – the passwords that give you access to your cryptocurrencies – safe and accessible, allowing you to send and receive cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Crypto wallets actually come in many different forms. You can, technically, for example, write your private keys down on a piece of paper, store them in a safe place. This would be considered your wallet. If you can somehow stuff the piece of paper in your actual wallet, then I guess your real-life wallet acts as a crypto wallet as well.
For a period of time, before cryptocurrency went mainstream, one of the common wallets is to store it in a flash drive, or as a file on your computer. Since 2014, a company that specializes in making hardware wallets Ledger brought high-quality, high-security wallets to the market. It still looks like a USB flash drive but is more advanced and secure as it is specifically designed to be a crypto wallet.
The problem with these hardware wallets is that if it is just a flash drive, it is not secure at all. Secondly, it is very easy to lose a thumb drive. Just take a look at this story and you will no doubt never want to feel this pain.
Right now, most people that have a crypto wallet have a digital crypto wallet. In a form of a mobile app, browser extensions, web app or a combination of them. A Digital wallet serves the same purpose, to securely store the key that can access your cryptocurrencies. The keys are now stored in the app or in the web service.
There are pros and cons to the different types of wallets, hardware wallets are much less convenient to use and are easy to be misplaced but are less prone to malicious users because they are stored offline.
Digital wallets on the other hand highly depend on the provider, but with reputable companies, they can be just as safe as hardware wallets, yet much more easy and convenient to use. Just make sure you choose one that is secure, fits your need and is a legitimate company.
Popular Digital waller providers
Coinbase is one of the world’s most popular ways to buy and sell cryptocurrency, if you use Coinbase to buy or sell your Bitcoin, Coinbase wallet can easily connect to your Coinbase account and you can start buying NFTs. Because the main Coinbase app is a centralized platform, it provides a more traditional brokerage experience, making it easier for the general population to grasp how things work and also making their wallet integration appealing.
Founded in 2016, it is one of the most popular Crypto Wallets for Ethereum. It emphasizes on security and works with many NFT markets such as Opensea for convenient transactions. One of the main complaints is its transaction speed and it may ask for more fees to speed things up.
Exodus is a highly secure, decentralized exchange. It provides the platform and supports peer-to-peer trading and it also supports multiple currencies. It gives the user more control over your assets and fewer restrictions. The downside is that the network fees may be higher than Coinbase.
There are plenty more wallets either hardware or digital. Each has its pros and cons and there isn’t a clear “best” for everyone. Most popular and reputable wallets are secure enough for an average user. So which wallet you use should depend on what types of coins you own and planning to use, and what are you using it for. Other than that, check out some screenshots and reviews and pick one that has a UI that you like best.