Best crypto wallets

5 Best Crypto Wallets to Use Today (2021)

It can feel like everyone and their grandma has an opinion on the future of cryptocurrencies and which coins you should be betting on, yet discussion about where to store your investment is far more unusual. This is surprising considering how much is at stake if you make the wrong decision — the crypto world is infamous for being short on regulation. However, you can sleep soundly at night if you choose one of our picks of the best crypto wallets to use today.

But don’t just pick one at random. First, we’ll go into the factors you should consider to decide which wallet is right for you, before outlining our top picks and finally showing you how to use Money Minx to keep close tabs on everything. If someone does start one of those rare discussions about crypto storage, this time you’ll be clued up.

How to choose the right crypto wallet

It’s always a good idea to understand how to compare different products, whether they’re bank accounts or phones. But when it comes to something like cryptocurrency, it’s the Wild West — you can’t blindly trust every crypto wallet that claims to be the best ever made.

Here’s what you need to know to differentiate between the wallets on offer.

Exchange-based vs. external wallets

The convenience of storing everything on the exchange you trade on is unrivaled, and exchanges often allow you to store lots of different cryptos.

However, storing crypto in an exchange means that you don’t fully control your assets — that privilege technically belongs to the exchange. And given exchanges store so much crypto, they can be a prime target for hackers. Most of the big names take extra precautions and have established their own insurance funds, but that’s not enough to convince everyone.

Hardware vs. software

There are two main types of crypto wallets: software and hardware. Software wallets are always online, whereas hardware wallets store your crypto in a physical hard drive.

Software wallets are more convenient since you can access them from anywhere and on any computer simply by inputting your login details — but this is also what makes them less secure. 

Hardware wallets are more secure since nobody can hack into your physical storage solution, but you need to be sure to keep it safe. You don’t want to end up like James Howells, who lost $280 million worth of bitcoin by accidentally throwing out the wrong bitcoin hard drive.

Multicurrency vs. single currency

Diversification is one of the top rules of investing, so it’s only natural to want to invest in a few different cryptocurrencies. But most wallets only allow you to store a set few tokens, so you may have to open a few different wallets — especially if you’re investing in more obscure currencies.

Security protocols

Criminals stole almost $2 billion worth of crypto in 2020 — and that was considered a good year since the number was more than twice as high in 2019. 

You want to be sure that your wallet provider is doing everything it can to keep your investment safe. Features to look out for include:

  • Two-factor authentication (2FA)
  • Multi-signature transactions
  • Type of backup (in case of recovery)
  • Keeping sensitive info in cold (physical) storage 

Mobile options

Do you want to access your crypto on the go? Some wallets have their own apps, but this isn’t offered by everyone, so suss it out before you commit.

Best crypto wallets of 2021

Now you know what separates the losers from the legends in the universe of crypto wallets, let’s take a look at the top options available right now.

And remember, you don’t have to choose just one. If you store your crypto across multiple locations, you’ll actually keep it more secure since you won’t lose everything if one account is compromised.

Binance or Binance US: Best for storing different cryptocurrencies

Binance is one of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchanges thanks to its low fees and the wide array of currencies available for trading, so it’s a natural choice to store your crypto. 

It’s worth pointing out that there are a few different options here: the Binance Chain Wallet (a browser extension for Binance Chain), Trust Wallet (a mobile wallet), and storing your coins within the Binance exchange. Although all these options have their merits, we’ll be focusing on exchange-based storage.

The main advantage of storing on Binance is the convenience, which is especially true for those who want to continually rebalance their portfolio and trade. All your crypto will be there ready for trading at a moment’s notice. However, despite the convenience, it’s better suited to advanced traders rather than beginners due to the high number of features.

Another benefit is that Binance lets you store many different cryptocurrencies and keep them all in the same place.

Since storing your crypto in the exchange means Binance technically owns it, this is a weaker option in terms of security. Also, Binance has suffered from security breaches in the past — in 2019, over $40 million was stolen (although Binance paid back the money lost to the victims). It now has its own Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU) to reimburse its users if another emergency happens, but some people might prefer not to take the risk.

Pros:

  • Support for multiple cryptocurrencies
  • Convenient for short-term traders
  • Offers Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU)
  • Lots of features

Cons:

  • Past security breaches
  • Not ideal for beginners
  • Storing in an exchange is less secure

Coinbase: Best secure software wallet

Given what we’ve already said about how Binance wallet is somewhat lackluster in its security features since it’s an exchange-based wallet, you might expect Coinbase to have a similar review. Yet the exchange actually offers a very solid wallet for security. 

You’ll store your own recovery phrase (which you need to manage funds), and even Coinbase won’t have access to it. Coinbase also stores 98% of its cryptocurrencies in cold storage vaults and promises to cover funds in the case of security breaches that are their fault (but not those due to the security of the user). 

Even better, this wallet is simpler to use for beginners than competitors like Binance. The interface is very simple, and it’s intuitive to set up — just sign up (you don’t need a Coinbase account), download the app, and enter in your info according to the prompts.

Can it do no wrong? One downside is that you can’t store all types of cryptocurrencies in the wallet. It supports all ERC20 tokens (cryptocurrencies built on the Ethereum blockchain) and eight other cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Stellar Lumens, Dogecoin, and Ripple. However, you can store your NFTs.

The wallet itself is free to use, but there’s a fee for transfers of at least 1.49% — it’s not the most expensive out there, but not the cheapest either.

Pros:

  • Very secure
  • Simple to use
  • Convenient 
  • Stores NFTs

Cons:

  • Limited cryptocurrencies
  • Reasonable fees

Metamask: Best browser extension wallet

MetaMask is a little different from the other wallets on this list since it’s neither a hardware nor software wallet — instead, it’s a browser extension. 

This makes it very easy to use and reasonably convenient, especially thanks to the simple interface. MetaMask is also open-source, which makes it completely free, and it has a great community that works hard to improve it over time.

However, the fact it’s a browser extension does lead to some security concerns — your browser can collect information about your activity, and it’s an easier target for hackers.

Another disadvantage is that it only stores ethereum and ERC-20 tokens.

Pros:

  • Convenient
  • Easy to use
  • Open-source and free
  • Good community

Cons:

  • Browser extension wallet is less secure
  • Only stores some tokens

Bittrex: Best for low-fee transfers

Like Coinbase and Binance, Bittrex is a cryptocurrency exchange. It’s not quite on the same levels of popularity, but prides itself on being the “most reliable.” You might be skeptical at this claim, but Bittrex stores at least 80% of its cryptocurrency offline and has never suffered from a security breach. Not bad.

A big plus point is that it charges just 0.25% for transfers, which is far lower than Coinbase and other software wallets known for their security measures. And since it’s a flat rate, you don’t have to worry about navigating a complex pricing structure.

Bittrex also stores more than 190 different cryptocurrencies, which covers all the major tokens.

As for the bad points, there have been some complaints from users that have been locked out of their accounts thanks to the ultra-secure protocols. It seems you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Overall, customer support seems to be lacking, which could explain the low costs.

Pros:

  • Low and fixed fees
  • Stores lots of currency online
  • No history of security issues
  • Store a range of cryptocurrencies

Cons:

  • Some users locked out of accounts in past
  • Poor customer support

Ledger: Best offline storage

Sometimes online storage just won’t cut it, no matter how many impressive security features it possesses. Ledger is known for having some of the best offline storage around — it offers flash drives made of sturdy stainless steel that you can store independently.

You’ll have a choice between Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X. Nano S is the most basic and least expensive version, with enough storage for three crypto applications. Meanwhile, Nano X can hold up to 100 applications and uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone, allowing you to manage everything on the go.

Both let you use Ledger Live, which lets you buy, sell, and stake what’s in your wallet, with the latter meaning you can earn interest on your holdings.

The Nano S supports all the major cryptocurrencies and a few others, but the Nano X stores more than 1,800 tokens.

However, bear in mind that the process for storing your crypto in an offline wallet is often more technical, so it may require some time to understand if you’re a beginner. And even Ledger isn’t perfect. It was hacked in late 2020; while this didn’t compromise any crypto or private keys, it still leaked personal information.

Pros:

  • Choice between Nano S and Nano X
  • Offline storage very secure
  • Supports lots of cryptocurrencies
  • Ledger Live to buy, sell, and stake

Cons:

  • Offline storage is more technical
  • Was previously hacked

How to track your crypto wallet

One of the biggest downsides of having a crypto wallet (and one of the reasons so many people opt for exchanges instead) is that it’s tough to keep track of so many separate platforms. 

But there’s a solution. On Money Minx, you can add your cryptocurrency holdings across various platforms, wallets, and exchanges, and then track it all in one place. This is also useful for anyone who struggles to keep track of their overall net worth when their crypto holdings are always fluctuating.

Naturally, all this comes without compromising your security. Everything is stored in our encrypted database (and you can add accounts manually if you don’t feel comfortable with connecting them). 

Here’s how to get everything working.

Connecting your crypto wallet

After creating an account and going to your dashboard, you’ll see the option to connect your accounts.

Then, select “crypto exchanges” from the options.

From here, you’ll be able to see all the different crypto wallets and platforms you can connect with.

The method to connect your account varies slightly between platforms. Depending on the crypto wallet in question, you might be able to connect your account through your login details or by providing your API Key and API Secret.

Time to go crypto crazy

Whether you think that cryptocurrency investment is high-risk or a no-brainer, we should all be able to agree on one thing: if you’re going to have some, you should at least keep it safe — and keep track of what it’s doing.

If you’re ready to start tracking what your investments are doing, you can get started on Money Minx for free, which includes the ability to connect unlimited accounts and connect your crypto wallets. Or, if you upgrade to Pro for just $15 a month, you can also sync your wallets to get the latest figures whenever you want them — in addition to a range of other useful features. Why not create your account today?

Sarah Bromley is a personal finance and fintech writer based in the U.K.

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