Cryptocurrencies have become a well-known thing, but many people have trouble understanding how to keep them safe. Hopefully, this article will help with it.
Wallets are either apps or programs on which you can store your crypto on. There are many different kinds of wallets designed for different use cases and different cryptocurrencies. They are just like your regular wallets that you keep your cash in, just virtual. They offer safety, and the ability to send and receive the cryptocurrencies. Each of them has something proprietary about them so no wallet is equal to another.
Wallets can be “deconstructed” into 4 kinds of wallets:
- Wallet apps/programs
- Hardware wallets
- Online wallets
Each of the wallets has their advantages and disadvantages, which will be discussed in this article.
Wallet applications/programs are iOS apps, Android applications or computer programs that you install on your devices. You then create an account, secure a private key and a seed (a bunch of words that the owner of the wallets should keep safe to help you keep your coins safe. With that key, you are the real owner of your cryptocurrency. This is better than holding your funds on exchanges where your keys are held by the exchange themselves. Read more here: https://www.abitgreedy.com/bitcoin-wallet-android/.
Besides the ownership part which is good, there are some negative characteristics of wallet applications. They are prone to hacking often due to low protection of the phone operating systems. Additionally, wallet applications do not offer the fast liquidation associated with exchange-based wallets. In case of a market crash and you need to withdraw your funds, wallet apps are a bit more inconvenient. However, they are still easier to help you liquidate funds compared to hard wallets.
Hardware wallets are actual physical products (Ledger or Trezor) that store your keys (seed) which makes it almost impossible to hack. No hardware wallet has been hacked so far. They are not free but anyone with more than a few bucks invested into crypto should consider looking into them as a precaution measure and for safety.
Online wallets are online representation of application/program wallets. It means that, without installing anything on your device, you can access your browser, and then the website of the wallet, and make an account there. It will still give you the key (seed) and it will most likely be used to log into the account. Storing funds on these wallets has its good and bad side. On one hand, you hold your keys. But on the other, they are prone to hacking.
Exchanges are not designed to be wallets per-se but are sometimes used as such. People can store cryptos on exchanges in hopes of trading it for some other cryptocurrency, or just to let it “sit” in the exchange wallet. This is, however, the worst option because exchanges do not offer keys to the wallets. They hold the keys for you, in turn meaning they have more control of your funds. Also, any forks that happen on the coin that is held on exchanges, should receive the forked coin as well, but since the exchange is the owner of the keys, it decides whether the coins are distributed or not. Storing cryptos on exchanges for the sole purpose of holding them is a bad idea.
Top Android wallets
MyCelium android wallet
It’s currently the most popular android wallet. It offers advanced privacy and security, as well as giving you the keys (seed) to hold. It has frequent updates, which means that developers are keeping up with the markets. It’s safe and fast. It can be used together with a hardware wallet to create an impenetrable fortress of your crypto holdings. The only bad thing, though, is that it doesn’t have a desktop counterpart, which means that coins can be accessed only through a mobile device.
Jaxx android wallet
Jaxx is a great wallet since it supports many cryptocurrencies and can be paired up with many devices so that your funds are accessible through both your mobile device and desktop. It is fast and has a nice interface. As for the negatives, there was recently a concern raised on the topic of safety of this wallet. Until this is addressed and fixed, I would not recommend this wallet. But when this is resolves, it would be my clear #1 out of all the android wallets.
BreadWallet android wallet
Intuitive, simple and convenient are the words that describe this wallet excellently. It’s an open source wallet, which offers a very simple user interface, and is straightforward. I would recommend it to new users due to its simplicity. The downsides include availability to only mobile devices (both iOS and Android though) and lack of advanced protection.
Coinomi android wallet
This wallet is my #1 wallet when it comes to diversity. It offers support for so many cryptocurrencies that people might just stop using different wallets and hop onto this one. It’s simple and straightforward. It has good privacy and even offers direct trading through the wallet. It has a bit more complicated user interface, but that is due to such coin availability, which makes it a bit more complicated to use. Even so, it shouldn’t be too hard to get used to this very practical wallet.
With so many cryptocurrencies and so many wallets out there, newcomers have quite a decision to make, and so much information to “swallow”. Hardware wallets offer the best safety options and should be treated as the Holy Grail of crypto holding. If one can afford to invest hundreds of dollars into crypto, hardware wallet should be included in the “deal”. If for any reason, that is not the case, the wallets are a safe and a good alternative to hard wallets. They can also be paired with a hardware wallet. Pick your wallets by coin support and privacy.
This article was written as a guide to help newcomers navigate through the vast crypto space and protect their investment. Catch us on the next article soon!