With the present ruthless run of the bull market, it is only a matter of time before your crypto holdings rise in value. When it does, like it or not, crypto will unpreventable receive much-uninvited interest from the hackers. To not parrot the tragic Mt. Gox incident, holders are transferring cryptocurrency from the exchange and decentralizing their storage.

The question of why you should procure a wallet becomes the more relevant question of which wallet should a cryptocurrency investor utilize. As do all forms of insurance, safety comes at the cost of money and usability. How should we balance it in a way that fits our risk profile?

In this post, I will sum up the unique features of the top 7 cryptocurrency wallets that a knowledgeable holder must know of.

Desired traits of a Cryptocurrency Wallet

What are the required traits of a crypto wallet and how difficult can pick a wallet to be? This seemingly easy answer, unluckily, does not have a convincing answer: convenience may come at the cost of safety or the security; additional features may appear at the cost of a steeper learning curve. More significantly, what are the traits that, ultimately, you truly value over the others? See the list below, not in order of significance:

  1. The Cost. Is it really free? What are the drawbacks of utilizing this wallet?
  2. The Security. Does the company have a track record of security excellence?
  3. The Mobility. Is it easy to store and hard to lose? Is it accessible at anytime and anywhere?
  4. User-friendliness. Is the wallet UI intuitively designed? Can I keep a range of altcoins?
  5. The Convenience. Am I able to create a fast purchase when the time calls for it?
  6. The Style. Do I have this weakness for cool tech gadgets?

You may need a wallet that provides or offers the best combination of the above-mentioned traits. Take note that, all wallets have their edges and shortcomings.

7 Must Have Wallets: How To Store Your Cryptocurrency Secure

KeepKey – Hardware Wallet

The coolest tech gadget to show off to your friends. Made by a relatively new company, KeepKey provides or offers a hardware wallet of a polished design. KeepKey is claiming to be a port of Trezor’s code and firmware, so their main dissimilarity is the material. KeepKey is truly a ‘premium’ wallet but might be a lighter on the heavy side and hence much susceptible to drops. It comes with a standard, easy to use client UI.

Nano Ledger S – Hardware Wallet

‘Nano Ledger S’ is just as safety as the other two hardware wallets. It is well known because of its relatively less price of $65 compared to its competitors. Being smaller than KeepKey, it is more portable and effortlessly to carry around. It is a hardware wallet that comes at a much competitive price.

Trezor – Hardware Wallet

Trezor is one of the first movers in the hardware wallet community or industry and sets the gold standard for crypto safety. Trezor has a reputation for producing top-notch security, safeguarding against both virtual and physical theft. What Trezor lacks the style, it more than makes up in the security department. Even if your PC is compromised with malware, your personal or private keys will still be secure with Trezor. In this sense, Trezor is more of a vault than a wallet.

Coinbase – Hot Wallet

Coinbase is an online website based wallet and it is the beginner-friendly version of GDAX. As a hot wallet, you can simply move to the GDAX exchange quickly, and just for free. In the same interface, you can create fast purchases with fiat. What’s more, 100% of your crypto holdings on Coinbase is secured or insured. You can also activate 2-Step Verification and Google Authenticator for more security, and Coinbase even has a vault obtainable if you want to trade convenience for an added layer of protection. The only drawback is that Coinbase only offers Bitcoin and Ethereum wallets.

MyEtherWallet – Paper Wallet

Paper wallets are for those people who really want to have their own personal wallets without forking out cash for hardware wallets. The money stored could be invested in their coins. Easily generate your wallet online at myetherwallet.com and note your personal keys. The website does not keep or transmit any of your personal details or information. If you do not trust the online version, you can even download it from GitHub and just run it offline. Paper wallets are really free but need an in-depth knowledge to set it up properly. In short, this type of wallets technically takes a lot of hassle and is not advised for novices.

Jaxx — Software Wallet

Carrying your crypto around secure and comfortably is no longer a distant dream at all. Behold Jaxx, the world’s first mobile wallet solution just for you. Versions for iOS, Android, desktop and browser are now obtainable. Jaxx uses a mnemonic seed to back up your wallet or transfer it to another device. Jaxx let you receive your funds, scan QR code, check or view your crypto holdings, all in one intuitive app. Advanced trait like shapeshift integration and many platforms wallet linkage truly makes this the selected wallet for the tech savvy. The only drawback with this type of wallet is that, it might have a steep learning curve, and features might not be really stable with all the new integrations. But in the future, this will prove to be a promising solution.

Electrum – Software Wallet

Electrum is a quick, lightweight wallet for desktop and mobile users. It has a long list of supported features to make it the supreme flexible wallet these days. It provides cold storage solutions, integration with hardware wallets (KeepKey, Nano Ledger S, Trezor) and can achieve anonymity (with Tor). In terms of protection or safety, Electrum can multi-sig support, and it is not tied to a centralized server, so server downtime will not be an issue at all. Overall, Electrum is the recognized software wallet solution out there that truly warrants a try-out.

Give me a comparison please!

Cost Security Mobility User-friendliness Convenience Style
KeepKey $99 Ported Trezor’s code and firmware Largest hardware wallet, requires USB Simple UI Requires USB and Password authentication Anodized aluminium OLED display
Nano Ledger S $65 Use of a secure Elememnt10 Medium sized hardware wallet, Requires USB Simple UI Requires USB and Password authentication Thumb drive shaped
Trezor $99 Reputation for gold standard security in crypto wallet Smallest hardware wallet, requires USB Simple UI Requires USB and Password authentication Shock tolerant design
Coinbase Free Multiple layers of security and 100% crypto insurance Web-based Beginner friendly Instant and free transfer to GDAX, Buy and Sell crypto online Beginner friendly
MEW Free Offline GitHub download available Private keys are recorded down Steep learning curve to achieve security Requires authentication
Jaxx Free New updates might not be fully stable Available on all platforms and mobile devices Shapeshift integration Mobile interface Pleasant App UI
Electrum Free Multi-sig Predominan Lightweight Desktop

 

Remember, an all-in-one package wallet does not really exist. It is significant that you manage to search the wallet that addresses your main concern, be it security from theft indeed, ease of move or transfer, convenience, monetary cost, or even style. A wallet may turn out to be your greatest investment decision, financial smart and emotional health wise.

TLDR;

I sleep soundly with my KeepKey under my pillow nowadays. Which wallet would you select?