Choosing a cryptocurrency wallet

Selecting the right cryptocurrency wallet will depend on your particular circumstances. If you hold one currency then using that currency’s official wallet is probably the easiest option. If you hold more than one currency (or are planning to own more than one) then you will need another option.

Our guide takes you through the options for choosing a cryptocurrency wallet. All this choice can seem bewildering but our guide will give you a quick overview of the main offerings. We’ve split our guide into single currency and multi-currency wallets.

Choosing a cryptocurrency wallet – single cryptocurrency wallets

If you hold one currency and don’t intend to own any others or if you’re always going to hold a couple of currencies, then the easiest choice is to use the currency’s official wallet. We’ve outlined the major ones and their associated official wallets.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin Core is the software that runs the entire Bitcoin network. A secure digital wallet is included in the software and it can be used to send and receive Bitcoin. Storing your Bitcoin in the wallet will allow users to contribute to the Bitcoin network by validating transactions and storing a copy of the blockchain.

Mycelium is a mobile only wallet and users are able to switch between Bitcoin and standard fiat currency. So essentially users are able to buy and sell Bitcoins for fiat. It can also accept Bitcoin stored on other wallets so can help if users are consolidating Bitcoins stored across multiple wallets.

Electrum is a desktop wallet and has been around since the very early days of Bitcoin. It is widely used by Bitcoin holders and its able to integrate with the major hardware wallets.

Etherium

Ethereum wallet is the official wallet. It is also referred to as the Ethereum mist wallet – mist being a web browser designed to interact with applications running on the Ethereum network. The Ethereum wallet is one application built into mist so users will need to run mist in order to use the wallet.

MyEtherWallet (MEW) is a “paper based” wallet so even though the wallet is created using the web, all of your information and currency are stored on your computer and not on wallets’ servers.

Litecoin

Litecoin-QT is the official wallet and can be stored (and used) on desktop or mobile device.

Dash

Dash Core is the full official release of Dash, and supports all Dash features as they are released. Dash Core Wallet is a professional (heavy) wallet which downloads the full blockchain

NEO

Neon Wallet is an open source cross-platform light wallet that does not download the whole ledger, making it easier and faster than some wallets.

Choosing a cryptocurrency wallet – multi-currency cryptocurrency wallets

If you own or intend to own a range of currencies then it makes sense to store them on a single wallet. Here are some of the most popular

Jaxx was created in 2014 by Ethereum co-founder Anthony Diiorio. It supports many currencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, Zcash, Augur, Salt, Civic, Qtum, Blockchain Capital, Bancor. The wallet can be accessed via desktop and mobile device that can be paired so transactions are up-to-date the next time a user switches between devices.

Coinmi supports many cryptocurrencies (there are over 100 listed on the company website at time of writing) and is a mobile only wallet.

Exodus is a desktop only wallet. The cryptocurrency exchange, ShapeShift is also integrated into Exodus facilitating easy trading. It supports Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Dash, Decred, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Vertcoin plus Ethereum powered asset tokens.

Choosing a cryptocurrency wallet – multi-currency hardware cryptocurrency wallets

Hardware cryptocurrency wallets are generally more expensive than software versions but users value the additional security that they bring. Here are some of the key ones:

Trezor is described as “the original and most secure hardware wallet”. It is a small device that can be connected to a computer. Created by SatoshiLabs it is the world’s first secure Bitcoin hardware wallet. These days it also supports other popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Zcash plus Ethereum powered tokens.

Ledger Blue is a handheld hardware wallet that features a 3.5-inch touchscreen and supports bluetooth and USB connectivity. It is designed to run multiple companion apps to allow keys to be stored for a number of currencies. Compatible with desktop or mobile it features two-step authentication.

KeepKey was launched in 2015. Its aim is to provide users with a totally secure wallet that allows users to generate and store an unlimited number of private keys.  At the time of writing it supports Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Dash, and Namecoin. To quote the company website, “Your assets are protected from hackers and thieves”.

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