- What Is a Crypto Wallet?
- Types of Crypto Wallets
- What Is a Hot Wallet?
- What Is a Cold Wallet?
- The 4 Best Hot Wallets for 2024
- Crypto.com DeFi Wallet
- Coinbase Wallet
- The 4 Best Cold Wallets for 2024
- Ledger Nano X
- Trezor Model T
- Ellipal Titan 2.0
- NGRAVE Zero
- Wrapping Up: How to Choose a Wallet Type
Cryptocurrency, often simply referred to as crypto, has experienced remarkable growth over the last few years, transforming from a relatively obscure technology to a mainstream financial asset. In fact, about 420 million individuals engage in cryptocurrency usage globally, while approximately 18,000 businesses have embraced the acceptance of various cryptocurrencies as a form of payment (Howarth, 2023). As such, the landscape of traditional finance is undergoing a paradigm shift, prompting individuals and institutions alike to reassess their understanding of money and financial systems.
What Is a Crypto Wallet?
A fundamental aspect of engaging with crypto is the use of a crypto wallet, an essential tool for anyone looking to buy, store, and manage their digital assets securely. A crypto wallet is a digital application or device that allows users to store, receive, and send cryptocurrencies. The estimated size of the worldwide crypto wallet market was USD 8.42 billion in 2022, with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.8% anticipated from 2023 to 2030 (Grand View Research, 2023).
Crypto wallets operate on the principles of public and private key cryptography, where the public key serves as the wallet address for receiving funds, and the private key is a secret code known only to the wallet owner, enabling the access and control of the stored assets.
Understanding how to use and secure a crypto wallet is crucial for those entering the world of cryptocurrencies, ensuring a responsible and secure approach to managing digital assets in this rapidly evolving financial landscape. As such, this article will delve into the 8 best and most secure crypto wallets to use for 2024.
Most of the crypto wallets featured here were also recommended by the Coin Bureau, dedicated to providing education and information about cryptocurrency. Check out their top picks in this video:
Types of Crypto Wallets
Crypto wallets come in diverse forms, each tailored to cater to varying needs and preferences within the dynamic landscape of crypto management. A fundamental concept that everyone should grasp is the distinction between hot wallets and cold wallets. These two categories of crypto wallets fulfill specific roles, each accompanied by its unique pros and cons.
What Is a Hot Wallet?
Hot wallets are digital wallets that are connected to the internet, making them easily accessible for transactions and management of crypto funds. They are typically software-based and can take the form of online wallets, mobile wallets, or wallets integrated into crypto exchanges.
- Convenient for quick access from any location and frequent transactions
- Suitable for beginners due to user-friendly interfaces
- Integration with crypto exchanges enables easy trading
- More vulnerable to online hacking and cyber threats
- Not ideal for long-term storage of significant amounts due to security concerns
- Wallet service providers often have some control over users’ private keys
What Is a Cold Wallet?
Cold wallets are designed to keep private keys offline, providing an extra layer of security against online threats. Most cold wallets are either hardware wallets, physical devices that store private keys offline and only connect to the internet when necessary for transactions, or paper wallets, which involve printing the public and private keys on paper and keeping them physically offline.
- Enhanced security, as private keys are not exposed to online vulnerabilities
- Ideal for long-term storage of significant amounts of crypto
- Users have full control over their private keys, lowering the risk of unauthorized access
- Less convenient for frequent transactions due to the offline storage
- Hardware wallets usually have upfront costs for the physical device
- Possibility of a learning curve for beginners due to a more technical setup
The 4 Best Hot Wallets for 2024
A vast array of hot wallets is available in the market, with the capability to support numerous cryptocurrencies. These wallets also typically have the capacity to store various types of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and often have direct connections to exchanges, facilitating the seamless buying and selling of crypto.
Crypto.com DeFi Wallet
The Crypto.com DeFi Wallet offers decentralized control over crypto assets, supporting tokens, NFTs, and easy management of existing wallets. With access to decentralized finance (DeFi), decentralized applications (DApps) and WalletConnect, it prioritizes security through private keys, device encryption, passcode, biometrics, and two-factor authentication (2FA) (Powell, 2023). For added security, users can move crypto into cold storage through an integration with the hardware wallet Ledger.
Providing customization options for transaction setups, confirmations, and network speeds, the wallet caters to users of all experience levels. The Crypto.com DeFi Wallet facilitates convenient token purchases, NFT viewing, and access to Cronos Bridge, DApps, and WalletConnect. It also features a browser-based wallet extension for desktop use. Users can utilize DeFi Swap for token exchanges and DeFi Earn for generating yield on over 35 different tokens through integrated DApps.
- Supports 1,000+ crypto assets
- Integration with Crypto.com exchange
- Staking available for most coins, but not Ethereum
The Coinbase Wallet, featured next on the list, is highly popular among both new and experienced crypto users due to Coinbase’s reputable brand and history. The wallet, separate from the centralized exchange platform, offers a non-custodial solution for both iOS and Android users (Powell, 2023).
Coinbase Wallet supports layer two scaling solutions for Ethereum, such as Polygon, Optimism, and Base, addressing high gas fees and long confirmation times for DeFi and NFT enthusiasts. Despite being a centralized exchange, the Coinbase wallet facilitates easy access to decentralized exchanges (DEXs) and DeFi protocols, showcasing the coexistence of centralized and decentralized platforms.
Users can link their Coinbase exchange accounts for seamless storage and transfer of crypto between the two platforms. The wallet excels in supporting airdrops, initial coin offerings (ICOs), digital art, gaming NFTs, and various collectibles, making it versatile in the DeFi space. Coinbase wallet is suitable for local payments in crypto and accommodates a wide range of tokens.
While the private keys are encrypted and stored locally, and the app offers security features like biometrics and passcodes, the lack of a built-in exchange feature may be seen as a limitation. Moving your crypto into cold storage is also possible, through an integration with Ledger.
- Supports 1,000+ crypto assets
- Integration with Coinbase exchange
- Bitcoin is exclusively supported through its mobile app
The Exodus wallet stands out with its user-friendly interface, enabling easy portfolio monitoring and navigation. For individuals just entering the world of crypto, it provides an abundance of educational resources and informative videos to increase their understanding of specific crypto (Powell, 2023).
Exodus encrypts private keys locally on the device, ensuring data privacy without requiring “know your customer” (KYC) registration or account setup. It facilitates asset exchange directly within the wallet through two options, including swaps via third-party application programming interface (API) exchange providers without KYC. In 2022, Exodus introduced a Web3 browser extension for accessing DApps across various ecosystems. The wallet supports QR code scanning for crypto transactions and offers staking options for passive income.
Notably, Exodus is distinguished by its exceptional 24/7 customer support, challenging the industry norm with rapid response times, often within ten minutes. If cold storage is needed, Exodus also provides integration with leading hardware wallet, Trezor.
- Supports 250+ crypto assets
- Integration with Exodus’ built-in exchange, which works as a DEX
- Integration with centralized exchanges unavailable
Guarda stands out as a versatile multi-platform wallet recognized for its user-friendly interface and extensive compatibility with a diverse range of cryptocurrencies (Rosen, 2023). The wallet targets mainstream users with features facilitating easy entry into crypto, including token purchases through credit cards or Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) bank transfers. Staking options for ten tokens are available, accompanied by a web page estimating potential rewards.
The desktop app enables token exchanges, enhancing user convenience. The platform emphasizes crypto education through a substantial section explaining basics in simple language, aligning with its approach as the go-to wallet for everyday users. Through an integration with Ledger, moving crypto assets to cold storage is also possible.
- Supports 400,000+ crypto assets
- Multisignature support for Bitcoin and Ethereum
- Limited NFT support
The 4 Best Cold Wallets for 2024
Unlike their previously described counterpart, cold wallets are isolated from online threats, making them less susceptible to hacking and unauthorized access. Although they cost more than hot wallets, they’re usually worth their price. If you hold the security of your crypto assets as your top priority, you may want to take a look at the following top-rated cold wallets.
Ledger Nano X
Ledger is a renowned name in the world of crypto wallets, leading the hardware wallet market. The Nano X, its flagship product, faced controversies due to the announcement of Ledger Recover, a key recovery service that triggered concerns over user privacy and security (Editorial Team, 2023). This led to a subsequent re-evaluation by the company, and its devices have proven to be secure, with no reported vulnerabilities.
Ledger remains the top-selling hardware wallet maker globally, offering the Nano X, which supports over thousands of cryptocurrencies, features a secure element chip, and provides Bluetooth connectivity. The Ledger Live software facilitates coin management on desktop or mobile, enhancing security by keeping private keys inaccessible from the connected devices.
While the Nano X is pricier, it offers Bluetooth, a larger screen, and the capacity to store 100 apps compared to the Nano S Plus, addressing a common limitation reported by users. For those not needing extensive app support, the more budget-friendly Nano S Plus might be preferable.
- Supports 5,500+ crypto assets
- Prices range from $114 (Nano S Plus) to $209 (Nano X)
Trezor Model T
Trezor, alongside Ledger, represents the pinnacle of hardware wallet manufacturers. The Trezor Model T is a top-of-the-line hardware wallet that supports over a thousand crypto assets and has a strong reputation for security, having undergone third-party audits with no reported successful remote hacks since its 2013 launch (Editorial Team, 2023). Trezor offers a user-friendly experience through its online web wallet and the Trezor Suite app. It also integrates seamlessly with web 3.0 wallets and collaborates with Exodus software wallet for added convenience and security.
Trezor provides two hardware wallet options, the less expensive Trezor Model One and the premium Model T, with the latter offering more coin support and a user-friendly color touch screen. The Model T stands out for its efficient setup process and compatibility with major operating systems. However, some users may find the Trezor Model One to be a more cost-effective option, offering excellent security without the premium features of the Model T.
Trezor’s commitment to transparency and open-source code contributes to its reputation as a highly respected and trusted crypto wallet provider.
- Supports 1,800+ crypto assets
- Prices range from $69 (Model One) to $219 (Model T)
Ellipal Titan 2.0
While not as widely recognized as Ledger and Trezor, Ellipal distinguishes itself with unique features and considerations. The Ellipal Titan 2.0 operates in complete network isolation, ensuring true offline cold storage. The device boasts extensive coin support, is dust and water-proof, and includes an anti-tamper feature that erases private keys in the event of physical tampering (Editorial Team, 2023).
With enhanced security using only QR codes for data transfer, the Ellipal Titan 2.0 avoids USB, WiFi, or Bluetooth connections, safeguarding against remote and network attacks. Supporting 46 blockchains and over ten thousand crypto assets, it enables staking, earning interest, DApps and DeFi protocol access, and crypto transactions through its mobile app.
However, some drawbacks include the default Bitcoin address generating BIP 44 addresses, potential limitations with Xpub keys, and the wallet’s preference for a 12-word seed phrase. Additionally, it lacks support for testnet coins and the ability to add custom remote procedure calls (RPCs), which might impact users interested in network testing. Despite these considerations, the Ellipal Titan 2.0 offers robust security features and a wide range of supported cryptocurrencies for users seeking a comprehensive cold storage solution.
- Supports 10,000+ crypto assets
- Prices range from $79 (Titan Mini) to $169 (Titan 2.0)
The NGRAVE Zero emerges as a highly secure and innovative entrant in the crypto hardware wallet landscape, positioning itself as the most secure crypto wallet ever created. Notable features include 100% air-gapped technology, achieving the highest security certification standard (EAL7), and collaboration with leading institutions in nanotechnology and cryptography (Editorial Team, 2023).
The device, made from military-grade premium materials, offers an impressive user experience despite its advanced security features. The NGRAVE team introduced the “Perfect Key,” ensuring private key generation, recovery, and security at an unprecedented level. The NGRAVE Zero stands out by avoiding recovery phrase interception risk, making it the only wallet to eliminate third-party exposure.
While the price is relatively high, the investment is justified by robust security features, user-friendly design, and the unique ability to randomize private keys during setup, providing unparalleled peace of mind for users.
- Supports 1,000+ crypto assets
- The most expensive cold wallet on this list, coming at $598
Wrapping Up: How to Choose a Wallet Type
The featured selection of the 8 top-tier crypto wallets not only reflects the current state of security measures but also underscores the ever-evolving nature of digital asset management. At the end of the day, the choice between hot and cold wallets depends on your specific needs and priorities, balancing the convenience of accessibility with the security of offline storage. In fact, many users opt for a combination of both, using hot wallets for everyday transactions and cold wallets for secure, long-term storage.
Whichever wallet you choose to safekeep your crypto, they all come with pin codes and options for access and recovery, and it would be needless to say that these sensitive credentials should be exclusively known to you. Just remember: Not your keys, not your coins!
Editorial Team. (2023). 5 Best Hardware Wallets for 2024: Top Crypto Wallets Reviewed!. Coin Bureau. https://www.coinbureau.com/analysis/best-hardware-wallets/
Grand View Research. (2023). Crypto Wallet Market Size, Share and Growth Report, 2030. Grand View Research. https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/crypto-wallet-market-report
Howarth, J. (2023). How Many Cryptocurrencies are There In 2024?. Exploding Topics. https://explodingtopics.com/blog/number-of-cryptocurrencies
Powell, F. (2023). Best Crypto Wallets Of December 2023. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/investing/cryptocurrency/best-crypto-wallets/
Rosen, A. (2023). 10 Best Crypto Wallets of 2023. NerdWallet. https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/investing/best-bitcoin-cryptocurrency-wallet