3 of the Best Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrency Wallets
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3 questions to ask yourself to find the best cryptocurrency wallet:
1.) What coins are you interested in? — The three picks on my shortlist all have integrations to work with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and many of the other major alt coins. But not all cryptocurrency wallets work with all cryptocurrencies. You’ll need to determine which cryptocurrencies you’ll be buying and selling to chip away at the long list of options available in the market.
2.) Do you want a hardware wallet or a software wallet? — This is actually more a question of how much security do you require for your cryptocurrency wallet? Hardware wallets offer the most complex and robust security of any type of bitcoin wallet. That’s because the physical hardware device must be connected to a computer or smartphone to execute a transaction. The downside is hardware wallets offer less flexibility compared to software wallets, such as online services offered through the Coinbase exchange. These deeper integrations do make most software wallets more useful in more scenarios, whether you’re trading coins or making purchases online.
3.) What’s your budget – You’ll have to shell out some dough, upwards of $100 in some cases, to get the most robust security that’s offered with hardware wallets. Software wallets, on the other hand, are mostly free.
Types of cryptocurrency wallets:
Hardware wallet — Most hardware wallets utilize a USB connection to store your private keys. They offer the highest level of security since your information is stored offline. Hardware wallets still offer simple capabilities for transactions, but note that the wallet must be connected to a computer to make a transaction. The reduced flexibility is simply a tradeoff of holding cryptocurrency offline.
Software wallet — Usually a cloud-based interface on your computer or mobile device. They are less secure than hardware wallets since your information is stored online and can be susceptible to hacks. Software wallets are available on Mac OS and iOS enabled devices, as well as Windows and Linux, and across types of internet browsers.
Paper wallet — Consider a paper wallet the stock certificates of cryptocurrencies. A paper wallet will generally include a QR code that can be scanned and transferred to a software wallet when wanting to make a transaction. Otherwise, a paper wallet is simply a physical printout of your public and private keys.