Trading cryptocurrencies has become easier than ever. These days, you only need to register into a crypto exchange to start moving funds the same day. These companies also make good money from their users by offering this service.
But saving your tokens in an exchange may not be the best idea. Sure, decentralization may be the reason most people got into the crypto market. But how safe is it to keep all your fortune on a single platform? Not a lot, right?
These exchanges have to manage billions worth in crypto-tokens every day, which makes them a desirable target for hackers. It doesn’t matter the security: a motivated hacker will always find a way to break in.
It wouldn’t be the first time a big brand leaves their clients with empty pockets. Although they may refund part of the losses, there’s no legal contract forcing them to do so. You’re most likely screwed unless you take control of your money.
Today, we’ve going to share some of the best wallets you can use to keep your funds safe. Instead of telling the same list over again, we will take the approach of Ethereum wallets.
Why? Because ETH has massive potential when it comes to cybersecurity, not just transactions. Many “defi” applications run on top of Ethereum, which is why essential to have a wallet that supports it. Not only would you be keeping your cryptocurrency safe. You might also protect your entire online identity, from smart contracts to Internet privacy.
Why Would You Want An Ethereum Wallet?
Ethereum 2.0. has just released last week, and updates will soon start to make an effect. This novelty should be enough to give ETH a try if that wasn’t enough for the following reasons:
- Like Bitcoin, Ethereum has already expanded to millions of users. The rate this cryptocurrency is growing suggests the expansion could have just started. It may not reach the same values, but it may follow the same exponential pattern Bitcoin did.
- There’s a talented team to make sure it becomes valuable. Take the epic battle between ETH and Ethereum Classic. Regardless of who got it right, today, ETH is worth at least fifty times more than ETC. Although both updates regularly, ETC still receives 51% attacks until today. The founders stuck to ETH instead, which seems to be the right choice for investors.
- Growing potential. Ether could be more scalable than Bitcoin. The difference is, ETH doesn’t just rely on the transaction feature to expand, but development as well. Instead of ETH, one may support platforms that build on top of it, like Orchid Network. By using these branches, you’re indirectly adopting Ethereum. With over 2,500 dApps, it’s a matter of time ETH explodes.
- Ethereum 2.0. offers Defi features, which have the highest demand in 2020.
- ETH belongs to an early stage. ETH first appeared in July 2015, and five years later, it’s worth around $350. Interestingly enough, Bitcoin had the same value five years after launching in 2009. Could it just be a coincidence?
5 Ethereum Wallets You Shouldn’t Ignore
With the recent update, the Ethereum Network now rewards users for staking ETH in their accounts. Now that most people will hold tokens, crypto exchanges are not a way to go(aside from the mentioned risks).
Instead, we should default to a higher security tier: hardware and desktop Ethereum wallets. We’re making a quick review of Exodus, Metamask, Trezor One, MyEtherWallet, and Ledger Nano X. We neither want to overwhelm you with choices, so we’ve picked the five most recommended.
If you plan to store large amounts of ETH, Exodus should be the first place where to look. Given how easy it is to use, it’s not surprising why many new investors make it their favorite one.
Despite the appealing design, Exodus is just that: a cryptocurrency storage application. You should not expect to make profits using this platform, since service fees are beyond average. But if you still want to pay, they offer over a hundred cryptocurrencies to choose from.
If you want to look at it differently, these fees have helped Exodus to offer excellent client support. That’s something very few can brag about when offering free software.
Exodus used to be for computers only, but know you can find it on Google PlayStore and Apple Store. You can download any version from here.
The team behind this company is always updating the software for a better experience. For example, they are releasing a new version of the Desktop App the same day we are writing this review.
But is Exodus secure? Only as much as an online crypto-wallet can be. No matter how many features they add, it will never be as safe as a hardware wallet. The trade-off here is, you can access a crypto-exchange as well.
Thankfully, the company has released a new feature for users with more security concerns: Trezor integrations. We will get into it later, but the benefit is, Exodus can now enjoy more protection, like a cold hardware wallet.
Many get into crypto because of the potential to make a profit. But Ethereum is more than a coin: it works for running decentralized applications that make your life easier. The network interacts with smart contracts, thus protecting it from human intervention.
Metamask is a top choice for those who want to get the most out of Ethereum. You can store ERC-20 tokens, and also spend them on the thousands of dApps powered by Ethereum (e.g., the Orchid Network).
It’s hard to argue whether it’s the best Ethereum wallet or not. But when it comes to features, everyone should have an account, or try it at least once.
Metamask uses WEB3 technology to install on your browser as an extension. That means it’s no longer necessary to install the entire ETH blockchain. The feature also limits the browsers that can use it, but almost everyone these days uses either Chrome or Firefox.
To buy more crypto, you can use the integrated exchanges, CoinBase and Shapeshift. The former may be more user friendly but has higher fees. And Shapeshift? It depends on coin prices. Miners charge a flat fee of, say, 0.0006BTC or 0.003ETH, plus 0.1% of the transaction value. And no charges for withdrawals or deposits.
The security history of Metamask is impressive for a hot wallet. Open-source code may be the reason since the community can keep improving the software. What community? Over a million users and over 40K followers on Twitter, to say the least.
Trezor from Satoshi Labs has been the longest hardware wallet that’s been around, with no threat history so far. Most will agree on it as the best device to hold any cryptocurrency. Hackers stand no chance to break into a cold wallet like Trezor.
What makes it superior is the many integrations available. Other hot Ethereum wallets (like Exodus) use it as an extra security layer so that nobody can access accounts without this device.
It can transfer cryptocurrencies to and from your computer. So even with a compromised identity, you could still move your funds to Trezor One safely.
If you want to store alternative coins, however, perhaps you should look elsewhere. The device doesn’t support some minor coins like ADA, XMR, or XRP.
What better ETH wallet than one with the same name on it? MEW is a free, opensource hot wallet that connects with tools like Metamask, Trezor, or Ledger Nano S. But what makes MyEtherWallet better than the most popular hardware wallets?
MyEtherWallet supports paper wallets, the most secure format possible. It depends on how safe you keep the paper, but it’s still the best way to hold long-term.
As a hot wallet, you can access it from desktop and mobile applications (all operating systems supported). Like other examples, it integrates exchanges where you can buy more crypto.
Unlike its competitors, MEW is ETH and ERC-20 only, which is why you can’t buy BTC or the other altcoins. Whether that’s good or not, it will depend on your needs.
Although it’s not easy to hack MEW, we’d be more worried about personal management. Can you trust yourself to keep all those private keys? If you lose that crypto because of your fault, you’re out of luck.
Many clients were already enjoying Ledger Nano S, except that it could keep three to twenty coins only. It’s not a problem when you trade the most common tokens. But for diversified portfolios, it meant opening a new wallet for every different coin you want to add. What a mess!
With the X version, you can access over a thousand different coins, which makes it the definite hard wallet for any crypto-investment. Compared to the latest Trezor model (it’s a direct competitor), Ledger Nano X offers better value for $119.
Although the software is easy to use, setting up Ledger becomes a complex list of tasks: register your PIN, record the seed backup, pair the device to your phone with Bluetooth, and install the related apps.
The Bottom Line on Ethereum Wallets
What wallet are you going to choose for Ethereum? Do you prefer to hold it for the long term or trade it on exchanges instead? Whatever your priorities are, you need to find your own balance between usability and security.
If you want to make the decision easier, you can make it safer by moving ETH across two or three Ethereum wallets. No software is infallible. Don’t put your eggs in one basket!