Best Bitcoin Wallets

Contributor, Benzinga

Looking for an all-in-one bitcoin wallet that let’s you buy, sell, and earn interest on your BTC? ZenGo’s crypto wallet does all of the above!

If you’re new to investing in crypto, odds are your funds are stored on an exchange. Cryptocurrency exchanges hold custody of your bitcoin, so if the exchange faces a security breach, your bitcoin could be seized. The best way to secure your crypto investments is with a Bitcoin wallet, as crypto wallets let you control your cryptocurrency independently.

The Best Bitcoin Hardware Wallets

If your goal is to keep your Bitcoin as secure as possible, a hardware wallet is an effective solution. Today’s hardware Bitcoin wallets range from utilitarian designs to streamlined and stylish Bitcoin wallets as thin as a credit card — all with security at the forefront.

Best For
Crypto enthusiasts

Trezor One

A trusted name in cryptocurrency, Trezor combines ease of use with security in an affordable package with the time-tested Trezor One. A bright and easy-to-read OLED screen provides up to six lines of text, which aids in setup and displays transaction messages clearly while reducing the need for scrolling.

A 120 MHz ARM processor runs customized open-source software, keeping your private key safe from hackers. Connections are made by Micro USB and provide secure connectivity to both computers or supported mobile devices.

Trezor One automatically checks its firmware when connected to prevent unauthorized code from executing on the device. Expect support for Bitcoin as well as many other popular cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Dash.

Best For
DeFi Traders

CoolWallet S

At the size of a credit card, the CoolWallet S combines convenience and durability with military-grade security at a price that won’t break the bank. Defying its slim design, the CoolWallet S boasts secure Bluetooth connectivity and a clear e-Paper display to make transaction confirmations a breeze.

Multiple coin types are supported, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and EOS.

Expect the CoolWallet S to hold a charge for up to two weeks. Quick recharges are done through an innovative charging cradle.

Mobility is a focus and the CoolWallet S is designed to work with the CoolBitX Crypto mobile app available for Android or iOS. The slim device is also waterproof and bendable.

Mobility is a focus and the CoolWallet S is designed to work with the CoolBitX Crypto mobile app available for Android or iOS. The slim device is also waterproof and bendable.

Best For
ERC-20 tokens

Ledger Nano S

Designed to be affordable and easy to use, the Ledger Nano S is the predecessor to the Ledger Nano X, which is Ledger’s flagship product and will support Bluetooth connectivity to Android and iOS devices.

A built-in LED screen on the Ledger Nano S makes transaction confirmations easy to read and the device folds into a sturdy metal shell to prevent damage while on the go.

A digital wealth of hundreds of cryptocurrencies are supported by the Ledger Nano S, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, and yes, Ripple as well, a unique find in a hardware wallet.

With 1 of the most trusted names in crypto wallets and an interface that’s easy to use through a secure Google Chrome web app, the Ledger Nano S is a proven favorite for cryptocurrency investors who favor affordable security.

Best For
Crypto enthusiasts

Trezor Model T

Trezor’s Model T hardware Bitcoin Wallet works with Windows, OS X and Linux desktops through a USB connection. Android mobile devices are also supported through a vendor app in Google’s Play Store.

Over 1,000 coins are supported with the Trezor Model T, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, ZCash and Dash, with more regularly added. As with all but the Ledger hardware wallet, Ripple is not currently supported. Bitcoin investors are well-served by Trezor’s newest addition, with its convenient full-color touchscreen and proven support.

At boot up, Trezor’s firmware verifies its authenticity and a write-protected bootloader prevents tampering and enhances security if the device is left unattended. PIN authentication is required for transactions, adding an additional layer of security that’s crucial for devices so small and so easy to misplace.

KeepKey

Another competitor in the hardware wallet space is KeepKey. Created by a subsidiary of the Shaftshift exchange, KeepKey highlights the notable differences its device holds over its competitors. Launched in 2015, KeepKey noted that its security measures were far stronger than Trezor or Ledger.

We have yet to view anyone brave enough to confirm this notion; however, KeepKey doesn’t have an operating system. Not having an operating system essentially makes a device malware proof. It’s nearly impossible to infect a device with complicated instructions if that device does not have an operating system.

While security remains an advantage in using KeepKey, a major drawback is the availability of only 35 cryptocurrencies. Still, the device couldn’t be more easy to use by plugging it in one of the USB ports of your computer. 

Get the KeepKey on Amazon

Best For
Crypto enthusiasts

SafePal S1

Looking for a quick and portable option to track and manage your cryptocurrency on the go? Be sure to consider the comprehensive SafePal S1 wallet. The size of a credit card, you can easily take your SafePal wallet with you no matter where you travel. 

To transfer your coins and tokens, connect to the SafePal app using a local QR connection — no need to risk your coins by connecting to public Wi-Fi or using a Bluetooth device. 

Best of all, SafePal offers support for over 10,000 individual cryptocurrency tokens and coins, which means that you’ll enjoy a single wallet for all of your investments.  

The Best Bitcoin Software Wallets

While hardware Bitcoin wallets provide a more secure way to handle Bitcoin transactions, online Bitcoin wallets remain popular and provide access from anywhere. They also remove the need to carry a separate device, making them the most convenient choice for crypto investors. Some Bitcoin enthusiasts use both types of wallets and keep a minimal amount of cryptocurrency in hot wallets, like online wallets, and keep the bulk of their funds protected with a cold storage hardware wallet.

Best For
Coinbase Learn

Coinbase

If you’re new to the cryptocurrency world, it probably won’t be long before you start an account with Coinbase. As 1 of the largest and most-established cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase has become a staple for Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrency markets.

Coinbase’s trusted wallet provides a secure way to keep your Bitcoin safe while also keeping your digital assets separate from your crypto trading accounts.

Bitcoin is supported by the Coinbase wallet, and other popular currencies are supported, too, including Litecoin, Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens, which reduce the need for multiple cryptocurrency wallets. Security is enhanced by biometric authentication technology and works to secure your wallet if your device is mislaid or lost.

Best For
Quick Purchases

ZenGo

ZenGo is software wallet designed with simplicity and features in mind. Storing your Bitcoin is easy using the ZenGo iOS and Android apps. On the app, you can also buy and sell different cryptocurrencies for a small fee. That’s right, this isn’t just a Bitcoin wallet, it can store a variety of cryptocurrencies.

One of ZenGo’s best features is the protection of your private key. Typically, wallets backup the private key using a seed phrase. A seed phrase is a string of 12-24 words that can be more easily memorized than the actual private key. ZenGo takes this a step further, offering backup through your phones biometric scanning capabilities, be it FaceID or a fingerprint scanner.

You can also use ZenGo to earn interest on your idle assets through companies like Nexo. Of course, this also costs a small convenience fee. Overall, ZenGo is a great choice for those looking for a mobile Bitcoin wallet made simple.

What is a Bitcoin Wallet?

Technically speaking, a Bitcoin wallet doesn’t actually store Bitcoin. Bitcoin wallets store your private key. A private key is needed to unlock the funds associated with a corresponding wallet address (public key) on Bitcoin’s distributed ledger (blockchain). Imagine a crypto wallet as a mailbox. Everyone knows the location of the mailbox just as everyone knows your wallet address, or public key. Only the mailman with the key can unlock the bottom of the mailbox. Only the private key can unlock the corresponding wallet address on the blockchain.

Whoever has your private key can authorize a transfer of all your money, which is why Bitcoin wallet security is paramount. A personal Bitcoin wallet provides a safer way to store crypto than on a cryptocurrency exchange wallet where a centralized entity holds your private key.

Transferring crypto between cold storage and exchange wallets is a simple process, but you’ll need to pay a fee for doing so. This fee is paid to bitcoin miners who secure the blockchain, and it usually costs around $4 to send a Bitcoin transaction.

Features To Look For In Bitcoin Wallets

Here we focus primarily on hardware Bitcoin wallets and software Bitcoin wallets, effectively pitting security against convenience. A bank vault is more secure, a debit card is more convenient. This same concept applies to hardware wallets when compared to software wallets. While both types of wallets take strides to protect your digital assets, there are some pros and cons to each approach.

A hardware Bitcoin wallet, also called cold storage because it doesn’t have constant exposure to online threats, is typically a USB or Bluetooth device that stores your private keys offline. Most hardware wallets these days support multiple assets, which is a must for investors looking to buy cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin.

Paper wallets are another type of cold storage because they have no online access. Your private key is either written down on paper or may be stored on a durable card that has a scannable QR code that holds your private key.

It’s important to buy a hardware wallet directly from the manufacturer or from a certified retailer. Buying a hardware wallet from a 3rd party puts you at risk of purchasing a tampered wallet which could be easily hacked.

An online wallet is also referred to as a hot wallet because it’s stored online and may be at more risk than with a hardware wallet. Cryptocurrency wallets installed on a computer are also considered hot wallets because the computer holds your private key as opposed to a separate removable device that can be stored safely. Mobile apps used to access a remote wallet are also hot wallets, although in this case, only the funds on the hot wallet are connected to the internet.

Many hardware and software Bitcoin wallets support additional currencies, like Ethereum or Ripple, allowing you to choose the best cryptocurrency for a particular transaction or for trading. However, each different blockchain requires a corresponding different wallet. If you need to send Bitcoin to someone but you only have Ethereum, you’ll need to use a crypto exchange to change the currency to the desired coin. Nowadays some wallets provide this functionality through DeFi technology, such as Coinbase Wallet and Argent.

Choose a Bitcoin Wallet That Fits You

Cryptocurrency and security are inseparable. However, the most secure options often mean sacrificing some convenience. As you build your cryptocurrency portfolio, consider your risk tolerance and exposure when choosing a cryptocurrency storage solution.

For many cryptocurrency investors and enthusiasts, the best solution is to maintain multiple wallets with a more secure hardware wallet solution for the bulk of your digital assets and a more convenient online wallet used for day-to-day transactions.

This structure isn’t unlike the way we manage the regular money we might have. Most of us only carry around a small amount of pocket money and keep the bulk of our cash out of harm’s way.

Craving more crypto knowledge? Check out Benzinga’s guides to the best cryptocurrency exchange, how to trade cryptocurrency and best cryptocurrency wallets.

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