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Ethereum Wallets – Introduction
In this post, we will talk about ”10 Best Ethereum Wallets For 2018 (Comparison)”. In the world of cryptocurrency, there are over nine hundred cryptocurrencies, but among these cryptocurrencies, there are only a few popular, reputable and reliable digital currencies. Apart from Bitcoin, there is another digital currency, which seems to have great potentials and this digital currency is growing rapidly among all cryptocurrencies. That digital currency is Ethereum.
Of all coins, Ethereum is able to offer the most number of services, but nothing can be done on this platform, without Ethereum wallets. Having the wallet is the first step to Ethereum mining, exchange, margin trading or even earning. Ethereum wallets go beyond just storing Ether, in full, it serves as a gateway to decentralized applications on the Ethereum blockchain and also allows the owner to hold and secure other crypto-assets as well as write, deploy and use smart contracts. Within Ethereum, there are many tokens except Ether, and they all can be held on Ethereum wallets.
When it comes to cryptocurrency wallets, Bitcoin wallets were the first. Therefore many of the wallets which can be used to hold Bitcoin, are also used to hold Ethereum and a few other altcoins. However, there are a couple of wallets which are used to store Ethereum alone.
Ethereum is a public distributed computing platform that is based on the use of blockchain. Ethereum is an open source platform that comes with a smart contract feature for its users. Vitalik Buterin, a cryptocurrency researcher, and computer analyst recommended the idea of Ethereum in the year 2013. Ethereum makes use of a decentralized Ethereum Virtual Machine known as the Turing complete virtual machine. Apart from this, Ethereum uses a transferable cryptocurrency token known as Ether.
In other words, Ethereum is a decentralized platform used for the creation of applications that operate on the blockchain. This application operates with the use of a feature called smart contract. The smart contract helps to make the applications function as programmed without any form of downtime, fraud or third-party.
As a user, when using Ethereum one of the essential things you will need is an Ethereum wallet. This wallet will enable you to store and protect your Ether and every other crypto-asset that is built on Ethereum. An Ethereum wallet enables a user to make use of the smart contract feature. Furthermore, the wallet serves as an entry into to the decentralized programs located on the Ethereum blockchain.
Types of Ethereum wallets
To be able to pick out a suitable wallet out of the many alternatives, it is imperative to know the different types. Generally, as I always would say, there is no best Ethereum wallet as such, because different wallets are made for different platforms and with different features. So we can only have the best wallet based on security, based on versatility (how many coins it can hold) or another requirement.
- Hardware Ethereum wallets
These wallets are for offline (cold) storage and resemble a portable vault for digital currencies. Generally, they are the most secure, considering the fact that only the holder of the hardware wallet is able to make transactions with it and since it works offline, it is free from cyber attack. They are the best for storing large amounts of Ethereum.
- Online Ethereum wallets
Online or hot wallets are able to function when they are online. They are also secure but are susceptible to cyber attack. Most wallets fall into this category.
- Desktop Ethereum wallets
A desktop wallet is simply one which functions on a desktop computer or laptop. They may be hot or cold but are software or apps, which are downloaded and installed on the PC on which it will be used.
- Mobile Ethereum wallets
These are wallets made for mobile devices and are compatible with Android, iOS or Windows. They are the least secure wallet types, but are the most convenient, considering they are portable. They work online and are also installed on the mobile device.
- Paper Wallets
These are pieces of paper which have your private keys written on them. Private keys are used to access your wallet and also to retrieve them if lost; therefore if you lose your paper wallet, it will be difficult to access your Ether again. For Ethereum, paper wallets are not advisable to be used because they lack certain functions.
Most wallets that are made for Desktop also have their mobile version, and some wallets combine both hot and cold wallet features.
Best Ethereum Wallet Features
You also have to consider this:
The best Ethereum wallet should have most of the following features.
- Security and Backup: a couple of people have lost millions because of negligence. Always backup your wallet for easy retrieval.
- Private keys: you alone should possess your private keys so that no other person can access your account.
- User Interface: there should be no difficulty in operating an Ethereum wallet, a wallet having a poor user interface does not make it more secure.
- Compatibility: the best wallet should be able to function on the most number of operating systems.
- Development community: a wallet with an active development community will keep being updated and modified regularly based on a recommendation.
10 Ethereum Wallets
There are several Ethereum wallets, a person should consider, but the best 10 are:
1. Ledger Nano S
Launched in 2016, Ledger is widely regarded as the most popular and the best hardware Ethereum wallet, because of its security. Ledger Nano S is just one model in the Ledger series. It is a physical portable vault for Ethereums, which resembles a USB flash drive and can be connected to an activated device such as a laptop or desktop, for use. Having a metallic case, it costs about €58 and is easy to use. Transaction fees on Nano S depend on the speed of transaction confirmation you choose.
The Ledger Nano S is a hardware wallet that supports several cryptocurrencies including Ethereum. Ledger Nano S is built on robust safety features. The safety features are used to store cryptographic resources and secure digital payments. Ledger Nano S works by connecting to any computer then it inputs a protected OLED display in other to re-confirm every transaction. This is done by simply tapping the side button.
The Ledger Nano S comes with several features, which includes:
- It supports several currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and altcoins. With its support of these cryptocurrencies, a user can store these currencies in one wallet.
- The Ledger Nano S comes with an inbuilt display. It makes checking and confirming of transactions better for users.
- Ledger Nano S comes with a strong security that secures users private information. It has a PIN feature that allows users lock the wallet with a secret pin code.
- This wallet also comes with a good backup and restoration system. The user’s account is backed up by a recovery sheet that allows an easy restoration of a user’s data.
Ledger Nano S: Official Website
TREZOR is a cold hardware wallet, launched in 2014 for Bitcoin, but is also used for storing Ethereum. It is super secure and is actually hack-free, offering the highest security level possible, because it is a thumb-sized screen device that does not require password or username for the account. Only the user with the TREZOR Ethereum wallet can access the Ethereum account. TREZOR has a good web interface but costs even more than ledger. It is very good for storing large amounts of Ethereum.
Trezor is a hardware wallet that has an easy-to-use interface. Using Trezor, a user can control his/her coins, make transfers and check one’s account balance. Trezor has a quick setup process that allows a user complete his/her registration on time. Trezor is also easy to use, and it comes with a feature that allows users input a secret word in other to regain the access to one’s money, keys, accounts, emails and so on.
Trezor: Offical Website
3. My Ether Wallet
This is an open source Ethereum wallet that works online and is unique because it allows the owner to have full control over their private key on the computer. It requires no third-party servers, and you can access and write smart contracts using MyEtherWallet. It also has Ether to Bitcoin automatic exchange within it.
My Ether Wallet is easy to use and open source Ethereum wallet. It is used for the creation of new wallets. It allows users to be able to store their Ether in the wallet. This wallet gives its users the full control, and it enables users to store their keys on their own equipment instead of storing it on their system.
My Ether Wallet: Offical Website
Coinbase is a very well-known and reputable cryptocurrency company, which is not only a Bitcoin wallet but also an Ethereum wallet and is regarded as the foremost Bitcoin exchange. The Coinbase wallet is a hot wallet, meaning it can only be used online. The transactions carried out with a Coinbase wallet is tracked by Coinbase, and private keys are not in your control. It is free, has good security, and a web interface. Coin base is cheap and good for storing Ethereum if it works in your country.
Coinbase is a popular wallet option among most cryptocurrency users. It operates as a cryptocurrency exchange and wallet.
It has several features such as;
- Mobile wallet: Coinbase makes it easier for users to access the wallet by creating an app for it. Hence, iPhone and Android users can get access to their wallet via the Coinbase app.
- Funds Insurance: Coinbase provides its users with a fund insurance option that covers all digital currencies stored on the Coinbase servers.
- Storage: Coinbase provides a secure and protected storage for the digital assets. It stores these digital assets in protected offline storage.
Coinbase: Offical Website
Jaxx is a mobile and desktop wallet which is able to store many altcoins including Ethereum. Max is known for its compatibility with many operating systems including Windows, iOS, Linux, Android and Chrome (extension). With Jaxx, the entire private key is on your computer, and no one can access your Ethereum. Therefore the security of your coins is solely in your hands. It has a wonderful user interface and is great for beginners.
Jaxx is another cryptocurrency platform that supports all the leading or popular digital currencies such as Ethereum, Bitcoin, etc. Jaxx gives its users the ability to have full control over their wallet by allowing users to create their private keys on their own local device. According to Jaxx, it states that users keys are never sent to any server and neither do they hold access to a person’s funds. Jaxx also allows its users access their wallet without having to do any form of verification or provide them with one’s personal information. Jaxx also gives its users the privilege to have access to the codebase as it is auditable on its website. Jaxx is accessible on all platforms.
Jaxx: Offical website
Exodus wallet is a hot wallet that was launched in 2016 and allows you to store various currencies except for Ethereum, such as Litecoin, Dogecoin, Bitcoin, and Dashcoin. It has a web interface and can directly exchange Bitcoins for Altcoins. It is user-friendly and does not support smart contracts. Nonetheless, it has not more than an average security, but it stores your private keys on your computer.
Exodus is the first desktop wallet that comes with a multi-asset and shapeshifts feature. It comes with security features that encrypt a user’s private keys and transaction details that are only accessible to the user. It has a beautiful and attractive live chart that can be used to record the value of a user’s blockchain portfolio. More so, Exodus provides personalization features for its users. It allows the user to customize the theme of their wallet to suit their taste. Users can also store other digital currencies apart from Ethereum. Currencies like; Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash, etc. are all supported.
Exodus: Offical Website
Coinomi is a multi-coin and a multi-asset wallet. It supports over seventy (70) different digital currencies, which includes Ethereum. It comes with a good security that is backed up with a wallet encryption and cryptography. This encryption and cryptography help to ensure that a user’s funds are safe and under supervision. Coinomi also comes with an advanced privacy and anonymous features. For instance, all requests are secured as the user’s IP address is hidden. More so, identity verification is not needed. Furthermore, it has a good back up feature for its users that backs up a user’s data at once. Using economic, there are no unknown codes, mysterious modules, as the code is visible for all users to review. Another good feature of Coinomi is the fact that it supports more than one language. It supports languages such as; English, Chinese, Russian, etc.
Coinomi: Offical Website
Etherwall is the first Ethereum wallet. It is an open source wallet that is designed for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux systems. Etherwall allows clients to store their own data on their private computer. Etherwall enables users to use the Trezor hardware wallet to store their keys.
Etherwall: Offical Website
Released in 2015, Keepkey is one of the newest Hardware wallets which stores Bitcoin and Ethereum. It has a user-friendly web interface, and beginners will enjoy it. It also offers the same kind of strong offline security as Trazir and Ledger, but is very expensive, costing up to $129. To be sincere, it has a very attractive design but could be damaged if dropped.
This is a hardware wallet that supports six main cryptocurrencies namely; Ethereum, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Namecoin, and Dash. With the use of Shapeshift, Keepkey allows a direct exchange of assets. It is packaged with a virus or malware protector that helps secure it from virus attacks. More so, Keepkey works on Android, Mac, PC, and Linux.
KeepKey: Offical Website
ETHAdress is a paper wallet, and it contains public keys and private keys, printed on paper. With it, you can also add extra security, and it is the cheapest cold storage Ethereum wallet you can get. It requires no personal information or registration but does not support smart contracts.
ETHadress is a software that allows users generate Ethereum paper wallets. These paper wallets are printed out, and then they are used in cold storage. The paper wallet has public and private keys printed on it. A user can also choose to go for security by encrypting the wallet as well as the keys.
In summary, there are several Ethereum wallets for a user to decide. These wallets perform similar functions. It is important only to choose the wallet that comes with the best reviews from other users, more security functions and it should be easy to use, not complicated.
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