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A cryptocurrency wallet is almost equivalent to a bank account, and just as it is important to be familiar with a bank of choice, it is just as important to be intentional in choosing a digital Bitcoin wallet.
A crypto wallet contains private keys that allow you to manage and spend your coins, as your wallet address is an ingenious hash of your public keys. With Bitcoin wallets providing the perfect custodian and interaction between these two key pairs, it is only important that every bitcoin trader or holder has a trusted wallet.
Thus, in reality, wallets do not store your BTC or any other cryptocurrency, instead, the private keys are the ones stored, which inadvertently gives you accessibility to your bitcoins. Regardless of this, it is still important that you are particular and intentional about the wallets you use.
Categories of Bitcoin Wallets
Here, we will go over the categories of wallets available to you, and go in-depth into available types on market in 2020. Interfaces, as easily predicted, are the major differences between the categories of wallets we have, as well as the range of security particular to each category.
The three classes of wallets you should know are:
- Online wallets: They are also called web wallets and can be accessed by web browsers. Depending on the provider of the wallet service, not all browsers can access some online Wallets.
- Software/Mobile wallet: The most easily accessible, and the go-to choice for many bitcoin users. The mobile wallet is available on Android and iOS platforms. However, while the mobile wallet is easily accessible, it can also be insecure and prone to hackers.
- Hardware wallet: A hardware wallet is a physical electronic device. They must be connected to a computer, phone or tablet before coins may be spent. Hardware wallets, like other wallets, also help to secure private keys.
Here are the top Bitcoin wallets in 2020 by their category.
Best Online/Web Wallets in 2020
Atomic wallet is an open-source desktop wallet that allows safe and secure storage and management of digital assets. The crypto wallet is decentralized, this means that users have access to private keys for each coin stored on the platform. Other laudable features include anonymity and the capacity to swap tokens without the involvement of a centralized exchange.
Strongcoin has been around for a while and is one of the most popular web bitcoin wallets available on the internet. They offer a hybrid wallet, which allows you to encrypt your private address keys before they are sent to the servers.
Lumi wallet is not only available on the web, but it is also compatible with android and iOS versions. While Lumi supports BTC private keys, it also caters to other wallets different from Bitcoin such as Ethereum. It is free, user-friendly, and has a single wallet capable of supporting BTC, ETH and many ERC20 tokens.
Like Lumi, Freewallet is one of the most famous Bitcoin web wallets that is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. It supports more than 30 digital currencies including Bitcoin. It is also free, but it is in the custodial wallet category which means its users don’t have control over their private keys, unlike other wallets.
Blockchain.com was launched in 2011 and is widely known. Bitcoin web wallet has provided over 23 million wallets for users and can boast of over 100 million transactions. They have an intuitive user interface, and their users can store and receive BTC without any hassle.
Best Mobile Wallets in 2020
Mycelium: Majorly for Android. It was launched in 2008 and was an early player in the crypto wallet field. It is one of the most popular cryptocurrency wallets available. It has a friendly user interface for people that don’t understand the technicalities of some other wallet.
The reported con of this app as suggested by some users is its bad customer service and unstable transaction fee.
Electrum: It is also one of the earliest Bitcoin wallets. It was introduced towards the end of 2011. It supports a hardware Wallet. The electrum is not as user-friendly as other apps, but it has maintained a high level of security and has a well-grounded reputation in the crypto ecosystem.
Other common mobile wallets include Edge, Freewallet, Blockchain Wallet and Jaxx.
Best Hardware Wallets in 2020
Hardware wallets are generally considered to be the most secure wallets. They are also known as cold storage wallets. Their major con is their pricey nature, but they are the most secure wallets around. Below are examples of some hardware wallets.
The Ledger Nano S (58 €), and similar storage, Ledger Nano X are two of the most popular hardware wallets around. Ledger Nano S has a screen and two buttons you need to press at the same time to verify your transaction, which serves as a hedge against attacks. It also has an anti-tampering seal.
Trezor ($99) is a hardware crypto wallet used to store, send and receive digital assets conveniently. Trezor is similar to the Ledger Nano in its security measures and two-button screens.
KeepKey ($99) has a digital screen and a metal body. Its security measures include a 24-word password and the option for PIN code, as well as number randomization. Might come at a slightly higher price but like all hardware wallets, it is certainly worth it.
These are some wallet samples available to you in 2020. However, whatever your choice of wallet, it is also important to keep in mind that safety and security are more defining than any other plausible factors.