How to compare the best cryptocurrency wallets
Each client for storing cryptocurrencies has its own advantages and disadvantages. We have highlighted several key criteria for comparing crypto wallets.
The presence of a russified interface
Some blockchain wallets have a complex interface that is difficult for beginners to understand. Russification simplifies perception and avoids additional difficulties when working with a crypto wallet.
Non-custodial clients do not store private keys, passwords and user seed phrases, therefore they are considered the most secure. Control over funds in such crypto wallets belongs entirely to the users themselves.
But custody services have their advantages. For example, they allow you to exchange cryptocurrency for other cryptoassets or fiat directly in your account, and can also support additional functions: staking, depositing at interest, and much more. Before using them, we must accept these risks.
There are hybrid online wallets. For example, the Blockchain.com wallet is non-custodial. Users can make an unlimited number of transactions, but the interface also supports exchange (Swap), deposit and purchase with fiat currencies.
By this criterion, we determine whether the program contains open or closed source code. Open source allows third-party developers to audit and identify vulnerabilities if they are present in the client's source code. In other words, open source implies lack of trust in the developer, but closed trust in the development team.
This item reflects whether the wallet has additional features to improve user anonymity, such as rotating btc addresses, merging crypto transactions, or supporting change addresses.
For many novice users, as a rule, basic functionality is sufficient for transferring and receiving coins. They do not need advanced features that burden the client interface and make it difficult to interact with it.
Support for new bitcoin addresses (Segwit)
We indicate whether the crypto wallet is compatible with the new format of SegWit addresses 3 and bech32, which can speed up transactions and approximately halve the cost of transaction fees.
Online cryptocurrency wallets
Web wallets are less secure because they are exposed not only to software attacks, but also to phishing. In some cases, even two-factor authentication does not help, since attackers have learned to intercept this data as well.
However, online cryptocurrency clients are convenient to use, can be accessed from any device connected to the Internet, and allow for fast transactions. Hot clients are useful for those who store and use small amounts of cryptocurrency. In other cases, it is preferable to use hardware, mobile or desktop wallets, which we have repeatedly mentioned in our blog.
Blockchain.com (old domain - Blockchain.info) is one of the first and most popular crypto wallets, created in 2011. Despite its popularity, the crypto wallet has security problems. The Cryptonist team is aware of many cases of hacking of Blockchain.com accounts.
Blockchain supports Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Stellar (XLM), and Paxos (now USD Digital). The Blockchain wallet is popular due to its wide functionality: users can exchange cryptocurrencies, crypto loans, deposit at interest and manage multiple accounts. Blockchain Wallet supports a Russian-language interface, but it has been translated into Russian only partially and not always correctly. One of its main drawbacks is incompatibility with SegWit addresses. We have written a detailed review of the Blockchain.com wallet which can be read on our blog.
Coinbase provides custody services for storing and exchanging cryptocurrencies. Despite being an online wallet, Coinbase is considered one of the safest crypto wallets as the platform works with institutional clients and is regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Security is ensured by authorizing a new device to log into your account using email and 2fa, as well as integration with hardware crypto wallets. Coinbase supports many cryptocurrencies, but only works with legacy bitcoin addresses. Coinbase provides additional 2fa protection for sending transactions.
BitGo web wallet has minimalistic functionality for working with cryptocurrencies. The company offers services to both individuals and corporate clients. BitGo is focused on user security, so browser and IP authorization is required to log in to an account, as well as mandatory two-factor authentication.
BitGo crypto wallet contains a simple and intuitive web interface, supports more than 10 cryptocurrencies, allows you to manage multiple crypto accounts and connect third-party services for registering taxes or storing private keys, as well as freeze addresses for a specific period. But the interface is only available in English. Each of the created crypto accounts is protected by an additional password.
Coinb.in is a functional, open source, multi-signature web wallet licensed by the MIT. The client contains a tree structure and allows you to create derived keys. These wallets are called HD Wallets or Hierarchically Deterministic.
It is a hybrid bitcoin wallet. The company was founded in 2011 at the dawn of cryptocurrencies, although the crypto wallet is relatively new. StrongCoin stores user keys on the server, but before that they are encrypted in the web browser, so third parties will not be able to access the coins. StrongCoin allows you to buy cryptocurrency using the third party service Glidera.
StrongCoin allows you to create a PDF and print a paper wallet for storing bitcoins with full control of private keys. The crypto wallet has simple but limited functionality and only supports two cryptocurrencies: BTC and BCH.
Cryptopay is a hot bitcoin wallet with advanced functionality and built-in cryptocurrency exchange functions, as reflected in the client's name. When creating an account, Cryptopay asks for personal data, which negatively affects the privacy of users.
The company provides Cryptopay customers with prepaid debit cards for buying BTC and paying with cryptocurrency. There is also an affiliate program to reward users. Cryptopay supports 4 cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple, as well as fiat currencies. The main disadvantage of a crypto wallet is custody.
MetaMask wallet is created as a browser extension based on Chrome and makes it easy to create crypto accounts. MetaMask is an ERC20 compliant crypto wallet that serves as a bridge between users and decentralized applications (dApps). The plugin supports Ethereum and any tokens created on this blockchain platform. ETH wallets do not support Bitcoin (BTC).
MetaMask supports hardware wallet integration
MyEtherWallet or MEW is one of the most popular hot Ethereum wallets created by Ethereum developers. MEW only supports Ether and ERC20 tokens. Previously, the web client interface was quite complex for beginners, but after upgrading to version 5, it was significantly simplified, which I wrote about in this article.
One of the strengths of MyetherWallet is the availability of the MEW Connect mobile app for iOS and Android, which enhances security by pairing a browser client with a mobile device for two-step authentication. MEW allows you to integrate Trezor, Ledger, BitBox02 and KeepKey, and has a Russified interface.
MyCrypto is an open source browser-based ERC20 wallet created by the MEW team in 2015. You can connect to MyCpypto using hardware wallets, the Parity Signer app, the MetaMask plugin, and some other crypto wallets. There is a more secure desktop version of the crypto wallet.
With MyCrypto, users can manage their crypto portfolio and track statistics on it. Previously, MyCrypto belonged to MyEtherWallet, but then the development teams split up and a separate crypto wallet was created for Ethereum and tokens based on its platform.