Best Crypto Wallets to Store Your Digital Assets
While the cryptocurrency market has been facing a bear trend for the better part of this year, the ICO market has been more active than ever. As of August 8th, ICOs have raised over $17.76 BN-- a figure on the steep incline. However, with a plethora of successful ICOs, comes thousands of verifiable digital currencies that can be bought, sold, and held in an individual's wallet. The only downside? Finding a way to streamline the security of these new digital assets.
Asset protection and finding ways to secure your alt coins or fiats have been of the utmost concern for all individuals and companies in the ICO ecosystem. The rise of malicious hackers stealing millions from exchanges, individuals, and other corporations, has brought an unprecedented amount of caution and fear into the alt coin investment industry. Fortunately, there is one trick to ensure the security of your online investments.
Understanding the difference
Before choosing the right place to allocate funds, one must understand some key concepts about the blockchain-powered storage system that will best defend your cryptocurrencies.
The Wallet itself
While a wallet serves the exact purpose of keeping your money safe, it doesn't directly touch your money at all. Instead, your wallet contacts and interacts with the currency's corresponding blockchain in order to provide information on the value of your asset, as well as execute trades and send specified amounts. While some wallets provide conveniences to the user such as exchange rates, aggregated market data, and even live crypto chat rooms, the primary focus of all wallets is to provide a tool in which you can buy, sell, transfer, and keep track of as many of your digital currencies as possible.
Hot vs. Cold Wallets
When looking for a trusted wallet provider, one must keep in mind how many and which wallet locations are going to be used to store the assets.
Hot wallets; the less secure of the two, classifies a group of digital wallets that must be tethered to an internet connection for any transfer, buy, or sell activity directly relating the specific wallet address. Hot wallets are used as a basic storage system for nearly all cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance, Bittrex, Mt, GOX, Gemini, etc. and are by far the most popular choice out of the two. However, when it comes to storing valued crypto, do not let popularity fool you. Since hot wallets are connected to the internet and can be accessed by any device with the proper login information, they are by far the most susceptible to any fraudulent activity. While cryptocurrency exchanges work around the clock to ensure the safety of your digital assets, there will always be unexpected malicious attacks; any of which the one that breaks into your wallet's minimal firewall and steals your life savings in the blink of an eye. Overall, hot wallets are best for small investors who don't have the intention of holding their assets for a very long period of time.
Cold wallets; despite being similar in principle they are significantly different in practice. They serve the same function at the end of the day, as they provide a line of protection and storage for each of your coin addresses. But they differ when it comes to the storing process of the said address(es). Unlike hot wallets, they store and back all information onto a platform that isn't connected to the internet. This small change in the wallet's storage process protects the wallet from all kinds of threats from unauthorized access, to any cyber attack that could be executed against a hot wallet or exchange. While crypto hot wallets tend to be accessible through any online device, once someone opens a cold wallet on a device it is only accessible via that computer, etc. For investors looking to HODL, definitely choose a cold wallet that tailors to your specific needs.
Hardware Wallet - Very Small
Low-price - supports a decent amount of coins
The Ledger company and more specifically its Ledger Nano S wallet provide some of the best cold wallets in the crypto storage industry. It comes in the form of the cheapest USB wallet with a screen on the market to show all your account values, transaction history, and pending transactions. While the wallet is incredibly portable and easy-to-use, its small size could play to a disadvantage if you lose it. Besides its small size, the wallet supports less than 30 cryptocurrency addresses which may be a deal breaker for the diverse investors.
Widely Trusted - Hot Wallet Hybrid
2FAuthentication - Supports 4 coins
- deposit fees
One of the most famous crypto companies today, Coinbase holds some of the largest traffic for United States fiat purchases and transactions. While Coinbase only offers hot wallets for their users, their popularity has forced their team to provide top of the line security protocols into their wallet ecosystem. Like most hot wallets, however, Coinbase wallets come at a deposit price of up to 3.99% via credit/Debit Card and 1.49% via Coinbase USD Wallet or US Bank Account.
Great for beginners - Very Small
Low-price - Supports decent amount of coins
Founded in July of 2016, this free desktop wallet client provides a variety of 35+ currencies, as well as the ability to provide chart analysis data of all the currencies ever transferred in or out of one account. While there are transaction fees, these are directly paid to the blockchain and are not collected by any organization or individual. While a hot wallet, the platform is great for first-time crypto buyers with an intuitive and easy to learn interface.
Hardware Wallet - Most expensive hardware wallet on the market
Supports nearly 700 coins - Takes time to get used to
Great Customer Support
Similar to the Ledger Nano S, Trezor or "vault" in Czech is another cold wallet that has the ability to store a whopping 700 coins. Based on a "Zero Trust" approach, the company advocates for a multitude of security barriers such as PIN protection, recovery seeds, single-purpose devices, and no operating capabilities unless plugged into the proper IOS or PC operating system. While 3 times more expensive than the Ledger Nano s at a whopping $300, its high price is worth it if it means securing large sums of various digital currencies.
Best for beginners - Very Small
No hidden costs - Supports decent amount of coins
Newer in comparison to most wallets, the aim of this company is to simplify the storage process, attract the masses, and provide a wide variety of currency storages for any type of investor. Accessible through any device, the company made a small sacrifice of security for convenience. Jaxx truly exceeds in variety, as it has the capability of storing 55+ currencies. But they lack 2-factor authentication which is detrimental to the overall security of the.
Building on the crypto wallet industry, Versara Trade is reaching new heights with their beta wallet system. Taking the best of fiat and crypto, Versara looks to provide a seamless and indestructible product that does a little more than the average wallet. The venture also promises to provide asset management tools, as well as the ability to invest in a multitude of profitable markets with the click of a button. The US will see the wallet first in Q1 of 2019, shortly followed by Asia in Q2, and finally Europe in Q3.
Choose wallet based on your needs and wants. If you are a smaller investor looking to exit the market in < 6 months, invest in a hot wallet with a simple interface and 2FA protocol. If you plan on investing more money for a longer period of time, choose a potentially more expensive wallet with more in-depth security protocols and a strong customer support team. Good luck!