Best Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Wallets for May 2022
Store bitcoin, ether or other digital currencies safely.
If you’re going to invest in bitcoin or another digital currency, you’ll need a crypto wallet in which you can store your cryptocurrency. A cryptocurrency wallet is a safe place where you can store your proof of ownership of the cryptocurrency that you’ve purchased.
These wallets can take different forms. Some of the best crypto wallets are physical hardware devices, while others are computer software programs. Crypto wallets offer other benefits besides security, too. They give you greater control over your digital currency than you’ll find with most exchange services.
Well-known services like Robinhood, PayPal and Venmo that let you buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrency quickly store your digital currency in a “custodial” wallet, which means you’re trusting the company to secure, protect and hold your cryptocurrency.
Ultimately, they have control — and your crypto is in their proverbial hands.
Unless you’re making daily crypto transactions or have only a modest amount of money involved, we recommend you don’t store your cryptocurrency in an exchange account’s custodial wallet.
The best practice is to invest in a hardware wallet for offline storage, and a “noncustodial” software wallet or app is your next best choice. We’ll look at both options here in our quest to help you find the best crypto wallet for your needs.
Best bitcoin and cryptocurrency wallets
Best for beginners
Coinbase, which went public in April, is the best known cryptocurrency exchange in the US. The company makes it easy to trade well-known cryptocurrencies from bitcoin to dogecoin, and has its own Visa-backed debit card that integrates with Apple Pay and Google.
If you’re new to cryptocurrency, the Coinbase Wallet is a good place to start. It can be downloaded as an app for Android or iOS, the interface is intuitive and the wallet is fully integrated with the company’s exchange, which makes it easy to conduct transactions — including purchasing coins and tokens with traditional currency.
Unlike the company’s exchange, the Coinbase Wallet is noncustodial; that means that only you have access to your wallet’s private key, which is generated with a 12-word recovery phrase when you sign up.
Note that there’s a difference between storing your cryptocurrency on Coinbase’s exchange, which is custodial, and the wallet, which is not. But the integration between them makes it fairly simple to transfer funds back and forth.
Trezor Model T
Best security features
Trezor’s new user interface, Trezor Suite, just came out earlier this month, replacing the company’s Wallet Web app. This analysis reflects our initial impression of a new product, therefore. But Trezor has been around for quite some time, established back in 2011 as a subsidiary of Czech-based SatoshiLabs.
The $280 Model T is Trezor’s second-generation hardware wallet, and it comes with many of the same features as the Ledger Nano X, detailed below. One major difference is that Trezor’s software is completely open-source, which affords some additional protection — theoretically, at least: The code that powers the wallet is available for scrutiny, and, the thinking goes, sunlight is the best disinfectant.
Trezor Suite is designed to run natively on your desktop, which generally provides greater security than a web-based app, though you can also access Trezor Suite through the company’s website. Trezor wallets currently support more than 1,600 coins and tokens, and you can make transactions directly in Trezor Suite with the company’s integrated exchange.
Shaped like an old-school stopwatch, the Model T comes with a touchscreen and a USB cable to connect to your computer; it also features a microSD card if you want to add encrypted storage directly to your hardware wallet. It does not feature Bluetooth support, however — an omission that some security advocates prefer, as Bluetooth connectivity could be an attack vector for hackers to exploit.
Ledger Nano X
Good balance between accessibility and security
The Nano X is Ledger’s second-generation cold storage wallet. The integrated Ledger Live platform, which is easy to learn and use, supports more than 1,800 coins and tokens including bitcoin, ether and XRP. The wallet can be connected to your computer via a USB cable and Android and iOS mobile devices via Bluetooth — a connection the Model T lacks.
The device is sturdy and features a small LED screen. To start, you’ll set up a PIN, then a 24-word seed phrase. The seed phrase acts as your wallet’s private key. Just like other wallets, as long as you keep the private key safe, you won’t lose your crypto assets — even if you lose your wallet.
It’s important to note that Ledger suffered a data breach in July 2020, which resulted in the theft of some customers’ personal data — but, significantly, not their crypto assets. No private keys to wallets were taken, but there were reports of customers receiving phishing emails and other scamming threats afterwards. That noted, Ledger has long been a trusted name in the crypto world, but the data breach is a good reminder to be careful online — especially when it comes to dealing in crypto assets.