The Top Crypto Wallets You Should Consider in 2024
The importance of safely storing cryptocurrencies cannot be overstated. In the ever-changing cryptocurrency space, the best options for a crypto wallet are changing all the time.
This guide takes a look at the top crypto wallets for 2024. Also covered is a basic understanding of the various cryptocurrency wallet types, their security features, and some must-know crypto wallet security best practices.
Understanding Crypto Wallets: A Beginner’s Guide
A cryptocurrency wallet is a software application or hardware device used to store cryptocurrencies. Crypto wallets protect the public and private keys that authorize cryptocurrency transactions and prove ownership of cryptocurrency balances.
Types of Crypto Wallets: Hot vs. Cold Storage
There are many types of cryptocurrency wallets, each with unique features and security measures. A key distinction in this diverse range is the classification into hot wallets, which are online, and cold wallets, such as hardware devices. To understand these differences in depth, including other types of cold crypto storage, consider exploring Hot wallet vs. Cold wallet. This aspect is crucial for any crypto user in making informed decisions about their digital asset security.
Cryptocurrency hot wallets are mobile or desktop applications. They are “hot” because they are always connected to the internet. This makes hot wallets fast and easy to send, receive, buy, and sell cryptocurrencies. However, while they offer convenience, the constant online connection makes them vulnerable to hacks.
Cold wallets store cryptocurrencies, or crypto keys, offline. All hardware wallets are cold wallets. Other types of cold wallet or cold crypto storage include USB drives and even paper or CD-based “wallets.”
Hardware wallets are the most used cold crypto storage option. They are small, physical devices connected to the internet only when users want to transact. When disconnected, they are safe from hackers but can still get lost or stolen.
A paper wallet can be a printout of private and public crypto keys. Some have a scannable barcode or QR code to use with an application. Paper wallets cannot be hacked, but a printout can easily be lost, stolen, copied, or ruined. A paper wallet is often used with a private key generator, but these can be risky to use, too.
Security Features of Leading Crypto Wallets
The security of a cryptocurrency wallet will vary. Cold wallets or hardware devices are safer than hot wallets, but many brands and features must be considered.
Cryptocurrency wallets can use various security features, including passwords, two-factor authentication, and even multi-signature authorization. A hardware wallet is only connected to the internet wirelessly or via a USB connection when a transaction is made.
Hot wallets, including wallet apps and exchange wallets, are faster as there isn’t the extra step to connect to the internet. Wallet applications can have many features, including balance visibility and transaction history, but some have built-in crypto staking or token swap functionality and access to dApps. Hardware wallets focus on security and have fewer additional features.
The number and type of supported cryptocurrencies will change from wallet to wallet. Some wallets only work with cryptocurrencies on a certain blockchain, like Ethereum. Other wallets and devices support thousands of cryptocurrency wallets and tokens.
Backup & Recovery Options
There are several backup and recovery options available to wallet users. Cryptocurrency wallets often have a seed phrase recovery mechanism that can restore a wallet. Some wallets allow the export of wallet keys to a text file as a backup wallet. Advanced wallet users may also create a copy of the digital file from the wallet or print out the file. Still, in the interests of safety, these options should be thoroughly understood before implementation.
Top Crypto Wallets of 2024
Trezor Model T (hardware wallet)
Trezor devices are highly rated for their security and user-friendliness. The Model T supports over 8,000 coins and tokens and has a colour touchscreen.
Ledger Nano S Plus (hardware wallet)
Ledger’s most popular hardware wallet is the Nano S Plus, which is substantially cheaper than the Ledger Nano X. The Nano S Plus supports over 5,500 tokens and 100+ DeFo applications and storing NFTs securely.
ELLIPAL Titan (hardware wallet)
The ELLIPAL Titan is an air-gapped cold wallet with no online components that supports over 10,000 coins and tokens, including Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). The Titan supports Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows.
MetaMask (hot wallet)
One of the most popular hot wallets, MetaMask, is a browser extension wallet that supports multiple blockchains and cryptocurrencies. MetaMask has lots of additional features to access DApps and DeFi projects.
Trust Wallet (hot wallet)
A popular mobile hot wallet supporting over 70 different blockchains as well as NFTs. Trust Wallet integrates with decentralized exchanges for easy trading.
Electrum (Bitcoin hot wallet)
Electrum was founded in 2011 and is entirely Bitcoin-focused, offering greater security than other hot wallets. Several security features include two-factor authentication, transaction proof checking, and multi-signature wallet support. Users can adjust their fees upwards for faster transactions and downwards if they are willing to wait. Electrum integrates easily with popular hardware devices.
How to Set Up and Use Crypto Wallets
The process for setting up and using a crypto wallet will be different for each wallet, and the best wallet providers will have in-depth guides that users should follow. The simplified process for setting up a hot crypto wallet is to:
- Download and install the wallet application.
- Create an account.
- Set up additional security such as two-factor authentication, seed phrase, or backup options.
- Add or buy supported cryptocurrencies.
For a hardware wallet, the simplified process is to:
- Buy the hardware wallet.
- Install the relevant software to access the wallet.
- Connect the wallet and set security such as the passphrase, two-factor authentication, or seed phrase.
- Add supported cryptocurrencies.
- Disconnect the hardware device once transactions are complete.
Security Best Practices for Crypto Wallets
Here are a few suggested best practices to ensure the utmost security of your cryptocurrency balances:
- Use hardware wallets when possible, as they are the safest option.
- Research the security and trustworthiness of any new wallet before using it.
- Protect hardware devices from theft, loss, and damage.
- Use multi-signature wallets where appropriate.
- Use extremely strong passwords, pins, and seed phrases.
- Set up two-factor authentication.
- Consider using multiple wallets if necessary.
- Never trust public wi-fi.
- Always be wary of hacks and attacks.
- Protect seed phrases and any documents from theft, loss, and damage.
- Use burner wallets for airdrops, pre-sales, and new projects.
This article touches on types of crypto wallets and some of the top crypto wallets for 2024. Those new to cryptocurrencies or considering a new hot wallet or hardware device should thoroughly research the chosen wallet, its security, supported cryptocurrencies, and the user experience.
- What is a crypto wallet?A cryptocurrency wallet is a software application or hardware device that stores cryptocurrencies by securing a crypto owner’s public and private keys.
- Why do I need a crypto wallet?Cryptocurrency wallets are far safer than storing cryptocurrency balances on exchanges. The safest crypto-storage option is a hardware wallet.
- What's the difference between a hot wallet and a cold wallet?A “hot” crypto wallet is an online wallet or an application always connected to the internet. A cold wallet or hardware device only connects to the internet to make a transaction and is then disconnected for security.
- Can I store multiple types of cryptocurrencies in one wallet?Different wallets support blockchains and cryptocurrencies, and the number of cryptocurrencies will vary.
- How do I know if a crypto wallet is secure?It’s vital to research security before choosing a crypto wallet and then follow the selected wallet’s instructions and guidelines to maximise cryptocurrency balance safety.
- What should I consider when choosing a crypto wallet?Research any new crypto wallet thoroughly. Investigate user reviews and supported cryptocurrencies, security, user experience, and backup options.
- Are mobile crypto wallets safe to use?Mobile crypto wallets or wallet applications are hot wallets. A new wallet application should be thoroughly researched for its security. Cold or hardware wallets are the safer option to store crypto balances.
- What are the fees associated with crypto wallets?Cryptocurrencies have transaction fees. Cryptocurrency wallets can also have fees, but there are low-cost and free options. Cold storage hardware devices cost around $70 for a quality basic device.
- Can I transfer my crypto to a different wallet?Cryptocurrency balances can be transferred to and from different crypto wallets.