If you’re going to get seriously involved with cryptocurrency, getting familiar with cryptocurrency wallets will benefit you. First, we’ll take a brief look at the concept of this type of wallet and then we’ll check out a comparison of various crypto wallets.
Comparing Cryptocurrency Wallets
What Exactly Are Crypto Wallets
A cryptocurrency or crypto wallet is an app that allows users of cryptocurrencies to securely store their cryptocurrency coins in a unique manner. With a wallet, you are able to make transactions.
They Are Storage
As a unique storage medium, cryptocurrency wallets are versatile. A number of them are capable of holding multiple cryptocurrencies. Not only that, they can hold these different currencies at the same time. Very handy, don’t you think?
When you want to obtain an amount of a cryptocurrency, the method of acquisition does not matter, your wallet issues a unique encrypted address. This address is sent to whoever is going to send you the currency.
They Are Not Storage
The currency data is not stored directly in the wallet. The wallet is not a file containing your cryptocurrency. Rather, the information stored in your wallet points to or directs to where on the blockchain your currency resides. The blockchain is stored blocks of data that acts as a ledger and authenticates cryptocurrency transactions.
Easy to Use
This sounds rather elaborate and convoluted but not so much and using your wallet is easy and relatively direct. If you want to “spend your wallet” on retail goods all you have to do is get the retailers public address and send whatever amount is required for the transaction. If the retailer has a QR code, all you have to do is scan it.
I’ve written an entire article about cryptocurrency wallets. If you want a more in-depth look at them then click here: What Are Crypto Wallets.
Wallet Comparison Time
The type of wallets compared here will be crypto wallets best suited for smaller transactions. This type of wallet is what most people will use. The default state of the wallet is connected to the internet. They are always “online” and are referred to as “hot” wallets due to that fact. There are also “cold” wallets that are offline and are recommended for storage of large amounts of cryptocurrency.
Jaxx is an easy to use crypto wallet which can store Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, and Litecoin. The interface is very user-friendly. You can switch between balances rapidly.
Another advantage of Jaxx is that it supports Shapeshift. Think of this as having a currency exchange built right into your wallet. One currency can be quickly converted to another. As soon as the processing is complete, your balance is updated and viewable.
Jaxx works with Windows, Mac, Linux and as a Chrome Extension. Guess what? It is also available as a mobile app.
A drawback to Jaxx is that it is closed source. So it lacks the resource of a community to ferret out security bugs. Last summer (2017), there was a significant security bug that allowed another user on your computer to be able to steal your coins!
I’m not sure of the current state of that bug fix, but it would be prudent to only use Jaxx for small amounts of coin until that security bug is history. Once it is fixed, Jaxx is certainly a promising crypto wallet.
Exodus is easy to set up. It holds various assets and various coins. Your balances are illustrated in a pie chart image. There is a localization feature to change the default currency to your home currency.
Like Jaxx, Shapeshift is part of the Exodus wallet package. Like Jaxx, Exodus is not completely open source which could mean bug problems.
Exodus comes with a number of “skins”. If you want to change the look of Exodus, just choose a different skin.
Available for Mac, Linux, and Windows, Bitcoin Core is the original.
A big plus with Bitcoin Core is that it is a full node operation. Here’s how that works. When it is first run, it automatically connects to other nodes enabling it to download the latest version of the blockchain. It does not stop there. It keeps downloading data about Bitcoin transactions and processing that data.
Why that particular functionality is an advantage is security. It is like built-in fraud protection because it downloads all transaction data. Yes, I said all. It is also processing that data so it knows what is legitimate and what is not.
Your privacy is protected too. It is preconfigured to keep you anonymous thanks to Tor. The downside to this is massive bandwidth usage. Bitcoin Core must be kept continuously connected to the Internet to synchronize with the network.
You can also encrypt your wallet with your own password which is another nice privacy and security feature.
This overview and comparison of crypto wallets, though not comprehensive, should be a helpful guide to get you started. Other cryptocurrency wallets you might want to explore are Electrum and Rippex.