Online Crypto Wallet
If you are considering investing in Bitcoin or any other digital currency, we recommend that you store your cryptocurrency in a crypto wallet. Cryptocurrency wallets provide a safe place to keep your proof of ownership and can take the form of physical hardware or computer software. Crypto wallets are not only safe, they also give you more control over your digital currency than most exchange services.
Well-known services like Robinhood, PayPal, and Venmo allow you to quickly buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies without much technical knowledge. However, most of these online services and their built-in cryptocurrency wallets are "custodial," meaning you trust the company to secure, secure, and store your cryptocurrency. Ultimately, they're in control - and as we all know, your cryptocurrency is in their hands.
Coinbase, which went public in April, is the most prominent cryptocurrency exchange in the United States. The company facilitates transactions in popular cryptocurrencies from Bitcoin to Dogecoin and has its own Visa-enabled debit card that integrates with Apple Pay and Google.
If you are new to cryptocurrencies, Coinbase Wallet is a good place to start. It can be downloaded as an Android or iOS app, has an intuitive interface, and the wallet is fully integrated with the company's exchange for easy transactions - including buying coins and tokens with traditional currencies.
Unlike the company's exchange, Coinbase Wallet is not custodial; that means only you have access to your wallet's private key, which is generated using a 12-word recovery phrase when you log in. Note that there is a difference between storing your cryptocurrency on a custodial Coinbase exchange and a non-custodial wallet. But the integration between them makes it very easy to move money back and forth.
Trezor's new interface, Trezor Suite, launched earlier this month, replacing the company's wallet web application. Therefore, this analysis reflects our first impressions of the new product. But Trezor has been around for a long time, it was founded in 2011 as a subsidiary of Czech-based SatoshiLabs.
The $221 Model T is Trezor's second-generation hardware wallet and shares many of the same features as the Ledger Nano X detailed below. A key difference is that Trezor’s software is completely open source, which provides an extra layer of protection — at least in theory: the code that drives the wallet is available for inspection, sunlight is the best disinfectant, the reasoning goes.
Trezor Suite is designed to run locally on your desktop, which is generally more secure than web-based applications, although you can also access Trezor Suite through your company's website. Trezor Wallet currently supports over 1,600 coins and tokens that you can trade using the company's built-in exchange directly within the Trezor suite.
Shaped like an old-fashioned stopwatch, Model T has a touchscreen and a USB cable to connect to your computer. It also has a microSD card if you want to add encrypted storage directly to your hardware wallet. However, it doesn't offer Bluetooth support -- an omission that some security advocates like, since a Bluetooth connection could be an attack vector exploited by hackers.
Ledger Nano X
Good balance between accessibility and security
Nano X is Ledger's second-generation cold storage wallet. The built-in Ledger Live platform is easy to learn and use, and supports over 1,800 coins and tokens, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and XRP. The wallet connects to your computer via a USB cable, and to Android and iOS mobile devices via Bluetooth—a connection the Model T lacks.
The device is rugged and has a small LED screen. First, you set up a PIN, then a 24-word seed phrase. The mnemonic acts as your wallet's private key. Just like any other wallet, as long as you keep your private keys safe, you will never lose your crypto assets - even if you lose your wallet.
Notably, in July 2020, Ledger suffered a data breach that resulted in the theft of some of its customers’ personal information — but most importantly, their crypto assets were not stolen. The private keys were not brought into the wallet, but there have been reports that customers subsequently received phishing emails and other fraud threats. That said, 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 trading crypto assets.
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