4 Best Cryptocurrency Wallets of 2019
Every cryptocurrency investor must learn how to store digital assets safely. Not choosing the best cryptocurrency wallet to store your Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other altcoins can spell in financial disaster. Because of how vital it is to choose the best cryptocurrency wallet for your needs, we’ve created a breakdown of the four best wallets currently on the market.
In this guide, we will delve under the hood of four wallets which are currently the most popular among cryptocurrency users.
List of Top Wallets
• Exodus Wallet - An easy-to-use app wallet supporting 100+ digital assets and built-in cryptocurrency exchange functionality
• Jaxx Wallet - Jaxx, (now Jaxx Liberty), is a multi-currency, all-in-one cryptocurrency app wallet supporting 85+ digital assets.
• Trezor Wallet - The world’s first Bitcoin hardware wallet, featuring sophisticated security and support for 1085 digital assets
• Ledger Nano X - The most recent upgrade to the Nano Ledger S, supporting 1100 digital assets and impenetrable security.
Best Wallet App Vs. Best Hardware Wallet Comparisons
Can a cryptocurrency app wallet like Exodus wallet, offer the same level of protection as a hardware wallet? In short, as much as we would like to say yes, the answer is no.
Before exploring the pros and cons of different wallets, it is important to note that app wallets are almost always inferior to hardware wallets. The reason for this is simple.
The Best Cryptocurrency Wallet Apps all Share a Core Vulnerability
Exodus wallet and Jaxx Liberty wallet regularly receive praise for being secure and easy to use. However, even the best wallet apps are only as secure as the physical devices which they rely on to operate.
With any app wallet, there is always the possibility that malicious third-party apps can infect underlying PC or mobile device hardware. It is also widely known that Windows, Android, and Apple products, all have built-in backdoors.
One famous backdoor in Windows, Android, and Apple devices, takes the form of the Intel Management Engine. This is a backdoor built into the architecture of modern Intel CPUs. It is also directly responsible for known critical vulnerabilities like Meltdown and Spectre.
How to Maximize Exodus Wallet and Jaxx Wallet Security
One way to maximize Exodus wallet and Jaxx wallet security is to run wallet apps on standalone devices. Specifically, PCs, laptops, and mobile devices, which have completely clean operating systems, and which owners don’t use for regular web browsing.
By running app wallets like Exodus on standalone devices, it is possible to emulate the security of many of today’s best Bitcoin hardware wallets.
Exodus Wallet - Full Review
Exodus wallet is an easy to use, yet also feature-rich desktop and mobile app wallet. By being easy to use, many argue that Exodus is the best cryptocurrency wallet for cryptocurrency beginners. However, being beginner-friendly doesn’t mean that Exodus falls short in terms of security.
Exodus Wallet Key Specifications
Exodus is what is multi-currency app wallet. Users can, therefore, use Exodus to store and transact over 100 different digital assets. By default, this number includes all top market cap cryptocurrencies.
As well as allowing users to store over 100 different assets, Exodus features an easy to navigate wallet user interface.
The Exodus home screen gives users a full overview of their combined digital asset wallet balances. In just a few clicks, users can also navigate to individual wallets, and send and receive cryptocurrency with ease.
Exodus Wallet In-App Trading
To entice new users, Exodus wallet developers like to promote the fact that Exodus features a built-in cryptocurrency exchange. However, this is a half-truth of sorts.
Exodus does allow users to exchange digital assets easily inside of its wallet application. However, digital asset exchanges take place on a completely separate, instant exchange called ShapeShift.
Exodus Wallet Main Criticisms
In 2019, ShapeShift began rolling out mandatory ID verification for users. Some see this as a privacy concern. ShapeShift also charges higher transaction fees than most exchanges.
It is also the case that several other cryptocurrency wallet apps also feature integration with ShapeShift. That Exodus markets its in-built exchange as something unique is, therefore, a little disingenuous.
Exodus Wallet Security and Recovery
Exodus co-founder Daniel Castagnoli, regularly refers to Exodus security as being digitally equivocal to the security of Fort Knox. As it happens, this statement isn’t an exaggeration. This is thanks to the fact that Exodus is arguably the best app wallet there is in terms of total digital asset security.
Exodus Integration with Trezor Hardware Wallets
One security feature unique to Exodus is made possible thanks to the fact that it is possible to pair Exodus wallets with Trezor hardware wallet devices. Users who take advantage of this feature can subsequently add total hardware wallet security to their Exodus wallet balance.
• After pairing Exodus with Trezor, all digital asset private keys can be stored locally on Trezor hardware wallets.
• Before sending cryptocurrency from an Exodus wallet, users must manually confirm transactions using their Trezor device.
• Pairing Exodus with Trezor makes it impossible for hackers or malicious programs on devices running Exodus, to acquire coin private keys.
Of course, one drawback is that to benefit from a Trezor level of security, Exodus users will have to acquire a Trezor device. However, even on a standalone basis, Exodus wallet remains relatively secure.
• Exodus never collects or stores personally identifiable information on users.
• When first running Exodus, wallet users can generate a 12-word recovery passphrase. Providing users store this safely, it is possible to use this passphrase to recover Exodus wallet balances in the event of devices running Exodus being lost, stolen, or failing.
• By default, Exodus encrypts all digital asset private keys in a hidden folder for maximum security.
Is Exodus Wallet the Best Cryptocurrency Wallet for You?
If you are completely new to the cryptocurrency market, Exodus is likely the right choice of wallet for you. Moreover, if you are able, pairing an Exodus wallet with a Trezor hardware wallet, is an easy way to keep digital assets even safer, without compromising on convenience.
Trezor - 2019’s Best Bitcoin Hardware Wallet
As we have already made clear, every cryptocurrency app wallet can be hacked. Wallets like Exodus know this. This is why developers encourage users to use app wallets in tandem with hardware wallets like Trezor. However, not all hardware wallets offer the same level of digital asset security.
What Makes a Trezor Wallet Different?
Trezor first arrived on the cryptocurrency market in 2014. Launched by Czech company Satoshi Labs, Trezor wallets continue to be the go-to hardware wallets if choice for millions of crypto investors.
Unlike other hardware wallets that have since come after Trezor, Trezor devices themselves do not feature a battery. Nor do devices feature wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. Being ‘dumb’ in this way ensures that Trezor wallets are not susceptible to wireless hacking attempts.
How Does a Trezor Hardware Wallet Work?
Trezor hardware wallets are only powered when users connect devices to a PC or laptop via a USB cable. When a connection to a PC or laptop is made, connections power a Cortex-M4 processor with a speed of 168 Mhz. In effect, this makes every Trezor device comparable to a mini-computer.
Robust encryption and an in-built microprocessor firewall, mean that it is possible to connect Trezor devices safely to even malware-infected devices. However, even this only scratches the surface of Trezor’s security capabilities.
• Every Trezor device features a pin entry system. However, to prevent password phishing, numeric keypads shown on Trezor touchscreens scramble each time a pin is entered. (Pin codes remain the same, but numeric keys change position every time a Trezor device boots.)
• On the first activation, Trezor devices guide users through how to create a 12-word recovery passphrase. This ensures that Trezor funds are easily recoverable in the event of a device being lost or stolen.
• Trezor devices store all digital asset private keys in an encrypted partition on device central processors.
• Each Trezor device can securely store the private keys of up to 1058 different digital assets.
How to Use Trezor Devices to Send and Receive Coins
Trezor in Czech means ‘vault.’ Moreover, this is exactly what a Trezor device is meant to be. Because of this, though, it is not possible to use a Trezor hardware wallet in the same way as one would use an app wallet like Exodus.
To send and receive digital assets, it is necessary to use Trezor devices in conjunction with web and app wallets like Exodus. Wallets supporting Trezor currently include:
• Exodus wallet
Using app and web wallets to facilitate transactions may seem counterproductive. However, because coin private keys never leave a Trezor Cortex-M4 processor, there is never any risk of a user's crypto-security being be compromised.
Is Trezor the Best Cryptocurrency Wallet For You?
Trezor was the first hardware wallet on the cryptocurrency market. Many will also argue that Trezor is still the best Bitcoin hardware wallet brand. This is thanks to the fact that no Trezor device has ever been successfully hacked. As of 2019, Trezor devices are also more affordable than ever previously.
The Nano Ledger X - Full Review
Like Satoshi Labs, Ledger first arrived on the cryptocurrency hardware wallet scene in 2014. As a result, Ledger and Trezor are widely accepted as the world’s leading hardware wallet brands in terms of consumer trust.
Like with Trezor, no Ledger Nano device (to date) has proven susceptible to hacking attempts. However, the Nano Ledger X is a very different beast from the average Trezor wallet.
Unlike Trezor. Ledger Nano X and previous Ledger Nano S versions do benefit from a battery power supply. The New Ledger Nano X is also easily the best Bitcoin hardware wallet to use on the go.
Ledger Nano X Key Features
Like with current Trezor hardware wallets, it was only possible to use previous Ledger Nano S, by plugging devices directly into a PC or laptop USB port. Previous Ledger Nano S hardware wallets also used just a single onboard microprocessor.
In a move to make hardware wallets more consumer-friendly, Ledger Nano X devices now feature a battery and integrated Bluetooth support.
• Ledger Nano X hardware wallets connect via Bluetooth to Ledger Live mobile applications on user smartphones.
• Bluetooth connections are encrypted to prevent snooping and spoofing of data by hackers.
• Internally, the Nano Ledger X features two encrypted and firewall-protected microprocessors.
Ledger Nano X hardware wallets also boast being able to store the private keys of 1,100 (and counting) different digital assets. Like with Trezor devices, all transactions must also be confirmed on Ledger Nano X devices themselves, before a transaction is processed.
Is a Ledger Nano X the Best Cryptocurrency Wallet for You?
As far as the best Bitcoin hardware wallets on the market are concerned, the Ledger Nano X is comparable from a crypto-security standpoint to a Trezor wallet device.
Sadly, some user reviews suggest that Bluetooth support on new Ledger Nano X devices isn’t always reliable. Some may also argue that encouraging users to carry hardware wallets with them on the go, is a major security risk.
In real terms, few cryptocurrency investors are willing to carry their crypto wealth with them on their person at all times. For this reason, if you are more concerned about security than potability, a Trezor wallet device might be more suitable.
Jaxx Wallet - Full Review
Moving back to 2019’s best app wallets, Jaxx (now Jaxx Liberty) is a popular app wallet which first launched in 2014. Jaxx is also particularly famous, thanks to Jaxx having been developed by Anthony Diiorio, one of the original co-founders of Ethereum. The only question is, what makes Jaxx so special?
Jaxx Full Wallet Specifications
Like Exodus, the Jaxx wallet app is a multi-currency wallet that offers complete support for all top market cap cryptocurrencies. However, at present, Jaxx only supports 85 digital assets in total.
Available as a desktop wallet on Mac, Windows, and Linux, Jaxx wallet is also available as an Android and IOS app. So far, this makes Jaxx similar to Exodus. However, Jaxx does have one unique advantage over Exodus.
Exodus does allow users to sync data between desktop and mobile app wallets. Sadly, this feature is buggy and is often only possible to achieve by restoring a mobile or desktop wallet from a security seed phrase.
By comparison, Jaxx makes it easy to pair desktop and mobile app wallets. Moreover, as soon as devices are paired, users can use devices interchangeably. This means that a user can leave their desktop, grab their mobile to buy a coffee with BTC, then return home and resume managing their digital asset portfolio on their desktop.
Other Exodus and Jaxx Similarities
Like Exodus, the Jaxx wallet app is designed to be as user-friendly as possible. This is aided by the fact that with Jaxx, it is easy to send and receive cryptocurrency payments by scanning and sending QR codes.
Jaxx is also proud to promote in-built support for ShapeShift. However, unlike Exodus, Jaxx developers make it clear that ShapeShift is a separate cryptocurrency exchange and should be treated as such.
Which is the Best Cryptocurrency Wallet in Terms of Security?
While Jaxx does have some unique features, from a security and overall usability perspective, Jaxx can't hold its own against Exodus. Unlike with Exodus digital asset balances can't beprotected by pairing wallets with hardware wallet devices.
It is also the case that Jaxx has previously been hacked, with hackers successfully making away with over 973 ETH. For this reason, while Trezor devices may be the best Bitcoin hardware wallets for some users, Exodus is inarguably the best choice of app wallet when compared with Jaxx Liberty.
Posted by: Duane Seamans, MyBTC.ca CEO