Keeping your cryptocurrencies safe is one of the most critical aspects of investing, as even the best investment decisions mean very little if your funds get stolen along the way. Because of this, it is never a good idea to keep your coins on exchanges. Instead, users should try and find a crypto wallet that suits their needs best.
While there are different wallet types, including hot wallets, desktop wallets, mobile wallets, or cold wallets — not all of them provide the same level of security. There were instances of hot wallet hacks in the past, and desktop or phone wallets are only as safe as your computer or smartphone. While they are still more reliable than online wallets, which are called hot, they can still end up being compromised by malware or if someone else gains access to your devices and private keys.
How Are Cold Wallets Different?
Cold wallets are typically the best choice when it comes to keeping your coins safe, and experts always recommend using them when it comes to storing a large amount of crypto. These are hardware wallets which do not have an internet connection unless connected to a computer. In other words, there is only a small window of opportunity for hackers wishing to break into the wallet, which is when the wallet is in use.
As long as the user is careful enough not to lose the device itself, their coins should remain protected from any attack at all times. The only downsides to cold wallets are that they must be purchased and that they cannot be used unless connected to a computer. While less practical than online wallets, they are infinitely more secure, which is why most investors who are seriously investing in crypto tend to use them.
Now, let’s take a look at five top crypto wallets available right now, that can protect investors’ coins best in 2019.
1. Ledger Nano S
Ledger Nano S is considered by many as the top cold wallet on the market right now. It is a metal-cased USB stick-sized and shaped piece of hardware which is easy to use and understand. It can be used through an app called Ledger Live, which allows users to interact with the wallet from their desktop.
The wallet is also praised for supporting more than 1,000 cryptocurrencies, as well as its ability to interact with other online wallets. Both of these features are making it superior in comparison to most other wallets already, but it is also important to note that it has excellent security. While cold wallets are already pretty safe from hacking attacks because they cannot be reached most of the time, they are still vulnerable when they are in use.
To prevent unwanted transactions, Ledger Nano S also features a physical button on the device itself. Traders must press the button for any trade to complete. All in all, it is an excellent wallet which many are praising for its security, portability, and user-friendliness.
2. Trezor Model T
Trezor Model T is a successor to Trezor One, as both wallets were built by a company called SatoshiLabs. Unlike Ledger Nano S, Trezor used to offer a screen and two physical buttons, which the new model eliminated. Now, Trezor Model T has a touchscreen, and one of its security features is a necessity to enter a PIN, or a passphrase.
This model also has a magnetic dock and a seal that can show that the device was compromised, in case anyone ever accesses it. It supports around 700 coins, which is less than Ledger Nano S, but still quite a lot. However, investors should be aware that TRON and EOS are not among the coins that Trezor is currently supporting. Another change from the original model is that it now supports XRP. The wallet currently costs around $170, which is a bit expensive, but the quality and security make it worth the money.
Keepkey is a wallet that is a bit larger than the previous two wallets, and it is different in form as well. It is an HD (Hierarchical Deterministic) wallet which allows it to create and store as many keys as its users want. The number of coins it supports is also smaller than what previous wallets were offering, and it comes down to 54 coins in total, at least for now. It also comes with a desktop app that is used for simple interaction with the device. The wallet’s current price is at around $130.
This is a wallet that focuses on Bitcoin, and it allows traders to use it offline as well. It features excellent security due to crypto-security chip, and it also allows users to make a backup via MicroSD. It is an open-source wallet that does not require any app or additional software. Furthermore, it is compatible with computers and smartphones alike, as it acts as external storage.
Coldcard also features a secondary wallet features, which creates an additional key. That means that the wallet can act as two wallets, which is useful if the owner is ever forced to unlock the wallet for someone else. That way, some coins kept in the secondary wallet can be sacrificed to protect the majority of the user’s funds. The wallet currently costs around $70, which is likely because it only supports BTC.
5. Bitfi DMA-2
Finally, there is Bitfi DMA-2, which is a result of long and detailed research that was focusing on finding the best way to keep crypto safe. The wallet supports various coins, with plans to add even more in the future. The new coins will appear in the wallet automatically, with no need for manual upgrades. This device also features an additional security measure, which revolves around keeping the private key safe by not storing it anywhere outside of the device. Instead, all that the owner needs to do is enter a passphrase, and the wallet will calculate the private key on its own. If the owner ever loses it, they can buy a new one and enter their passphrase, which will allow them to access their funds once more. Since there is a possibility that two different owners might use the same passphrase, there is also a necessity for a second anchor, usually an email address or a phone number.
In other words, even if it is lost or stolen, nobody apart from the owner will ever unlock it and use the funds. Bitfi DMA-2 is easy to use thanks to a large, colored screen. It is user friendly, and it can be purchased for around $120.