Where to store your crypto: Wallets provide diverse options for holders

    06 May 2024
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    Being in control of your own assets — having total freedom of how and to whom they are sent — is a foundational tenant of cryptocurrencies.

    Today, over 10,000 cryptocurrencies exist on a multitude of blockchains. With the increased adoption and proliferation of digital assets, crypto users have more options than ever regarding how they store their assets.

    However, there are trade-offs to consider: Hot wallets, those connected to the internet, are convenient for making frequent transactions but are more susceptible to hacks.

    Conversely, cold wallets are far more secure but more suited to storing crypto than actively using it.

    Further consideration must be given to whether a wallet is custodial or noncustodial, meaning whether the user is in charge of their own private keys or whether a third party holds them.

    Custodial wallets may be easier to use, especially for newcomers to cryptocurrency, but they are more exposed to security breaches, censorship, fees and fraud.

    With all of these complicated choices, Cointelegraph looked at five different wallets to consider their strengths and weaknesses.

    MetaMask

    MetaMask is a decentralized wallet that has been downloaded over 22 million times as of 2023. It is available as a browser extension and mobile application, which users can download for free.

    The wallet is noncustodial and supports Ether and ERC-20 tokens by default, but it can also connect to BNB Chain, Polygon, Optimism and others, as well as decentralized finance (DeFi) and GameFi applications.

    MetaMask’s user interface is relatively straightforward. Users can send and receive crypto by copying a wallet address or using a QR code. They can also purchase ETH with fiat through the “Wire” and “CoinSwitch” options.

    Users can also import an existing wallet using a saved JSON file with a private key. Hardware wallets like Trezor or Ledger can be connected to MetaMask, but this feature is available only on the browser version.

    However, MetaMask does not support popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Tronix and XRP, which may be a disadvantage for some users.

    Security is also a concern, as MetaMask has long been a popular target for scammers. One well-known scam tactic redirects unwary users to fake websites that request access to their MetaMask wallets.

    SafePal

    SafePal S1 is a multicurrency hardware wallet that debuted in 2019. It was created with the support of crypto exchange Binance.

    The wallet boasts several safety features, including a PIN code, login password, fingerprint scan and even a built-in self-destruct mechanism. It also has an air-gapped sign-in mechanism that does not require users to connect to the internet or Bluetooth.

    The device has the same internal hardware security — the Secure Element chip — as Ledger hardware wallets, but it is somewhat cheaper at $49.99.

    The SafePal S1 allows users to store a potentially unlimited number of cryptocurrencies on 54 different blockchains. It also has its own utility token, SafePal Token (SFP), which is listed on Binance.

    The wallet has a lithium battery that charges in three hours and can last up to 20 days.

    Trust Wallet

    Trust Wallet is a mobile noncustodial software wallet that has been operating since 2017. Binance acquired the wallet in 2018.

    It can send, receive and store tokens on over 70 blockchains, including Ethereum, Solana, Binance Chain, BNB Smart Chain and more. The wallet also supports nonfungible tokens (NFTs).

    The wallet boasts a number of integrations, such as the ability to purchase crypto with fiat through the Simplex payments system. Thanks to its acquisition by Binance, users can also transfer crypto directly from their Binance funding wallet to Trust Wallet. It is also free to download.

    Trust Wallet is noncustodial, meaning users store their own keys. The wallet is also anonymous, so users don’t need to provide personal data to create a wallet.

    However, the wallet’s reputation took a hit in April 2023 when developers discovered a vulnerability in the browser extension that could allow hackers to steal funds.

    Hackers made off with nearly $170,000 through the exploit. Developers fixed the problem once it was flagged, and the wallet reimbursed affected users. The issue affected only wallets created through the Trust Wallet browser extension.

    OKX Wallet

    OKX Wallet is a noncustodial wallet owned by the OKX crypto exchange that is available in mobile, desktop and browser formats.

    For those who wish to try out the wallet, OKX offers a guest mode, where users can see what it looks like, including DeFi tools, the NFT marketplace and more.

    Similar to Trust Wallet, it can be downloaded for free. Fund withdrawals are also integrated with OKX.

    The wallet supports over 85 different blockchains as well as DeFi protocols, NFT marketplaces and other decentralized applications. Users don’t need to verify addresses when depositing and withdrawing assets, thanks to OKX’s native centralized exchange platform.

    Coinbase Wallet

    Coinbase Wallet is a multicurrency, noncustodial wallet from United States crypto exchange Coinbase.

    The wallet supports Ethereum, Polygon, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Stellar Lumens, Ripple, and Solana, as well as several layer-2 solutions. Coinbase Wallet can also connect to DeFi applications, decentralized exchanges and NFT marketplaces.

    Available on desktop and mobile, the wallet doesn’t require Know Your Customer procedures and is free to download.

    It has a minimalistic interface that, while limited in its functionality, makes frequent transactions convenient.

    One security consideration is that the seed phrase is only 12 words long. A more secure 24-word phrase cannot be generated.

    After reviewing these five wallets, it can be concluded that there is no such thing as the ideal crypto wallet. When choosing a wallet, users must decide for which purposes they need it, whether that be to make transfers to other users, trade on cryptocurrency exchanges, or store savings.

    Desktop or mobile crypto wallets are more suitable for everyday use, payment and receiving transfers.

    Online services are good for those just starting to understand cryptocurrencies, but storing large sums on them is not recommended.

    Crypto holders can also combine various options, such as using a cold wallet to store assets in the long term while using a hot wallet for everyday trading or spending.

    The possibilities only grow along with greater crypto adoption.

    Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/store-crypto-wallet-security

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