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What to Look for in a Crypto Wallet in 2022
There are three primary ways to hold your cryptocurrency, and they have varying degrees of security. The first and least secure method is keeping your cryptocurrency on the exchange you bought it on. An example would be buying on Bitcoin and never sending it to a more secure wallet. This isn’t all that secure because hackers will target exchanges first and foremost when trying to steal crypto.
Next are mobile wallets on a phone or browser like Metamask. These wallets provide you with a set of private keys that ensure only you have access to the holdings. Private keys are a set of unique random words that can be entered to recover your cryptocurrency.
The one downfall is that these mobile wallets run on software that is subject to hacking. Despite being much more secure than keeping your crypto on an exchange, mobile wallets are by no means completely secure.
For the most security, a hardware wallet is necessary. Most of these wallets resemble hard drive or flash drive and are offline storage, keeping your assets out of hackers’ reach. The best hardware wallets also do not store your private keys in any software. They eliminate the risk of anyone else other than yourself accessing your funds.
Crypto wallet technology has come a long way since the early days of crypto. Like any developing market, newcomers are abundant. As such, it can become a little confusing trying to distinguish which one serves the best purpose. And just like any other set of products, each hardware wallet does certain things better than others.
Some wallets have additional features that allow users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on the wallet itself. Others aim to just let users store their holdings with no extra bells and whistles, and some will even work with DeFi.
Depending on your needs, we believe our picks below will have something for every type of cryptocurrency user.
Best All-Around Crypto Wallet: Trezor Model T
- ✓ Very secure
- ✓ Upgraded touch screen
- ✓ Can purchase and trade cryptocurrencies within the wallet
- ✓ Great support
- ✗ Expensive
- ✗ Cannot integrate with iPhones
The Trezor Model T is the industry standard for crypto wallets. The Model T is the newly revamped version of its predecessor, the Trezor Model One. As a result, it supports some of the newer cryptocurrencies the older Model One doesn’t.
As part of the revamp, the Model T has a sleek touch screen and no extra buttons. Set up can be a little more time-consuming due to some of its features, but it’s worth the effort.
One of these features is the ability for users to buy cryptocurrencies with fiat currently and swap cryptocurrencies within the Trezor Suite web app. Whatever transactions are made through Trezor Suite are then updated in your wallet in real-time.
The Model T comes with added layers of security compared to competitors. Bluetooth-enabled wallets can provide an avenue for hackers to get in and steal your funds. As an alternative, the Model T only connects with a micro-USB cable. It can also use secure QR codes to facilitate sending and receiving cryptocurrencies.
And even better, unlike many other hardware wallets, Trezor’s software is open source. This transparency means any bugs are typically resolved quickly and security updates are faster, keeping everything safe and sound.
All of the extra capabilities and increased security, however, means the Model T is more expensive than its competitors. In addition, the Model T doesn’t integrate with iPhone users. Android users are able to seamlessly interact with the Model T by plugging in a micro-USB. If you’re an iPhone user and need connectivity with it, you’ll want to pick up a different wallet.
Best Crypto Wallet For Beginners: Trezor Model One
- ✓ Affordable
- ✓ Simple interface
- ✓ Can trade cryptocurrencies with Trezor Suite web app
- ✗ Clunky
- ✗ Doesn’t support some newer cryptocurrencies
Sometimes the newer devices like the Trezor Model T are not the easiest to operate. A wallet that simply works and works well can be preferable, especially for someone new to crypto. If you’re looking to keep it simple, then the Trezor Model One is what you need.
This hardware wallet was released all the way back in 2013. Despite this, the Model One still matches up with just about every other wallet out there—just with fewer features and about half the cost.
It supports more than 1,000 cryptocurrencies, but since it was developed nearly a decade ago it isn’t compatible with some of the newer cryptocurrencies like Cardano or Tezos. It also doesn’t support Ethereum-based tokens like Chainlink, Polygon, or Shiba Inu. Make sure the Model One can store the coins you invest in before you buy!
The small screen and two buttons can be used to confirm transactions. The Model One doesn’t have any Bluetooth capability but instead operates via a micro-USB cable—which makes it more secure.
Finally, setup is relatively simple and once complete, you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies directly from the Trezor Suite web app just like the Model T. As long as your coins are supported on the Model One, it’s a great beginner-friendly wallet, in both features and price.
Best Wallet For Beginners
Trezor Model One
Just getting into cryptocurrency and need a simple, inexpensive wallet to store your coins? The Trezor Model One is a great choice.
Most Secure Crypto Wallet: NGRAVE ZERO
- ✓ Extremely secure
- ✓ Large touchscreen
- ✓ Comes with stainless steel recovery card
Our most secure hardware cryptocurrency wallet is a newcomer from one of the world’s leading research and development technology companies, Imec. The NGRAVE ZERO wallet has your security in mind in a variety of ways that the competition doesn’t quite stack up to.
First, the ZERO does not connect to the internet in any way. There is no Bluetooth or USB compatibility either. The only way to interact with the wallet is with one-way QR codes.
That means there’s no risk of compromised software and all of your information stays offline. The wallet is so secure that it was awarded the highest security certificate available, the EAL7.
NGRAVE’s wallet also comes with a fire-resistant, waterproof stainless steel card for you to transcribe your recovery phrase onto—perfect if something happens to the wallet itself. If you are looking for complete peace of mind then look no further.
Of course, the ZERO also supports all kinds of cryptocurrencies, so you can keep all your investments safe. Users will love the large touchscreen that makes navigation smooth.
This level of security is comforting but it comes at a cost. The NGRAVE is easily the most expensive wallet to make our list, coming in at over $400. However, the price is worth it for those that want the cutting edge of crypto security.
Most “Bang for Your Buck” Crypto Wallet: Ledger Nano X
- ✓ Simple, sleek design
- ✓ More affordable
- ✓ Supports different apps seamlessly
- ✓ Integrates with Android and iPhone
- ✗ Small touchscreen
- ✗ Can’t purchase cryptocurrencies with fiat
The Ledger Nano X is one of the most popular hardware wallets around. At only $150, the Nano X has nearly all the same features that the Model T has while sporting a sleeker look that resembles a flash drive. The more compact design makes interacting with the device a bit less user-friendly than the Trezor Model T—however, it is a minor tradeoff.
The Nano X earns its spot on the list due to its compatibility with mobile devices and integration with up to 100 apps like 1inch and POAP. For example, this means users don’t have to worry about opening up one app to access their Ethereum and a different one for their Bitcoin. This is something Trezor doesn’t offer.
By using a Bluetooth connection, both Android and iPhone users can interact with their Nano X to buy and sell their crypto. In addition, the wallet supports over 1,000 cryptocurrencies, so you’ll likely be able to store all your coins in one place.
However, unlike the Trezor Model T, Nano X users cannot purchase cryptocurrencies with fiat currencies. The Nano X does allow users to swap cryptocurrencies, but not directly purchase.
The one knock on Ledger’s Nano X is a security lapse that occurred in July 2020. Hackers were able to get millions of customers’ phone numbers and email addresses as a result. Fortunately, no private keys were obtained but there were attempts through phishing attacks. Since then, Ledger has publicly made security more of a priority and there have been no hacks since.
Most Bang for Your Buck Wallet
Ledger Nano X
Ledger offers the best features at a great price with the Nano X.
Best Crypto Wallet for DeFi: SafePal S1
- ✓ Very affordable
- ✓ Compact and comes with modest screen
- ✓ Great for DeFi apps
- ✓ Secure
- ✗ Doesn’t support some lesser known coins
Built by Binance Labs, the SafePal S1 hit the market in hopes of making a wallet that catered to DeFi lovers. Those who are active yield farmers or interacting with all kinds of dApps should look no further.
Users can start by downloading the SafePal app for either Android or iPhone. By using the mobile app, investors can interact with all kinds of dApps like Uniswap, Aave, Compound, and Curve. Transactions can then be sent securely to your SafePal S1 by scanning a QR code or verifying a private key to ensure they remain secure.
Other perks of the SafePal S1 are the price and security it offers. Going for about $50, this wallet is definitely easy on your bank account. In addition, it runs 100% offline since only QR codes are used. There is no USB cord, WiFi connection, or Bluetooth for accessing funds. It even has a self-destruct mechanism if someone is trying to get into your wallet.
One downfall is that the SafePal S1 does not support some notable coins like Cardano, Tezos, Algorand, or VeChain. To make up for this though, the wallet supports every Ethereum-based token and Binance Smart Chain-based token. Just make sure the SafePal S1 can hold your crypto assets before you buy!
Best Wallet for DeFi
Need a crypto wallet that integrates well with your dApps? You’ll want the SafePal S1.