Currently, Ethereum is the second biggest cryptocurrency with over $70B in market cap. Even though Bitcoin is the biggest one with 43% market share, according to CoinMarketCap.com, the interest of Ethereum have skyrocketed with an astonishing 5,700% price increase in 2017. In this tutorial, we’ll go through the best Ethereum wallets so that you easily can find a safe way to store your soon-to-be-bought ETH.
What an excellent Ethereum wallet need to have:
- A backup system that allows you to back up your wallet, in case of error.
- Private keys that you control yourself. We suggest having a hardware wallet because malware can breach software and wallets stored online.
- Ease of use: Nowadays it’s a standard to include a screen on your Ethereum wallet so that you easily can configure and access the wallet.
- Compatibility with different operating systems such as Macintosh OS X, Windows, Linux, Ubuntu, Android and any other operating system you might have.
- Updates and active support provided by the team behind the wallet.
If the ETH wallet you’re looking at currently, or maybe already have one, that does not meet some of these requirements we would highly suggest you rethink your decision. See if any of the wallets in this guide fit your budget.
Hardware Ethereum wallet vs. desktop/mobile/web wallet
There is some controversy when talking about the pros and cons of hardware vs. desktop or mobile wallet (online Ethereum wallets). One part claims that the hardware wallet is the most secure since it is a wallet stored offline; thus, no malware or hackers can breach it. On the other side, though, many say that having it stored in your home is just as easy to get access to (by stealing the wallet).
On TheEasyBitcoin.com we always advise our readers to buy a hardware wallet, but we are still open to review and rate services that operate online, such as mobile, web or desktop wallets. Thus, in this tutorial where we help you find the best Ethereum wallet, you’ll see a mixture of services/products – both for cold storage and online services. We think that you are the only person who knows which type of wallet fits your needs the best.
Anyhow, now that you know what factors you need to consider when buying an Ethereum wallet, let’s get right into the list of the best Ethereum wallets of 2018.
Which wallet allows for Smart Contracts?
|Ledger Nano S||Yes||58€||Buy here!|
|Coinbase||No||FREE||Sign up here!|
Top 11 Best Ethereum Wallets of 2018
The Ledger Nano S is by far one of the most popular Ethereum hardware wallets since it does its job perfectly while remaining one of the most inexpensive wallets on the market (69.60 €). The wallet got an OLED screen which makes it easy to configure and use. The best part is that you can store a wide array of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin – to name a few. You can even store different altcoins in the same wallet. Thus, you won’t need a new wallet for each cryptocurrency you want to store – perfect for those that want to minimize their investment risk by dividing it into different digital assets.
Here’s a video tutorial on how to setup and use the Ledger Nano S:
You can use the Ledger Nano S on even a hacked computer without putting your cryptocurrencies at risk – their security is so robust that nobody, except you, will be able to use it. Definitely one of best wallets for Ethereum of all time.
2. Trezor (Hardware wallet)
Trezor is the first ever Bitcoin wallet, and now it’s able to be used for Ethereum via the MyEtherWallet web interface. Store the wallet offline, and once you want to use your Bitcoins, you just connect the wallet to your computer, enter the password and voilá, you have access to your wallet.
Here’s a video on how to setup and use Trezor:
This wallet, like the Ledger Nano S, uses 2-step authentication to verify that it is indeed you trying to access the wallet. You can also use your Trezor as a master key to all your online accounts with their Trezor Password Manager. Even though this isn’t something that is required for an excellent wallet to have, this just shows how creative and passionate the team is about the ways of using TREZOR.
3. Exodus (Desktop wallet)
Exodus is an easy-to-use, multi-cryptocurrency desktop wallet. With Exodus, you get an overview of your cryptocurrency portfolio with a pie chart and their combined value directly when you log into the wallet. It supports Bitcoin, Augur, Dash, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Factom, Golem and Litecoin, which makes it an excellent wallet for those of you who have a broad portfolio of coins.
To access your wallet you will need to access the internet, but since the private keys are only accessible through your desktop, it’s still one of the safest methods to store Ethereum. It’s also the first wallet to include ShapeShift, which allows you to exchange directly in the desktop wallet – this is very convenient if you wish to keep your ETH in one place while still being able to trade it.
One-click email recovery and backup seed keys make it easy to backup and restore lost private keys while being sure the keys do not end up in the wrong person’s hand. Mac, Linux, and Windows are the only operating systems that support the application, so if you have any other operating system, you will need to look somewhere else.
What’s the best part of this Ethereum wallet you might ask? Well, it’s FREE! You do not need to invest any of your hard-earned money into a hardware wallet (even though we highly recommend it). Exodus is for sure the best Ethereum wallet software/app given all that it offers, and that it does it for free.
4. Jaxx (Mobile wallet)
Jaxx is a multi-asset mobile wallet created by the Canadian company, Decentral. It supports storage of 16 cryptocurrencies so far, and the team behind Jaxx is always pushing their wallet further. With a clear interface that makes it easy for a beginner to navigate, while remaining safe, it has become one of the most popular mobile wallets with over 400,000 users.
Your private keys never leave your device. You have seed keys that can help you restore your funds if needed. The mobile wallet is supported on Android, iOS, Mac OS, Windows, Linux, Chrome & Firefox Extension and for those that prefer hardware wallets, the Jaxx team is launching one in the coming months.
Their team is astonishing and provides development and is pushing their wallet to become the best one. Jaxx, unlike Exodus, supports Smart Contracts (read more about Smart Contracts here). Jaxx is free and is, therefore, an excellent choice for those that rather not spend any money on an Ethereum wallet.
We highly recommend Jaxx!
5. Mist (Desktop wallet)
Mist is the official Ethereum wallet app. You download the wallet, and it starts to synchronize with all of the Ethereum nodes. After that, they ask you to set a password for your wallet. Write this down on a piece of paper and store it securely in your home, since, if you lose the password, there is no way to recover your wallet.
After you’ve set up the wallet correctly, it’s a pretty straight-forward process to use it. You get a set of public keys and a set of private keys to be able to send and receive Ethereum in your wallet.
The private keys are stored on the device itself and are not hosted on a server, which makes it secure. The only con we can find is that the user interface is not optimal for a beginner. Some of the others we have reviewed are showing easy-to-understand pie charts and looks more “modern.”
ShapeShift is available in the Mist wallet which makes it easy to trade your coins for other currencies. Mist is supported by Mac, Linux, and Windows, and as Jaxx, it supports Smart Contracts.
6. MetaMask (Desktop wallet)
MetaMask is a one-of-a-kind Ethereum wallet since it doesn’t only enable you to send and store ETH, but also gives you access to decentralized Ethereum apps. The private keys are encrypted on your computer, which you can extract at any time to access your private keys.
Here’s an introduction to the platform:
Like any other Ethereum desktop wallet, this one is free. Their wallet operates using a Chrome and Firefox extension to be able to access the wallet, so as long as your computer can run either Chrome or Firefox, you can use it. They do not, however, support Smart Contracts. And ShapeShift is not available on the platform. It’s a secure wallet though, so it deserves to be mentioned in this guide of the best Ethereum wallets.
7. MyEtherWallet (Web wallet)
This is unusual kind of web wallet since it does not use any servers to host the private keys. Instead, it stores the private keys on your computer, which makes the wallet safe. It’s an open-source wallet so that you can write and access Smart contracts. It also allows for swapping between ETH to BTC, which is perfect for those that are trading BTC/ETH, and vice versa, that doesn’t want their Ethereum laying around on an exchange.
You can also use a hardware wallet such as Ledger Nano S or Trezor with MyEtherWallet to access it on a computer. It’s a web wallet, so you access your wallet through the web (on any platform, even PS4) and it has a Chrome extension if you prefer that.
Some claim that it can be a bit hard to use for a beginner, which we agree with. However, once you’ve gotten used to the wallet, it’s a piece of cake. We highly recommend it due to the excellent support, privacy and secure storage of cryptocurrency MEW provide.
8. Coinbase (Web wallet)
Coinbase is by far the single most used wallet. Coinbase, when Bitcoin is on the news, has more than 100,000 users signing up – per DAY. At first, they only allowed for Bitcoin to be bought and stored, but nowadays it allows you to store Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.
It’s a cheap and fast way to store Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies, given that they serve your country (here’s a list of all the countries they serve.)
If they are serving your country, follow these steps:
- Register at Coinbase
- Get your public address
- Transfer your ETH to the Coinbase public key
- Store ETH on Coinbase
The major drawback of having your Ethereum stored on Coinbase is that they are the ones responsible for your public keys, as they are stored on their servers. You do not have control over them and since Coinbase is used by millions of people, hackers like to target their platform. While there aren’t very many successful cases of users on Coinbase being hacked, we would recommend you to get a hardware wallet if you’re holding Ethereum for long-term.
9. ETHAddress (Paper Wallet)
ETHAddress is the cheapest option for those that want a cold storage for Ethereum. This paper wallet is an open-source project which you print yourself at home, which includes private and public keys so that you quickly can send and store Ethereum.
You can opt-in for additionally encrypted keys if you wish to increase the security of the keys further. Smart Contracts are not supported, but since this wallet is on a piece of paper, this is nothing to be expected. No personal information is needed, so there is no way to trace the address to you.
10. KeepKey (hardware wallet)
KeepKey is the most expensive hardware Ethereum wallet at $120 a pop. It enables you to stores your Ethereum offline on hardware, just like the Trezor or Ledger Nano S. The main difference between KeepKey vs. Ledger Nano S vs. Trezor, except the price, is the screen size. It’s a bit more chunky and is harder to carry around.
The plastic body of the wallet is a bit vulnerable to damages in case you drop it or if you don’t take care of it properly. We would recommend you to consider the Ledger Nano S or Trezor before buying the KeepKey. But if you like the wallets interface and want to spend a little extra money on a wallet (to show how much of a baller you are), this is the wallet for you.
Parity is a wallet that at the same time allows you to interface with the Ethereum network and your computer. Like MyEtherWallet, Parity is more of a browser than just a wallet. You get access all the Ethereum decentralized apps, and can actually take apart of the platform rather than “only” buying and selling Ethereum for profit.
Parity is a new wallet and has robust security measures so that you safely can interact with the Ethereum blockchain. Currently, Parity is supported on Linux, Windows, and Mac. Parity has had some hacks and bugs, the latest one in November of 2017 where they had to freeze their whole network estimated to contain over $150M worth of Ethereum.
We would not recommend you to try out Parity right now, but with any platform and wallet, errors do occur. We will see if they are able to repair their reputation in 2018 and climb the ladders in the list of the best ETH wallets.
While we do recommend you buy a hardware wallet, the majority of the best wallets are actually web/desktop/mobile-based. How come we say those hardware wallets are the best, while the list is being dominated by software/web wallets? There simply isn’t as many hardware wallets as online/desktop based ones.
We hope that we have provided enough information about each wallet so that you can make a educated decision when buying a Ethereum wallet. Good luck!
Hektor E J
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