Best Bitcoin Wallets

The best Bitcoin wallets for safe and secure storage

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Since Bitcoin's emergence it 2009 it has become the first thing people think about when the word crypto or blockchain comes up. While cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are highly volatile, they don't seem to go away. One Bitcoin is still worth thousands of dollars today. As cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin continue to exist or even appreciate in value, individuals may become interested in owning some, but it's important to understand how to safely store Bitcoin.

To accommodate those looking to safely invest in Bitcoin, we have assembled a list of the best Bitcoin wallets and storage devices. Some of these wallets have more features than others, including the ability to store more cryptocurrencies than just Bitcoin, as well as added security measures. This list goes in no particular order other than having hot wallets come first, but that does not mean hot wallets are better. To learn about the differences in specific wallet types, such as hot and cold wallets, you can check below this list for detailed information.

For now, you can think of hot wallets as a less secure way to make transactions quickly and cold wallets as a more secure way to store for longer terms, though we do recommend that you understand these concepts entirely before choosing a wallet, as safe storage is key.

Best Bitcoin Wallets of 2020

  • Exodus: Best Hot Wallet for Beginners
  • Electrum: Best Hot Wallet for Advanced Users
  • Mycelium: Best Hot Wallet for Mobile Users
  • Ledger Nano X: Best Hardware Wallet (Cold Wallet)
  • Trezor Model T: Best Hardware Wallet For a Large Number of Cryptocurrencies (Cold Wallet)
  • Ledger Nano S: Best Bang For Your Buck Hardware Wallet (Cold Wallet)

Exodus: Best for Beginners

Exodus
  • Type of wallet: Hot Wallet
  • Purchase cost: Free
  • Compatible with hardware wallet: Trezor
  • Incorporated exchange: Yes

Exodus is a desktop and mobile wallet with a very simple user interface and an exchange built-in. One of Exodus’s most popular features is the ability to swap between a growing number of cryptocurrencies. Exodus currently allows for swaps between over 100 different cryptocurrencies. 

With its simplicity, this wallet is great for beginners just getting into the crypto space. It also has great support, which is an essential feature for beginners getting into what many would consider a confusing market.

While it is great for beginners, more advanced users may find it lacking in some features. First, Exodus is a closed source wallet. This goes against the ethos of the idea of Bitcoin and blockchain and can create some security concerns as its code is not open for everyone to see. Instead, users rely on the Exodus team to ensure there are no holes in the security of its wallet.

Exodus has an option to set custom fees in addition to automatically setting a fee that ensures the transaction completes quickly. 

Pros
  • Huge variety of cryptocurrencies

  • Built-in exchange

  • Good customer support

Cons
  • Closed source software

Electrum: Best For More Advanced Users Interested in Just Bitcoin

Electrum
  • Type of wallet: Hot Wallet
  • Purchase cost: Free
  • Compatible with hardware wallet: Trezor and Ledger devices
  • Incorporated exchange: No

Electrum is one of the original Bitcoin wallets. It has been around since 2011, two years after Bitcoin’s creation, and has changed little since. While this wallet is bare-bones in terms of its user interface and its commitment to only Bitcoin, it excels at this primary function. Electrum is also more suited for advanced users due to its complex options.

Electrum is open source, allows its users to set custom transaction fees, and has the option to choose between legacy Bitcoin and Segwit. It also offers users the ability to determine the level of security they wish to use. For example, you can create a standard wallet, one with two-factor authentication, or a multi-signature wallet. You can also elongate your seed phrase with custom words. 

Electrum is perfect for the more advanced Bitcoin holder who wants great security features and customizability all in a simple layout.

Pros
  • Ability to set custom transaction fees

  • Greater level of security than most hot wallets

  • Ability to customize seed phrase

Cons
  • Bare-bones user interface

  • Only works for Bitcoin

  • No customer support

Mycelium: Best for Mobile Users

Mycelium
  • Type of wallet: Hot Wallet
  • Purchase cost: Free
  • Compatible with hardware wallet: Trezor and Ledger devices
  • Incorporated exchange: Yes

Mycelium is an open-source and mobile-only Bitcoin wallet. Mycelium currently only supports Bitcoin. In some ways, Mycelium is quite similar to the Electrum wallet with some of the differences being that it is mobile-only, has a more refreshed user interface than Electrum’s, and also has a built-in exchange.

Mycelium, like Electrum, is one of the earlier wallets in the space. Also like Electrum, you can set custom transaction fees so you can choose how long you’re willing to wait for a transaction to be completed. 

Mycelium also has a few more interesting features such as hardware wallet support, which allows users to hold their Bitcoin in an offline storage device while still using Mycelium’s user interface to see their holdings.

Pros
  • Ability to set custom transaction fees

  • Ability to use hardware wallets

  • Open-source software

Cons
  • Mobile only

  • Only works for Bitcoin

  • Could be confusing for a first-time user

Ledger Nano X: Best Hardware Wallet

Ledger
  • Type of wallet: Cold Wallet
  • Purchase cost: $119
  • Incorporated exchange: No

The Ledger Nano X is the second generation hardware wallet from Ledger, a French company that has been involved in the cryptocurrency space for several years. Ledger’s first product, the Ledger Nano S, was one of the first hardware wallets on the market and dominated the space for a number of years.

The Nano X resembles a USB drive and connects to your device via USB or Bluetooth. This means that you can connect the wallet to your iOS or Android device and do not need a computer. It supports well over 1,500 cryptocurrencies. This list continues to grow each year as the community asks for support for their favorite cryptos.

While the device itself is a cold storage hardware wallet, the Ledger team has created the Ledger Live software that provides a user interface for all your holdings. This gives users the ability to add new wallets for different cryptocurrencies to their devices and manage their portfolios. Ledger hardware wallets have been, and currently are, the most popular in the industry. The Ledger also comes with a USB Type-C cable so that it can be connected to either a desktop computer or a smartphone if preferred over Bluetooth. 

Pros
  • Ledger Live has an intuitive and convenient user interface

  • Can have up to 100 different apps stored simultaneously

  • Open-source software with the added benefit of customer and community support

  • Convenience of Bluetooth connectivity

Cons
  • Some in the crypto community believe Bluetooth integration to be another potential vector of attack, though USB is still an option

  • Bluetooth feature adds convenience but is not as smooth as it could be

  • Ledger devices only allow you to store a certain number of wallets simultaneously

Trezor Model T: Best For a Large Number of Cryptocurrencies

Trezor
  • Type of wallet: Cold Wallet
  • Purchase cost: $170
  • Incorporated exchange: Yes

Trezor, like Ledger, is a name synonymous with crypto cold wallet storage. Its Model T is the second generation of hardware wallets they have created. The Trezor Model T is very much like the Ledger, but it gives the user the ability to access third-party exchanges, like Changelly and Shapeshift, directly in its website interface. While this is quite convenient, it hardly justifies its more expensive price tag of $170. 

The Model T utilizes a touch screen, which can be easier to use for beginners than the buttons the previous model used. The Trezor also has a MicroSD card slot, allowing you to use the MicroSD cards to encrypt the PIN and further protect your device from attacks.

Like the Ledger Nano X, the Trezor Model T also comes with a USB Type-C cable so that you can connect to either your smartphone or desktop computer. Currently, the Trezor Model T supports nearly 1,400 different cryptocurrencies. Some consider the Model T to be a bit more secure than the Ledger Nano X due to the X’s Bluetooth connectivity. That said, Ledger users can simply avoid using Bluetooth if they so choose. 

Pros
  • Web-based user interface with exchanges built-in

  • A massive list of supported cryptocurrencies

  • Open-source software with the added benefit of customer and community support

  • No limit to the number of wallets you can have simultaneously

Cons
  • While it is a fantastic hardware wallet, its price point seems a bit high

  • Small touch screen can make it hard to type on

  • Hardware wallets can be confusing for a first time user

Ledger Nano S: Best Bang For Your Buck

Ledger
  • Type of wallet: Cold Wallet
  • Purchase cost: $59
  • Incorporated exchange: No

The Ledger Nano S is the first generation of hardware wallets introduced by Ledger. It is also one of the first hardware wallets ever made. It followed shortly after the first generation of the Trezor. Like its successor, the Nano S is compatible with thousands of cryptocurrencies. The Nano S does not come with a USB type-C cable, so users with more modern smartphones may have trouble connecting to their devices.

The Nano S is essentially the same as its successor, the Nano X, in that it supports the same list of cryptos and has access to the Ledger Live software. The features it lacks are Bluetooth connectivity and how many wallets you can have simultaneously active on your device. With Nano X, a user can store up to 100 wallets simultaneously. With the Nano S, you can only store up to 18.

The Nano S only has enough storage to make wallets for a limited number of cryptocurrencies at a time. If you were to delete a wallet in order to add another type of cryptocurrency, you would not lose the cryptocurrency in the wallet you deleted. This is because that cryptocurrency is stored directly on the blockchain.

The deleted wallet, and crypto within it, can still be seen in Ledger Live, but the wallet will not be seen on the Ledger device itself. This means that if you would like to send or receive to the wallet you have deleted, you may have to delete another wallet to make more room.

That said, the Ledger Nano S is still a fantastic wallet for those looking to store their cryptocurrency safely for a fair price. It is also quite easy to use with Ledger Live, making it an ideal product for a beginner looking for safe and simple storage for a handful of cryptocurrencies.

Pros
  • Ledger Live has an intuitive and convenient user interface

  • Secure crypto storage for a low price compared to other options

  • Open-source software with the added benefit of customer and community support

Cons
  • Can only store up to 18 wallets at once

  • Unlike its successor, the Nano S has no wireless Bluetooth feature

What Is a Bitcoin Wallet?

A Bitcoin wallet is a place that stores your digital Bitcoin and validates your transactions when you’re using your Bitcoin. A wallet keeps secret information, called a private key or a seed, which is used to validate transactions and “sign” them so that your Bitcoin can be used to make purchases or exchanged for another asset. This prevents someone else from using your Bitcoin or the transaction being altered by a third-party.

Often when people refer to a Bitcoin wallet they are actually referring to a crypto exchange that offers a wallet as part of their account features. In this sense, the wallet is just the place where all of your cryptocurrencies are kept, or where you can keep fiat money for future use. 

How Does a Bitcoin Wallet Work?

A blockchain is a shared public ledger where all Bitcoin transactions are conducted, from Bitcoin wallets. When a transaction occurs, there is a transfer of value between more than one Bitcoin wallets. Typically, a single party is exchanging some value of Bitcoin for another asset or service with another Bitcoin wallet. When this occurs, every individual Bitcoin wallet will use its secret data to sign and validate transactions, providing mathematical proof that the buyer or seller is the owner of their Bitcoin wallet. Your wallet can safely keep as much Bitcoin as you’d like without any limit. 

How Much Does a Bitcoin Wallet Cost?

Using a Bitcoin wallet doesn’t cost you anything if you’re just storing Bitcoin in the wallet. However, if you’re completing a transaction, then the owner of the exchange or device that is housing your wallet will charge you various fees depending on what you’re trying to do. Purchasing a wallet could cost you anywhere from $0 to $200 or more. If you’re using a wallet as part of an exchange then you’ll likely pay either a flat fee of a few dollars or a percentage of the total transaction value. 

How Do You Cash Out Your Bitcoin Wallet?

You can’t convert Bitcoin to cash directly whenever you feel like it, but you can sell your Bitcoin anonymously on the blockchain in exchange for the fiat currency you desire. A crypto exchange can handle the transaction on your behalf and find a buyer so that you can quickly convert the value of your Bitcoin into the cash you need. Every wallet has different rules and time periods for transferring your fiat currency over to your bank account, but most can be done in 1-3 days after the Bitcoin sale is complete. 

How We Chose the Best Bitcoin Wallets

We looked at more than a dozen Bitcoin wallets all over the world and decided on the top four based on factors such as security, costs, and customer reviews. Security is obviously a big consideration, so it’s important to use a wallet that is well used and has plenty of safety protocols in place. It’s also important to choose a wallet that works well with some of the larger exchanges so that you can quickly complete transactions in the open market.