We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.
Cryptocurrencies have emerged as a popular asset class, buoyed by the impressive historical returns of crypto assets like Bitcoin and Ether. Unlike financial securities, such as stocks and bonds, however, digital assets aren’t typically held with online brokers upon purchase. Instead, crypto investors have to use crypto wallets to securely store their digital assets.
Cryptocurrency software wallets allow crypto investors to safeguard their assets. Additionally, most leading crypto wallets also enable users to buy, sell, swap, and earn crypto directly within the app, providing a one-stop shop for crypto investors.
To help you decide which crypto wallet is right for you, we have analyzed a long list of crypto wallets to determine the best cryptocurrency software wallets for different purposes.
Best Cryptocurrency Software Wallets of 2023
- Best Overall and Best for Security: Guarda Wallet
- Best for Beginners: Exodus Wallet
- Best for Bitcoin: Electrum
- Best for Mobile: Mycelium
- Best for Low Costs: Coinbase Wallet
Investing in cryptocurrencies, decentralized finance (DeFi), and initial coin offerings (ICOs) is highly risky and speculative, and markets can be extremely volatile. Speak to a qualified investment professional before making any financial decisions. This article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies nor can the accuracy or timeliness of the information be guaranteed.
While all leading cryptocurrency wallets provide a high level of security for safekeeping your crypto assets, improper security practices on behalf of the user can lead to a complete loss of funds. Crypto enthusiasts should take care to store the bulk of their assets meant for trading on exchanges using cold storage methods, and never share your wallet’s login details, recovery phrase, or private keys with anyone.
- Our Top Picks
- Guarda Wallet
- Exodus Wallet
- Coinbase Wallet
- See More (2)
Best Overall and Best for Security : Guarda Wallet
Guarda Wallet is a highly secure and user-friendly cryptocurrency wallet that allows users to buy, store, swap, and earn a wide range of crypto assets. While it is one of the newest wallet providers on our list of best crypto software wallets, Guarda Wallet has passed our reputation background checks with flying colors and ticked the most security boxes among all non-custodial software wallet providers.
Highly secure wallet
Supports 400,000+ crypto assets
Enables users to buy, swap, and earn crypto
Very responsive customer service
Face ID authentication for mobile
Multi-signature (MultiSig) wallets
Relatively high fees for in-app crypto purchases
Launched in 2017, Guarda Wallet has established itself as the best cryptocurrency software wallet on the market. Under the stewardship of two corporate entities, the Portuguese Guardaco LDA and Estonian Guardarian OÜ, Guarda Wallet has been able to cement its position as the market leader in secure digital asset storage.
Guarda Wallet is a non-custodial, multi-platform software wallet that enables crypto investors to manage their digital assets using a web interface, a Chrome extension, on desktop, and on mobile (Android and iOS) while retaining complete control over their private keys. Because it is a non-custodial wallet, users don’t have to worry about losing funds in the case of a company bankruptcy (such as what happened with FTX) as only they access their funds stored using Guarda Wallet. The company has no access to or control over user assets.
With support for over 50 blockchain networks, Guarda Wallet users can safeguard and manage an extensive portfolio of more than 400,000 digital currencies and tokens. While it's worth noting that the wallet's in-app purchase fees lean towards the higher end, Guarda Wallet compensates for this by delivering a secure and user-friendly experience, where the importance of security cannot be overstated.
Licensed by the Estonian authority, Guardarian OÜ is able to provide virtual currency services, enabling Guarda Wallet to offer regulated in-app crypto exchange services, the capability to earn staking rewards, and prepaid card-related solutions.
Despite being the youngest entry in our list of best crypto software wallets, Guarda Wallet provides everything today’s cryptocurrency user needs.
Best for Beginners : Exodus Wallet
Exodus Wallet is a renowned multi-asset crypto wallet that provides a beginner-friendly user experience, allowing users to manage their crypto portfolios on one interface. On top of that, Exodus Wallet unlocks a myriad of possibilities, enabling users to buy, trade, and earn interest on their digital assets via staking.
Supports 260+ crypto assets
Has a built-in crypto exchange functionality
Enables users to earn staking rewards
Available on desktop and mobile
Software is not fully open-source
Founded in 2015, Exodus is a United States-based company that provides a mobile and desktop crypto wallet known for its user-friendly interface. With Exodus Wallet, users can securely store and trade 260+ digital assets in a single location, simplifying their crypto management experience.
Exodus Wallet offers a suite of features alongside digital asset storage and a built-in exchange. Users can explore various in-app applications that enable them to earn staking rewards, generate interest through lending crypto assets, delve into the realm of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Solana, and more.
One of Exodus Wallet's key strengths lies in its intuitive and user-friendly interface, making managing a portfolio of crypto assets significantly less complex.
Additionally, the wallet offers hardware support to enhance security, customizable send fees, and reliable customer support. While Exodus Wallet is widely popular among new cryptocurrency users, it should be mentioned that it is not fully open-source, limiting external code inspection for potential vulnerabilities.
Nevertheless, Exodus Wallet is an excellent wallet for new crypto users. It provides a user-friendly interface and a built-in exchange accessible on desktop and mobile, which covers the most pressing needs of beginners.
Best for Bitcoin : Electrum
Electrum is a secure, open-source, Bitcoin-only wallet that has been successfully enabling users to store their digital currency since 2011. Electrum also enables users to open Lightning payment channels to send and receive Bitcoin payments over the Lightning Network.
10+ years of providing a Bitcoin storage solution
Supports Lightning Network payments
Only supports Bitcoin
No customer support
Since its launch in 2011, Electrum has stood the test of time as one of the pioneering Bitcoin wallets. Even today, it’s still regarded as one of the top Bitcoin-only wallets available.
As an open-source desktop wallet, Electrum empowers users to securely store, send, and receive Bitcoin payments. Moreover, it facilitates the opening of payment channels for near-instant, low-cost Bitcoin transactions through the Lightning Network.
While Electrum's no-frills user interface may pose a challenge for beginners, it prioritizes functionality over user-friendliness, which is why it has a fan base among experienced Bitcoiners.
Advanced features are a highlight of Electrum, including compatibility with hardware wallets for highly secure cold storage, support for multi-signature wallets, and the ability to set custom transaction fees. As a result, Electrum remains an excellent choice for experienced Bitcoin users seeking an advanced, feature-rich wallet.
Best for Mobile : Mycelium
Mycelium is a leading mobile crypto wallet that offers users a secure platform to effectively manage Bitcoin, Ethereum, and ERC-20 tokens. The non-custodial wallet provides a range of advanced wallet features, such as cold storage integration, spending accounts, and single address savings account.
Software is open-source
Supports cold storage integration
In-app crypto purchase option
Strong focus on user privacy
Not very beginner-friendly
Mycelium is a popular mobile crypto wallet that was introduced in 2012 by Megion Research & Development GmbH, headquartered in Austria.
During the early days of Bitcoin, Megion Research & Development made significant contributions to the cryptocurrency space by creating various solutions, including Mycelium Payment System, Bitcoincard, and Affinity. Presently, the company is dedicated to “the development of a social media hardware and software platform called Mycelium MEDIA.”
Mycelium is an open-source, non-custodial, mobile-only wallet that supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, and a suite of ERC-20 tokens. While the user interface of the mobile app may not be the most intuitive for beginners, it offers a plethora of advanced wallet features that seasoned cryptocurrency users greatly appreciate, such as the ability to establish HD spending accounts, create single address saving accounts, and access detailed transaction information.
The Mycelium wallet is ideal for Bitcoin and Ethereum holders who want to store their assets in a secure, privacy-focused mobile wallet.
Best for Low Costs : Coinbase Wallet
Unlike the popular Coinbase.com app (which provides a custodial wallet), Coinbase Wallet is non-custodial, multi-asset crypto wallet that enables users to securely store thousands of cryptocurrencies and NFTs, and provides seamless access to decentralized applications known as dApps. The wallet stands out for providing a user-friendly and attractive experience for DeFi and Web3 users.
Only charges network fees
Supports thousands of digital currencies and tokens
Provides a dApp browser to access Web3 applications
Enables users to manage NFT collections
Coinbase has a history of bad customer support
Software isn’t open-source
Coinbase was launched in 2012 to enable individuals to buy, sell, and store Bitcoin using a user-friendly application. Fast-forward to today: Coinbase has transformed into a publicly traded company, boasting a market value exceeding $17 billion. With a user base surpassing 110 million spread across more than 100 countries, the platform now holds over $80 billion worth of assets as of March 2023.
To cater to the growing demand for non-custodial crypto wallets and facilitate access to web3 applications, Coinbase developed the Coinbase Wallet. This solution enables users to store a vast array of digital assets and conveniently manage their NFTs within a unified platform.
Unlike the company’s popular custodial Coinbase.com app, Coinbase Wallet is a non-custodial wallet (available as a Chrome extension and smartphone app) that allows users to hold their own private keys, giving them complete control over their funds.
Despite Coinbase’s tainted reputation in the cryptocurrency community, largely stemming from concerns surrounding account closures, subpar customer service, and frequent platform downtimes during periods of heightened volatility, the company has managed to deliver an exceptional web3 wallet suitable for both beginners and experienced users alike.
Coinbase Wallet stands out for providing a user-friendly web3 experience, enabling anyone across the globe to take part in the world of dApps, decentralized finance (DeFi), and NFTs.
When searching for a cryptocurrency wallet, it’s essential to seek out a provider that has a robust and reliable track record, provides a high level of security and transparency, offers a range of crypto asset management features, and allows you to seamlessly trade crypto.
After thorough research, we have determined that Guarda Wallet stands out as the top choice for the best overall crypto wallet. Guarda Wallet supports more than 50 blockchains and over 400,000 assets, provides a range of crypto earning opportunities, and comes with easy-to-use in-app crypto purchase and swapping features. Notably, Guarda Wallet has received high rankings in terms of security based on our criteria.
While Guarda’s in-app purchase fees are relatively high, the wallet’s user experience, robust security, and wide range of features justify paying a premium. By storing crypto assets in a secure, non-custodial wallet like Guarda, instead of on a crypto exchange, investors can avoid losing funds due to exchange insolvencies, like the ones that occurred with Celsius, BlockFi, and FTX last year.
Compare the Best Cryptocurrency Wallets
|Company||Number of Currencies Supported||Supports Bitcoin||Incorporated Exchange||Customizable Fees||Compatible Hardware|
Best for Beginners
Best for Bitcoin
Best for Mobile
Best for Security
Best for Low Costs
How to Choose the Best Cryptocurrency Wallet
Choosing the best cryptocurrency wallet depends largely on your personal needs. Here are some helpful tips to choose the wallet that's right for you.
How Frequently Do You Plan to Use Your Wallet?
How frequently you plan to use your crypto wallet plays an important role in choosing one that’s right for you. For example, if you plan to use digital currencies, like Bitcoin or Tether USD, to make regular payments, you probably want to hold some of your funds in a mobile wallet.
But if you are looking to invest in and store crypto assets over the long term–and if you're looking to store a large amount of digital currency–you're better off securing your crypto assets offline in cold storage using either a hardware or paper wallet.
If your intention is to actively trade digital assets, opting for a multi-platform wallet that offers the flexibility of managing your cryptocurrency portfolio on both your desktop and smartphone would likely prove advantageous.
Nevertheless, it’s crucial to exercise caution and avoid storing substantial amounts of cryptocurrency on centralized crypto exchanges or lending platforms. By doing so, you mitigate the risk of experiencing a total loss of funds in the event of a hack or the insolvency of an exchange.
Are You Interested in the Number of Cryptocurrencies the Wallet Supports?
If your goal is to create a diversified crypto portfolio consisting of numerous digital currencies and tokens, selecting a multi-asset wallet that supports a wide range of assets would be a wise choice.
Do You Care About the Level of Customer Support?
If you are a beginner, you probably want to go for a beginner-friendly wallet with an easy-to-use interface.
Not all wallet providers have customer support. Numerous long-standing open-source wallets, for example, don’t offer any customer support. If you think you will require help with your wallet, choose one that allows you to interact with a human customer support agent via telephone or live chat.
How Important Is Security?
Are you just looking to test the waters in the brave new world of crypto? Or are you looking to make a substantial investment? Depending on your plans, security will either play a relatively small or a very big factor in choosing a wallet.
You may be looking for a desktop wallet you can secure with an encryption password. Or maybe you want the best security that crypto storage solutions can offer.
Backing up your wallet is one of the most important–if not the most important–aspects of crypto wallet management. Are you content with writing down and safely storing a recovery phrase, or do you prefer to only have to remember a username and password?
Choosing a wallet with a backup feature that works for you is another essential security measure when it comes to picking a wallet.
How Important Is It to Have Ownership of Your Private Key?
Are you comfortable with a third-party provider holding your wallet’s private keys (and thus having de facto ownership of your virtual assets)? If not, you can choose a non-custodial wallet where you are responsible for managing your wallet’s private keys.
While these wallets are considered best practice because you have complete control over your virtual assets, if you lose access to your wallet or forget your encryption password, you will lose all funds held in that wallet.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Cryptocurrency Wallet?
A cryptocurrency wallet is like a digital bank account for your crypto assets. It allows you to securely store, send, and receive digital cryptocurrencies. Many wallets also support other digital assets, such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Technically, however, crypto assets are stored on the blockchain. So what a crypto wallet enables you to do is to access and unlock your digital assets stored on a blockchain using the wallet’s private key.
How Can You Get a Cryptocurrency Wallet?
There are several different ways you can get a crypto wallet, including downloading a software wallet on your smartphone or computer, purchasing a hardware wallet device, or printing a wallet onto paper.
- Download a software wallet: You can download a wallet app onto your smartphone or computer. Once you download the application, you can create a wallet account (don’t forget to securely back it up!) and start using it to store your crypto assets.
- Purchase a hardware wallet: You can purchase a hardware wallet device online from the manufacturer or a trusted online vendor to securely store your crypto assets in so-called cold storage. Hardware wallets physically store your private keys offline, essentially eliminating the ability for hackers to remotely access your coins.
- Print a paper wallet: Paper wallets are another cold storage option, where you print your public and private keys onto a piece of paper and store the physical paper in a safe spot. However, this crypto safekeeping method isn’t recommended for beginners, as it requires a higher level of technical knowledge to ensure that the wallet’s keys are generated and printed securely.
How Can You Set Up a Cryptocurrency Wallet?
The most popular crypto wallets are software wallets like the ones listed above. So let’s use the example of a mobile cryptocurrency wallet to show you the typical steps you need to take to set up a wallet.
- Download a crypto wallet onto your smartphone. Make sure to choose a reputable one.
- Open the app and click on “Create new wallet.”
- Write down the wallet’s recovery phrase (also known as a seed phrase) and store it securely. You will need it to regain access to your wallet in case you accidentally delete the app or lose your phone.
- Finalize the setup by confirming that you have written down the wallet recovery phrase by typing in select words or the entire set of words in the correct order.
- That’s it! You can now start using your cryptocurrency wallet to receive funds or make an in-app purchase if that option is available.
One of the most important things to consider before you transact in and store cryptocurrencies is that you have a suitable crypto wallet in place. To help determine the wallet that works best for you, we conducted a comprehensive review process of the top cryptocurrency software wallets.
Our review process is built around a quantitative ratings model that weighs key factors like security, costs, privacy, usability, customer support, and features according to their importance. Our team of researchers gathered over 40 data points and conducted extensive research for each of the 19 companies we reviewed. Our team of writers, who are experts in this field, then test drove each wallet to lend their qualitative point of view.
Our model gave preference to companies with the strongest security measures and reputations. Companies with rich features, such as supporting a large number of crypto assets, giving users the ability to sync with hardware wallets, and allowing for fee customization, also ranked highly.
Guarda.com. "Supported Cryptocurrencies & Tokens."
MEGION TECHNOLOGIES. "Homepage."