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Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, have established themselves as a recognized asset class with deep liquidity and a diverse investor base. However, unlike traditional assets like stocks and bonds, you can’t store your cryptocurrency assets on an online brokerage account. Instead, you need to store your digital assets in a dedicated cryptocurrency wallet.
Cryptocurrency software wallets enable crypto holders to securely store their digital currencies and tokens in one place. Cryptocurrency wallets often also allow users to buy, swap, lend and earn cryptocurrency, similar to how your bank account lets you access savings and loan products.
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 2022
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. Never share your wallet’s login details, recovery phrase, or private keys with anyone.
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 via staking a wide range of crypto assets. While it is one of the newest wallet providers in 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 software wallet providers.
Users can access the multi-platform software wallet via a web interface, a Chrome browser extension, a desktop client, or a smartphone, enabling seamless cryptocurrency asset management for all types of users.
While the wallet’s in-app purchase fees are quite high, Guarda offers a beginner-friendly and secure user experience, making the fees justifiable in an industry where security is of the utmost importance.
Supports 400k+ digital assets
Enables users to borrow, earn, and swap crypto
Responsive customer service
Face ID authentication for mobile
High fees for in-app crypto purchases
Launched in 2017 by blockchain development company Guardarian OÜ, Lisboa, Portugal-based Guarda Wallet has emerged as the best cryptocurrency software wallet in the market.
Guarda Wallet is a non-custodial, multi-platform software wallet that enables users 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.
The multi-asset wallet supports 50+ blockchain networks, allowing users to securely store and manage over 400,000 digital currencies and tokens.
Guardarian OÜ is licensed by Estonian authority to provide virtual currency services, enabling Guarda Wallet to offer regulated in-app crypto exchange and prepaid card-related services.
Despite being the youngest entry in our list of best software wallets, Guarda Wallet provides everything today’s cryptocurrency user needs.
Best for Beginners : Exodus Wallet
Exodus Wallet is a leading multi-asset crypto wallet that provides a beginner-friendly user experience, allowing users to manage their crypto portfolios on one interface.
Additionally, Exodus Wallet enables users to buy, trade, and earn interest via staking on their digital assets.
Supports a wide range of crypto assets
Has a built-in exchange
Supports crypto staking
Available on desktop and mobile
Software isn’t open-source
Founded in 2015, Nebraska-based Exodus provides a very beginner-friendly mobile and desktop crypto wallet. Exodus Wallet enables users to securely store and trade 220+ digital assets in one place.
In addition to digital asset storage and a built-in exchange, Exodus Wallet provides a range of in-app applications that allow users to earn staking rewards, earn interest by lending crypto assets, explore the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Solana, and more.
Exodus Wallet primarily stands out with its intuitive, easy-to-navigate user interface that greatly reduces the complexity of managing a portfolio of crypto assets.
The popular wallet also provides hardware wallet support for increased security, customizable send fees, and active customer support. However, unlike many of its peers, Exodus Wallet is closed-source software, which means users are not able inspect the code for vulnerabilities.
Exodus Wallet is an excellent wallet for new cryptocurrency users. It provides a user-friendly interface and a built-in exchange accessible on desktop and mobile, which covers the most pressing beginner’s needs.
Best for Bitcoin : Electrum
Electrum is a secure, open-source, Bitcoin-only wallet that has been successfully enabling Bitcoin holders to store digital currency for over ten years.
Additionally, 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
Electrum was one of the first Bitcoin wallets when it launched in 2011. Standing the test of time, the Bitcoin-only desktop wallet remains one of the best Bitcoin-only wallets in the market.
The open-source software wallet enables users to securely store, send, and receive Bitcoin payments. Additionally, Electrum allows users to use open payment channels to send and receive Bitcoin over the Bitcoin Lightning Network.
Beginners may struggle with Electrum’s no-frills user interface, which has clearly been built with functionality and not user-friendliness in mind.
Electrum provides a suite of advanced features, including compatibility with hardware wallets for ultra-secure cold storage, multi-signature wallets, and custom transaction fees, making it an excellent wallet for experienced Bitcoiners.
Best for Mobile : Mycelium
Mycelium is a leading mobile crypto wallet that enables users to securely 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
Mycelium is a popular mobile crypto wallet that was launched in 2012 by Austria-based Megion Research & Development GmbH.
Megion Research & Development has developed numerous cryptocurrency solutions during the early years of Bitcoin, including Entropy, Mycelium Gear, and Local Trader. Now, the company is focusing on “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 mobile app’s user interface is not very beginner-friendly, the app provides numerous advanced wallet features, such as the ability to set up HD spending accounts, single address saving accounts, and in-depth transaction details that experienced crypto users appreciate.
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
Coinbase Wallet is a 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.
Unlike the popular Coinbase.com app, Coinbase Wallet stands out for having some of the lowest fees in the cryptocurrency wallet ecosystem, making it an attractive choice for active Web3 users.
Only charges network fees
Supports 500+ digital assets
Provides a dApp browser to access Web3 applications
Enables users to store NFTs
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. Ten years later, Coinbase is now a publicly-traded company with a total market value of over 85 billion dollars.
The Coinbase Wallet is Coinbase’s answer to the increasing demand for non-custodial crypto wallets that enable users to access web3 applications. It allows users to store 500+ digital assets and manage NFTs in one place.
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, which stems from a long list of reports of nefarious account closures, terrible customer service, and its trading platform’s regular downtimes during periods of high volatility, Coinbase has managed to deliver an excellent web3 wallet for beginners and experienced users alike.
Coinbase Wallet stands out among other web3 wallets for having some of the lowest fees in the industry, enabling anyone across the globe to take part in the world of dApps, decentralized finance (DeFi), and NFTs.
When looking for a cryptocurrency wallet, it’s important to find a provider that has a strong and stable history, provides a high level of security and transparency, offers a range of crypto asset management features, and allows you to seamlessly trade crypto.
Our research has concluded that Guarda Wallet is the best overall crypto wallet. Guarda Wallet supports 50+ blockchains and 400,000+ assets, provides a range of crypto earning opportunities, comes with easy-to-use in-app crypto purchase and swapping features, and ranks highly based on our model's security 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.
Compare the Best Cryptocurrency Wallets
|Company||Number of Currencies Supported||Supports Bitcoin||Incorporated Exchange||Customizable Fees||Compatible Hardware|
|Exodus Best for Beginners||150+||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Electrum Best for Bitcoin||1||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Mycelium Best for Mobile||7+||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Guarda Best for Security||400,000+||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Coinbase Wallet Best for Low Costs||500+||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Want to learn more about digital currencies? You're not alone.
Most adults have a beginner's understanding of cryptocurrency, but plan on using such assets as a key source of retirement funds, according to the 2022 Investopedia Financial Literacy Survey.
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 cryptocurrency 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 digital assets offline in cold storage using either a hardware or paper wallet.
If you plan to actively trade digital assets, you will probably benefit from a multi-platform wallet that allows you to manage your cryptocurrency portfolio on your desktop and on your smartphone.
Are you interested in the number of cryptocurrencies the wallet supports?
If you are looking to construct a diversified portfolio composed of a large number of digital currencies and tokens, choosing a multi-asset wallet that supports thousands of assets is probably the right decision.
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 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 a digital wallet that allows you to store the unique digital codes needed to send and receive crypto assets, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin. It’s important to reinforce that these wallets don’t store your actual cryptocurrencies, despite what their name may lead you to believe.
Cryptocurrency wallets are actually more of a ledger, since they hold the keys to the owner’s identity, allowing them access to a blockchain network and transaction history. These wallets must locate the cryptocurrency associated with your address across the blockchain, which is why they must interact with it.
What are the Types of Cryptocurrency Wallets?
Software, hardware, and paper wallets are the three major types of cryptocurrency wallets that fall under the two main categories of wallets known as hot and cold wallets.
Cold wallets have no connection to the internet and come in some physical form, such as a hard drive or a piece of paper, making them the most secure wallets possible. Hot wallets, on the other hand, do have some form of an internet connection, which causes them to be more susceptible to security breaches.
Hot wallets are favored for their flexibility, such as the ability to access your funds or trade on the go. These software wallets come in the form of web wallets, desktop wallets, and mobile app wallets. It’s important to reinforce, however, that this availability comes as the result of a hot wallet’s web connectivity, which inherently leaves your funds open to some form of vulnerability.
In the case of cold wallets, the only way for your funds to be lost is if the wallet itself is either lost or stolen and no backup procedures have been put in place. Unfortunately, this superior level of security does not allow for your funds to be readily available for trading or commerce while away from your computer.
Most leading crypto wallets today are hybrid wallets that offer desktop and mobile access, with the option to connect to a hardware wallet for maximum backup protection.
How do Cryptocurrency Wallets Work?
Cryptocurrency wallets provide public keys and private keys to enable crypto users to interact with their digital assets stored on public blockchain networks. A wallet’s public key is the wallet address you can receive funds to and the private key is what you use to access your funds to make transactions.
Think of the public key as your bank account number and the private key as your bank account PIN that you use to log in and make payments.
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.