BRD Cryptocurrency Wallet Review

A user-friendly, multi-asset cryptocurrency wallet with a new partner in coins

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BRD

BRD

Investopedia’s Rating
3.6

BRD was acquired by Coinbase, and as of March 23, 2022, BRD user have been instructed to begin the migration over.

Our Take

The BRD Wallet supports over 70 cryptocurrencies, allowing users self custody of their assets while providing exposure to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the ability to trade via decentralized exchanges, and the use of decentralized applications. Recently, BRD made headlines after it was acquired by Coinbase and migrated to Coinbase Wallet.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Solid selection of supported coins

  • Straightforward and easy-to-use interface

  • Ability to add NFTs directly on the wallet/app itself

Cons
  • The BRD Wallet is not compatible with hardware wallets

  • Fees are not customizable with the BRD Wallet

Key Takeaways
  • BRD Wallet is easy to use and offers a wide selection of assets for crypto investors to choose from.
  • Coinbase Wallet acquired BRD and altered the platform’s look and feel, but this has had no negative impact on its functionality or features.
  • This wallet makes sense for both beginning and experienced crypto investors, particularly those with preexisting Coinbase accounts.
Company Overview

Launched in 2014, BRD Wallet was founded in Switzerland by Adam Traidman and Aaron Vosine, originally under the name Breadwallet, and still under the umbrella of Breadwinner AG. Upon inception, BRD was one of the first iOS-based wallets to support Bitcoin, making it one of the more seasoned wallets in the space. The company remains headquartered in Switzerland, with a management team of 11 and a staff of approximately 50 employees.  

BRD was acquired by Coinbase on November 24, 2021.  As of March 23, 2022, BRD announced that “BRD wallet-to-Coinbase wallet functionality is now ready for users to migrate supported cryptocurrencies.” 

It’s important to note that the migration of assets is from BRD to Coinbase Wallet, and not from BRD to Coinbase.com (the Coinbase app). In short, Coinbase.com is a centralized brokerage that enables users to exchange fiat for crypto, and store/custody their funds on Coinbase. Coinbase Wallet, on the other hand, is a self-custody wallet, much in line with what early BRD users are accustomed to.  Users control their crypto and their keys, and they're not required to identify themselves. Migration of assets from BRD to Coinbase Wallet requires installation of said wallet, along with the selection of a username, PIN, and recovery phrase.

As a non-custodial wallet, users are 100% responsible for their funds. At no time does BRD take possession of any user’s digital assets, and merely serves as a conduit between investors and the network itself.

One item of interest is that the BRD wallet has its own token. While Breadwinner AG created the BRD wallet, they also launched the BRD coin in 2017 via Initial Coin Offering (ICO). BRD tokens exist on the Ethereum network and can be traded freely on a number of exchanges.

BRD

BRD

Investopedia’s Rating
3.6
Type of wallet Mobile 
Price  Free 
Fees  Network fee to send assets only. There is no fee or associated cost to receive assets. 
Number of cryptocurrencies supported  70+ cryptocurrencies supported 
Bitcoin and Ethereum supported?  Yes 
Earn (staking/rewards)  Users cannot earn interest on crypto holdings, but can earn via staking assets. 
Customer Service  24/7 customer support, along with a help page, and email option. 
In-App Features  Users can purchase, sell, and swap assets within the app.
Hardware Compatible  No 
SPV or Full Node  Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) 
Mobile App  Yes - both iOS and Android 

Pros Explained

  • Solid selection of supported coins: BRD supports over 70 cryptocurrencies, giving users access to a wide selection of digital assets.
  • Straightforward and easy-to-use interface: Users will not find it difficult to navigate the BRD wallet. It has a crisp design and plainly highlights what the user is attempting to accomplish.
  • Ability to toggle between different networks, i.e. Ethereum, Polygon, Arbitrum: As we move more toward a “multi-chain” environment, the BRD wallet does well in that it allows users to toggle between eight different mainnets, with Ethereum being the default mainnet.
  • Ability to add non-fungible tokens (NFTs) directly on the wallet/app itself: BRD Wallet holders will be able to access both coins as well as NFTs directly from the wallet itself. This is pertinent in an environment where NFTs are growing in popularity and traditionally have been purchased on separate platforms than where coins have been purchased.

Cons Explained

  • The BRD Wallet is not compatible with hardware wallets: For a wallet that emphasizes self-custody of assets, the lack of compatibility with hardware options looks like a missed opportunity. For the user who prefers to transfer their assets to cold storage, BRD does not allow that at the moment.
  • Fees are not customizable with the BRD Wallet. It has become relatively commonplace for users to be provided the option of customizing their fees with crypto wallets. The fact that BRD does not puts them at a disadvantage against competitors. The ability to customize fees allows crypto investors to pay more–or less–for transactions, often dependent on the importance they place on speed of transaction completion.  

Features

BRD Wallet allows users to buy, sell, and exchange more than 70 cryptocurrencies directly from the BRD platform. The user interface concisely displays the options available to wallet holders, along with the steps required to take advantage of them. BRD wallet holders also have the option to buy and trade NFTs, along with the ability to explore decentralized applications.  Interest cannot be earned on crypto holdings, but users do have the ability to stake their assets for rewards. 

Moreover, users have the ability to select a default network upon which they wish to operate (i.e. Ethereum, Arbitrum, Polygon) as they transact. This feature may appeal more to seasoned crypto investors. Essentially, with Ethereum being the wallet’s default network, and Ethereum gas prices at times becoming prohibitive, the ability to quickly switch networks allows users to shop for lower transaction costs across networks. Finally, funding of the wallet can be done via credit or debit card as well as directly from their Coinbase account (should they have one).  

Top supported cryptocurrencies:

  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Tether
  • XRP

Security

BRD Wallet is a non-custodial wallet. As such, users are not placing their coins within BRD’s control at any time. The same holds true as it pertains to user keys. Crypto investors who adhere to the mantra of “not your keys, not your coins,” will find that BRD satisfies this saying in full. Users do not set up accounts with BRD or disclose personal information. You are, however, provided with a 12-word seed phrase, should you ever need to recover your account. Ideally, your 12-word seed phrase should be written down and kept in a secure location.

An underlooked feature of BRD’s security is the open source nature of their code, resulting in its ability to be viewed by the public. It may seem counterintuitive that open source code speaks to higher security, but it does. In essence, open source code can be scrutinized for bugs, flaws, etc…In short, it speaks to a higher degree of transparency.  

Privacy and Anonymity

BRD Wallet holders maintain complete privacy, as again this is a non-custodial wallet. It cannot be stressed enough that at no time are users required to identify themselves. There is no sign up, or know your customer (KYC) requirement. Transactions are completely anonymous, and BRD merely serves as a conduit between crypto investors, and blockchains. 

It also bears mentioning that BRD generates a new address following each transaction. This is important because transactions on the blockchain can be viewed publicly, and addresses can serve as a fingerprint of sorts, which can be used by malicious actors to track coin movements. With BRD generating new addresses with each transaction, it adds a layer of complexity, thus making the movements of your coins more difficult to track. It is also noteworthy that this feature has become fairly common among wallets that focus on privacy and anonymity. So while this does not set BRD apart from many of its competitors, it does satisfy an important feature that crypto investors should be aware of. 

Setup

Setup of the BRD Wallet is fast and straightforward. Both iOS and Android users will simply download the BRD app onto their mobile device. Upon download, users will view the BRD disclaimer indicating that they have joined Coinbase Wallet, and are provided with a link to the March 23, 2022, press release/announcement. Following that, users are provided a link to download the Coinbase Wallet, which is not the same as downloading the Coinbase app. The user will be downloading the non-custodial wallet, not setting up an account with the Coinbase centralized exchange. Users then have the option of creating a new wallet or restoring an existing one by providing a 12-word recovery phrase. Those who opt to create a new wallet will be provided with the “terms of service” and “privacy policy” which will have to be accepted to proceed. 

Following that, users select a user name and can opt to keep their username public or private. If your username is kept private, other wallet holders cannot search for your username. Users will then be prompted to set up a six-digit passcode, and finally asked to backup their wallet via a 12-word recovery phrase.  

Usability

Desktop

While the BRD Wallet has a website presence that can be accessed via desktop, the wallet itself is available on mobile devices only. There is no desktop version available at this time.

Mobile App 

The BRD Wallet is available for both iOS and Android users, with each version providing the same functionality and experience for users. The app itself is easy to both download and use, and tends to score well on user reviews. Of the favorable ratings, ease of use seemed to be a common theme. 

Of the less-favorable ratings, fees were often noted by customers as their biggest bone of contention. The fees incurred on BRD, however, are network fees associated with sending coins. To that end, BRD users have exposure to the same network fees that any wallet holder would be subject to. A larger issue, though, is the inability for BRD Wallet users to customize fees. This sets BRD apart from its competitors in a way that is unfavorable. With the volatility of network fees, the ability for users to customize them places additional control in users' hands. 

Customer Service

Customer service for BRD Wallet holders is both sufficient and relatively par for the course in today’s wallet environment. You can reach customer support 24/7, and BRD provides a Support page to address commonly asked questions. Additionally, BRD offers support via email. Assistance via phone is not available, but this is fairly standard among crypto wallets. A chat function is not available, however, which may be unattractive for users who require rapid response to issues or concerns. 

Cost & Fees 

There is nothing out of the ordinary specific to BRD’s costs and fees. Users are charged a network fee to send cryptocurrencies, which is to be expected. That fee will vary in part on the network over which users decide to transact and is outside the scope of BRD’s control. Still, the inability to customize fees with BRD takes it outside the scope of the user’s control as well. Finally, there is no fee to open a wallet or receive coins. 

Final Verdict

The BRD wallet offers a lot to both new and experienced crypto investors. The coin offering is sufficient enough that most crypto investors will find the asset they are looking for. Users focused on security will find comfort in the fact that BRD is a self-custody wallet and their transactions are anonymous. Newer crypto investors will enjoy the easy-to-use interface and step-by-step instructions that accompany many of the actions available to them.

The acquisition of BRD by Coinbase Wallet has the potential to be off-putting to some, but it's a net positive in our view. Given the ability to transfer assets directly from the Coinbase brokerage app to the Coinbase self-custody wallet, we suspect many users will take advantage of this. Moreover, it serves as a potential on-ramp for maturing crypto investors whose attention may now be shifting from crypto adoption to protection of crypto assets. Finally, the ability to access NFTs via the wallet widens the scope of the wallet’s capabilities in comparison to others.   

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Everything You Need to Know About Blockchain Wallets

Methodology

Before you transact in and store cryptocurrencies, you should have a suitable crypto wallet in place. We conducted a comprehensive review process of the top cryptocurrency software wallets to help you determine the wallet that fits your needs.

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. 

Read our full methodology.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Coindesk. "Coinbase Acquires Crypto Wallet Firm BRD for Undisclosed Amount."

  2. BRD. "BRD Joins Coinbase."

  3. BRD. "BRD Joins Coinbase."