Daedalus Cryptocurrency Wallet Review

A secure, non-custodial wallet for users who wish to store Cardano

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Daedalus

Daedalus

Investopedia’s Rating
3.5

Our Take

Daedalus Wallet is a single-asset, desktop-based wallet supported by Input/Output (IOHK). Founded in 2015, IOHK is the brainchild of Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson, creator of the Cardano blockchain. Daedalus is one of seven current projects within the IOHK wheelhouse, and serves as an open-source full node wallet for the Cardano asset (ADA).

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.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Ability to earn via staking

  • Supportive of multiple desktop platforms

  • High degree of security

Cons
  • Supports Cardano only

  • No mobile version

  • No fiat onramp to purchase assets

Company Overview

Daedalus is the open-source crypto wallet developed specifically to store ADA. The wallet came into existence in 2015, and is the native token of the Cardano blockchain. The Cardano blockchain is an open source smart contract platform that was also created in 2015 and uses a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism to secure the network.

As a non-custodial wallet, users maintain control of their ADA at all times. In light of recent security issues with centralized exchanges such as FTX, it's important to note that the Daedalus wallet does not expose users to the risks incurred by users of FTX, Celsius, Three Arrows Capital, etc.

As a full node wallet, a complete copy of the Cardano blockchain is downloaded after each transaction, and each transaction is verified independently. This feature provides an additional layer of security for each user. 

Daedalus does not offer a mobile option. While it is compatible with numerous platforms (i.e., Windows, Linux, etc), it can only be utilized on desktop devices.

Daedalus

Daedalus

overall rating
3.5
Type of Wallet Software, desktop
Price  Free 
Fees  Transaction fee to send assets.  No fee to receive assets. A refundable deposit of 2 ADA is required to register a stake address. 
Number of Cryptocurrencies Supported  1
Bitcoin and Ethereum Support No, Daedalus supports ADA only 
Earn (Staking/Rewards)  Yes, customers can stake assets
Customer Service  24/7 customer support via the website
In-App Features  No
Hardware Compatible  Yes
SPV or Full Node  Full node
Mobile App  No 

Pros & Cons Explained

Pros Explained

  • Ability to earn via staking: Users of the Daedalus wallet have the ability to generate additional income on their Cardano by staking the asset itself.
  • Supportive of multiple desktop platforms: Daedalus is a cross platform wallet. As such, it can be run across all manner of desktop platforms, including Linux, Windows, and macOS.
  • High degree of security: As a full node, decentralized, non-custodial wallet, Daedalus provides a high level of security. As users maintain complete custody of their assets at all time, Daedalus falls outside the scope of the centralized entities (i.e. Celsius, FTX, etc.), which jeopardized user funds in 2022

Cons Explained

  • Supports Cardano only: Daedalus is a single-asset wallet. Holders of Bitcoin, Ether, or any other asset will need to find another wallet option in conjunction with Daedalus.
  • No mobile version: Daedalus does not have a mobile option. As such, users are limited to using desktop versions only. The limited functionality makes Daedalus a challenge for users who wish to engage in both desktop and mobile transactions.
  • No fiat onramp to purchase assets: Users are unable to purchase Cardano directly via traditional funding methods. Users are limited to peer-to-peer transactions to fund the Daedalus wallet.  

Features

Daedalus is a non-custodial, open-source wallet designed specifically for holders of Cardano (ADA). As a full node wallet, it downloads a full copy of the blockchain for each transaction, providing it an extra layer of security.

Users of the Daedalus wallet have the ability to generate additional capital by staking their assets, making it a vehicle for both custody and income.

Daedalus also delivers pertinent information directly to users via its newsfeed app, and is available across multiple desktop platforms. Personalization is available also via six distinct themes. The feature allows users to customize a look and feel that fits most with their comfort level. 

Security

In light of the recent issues surrounding centralized crypto entities losing user funds, Daedalus wallet holders can find comfort in its non-custodial wallet. At no time do users lose control or custody of their Cardano. As a full node wallet, Daedalus downloads a full copy of the blockchain with each transaction. This additional step adds a layer of security for wallet holders.

We have found no record of any past security breaches of the Daedalus wallet. As a non-custodial wallet, however, users must ensure that they protect their account, password, and recovery phrase.

Privacy and Anonymity

The Daedalus wallet provides users with complete anonymity specific to transactions. Customers are not required to complete Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements, and thus are not required to reveal themselves to any centralized third party.

As a non-custodial wallet, Daedalus users maintain custody of their assets at all times. This marks a key distinction between Daedalus and centralized entities such as Celsius, BlockFi, and FTX who took custody of, and subsequently lost, customer funds.  

Setup  

Daedalus is a desktop-only wallet, so setup will come via your operating system of choice. Users will navigate to the Daedalus.io site, and upon clicking on the download button, are given the option to select macOS, Linux, or a WIndows version.

Suggested hardware requirements are that users' desktops hold at least 16GB of RAM, 100 to 200 GB of free drive space, and 64-bit dual core processors.

Upon downloading the wallet, users are provided with a randomly generated 24-word seed phrase. It is imperative that users store this seed phrase in a safe place, as it serves as backup for the wallet. Users are then prompted to create a password.

Following the completion of all steps, users will then be able to begin funding their Daedalus wallet with Cardano.

Usability

Desktop

Investors who wish to invest via desktop only will be comfortable with Daedalus, as desktop is the only means by which the wallet operates.

Users will have access to a recurring newsfeed that can be delivered in a sidebar or across the entirety of the screen. Personalization of the workspace is available as well, via six distinct user interface themes.

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Mobile App

There is no mobile option available for the Daedalus wallet currently

Customer Service

Daedalus offers 24/7 support to its users via its website. A ticket system is available, but Daedalus does not offer email or phone support.

Cost & Fees 

There is no cost associated with downloading the Daedalus wallet. The software itself is completely free. No fees are associated with funding the Daedalus wallet or receiving assets, either.

There are, however, fees associated with sending assets. Transaction fees occur because individual transactions by nature generate a fee. For Daedalus users, a fee of approximately 0.18 ADA occurs during all transactions.

For users who wish to stake Cardano, a refundable deposit of 2 ADA is required to register a staking address. The deposit is returned to the user if and when they undelegate their wallet. 

Final Verdict

Daedalus checks a lot of boxes for users who place a high premium on security. As a non-custodial wallet, Daedalus does not take possession of user assets. Given the recent failures of centralized crypto entities, this is not a feature to be overlooked.  

The issue that may be problematic for many users is that it supports Cardano only. Moreover, no indication has been given that the wallet will support additional currencies in the future. 

While well established, Cardano currently ranks approximately 9th amongst all cryptocurrencies in market capitalization. Users who hold a portfolio of multiple assets will need to ask themselves if owning a separate wallet specifically for Cardano makes sense for them. Another potential hurdle for Daedalus users is its limitation to desktop usage only.  

Methodology

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.

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. Daedalus. "Daedalus Wallet."

  2. Input|Output. "IOHK Zendesk."