Mycelium Cryptocurrency Wallet Review

A multi-asset cryptocurrency wallet for users who value security above all

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Mycelium

Mycelium

Investopedia’s Rating
3.7

Our Take

Mycelium remains one of our top choices for mobile wallets. Mycelium began in 2008, making it one of the earliest entrants in the Bitcoin wallet space. Importantly, one of the key features of Mycelium is its security. In light of the myriad of security breaches in the crypto space (i.e. FTX, BlockFi, Celsius, etc.), it’s important to note that Mycelium users would not have been impacted. Unlike the aforementioned names, Mycelium never takes custody of user funds. Instead, Mycelium acts as a relay between the user and the Bitcoin network. In short, user funds are safe with Mycelium because users never provide Mycelium with their funds.

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
  • Zero exposure to centralized exchanges

  • Mycelium users maintain complete control over their assets

  • Long-established organization with a record of safety and security

Cons
  • Desktop version not available

  • Thin customer support

  • Staking and/or rewards is not available

Company Overview

Mycelium’s core team came together in 2008, while working on a completely separate project. Mycelium as a company is actually older than Bitcoin itself, as it predates the 2009 Genesis Block for the Bitcoin Network. Following the emergence of blockchain technology, Mycelium shifted its focus to providing cryptocurrency users with a secure storage option for Bitcoin. Its longevity within the industry sets it apart from many of the competitors within the space today.

As a non-custodial wallet, Mycelium at no point takes possession of user assets. This is a significant distinction between Mycelium and centralized exchanges such as FTX and BlockFi, or centralized lenders such as Celsius. The Mycelium wallet merely acts as a conduit for users to send and receive coins from blockchain networks themselves.

Individual privacy is paramount, and users are not required to identify themselves at any point. There is no KYC (Know-Your-Customer) verification required, as often is mandated on centralized exchanges. Additionally, no user data is collected. Mycelium users remain anonymous at all times. The Mycelium app is reproducible, which provides an additional level of transparency. A reproducible wallet can have its code duplicated and subsequently compared to its original code. This allows individuals outside of Mycelium the ability to audit the code for potential security issues. Mycelium users are not dependent on the company’s development team. If an issue with Mycelium’s code exists, it can be identified both inside and outside of the organization itself. If a member of the development team does something nefarious, it can easily be rooted out. 

Mycelium is best suited for experienced crypto investors; there is little customer support available, in comparison to other Bitcoin wallets. The benefit of Mycelium not having control of user assets is offset in part by the company also bearing little responsibility to the user. It is the wallet for the “not your keys, not your coins” Bitcoin user.

Mycelium

Mycelium

overall rating
3.7
Type of Wallet Software (Mobile)
Price  Free 
Fees  Network translation fees are paid to miners, which is customary in the cryptocurrency sector; o other supplemental fees apply
Cryptocurrencies Supported  Bitcoin, Ethereum, FIO, and ERC-20 tokens
Bitcoin and Ethereum Support Yes
Earn (Staking/Rewards)  No, staking and/or rewards options are not available on the Mycelium wallet
Customer Service  Email only;  no 24/7 support or chat feature
In-App Features  Users can buy, sell, swap, and convert assets within the Mycelium app
Hardware Compatible  Yes 
SPV or Full Node  Simplified Payment Verification (SVP)
Mobile App  Yes (Android and iOS)

Pros Explained

  • Zero exposure to centralized exchanges: Investors who lost their assets on Celsius, BlockFi, FTX, etc, would not have done so had they been using the Mycelium wallet for storage. Mycelium represents the “not your coins, not your keys” mantra, completely.
  • Mycelium users maintain complete control over their assets: As Mycelium acts as a conduit between the user and the blockchain, users never lose control of their assets. Mycelium also has complete compatibility with hardware storage options (i.e. Ledger, Trezor, etc.).
  • Long-established organization with a record of safety and security: As an organization, Mycelium actually predates Bitcoin itself. The organization has a track record of success and length of tenure that surpasses much of its competition.

Cons Explained

  • Desktop version not available: Mycelium offers a mobile version only. Crypto investors in search of a desktop option will not find one here.
  • Thin customer support: Mycelium does not offer 24/7 or phone support. A chat option is not currently available either. Mycelium does offer customer support via email. Mycelium’s website offers sparse data for users wishing to get up to speed.
  • Staking and/or rewards is not available: Unlike other competitors, Mycelium users do not have the option of staking assets and earning rewards. As such, the ability to earn interest on assets is not available to Mycelium users.

Features

One of Mycelium’s most prominent features is its degree of security. Users benefit from a completely reproducible wallet, with open source code. User identification is not required, nor is any personal information collected. While Mycelium is Bitcoin-focused, it also supports Ether as well as ERC-20 tokens.

Users are able to send and receive digital assets from the wallet, as well as move assets directly into cold storage. In-app trading is available (to Android users only) via Mycelium’s Local Trader feature. Local Trader is a decentralized exchange, built into the wallet itself, which allows users to trade directly with counterparties.

It is important to note that the Local Trader feature is not a centralized exchange. While the feature facilitates transactions, at no time does Mycelium take custody of the asset in any capacity.

Security

As mentioned above, a key feature in Mycelium’s security is that at no point does it take custody of customer funds. Given the recent issues regarding the insolvency of centralized cryptocurrency exchanges, lending institutions, and hedge funds, this is of monumental importance.

Mycelium users' assets were not impacted by the events that occurred with FTX, BlockFi, and others, unless they removed their assets from the Mycelium wallet and stored it on those exchanges.

The Mycelium wallet is not to be confused with the Mycelium DAO (formerly known as Tracer DAO), which has a governance token that was previously listed on FTX. The Mycelium Bitcoin wallet has no integration with or connection to FTX.  

One item of note is that in 2015, Mycelium’s wallet was removed from the Google Play store, following a violation of the “paid and free provision” of Google’s content policy. The wallet has since been reinstated, however, following removal of its “donation” button. 

Privacy and Anonymity

Mycelium wallet holders are not required to disclose personal information, and maintain complete anonymity. Mycelium also utilizes multi-level PIN protection. If users were to lose their mobile device, they could restore their account with their previously established seed phrase.

Mycelium also collects no user data. As such, users do not have to be concerned with data being stored and sold to third parties. User locations and addresses are concealed via Mycelium’s usage of the Tor Network (The Onion Routing project).

Setup  

Mycelium setup is fairly straightforward. iPhone and/or Android users download the application from their respective app stores. Following installation of the wallet, users are prompted to back up the wallet, and will be provided with a 12-word seed phrase. Note that the seed phrase will need to be typed back in the exact order provided.

Proper safeguarding and keyword hygiene is of the utmost importance. Your seed phrase should be protected and stored in a safe place, as loss of your seed phrase could result in loss of funds. It is important to reiterate that the user is in control of their funds at all times. As such, the user is the custodian and the ultimate responsible party.

Finally, users will provide a PIN number as an additional level of security.

Usability

Desktop

The Mycelium wallet is mobile only, and does not have a desktop version at the moment.

Mobile App

The Mycelium wallet is available for both iPhone and Android users. Android users, however, have the option of using Mycelium Local Trader. The application itself is straightforward and clean. It clearly provides the options for users to send, receive, or move funds from cold storage.

Customer Service

Customer service for Mycelium is email only. Mycelium is responsive, but has no phone or chat options available. Additionally, it has no social media presence, and states explicitly that any social media presence that claims to represent Mycelium is a scam.

Cost & Fees 

Cost and associated fees for the Mycelium wallet are standard. There is no cost associated with downloading the wallet, or fees associated with receiving assets. There are network fees associated with sending crypto assets, but this is commonplace and dependent on the network itself. Users also have the ability to customize send fees to increase or decrease priority levels. 

Final Verdict

The Mycelium wallet is a strong option for crypto investors who place a high priority on self-custody and security of funds. It is truly a “not your keys, not your coins” option, and allows investors to shield their assets from some of the recent debacles within the crypto industry. With over 90 supported assets, investors are likely to find what they are looking to hold and/or trade.

This wallet is not for the uninitiated, however. There is not a great deal of hand-holding that takes place, and customer support is relatively sparse in comparison to other wallets. Experienced crypto investors may feel right at home, however. One of the larger issues for investors, whether experienced or not, is the lack of uniformity between iOS and Android users. The fact that Local Trader is not available to iPhone users may dissuade them from using the app itself.

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. Mycelium. "Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet."

  2. Google Play. "Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet."

  3. CoinDesk. "Mycelium's Bitcoin Wallet Suspended From Google Play Store."