Wasabi Cryptocurrency Wallet Review

A Bitcoin-only desktop wallet for enhanced privacy, anonymity, and security

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Wasabi Cryptocurrency Wallet Review

Wasabi Cryptocurrency Wallet

Investopedia’s Rating
3.6

Our Take

Launched in 2018 by zkSNACKs as an open-source privacy-focused Bitcoin wallet, Wasabi is a non-custodial software-based desktop wallet that is compatible with Windows, MacOS, Windows, and Linux. The wallet, however, only accommodates Bitcoin and does not offer a mobile app.

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
  • CoinJoin-enabled

  • Enhanced privacy via Tor integration

  • Free and open-source

Cons
  • Supports only one crypto asset

  • No mobile version

Company Overview

Launched in 2018 by zkSNACKs as an open-source privacy-focused Bitcoin wallet, Wasabi is headquartered in Gibraltar. 

Wasabi is a non-custodial software-based desktop wallet that is compatible with multiple operating systems including Windows, MacOS, and Linux. The wallet accommodates only one cryptocurrency, which is Bitcoin.

The wallet does not support staking, buying, selling, or swapping of crypto assets. You can simply store, send, and receive Bitcoin. Wasabi only offers documentation and no support contacts on the website. However, it guarantees privacy and anonymity by implementing trustless CoinJoin.

During CoinJoin transactions, multiple participants combine their coins into one larger transaction with several inputs and outputs. As a result, none of the participants can learn the identity of a particular coin's owner, making transactions untraceable. Unfortunately, there have been widely publicized incidents where this feature was used to disguise criminal activity. The latest occurred in 2022, when two Chinese intelligence officers covered their tracks after allegedly bribing a U.S. double agent.

Wasabi's software wallet is suitable for Bitcoin investors who value privacy, anonymity, and security, as well as those who wish to keep track of a single-coin portfolio (in this case, Bitcoin). Since it is only compatible with desktop devices, this wallet may be a deal-breaker for investors who desire to manage and track their coins via their smartphones.

Wasabi Cryptocurrency Wallet Review

Wasabi Cryptocurrency Wallet

overall rating
3.6
Type of Wallet Desktop - compatible with multiple operating systems including Windows, Linux, and MacOS.
Price  Free 
Fees  Network fees for CoinJoin transactions. Fees may be customized in some cases. 
Number of cryptocurrencies Supported  1
Bitcoin and Ethereum Support Bitcoin only 
Earn (Staking/Rewards)  No 
Customer Service  No, only documentation
In-App Features  Minimal features and functions beyond those for security and privacy
Hardware Compatible Yes 
SPV or Full Node  Full node
Mobile App  No 

Pros Explained

  • CoinJoin-enabled: CoinJoin is a mechanism that guarantees privacy in Bitcoin transactions by breaking the link of which input pays which output, preventing the output from knowing the owner of the input.
  • Enhanced privacy via Tor integration: Because there is a lot of communication between Bitcoin nodes, users can be de-anonymized. But the wallet can use both locally installed or automatic Tor integrations to mask the IP address of Bitcoin users, enhancing privacy.
  • Free and open-source: Besides being free, Wasabi is open-source, giving users more control over the software they run. This way, tech-savvy users can configure the software to suit their needs.

Cons Explained 

  • Supports only one crypto asset: Wasabi Wallet supports only Bitcoin, making it unsuitable for investors who want to manage several assets at the same time in a single wallet.
  • No mobile version: Wasabi Wallet only offers a desktop version, making it is a deal-breaker for users who desire to manage their crypto assets remotely with a smartphone.

Features

Wasabi is a non-custodial hot wallet that requires a connection to the internet and cryptocurrency network to work. As a wallet, Wasabi values user privacy and anonymity. This is evident in its built-in CoinJoin, coin control, and Tor integration features that help to keep users and their IP addresses anonymous. This further prevents security breaches and data leaks.

Wasabi does not offer users the opportunity to earn passive income and rewards through staking, unlike some other wallets that do. Another drawback is Wasabi Wallet's support of Bitcoin only.

Security

Since its launch, the wallet has maintained some level of security without a report of any major security breaches. At the point of installation and setup, the wallet's users are issued a 12-word seed phrase which is a randomly generated string of words that can be used to back up the wallet or access it should a user’s device get lost or damaged.

Being a non-custodial wallet, users have total custody over their funds and are at liberty to secure their wallets with a password. It is important to keep the 12-word backup phrase and password safe to retain access to the wallet's contents.

Wasabi is a hierarchical deterministic (HD) wallet, making it generate a new crypto address to receive payments and secure funds. It uses a BIP 44 account hierarchy for deterministic wallets, enabling a user to generate countless addresses and have them securely backed up with the 12-word recovery phrase.

Privacy and Anonymity

To keep users private and anonymous, a new address is always generated for every transaction. Operating the wallet does not require any form of Know-Your-Customer (KYC) module. During transactions, wallet users have the option to make use of CoinJoin. CoinJoin is an anonymization method for Bitcoin transactions that also eliminates the risk of funds disappearing or being stolen.

CoinJoin allows users to mix their coins together with others to perform a transaction. This way, the recipient does not know who the actual sender of such a transaction is. Performing a CoinJoin transaction with Wasabi involves launching the wallet, selecting a maximum of seven coins with a value of at least 0.1 BTC, specifying an anonymity set, entering your password, clicking “Enqueue Selected Coins,’’ and waiting for the transaction to be completed.

Setup

Downloading and setting up the wallet is easy. To set up the wallet, visit the official website, wasabiwallet.io, and download the version that is compatible with your device (Linux, Windows, or MacOS).

Next click on the downloaded software to install it. After launching the wallet, generate a new wallet, set a unique name for it, and set a secure password that cannot be guessed by someone else.

Finally, a 12-word recovery phrase is randomly generated. This phrase must be carefully backed up as it will be needed to recover your password on a different device or wallet software.

Important

Always remember to properly back up your wallet and keep the password safe.

Usability

1

Desktop

Wasabi Wallet is a hot software wallet that must be connected to the internet to be fully operational. Because the wallet allows for hardware integration, users can manage their hardware wallet with the Wasabi Wallet interface. The wallet has only the desktop version with software that is compatible with devices such as Windows, Linux, and MacOS.

The wallet has an easy-to-use interface, and its platform is well-equipped with documents that can help users navigate their way around the wallet.

Customer Service

Wasabi Wallet is rather lacking in this area. Without an active live chat, ticket system, email, or phone availability, users may find it extremely difficult to reach out to the Wasabi support team should they need assistance or experience major problems. The website only offers extensive documentation, guides, and frequently asked questions.

Cost and Fees

Downloading and installing the wallet software is free. However, performing CoinJoin transactions comes with a fee. The fees rely solely on the anonymity set. Currently, the fee is set at 0.003% of the anonymity set.

Assuming you are performing a CoinJoin and you set the anonymity to 40, your fees will be 0.003% x 40 = 0.12%. If you end up with an anonymity set of 50, then you will pay 0.003% x 50 = 0.15%.

Depending on the details of your transaction, you may or may not be required to pay the full fee. For instance, if you are the smallest registrant in a particular CoinJoin transaction, you may not pay a fee. Should you remix your coins and cannot afford the full fees, you may be allowed to pay what you can. However, if the change amount left over happens to be too small, it will be added to the fees. The minimum change amount to be paid out is 0.3% of the base denomination, which is approximately 0.1 BTC.

Final Verdict

Wasabi Wallet is a non-custodial wallet that embraces maximum privacy and security. Its built-in CoinJoin and Tor integration features make it a perfect fit for traders and investors who value extreme privacy when sending Bitcoin.

However, Wasabi only supports Bitcoin and does not offer a mobile app, making it inefficient for investors looking to maintain diverse crypto assets in a single wallet or conveniently track their funds using a mobile device.

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
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  1. CoinDesk. "Chinese 'Spies' Used Wasabi Wallet to Try to Conceal Bitcoin Bribes, Elliptic Says."