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- Ethereum (symbol: ETH) is currently second in line behind Bitcoin in terms of market cap, currently valued at over $50 billion
- The blockchain is called Ethereum and the currency is technically called Ether, however most people also refer to the currency as Ethereum too. We will follow this convention here.
- When you purchase Ethereum it needs to be kept in a wallet – below we look at the Ethereum wallets best suited for different types of investors
- When developing decentralized apps (Dapps) and creating smart contracts on Ethereum, users will often need to download and run a full Ethereum Mist wallet
- For regular Ethereum investors, the best Ethereum wallet offerings on the market depend on how long you plan to hold Ethereum, how much convenience you need and how important security is to you.
In the early days of Ethereum, getting started with investing and storing coins safely was not easy at all. For the most part, early Ethereum adopters were limited to using just the official Ethereum wallet called Mist. Problems subsequently arose as the Ethereum blockchain increased in size.
The good news, however, is that today in 2021, there is no shortage of convenient and highly secure Ethereum wallet applications on the market. Here we will take a look at the best Ethereum wallets for any investor or cryptocurrency trader.
Here is information on the current Ethereum price:
Types of Ethereum Wallets
There are essentially six types of Ethereum wallets and the one you choose will depend on a few factors which we will look at below. The six kinds are:
- Hardware wallets – these are physical devices, similar to a USB stick, that offer the greatest level of security. However, the only real drawback is that they are not free. Hardware wallets are particularly good for long-term storage.
- Desktop wallets – These are wallets that are kept and used on your desktop or laptop. They are convenient, but come with some security risks and are really only as secure as your computer is.
- Mobile wallets – Similar to desktop wallets, but for your phone, they bring convenience and allow you to access your coins on the go, but can be vulnerable and have drawbacks, depending on the mobile app’s security and your phone’s security.
- Online wallets – These are web-based wallets and, as the name suggests, everything is online, or more specifically, kept on a server somewhere. This tends to be the riskiest type of wallet.
- Paper wallets – Paper wallets are for the tech-savvy as they are easy to mess up. Essentially, you keep the public and private keys to your Ethereum on a piece of paper. This is often called “cold storage”.
- Exchange wallets – This is where you store your Ethereum on a cryptocurrency exchange such as Binance or Coinbase. In general this is not considered safe, because many exchanges get hacked. However there is one exception that we discuss below.
Before choosing the best Ethereum wallet for you, it will make your selection a lot easier if you take a few moments and answer the following questions:
- Do you plan to hold Ethereum for the long-term or is there a good chance you will trade or sell it after a short time?
- Do you also want the ability to invest in ERC20 coins, cryptocurrencies which are based on the Ethereum blockchain?
- How important is convenience to you with your Ethereum wallet? Do you want to have it with you on the go?
- Are you willing to spend about $100 for the top Ethereum wallets?
- How important is the security of your Ethereum wallet to you?
Ok, after answering those questions, you should be able to narrow the best Ether wallet for you fairly quickly. And just in case you haven’t yet bought your Ethereum, you can read our guide on how to buy Ethereum. Some of the top exchanges are:
Let’s take a look at the top wallets for storing Ethereuem.
1. Ledger Nano S – The Best Ethereum Hardware Wallet
For rock-solid security of your cryptocurrency, it is widely considered best to use a hardware wallet, especially for long-term storage.
The Ledger Nano S looks similar to a USB flash drive and will keep your Ethereum, including its private keys, offline and within the device itself. When you want to trade or sell your Ethereum, the Ledger Nano S will sign the transaction with the stored private keys.
It is so secure that you can actually use your Ledger Nano S on a computer that is infected with malware and viruses!
A really great feature is that if your Ledger Nano S gets lost, destroyed or stops working, you don’t have to worry about losing the cryptocurrency stored on it because you can use a PIN that you set up to recover the coins onto a new Ledger.
Ledger Nano S Pros:
- The highest level of security and performance for your Ethereum and cryptocurrency
- You can restore it easily
- You can transact fairly easily
- It is portable
- Can be integrated with MyEtherWallet, allowing you to also store all ERC20 tokens, as well as, giving you a better user interface
- You have full control over your own Ethereum
- In addition to Ethereum, the Ledger Nano S can store dozens of different altcoins
Ledger Nano S Cons:
- Hardware wallets are not free, though the Ledger Nano S (currently about $100) is cheaper than other hardware wallets such as Trezor
- It is not the easiest wallet to use, though this can be improved by coupling it with MyEtherWallet (see below)
Is the Ledger Nano S the Right Ethereum Wallet for You?
Basically, if you are willing to pay the money to purchase it, then the Ledger Nano S is probably the best wallet for Ethereum for you. However, if you want a free wallet or really need to have access to your Ethereum on the go, then a hardware wallet may not be the ideal choice for you.
Honorable Mention for an Ethereum Hardware Wallet- Trezor
The Trezor hardware wallet deserves mention here. It provides the same level of security and convenience, however the Ledger Nano S is preferable because it costs less and is more sleek with a better design. Hardware wallets are the only ones here that are not a free Ethereum wallet.
2. Exodus – The Top Ethereum Wallet for Desktop & Laptop
The important thing to remember with Ethereum, is that using a wallet to store actual ETH tokens, isn’t the same as using a wallet to store Ethereum-based ERC20 tokens. Thankfully, if you want a desktop wallet that can store Ethereum, Ethereum Classic (ETC) and ERC20 tokens, the the Exodus wallet might be the right wallet for you.
Exodus is a desktop multi-currency wallet available on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Prized among users for the wallet’s ease of use, Exodus allows users to store Ethereum and several other top altcoins safely and easily.
In fact, Exodus is even integrated with Shapeshift, a live in-wallet exchange feature which can be used to quickly swap different cryptocurrency coins directly. Exodus is always connected to the internet, but it does not actually move your private keys off of your computer.
Exodus Wallet Pros:
- Very clean and easy to use interface
- Your wallet can be restored by the use of backup keys
- It can hold many kinds of cryptocurrencies, including ERC20 tokens and is integrated with Shapeshift allowing you to easily swap tokens within the wallet itself
Exodus Wallet Cons:
- Exodus is always connected to the internet, which can make it vulnerable and less secure than other wallets
- It is not open-source, so the true level of security is unknown
Is Exodus the Best Ethereum Wallet for You?
If you prefer to access your crypto assets on a desktop or laptop and regularly practice good computer security habits, then Exodus may be the right wallet for your Ethereum. It should be remembered though, that Exodus wallets should be regularly backed up and that the Exodus wallet source code is not (at present) open source.
Honorable Mention for an Ethereum Desktop Wallet- Mist
The Mist Ethereum Wallet is the official wallet listed on the Ethereum project’s website and is a close runner up to Exodus. Having the backing of the Ethereum project itself is a huge plus and the wallet more or less runs smoothly. It also has a nice recovery feature.
However, we hesitate to recommend it currently as the wallet is still in beta and issues may arise. The other issue is that the Ethereum wallet is a full node, and this means that it takes up a lot of space on your hard drive and also has to continually sync with the Ethereum blockchain. This could cause issues for some people.
What About Metamask?
What’s really cool about Metamask is that you can use it to run Ethereum decentralized apps (DApps) in your browser without having to run a full node. This allows you to engage with smart contracts in an easier manner.
However, as a wallet, Metamask is sub-par.
Not only is Metamask a web wallet, making its security vulnerable, but more importantly, if you use it with the Chrome browser, then most websites that you visit can see you have it installed. This makes people aware that you are a cryptocurrency investor, which makes you a target for hackers and people trying to steal your coins.
That being said, we do recommend Metamask if you use it only on the Brave browser, because it is designed to be a much more secure browser than Chrome. (Check out how you can get free Brave BAT cryptocurrency tokens!)
3. Abra – The Best Mobile Ethereum Wallet Android & iOS App
Want your Ethereum in your pocket and on-the-go? Then you may just love the Abra app.
Abra is a really cool app that allows you to not only store Ethereum, but you can also swap Ethereum for any of the other 24 cryptocurrencies it supports, as well as, hundreds of fiat currencies.
What’s also really neat is that you can send money to anyone else who has the Abra app for a fraction of the cost as most remittance companies such as Western Union charge. In addition, you can send it in one currency and they can receive it in another.
For example, I could send you some money from my bitcoin wallet and you could receive it in Ethereum Classic or British Pounds. Abra really is the best way to send and receive money nowadays and, as it gets more users, it could really disrupt the remittance market, which would be huge.
- Great user interface, sleek design and simple to use
- Supports 25 cryptocurrencies as well as tons of fiat currencies
- Abra allows you to send money internationally for a fraction of the price compared to services such as Western Union
- The wallet is non-custodial – meaning that Abra never holds or has access to your funds, they are stored on your phone
- You can recover your funds if you lose your phone, by using a recovery phrase that you set up at the beginning (never lose your recovery phrase, because if you do, then you may lose your funds)
- Abra also supports some ERC20 tokens such as OmiseGo, Golem, Ox , Status and Augur
- You can fund it with both crypcurrency and fiat cash, by connecting the app to your bank account
- Not quite as secure as a hardware wallet since everything is stored on your phone and your phone regularly accesses the internet and could get infected with malware
- Not open source
Is Abra the Ideal Ethereum Wallet App for You?
If you are looking for an Ethereum wallet iOS or for Android, then Abra may be right for you. Abra certainly has a lot going for it: 1) it allows you to send money to anyone internationally for a fraction of the cost of most remittances, 2) you can store up to 25 cryptocurrencies and lots of fiat currencies, 3) and you can have your Ethereum wallet with you on the go.
Ethereum wallet download: get the Abra app for Android or iOS:
Honorable Mention for an Ethereum Mobile Wallet- Jaxx
Many people recommend Jaxx for a mobile wallet, however I think that is mostly because they haven’t yet tried Abra. The two are similar, however Abra is the better choice for a couple reasons. The main reason is that Abra is more user-friendly and better designed for mass adoption.
Whereas the Jaxx wallet is used to store or transact with cryptocurrency, Abra allows fiat currency as well giving it the extra feature of being able to send or receive money from people who are not yet comfortable with cryptocurrency. The other reason that Abra holds an edge over Jaxx is user reviews. If you compare the reviews on both the Apple and Google Play app stores you will see that Abra has much higher reviews than Jaxx.
4. MyEtherWallet – The Best Ethereum Wallet Online
MyEtherWallet, sometimes mistakenly referred to as My Ethereum Wallet, is a web-based wallet that allows you to login and access your wallet like a typical website or exchange, but it differs from most other online wallets because it 1) allows you to control your own private keys, 2) gives you the ability to write and access smart contracts and 3) you can store and use any ERC20 tokens.
Being a web-based wallet that you control completely means that there are security issues with MyEtherWallet and it recently had some serious security issues.
However, there is one feature that makes MyEtherWallet one of the top Ethereum wallets: its ability to integrate with hardware wallets such as the Ledger Nano S.
Using Ledger Nano S & My Ether Wallet Together as an Ether Wallet
In the event that you are invested in both Ethereum and one or more ERC-20 tokens, finding a suitable Ethereum wallet can be a little challenging. Thankfully, one solution is to pair a Nano Ledger S hardware wallet with MyEtherWallet.
Being an official Ethereum web wallet, My Ether Wallet can be used to store several Ethereum and ERC20 tokens with relative ease and convenience.
The only problem is that being a web wallet makes MyEtherWallet somewhat insecure.
A very powerful solution is to integrate your Ledger Nano S with MyEtherWallet. By doing this, you get the robust security of the Ledger Nano S with the functionality and user interface of MyEtherWallet. Here is a great video showing you how to set up and use Ledger Nano S with MyEtherWallet.
Ledger Nano S With MyEtherWallet Pros:
- You get the rock solid security of a hardware wallet
- With the ease of use and friendly interface of MyEtherWallet
- You can store ERC20 tokens and interact with smart contracts
- You have full control over your private keys
Ledger Nano S With MyEtherWallet Cons:
- This is a lot to set up when compared to options such as Coinbase (see below). However, once this is all set up you have a wallet that is about as good as it can get.
Is Using My Ether Wallet & Nano Ledger the Best Wallet Option for You?
While MyEtherWallet can be used as a standalone application, several security problems have recently impacted the web wallets reputation. This being the case, the best Ethereum wallet storage option for holders of ERC20 tokens and ETH, may be to use a combination of both services.
Much more importantly, with the Legder Nano S device being the most trusted hardware wallet currently on the market, users are assured of security and performance that is second to none. We would consider this to be one of the best options for most people as it combines true security and ease of use.
However, there is one serious contender to this which we cover next.
5. Coinbase Ethereum Wallet – For Convenience & Security
If you have been following the bitcoin and cryptocurrency space some time, you may have red flags going up in your mind because Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange. There have been many exchanges that have been hacked over the years and the usual advice is to never keep your crypto funds on an exchange.
However, Coinbase provides a very compelling exception to this rule.
Coinbase has established itself as the best brand in the world among cryptocurrency exchanges.
They have worked harder than any exchange to be compliant and ensure they don’t violate laws. Because of this, the number of cryptocurrencies available on Coinbase is limited. However, Ethereum is available.
But the real reason we consider Coinbase to be the top exchange wallet for Ethereum is because of its obsession over security.
Coinbase keeps 98% of users crypto assets in cold storage, meaning that they are completely disconnected from the internet, which makes them more secure than the average person securing their own coins.
A few other exchanges do the same, but what truly sets Coinbase apart and makes us feel safe leaving cryptocurrencies on Coinbase is that they also insure your funds. In addition to this, if you are a U.S. based customer then your funds are also FDIC insured like your bank account.
On top of all that, since Coinbase is an exchange, it makes it really easy to buy and sell cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum.
- Coinbase is simple, convenient and easy to use with a great user interface
- Your cryptocurrency and funds are insured and secure
- Coinbase has established itself as the most respected bitcoin and altcoin exchange
- You can buy cryptocurrency with a credit card or your bank account and can easily buy and sell Ethereum and other coins
- You don’t control your own private keys. This is a good option if you are keeping a small amount of money on the exchange and want to trade. However, for very large sums, the combination of Ledger Nano S and MyEtherWallet is probably the best option.
Is Coinbase the Right Wallet for Ethereum for Me?
If you want things to be convenient and simple, yet still care about the security of your Ethereum, then Coinbase might be the best bet for you.
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What About an Ethereum Paper Wallet?
A paper wallet, also called a cold wallet, is where you generate the information (such as private keys and wallet address) necessary to create and use a wallet and store it on a piece of paper.
While using an Ethereum paper wallet generator, such as ETHaddress, to create Ethereum wallets might be a good option for some people, they are often too easy to mess up and require a level of tech-savvy that most people do not possess. While this isn’t necessarily a bad option, for the vast majority of people, the Ethereum wallets above are simply better choices.
Ethereum Classic Wallets
Ethereum classic is a parallel blockchain and cryptocurrency to Ethereum. It was created by a “hard fork”, which is when a group of people decide to maintain a blockchain that has gone in a different direction from the original. Ethereum Classic was formed after the DAO hack. The Ethereum community decided to “rewind” back to before the hack and return people’s funds. However, some people didn’t agree with this and formed Ethereum Classic.
So, what is the best Ethereum Classic wallet? Any of the top five listed above would work just fine. However, depending on when you read this, Coinbase may not yet support Ethereum Classic, though it has announced that it will add support for it.
The 5 Top Ethereum Wallets
We hope this guide has helped to you find the best Ethereum wallet for you. To review, the top 5 wallets are:
In addition, we just want to remind you that your wallet is where your Ethereum is actually kept and, in order to safeguard your crypto, we recommend you take the following measures to keep it safe.
- Back up your wallet – all of the top five wallets (except for Coinbase) have a backup feature. Make sure to use this because this is how you can retrieve your Ethereum if you have a problem. On Coinbase, we recommend you use two-factor authentication.
- Do not share your private keys – do not show or tell anyone your private keys becuase, if you do, they will have access to your funds and can steal them.
- Keep all software updated – not updating software is a great way to leave your wallet vulnerable to attack. On Coinbase you don’t have to worry about this, but with other Ethereum wallets make sure you’re always using the latest version of the software.
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Richard has developed and ran multiple online websites and communities with tens of millions of monthly visitors. He first discovered bitcoin and blockchain in 2012 and has been helping to educate others on its potential since then. Richard is very passionate about the crypto community. Read his inspiring story into cryptocurrency here.