Monero prides itself on being the world’s most private, fully untraceable digital currency. Monero is one of the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization and one of the top privacy coins. It has also become very commonly used on the dark web.
Privacy coins such as Monero, Dash and Zcash have become more and more popular with those looking for true anonymity.
Despite bitcoin regularly being cited as anonymous, it is in fact not.
Every bitcoin transaction that takes place is quite traceable. This is due to the fact that knowledge of bitcoin public address details can allow a third-party to instantly check a bitcoin wallet balance and review that wallet’s transaction history.
Fortunately, Monero (XMR) provides a cryptocurrency solution to investors and users which is completely private and anonymous.
Monero Wallet Basics & Benefits
Unlike some digital currencies such as bitcoin, approved Monero wallet applications use stealth wallet addresses. These make it impossible for non-trusted individuals to review Monero wallet balances and/or transaction histories.
What Monero calls “cryptographical ring signatures” then adds a further layer of privacy to transactions. This is thanks to the fact that every time Monero is transacted, a Monero wallet will relay funds through several different addresses, in order to disguise the true funding sources and balance destinations.
My Monero Wallet – The Only Approved Monero Online Wallet
Because of the way in which Monero processes transactions, third-party Monero wallet support is very limited.
Made available by Riccardo Spagni, a core maintainer of Monero, My Monero Wallet is the only officially endorsed XMR web-based wallet currently available.
My Monero simply encrypts the keys and stores the data on their own servers, meaning that they have no access to your Monero funds.
Because this is a web-based wallet and Monero is all about privacy and security you should ensure you are using a secure and clean browser. Instead of using your usual browser, we recommend you use the Brave browser for setting up and accessing online wallets.
The set up is very intuitive and straight forward. One thing to emphasize is to make sure you write down your private login key, which is a string of words, on a piece of paper (or even two) and keep it in a safe place so you can access your funds.
Alternatives like Freewallet or Android and iOS mobile wallet apps like Monerujo do exist. However, such wallets are plagued by poor development transparency and user complaints regarding lost XMR tokens. We advise against using these services.
Monero Paper Wallets
Users planning to hold XMR cryptocurrency tokens long-term are often advised to create paper wallets via moneroaddress.org.
While this is a relatively good method, this approach can be tricky and requires a certain level of expertise and is only advised if you really know what you’re doing.
Monero Hardware Wallets
At present, there are no officially endorsed Monero hardware wallets available to XMR users.
However, Monero Hardware Wallet Support Should Arrive in 2018 from Ledger and Anomimal.
Because of investor interest in hardware wallet support for XMR, the hardware wallet provider Ledger is currently working on supporting XMR in the future within their popular Ledger Nano S hardware wallet.
In addition, a Monero funded hardware wallet is being developed by Anomimal and is expected to start retailing online later in 2018. TREZOR has expressed interest in including Monero, but nothing seems to be in the works at this time.
At present, however, Monero’s ring signature protocol makes integration with existing hardware wallets exceedingly difficult.
Official Monero Desktop Client
Despite lack of third-party wallet support, Monero investors can download and install the official Monero GUI wallet (Monero core) from getmonero.org/downloads.
This is a full node wallet which means that after install, PC’s running the official XMR wallet client will help process transactions across the XMR network.
What are the Best Monero Wallets to Safely Store XMR in 2018?
Pending release of dedicated Monero hardware wallets by Ledger Nano S and Anonimal, new XMR investors have two main XMR secure storage options.
Users, should, however, always make sure to follow basic safe storage practices:
- When using a paper wallet, XMR users should (initially) create test wallets with small balances in order to avoid potential digital currency losses during the setup process
- In every case, paper Monero wallets should be set up offline using virus and malware free PC devices
- When using the Monero desktop client (or a web wallet alternative), users should create and store a backup wallet passphrase so that wallets can later be restored easily
- When Monero hardware wallet release candidates do make it to market, XMR users will need to remember to create new backup passphrases for any hardware wallet which they plan on transferring their XMR balance to.
The Easiest & Simplest Way to Buy Monero and Put it in a Monero Wallet
If you still feel a bit overwhelmed or confused and just want a straightforward guide, here is our recommendation.
The easiest and simplest method to buy Monero to date is to:
1) Set up your address at My Monero Wallet.
2) Use Changelly where you can buy Monero using bitcoin or US Dollars and send it directly to your Monero wallet address all in one foul swoop.
3) Hope that the Monero price goes up and up and up!
4) As soon as the Ledger Nano S can support Monero, move it there for safe keeping as this is a better option than a web or paper wallet.
Do you have any questions about Monero wallets or do you have experience setting up a Monero wallet? Share your experience in the comments section below.
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.