Every valuable asset needs a place to be stored. Treasure demands chests or vaults, gold requires protected storage, and money is usually kept in wallets. Cryptocurrencies are no different and have to be stored in specialized wallets of their own.
Crypto wallets are necessary for a number of reasons. First, they act as a place of storage for cryptocurrencies until the cryptos are retrieved. Second, wallets provide secure storage for assets. Third, wallets are destinations with unique details that cryptocurrencies can be sent to or from.
When it comes to Ethereum, the second-most popular cryptocurrency out there, wallets are no exception and need to be selected carefully. There are dozens of Ethereum wallets out there to suit every taste. The most common question that arises in the minds of new users is how to set up an Ethereum wallet. The answer to that question as well as some essential tips are provided in this article.
Ethereum Transaction Peculiarities
Just like with any high-demand blockchain that is acquiring ever more users, the problems of scalability and transaction speed affect Ethereum. The number of transactions the Ethereum blockchain can process is really not that high and stands at about five transactions per second. Also, the bigger the blockchain becomes, the slower it gets.
For any transaction to pass in the Ethereum blockchain, it requires gas, or Ether. All transactions on the Ethereum network have a certain gas cost. The cost depends on the demand for gas as well as the size and speed of the contract in the transaction. The gas system is part of the Ethereum blockchain economy and is necessary to prioritize the most important transactions by publicly informing miners of the computational costs and rewards of these transactions. In essence, the gas element was added to ensure a greater level of fairness on the blockchain and involve all contributors in the security and maintenance of the blockchain.
However, the gas system also brought a certain level of discomfort to users. As the volume of transactions on the Ethereum network grows, the transaction speed falls and the commission rates rise.
Ethereum Blockchain in Numbers
Best Ethereum Wallets
The variety of Ethereum wallets on the market is massive and can confuse users seeking optimal storage for their cryptos. The following is a breakdown of some of the best Ethereum wallets by type.
Ethereum Paper Wallets
Paper wallets are the simplest and most secure type of wallet available on the market. They are essentially nothing more than generated pieces of code that need to be written down on paper. As a means of cold storage, paper wallets are popular with users who do not trust the security of online wallets or who do not access their accounts frequently. MyEtherWallet.com is the most common and most popular paper wallet.
Ethereum Hardware Wallets
Hardware Ethereum wallets are a highly popular choice among crypto enthusiasts for a number of reasons. First, they are ultra-secure, since they are a type of cold storage with no access to the internet, thus making them inaccessible to hackers. Second, they are stylish devices. Third, they can offer a large number of features, depending on the model. The Trezor Ethereum wallet is considered by far the best hardware wallet on the market in terms of security, with 2-F authentication and transaction confirmation prior to execution. The Ledger Ethereum wallet, specifically the Nano S model, is also highly popular for its built-in screen and advanced security features, which include 2-F authentication, a PIN code, and seed phrase recovery. The Keepkey Ethereum wallet is also among the top three wallets thanks to its security and incredibly easy setup via Chrome applications.
Ethereum Online Wallets
Most online wallets for Ethereum are Dapps that function through a gateway. The Mist Ethereum wallet is one such Dapp, serving as a browser extension that can be installed by visiting ethereum.org and following the easy step-by-step installation guide. The Parity Ethereum wallet is another client that is integrated into the user’s web browser and offers wallet functions. Parity is a full-node wallet, which means that it stores the full Ethereum blockchain on the user’s computer, which requires a large amount of space.
Ethereum Mobile Wallets
Since virtually every cryptocurrency enthusiast has mobile devices readily available, developers have created a large number of applications to suit every taste.
Ethereum Wallets for Android
Android is one of the most popular mobile systems in the world and has attracted numerous cryptocurrency users. There are a number of excellent wallet applications that Android users can download. The Trust Ethereum wallet is considered the best multi-currency wallet for Android, given its convenience and ease of use, but it has limits in terms of Ether, since it is a mobile application. The Jaxx Ethereum wallet is another mobile application with outstanding security features that never lets the private keys leave the device.
Ethereum Wallets for iOS
Like Android, the iOS system is also extremely popular around the world, and wallet developers have not passed it by. Both Trust and Jaxx are supported on iOS and offer the same amenities. Coinomi is another remarkably popular choice, with instant cryptocurrency conversion and support for a large number of coins and tokens.
Ethereum Wallets for Mac
The Mac desktop system is highly popular among cryptocurrency enthusiasts, and there is a broad range of wallets available for users. Jaxx, Exodus, MetaMask, Mist, and others are all available for Mac.
Ethereum Wallets for Windows
Windows has attracted an equally large number of developers, due to its convenient architecture and extensive user base. Jaxx, Exodus, MetaMask, Mist, and others are all available on Windows, since most wallets are cross-platform by nature for convenience and user base extension.
Most Popular Ethereum Wallets
If we were to compile a list of the most popular and highly recommended Ethereum wallets available on the market, it would contain the following:
Trezor. The best hardware wallet on the market comes in three colors and a price tag of $99 as well as with 2-F authentication and a signature function as proof of ownership. The device supports all the main cryptocurrencies, is considered unhackable, and is also waterproof and quite durable.
Ledger Nano S. This hardware wallet comes with support for all major cryptocurrencies, supports PIN codes, and is not that expensive. The device supports backups, user software, and private key sign-ins when any transaction is to be undertaken. The developers claim that the device is so secure that it can even be used on computers that have been compromised by hackers. However, anyone willing to buy the device must be wary of the fake models that have recently appeared on the market.
Jaxx. The Jaxx mobile application is a cross-platform, multi-currency wallet with support for 13 cryptocurrencies. User private keys are always stored on the device and are never shared with Jaxx servers, thus ensuring high security. The wallet is available on all platforms, including Linux, Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS. One major advantage is that Jaxx has a highly active developer community that keeps the app fresh and constantly updated.
Exodus. This wallet is the first-ever desktop wallet with multi-currency support. Exodus brandishes a beautiful interface and is extremely user-friendly. The app has support and backups of user keys, which are stored on the device with no contact with external servers. The aesthetics and convenience are highly appealing, but the downside is that Exodus needs constant internet connection to operate.
MetaMask. This desktop wallet is an extension for the Chrome and Firefox browsers with a very pleasing design, no registration requirements, and private key and password encryption features for added security. MetaMask has direct contact with Ethereum Dapps and is rightly considered one of the most intuitive wallets on the market.
Mist. The Mist wallet is the official Ethereum wallet and supports multi-signature addresses. Though highly convenient and user-friendly, Mist requires the user to download the entire Ethereum blockchain to operate, which can be extremely costly in terms of storage space. As with all self-respecting desktop wallets, user private keys are stored on the device. Mist also has ShapeShift built in, which allows it to exchange other cryptocurrencies, and is a cross-platform wallet.
Coinbase. The Coinbase web wallet is extremely easy to use and offers instant cryptocurrency conversion. It supports most of the main cryptocurrencies and offers users multi-signature support for added security. However, since it is a web wallet, users must bear in mind that the risk of hacking is present, and hardware wallets should still be used for better security.
MyEtherWallet. By far the most popular and easy-to-use web wallet, MyEtherWallet is an open-source client-side wallet with no third-party involvement. This wallet can be used to create paper wallets. MyEtherWallet’s best feature is that no one but the user has control over the wallet. The wallet also includes instant swap features for Bitcoin to Ethereum.
Atomic Wallet. If security is what you’re looking for, then Atomic Wallet is the way to go. It offers a handful of useful features, support for over 300 cryptocurrencies, and a built-in exchange, and it’s updated on a weekly basis. Atomic Wallet is a cross-platform wallet and has an actively growing community.
Ethereum Wallet Check
To round up the review of Ethereum wallets, it would be best to focus on security and convenience. Hardware wallets and paper wallets are the paragons of security, except that hardware wallets offer other useful features, unlike paper wallets. Since competition is fierce among crypto wallet developers, the wallets are fairly equal in their capabilities and functions.
When choosing a wallet to store your Ethereum, it is best to have two or even three – a paper wallet, a hardware wallet, and a desktop wallet. You should opt for a mobile wallet only if a desktop version is inconvenient. Keep your assets safe!