If you want to invest in cryptocurrency, you need to think about how you’ll secure your holdings. Cryptocurrency is like cash, which means whoever has it can spend or transfer it — or steal it.
There have been a handful of high-profile and costly heists over the lifetime of cryptocurrency. Meanwhile, untold numbers of crypto users lose their holdings when they misplace the hard drive or thumb drive containing them.
It’s impossible to guarantee that you won’t lose your crypto holdings at some point. But these digital Bitcoin and cryptocurrency wallets can certainly reduce the risk.
Best Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Wallets
These are the best Bitcoin wallets on the market today.
Each excels at one or more things, whether that’s keeping costs low or providing access to an unusually wide array of coins. Our “best overall” pick offers the most value to the greatest number of would-be users, and we’d recommend it to anyone who’s paralyzed by choice in this sometimes-confusing space.
Best Overall: Coinbase
Coinbase offers cryptocurrency trading platforms, a noncustodial crypto wallet, and crypto-based commercial solutions. It’s among the most trusted names in the crypto space, and with robust desktop and mobile apps, it’s appropriate for a range of different users.
Key selling points of Coinbase include:
- Extremely beginner-friendly wallet solution (Coinbase Wallet)
- Powerful trading platform with market and limit order capabilities (Coinbase Pro)
- Very low fees and expenses with Coinbase Pro
- Coinbase keeps the vast majority of users’ crypto in cold storage, thwarting would-be thieves
- Compatible with leading hardware options, including Trezor
- 24/7 chat and phone support — not the norm for smaller services
Best for Bitcoin: Electrum
Electrum is one of the few remaining crypto wallets to deal exclusively in Bitcoin. While that’s a limitation for users seeking crypto diversification, there’s no law against using Electrum for Bitcoin and other wallet for everything else.
And Electrum is extremely well-suited for Bitcoin investors. Key selling points include:
- Customizable fees based on how quickly you want the transaction to complete — pay more for faster service
- No lock-in — your private keys work on other exchanges and wallets
- Zero downtime
- Unusually strong security for a hot wallet, including cold storage for all funds and multi-signature authorization
- Electrum never handles your private keys
Best for Mobile Users: Mycelium
Mycelium is a no-nonsense Bitcoin wallet that supports a few other cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum and some stablecoins. Its defining feature is the fact that it’s mobile-only — compatible with Android and iOS devices exclusively.
Unsurprisingly, it’s the most user-friendly mobile crypto wallet app by some margin. And it has some other notable features too, including:
- Customizable transaction fees based on desired priority
- Compatible with several hardware wallets, including Trezor and and Ledger
- Open-source technology (enhanced security compared with non-open-source wallets)
- Offline transaction capabilities
- Lots of DIY help resources, though human customer support is thin
- Watch-only mode, which protects against unauthorized outbound transactions
- Advanced features to make the blockchain more legible and accessible
Best for Desktop Users: Exodus
Exodus is no longer desktop-only, but it still offers the best functionality and overall experience for users on large screens. That’s largely due to its growing roster of advanced trading and analytics tools, including live charting and crypto staking, and a light-client posture that speeds transactions by eliminating the need for full-blockchain downloads.
Other key selling points of Exodus include:
- About 150 cryptocurrencies supported
- Customizable fees for Bitcoin transactions (with more forthcoming)
- Compatible with Trezor hardware wallets
Best for Selection: Crypto.com
Crypto.com has more than 250 cryptocurrencies on offer, more than just about any other crypto exchange around. You can buy Bitcoin and Ethereum here, of course, but also plenty of thinly traded altcoins and stablecoins too.
If you’re looking to diversify your crypto portfolio, Crypto.com is the place to do it. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for right now, patience could be your reward thanks to a steady supply of ICOs (initial coin offerings) here.
- Lively trading in less-common altcoins
- Buy and sell crypto from just about anywhere
- Spend with the Crypto.com Visa Card and get up to 8% back
- Grow your portfolio by earning rewards worth up to 14.5% on your crypto holdings
Best Customer Support: ZenGo
ZenGo is a multi-chain crypto wallet that offers access to more than 70 crypto assets, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and Shiba Inu. It has a lot working in its favor, but two highlights stand out from the field:
- 24/7 in-app customer support from real human experts — a best-in-class feature
- Keyless MPC technology that ensures you have full control over your crypto and is always recoverable
Plus, take advantage of a limited-time opportunity to earn 4% APY interest on your Bitcoin.
Or take advantage of two other limited-time offers:
- Buy Terra coins for 0% processing fees
- Apply the code “ZENX0B4G” to get $10 cashback in Bitcoin for a purchase of $200 or more
ZenGo’s additional features include:
- Earn up to 8% interest on your crypto assets
- Sell Bitcoin in the EU, the UK, and the US
- Swap supported cryptocurrencies from nearly anywhere in the world
- 3 network fee modes for BTC, ETH, and ERC20 — economy, regular, or fast
- Just 1 tap to cancel or accelerate sent transactions before blockchain confirmation
Best for Low Cost: BlockFi
BlockFi is one of the most sophisticated crypto-backed financial platforms around. The headline here is the virtually nonexistent cost for crypto trades, other than the approximately 1% margin that accrues to BlockFi. BlockFi has a strict “no hidden fees” policy as well.
More bank than wallet, BlockFi boasts value-adds like:
- Up to 8.6% interest (variable) on eligible crypto balances
- Crypto-backed payment methods
- Crypto-backed loans at competitive interest rates
- Direct access to the Gemini crypto exchange
- No fees on eligible trades
- No asset or balance minimums
Best for Security: Ledger Nano X or S
Ledger is one of the two biggest names in cold wallet technology (Trezor is the other). It supports more than 1,800 cryptocurrencies through Ledger Live and even more through external wallets. It connects to crypto exchanges and/or hot wallets by USB or Bluetooth (the latter being a potential security risk that sophisticated users avoid).
The Nano X is Ledger’s Bluetooth-enabled wallet, and its price point reflects that. If you don’t need Bluetooth functionality, opt for the sleeker, cheaper Ledger Nano S instead.
Best Hardware Wallet: Trezor Model T
The Trezor Model T is nearly as good on the security front as Ledger’s Nano X and S, thanks to cold storage backstops like two-factor authentication and a built-in password manager.
But Trezor really shines in the user-friendliness department, thanks to compatibility with Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android. It’s also really small, making it easy to store (and hide) — though petite size cuts both ways if you’re prone to losing things.
Methodology: How We Select the Best Cryptocurrency Wallet
We use 7 key metrics to select the best Bitcoin and cryptocurrency wallets. Each metric is important for the overall user experience — whether directly, like cost and coin selection, or indirectly, like historical uptime and security.
Coin Selection and Compatibility
Early cryptocurrency wallets were compatible with a handful of coins, typically Bitcoin and the major altcoins. That’s largely because there simply weren’t as many available coins back in the day.
Now, there are hundreds of viable cryptocurrencies, not to mention a rapidly growing universe of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and other blockchain-based assets and instruments. Generally, broader compatibility is better, though it’s true that some very good wallets remain relatively restrictive.
Fees and Expenses
There’s no such thing as a free cryptocurrency transaction. Every wallet on this list passes some costs onto the user. Some recur with every transaction, such as:
- Miner fees
- Wallet use fees
- Exchange fees
- Payment surcharges
Others are one-time or occasional fees, such as device fees for wallets that store crypto offline. (Basically, the cost of purchasing the wallet.)
Cheaper isn’t necessarily better. But if you’re going to be trading crypto frequently, you’ll naturally want a wallet that keeps recurring costs under control.
Unless you’re actively mining cryptocurrency, you must spend some fiat money (likely U.S. dollars) to build your crypto portfolio. That’s usually accomplished through electronic funds transfers of one type or another.
Some wallets (and exchanges) go further and accept payment via debit and credit cards and mobile payment technologies like Apple Pay. If broad payment compatibility is important to you, look for wallets that suit your preferences.
Old-school crypto wallets are desktop-based and fairly cumbersome to use. Newer generations of wallets (and older wallets that have kept pace with changing technology) are much more mobile-friendly.
A mobile-unfriendly wallet isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker if you’re fine managing and trading crypto on your home computer. But if you want the flexibility to do so when you’re out and about, or simply prefer a mobile interface, you need a wallet that respects your preferences.
Some of the wallets on this list are directly associated with cryptocurrency exchanges. That makes buying and selling crypto holdings much easier for their users.
On the other hand, if you’re not an active crypto trader or have concerns about the security implications of using a crypto wallet tied to an exchange that’s vulnerable to compromise, you might actually prefer a wallet that’s totally separate from the trading function.
As a valuable asset, cryptocurrency is an enticing target for thieves. Which means security is a huge issue for crypto users.
Every crypto wallet on this list takes security seriously, but some go above and beyond with measures like mandatory two-factor authentication and multi-signature authorization (requiring more than one key to complete a transaction). Above-and-beyond security is critical for Internet-connected hot wallets in general and noncustodial wallets in particular, since they’re especially vulnerable to theft.
Again, if you’re really concerned about security, cold storage is your best option. Connecting your holdings to the Internet greatly increases the risk of something going wrong.
Uptime and Usability
Some of the most popular exchange-associated crypto wallets have experienced downtime during periods of peak demand. Even if these outages are transient, they inconvenience users and shake faith in the system. If you need to complete a transaction right now, not in two hours or two days, you need your wallet to work.
Crypto wallets and exchanges aren’t always transparent about historical uptime, but it’s no secret when outages occur. If on-demand availability is important to you, do your research before making your choice.
Your Questions Answered: Cryptocurrency Wallet FAQs
You have questions about cryptocurrency wallets. We have answers.
What’s the Difference Between a Cryptocurrency Wallet and a Bank for Cryptocurrency?
Although we’ve exclusively used the term “wallet” so far, cryptocurrency purists might argue that some options on this list are more accurately described as banks.
The key difference between the two is who has control of the keys to your cryptocurrency. When you use a wallet, your crypto is in your sole possession. When you use a crypto bank, you trust another party to secure your crypto for you.
Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but you for sure want to make sure that any crypto bank you use has adequate insurance to protect you from loss. Otherwise, base your decision according to your personal objectives and use preferences.
Do You Need a Cryptocurrency Wallet?
Technically, you don’t need a cryptocurrency wallet to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrency directly. Some of the “wallet” options on this list aren’t wallets in the true sense, since they don’t offer direct custody of coins. The coins are still “yours” in the sense that you’re entitled to their value, but they’re controlled by a third party — one you’d better trust.
This approach is fine for crypto novices and dabblers who trust those third parties and can afford never to see their crypto holdings again should the worst happen. But if you want more security and control over your investment, you need a proper wallet.
What’s the Difference Between Hot and Cold Wallets?
Hot wallets are connected to cryptocurrency exchanges and other public exposure points for your digital assets. No matter how secure, they are vulnerable to attack and compromise by determined hackers.
By contrast, cold wallets are not connected to the Internet when they’re not in use. They’re typically located on thumb drives or external hard drives that the owner must physically connect to an Internet-enabled terminal before use.
While this sounds inconvenient, it’s really not. Unless the physical storage medium is stolen, the crypto in your cold wallet remains secure.
What Is a Cryptocurrency Key?
There are two different types of cryptocurrency keys: public keys and private keys.
Public keys are the part of your cryptocurrency coins that are used to create the public ledger, or the record of transactions to ensure we know who has a specific coin.
Private keys are for authentication and encryption of your transactions and verify that you are authorized to make the transactions you try to make.
Banks hold both the private and public keys of your cryptocurrencies. This is another potential disadvantage of using crypto banks. If the bank is hacked or becomes insolvent, you could lose access to your funds. Worse, someone could steal them.
How to Choose the Best Wallet for Your Bitcoin or Cryptocurrency
First, decide whether you need a hot wallet at all. If you see cryptocurrency mainly as a longer-term investment — or even if you plan to buy and sell fairly often without using the funds for everyday purchases — your cold wallet could be all that’s needed.
If you do decide you need a hot wallet, consider your objectives.
For starters, if you want to build a diversified crypto portfolio with more than the usual suspects — Bitcoin, Ethereum — you’ll want a wallet that’s broadly compatible with altcoins. If you want to earn interest on or borrow against your holdings, you’ll want a wallet associated with a bank or exchange that has those capabilities.
Finally, don’t discount security. Newer, unproven wallets aren’t necessarily less secure, but you should definitely take each option’s track record into account. The leading wallets are successful in part because they take their users’ security seriously.