Best Bitcoin Wallets

Coinbase wins as a simple way to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies

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While the concept of Bitcoin may be new to some, this well-known cryptocurrency has been around for more than a decade. Bitcoin (BTC) is one of many digital currencies that have become fairly common investment holdings among tech-savvy households.

Proponents of cryptocurrencies argue that digital currencies are easier, safer, and more private than traditional currencies. Because of its limited supply, Bitcoin has shown up on some people’s radar as an investment opportunity. Even the widely used PayPal mobile app is offering an option to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies in its wallet. However, it should be noted that cryptocurrencies are still risky investments.

In short, Bitcoin wallets store a collection of Bitcoin private keys. Typically, the wallet is password- or otherwise protected from unauthorized access. A Bitcoin wallet is controlled solely by its owner, not distributed and shared like blockchain technology.

Best Bitcoin Wallets of 2022

Investing in cryptocurrencies, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), and other Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) is risky and highly speculative. The markets can be extremely volatile. Consult with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

This article is not a recommendation by The Balance or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies nor can the accuracy or timeliness of the information be guaranteed.

All of the providers included in this article can help investors gain exposure to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. However, not all of the providers listed below meet the strict definition of a Bitcoin wallet, as many do not permit users to deposit or withdraw cryptocurrency from their accounts. Some of these providers may also subject investors to increased loss risk from hacking. To better understand the risks involved, read the full provider sections below.

Best Overall : Coinbase


Coinbase

Coinbase

  • Fees: Varies 
  • Cloud Storage: Yes
  • Cold Storage: Yes, for most assets; wallet acts as a hot wallet

New Coinbase users get a chance to "spin the wheel" for a reward of up to $200 in BTC when they sign up for (and verify) an account.

Coinbase is primarily a cryptocurrency exchange and not a personal wallet. While users have the ability to deposit or withdraw Bitcoin from their accounts, they do not have access to the private keys of cryptocurrency held on the exchange. As a result, they may face an increased risk of loss due to hacking, and assets held on the exchange are not insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). However, Coinbase does allow users to hold cryptocurrency traded on its platform.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Easy to get started with

  • Best-known cryptocurrency exchange

  • Strong security track record

Cons
  • Fees can be confusing

  • Past incidents of downtime

Overview

Coinbase is one of the easiest ways to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies. With Coinbase, you can connect a U.S. bank account and easily transfer dollars in or out of your Coinbase investing and trading account. You can also use a standalone Coinbase Wallet for mobile.

This digital exchange and online cryptocurrency wallet provider is great for people who are new to Bitcoin. It makes buying and selling very similar to buying and selling stock through your brokerage account. Coinbase trading accounts offer over 100 different tradable cryptocurrencies, including the Coinbase USD Coin, which is pegged to the dollar. Some coins can even earn interest.

Another great feature is Coinbase Earn, which gives you free cryptocurrencies in exchange for watching videos and taking quizzes. Coinbase Pro is an active trading platform with its own high-end interface, application programming interface (API) support, and fee structure.

If you use Coinbase, pay attention to fees and costs. They vary depending on the amount of the transaction and how the transaction processes. Also, while they are definitely not a common occurrence, Coinbase has experienced outages in the past that have left users unable to buy or sell.

Best for Hardware Wallet for Security : Trezor


Trezor

 Trezor

  • Fees: N/A
  • Cloud Storage: No
  • Cold Storage: Yes
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Ultra-secure offline storage

  • Supports more than 1,500 currencies

  • Easy-to-use touchscreen on Model T

Cons
  • Complex setup for less tech-savvy users

Overview

The Trezor One is a secure device that includes multi-factor authentication and supports well over 1,500 digital coins. The more expensive Model T supports more coins and offers a better screen and interface and a few other useful features.

The Trezor hardware wallet is a device that can store your digital coins offline. It plugs into your computer or smartphone. The device has a small screen you can use to manage your secure connection. Currently, you can buy the introductory-level Trezor One for $70 or the higher-end Model T for $215.

Just make sure you never lose your Trezor or your recovery information (a password, PIN, and recovery seed), or your Bitcoins could be gone for good.

Best for Desktop : Exodus


Exodus Logo
  • Fees: No fees collected by Exodus, only miners' fees
  • Cloud Storage: Yes
  • Cold Storage: Yes
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Desktop-first app that supports over 100 assets

  • Integrates with Trezor

  • High-quality user interface

Cons
  • No two-factor authentication

New and Notable

Exodus now offers FTX integration, Exodus Bitcoin Lightning, and NFT integration.

Overview

Exodus is a software wallet that lives on your laptop or desktop computer. There’s a mobile app version available as well. This digital wallet includes an attractive user interface that puts many investor-focused tools in your hands.

The desktop-first wallet, which also integrates with Trezor wallets, turns your digital currencies like Bitcoin and many others, into a portfolio with graphs and charts. You can exchange and store coins right on your desktop or in the app. It supports more than 100 different digital assets, too. Recent improvements include integration with FTX, Exodus Bitcoin Lightening, and non-fungible tokens (NFTS).

There is no account setup, so your currency and wallet are just for you. Exodus gives you a private key to access your bitcoins, as well as other useful security tools to keep your assets as safe as possible. Remember, though, that your private key is stored on your computer. Make a backup of the key to ensure that it’s safe, just in case your computer is stolen or dies.

Best Hardware Wallet for Durability : Ledger


Ledger
  • Fees: N/A
  • Cloud Storage: No
  • Cold Storage: Yes
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Extremely secure offline storage

  • Supports many currencies

  • Highest-end mobile version includes Bluetooth

Cons
  • Complex setup for less tech-savvy users

  • Extra steps may be necessary to buy and load currency into external hardware wallet

Overview

The Ledger Nano X and Ledger Nano S are hardware wallets that keep your bitcoins safe on an offline device. About the size of a USB flash drive, Ledger devices connect to your phone or computer to store and access your digital holdings. The device is surrounded by a stainless steel cover, which makes it very durable.

With included Ledger Live software, you can check your balance and send and receive currencies. Ledger supports over 1,800 digital coins and tokens, so you are far from limited to Bitcoin. Ledger Live even supports coin staking, in which you can earn rewards based on your balance.

The basic Ledger Nano S and Bluetooth-enabled Ledger Nano X cost $59 or $149, respectively. Nano S has the capacity for up to three applications at a time, while Nano X holds up to 100 applications at a time. Apps may be needed for certain currencies and other purposes, which means you might not be able to use all supported currencies at the same time with one device. Both use highly secure chips similar to the ones used in a chip-based credit card or passport.

Best for Beginners : SoFi


SoFi

 SoFi

  • Fees: Up to 1.25% of transaction
  • Cloud Storage: Yes
  • Cold Storage: No

SoFi is a brokerage platform. While the company does not meet the definition of a Bitcoin wallet or cryptocurrency exchange, it does help users who want to gain exposure to cryptocurrencies. However, SoFi users are not able to deposit or withdraw cryptocurrency into or from their accounts, and they do not have the same security that comes with some other Bitcoin wallets.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Easy to get started

  • Manage investments and cryptocurrencies with one account

  • Many additional free finance tools and features for customers

Cons
  • Limited currencies available

Overview

SoFi is a financial company that offers investing, student and personal loans, a credit card, and other financial products. Within SoFi Invest, you can buy, sell, and hold bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. There is a $10 minimum to begin purchasing crypto, and SoFi charges up to 1.25% of the transaction as a markup.

SoFi supports only 30 cryptocurrencies. That’s not as impressive as some of the digital wallet providers and dedicated cryptocurrency exchanges that offer hundreds or more. With SoFi, you can buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Cardano, and 24 others.

SoFi offers a great user experience and works well for cryptocurrency beginners. It’s good for buying and selling, but not for transfers to or from other wallets. Advanced users may find the platform and trading system at SoFi limiting, but it’s a good choice for someone who is completely new to Bitcoin.

Best for Mobile : Mycelium


Mycelium wallet

 Mycelium wallet

  • Fees: User set miner fees
  • Cloud Storage: No
  • Cold Storage: Yes
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Download and get started for free

  • Very high security, including offline (cold) storage

  • Make payments, transfers, and exchange cryptocurrencies

Cons
  • It may be overwhelming for people brand new to cryptocurrencies

Overview

Mycelium is a popular cryptocurrency wallet for Android and iOS devices. The website says that this wallet is made for people who are not as familiar with Bitcoin, but it may be a bit intimidating for people who are completely new to cryptocurrencies. It works well for experienced cryptocurrency enthusiasts who want features like QR-code-based payments, offline storage, and control over their own private keys. Mycelium offers secure online accounts that work with hardware wallets, the Glidera exchange API that integrates buying and selling features, and other integrations.

Mycelium does anything you may need from cryptocurrency, including sending and receiving Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other coins with your smartphone. It’s free to install and get started, though you may run into fees from the exchanges you use with your wallet.

Final Verdict

A cryptocurrency wallet is a must-have if you want to store cryptocurrencies safely. Without a secure wallet in place, you’ll leave yourself open to security breaches, which could cost you a lot. 

You’ll need to find a wallet that brings together the security you crave with the accessibility you need. Coinbase is a good place to start looking for your ideal cryptocurrency wallet, but don’t rule out the other options without taking a closer look.

Compare the Best Bitcoin Wallets

 Company Type of Wallet (hot/cold)  Purchase Cost Incorporated Exchange Compatible Hardware
Coinbase Best Overall Cold* Free Yes N/A
Trezor Best for Hardware Wallet for Security Cold  $70 - $215 Yes Trezor Model T, Trezor Model One
Ledger Best Hardware Wallet for Durability Cold  $59 - $149 Yes Ledger Nano S, Ledger Nano X
SoFi Best for Beginners Hot  Free Yes N/A
Mycelium Best for Mobile Cold and Hot Free  Yes Ledger Nano S, Ledger Nano X, Trezor Model T, Trezor One White, KeepKey
Exodus Best for Desktop Cold and Hot   Free Yes Trezor Model T, Trezor One White

*Coinbase does not offer a true wallet. Cold storage—offline cryptocurrency key storage—is used for most assets. However, the exchange's wallet-like option acts as a hot wallet, which is the internet-connected app you use to view and manage your cryptocurrency.

How Do I Use a Bitcoin Wallet?

Bitcoin wallets act as virtual wallets for your digital currencies. Just as you could put dollars, euros, pounds, and yen in your physical wallet, you can put Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple in your Bitcoin wallet.

Some wallets featured in this list allow you to buy and sell bitcoins with an integrated platform. Others are made only for storage. There are pros and cons to keeping your cryptocurrencies online or in an offline wallet. It’s up to you to decide on the right mix of security and convenience for your needs and comfort.

How Much Money Do I Need in Order to Invest in Bitcoin?

If you’re looking to buy bitcoin, it’s important to understand the costs and risks involved. There is no universal minimum purchase rule for digital currencies, but some exchanges have minimum order sizes, and fees may make small purchases impractical.

Examples of places where you can buy small amounts of bitcoin are Coinbase ($2), Robinhood (0.000001 BTC minimum purchase), and SoFi (minimum $10 purchase).

It’s not a good idea to put more money into bitcoin than you can afford to lose. While many people made millions when bitcoin skyrocketed to more than $19,000 in 2017, the price dropped to less than $3,500 one year later. It then skyrocketed in 2020 and 2021, reaching $69,000. Bitcoin is highly volatile.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Digital Bitcoin Storage?

Pros

  • Secure storage of bitcoin and other digital currencies
  • Ability with some to buy and sell coins to take advantage of market fluctuations
  • Flexibility to keep your coins online and accessible, or offline and ultra-secure

Cons

  • Some exchanges associated with these wallets charge high fees
  • Setting up some wallets can be complex
  • Hardware wallets require an initial cost

How Should I Choose a Bitcoin Wallet?

The best bitcoin wallet for your needs depends on your comfort with technology and your goals. Here are some of the best types of wallets for different situations:

  • Beginners: Consider starting with an online wallet that charges very low fees for transactions. SoFi, Robinhood, and Coinbase are best for this group. If you have a strong investment background, SoFi, Robinhood, and Exodus are good choices.
  • Experienced users: Hardware wallets offer the best security. People who are very comfortable with computers should have no problem navigating the additional complexities. Trezor and Ledger are suitable for this group.
  • Serious enthusiasts: Consider a dedicated cryptocurrency wallet that gives you either added security or enhanced features. Coinbase, Trezor, Ledger, Edge, and Exodus are solid options.

Methodology

Bitcoin wallets are essential for digital currency users. For this list of top choices, we looked at over 15 different bitcoin wallets. When choosing the best bitcoin wallets, we focused on cost, security, ease of use, and features helpful for typical cryptocurrency users.

Article Sources

  1. CoinMarketCap. "Bitcoin."

  2. Hossein Rezaeighaleh and Cliff C. Zou. "New Secure Approach to Backup Cryptocurrency Wallets,"