7 of The "Best"Bitcoin Wallet(s) [Recently Updated Guide]
Looking for a Bitcoin Wallet this is the guide for you!
Bitcoin has taken the world by storm. Created by the anonymous programmer Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin has shown us a very viable alternative to government-controlled fiat currency. The core philosophy behind its creation is that you are in full control of your own money. You don’t need to:
- Store your money in a bank.
- Go through a bank to send your money to someone else.
Via public and private keys, you are your own bank, and you can send your money to anyone you want, provided they have their own Bitcoin address. Since you are in control of your own money, you need to store them securely as well. A cryptocurrency wallet is a software program that stores private and public keys and interacts with various blockchains to enable users to send, receive, and store digital currency and monitor their balance. If you want to use Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, you will need to have a digital wallet.
In this article, we are going to be reviewing the seven best Bitcoin wallets of 2020. In this list, we will be dealing with a mix of hardware, desktop, mobile, and paper wallets. If you want a more in-depth explanation of these different wallet types, then check out the guide here.
#1 Bitcoin Wallet: Ledger Nano S
Ledger Nano S is a widely-used hardware wallet developed by the French company ledger. A hardware wallet is a type of cryptocurrency wallet where you can store your private keys in a secure physical device. The cryptocurrencies stores in the wallet are stored offline, so they can’t be hacked. If you are not that well-versed in coding and technical details, the hardware wallet is a great way to store the majority of your cryptos.
In terms of hardware, the Ledger Wallet Nano is a compact USB device based on a smart card. It is roughly the size of a small flash drive, measuring 39 x 13 x 4mm (1.53 x 0.51 x 0.16in) and weighing in at just 5.9g.
Ledger Nano S Package
Ledger Nano S comes in a neat little package which contains the following:
- Ledger Nano S
- 1 micro-USB cable
- Lanyard for wearing the device around the neck
- One keychain and a keyring
- Recovery sheet for writing down the seed keyword.
Activating Ledger Nano S
To activate the Nano S, you need to connect it to the computer via the USB cable. When you choose the option to create a new wallet, you will need to confirm the PIN code. It is important that you remember the PIN code because you will need to remember it each time you connect your Nano S.
When you had opened the package, you’d find a piece of paper that looks like this:
These 24 words will be your private key. You will need to write down your words in the same order that they are given to you. In case you ever forget your pin, in order to recover your wallet, they will ask you questions like:
“Enter the 17th word in your recovery sheet.”
Ledger Nano S Supported Coins
As per Ledger’s website, the Nano S natively supports 1184 coins. These include most of the major coins like:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Bcash (BCH)
- Binance Coin (BNB)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Ethereum Classic
- Ripple (XRP)
- Tether (USDT)
- Tron (TRX)
Ledger Nano S Pros and Cons
- The setup is pretty simple and straightforward.
- Ledger Nano S is capable of running third-party apps and currently, as per the site, there are 18 installable apps.
- Ledger Nano S supports a vast variety of coins.
- Integrates with a large number of software wallets.
- It is a very affordable hardware wallet ($59), giving a very high-value proposition.
- The entire recovery process can be done from the device only without even connecting it to a computer.
- Features Ledgers secure chip technology.
- Pretty inconspicuous looking since it resembles a simple pen-drive. Plus, it is pretty lightweight, so can be easily carried around.
- Not open-source hardware.
- The recovery sheet can be stolen or replicated if enough care isn’t taken.
#2 Bitcoin Wallet: Trezor One
Trezor is a Prague-based company and they have built one of the most accessible and convenient hardware wallets ever. It is insanely simple to use and the sleek design means that you can carry it around with your very comfortable. Trezor is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. To use it, you can plug in the USB drive to your laptop and connect to your chosen interface.
Working with Trezor
So, after connecting with your chosen interface, you will notice this in your laptop:
You will have to enter the PIN which will be randomly generated by your wallet every single time and will be displayed on the screen of your wallet like this:
The number will randomly generate for every single transaction. This gives an added layer of security to your cryptocurrency. In case, you have some keylogger in your computer recording your activities for malicious purposes they won’t be able to get access to your wallet because the pin will keep changing.
After you have put in your PIN, you will have to put your passphrase which is known to you and only you. When you are done, you will gain complete access to your wallet and you can send/receive funds as and when you please. If you are sending someone money, your Trezor will ask for your confirmation by showing this message on its screen:
You can cancel or deny the transaction.
Trezor Supported Coins
As per Trezor’s website, they support 1064coins. These include the following:
Trezor Pros and Cons
- Extremely simple to use.
- Very sleek design.
- It can be used on all devices provided the platforms are compatible (Windows, Mac OS X or Linux).
- Never exposes your private key.
- Randomly generated pin code keeps the device safe and secure.
- Costs $99 which is a bit steep.
- Trezor One doesn’t support Ripple (XRP).
- Not as inconspicuous-looking as Ledger Nano.
#3 Guarda Wallet
Guarda wallet has been around for almost three years – the cryptocurrency storage that started out as open-source single-currency wallets in the times of market needs has now turned into a flourishing ecosystem of products and crypto management services. Many novelties have been implemented during these times of productivity, but the main idea was kept clean as ever – the team is striving to make a convenient, fully decentralized and versatile crypto wallet suitable for both beginners and advanced users.
Currently, the wallet supports more than 45 major blockchains (along with their tokens), including the ones that are not usually to be found in multi-asset wallets – the best example is Monero XMR that is supported on the Web version. Even though it might sometimes be challenging to fulfill the tasks presented by the market itself and the crypto community, Guarda is doing the best to both remain user-friendly and implement top-notch solutions for making the wallet stand out.
Possibly, the most distinct part of Guarda, besides supporting the most assets from the wallets currently present, are the built-in features. The wallets presented on Web, Desktop, Mobile (iOS and Android) and Chrome Extension all have a way to easily exchange cryptocurrency, purchase it on board, use currency-specific features (staking, delegation, Bandwidth points for TRON, Shielded transactions for Zcash, airdrops and more), create Multisignature wallets, as well as manage detailed transaction settings in the Advanced tab. Web and Desktop versions are also suitable for connecting a Ledger hardware wallet and using Guarda’s interface to manage the assets kept in cold storage.
- Large number of supported cryptocurrencies. Almost everyone will find their chosen cryptocurrencies supported by Guarda Wallet.
- Wide range of features. In-wallet purchases and swaps, a token generator, the Chrome extension and staking support for some coins make Guarda much more useful than the average wallet.
- Free. Guarda is free to use.
- Phone, desktop and web wallets. Guarda Wallet is available for all devices.
- Chrome extension. You can access the world of dapps from your Guarda wallet.
- Customer support. Unlike many non-custodial wallets, Guarda has actual customer support in addition to a helpful community.
- Non-custodial. Only you hold your own private keys.
- In-wallet purchase and swap fees. It will typically be more cost-effective, but less convenient, to use cryptocurrency exchanges instead of buying and swapping directly from your wallet.
- Partly closed source: Some degree of trust may still be required when using Guarda Wallet.
#4 Electrum Wallet
Electrum is one of the oldest Bitcoin wallets in the market. Thomas Voegtlin created it way back in November 2011 and various developers have since modified it. Since Electrum is a client-based wallet, you can download the software and run it from your computer. Unlike most other desktop bitcoin wallets, there is no need for you to run your entire blockchain. Electrum can be run on Windows, Linux, or MacOS.
While Electrum is primarily a desktop client, it has released an Android wallet in March 2016. The android client has a 3.3 rating on the Google Play store and the majority of the ratings are either 5 stars or a 1 star.
Having said that, Electrum is still one of the most popular wallet solutions for desktop users out there.
- Electrum ensures speedy transactions and keeps waiting time low via server usage.
- The private keys of the users are not sent to the servers, they are instead encrypted, giving you full control and ownership over your private keys.
- Electrum offers cold storage to store up your Bitcoin. The online desktop hot wallet version is used to finish transactions and making payments.
- It can integrate with existing hardware solutions, including KeepKey, Trezor, and Ledger Nano.
- The wallet ensures complete verification of all the transactions in your wallet history.
- Electrum has incredible security and prevents theft and fund loss.
- The open-source code of the wallet is written in Python, which is widely used by developers so developing is easy.
- The single wallet can be executed on multiple desktops with automatic synchronization.
- The user-interface can be a little difficult for beginners.
Pros and Cons of Electrum
- The platform is popular and is one of the oldest Bitcoin wallets in the market.
- The set up is pretty straightforward and the wallet is pretty fast.
- The wallet also has very good privacy features and keeps your Bitcoins secure.
- Integration with hardware wallets like Ledger and Trezor is available.
- It also has an Android application that you can use on your mobile.
- Unlike Exodus, it only offers Bitcoin services.
- The reception to the Android app is mixed.
- The interface is not easy for beginners.
#5 Bitcoin Wallet: Exodus Wallet
Exodus is a relatively new desktop wallet and in addition to its advanced features, what sets it apart from other wallets is that is very easy to use and extremely intuitive. Any beginner can complete a transaction or operate in an easy to understand step-by-step manner. Being a pure desktop wallet, it supports Windows, Mac OS, and Linux platforms and there is no mobile version available. You need to download and install the wallet into your computer directly.
Exodus wallet has a built-in shapeshift exchange which enables users to trade between Bitcoin and altcoins inside the wallet itself. The desktop wallet clearly showcases the coins you are going to get in the trade in both crypto and fiat values as well as the current spread of the transaction. Additionally, not just Shapeshift, they also have multiple exchange partners (not just ShapeShift), which means they can now offer more exchangeable assets, and the capability to source from various partners has enabled exchanging in Exodus faster and much more reliable.
Though it initially supported about 40 cryptocurrencies, the number has gone up as close to 100 now which includes most major ones such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, ethereum Classic, FunFair, Gnosis, Golem, OmiseGo, Qtum etc.
The in-built exchange allows you to convert certain coins to others using a fixed exchange rate:
The coins that you can use to obtain the others are:
- Bitcoin Cash
- Bitcoin SV
- Binance Coin
- USDC Coin
The Exodus Dashboard shows you some basic information.
You will see:
- The total holdings valuation in US Dollar.
- The 24-hour change in the value of holdings.
- The highest balance.
- The age of the portfolio, as in for how long have you had this wallet.
- The best performing asset in the last 24 hours.
- The worst performing asset in the last 24 hours.
When you click on the Wallet tab, you will see the following:
- The wallet shows you how much of the available assets do you have in your portfolio.
- There is also a “Send” and “Receive” button to help you transact with cryptocurrencies.
Exodus security and other features
Being a desktop wallet, Exodus encrypts and stores all your data in your computer hard drive i.e. locally thus you are always in full control of your keys and data. The wallet offers a very simple guide when you want to back up and it does not store your keys on the server during backup.
When you need to restore the wallet, they email you a secure link that is protected by a 12-word passphrase and Exodus key to reactivate your wallet. This passphrase is very important as you will be your only way to get your wallet back in case you have forgotten your password. But if you lose your passphrase, then there is no other way to get access to your account.
Note here that though they take security very seriously, the team is yet to offer the two-factor authentication feature.
Exodus does not require a personal email and therefore, does not store it – a great feature. You may choose to use any email address or none at all. It only needs an email id once for sending the backup link. Privacy is crucial to the Exodus team and therefore, they do not store any customer personal data, not even the email address.
Exodus users also have the option to send funds to and receive funds from smart contracts. For your information, the wallet charges a transaction fee every time your payment is processed, but this goes entirely to the blockchain networks and not to the Exodus team. The wallet always favors speed and reliability over lower fees, and so the fee is adjusted as per the demand in the blockchain network. The wallet does not offer the feature to adjust this fee manually. As for some of the features, the real-time pie chart portfolio Exodus wallet provides is great for calculating and organizing your savings.
Exodus is known for its excellent support team which has been highly rated by the users. Its site has over 100 articles on various topics, explaining the features, fee structure, and how to troubleshoot in detail with 17 other general topics. The site also offers an extensive list of FAQs with videos in case you need more detailed help.
Exodus pros and cons
- The wallet has great design
- The desktop wallet is 100% free to use
- Good privacy and security
- It is engineered keeping beginners in mind therefore easy to use
- Intuitive interface with powerful charting tool at your disposal
- It supports multiple cryptocurrencies
- It has built-in trading and portfolio functions
- Offers automatic fee adjustment
- Offers great help and prompt support
- Exodus doesn’t offer any web interface or mobile app
- It has limited security features
- There is no two-factor authentication in offer either
- Not 100% open source
#6 Bitcoin Wallet: Samourai Wallet
Although a relatively new name, Samourai Wallet is a mobile Bitcoin wallet that gives major emphasis to user privacy and security. The interesting thing to note about Samourai is that it is a wallet that is perfectly in-line with the ideals with which Bitcoin was originally created – decentralization, privacy, transparency, security, and fungibility.
Samourai Wallet Features
Samourai Wallet has some pretty exciting features that are worth looking into:
- Adjustable transfer fees: This is one of the most essential features of Samourai Wallet. What this does is to allow the users to increase the transaction fee so that it can get completed ahead of others.
- Private Transactions: Privacy is one of the USPs of Samourai Wallets. Every time you do a transaction, Samourai will use a new address every time to protect your metadata and keep your identity and transactions private.
- Tor & VPN Support: Samourai gives Tor and VPN support to add extra privacy. By using it, users can use an anonymous IP address that’s not tied to you or your location.
- SegWit Support: Samourai was one of the first wallets to implement SegWit. It is a necessary functionality for Lightning Network implementation.
- BIP 47 Implementation: BIP 47 is a transactional protocol feature that enables privacy with public payment addresses via the creation of a payment channel between the two wallets.
- Ricochet: This feature confuses people who spy on the blockchain and improve the privacy and fungibility of the transaction. This will help prevent transactions from being traced.
- SMS Commands: By sending SMS codes to their wallet, users can remotely interact with their wallet. Not only will this allow users to retrieve their wallets using another mobile device, but they can wipe the data clean if it is ever stolen.
- Trusted Node: By using the Trusted Node feature, you can send transactions by connecting to your own node by entering the IP address and port of the node.
Samourai Wallet Security and Privacy
Samourai Wallet gained a lot of respect because of its security and privacy features.
- The wallet has the advanced AES-256 encryption which protects it from malware and other server attacks.
- The user owns and has full control over their private keys, which isn’t transmitted to any servers or anyone.
- The wallet uses BIP 39, which uses passphrase encryption upon the moment of wallet creation. This makes your wallet safe even before it is setup.
- A 5-8 digit PIN is used to unlock your wallets. Every time you log in to your wallet, the PIN screen is randomized, which inhibits screen recording spyware.
- The wallets also have a unique “stealth mode feature.” When it is enabled, the shortcut icon disappears from your phone’s home screen, app lists, recent apps list, or launcher. You can only retrieve it after you dial your PIN into the phone pad as if you are dialing a number to call. The brilliance of this feature is that if someone comes across your phone, they won’t even be able to tell whether you are using the Samourai Wallet.
- Samourai wallet users can remain completely anonymous and implement layers of privacy protection while transacting.
Who should use Samourai Wallet?
Samourai is currently only available on Android mobile devices. It has been created only for advanced users who require anonymity and privacy. While it is true that this will be a wallet of choice for malicious elements who will need privacy to shield their nefarious activities, it is also true that people living under an oppressive regime will find this extremely useful as well. Despite Samourai being more suited for advanced users, its design and user interface is simple to use.
#7 Bitamp Interface Wallet
Formed in May 2020 by a group of talented developers, Bitamp is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the most reliable open source Bitcoin web wallets.
When you open the Bitamp website from any device, VPN or browser, you will have the opportunity to create a new Bitcoin wallet within seconds or the opportunity to login with the private key or seed from an existing wallet created on some other non-custodial wallet.
Bitamp has a very simple user interface with a QR code for users to receive Bitcoin as well as a transaction history section on the main landing page. The page also offers users the option to denominate the foreign currency in which the users want to see their Bitcoin amount in fiat values as well as the ability to toggle between English and other languages.
When you hit the “Account” tab, users can also access their seed phrases right away. This is an important feature that makes sure that users can access their funds across different devices and geographies without the need for usernames, passwords or 2FA. There are many sections to the interface: “Overview”, “Send”, “Receive”, “Addresses”, “Lightning”, and “Exchange”. The company’s sections under “Lightning” and “Exchange” are currently also in production.
Key Features of Bitamp
Bitamp Features Summary:
- You get 100% control over your private keys.
- There is no need to run a full Bitcoin node.
- Ability to manage multiple accounts through Hierarchical Deterministic (HD) key creation
Pros and Cons of Bitamp
- The best in terms of anonymity, privacy and security since there is no need to download a mobile app
- Best wallet to access from any device, geography, browser in multiple different languages
- It is open-source software
- Free to use
- It doesn’t have a mobile app or exchange functionality so feature set may be limited compared to other wallets
- Lightning payment functionality still under construction
Best Bitcoin Wallets 2020 Conclusion
Let’s summarize whatever we have learned so far:
- Best hardware wallet with most versatility: Ledger Nano S.
- Best Ledger Nano alternative: Trezor One.
- Best Bitcoin mobile wallet: Guarda
- Best Bitcoin Desktop wallet: Electrum
- Best Friedly Desktop wallet. Exodus
- Best Bitcoin mobile wallet with privacy features Samourai Wallet.
- Best new Bitcoin wallet. BitAmp
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