Best Ethereum Wallets – Safely Store Your Ethereum and ERC20 Tokens
Ethereum has a very real chance of displacing Bitcoin as the primary coin of the cryptocurrency market as it is one of the most versatile cryptocurrencies out there. It was launched in 2015, several years after Bitcoin. The main aim of this coin is to build decentralized applications using its core technology i.e smart contracts running on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
Like any other crypto-asset, you need a wallet to store your Ethereum in. There are basically two types of crypto wallets.
- Hot wallet: This wallet is used to store small amounts of your funds which are available immediately for trading or transferring. These wallets are always connected to the internet which makes them vulnerable to attacks.
- Cold wallet: This type of wallets is used to store your funds offline thereby making it difficult for attackers to gain access to your funds.
If you are a trader, you will definitely need both hot (for immediate fund transfer) as well as cold wallets (to store the majority of your coins).
Best wallets to store Ethereum
Ethereum has a large community backing it and hence, there are numerous types of wallets which have been developed for it be it hardware, browser-based online or paper wallets. Let’s elaborate on the types of wallets available and compare and contrast them to help you choose the best one.
|Ledger Nano S|
|Paper Wallet (MyEtherWallet and EthAddress)|
Hardware wallets are by far the most secure way to store many cryptocurrencies. The security features that these wallets provide are simply unmatched! However, the investment is a little on the higher side.
1. Ledger Nano S
Being one of the most popular hardware wallets, the Ledger Nano S sports a sleek design with a small OLED screen and support for multiple crypto assets. The presence of screen means that even if you are using the device on a compromised computer, your funds cannot leave the wallet without your approval. The user has to enter a pin to authorize any transaction.
The Nano S is easy to set-up and the addition of a passphrase recovery sheet (A sheet on which you can write your seed phrase) lets you even restore your wallet without any hassle. The device comes with a small initial investment of 79.00 €.
Released in 2013, this was one of the first hardware wallets to be developed. Priced at 99$, it sports a bigger display than the Ledger Nano S but it can still fit in your pocket. Along with multiple cryptocurrency support, Trezor also supports ERC20 tokens, which is a huge bonus.
The security features on Trezor are on par with the Ledger Nano S and you can be confident even while using it on a compromised system. You can also recover a wallet by using the seed phrase of the lost wallet.
KeepKey is the most professionally built hardware wallet on this list. The display of KeepKey is the largest and hence, it is not very portable. Currently supporting only 6 crypto assets, KeepKey is priced at $99. The device is very secure and you can even use it on an infected device without any worry.
Additionally, KeepKey lets you exchange between assets directly on the device using the service provided by ShapeShift.
Browser and Desktop Based Wallets
Coinbase is the only wallet on this list where you can also buy cryptocurrencies (including Ethereum), in addition to its storage function as a wallet. It is extremely user-friendly and anyone can buy crypto-assets using their credit or debit cards.
Your funds are stored in cold storage on their platform and you never get access to your private keys.
There is no option to set custom fees on this wallet and users have to depend on the exchange rate of the wallet. There have been no reports of any hacks or fraud on this platform, though. It is not available in all countries yet.
MyEtherWallet lets you create a new Ethereum wallet without the need for you to reveal your own identity. This wallet lets you store your wallet on your hard disk, hardware wallet and even copy your private key. This wallet also supports ERC20 tokens, which is very important for users who regularly invest in ICOs.
The UI of this wallet may seem a bit difficult for beginners but once you get used to it, you will appreciate the level of security it offers.
When you use MEW, your private keys and other data is never sent to their server so they never know your private keys. If the private keys are stored on the hard disk of a compromised system, then your funds might be at risk.
Jaxx is a multi-platform wallet which not only supports multiple cryptocurrencies but also supports multiple ERC20 tokens.
On Jaxx, the user has total control over his funds and can access all his private keys. All transactions on Jaxx require the user to enter a pin code.
Creating a new wallet anonymously on Jaxx is no hassle. You can also restore your old wallet using the seed phrase. Jaxx also has the ShapeShift service on-board which lets you convert one crypto-asset to another.
Exodus is a multi-cryptocurrency wallet available for desktops. It has a simple to use interface and is credited with being the first ever desktop wallet to integrate ShapeShift support. Additionally, it also supports ERC20 tokens as well. Your private keys never leave your device which means that you completely control your funds.
However, several users have complained about the high miner fees.
This wallet was built and designed by Blockchain.info team and is available as a web, Android and IOS app, accessible across all platforms. It is known for sending and receiving small transactions and also for its simplistic design. Currently, this wallet supports only Bitcoin and Ethereum with no support for the ERC20 tokens. However, you have control over your private keys which is a huge plus point. Users are also able to swap between Bitcoin and Ethereum with an in-app crypto exchange. Additionally, you can add watch-only addresses and also even import address using the private key.
If this is used on a compromised system, then you risk losing your funds.
This wallet runs as a browser extension and is used mainly to interact and can run Ethereum DApps directly in the web browser.
MetaMask does not store your private keys on its server. In fact, your private keys are stored locally on your browser and it is also password protected. With MetaMask, you can send Ethereum to other addresses directly without having to leave your workspace. Although, it is designed to be as secure as possible; since the wallet is present on the browser, it is very vulnerable to attacks.
7. Parity (Not recommended):
Parity is another Ethereum wallet which gets integrated directly into your web browser. Like MetaMask, Parity supports Ethereum and ERC20 tokens. Parity lets you interact with the Ethereum decentralized applications directly from your web browser.
Even though this wallet is open-source, it has many bugs. Recently a bug enabled anyone to destroy anyone else’s smart contracts. There was another buy which had frozen the Ethereum of several users. Users complained that they were not able to retrieve their funds from this wallet.
Paper wallets are used as cold storages for cryptocurrencies. They are free to use and are safer than most online wallets. You can create a paper wallet with MyEtherWallet as the article mentions earlier. However, the most common way to create Ethereum paper wallet is by using the service provided by EthAddress.
You can create any number of paper wallets, laminate them, transfer some Ether onto them, put them in a safe and forget about them. This ensures your funds are safe and even you have access to your funds whenever you need it.
Also check out: Best Monero Wallets
When it comes to any cryptocurrency, you are your own bank and only you are responsible for your funds. With the community of Ethereum growing exponentially which leads to the growth in the number of hackers as well, it is your responsibility to secure your assets.
While the hardware wallets are the most secure way to store Ethereum, you do have to pay a price for the wallet itself which many people don’t prefer. If you are storing a large amount of Ether then you should definitely go for a hardware wallet as no other wallet even comes close to the security features it offers.
Paper wallets are secure but are more susceptible to damage. Many investors do prefer online wallets as well due to its portability but if the device you’re using it on is already compromised, you risk losing all your funds.
While choosing any wallet you should always give utmost importance to security, integration across multiple platforms, ease of use and of course, your particular use case.