The question of how to correctly store coins still has some of us scratching our heads.
Understandably so… Even though Bitcoin’s a household name, as of Feb 2021, digital coins were used by only 10% of Britons… But the truth is that all you need - to get started - is a trustworthy crypto wallet.
And securely holding coins doesn’t need to be all technical… Simply use a ‘hot wallet’.
Table of Contents:
Our Selection Process 📚
Each wallet in this guide has a world-renowned reputation for being secure and simple to use.
For safely trading crypto in the UK, it’s key that wallets are encrypted and easy to recover (in this guide, each wallet has these features, so you can regain access to your account balance even if you lose your password; or in the event of the wallet being stolen, broken, or hacked).
The Best Crypto Wallets – UK Review 🇬🇧
Let’s go ahead and enter the review portion of this guide, to help you select the top-rated crypto wallet in the UK, for you. Later on, we have a beginners guide to using crypto wallets. (The Guide and FAQs areas should provide a good basis for starting out.)
“Hot” wallets are software-powered cryptocurrency storage solutions. They give only the account holder access - and this means they’re the quickest, most budget-friendly and convenient approach to store crypto as a beginner. Users can set up within minutes, without any charges.
|BEST HOT WALLET PROVIDERS||RATING||SIGN UP|
|*1. eToro||★★★★★||Click Here|
|2. Coinbase||★★★★★||Click Here|
|3. Exodus||★★★★★||Click Here|
|4. Mycelium||★★★★★||Click Here|
|5. Electrum||★★★★★||Click Here|
|6. Edge||★★★★★||Click Here|
|7. AtomicDEX||★★★★★||Click Here|
|8. BlueWallet||★★★★★||Click Here|
|9. MetaMask||★★★★★||Click Here|
|10. Wasabi Wallet||★★★★★||Click Here|
*eToro disclaimer: Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment, and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more.
1. eToro – Overall Best for Beginners & Passive Investors
- Copy trading technology
- Easy to use
- More than 3,000 assets
- Available on multiple platforms
eToro (UK) Ltd, a Financial Services Company authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the license FRN 583263.
CRYPTOCURRENCIES SHOULD BE SEEN AS AN EXTREMELY HIGH-RISK ASSET AND YOU SHOULD NEVER INVEST FUNDS THAT YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE.
eToro used to have their own crypto exchange, but as they continued to build their brand it became unnecessary to have this exclusive exchange so it’s no longer available. However, that hasn’t stopped them from providing key crypto options for every type of need. From trading crypto to wallet features, eToro has it all.
The platform is easy to use, promotes social investing, and has some awesome advanced features
eToro has long been a fan favorite. People have flocked to them since they were established because they offer innovation and simplicity in a seamless app. They have yet to create a desktop version of their trading platform, but with everything being so mobile and digital now, they may never make that leap.
eToro is one of the leading crypto wallets in the world, although their overall availability is still limited in some areas. They’ve risen to the top based on low fees and a really great platform.
eToro is certainly more than just a crypto wallet. Their wallet is a hot wallet and it’s pretty great. At one time it had limited functionality and accessibility, but they continue to work to improve what you can do with this wallet to make it more useful for clients across the board. Within the wallet, you can easily diversify, send and receive tokens or coins, and communicate with the exchange.
eToro is technically a custodial type of wallet, which means that your crypto will be held in one of their servers or exchange systems. That being said, they have several security features and have never had a breach to date. They offer a wide of variety of cryptocurrency, as well as other assets. You can use the wallet and take advantage of their trading platform as well.
The brand has more than 3,000 tradable assets, which is a broad range, making this a universal app with a ton of capability. Not to mention the affordability of trades. Even on crypto spreads, you only pay 1-2% for your trades, which is extremely low compared to competitors.
And finally, eToro’s trading platform is known for a very specific niche – social trading. You can look at what other people are doing and how they are successful and then copy what they are doing if you want to.
Setting Up eToro
The eToro crypto wallet is simple and easy to use. You can store, receive, and transfer crypto all in one place. It works with multiple crypto types and will let you take care of business. When and if you want to trade, you move money within the app to do so. This wallet is specifically for storage and holding, but also receiving and transferring.
1. Download the App
The first step will be to download the app. As of right now, they only offer services on their app. You can access it from phone or tablets, but you will need the app. Download that and start the account setup process.
2. Set Up Money Details
Now, you can set up your money details. Connect to a bank account if you want the ability to move in cash, although for trading purposes you can also do this elsewhere in the app. Now, it’s time to transfer in your crypto holdings and let them be safe and secure in the eToro wallet.
Remember that this wallet is designed to allow you to store, receive, or transfer crypto.
2. Coinbase – Powered by 10th Most-Used Exchange in the World
- Over 3,000 Crypto Coins
- Strong Encryption With Two-factor Authentication
- Syncs With Coinbase’s Exchange
Coinbase is the 10th most-used exchange on the planet, according to Statista’s March 2022 metrics on cryptocurrency exchanges by 24-hour volume movements. It’s no wonder why. Compared to the 56 coins available on eToro - Coinbase offers you over 3000.
All in all, Coinbase and its custodial wallet service is well-known for its trustworthiness and security; this is one of the most secure wallets to store your cryptos (as far as hot wallets go).
This list includes Monero, Zcash, Bitcoin…and pretty much any altcoin that is being popularly used. That said, there are 18,000+ currently circulating, according to CoinMarketCap, so take that with a large pinch of salt; it’s tricky for any exchange to keep track of all of the new kids on the block.
And for investments that are less likely to fluctuate, stable are linked to fiat currencies, such as the dollar or pound sterling - so these make for a more predictable investment. Find them there too. If copy trading is no big deal for you, then this can easily be the best exchange use of the two.
Another beginner friendly wallet that gives you all of the following features:
- Strong security: Two factor authentication and multi-signature functionalities.
- Speed: Syncs directly to the live exchange.
- Investment: add more diversity to your crypto holdings, by selecting from 3000+ different coins - and traditional financial markets and instruments such as stocks and bonds.
Setting up a Coinbase Hot Wallet
Any crypto wallet should allow you to securely hold your coins. Coinbase offers a software or “hosted” service also known as a hot or custodial wallet. This is a quick setup process:
Grab the app for Android or iOS, on your mobile. After installing, choose “create a new wallet,” approve the TOCs, and set up an account username and password - select public or private (for the visibility of your wallet).
Make sure to failsafe your wallet in the settings panel, by choosing a Recovery Phrase.
2. Sync up to the exchange
To use your wallet on Coinbase’s exchange, you first need a Coinbase account. Once you do, select “connect to Coinbase'' in the settings area and go through the on-screen process to sync your account. You can now store, receive, send, buy, and sell crypto.
3. Exodus Wallet – Best Wallet for Beginners
- Desktop, mobile, and even hardware options
- 180 different currencies
- News and research on leading industry trends
Designed for the smoothest user experience possible, Exodus Wallet brings together nearly 200 different cryptocurrencies into one app. This app uses deep encryption to protect your keys, as well as allowing you to track what is going on in the world of cryptocurrency through its news features.
All crypto wallets are a little new, but there are different degrees of “new”. A new iPhone is going to be barely functional due to lacking apps and addons. But a new car will have more features due to how new it is. Exodus Wallet resembles the latter more than the former, meaning that it is on the cutting edge.
There are two things that Exodus Wallet has that will appeal to beginners in particular: Its interface and its exchanges. It is hard to overstate the value of Exodus Wallet’s interface, as it is pervasive in every action you take on the app. What makes it so good is the help it offers you along the way.
Basically, everything you can do on the app has a knowledge base article associated with it. Never used your encryption before? They will walk you through it. Never connected to an exchange? They’ll show you how. That leads to the next facet of Exodus Wallet: The exchanges.
Remember, having 180 cryptocurrencies does not just mean being able to trade for them. It also means being able to trade between them. Trading Dogecoin for Bitcoin, Ethereum for the Graph, and so on.
Setup Instructions for the Wallet
There are two layers to setting up Exodus wallet: The mobile app and the desktop app.
The app can be found on the Android or iOS stores. It will bill itself as a “Bitcoin Wallet”, but it will take many different kinds of currencies.
2. Connect Your Wallet or Your Exchange
You will have two options when you open the wallet: You either connect an existing wallet, or you connect an exchange key to bring your holdings directly to Exodus Wallet. Both work the same.
The tutorials will guide you to securing your crypto with their encryption.
4. Mycelium – Best Security Focus
- Hierarchical Deterministic Seed
- Single Address Lock
- Options for trade-proof accounts
Mycelium is built from the ground up to support Bitcoin storage with security in mind. This means making sure that keys can be deleted, trading can be turned off, and every other method of accessing Bitcoin can be restricted at your order.
Mycelium is known as a strict taskmaster. The focus of all of their marketing and all of their research and development is security. They do not work to incorporate more crypto. They let third parties handle connections to exchanges. This focus on security has drawn many eyes to their innovations.
Being so security-focused, you will not be surprised to learn that the best features available to you through their wallet are all about keeping your Bitcoin from moving.
- Encryption methods that can be backed up through hardware and then deleted in software
- Watch-only account options
- Decentralised Marketplace Access
Essentially, Mycelium’s great innovation is that you can lock up your Bitcoin and throw away the key. But what is the purpose of that? Well, while many people get Bitcoin in order to trade it or make purchases with it, other people get Bitcoin as a method of establishing a savings fund.
If you want Bitcoin for this reason, then there are few wallets out there that support you as much as Mycelium does. Where most wallets are trying to get you to buy and sell crypto as much as possible, the focus on security means that Mycelium helps you save your crypto up.
Mycelium has a more involved setup process than some of the other wallets on this list. Though it starts from the same place.
1. Get the app
It is an Android or iOS app, so it should be easy to find.
2. Backup your wallet or sync your exchange
Depending on where you are pulling your crypto from, this step will be different. You will then be prompted with a series of methods for securing this wallet. Each one is important, so be sure you set aside sufficient time to review them all.
3. Setup a PIN
This is a simple step, but just as important as the last one. Write the PIN down as it is the first line of defence against fraud.
4. Send and receive Bitcoins
Now you can exchange your Bitcoins or move on to securing your account.
5. Electrum – Best Trading Wallet
- Connects to multiple wallets and exchanges
- Multiple recovery methods
- Supports addons
One of the central tensions in Bitcoin trading and storage is that the more you trade, the less secure the storage is. But at the same time, the more secure your storage is, the less you are able to trade. Electrum focuses on the trading side of things without skimping on the security features.
Already we have talked a lot about trading and security. Why are these two so at odds? It is easy to make it sound like trading your cryptocurrency opens you up to fraud. That is technically true, but the reality of the situation is that it opens you up to ambiguity more than anything.
Electrum is known as a tool for settling disputes and dispelling ambiguity. That means you use it to verify trades and make sure that all the right crypto arrives in the right places.
This leads to the question: How does it do that? The answer is not simple, but it is important.
- Electrum allows you to implement third-party tracking software in your trades
- It also employs several methods of authentication, from two-factor to proof checking
- Multisig is supported, meaning you can trade with other wallets and have Electrum track it
These features allow Electrum to cover multiple angles of a trade. Programs scanning the blockchain can make sure your currency is listed properly, while authentication methods within and between your wallet or wallets help you keep track of where your Bitcoin is coming from.
While Electrum is known for only storing Bitcoin, connecting other wallets like this allows Electrum’s security protocols to extend to other cryptocurrency trades as well, allowing for complex trading.
There are Electrum apps for Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS. Be sure to start with one of those.
1. Setup your account
Then, set up your account. This step includes putting together whatever authentication methods you want on your Electrum account. You do not have to do those all at once, however.
2. Connect other wallets and install addons
This step is also technically optional. This is also mostly for experienced traders
3. Move the holdings you want to trade with
Then, just move whatever Bitcoin you want to trade with to your Electrum wallet.
6. Edge – Open Source Multi Wallet
- Free to use
- Open source wallet
- High security
- Easy to learn
- Earn interest in the wallet
Using an open source multi wallet can be confusing for some people, but this choice is highly secured. In fact, it’s probably one of the most secure software wallets that you will find on the market. In addition, there are several unique features that make it a great choice. From simplicity to the ability to earn a little bit of interest, it’s a pretty great find!
Security is most definitely one of the biggest details that users look for in crypto wallets. And this Edge wallet is highly secure. They take multiple steps to ensure you feel secure. The only thing more secure would be a hard wallet, which can be a great tool but isn’t the preference for a lot of people.
This software-based wallet is open sourced and handles multiple crypto assets. While they are limited to less than 50, they continue to build the capability. This is also more than some of the other wallet choices out there, so it’s not a terrible quality. It’s seamless and reliable, which is what attracts most people to it.
We’ve talked a lot about security already, but this truly is one of the top features of the Edge Wallet, and we want to make sure you understand the value there. In addition, the app is so easy to set up. You install it, work through the simple steps, and you have a great, secure place to store your crypto assets.
This isn’t a trading platform, but you have some limited allowances to purchase crypto using a bank wire or a credit card. You can connect to an exchange for compatible crypto and build up your assets without ever leaving the wallet. In addition, Edge wallet even lets you buy gift cards, using your crypto, if you feel so inclined to do so. That’s a pretty nice feature that stands out.
The Edge wallet is simple but reliably functional. It may not be robust enough for advanced users that are into the odds and ends of crypto. They have to be more careful about their wallet choices for compatibility purposes. But if you mostly work with the most common crypto names (the top 50), then you’re going to be covered here in a secure and simple choice.
Setting up Edge Wallet
Setting up your wallet is one of the easiest parts of this job. Considering the security reputation, it’s pretty awesome that it’s so simple. The security comes from data encryption within the app to protect you from hacking, as well as Edge themselves. You also will have two-factor authentication and a personal pin added to your security.
To set up Edge wallet, follow these simple steps.
- Download the app for Edge wallet to your phone or mobile device
- Set up your account with a username, password, and private pin
- Transfer in crypto, set up bank details, and enjoy
Part of the setup will also walk you through 2FA. Some of the other security features include password recovery and auto logouts to keep you protected. You can bring in crypto from outside sources at any time, as long as it’s a compatible type of crypto.
7. AtomicDEX – Directly connected to a decentralized exchange
- Wallet and exchange
- Secure access
- Fast to use
- 500+ tokens
AtomicDEX brings you the best of both worlds with decentralization that pairs together a secure wallet and a really great exchange. You can host your crypto securely and have the abilities to buy and sell freely within the app and exchange. They have more than 500 tokens and you have access to some other currency-related assets as well.
This is a crypto wallet that is available on your mobile devices or on desktop and browsers as well, providing more flexibility to access it your way.
Atomic DEX has a reputation for being secure and for being a universal provider in many ways too. The ability to trade on a decentralized exchange and keep your crypto assets safe and secure is a pretty nice setup. You’re not worried about hacking and security, and you don’t have to have multiple accounts just to be able to purchase crypto and then store crypto.
The fact that more than 500+ tokens are compatible and that you can both trade and store is a game changer in many ways. The downside is you can’t connect a credit or debit card, so this will lead to a few limitations.
This is a digital wallet so there isn’t any hardware, just the digital aspects. Connected to a decentralized exchange, you have a lot more features than just a traditional wallet. The compatibility is strong as well thanks to that exchange connections, which means you can hold more than 500 different types of cryptocurrencies and other currencies too. Very few wallets match that capability.
Everything operates through a mobile app. The fees on trading can sometimes get a little bit high, but they aren’t bad if you are smart about your trading practices. Customer support is helpful and they are available 24/7, which can make a huge difference in the customer experience.
If you’re a novice trader, there is a lot to learn, but you can still be profitable. It’s a great place to start dipping your toes in the water and learning how to trade in the crypto industry. With such a wide variety of token and crypto, you have the world at your fingertips. Do all the research and learning that you can to really amp up your game.
In addition, Atomic DEX offers an instant exchange with cashback features that is pretty cool. There are more than 60 crypto pairings that qualify for this cashback option.
How to Set Up Atomic DEX
Setup is really simple. You will need to go through a verification process, but this shouldn’t be too challenging. It’s for security purposes so this should really make you feel better overall. Follow the prompts and you’ll be verified in no time.
Here is a rundown of the steps.
1. Install the App
Install Atomic DEX on whatever device you plan to use. You can use more than one, just be certain of your password and security details. It’s generally better to keep everyone on one device for security. This is available on apps or desktop versions too. Either way, go get it running and start setting up your account.
2. Verification Process
You will need to go through the verification steps to ensure you truly are who you say you are. This includes a quick proof of identity where you upload your photo ID. If you don’t have a photo ID, you won’t be able to proceed. This is pretty common even with banking solutions. It’s for your security and the protection of your assets.
3. Start Loading Up
Now, you can transfer in any existing cryptocurrency that you already have and start building your portfolio. You can also begin trading on the decentralized exchange. The wallet and exchange are paired together so it’s easy to buy, sell, hold, trade, or transfer all in one convenient spot.
8. BlueWallet – The Safest Bitcoin Only Wallet
- Highly secure
- Bitcoin only wallet
- Lightning network integration
- Quick access
- On-chain wallet
- Peer to peer exchange
If you’re looking for a wallet specifically for Bitcoin, BlueWallet is one of the top choices out there. You have the ability to interact in transactions and securely store your Bitcoin in a reliable wallet. BlueWallet has several really great integrative features. The downside is you can only work with Bitcoin here, but it’s still pretty impressive as a whole.
BlueWallet’s reputation is focused solely on Bitcoin access and features. They do a really great job on this market. A consumer needs to be prepared and informed that there are no other supported coins and tokens here. If you open this wallet thinking you can integrate or trade another cryptocurrency, you will be disappointed. And their negative reviews almost always point back to this detail.
You can use the wallet and send or receive Bitcoin without any fees. The only fees that you have to worry about come into play when you’re completing official transactions or you are on a network or exchange.
You can make Bitcoin trades, which is a nice mark for this Bitcoin wallet. You can hold, send, receive, transfer, trade, and more. This allows you a lot of different capability. Just remember that it’s all focused on Bitcoin crypto only. You can use the Lightning network with this wallet, which is a top benefit for customers.
Another great feature is that you can use this on mobile devices, but it’s also available on your laptop or desktop browsers. So any wallets are app only and some traders, especially Bitcoin traders, don’t really like that detail. Bitcoin is not cheap and protecting your assets is important.
Their advanced features are one of the things that Bitcoin users love the most. Here are a few of those features.
- Watch-only wallet
- Segwit support
- Control transaction fees
- Make batch transactions
- Run full node on your own
- Lightning network and Lapps accessibility
The security measures are great too. While they don’t have two factor authentication, they have several measures in place to keep you protected. One of those is the secure private keys. These private keys are encrypted and will be used with any transaction. You also have a pin for wallet access and seed recovery options if needed.
Security includes biometrics and encryption details, which are optional to add based on your preferences. You can access using SSL and VPN if you prefer and you can even decrypt a fake wallet with user preferences tools.
How to Set Up BlueWallet
Setup is easy to work through. However, BlueWallet could benefit from improving their onboarding experience for customers. There just isn’t a lot of great information that walks you through the features or tells you how to truly appreciate and take advantage of this wallet. They need to add some onboard tools and helps for people that have never set up a wallet like this.
You’re on your own with setup, which could throw a wrench for a lot of users. Follow these steps to get started.
- Download the app or access through a browser
- Set up your account
- Verify identity and set up security preferences
- Load Bitcoin into wallet
Once you’re established, you can access all of the available features. Keep in mind there aren’t tutorials or instructions so you may want to play around and get to know the wallet as much as possible.
9. MetaMask – DeFi Self Custodial Wallet
- Blockchain apps access
- Peer to Peer swaps
- Adjustable gas fees
- Multiple supported networks
- Own your data and keys
MetaMask is heavily geared towards Ethereum and tokens that are based on Ethereum. They are a DeFi self-custodial wallet that help you hold and manage any compatible cryptocurrencies on the market. The wallet does give you some exchange access specifically for Ethereum crypto. There is zero compatibility with Bitcoin so this is a detail to be aware of.
It’s easy to setup and use and you might even be able to earn some rewards from staking and holding practices.
MetaMask has an overall positive reputation if you understand the capabilities of the wallet before you jump into it. This is a hot wallet, so you will be accessing it from a digital source, which is where the security measures and encryption and keys come into play. As the user, it’s up to you to utilize those things to make your wallet as secure as possible.
The wallet is free and you can find support for a wide variety of tokens. The limitations come into play in that your tokens need to be Ethereum related or ERC-20 related in order to be compatible. There is no Bitcoin compatibility and this can lead to limitations. This is the importance of being informed about your capabilities before choosing a wallet.
MetaMask is available via a browser, but they also have an app for mobile devices. It’s easy to use and access, and they allow you to pick and choose your security measures to some extent. If you want your assets secured, then take advantage of what is available.
While they are specific to Ethereum, they do support a wide range of tokens that fall into this category. Some popular ones are USD coin, Tether, and Ether. There are others too. The app itself is free, but you may pay some fees for swapping or sending assets.
In terms of features, you can earn cashback from staking rewards. These incentives are pretty nice once you figure out how to use them to your advantage. The app allows you to stake, swap, buy, and convert all within the wallet.
MetaMask offers anonymity, security, and decentralization within the app that make it popular for Ethereum traders. It’s versatile overall and it breaks into blockchains, which is a place that a lot of wallets are limited. There are multiple blockchain features, including Polygon, Avalanche, BNB, and others too.
MetaMask has more than 30 million active users every month, which says something about them. They are clearly doing something right.
How to Set Up MetaMask
Setup is really simple and you won’t find yourself getting hung up or frustrated for most of the process. You can use MetaMask through the app, or you can download an extension on compatible browsers. How you access is totally up to you, just make sure you set up the security details to keep your assets and personal data safe.
Here are some steps you can follow.
- Download the app or extension. The app is available on Android and iOS devices. The web extension is compatible with Chrome, Opera, Edge, Firefox, and Brave browsers.
- Create a new wallet or integrate an existing wallet if you prefer. Follow the steps for the chosen method.
- If you choose to create a new wallet, you will walk through verification and password and keys setup. This will be simple and the app will guide you through the steps.
- Setup your banking details if necessary and start using the wallet.
Once your initial setup steps are complete, you will be granted immediate access to start trading, swapping, transferring, and more.
10. Wasabi Wallet – Highly Focused on Security and Privacy
- Values anonymity
- Bitcoin wallet
- High security focus
- Open source wallet
- Easy to use interface
Wasabi is one of the top-rated crypto wallets for Bitcoin users. Their wallet is designed for Bitcoin and security and they have multiple features that really bring these details together. That includes things like CoinJoin and other important privacy details that allow a Bitcoin user to be secure and still maintain their anonymity. This is one of the top things that Bitcoin users look for in a wallet.
Wasabi has a really great reputation when it comes to privacy and anonymity. They are a Bitcoin-based hot wallet with a lot of integrated details that are perfectly designed to protect you in both privacy need and security needs. They excel in this area and for some people that will be enough.
Where they don’t excel is that they are Bitcoin only, which some users will be disappointed by. In addition, their customer service is really lacking and that detail plays a large role in bringing down their reputation.
The majority of features with Wasabi are really geared towards their privacy and security details. The interface is easy to use, but it’s the privacy factors and security factors that make them stand out in the crypto wallet industry. Here are some of those specific features.
- Coin control
- Tor integration
- No security breaches
- 12-word seed phrase
- 12-word backup phrase
- New crypto address for payments and transactions
- Generate countless addresses with BIP 44
You don’t have to do any type of verification when you set up your wallet. They want you to retain any desired anonymity. This may make some people uncomfortable, but it really depends on your preferences. Remember that Wasabi is highly known for their focus to security, privacy, and anonymity. That’s where they perfect their processes.
How to Set Up Wasabi
Setting up Wasabi is simple, particularly since you don’t have to follow any verification steps. The hardest parts will be ensuring you keep track of any keys and phrases generated so that you won’t lose access to your wallet forever.
These are your steps.
- Download the browser extension
- Set up your account
- Load with Bitcoin
- Proceed with transactions
You can integrate the feature you choose to use. The platform walks you through everything. They have plenty of onboarding helps and lessons to walk you through every step of the process.
BONUS: Blockstream Green (Bitcoin and Liquid)
- High levels of anonymity
- Control your own keys
- Supported on web or mobile
- Bitcoin and Liquid support
- Multiple security features
- Hardware wallet support
There is no shortage of features with Blockstream Green. This crypto wallet was designed for Bitcoin users and it now supports both Bitcoin and Liquid cryptocurrencies. Focusing on these two cryptos allows them to help you maintain privacy and anonymity, while also providing you with reliable features that stand out in the industry.
It’s a highly-secure and private app with multilingual capabilities, a wide variety of security features, and integration factors that allow you to coordinate the wallet with your own API or hard wallets too.
Blockstream Green’s reputation focuses on privacy and security for both Bitcoin and Liquid, and they’ve done a pretty great job. The app is simple and user-friendly, but it does have some limitations when compared to other Bitcoin-focused wallets out there. One of those is the fact that you can’t actually buy Bitcoin here. It’s really just a wallet. Of course, if a wallet is what you’re after, that shouldn’t be a big deal.
High levels of security and privacy are really the attraction factor with this particular wallet choice. And it gives you loads of features in both of these categories.
This crypto wallet certainly knows how to stand out in terms of features. They have tons of security and privacy measures that allow you to remain anonymous and ensure that you aren’t being scammed or cheated by doing so. You can network in privacy and take care of your business without exposing all of your personal data to the world.
The company has never experienced a security breach of any magnitude, so you know they must be doing something right. You can hold any type of Bitcoin or Liquid assets in the wallet, but you won’t be able to access the Lightning exchange or actually make purchases from an exchange.
That being said, you can send, receive, transfer, swap, and hold in this wallet and those are all great features for a wallet. You are in control of your private keys. You even have the option to generate multiple addresses for more privacy.
One of the top features about Blockstream Green is that you can integrate other wallets, including a hardware wallet if you want to. You can set up different wallets, bring in your holdings, and maintain the details in the way that you want to. You are in total control of this process.
How to Set Up Blockstream Green
Setting up your Blockstream Green wallet will be easy. You just need to locate the app or download the browser extension. There are security measures to follow through with, including pin number, secure keys, recovery seed, and two-factor authentication.
You can create a brand new wallet or start by pulling in an existing wallet if you prefer. Keep in mind this wallet is only for Bitcoin and Liquid so integrating any other type of crypto isn’t going to be successful.
You can connect to your hardware wallets too. Blockstream Green is compatible with Ledger Nano 5, Ledger Nano X, Trezor One, Trezor T, and a few other hard wallets. You will have some tips and helps while you’re setting up, but if you are a beginner, you will find that the steps feel clunky and you want more support than what they give you.
That being said, it’s overall simple and there are a lot of helpful resources out there that you can turn to.
Best Crypto Wallets - Guide 📚
This section is dedicated to understanding some of the key topics surrounding crypto wallets, to provide you with a bit more context before you commit to a new service.
What are crypto wallets? 💼
Crypto wallets are pieces of software - sometimes also with physical hardware, as in the case of cold storage devices - that provide a service for securely transacting and growing holdings of cryptocurrencies.
It’s akin to carrying around a physical wallet. But rather than wadding up banknotes in your back pocket, you’re holding coins and tokens, either in cyberspace or on a USB.
Indeed, crypto wallets require a pin and work using private keys: these are hexadecimal strings that only the user can see. They need to correlate with a publicly visible key, in order to successfully carry out transactions.
Physical crypto wallets
The closest thing to traditional wallets are crypto hardware wallets or crypto hard wallets. They resemble external hard drives, but are controlled by encrypted software that logs their holdings independently of an online exchange.
When a user buys crypto via an online crypto exchange, this unique asset exists online, connected to the exchange’s system. Crypto hardware will need you to take it online, to your laptop or another device, in order to withdraw or add more of these funds.
After you withdraw those funds onto your hardware wallet, they no longer exist on the exchanges online service. The advantages of this is that your crypto holdings can only be accessed using your physical wallet which needs its private key. But in the event of damaging or losing your wallet, what if that happens…?
Today, hardware works are protected from misfortunes. For example, if you dropped your Nano Ledger into a stream - as long as your recovery seed phrase is safely stored somewhere - you simply need to purchase a new Ledger and that recovery phrase can be used to recover your crypto cash. (Which means you should maintain a good record of backups!)
What are hot wallets? 🗂️
As mentioned in the intro, these are purely software services that can be downloaded onto your device.
You create an account, and a password is all you need in order to access your funds. (Two-factor authentication may also be needed.) Each session is encrypted. And recovery works in a similar way, via a recovery seed - even if your device or password is compromised, this can be used for recovery. It’s generally faster and there is no charge.
The biggest risk to this approach is increased exposure to cybercrime or malware that may already be on your device. Any single online session could bring new invisible threats. For example, your computer session could be spied on by a malicious third-party.
Extreme convenience is the main reason to use software wallets. Attempts are made all the time on the big crypto exchanges such as coin base. But there are generally very good protective policies in place, servers are extremely secure, and the services make a strong effort to monitor and thwart hacking attempts. A trustworthy VPN is one way to further isolate your session.
Is a software or hardware wallet most recommended? 🆚
In January 2021, £400M+ of BTC was migrated from live exchanges and moved into cold storage by unnamed institutions. The size of this transfer should indicate enterprise level sentiments on extra security provided by keeping crypto holdings off-line.
How important this is may depend on the size of your holdings. The greater the capital to protect, the more seriously you should consider physical wallets; they instantly provide natural isolation from 24/7 online threats. (With failsafe systems that are robust enough for enormous sums.)
The biggest argument against may be that you’ll need to handle physical devices during each future transaction. Although you can keep some pool of capital permanently stored on exchanges. You also need to buy a device. And you’ll need to save your recovery seeds somewhere safe.
So the question boils down to whether it’s security or convenience - or whatever intermediate balance - is most important to your circumstances.
Are crypto wallets hack-proof? Common hacking methods
The key to good crypto practices is awareness. This area of the guide, I go through the most popular tricks used by crypto hackers and jackers:
Which is where bad actors obtain your private data by creating a clone site. Their website looks like the legitimate one. You are tricked into heading there by an illegitimate email account that mimics the true domain (e.g. Binance.co instead of Binance.com).
The fake website or platform looks so similar to the UI/UX of the legitimate one, that users get catfished into typing in their account details, which hackers promptly log. They use this to log into your real account, on the real crypto platform or exchange.
*The greatest safeguard against this is to never log into any platform or website directly from an email. And always review sender credentials.
Fake Hardware Wallet
Fake hardware wallets are usually real hardware wallets that have been modified to give hackers ways to break in later. The wallet gets programmed to transmit key data to a hidden third-party.
This trick works best with current users of hardware wallets.
These users are tricked into believing that they need a replacement. They are sent a replacement wallet, with a letter that warns that their current wallet is compromised. The replacement has usually been programmed to tell them to plug it into the device and to key in their recovery seed. Once this has been done, this information is secretly sent to the attacker.
*Now that you know that this scam exists, you already have the best way to prevent it: awareness.
Cryptojacking has the alias “malicious cryptomining” - this is one of the least insidious of those mentioned so far. But since 2017, when the range of cryptocurrencies on the market expanded, it’s been a popular attack method.
Here is how it works: Instead of crypto being directly stolen, your idle processing power is stolen in order for the attacker to do crypto mining, usually Monero, as its pseudo-anonymous. Targeted machines do not give permission for this; their machine is “hijacked” and they may have no clue that mining is being done secretly. The proof-of-work briefings given to the hacker.
*Your biggest protection against this is game-ready antivirus. End your browser session if you notice unusually high processing, such as a loud fan or astonishing CPU rises.
A wide range of malware exists that are programmed to affect clipboards when crypto wallet addresses are copied (crypto addresses are identifiable due to their uniquely patterned string of sequences). The malware discreetly alters this copied address to the hackers wallet address. The targeted user, thereby, unwittingly sends them their funds.
Once upon a time, hackers needed to trick users into first downloading malicious software. But today, hackers can simply redirect you to a URL with malware… Once you access the site, trojans invisibly board the machine, looking for ways to feed into your clipboard modules.
*As mentioned earlier, a trustworthy VPN, robust antivirus - perhaps also a secure web browser - are all worthy ways to safeguard your machine.
Tricks involving two factor authentication (SMS)
Two-factor authentication (2FA) via SMS is an industry-standard verification protocol. Some attackers use certain transmission vulnerabilities to run exploits using social engineering.
In some cases, the telecommunications firm itself is deceived… Transmissions via SMS are intercepted by the attacker using “SIM swaps.” Pretending to be you, they request for administrators to move your SIM details from your ownership to their control. From this point, the attacker is able to middle-man 2FA transmissions associated with your crypto accounts.
More advanced uses of this manipulate SS7 vulnerabilities. Signalling System 7 is a critical telecom feature that lets different firms communicate. It’s also involved in 2FA transmissions.
*To reduce the chances of this, and for damage-control, app-based two-factor authentication is superior to SMS-based 2FA.
What are private keys?
Private keys are secret strings of letters and numbers - that function like a second password - giving only you access to your funds. For a transaction to successfully go through, this private key must be validated. In essence, for crypto transactions, private keys prove that a public address inside the blockchain is actually owned by you.
Your public address can be seen by anybody it is shared with, whereas private keys should be kept secret. Private keys are an extra safeguard from thievery. If an illegitimate party attempts to grab your crypto, Though need your private key: itself, this key is a long sequence (that can be in the hundreds) of cryptographic letters and numbers.
How long it takes for cryptocurrency transfers, on average
Someone has sent you crypto… Before the full transaction completes, and money reaches your wallet, calculations need to play out on the blockchain. How many validations are required is affected by the cryptocurrency and the type of transaction. (EOS crypto holds the title as the world’s speediest). As a demonstration, Bitcoin needs six confirmations per complete transaction.
Overall, Bitcoin takes between 10 minutes to an hour per transfer. But this will depend on how busy the network is; the more popular the slower, which explains why Bitcoin can be so slow. Ripple is probably the fastest for transaction-speeds today, at around 1,500 transactions a second - one Ripple transfer takes under 20 seconds (ETH is a bit behind this).
How to keep crypto coins safe
First, consider using a hardware wallet. Take time to be aware of crypto handling best practices. Never give away your private keys. Be aware of common crypto hacking tricks used to scam crypto holders. And consider using an antivirus on your mobile as well as other devices. Keep your OS up-to-date. And use the more well-known and well regulated exchanges.
Is it wise to leave Crypto on an exchange?
Attackers do snoop around for substantial amounts of crypto left on accounts on crypto exchanges… Hot or software wallets give you a way to segment your funds from the exchange. However, in truth, the big exchanges today are very good at keeping their servers secure. That said, for users who want more insulation from hot wallet hacks - such as the £4+ million of crypto robbed from the Roll exchange, in 2021 - hardware wallets provide an extra layer of security.
How to set up a Crypto wallet?
How will you access your funds day-to-day? Pretty much all of the wallet providers offer an app that can be installed on your device(s). This generally gives you straightforward instructions for getting started.
What Bitcoin wallet is most recommended for beginners?
Unless you plan to do long-term investment, Coinbase offers the best combination of crypto wallet and exchange - download it right onto your Android or iOS device. Almost 60 million users already use the app, which runs you through the whole setup process, so it’s straightforward even for newbies.
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