The traditional aspect of a wallet has been pivotal to society. People have grown up knowing this to be the safest place to keep their money as well as other documents that are important to them. Paradoxically, while the wallet protects our money and documents by storing them in one central location, it is also one of the most guarded pieces by people courtesy of the same – it secures us but we protect it the more plus the more it is securing, the more we protect it.
The same format was used when digitization came and the online and mobile wallet apps were formulated.
Security was a top priority for users of such wallets as these wallets, like the traditional wallets, were a store not only to the holder’s money but also their personal information such as their behaviour, incomes and identity. In this case, however, theft was in the form of hacking – a situation where a programmer or software gains access to an individual’s personal account or to their information without the knowledge or authorization of the account holder. As such, more resources were diverted towards ensuring the safety of these wallets upon its development. Furthermore, their security also became a selling point for these companies as everyone wanted to be assured of this paramount feature.
Little did they know that they were preparing for the formulation of cryptocurrency wallets.
The Advent of Cryptocurrency Wallets
Cryptocurrencies took the world by storm with bitcoin championing this race. Through them, a new technology – the blockchain technology – had come into force and the holders of this currency benefited from low cost transactions. However, this was not the only benefit, in actual sense, it was mundane compared to the real benefit these currencies accrued to its holders.
Top on this list was the fact that the value of these currencies appreciated day after another.
Holders of currencies – especially Bitcoin – saw their Bitcoins rise from $912 back in January 2017 to just shy of $20,000 at its peak in December of the same year.
Such accretion was visible only in the cryptocurrency space as these symbolized returns of over 2000% to holders of this cryptocurrency, nearly all the markets during this period. At this time, everyone now wanted a piece of the cake and this spelt doom for holders of the currency. With the currency being held digitally, hackers were having their hay-days and they could finally access anyone’s currency. Back then, these currencies were not well secured, unlike now.
As such, some developers realized this problem and decided to come up with a fix for this problem. Their solution went back to the most rudimentary form of storage and borrowing some of the concepts from there and the cryptocurrency wallets were formed: secure and lasting solutions to hacking of one’s cryptocurrencies. Moreover, with the advent of blockchain, cryptocurrencies were now more easily secured courtesy of the new systems that came up (such as proof of stake systems).
Eventually, some of these wallets came to be globally recognized as safe and secure.
The storage of cryptocurrencies has become a thing of importance to the community of holders with security being a key issue (as has always been the case). As such, we shall narrow down to the different storage methods that are currently in use before finally diving into the best wallet.
From this point henceforth, however, we will be dealing solely with bitcoin rather than cryptocurrencies in general as it is the most accepted coin this far. Lessons from here can/may also be used to assess other cryptocurrency storage platforms.
Bitcoin Storage Methods
Different methods have been formulated to ensure that Bitcoin over the recent past.
Despite all of these methods having the name wallet, they possess different properties and store the coin in different ways.
Bitcoin wallets can be broken down into five: desktop wallets, online wallets, hardware wallets, paper wallets and mobile wallets. As with the name, these wallets are operated on the different platforms encompassed in the name therein.
Desktop wallets were the first type of wallets created with their forerunner, Bitcoin Core, being the first of this kind. Back then, these wallets were made to serve the purpose of storage only. However, with time, their purpose was augmented to suit different clientele such as those who preferred advanced security or anonymity got to get their own different wallets.
With time, however, convenience came into play as people needed to have their wallets with them more often so as to allow for them to pay for some of their goods and services while on the road, leading to the creation of mobile wallets. These wallets were meant to purely support payments using this cryptocurrency. Unlike other full bitcoin clients – who had to download the entire blockchain framework – these run on a portion of this framework and have the notion of simplified payment verification behind their formation.
The online wallet came by default courtesy of Bitcoin being a digital currency. They provided online service to clients with their personal information being stored on a company’s server. However, this was in turn a drawback, the cryptocurrencies were meant to give he control to the holder and not to an entity storing the holder’s information. Be though this the case, they have served the purpose of ensuring people are connected to the cryptocurrency space.
The next two wallets came to add on to the security features of Bitcoin wallets. They represent a form of storage known as cold storage – this is where the holder of Bitcoin does not wish to keep their money online or on any server therefore keeps it as ‘its raw form of currency’: either as the physical coin, paper or on a hardware device.
First is the paper wallet. This wallet serves as the cheapest method of storing Bitcoin. It comes with two QR codes on its surface enabling the use and receipt of the cryptocurrency. Furthermore, given that the Bitcoin keys – the private codes that enable transactions to be carried out – are stored on the paper rather than online, the wallet serves as a much safer method of storage as it is not prone to hacking as with other software-based wallets.
This being said, let us get to the most advanced of these wallets: the hardware wallet.
Hardware wallets are physical gadgets, similar to mobile phones, which are dedicated to Bitcoin. They serve as holders of the electronic keys of the cryptocurrency and are therefore used to facilitate payment.
Unlike other wallets, you actually have to pay a significant sum of money to acquire this wallet with some going as high as $240. This is especially so because of the fact that they are limited in supply – very limited supply versus higher demand causes prices to go up. However, with such a price, there must be value and this is what these wallets offer.
The main wallets in this category include include Ledger Nano, SatoshiLabs Trezor and KeepKey with other advancements in this space having already been made such as Boinym’s heartbeat sensing wallet which uses the rhythm of the heartbeat for security purposes.
The Best Bitcoin Wallet
Now that I believe we all understand how wallets operate and their practicality to our daily lives and especially to the lives of cryptocurrency holders, let us now assess best cryptocurrency wallet.
According to many sites, and in our view, the best Bitcoin wallet is Ledger Nano.
Ledger Nano is a cold storage bitcoin platform which harnesses the power of hardware as well as desktop interfaces to bring to Bitcoin clients the ability to store their private keys offline and therefore be more secure as they carry out their transactions on an offline platform.
The platform encompasses strong safety features in cryptographic assets and the security of digital payments. The hardware wallet comes in the form of a USB – Universal Serial Bus – which then allow the user to connect their USB to any computer they sign on to. The key advantage that can already be seen is that the device is portable, much like a phone, thus the user can both send and receive their funds on the go.
Currently, their main product is the Ledger Nano S, a flagship product which is currently available for pre-order for the next batch of hardware scheduled for shipment on March 26th at a tax exclusive price of €79.
The wallet comes with a number of features that make it stand out when compared with other cryptocurrencies.
First is its anti-malware function.
It has two buttons that ensure the holder can key in their pin number. This security add-on also gives the user the option to add some features such as security questions in the case that the pin is incorrectly specified three times in a row – in this case, if the user forgets their security question, the device gives them information on how to contact the technical or customer care team before giving them the option of either answering the security question or wiping the device.
Furthermore, using these buttons, the user can confirm their transactions via the wallet. This is achieved by pressing the two buttons simultaneously.
The above plays a critical role in the security of the device. Given that the private keys are stored on it, the holder is assured of the highest level of security from it and can therefore rest easy. The PIN and clear all features will also ensure that your personal information will never leave your device even if it lands into the wring hands. Moreover, these accounts are backed up on a recovery sheet which allows for the restoration of personal information to the wallet or to other devices which are compatible with the wallet.
A more important benefit is the device’s ability to handle multiple currencies. Currently, most wallets are limited to only a few currencies with the conversion from one currency to another only being achieved through a cryptocurrency exchange such as Binance or Changelly.
Ledger Nano S has come to solve this.
Through this platform, wallet holders will have exclusive reach to different cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin and other blockchainbased cryptocurrencies as can be seen in the image below:
With buyers having the ability to access all the above without the continuous need to go to different websites to change from currency to currency and incur costs in the process, Ledger Nano S has come to provide one of the best solutions available to cryptocurrency players.
This being said, the above cryptocurrencies need to be stored on a safe and secure platform. Ledger Nano S has got you covered.
They have integrated different cryptocurrency wallets with their system so as to bring the security to you. The hardware wallet brings a Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple wallet to you plus other wallets so as to ensure there is variety for the consumer (as can be seen in the image below). Through this, the maker expects that the user will have enough software wallets in which to store the vast cryptocurrencies available to them.
With the above in mind, it must have dawned on the reader by now that Ledger Nano is an all-in-one package that provides end-to-end solutions for the user to benefit from both security as well as a large choice set from which to make decisions.
The wallet comes with an additional web interface and mobile application platform which enable them reach more people and suit the needs of users who wish to use them. Despite not having a desktop platform, the above two are deemed to suffice given that the wallet is already a hardware platform.
Its privacy and security features are atop most others the wallet is also easy to operate. These may be the reasons why the wallet received such a high rating from one of the coin reviewers standing at 96%. With the strong features presented above and the dynamism of the wallet, there is no doubt that this is definitely the best Bitcoin wallet available.