Compare the 9 best crypto wallets in 2024

A wallet is like a vault for storing your Bitcoin and keeping it safe. This page explains how they work, how to get one, and helps you find the best BTC wallets in 2024.
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Updated: Aug 24, 2023
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This beginner’s guide helps you choose the best crypto wallet for your needs. Learn about the different types and their unique features, and then get all your questions answered before you pick out which one works for you.

Best crypto wallets overall for 2024

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What are the best wallets for crypto?

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Below you will find a list of the best crypto wallets overall catering for a wide range of uses. Click any of the links below to start using a wallet to securely store your cryptocurrency.

Top 9 crypto wallets, reviewed

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What is a crypto wallet?

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A piece of software or hardware that stores your cryptocurrency. While the word ‘wallet’ inspires an image of literal coins in your pocket, it’s best to think of it as an online banking platform instead. You log in with a password and are taken to an interface where you can manage your money.

Your digital assets aren’t actually stored in a wallet, the cryptocurrency wallet merely acts as a convenient way to access money that’s stored on a blockchain. 

In practical terms, your Bitcoin wallet stores two unique numbers: a wallet address (essentially an account number), and a private key (like a pin code). To make any transaction on the blockchain you need to supply both numbers, so using a wallet just makes this process a lot simpler and adds an extra layer of security.

How does a crypto wallet work?

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A crypto wallet is a software program or hardware device that allows you to store, send, and receive cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others.

A digital cryptocurrency wallet gives you a public key address, which is like your bank account number. You give this public key address to anyone who wants to send you crypto.

The wallet also contains your private keys, the passwords that give you access to your crypto. Your private keys allow you to authorise transactions to send crypto from your wallet to someone else’s wallet address.

When someone sends crypto to your public address, it gets added to your wallet balance. This incoming transaction is recorded on the cryptocurrency’s blockchain ledger. To send crypto from your wallet, you create a transaction request and digitally sign it with your private key. This signature verifies you own the crypto you are sending.

The transaction is then broadcast to the blockchain network and the sender’s wallet balance decreases while the recipient’s balance increases. The transaction is permanently recorded on the public blockchain. A crypto wallet allows you to see your balances, receive crypto, and sign transactions to send crypto using your private keys. The blockchain records all transactions from all wallets and keeps track of everyone’s balances.

What types of crypto wallets are available?

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We’ve already explained what a cryptocurrency wallet is and how it works. Now, we’ll take a look at the various types of wallets and the different characteristics of each. 

  • Software wallets. These types of wallets are the most common and are apps or programs you download and install on your mobile device or computer. Some common examples include Exodus and Electrum wallets. Software wallets allow you to conveniently send, receive, and track cryptocurrency balances and transactions. The best mobile crypto wallets can be used on iOS and Android devices.
  • Web/online wallets. These wallets are accessible through your web browser without downloading software and are offered by most crypto exchanges and platforms. Some of the best online crypto wallets are the Coinbase wallet and the Binance wallet. Online wallets make it easy to access your crypto anywhere but can be more prone to hacking.
  • Hardware wallets. Hardware wallets are physical devices like the Ledger Nano and Trezor that store your private keys offline for safety, usually on a USB stick or similar. You plug them into your computer to authorise transactions when sending crypto. The best hardware crypto wallets offer excellent security against theft however, if you lose your wallet, you’ll likely be unable to recover your crypto. 
  • Paper wallets. When you use a paper crypto wallet, your private keys are printed or written physically on a piece of paper. This creates a backup that’s not exposed digitally. However, paper wallets can be easily lost, so are more of a back up.
  • Cold wallets. These types of wallets are among the most secure and similar to hardware wallets; they keep your private keys offline and away from the internet, where hackers can steal them. Using the best offline crypto wallets with cold storage provides robust protection for your crypto assets.

What type of wallet is best depends on your own requirements. The different wallets have trade-offs in terms of convenience versus security. The best crypto wallets for beginners are usually web or software wallets, while large crypto holders should prioritise security and use the best crypto hardware wallets to manage their digital assets.

How should I choose a crypto wallet?

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Like when it comes to choosing a bank, there are lots of factors to think about as you choose which platform to use. Here we have listed the most important ones, with some advice on how to use the information.

Security

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This is the most important factor, as extra security is the whole point of using a wallet rather than leaving your coins in your exchange or broker account. Hardware wallets, offline wallets, or ‘cold storage’ wallets are the most secure. These types of wallet keep your keys offline, usually on some form of device, like a USB stick.

If you do want to use an online, or ‘hot’ wallet, then choose a platform that offers additional security features, such as two-factor authentication (2FA), and make sure to set a recovery key and store it in a safe place. The recovery key is a string of unique words that have to be used in combination to unlock your account if you ever forget your password.

Low fees

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There aren’t usually any fees for using an online or mobile wallet, but you will be charged for any additional features. 

Sending or receiving Bitcoin can come with a transaction fee, while an integrated exchange will charge some form of commission – either as a percentage of the total value or a flat fixed fee – on every trade. 

If you’re going to use a hardware wallet, you will have to pay a one-off amount to buy the device first. Prices start from around $50.

Number of cryptos supported

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If you plan on holding other coins alongside Bitcoin, then you want to be able to keep it all in one place. Nowadays, most leading wallets have the capability to store multiple coins, and some can hold thousands of different ones. Check that the platform you choose can store all the coins you want to own.

Additional capabilities

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Security might be the first consideration when you look for a wallet, but many platforms now offer extra features that can make your life a lot easier. Some wallets offer a range of added benefits such as staking, lending, and trading. 

These can save you money by reducing transaction fees, or help you earn more by putting the coins to work. Some platforms offer built-in exchanges so that you can buy or sell coins directly from the wallet. Others offer rewards in the form of interest payments for holding certain coins.

How to set up a crypto wallet 

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You can start using a crypto wallet very quickly and easily, but the type of wallet you use will have a slightly different setup process. Follow the tips in the step-by-step guide below to learn how to set up a hot and cold crypto wallet.

How to set up a hot wallet:

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  1. Download the wallet app on your mobile device or visit the wallet provider’s website. Popular options are Exodus, Coinbase, or Blockchain.com.
  2. Follow the on-screen prompts to create a new wallet account and set a strong password.
  3. Set up two-factor authentication for additional security. This is an optional step, but recommended for added security. 
  4. Write down and securely store your wallet recovery phrase in case you forget your password.
  5. Deposit crypto into your wallet address to start using it.

How to set up a cold wallet:

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  1. Purchase a Ledger Nano device or similar and connect it to your computer when it arrives. This is usually done via a USB connection. 
  2. Follow the instructions to configure a new device PIN and recovery phrase.
  3. Use Ledger Live software to initialise your device and create wallets for different cryptocurrencies.
  4. Send crypto from an exchange or hot wallet to your cold wallet’s public addresses.
  5. Confirm transactions on the Ledger device when making transfers or withdrawals.

Quick answers to key questions

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Do I have to pay for a crypto wallet?

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No, for most wallets. Online, desktop, and mobile wallets are generally free, and you should be wary of any platform that tries to charge you. Hardware wallets normally cost between $50-200, but that’s just a one-off cost for the device. There are no recurring fees just for storing your coins.

What are the fees for Bitcoin wallets?

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Wallets don’t tend to have any subscription or ongoing fees. But you need to take into account the gas fees, or blockchain fees, when moving coins from your exchange to your wallet. These fees apply regardless of wallet and they vary depending on how many other people are trying to move money at the same time.

If you sign up to a wallet with a built-in exchange platform, you may be charged transaction fees for buying and selling coins. Each platform will have its own fee schedule, so it’s worth checking the terms before using one.

Will I be charged blockchain fees for transfering Bitcoin to and from my wallet?

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Yes. Whenever you move coins around you are adding a transaction to the blockchain. There is a fee for every transaction, which is paid to the miners as a reward for creating new blocks. Usually, the transaction fee is around $1, but it can be much higher – $50 or more – during busy periods. It’s like using an Uber: when everyone’s trying to book one, you have to pay more to get home.

Can I spend Bitcoin straight from my wallet?

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Not with most platforms, but nowadays some wallets have the capacity to do this through a crypto debit card. It exchanges your crypto for fiat currency at the point of purchase, but otherwise works just like a regular bank card.

Why should I use a wallet rather than holding coins on an exchange?

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The most common reason is to keep large amounts of Bitcoin that you want to hold for long term security. By moving coins to a wallet you remove the risk of anything happening to the exchange and have total control over your money.

There are times when leaving them on the exchange is better, however. If you’re trading regularly, then it makes sense to keep coins in your crypto exchange account rather than constantly transferring them back and forth. Just remember that you can find a wallet with an in-built exchange and use that instead.

Can I use more than one cryptocurrency wallet?

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Yes, there is no limit to the number you can use. So you can divide your money between platforms with different features, or as a way to add even more layers of privacy and security.

Can I access my Bitcoin wallet if I forget my password?

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Yes, most ‘hot’ (online) wallets or mobile apps have a ‘reset password’ function. For hardware wallets it’s more difficult, and might mean you have to recite a list of random words you were given when you set up the device to be able to reset it.

Do I need a cryptocurrency wallet for staking?

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Yes, you need a cryptocurrency wallet to participate in staking. Staking is when you hold crypto to help operate a proof of stake blockchain network. You must hold your tokens in a digital wallet in order to stake it and earn rewards. Many of the best crypto wallets for staking are already set up for staking activities.

Do I need to use a wallet for NFTs?

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You need a cryptocurrency wallet to purchase, sell, and hold NFTs. There are some limitations with NFT marketplaces that only support certain wallets so you need to use a trusted wallet with NFT capabilities. When choosing the best crypto wallets for NFT it is important you ensure your choice is compatible with the marketplace you use. 

Should I use a crypto wallet?

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Ultimately, it depends on your trading style and how privacy or security-conscious you are. We generally recommend it as wallets are often free, more secure than leaving coins on an exchange, and there are lots of different options available so you can easily find one that suits you.

There is an excellent range of Bitcoin wallets available, so the best choice depends on what’s most important to you. A platform with quality exchange features is ideal if you plan on buying and selling coins often. If you want to hold for the long term, and either save or spend your crypto, then look for top level security, a payment card, and high rates of interest.

Pros and cons of BTC wallets 

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It’s always worth taking a bit of extra time to make decisions about money, and especially with cryptocurrency. To help you, here is a summary of the pros and cons to help you choose whether or not to use a BTC wallet.

Pros

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  • Wallets provide extra security features which you won’t find on an exchange .
  • Some wallet platforms offer extra services like earning interest, staking, and lending. 
  • Virtually all wallets are free, hardware wallets are available for a one-off cost

Cons

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Compare wallets with the best features

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WalletWallet typeCostExchange?Does it pay interest?
eToroOnlineFreeYesNo
CoinbaseOnlineFreeYesNo
WirexOnlineFreeLimitedYes
Choose a wallet now

How we choose the best cryptocurrency wallets

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Helping people make better financial decisions is at the heart of our mission at Invezz. 

We periodically test more than 19 crypto wallets to provide our users with clear, accessible guidance on the storage options available. All testing is carried out by our panel of crypto experts, analysts, and active traders who sign up to each wallet, conduct research, and score each service.

Our tests are designed to find services that offer a beginner-friendly, secure crypto storage experience at a fair price. To supplement our practical testing and experience, we research each wallet to gather any further relevant information. We read online customer reviews, app reviews on the Play Store and App Store, and conduct user surveys to get feedback from real people about what works, and what doesn’t.

Each Bitcoin wallet is awarded a final score based on 130+ data points across 8 ranking categories: cost, reliability, user experience, deposit & withdrawals, investing options, range of products/markets, research & analysis tools, and the availability of educational & learning resources.

We work closely with individual wallet brands to ensure all factual information displayed here is accurate. All data is then fact-checked by an independent reviewer. You can learn more about our expert panel and how we test, rate, and review platforms in our review process.

FAQs

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Do I need to use a wallet to buy cryptocurrency?
Are cryptocurrency wallets regulated?
Is a hardware wallet better than an online wallet?
Can my crypto wallet get hacked?
Can I access my Bitcoin if I lose my private key?
Will I lose my coins if I uninstall a mobile wallet?
Can I withdraw coins from a wallet to my PayPal account?
Are there limits to how much Bitcoin I can store in a wallet?
Can I use a paper wallet instead?
How to get a crypto wallet?
What is a fiat wallet?
Which kind of crypto wallet is best?
How to open a crypto wallet?
Can I get a wallet for free?
What are the best wallets for iPhone?
What are the best crypto wallets for Android?


Sources & references
Risk disclaimer
Prash Raval
Financial Writer
Prash is a financial writer for Invezz covering FX, the stock market and investing. For over a decade he has traded spot FX full time while... read more.