Ethereum Wallet: Complete Guide

/Ethereum Wallet: Complete Guide

Choosing an Ethereum wallet requires your attention on these matters...

Ethereum Wallet: Complete Guide 2018-04-16T08:00:24+00:00
Ethereum Wallet: Complete Guide

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  1. What is an Ethereum Wallet?
  2. The best ethereum wallets
  3. Types of Ethereum Wallet
  4. Parameters for a good ethereum wallet

The second largest cryptocurrency after bitcoin is ethereum. The cryptocurrency has become popular over the years as several startups use its blockchain for their ICO. The status of ethereum has made it very important to keep your ether safe to avoid theft via a hack.

Still wondering what the best ethereum wallet is? Let us have a look at ether wallet and the best ones currently available.

What is an Ethereum Wallet?

  • With the rise of ethereum this year, it is very important that we improve our security to protect our transactions. Ethereum excels in that since it uses a blockchain that has an integrated Turing – complete programming language that makes it a completely secure system.
  • To make transactions such as accepting, selling or storing Ether, you will need to use a wallet that will aid you with that and protect your coins from theft.
  • An ethereum wallet is a software or hardware that communicates with the ether blockchain. Both software and hardware wallets have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to storing ether.
  • The communication involves sending and verifying transactions. Transactions of ethereum require a payment to be made in the form of Gas. Thus the ether wallet usually comes with a feature that sets the gas price and gas limit while also speeding up the transaction, especially when traffic is high.
  • An ethereum wallet also comes with features like private keys and other security measures that make them unique. Another feature that increases ether wallet’s security level is the encryption-based identification.
  • Wallet for ethereum works the same way as others. As a result, their passwords are not recoverable. This makes it very hard for hackers to access your wallet as you are the only one that remembers what it is and it cannot be changed

Types of Ethereum Wallet

There are several ethereum wallets available for you to store your cryptocurrency. The popular options include;

Exchange-based online wallets:

This is the popular wallets that are found on trading websites. Cryptocurrency exchange platforms all offer on-site wallets, with most of them coming with mobile versions. This makes it very easy to store, sell or purchase ethereum.

Pros:

  • You have all your ethereum transactions options in one place. You can sell, purchase or store ether while logged into your exchange platform account.

Cons:

  • You can lose all your coins if the exchange platform is hacked. Since exchange platforms are susceptible to hackers, storing your ether on exchange wallets is a big risk.

Independent online wallets and their respective mobile versions.

These are websites that exclusively offer you ether wallet. They are not involved in cryptocurrency trading. You will be connected to the internet before you access your ethers but their security level is higher than that mentioned above.

Pros:

  • They are solely focused on protecting your ether online
  • They offer a safe ethereum wallet compared to the one offered by exchange platforms.

Cons:

  • They are still a target of hackers, and you can lose your ether reserve when a cyber-breach occurs.

Paper wallets >>

This is a special type of ethereum wallet that is generated with a various level of security from desktop or online accounts.

Pros:

  • Your ether reserve is stored offline, making it hard for a hacker to access them.
  • The private keys generated are fully in your control. There is no third party that can have any kind of interference; therefore, you are less likely to experience ether theft.

Cons:

  • Since it is a paper, the ether wallet is susceptible to damages such as soaking.
  • As a physical entity, the paper can be stolen.
  • The private keys are exposed during processes like generating and printing them.

Cold storage wallets >>

These are ethereum wallets that store your ether offline on physical devices such as flash drive, USB, external hard drive, disc and others. Wallets found under these categories are amongst the best ethereum wallet.

Pros:

  • Your ether is safe since they are reserved offline.
  • They have a high-security level, more than the other types.
  • The transaction is highly protected and involves low fees.

Cons:

  • They are expensive to acquire.
  • Since they are physical devices, they can be easily misplaced.

The best ethereum wallets

There are several wallets out there that knowing the best ethereum wallet to store your ether reserve becomes hard. Don’t worry, you will be able to give a proper answer when someone asks you what the best ether wallet is.

Let us have a look at the best ethereum wallets currently available in the market.

Ledger >> (Hardware Wallet)

The ledger Nano S ethereum wallets are known as some of the most affordable hardware ether wallet available as it is sold for roughly $65. It is a cold storage type of wallet, making it one of the best ethereum wallet. You can store your ether offline on this device. Anytime you want to make an ether transaction, Ledger signs off the transactions using the private key stored on your device.

Pros:

  • One of the best features of the Ledger Nano S is that it has a small OLED screen (usually small in size) that lets you control your transactions.
  • The security level of this device can only be matched by a few ether wallet and is one of the safest ethereum wallet currently available.
  • Each transaction must be signed off by the device, making it very hard to be hacked.

Cons:

  • It’s not cheap.
  • The device can be lost or damaged, leading to a loss of your ether.

Trezor >> (Hardware Wallet)

This cold storage wallet was first invented to store bitcoin, but its function has now diversified and can be used to store Ethereum too with the MyEtherWallet web interface. The device can store your ether reserve offline on a secure electronic chip. The device can only be activated for transactions when you log in with your password.

Pros:

  • The wallet is very convenient to carry around as it is not heavy at all.
  • It has an excellent security level and is one of the most secure ether wallet currently available.

Cons:

  • It is very expensive, cost nearly $100.
  • It can be easily stolen or misplaced.

Exodus (Desktop Wallet)

This is the first desktop wallet in the world that is working with multiple cryptocurrencies. The wallet, which supports ethereum storage, is completely free to use and has a good interface for users, making it a good choice for a beginner. You will be granted access to your full portfolio the moment you open your exodus wallet.

Exodus has been designed to support seven cryptocurrencies (one of those is Ethereum) and appears to be the first desktop wallet, which supports in-built cryptocurrency exchanges. Your device has to be connected to the Internet when using exodus. The coins are always secure since the private keys never leave the device.

Pros:

  • It is completely free to use.
  • It supports seven different cryptocurrencies.
  • The private keys are always attached to your machine.
  • Exodus enables its users to recover their emails with just one click and backup seed keys to make sure the wallet is restored and the funds are safe.

Cons:

  • You need to be online for every transaction, making you susceptible to hacks.

Mist >> (Desktop Wallet)

This is regarded as the official wallet for ethereum. Upon installing this software, it will synchronize all your ethereum nodes. After the completion of the sync, the wallet will prompt you to set a very secure password for your account. Remembering your password is very important because you can never access Mist without that initial password. Storing and transacting with your ether after that is simple and works similarly to other wallets. To perform transactions, you as a user will get access to public and private keys.

Pros:

  • It is highly secured as your private keys will be on the device itself.
  • Mist was designed with a ShapeShift to enable exchange with other cryptocurrencies.
  • Mist is open-source, and a user-tested wallet that permits desktop function. Mist also works for Linux users.

Cons:

  • It is very technical, thus not ideal for beginners.
  • It will require you to install the right version and keep track of the process.

MetaMask >> (Web Wallet)

This is one of the best ethereum wallets as it is widely used. It functions similar to a browser, which lets you access the ethereum network. MetaMask makes it possible for you to not only store and sends ether; it gives you access to other decentralized Ethereum apps.

Its design is unique. It can allow you to switch instantly from a test network to the main ethereum network and vice versa. The private keys generated by this wallet are encrypted with your password and stored on your machine. The private keys may be exported anytime one wishes to make a transaction.

Pros:

  • It grants users access to other ethereum decentralized
  • The process of changing from a test network to the main ethereum network is very easy.
  • The wallet is highly secured.

Cons:

  • Importation of private keys online for transactions increases the possibility of a hack.

MyEtherWallet >> (Web Wallet)

This is an ethereum web wallet that differs from the others. This is because unlike the other wen wallets, MyEtherWallet allows you to control Ethereum’s private key on your machine. It is an open source wallet, which is free from third party servers in any transaction. You can easily write and access smart contracts on this wallet.

It is unique as it allows you to connect your Trezor or Ledger Nano S to access your funds in MyEther’s browser environment.

Pros:

  • It has a user-friendly interface, thus very ideal for beginners.
  • The wallet is extremely portable.
  • Transaction speed is very high.
  • It allows you to connect your Trezor or Ledger Nano S to access your funds in MyEther’s browser environment.

Cons:

  • The security level is low compared to the others.
  • This wallet forces you to use only one public address.

Coinbase’s Ethereum wallet (Exchange Site Wallet)

This is the simplest ethereum wallet currently available. It usually supports the only bitcoin but has added the ethereum features this year. The Coinbase wallet is extremely cheap to operate and has a quick method of storing your ether. It is however limited to some certain countries. You wouldn’t be able to control the private keys allocated to you because they are stored on Coinbase’s hosted servers.

Pros:

  • It is very cheap to operate.
  • Its storage process is very fast.
  • It is very simple to manage.

Cons:

  • It is restricted to certain countries.
  • Your private keys wouldn’t be under your control.

Digital Bitbox >> (Hardware Wallet)

This is a dual storage method makes it a unique cold storage wallet. It uses both USB and micro SD to store and send Bitcoin. This wallet supports both bitcoin and ethereum and is protected by their software clients which prevent the vulnerability from browser-based clients. Your private key is secured in a high-security chip, making it impossible to extract physically. It has several features such as smart verification, Tor and Tails OS compatible.

Pros:

  • It is both Tor and Tails OS compatible
  • The private key is highly secured and cannot be extracted
  • Its two pieces increase its security level.

Cons:

  • There is a possibility that one piece might get lost.
  • It isn’t very durable.

Mycelium wallet >> (Mobile Wallet)

This is a highly specialized wallet that was established by a company focused on crypto hardware, software, and security. It is a mobile wallet that permits you to store, send and trade bitcoin and ethereum. It is currently one of the best mobile wallets in the world.

Pros:

  • You can use it on both Android and iOS devices.
  • It is free to use and has low transaction fees.
  • It is a highly secured for a mobile wallet.
  • It integrates with a range of services, including hardware wallets TREZOR and Ledger.
  • Offers several account types.

Cons:

  • It has no desktop interface.
  • Not safe as the others.
  • It isn’t ideal for beginners.

Parameters for a good ethereum wallet

If I have often been asked, how do you know the best ethereum wallet? My answer is always simple. There are certain parameters to look for in a good ether wallet. Let us have a look at them.

  • Security: The first criteria to look for in an ethereum wallet is its security. A wallet that has low security is prone to hacks.
  • Multisignature: A platform that offers Multisignature is a very good one. It helps protect your coins from attackers or hackers.
  • Transparency: The wallet must be transparent in how they conduct their transactions.
  • Anonymity: If staying anonymous while making ether transactions is important to you, then you can check for this feature.
  • Reputation: This is very important. A wallet with a good reputation means it will serve you well.

The Conclusion.

Due to security reasons, storing your ether has become very important. However, before you decide to go with any wallet, ensure that you know what type you want and consider other factors. Your journey in the crypto world has just begun, and you will need to learn more. You can browse through our site for more informative articles.

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