Monero Wallet – Full Review
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A lot of cryptocurrencies focused on enhancing user privacy have been launched in the last few years. Some of them are only partially private while some like Monero give users complete anonymity. Monero (XMR) was launched in 2014 by pseudo-anonymous developers and attracted lots of attention thanks to its unique technology.
Over the years, Monero was adopted rapidly, and its value rose day by day. Last year, Monero was one of the fastest growing cryptocurrencies. From trading at just $16 in January to $345 by the end of the year, people who invested in the cryptocurrency made lots of profit.
If you would like to purchase the cryptocurrency, it’s important to secure it in a good wallet. Monero might have a payment protocol that provides great security and anonymity, but you could still lose your Monero coins if you don’t secure them properly. The following article reviews the best Monero wallets to secure your XMR.
What is a Monero Wallet?
A wallet where Monero coins are secured is known as a Monero wallet. Like a Bitcoin wallet or an Ethereum wallet, a Monero wallet consists of a public and private key. These keys serve as proof that you own the coins secured in that wallet.
The private key gives you permission to withdraw your Monero coins while the public key lets you receive funds from other Monero owners. A good wallet will have an address generating engine to increase the anonymity of your transactions. This way, you generate a new address for every transaction you make and only use the private key when you need to withdraw your Monero coins into cash.
Many Monero wallets are not different from wallets designed for other cryptocurrencies. They can be mobile apps, web wallets, hardware wallets or even paper wallets. They have great user interfaces enhanced for easy sending and receiving of coins.
Kinds of Monero Wallets
Monero Online Wallet
An online wallet secures Monero coins on the Internet. They run in your browser like any other website. With a Monero online wallet, you can have access to your coins easily and conveniently any time you need them. Unfortunately, online wallets tend to have more disadvantages than advantages. To start with, the company that makes the online wallet stays with the private key needed to withdraw your coins. If you want to withdraw your coins, the request has to be processed by someone else. This creates room for scams.
If you are still allowed to have control over your keys, coins stored online are vulnerable to hackers. Your password could be compromised, or the wallet itself could be compromised, and your Monero coins could get lost. If you choose to use a Monero online wallet for the convenience of sending and receiving funds quickly, only hold a small portion of your funds in there. A good example of a trusted Monero online wallet is mymonreowallet.com.
Monero Desktop Wallet
A desktop wallet is a software program that you download on your personal computer like any other program. There are numerous desktop wallets designed to secure Monero coins. They are freely available online and can be set up in less than fifteen minutes. Desktop wallets are fairly more popular than online wallets because they give you total control over your public and private keys. In fact, you generate these keys personally after downloading the wallet’s files. It’s recommended to download the files to an external hard drive that is free of any viruses or malware. It’s also important to back up the files because if you lose the files, you lose hold of your funds.
A desktop wallet is good for anyone with a desktop computer or laptop that is free of any viruses and malware. If you have a remotely used laptop that can be dedicated to securing Monero coins, the better. However, desktop wallets are unsafe if the files can be compromised through the use of a malware-infected laptop.
Like with an online wallet, desktop wallets are great for holding small portions of your coins. They offer better security than online wallets, but they are still vulnerable to hacking and malware attacks. An example of a popular Monero desktop wallet is the Monero client node. This wallet was designed by Monero founders themselves and offers better stability, more security and convenience compared to most desktop wallets.
Monero Paper Wallet
In simple words, a Monero paper wallet is a document that contains the data that proves you own the Monero coins and the private key needed to withdraw them into real cash. A paper wallet is a form of a hardware wallet. If generated and printed securely with no records being left on your computer and printing machine, a paper wallet can provide much better security than an online or desktop wallet.
Most paper wallet contains two QR codes and or two keys. One QR code enables you to generate a public address that you issue to people when trading with them while the second QR code contains your private key.
Since paper wallets can be secure when generated properly, a lot of people use them to secure their coins. You can generate a Monero paper wallet on moneroaddress.org. The site generates the wallet offline like it should be done. Keep in mind there are lots of ways to lose your funds using a paper wallet. From physical damage to loss, showing the private key to someone to forgetting where you kept it; never use a paper wallet if you tend to be careless. Paper wallets are also good for use as gift cards, as tokens or as tips.
Monero Mobile Wallet
Just like you can secure Monero in a software program on your desktop, you can secure them in a mobile wallet installed on your smartphone. Mobile wallets are a developing phenomenon, and they are rising at a faster rate than web wallets.
There are several XMR wallets for mobile devices used by lots of Monero coin owners. However, most of them have a poor reputation because like most apps, they are vulnerable to bugs. They can be hacked, or you could lose your mobile device and lose your coins. Fortunately, genuine mobile wallets like Monerujo and cake wallet offer backup keys so that if you lose the app, you can download another one and get your coins back.
Mobile wallets are great if you trade coins regularly using your mobile phone. A lot of cryptocurrency exchanges can be accessed through mobile apps, and so it makes total sense to secure some coins where you can access them easily through a mobile app. However, like a web wallet, only hold a small portion of your coins in the wallet.
Monero Hardware Wallets
A Monero hardware wallet is a physical device where a user’s private keys can be secured. In plain text, private keys secured in hard wallets cannot be stolen. Hardware wallets are also immune to computer viruses and malware. This makes them the most secure wallets to store any type of cryptocurrency.
A typical hard wallet like the Ledger Nano S is designed in the shape of a flash drive. It has a screen that shows details about any transactions and physical buttons that are used to confirm a payment. Transactions made through hardware wallets are also launched offline, making them completely secure.
In addition, hardware wallets let you back up your private key so that a loss of the physical device would not lead to losing your coins. Hard wallets are the best types of wallets to secure large amounts of cryptocurrencies. If there was a hard wallet that supported Monero, it would be the best wallet for Monero users. Unfortunately, there is yet to be a major hard wallet that supports Monero.
There is hope though. There are plans to add Monero to the Ledger Nano S’ list of supported cryptocurrencies. Monero is one of the most popular coins in the world, and there is demand for secure Monero wallets.
Best Monero Wallets 2018
Since there is yet to a hard wallet for Monero, here are the two most popular Monero wallets at the moment.
MyMonero is a web wallet for storing Monero coins. It was launched in 2014 by the US-based developer and Monero lead developer Riccardo Spagni (aka as fluffypony) and investor RistoPeitilla. The founders were fans of Monero coin who felt the need to create an easy to use, easily accessible online wallet for Monero users.
MyMonero accepts members from any part of the world. New members are asked to create an account on the website, Mymonero.com, but there are few personal details requested. While web wallets are generally not promoted among cryptocurrency users because of their insecure nature, MyMonero has a solid fan base.
The wallet provides a great user interface where anyone can easily generate an address and send or receive Monero coins. To enhance security, MyMonero provides users with a 13-word mnemonic password that must be used whenever you want to access your account. Once logged into your account, the wallet generates a unique address that you can use to receive funds.
My Monero is a popular wallet in the Monero community. Its ease of use, fairly advanced security with HTTPS encryption and a long unique password give its users confidence. However, the company also warns users against storing huge amounts of coins in their accounts.
Some wallet users have frequently complained about losing their Monero coins in My Monero. Phishing websites that appear like MyMonero.com have been created to steal users’ funds while some people’s accounts have been hacked. And because of such issues, there are mixed feelings about using the wallet. However, everyone agrees that MyMonero is a great wallet for holding small amounts of XMR when you need to trade or make payments easily.
Like most blockchain projects, Monero also came with a fully functional wallet. The Monero GUI wallet is specially designed to secure Monero funds. Designed to be a desktop wallet, you have to download files for your specific computer’s OS on getmonero.org before you can start sending and accepting Monero coins.
The Monero GUI was designed by the same company that created the cryptocurrency and integrates with Monero’s blockchain easily. You will get a 25-word mnemonic seed once you extract the files and they will help you recover your coins should you lose the computer. However, also make up a backup for the files and the seed phrase for added security.
In addition to the backup phrase, the wallet also asks you to give your wallet a pin code. You will need the pin every time you want to access your coins. But before you start receiving coins, the GUI wallet will ask you to integrate it with the blockchain by clicking the Daemon icon. The daemon is what ensures your transactions go through the Monero blockchain.
My Monero GUI is considered better than the web wallet (MyMonero). This wallet lets you generate and keep your private key. With the GUI wallet, you also have more control over the security of your coins. MyMonero GUI is one of the most popular wallets among Monero users. There are very few concerns about the wallet and most users store their Monero coins in there.
Why are the Wallet Options for Monero so Limited?
It’s a mystery that Monero is not supported by any popular hard wallet despite all the news it has made in recent years. Its bullish run in 2017 was also a great reason for cryptocurrency wallets like the Ledger and Trezor to add it to their respective hard wallets.
However, Monero’s focus on privacy and anonymity makes it difficult to integrate with other blockchains. Several top wallets including Jaxx have attempted to add it to their wallet but were hit with technicality difficulties. It appears that most wallets are unable to integrate their systems with Monero due to technical difficulties. Fortunately, the Monero development team is making efforts to ensure that the cryptocurrency gets added to the Ledger Nano S.
In a Nutshell
Monero is a popular cryptocurrency wallet, and it has often grown in value rapidly. If you decide to invest in it, select a good Monero wallet to secure your coins. Keep in mind that the only way to store large amounts of Monero safely is to use a paper wallet.
There are also desktop and mobile wallets, but they have their own flaws. Research extensively about any wallet you wish to use but preferably have more than one Monero wallet.
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