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NEW STRATEGY   Nft trading  · 09/04/21

Altcoin Wallets: Tried and True, 2021 Updated

Altcoin Trading Blog
08/31/21 · Cryptocurrency wallets

About This Blog Post

  1. Filed as Full Guide
  2. Uses exodus ( + more posts) 
  3. Uses ledger ( + more posts) 
  4. Uses electrum ( + more posts) 
  5. Uses coldcard ( + more posts) 
  6. On the same topic: PSA - Jaxx Vulnerability (2017)
  7. On the same topic: Monero Wallets: Your options in 2020
  8. On the same topic: Altcoin Wallets: Tried and True, 2021 Updated
Where to store cryptocurrencies? Best ERC20 cold storage? See a list of altcoin wallets including multicoin wallets, web based wallets and hardware wallets.
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Bitfinex Platform Exchange Fee Discount

Lets start this article about altcoin wallets right off with the obligatory reminder.

For hodlers: It is not a good idea to keep cryptocurrency on an exchange.

Exchanges hold big amounts of crypto and are therefore targeted cyber criminals.

For traders: It is not a good idea to send cryptocurrency from one exchange to another.

Crypto exchanges are not banks. But let’s say that you send LTC from Bitstamp directly to Bitfinex. From regulatory perspective, the Bitstamp would do what normally only companies with banking license can do: They would be sending your money on your behalf between two financial institutions.

Exchanges may even detect transactions that do not come from a personal wallet and trash them. You can go spend months dealing with customer support to retrieve your funds, sure. But I hope you have better things to do.

For everyone: There are ongoing phishing attacks looking for any popular crypto wallet owners.

This Reddit post explains why is it so easy to fall for a phishing attack and what habits can you acquire to protect yourself.

Altcoin Wallets: Who’s at Top Of The Market



Altcoin Staking Wallets: Who does it best

We have a full guide on crypto staking wallets, pools, providers and exchanges. Read the guide here. There are differences, even if only from the user perspective.

Your best bet for cryptocurrency storage

Everyone’s Favorite Commercial Altcoin Wallet: Ledger Nano X

The market has spoken. Ledger Nano X can be called the best cryptocurrency wallet that’s currently out there. It has limitations, but for the day to day use it has everything you need as a trader or hodler.

What you need to know before you buy Ledger Nano X

The data breach

Ledger company suffered a database breach that leaked emails and physical locations of customers. Since second half of 2020, there has been an ongoing phishing attack directed to the leaked e-mail addresses.

To protect yourself:

  • use a package drop-off location or an office hub for delivery
  • order from a disposable email address.
  • buy your Ledger Nano X from a small, local authorised reseller instead. Resellers cover smaller part of the market and are less appealing to cybercriminals.

The seasonal deals

Ledger Nano X Gets Cheaper in bundle deals. These offers are available throughout the year from the official Ledger store. The best deal come around Black Friday but Ledger runs some sort of deal at all times of the year.

The memory capacity

Ledger Nano X has larger memory capacity than Nano S, but is also more expensive. If you only want to hold 1-3 cryptocurrencies, save your money and buy the cheaper Nano S.

Tools available in Nano X

For altcoin traders:

  • Some of the supported cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, IOTA, Ethereum Classic, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Zcash, Dash, Ripple, Stratis and all ERC20 compliant Ethereum tokens.
  • For BTC and LTC, both legacy and segwit address are supported. You can view and access all address formats in Ledger Live (the app for wallet management).

For passive income

  • Staking is available directly from Ledger wallets. Read more

For privacy and security:

Ledger Nano X is better than Ledger Nano S for active altcoiners because it has larger memory capacity. A Nano X can house private keys of many more cryptocurrencies than Ledger Nano S.

Ledger wallets were the pioneers of supporting altcoins, and you will find most cryptocurrencies are supported unless their blockchain is really brand new and one-of-a-kind.

Summary

Supported Coins: Many - BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, ZEC & more; also all ERC20 tokens

Segwit addresses: Both native and nested Segwit wallets (bech32 and P2SH) supported as subaccounts in Ledger Live

Staking directly in wallet

Easy coin control

No message signatures

**

Get Ledger Nano X   Deals from Eternal Black Friday

Your most easy-to-use Crypto Wallets: Mobile Wallet Apps

Multi-coin wallet apps

  1. Exodus
  2. Jaxx
  3. Blockchain.com

Exodus Multicoin Wallet and Staking Wallet

Exodus is a multicoin wallet for deskop and smartphone with integrated swap exchange inside the app.

In its desktop version, Exodus supports staking directly from wallet.

Exodus is currently your best option for a free multicoin wallet:

  • Exodus provides a staking wallet to earn income from PoS cryptocurrencies (Tezos, Cosmos, VeChain)
  • The amount of supported coins is the largest (130 cryptocurrencies in 2021).
  • Exodus supports Monero.
  • For Bitcoin, both legacy and segwit addresses are supported You automatically get a pair of legacy (1-address) and segwit addresses (bc-address, bech32 native segwit) so that you can always withdraw no matter what address type your exchange supports.
  • The customer support is great and you get a status page to check in case your app gets sluggish.
  • There is a swap exchange inside the app.
  • Exodus also integrates with hardware wallets (Ledger, Trezor).

The Exodus wallet app is super user-friendly. It won’t let you do anything too technical, but it is great for beginners. You can even stake your PoS altcoins through Exodus without any technical understanding.

How to set up Exodus for the first time

  • Launch the wallet as any other app, there is no user sign up. You can start by recovering a wallet from seedphrase but you don’t have to.
  • As there are over 100 altcoins supported, you need to enable wallet functionality for coins you want to store.
  • Altcoin wallets are generated for you without giving you their seed phrase yet.
  • To backup your seedphrase, navigate to the backup section of the app and write down the seed phrase it shows you.
  • The only owner of your private keys is you. Without the seed phrase backup, Exodus cannot recover your cryptocurrency. Do not forget to back up your seed phrase!

Stablecoins supported by Exodus

Exodus wallets are under ceaseless development, new cryptocurrencies as well as functionalities are added all the time. At the moment, the stablecoins supported by Exodus are the following:

  1. USDt (Tether) in ERC20 transport protocol
  2. USDC (USDCOIN)
  3. TUSD (TrueUSD)
  4. GUSD (Gemini Dollar)

Extras for Exodus wallets

  • The BTC wallet in Exodus can generate new BTC addresses after each receiving transaction, so that you don’t reuse addresses and don’t have to worry about coin control
  • The Exodus app supports passcode lock and, if your device supports that, fingerprint lock.
  • Staking is available through the desktop add-on app.
Summary

Supported Coins: BTC, ETH, ERC20 tokens, Tezos, EOS, XRP, TRX… = 110 cryptoassets in total

Segwit addresses: BTC Native segwit supported (bech32 wallet)

Staking available from wallet

No advanced functions (coin control, message signatures)

Jaxx Multicoin Wallet

Still one of the most popular multicoin wallets these days is Jaxx. It is available as browser extension, desktop app and mobile app.

Jaxx wallet is user-friendly and good for beginners:

  • You launch the wallet as any other app, no user sign up.
  • Wallets are automatically generated for you. No seed handling right at the start.
  • To see your private keys (seed phrase), you need to run backup. Backup options is available even if you do not have any crypto in your wallet yet. You will find the Backup option under Settings on the right hand side.
  • The only owner of your private keys is you.
  • Do not forget backing up your seed phrase!

Since Jaxx 1.2 you get Shapeshift exchange integrated within the wallet.

Summary

Supported coins: BTC, ETH, ERC20 via MyEtherWallet, ETC, DASH, LTC, REP, RSK, ZEC… = 90 cryptoassets in total

Segwit addresses: Not supported (legacy wallets only)

No advanced functions (coin control, message signatures)

Blockchain.com Wallet for BTC, ETH and XLM

If you only need to store BTC, ETH and XLM, smartphone app for you in 2020 the blockchain.com wallet (formerly blockchain.info).

  • The smartphone app can be unlocked with PIN or fingerprint.
  • You automatically get the Blockchain.com web wallet access. It is a web wallet, which is less secure, but it has several levels of MFA (multi-factor authentication) and a whitelist option.
  • The Blockchain.com wallet offers ID verification option for your account. Verified users get access to airdrops, fiat-to-crypto exchange and ETH staking wallet.

Be careful though: The blockchain.com wallet is the favorite target of imposter attacks. Always double check you are downloading the app from developer company Blockchain Luxembourg SARL.

Summary

Supported Coins: BTC, ETH, XLM

Segwit addresses: Not supported (legacy wallet only)

No advanced functions (coin control, message signatures)

Single-coin Wallet Apps

Some less mainstream cryptocurrencies are still not supported by the popular multi-coin wallets like Jaxx or Exodus. Some of them do have their own wallet apps for smartphones now, which are easy to use.

We will also mention one Bitcoin-only wallet because of its special features.

  • MyMonero
  • IOTA Trinity
  • Samourai

MyMonero Lightweight Wallet

MyMonero has been long endorsed on the Monero’s official website (getmonero.com).

MyMonero was originally only available as a web wallet. In 2020 you get the monero web wallet and a desktop/smartphone app.

The MyMonero wallet is super simple.

  • To use it, you don’t have to sign up. Just access the app or website and start the mnemonic phrase generation.
  • The mnemonic phrase is your private key.
  • Your private key is not stored anywhere on the server, you are its sole owner. The danger is, you need to type in your seed into the web interface to access your wallet.

If you don’t want to use MyMonero, you have other options - read here.

IOTA Trinity Wallet App

Trinity is a relatively new release, and the first IOTA wallet that works without weird high-tech settings hacks. Trinity is the official wallet for IOTA and it is a desktop and smartphone app.

Using Trinity is easy and great for beginners (not that you’d have much choice though) but you can still enable advanced, more technical mode.

  • The app starts with the option to either use a private key or to generate a new one.
  • If you are generating a new key, Trinity will force you to write it down and then TYPE IT BACK instead of copypasting it. This is good for security (but a pain in the a$$ because IOTA seeds are not mnemonic).
  • The sync of the transactions is a bit sluggish but in general there is less of the problem with vanishing histories that we knew from previous IOTA wallets.

More in-depth and technical writeup on how to secure your IOTA wallet in our OPSEC section.

Samourai wallet for Bitcoin

Samourai is a privacy-focused untraceable Bitcoin wallet with coin mixing capability (coinjoin).

This is not a post about Bitcoin wallets, and Samourai will be an overkill for traders who just need something easy to move money around. But there are certain situations that would warrant the use of a wallet like Samourai.

Samourai wallet is hands down the best privacy wallet for Bitcoin.

Exchanges like Coinbase and Kraken check for the history of the coins you deposit and will make you trouble if your bitcoins were on the darknet or a casino site before. These policies may cause you trouble when you try to take profit from crypto you earned trading on no-KYC exchanges, such as (formerly) BitMEX, Bitfinex or OKEx.

That’s when you could use Samourai wallet and it’s Staggered Ricochet function.

Hardware Wallets for Altcoins Storage

If you are planning to hold an altcoin for more than one year, you should really get a hardware wallet.

You will still need to keep it updated, but in your case you are still getting the best security even from basic setups.

The reason is that your chances of messing up something or getting hacked are minimal if you have the private key on any dedicated device simply thanks to the fact that you don’t use the device on a daily basis.

The easiest choice here is a commercial hardware wallet device, but you can absolutely have a phone app on a dedicated smartphone. If you care about your BTC holdings only, you can do Electrum wallet on a dedicated laptop.

Ledger Wallet for Altcoins

It seems unbelievable now but back in 2016 Ledger Wallet used to claim they would not support any altcoins. They started adding altcoin support to Nano S with the first altcoin bubble in 2017.

  • Nano S is not the best option though, because it has a limited memory capacity and can only hold one or two different crypto wallets.
  • A single Ledger Nano X is way better in this aspect.
  • You might still prefer Nano S if you want to split your holdings into multiple devices. There are bundles available.

Native Support: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, Ethereum Classic, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Zcash, Dash, Ripple, Stratis.

Via 3rd party private key management: All Ethereum tokens of the ERC20 standard. All ETH tokens can be managed using Ledger Nano S and Ledger Blue with MyEtherWallet.

On Reddit:

Get Ledger Nano X   Current Bundle Offers

Summary

Supported Coins: Many - BTC, ETH, XRP LTC, XRP, ZEC & more; also all ERC20 tokens

Segwit addresses: Both native and nested Segwit supported (bech32 and P2SH)

Trezor wallet for Altcoins

Trezor utilizes similar system as Ledger Wallet. There is a set of native apps, you are able to manage several cryptocurrency wallets from a web app after unlocking your access with your PIN.

Trezor is not as popular as ledger because it’s more expensive and less user-friendly.

  • TREZOR supports natively: BTC, ETH, DASH, LTC, ZEC…
  • Via 3rd party private key management: Any ERC20 token via MyEtherWallet
  • In total (native + 3rd party), Trezor wallets now support over 1000 cryptocurrencies
  • For BTC and LTC, both legacy and segwit addresses are supported.

Trezor developers take much longer time to implement new features by popular demand - for instance there is no staking directly from wallet and coin control is only to be implemented later in 2021 for the first time.

On the other hand, that can play into some cryptocurrency holders’ conservative approach. In IT security it is generally safe to assume that not rushing to implement every new feature makes the device less plagued by vulnerabilities.

Go to Trezor shop   Bundle Offers with CryptoSteel

Trezor Team On Reddit:

Summary

Supported Coins: Over 1000 - BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, ZEC & more; also all ERC20 tokens

Segwit addresses: Both native and nested Segwit supported (bech32 and P2SH)

 

Electrum Forks for Altcoins

While Electrum for Bitcoin (https://electrum.org/) is a safe option, you should be careful with Electrum for altcoins.

The altcoin spin-offs of Electrum were not developed by the same author as the original Electrum. They are just forks - the Electrum code is open-sourced.

Some of them can be malicious or forked from an old version of Electrum that has a vulnerability:

You should only use an Electrum fork if you are able to check its codebase and confirm the code is not malicious.

These two Electrum forks have been quite popular:

Web Based Multi-Altcoin Wallets

Most web-based wallets, the private keys are stored by a third party. You should not consider these as a safe altcoin storage.

Opt for blockchain.com or one of the multicoin wallets above for a good ratio of convenience and security.

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