Hello Crypto friends and welcome to the Coinbureau. I presume that what brings you here today is that you have recently made a few crypto purchases and are looking for a good place to store your assets? Or perhaps you already use a crypto wallet and you are wanting to know what other wallet options are available? Whatever your reason for stumbling upon this article, you have come to the right place as I am going to break down my top picks for the top mobile wallets and highlight who each of these picks is best suited for. If you are a veteran in the crypto space, feel free to skip this section and get to the good stuff, or if you are new to the space, you may be wondering why you should go through the effort of downloading and setting up a wallet and go through the trouble of paying transaction fees to move all your assets off of an exchange and into a wallet. Well, it all comes down to self-custody.
Many crypto newbies simply keep all their crypto on the same exchange that they purchased it on. While this is by far the most convenient method, it is not the best idea. By keeping your crypto on an exchange you are giving up ownership and control over your crypto. The exchange owns that crypto and ultimately have control over it. By keeping your crypto on an exchange, instead of owning the underlying asset you are basically only holding an IOU from the exchange promising to give you access to the monetary value of those funds should you choose to sell, or a promise to give you that asset should you choose to move your crypto off the exchange. You have probably heard the old cliché, “not your keys, not your crypto” but you may not really know what it means. This saying applies to keeping your crypto on a centralized platform such as Coinbase, Binance or Celsius versus using a non-custodial software wallet like the ones on this list or a hardware wallet such as Trezor.
When a user downloads a non-custodial software wallet or purchases a hardware wallet, that wallet comes with a set of private keys unique to that wallet and whoever holds the private keys for the wallet controls the assets within the wallet. By keeping your funds on a centralized platform or exchange, they hold the private keys and therefore have control over the funds. Even if you have an account on the platform, having an account does not mean the same thing as having your own private keys and having self-custody over your funds. You wouldn’t be likely to give your neighbour 500 dollars of yours to hold onto for safe-keeping, would you? So why would you trust a centralized exchange to hold your crypto for you
Another good reason to move your crypto off of exchanges is that there have been crypto exchange hacks in the past resulting in millions of dollars worth of users funds being stolen. When choosing to self-custody your crypto, it is very important to make sure you are downloading the wallet from the official source. There has been a slew of fake websites and apps in the app store that have resulted in users downloading a fake app that looks exactly like the real thing, resulting in a full loss of crypto as soon as they transfer their funds to the fake wallet so be vigilant in making sure you are downloading the official wallet from the right source.
Once you have downloaded your wallet of choice, the most important first step is to make sure that you have backed up the wallet by writing down the recovery phrase and storing it someplace safe. In the event that something happens to your phone, without that recovery phrase nobody will be able to help you recover those funds. Each wallet on this list will come equipped with a unique recovery phrase when downloaded which is specific to that wallet and users will be prompted to write that phrase down when first going through the setup process. Be sure to not skip past this step and keep those phrases offline and do not share them with anyone.
Benefits of a Software wallet:
There are a couple of different options that crypto holders can opt for when choosing how to store their crypto. When it comes to crypto storage, there is always a balance between security and convenience, that is to say, the more convenient, often the less secure and it is up to the individual crypto user to decide the right balance for them. The most secure method by far is storing your crypto on a hardware wallet, also known as using cold storage. Feel free to check out our top five hardware wallet picks. The downside of hardware wallets is they can punch a hole in your actual wallet costing a few pretty pennies and they are not very mobile or convenient to use.
The other side of the spectrum would be the software wallets discussed in this article. Software wallets are less secure than hardware wallets as they are installed on devices with internet access opening up risk of viruses and malware which can compromise the security of the wallet if the user isn’t careful. Most software wallets are free to use and quite user-friendly. They are also more convenient as most people already carry their mobile devices on them 24/7 so their crypto is always within reach, making it easy to check on their portfolio, make swaps on the go, and use crypto to make purchases at brick and mortar shops if they are able to find businesses forward-thinking enough to accept crypto. Another main benefit of software wallets is that many of them are packed full of convenient features like in-app exchanges and web access to the world of DeFi directly within the app.
Top 8 Crypto Wallets
Exodus- Best for Security and Design
My number one pick has to go to Exodus for a very simple reason, and that is that they have top of the line security features. The team over at Exodus really take security seriously and respect the privacy of their users which is why they are one of the most popular and widely used wallets available, with the company being highly respected within the crypto community. It doesn’t matter if a wallet looks amazing (which Exodus does) or has a bazillion useful features, bells and whistles (which Exodus also does) if the security is lacking. Aside from the high level of security and a plethora of features, there is no better-looking wallet that exists in the crypto industry. The Exodus team have really taken functionality, design, and beauty to the next level and a huge, well-deserved kudos is in order to their design team. Forget Feng Shui and Martha Stewart, I want the Exodus design team to come and decorate my bare, sad-looking apartment.
The Exodus wallet comes with a beginner-friendly user interface, making it easy to monitor and track your portfolio at a glance, and app navigation and usage is a breeze. Exodus mobile encrypts your private keys and stores them locally on your device, meaning your data remains private and under your personal ownership. No KYC registration or account setup is required to use the wallet. Exodus has a great selection of coin support, supporting over 145 assets, and comes with two different options that allow users to exchange their assets directly within the wallet. Users can swap their favourite assets in the wallet via third-party API exchange providers with no KYC needed, and Exodus has also partnered up with the hugely popular FTX exchange to provide users who have an FTX account the ability to swap assets directly from within Exodus so your crypto never has to leave the security of your wallet. The wallet also supports QR code scanning for crypto purchases and easier send and receive transactions. Exodus wallet users can also stake some of their assets directly within the wallet for passive income rewards, be sure to check out our full, in-depth Exodus review to find out all the functions and features which can be found here.
Another thing that makes this wallet top-notch is their customer support. Anyone who has been kicking around the crypto space for long enough knows that this industry is not known for very good support, leaving crypto users often waiting for days, weeks or even months for support. The team at Exodus breaks that stereotype, providing world-class 24/7 customer support with response times often within ten minutes. The folks over at Exodus are also very passionate about crypto, spreading awareness and supporting adoption, and are either incredibly generous or perhaps a few fries short of a happy meal as many of us tend to be in the crypto space as they even went as far as sending customers thousands of dollars worth of free pizza coupons to celebrate Bitcoin Pizza Day to commemorate a true milestone in Bitcoin history.
The reason why Exodus is my top choice aside from the incredible customer support, the beautiful design and many features, the convenient in-app exchange options, and of course, the free pizza, is that Exodus took security to the next level while keeping it easy by forming a partnership and integration with the Trezor hardware wallet, making Exodus wallet suitable for even the most security-minded individuals. Additionally, the Exodus wallet can also be secured with face or touch ID, and a password. The only thing that Exodus is lacking is that the wallet does not support storage of NFT’s at the time of writing and the wallet does not contain browser support, leaving integration with many decentralized finance platforms not possible, making the wallet not the best choice for DeFi enthusiasts.
Coinomi- Best for rare Altcoin Support and NFTs
Coinomi is a fantastic wallet choice for those rare altcoin gem hunters as they support over 125 blockchains and 1770 assets, giving Coinomi boasting rights of supporting more networks than any other mobile wallet. Coinomi was the first multi-coin wallet that ever became publicly available, flying onto the scene since 2014. In all that time, there have never been any known hacks or compromises of the wallet. With a track record that is that well established, users can be confident in the security of the wallet. Coinomi also has one of the largest user bases, being trusted by millions of people worldwide who enjoy using this wallet on both IOS and Android. Coinomi has no KYC or account verification needed to get started and they take privacy seriously with advanced privacy and anonymity features with the app being designed to have no IP address association, no identity linking, no transaction tracking and the Coinomi servers go as far as anonymising app download requests to keep the IP location of their users private.
The private keys for the wallet are encrypted and locally stored on the user’s device, never being exposed or shared across servers or networks. Coinomi wallet also has the convenience of a built-in exchange, allowing users to swap their favourite assets while also enabling their users to be able to benefit from cold staking which is a more secure way of allowing users to earn passive income on their favourite assets.
The wallet has built-in Web3 DApp Browser support which allows users to interact with some of the top DeFi services without compromising security. For fans of digital collectables, Coinomi supports ERC721 tokens so users can store and manage their Ethereum based collectables and NFTs. This wallet is also perfect for any crypto users who hold blockchain domains, and unlike many wallets that do not offer customer support, I will tip my hat to these guys for their 24/7 live chat support. Coinomi has an incredibly easy to use interface and is perfect for DeFi and wallet users who want a great all-around, all-in-one wallet with all the bells and whistles. Coinomi also makes tax reporting and bookkeeping easy as users can export their crypto transaction history. The wallet supports QR code scanning for easier crypto transactions and in store purchases as well.
Atomic Wallet- Best for Staking
Atomic wallet is a beautifully designed wallet that is easy to use, available for iPhone and Android. This is one wallet that I regret not using earlier in my crypto adventure as it is just an all-around fantastic, intuitive and simple to use wallet packed with great features and offers the best support available for staking assets. I have been holding crypto in other wallets for years now, letting them collect dust, having no idea that I could have been staking them all along in the Atomic wallet and earning passive income. While most of the wallets on this list offer staking for a few different cryptocurrencies, Atomic wallet currently supports staking for 12 different assets with plenty more being added soon. Atomic wallet also supports purchasing crypto directly with a bank card within the wallet but sending funds back to your bank is not yet supported.
Atomic wallet supports over 300 cryptocurrencies and users can download and use the wallet with no KYC, account creation and no verification process needed. Atomic wallet is 100% open-source so users can verify the code and user’s private keys are encrypted and stored on their device for security. Atomic wallet is also great for being able to add custom tokens and participate in airdrops and comes with a QR code scanner to make purchases on the go.
Users are able to swap cryptocurrency within the wallet via integrations with Changelly and ChangeNow, while also providing one feature that sets Atomic wallet apart in terms of an in-app decentralized exchange feature utilizing what is known as “Atomic Swaps.” An Atomic swap is a cryptographically powered smart contract that enables two parties to exchange different cryptocurrencies or tokens without the risk of one party defaulting on the trade. The great thing about this is that the trade between two parties can happen in a trustless manner without depending on a third party. Many assets supported by Atomic wallet are available for Atomic swaps which can be performed for very low fees which is great as traditional exchange fees can really add up.
You can read more about Atomic swaps and how they work here. Even more amazing than the Atomic Swap feature and the comprehensive staking options, is that users can even earn 1% cashback on over 60 different currency pairs when performing swaps. Atomic wallet is also one of the few wallets that provide 24/7 support and is used by over a million users worldwide.
Trust Wallet- Best for Binance Smart Chain Users
Next, we have Trust Wallet. Trust Wallet was purchased by Binance in 2018, adopting them as the official Binance wallet in response to Coinbase creating their own wallet. Being backed and supported by one of the biggest companies in crypto catapulted Trust Wallet to mass adoption, being used confidently by over ten million users worldwide. Crypto users can have a lot more faith in a wallet when they know it is backed by a powerhouse like Binance, I mean hey, if it is good enough for Binance, it is good enough for me. Trust wallet provides a secure wallet with the private keys being locally stored and encrypted on the device, never being broadcast to any networks meaning the private keys are kept away from potential, prying eyes. The wallet can additionally be secured via pin code and biometrics as well.
Trust Wallet can be used completely independently from Binance, with over ten million users enjoying this sleek, easy to use interface on both Android and IOS. Trust Wallet Supports over 1 million assets…. Yes, you read that right, 1 million assets and 53 different blockchains so you will be hard-pressed to find a coin that isn’t supported here. Trust Wallet comes equipped with a fully functioning Web3 DApp browser built into the app, unlocking the utility of DeFi as the wallet can be used to interact with decentralized applications such as Uniswap, Aave, Compound Finance, PancakeSwap, basically any DApp that exists on either the Ethereum or Binance Smart Chain networks. Trust Wallet also has great NFT and digital collectible support supporting ERC721 and ERC1155 tokens.
Trust Wallet is fully open-sourced and users can benefit from staking 11 assets directly within the app for popular assets. Users can purchase crypto directly within the wallet and there is a built-in crypto exchange in addition to being able to access DEXs where users can instantly and seamlessly swap coins and tokens with no KYC or identify verification needed, with the security of your funds never having to leave the wallet. Trust Wallet also comes equipped with a QR code scanner making the wallet a good choice for users who want to use their crypto on the go and enabling easier send and receive transactions. Trust Wallet does provide an extensive support and knowledge base FAQ section and users can submit a support ticket if they need help but there are numerous complaints online about poor support times.
Coinbase wallet- Best For DeFi users and Layer 2 Scaling Solutions.
Appearing next on the list is the classic Coinbase wallet. This wallet is very popular among new and experienced crypto users alike as Coinbase is a well-established, trusted brand. Crypto users feel confident using a wallet that is offered and backed by a company with a sterling reputation and reputable history such as Coinbase. That level of trust and confidence in this wallet is well placed as this is a fantastic wallet, providing users with everything you would want and expect from a wallet offered by one of the world’s leading exchanges. It is important to note that the Coinbase wallet and Coinbase exchange are two separate apps and platforms. While Coinbase itself is a centralized exchange platform, the Coinbase wallet is a non-custodial wallet, similar to the other mentions on this list and is available for both IOS and Android.
The Coinbase wallet supports layer two scaling solutions for Ethereum including Polygon network and Optimism. This is important for users who enjoy using DeFi platforms such as Aave, Compound Finance, Uniswap, or who want to mint NFTs on platforms such as Opensea as Coinbase wallet users will be able to sidestep many of the high Ethereum gas fees and long confirmation times using these layer two solutions built into the wallet. It is a bit surprising that Coinbase, a centralized exchange, would provide a wallet giving users incredibly convenient and easy access to decentralized exchanges (DEXs) and DeFi protocol applications through their wallet, but I guess that just goes to show that centralized and decentralized platforms can exist in harmony and it is great to see users able to benefit from both in one place. Coinbase wallet users can also link their Coinbase exchange accounts for easy storage and transfer of crypto between the two.
The Coinbase wallet is also one of the best wallets available for users who want to be able to participate in airdrops and ICOs, and the wallet supports the storage of digital art, gaming NFTs and other collectables making it even more attractive as it covers all the DeFi bases. The Coinbase wallet is useful for making local payments in crypto and supports over 500 assets. The private keys for the wallet are encrypted and locally stored on the user’s device and the app can also be secured using biometrics and a passcode. The one area I feel that the Coinbase wallet is lacking is that they do not have a built-in exchange feature. I guess they felt that providing users with the ability to link the wallet to a Coinbase exchange account and providing easy access to decentralized exchanges through Dapps was enough to cover any exchange needs.
Mycelium- Best Bitcoin Wallet
For the Bitcoin maximalist out there, look no further than Mycelium for a top-of-the-line Bitcoin Wallet. While I was not able to figure out why they chose the name Mycelium, nor could I figure out what mushrooms have to do with Bitcoin, Mycelium is a wallet that is packed full of features making it ideal for simple or the most advanced Bitcoin users. Mycelium comes with the option to set customizable transaction fees, has hardware wallet support which is a huge benefit for added security, and it is open-source so you know you can trust the code. While Mycelium only supported Bitcoin for years, they have recently added support for Ethereum and some main ERC20 tokens, so no obscure altcoins here. Mycelium does come with a very simple to use and basic built-in exchange, though no DApp support.
The vision to create one of the first, and best Bitcoin wallets was started by a team of hardware engineers in 2008 with the company being officially established in 2012 making Mycelium one of the earliest Bitcoin wallets. Mycelium has a very positive track record and long-standing history of their users never reporting any hacks or compromises to wallet security. Knowing that a wallet has withstood the test of time like that should give any Bitcoiners looking for a secure software wallet confidence in the product.
Though the wallet does not have the nicest interface, nor is it the most intuitive or user friendly, Mycelium does provide function over design with multiple types of accounts supported such as Hierarchical Deterministic (HD), single address accounts, watch-only accounts, Bit ID accounts and hardware wallet accounts, while also providing escrow protected transactions and crypto-asset creation. Mycelium added the FIO protocol for inter-wallet operability in 2018 and supports the BIP-70 protocol. A really cool feature with Mycelium is that it offers offline cold storage, with the wallet available for both Android and IOS. The wallet also comes with QR code support for peer-to-peer transactions. Mycelium allows users to purchase crypto directly in the wallet via credit card or bank account.
One unique and interesting feature is the Mycelium marketplace where users can find other Mycelium users in their local area who are looking to buy or sell Bitcoin for peer-to-peer transactions allowing users to chat through the app, meet up and seamlessly transact in Bitcoin from one wallet to another. Mycelium has the ability to route transactions through the Tor network masking users’ IP addresses for maximum privacy, and the security features are great with several layers of pin protection, pattern sniffing protection and variable keyboard layouts. Mycelium supports multiple fiat currencies making purchasing crypto widely available and gives users the ability to export transaction history, making taxes and bookkeeping quick and easy. Mycelium does offer Customer support, though one drawback is that they do not offer any guides or tutorials to help users orient or navigate the wallet or its features, though there is an active community on Reddit where users can ask questions.
Electrum- Best for Advanced Bitcoin Users
Electrum is another OG in the Bitcoin wallet space being around since 2011. Establishing themselves as one of the first, and most well-respected Bitcoin wallets, Electrum is open-source which is often seen as a vote of confidence for crypto users as anyone can go and verify the software code and make sure it is up to standards with no shady hidden agendas or glaring bugs or errors. Though the user interface appears a little outdated with the GUI not changing much since the wallet was introduced over a decade ago, the layout is simple enough and the wallet performs all the functions incredibly well that it was designed and intended for.
Though the layout may not be considered the most user friendly or intuitive for beginners, Electrum is considered one of the leading wallets due to its stability and reliability making it a preferred choice for advanced Bitcoin users. Electrum is not ideal for new users as there are no guides or walkthrough knowledge base articles or FAQ’s to help beginners learn the ropes. Electrum also does not have customer support, but there is an active community on Reddit where Electrum users are happy to help, just make sure not to give out private keys or recovery phrases as anyone asking for that information is likely looking to swipe your Bitcoin. Electrum also does not offer an exchange feature as it specializes only in the king of crypto, the all-mighty Bitcoin.
Electrum runs on decentralized redundant servers that can be run by anyone, ensuring that the wallets never experience down-time. In terms of security, the private keys are encrypted and stored securely on the user’s device, with the desktop version being compatible with hardware wallets. The wallet can be further secured with passwords, pin protection and two-factor authentication. All transactions through electrum wallets are verified by SPV, and users are able to set custom transactions fees and choose between SegWit and legacy Bitcoin addresses.
The transactions tab will allow users to select the options to use single or multiple change addresses, spend only confirmed coins, enable output value rounding, and supports replace by fee and child pays for parent transactions. Electrum gives users access to private key exporting and offers a great function called “pay to many” where users can choose to send crypto to more than one address in one transaction saving on transaction fees making batch transactions easy and cheap. Users are able to create standard wallets with two-factor authentication or multi-signature wallets, with the unique ability to customize seed phrases choosing words from the Electrum seed phrase dictionary.
Samourai- Best Bitcoin Wallet for Privacy and Anonymity
The final wallet on the list certainly fits the “last but not least” saying as this is one seriously cool wallet with the most advanced, incredible features that I have ever seen in a wallet. Learning about this wallet and its features was astonishing, and the only reason that Samourai wallet is the last mentioned on the list is that they misspelled the word, Samurai. I am kidding, I have no idea why they chose that spelling, but this wallet is the final mention on the list as it isn’t ideal for the average crypto user. Samourai wallet is best for a specific, niche set of crypto users, as it only supports Bitcoin and is appropriate for more advanced users. The developers of the wallet were on a mission to create the most private and anonymous Bitcoin wallet and they have definitely succeeded in doing so.
This non-custodial wallet is renowned by top security experts in the field for its robust privacy features such as including TOR and VPN support, no address reuse, AES-256 encryption, offline funds transaction support and more. Samourai wallet was forged to keep transactions private, masking the identity of the user and securing their Bitcoin. The developers of the wallet have also created additional desktop wallet solutions to complement the Samourai mobile wallet, creating a complete privacy centred ecosystem. This Fort Knox-like security ecosystem includes the DOJO, a self-hosted full node server that syncs with the Samourai wallet to ensure wallet uptime and decentralization and Whirlpool, a feature in the wallet which enables breaking the link between a user’s wallet balance from links to their previous transaction history.
The Samourai mobile wallet is only available for Android, unlikely to be released for IOS due to Apple’s restrictive nature, limiting some of the functions boasted by the wallet. Samourai wallet utilizes alternating addresses to prevent transaction tracking and to increase security the wallet uses Stonewall technology which obscures metadata that can be used by third parties to identify related wallet addresses. During setup, the wallet prompts users to create a PayNym ID which is a special pseudonym that allows users to have a reachable identity that they can share online which cannot be traced back to a BTC address. This is an incredible and powerful feature that prevents first touch attacks where one’s wallet can be identified and singled out for tracking.
Downloading the Samourai Dojo offers a complete tool to run a node, giving users direct access to BTC transactions. The Dojo is a no-hassle full node server that seamlessly and privately powers the individual users’ Samourai Wallet further increasing privacy, and contributes to helping support a more robust network of users. The wallet can also be used offline for added security, or in conjunction with hardware wallets, seriously upping this wallets’ security game. The Samourai wallet supports additional security features such as the ability to mask the app on mobile screen and the PIN input screen is scrambled to avoid users trying to guess the PIN based on watching a users’ finger movements on the PIN screen. The Samourai team have even integrated a very interesting and unique remote SMS command feature that allows a user to disable the wallet, creating a “self-destruct” option available through an SMS message in case the phone is lost or stolen. As with each wallet on this list, the wallet is fully recoverable through the use of a secret recovery phrase that is unique to that wallet that the user should record and store securely.
The Samourai wallet is open-source and supports dynamic transfer fees, as well as SegWit supported addresses, lowering transaction costs and speeding up transactions. The wallet can also use a BIP 47 protocol feature which enables privacy with public payment addresses, this works by having a payment channel created between two wallets by scanning a public payment code which creates a special transaction on the blockchain allowing users to send Bitcoin to another wallet anonymously. The Samourai wallet also supports Ricochet transactions which improve privacy by misdirecting anyone trying to spy on blockchain transactions. The wallet is encrypted with military-grade encryption using advanced AES-256 encryption protecting the wallet from Malware and server attacks while private keys are fully encrypted and stored on the user’s device. This wallet uses BIP 39 passphrase encryption providing an extra layer of security and a 5-8 digit pin to access the wallet itself.
As if I haven’t rambled on enough about the security of this wallet, the Samourai also has another trick up its sleeve, providing a very unique and quite brilliant feature called “stealth mode” which hides the shortcut icon, and any trace of the application on the mobile device, with the only way to restore it being to dial your pin code into the phone keypad. That is some next-generation security for mobile wallets right there, a massive congratulations are in order to the team over at Samourai for implementing all these mind-blowing features, separating themselves from the competition with so much innovation. If you want to know more about the Samourai wallet, be sure to check out our in-depth review.
And that is it for my review on the top mobile wallets available on the market today. This article covered options for just about every need that a mobile wallet user could want, including multi-coin or Bitcoin only wallets, wallets that utilize convenience over security and vice versa, and provided my top picks for different categories. I hope this article gave you a good starting point and helped point you in the right direction, highlighting some of the features that users value in a mobile wallet. Until next time crypto friends, keep those wallets secure, only download apps from official sources, keep those private keys and recovery phrases private, back them up, and of course, happy hodl-ing!
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.