With the unique advantages of Bitcoin (decentralization, encryption, rapid appreciation if you time it right) also come unique challenges. Whereas traditional currencies could be stored in banks or kept in your wallet for quick access, the codes that represent ownership of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies must be kept somewhere where they are safe not only from physical misappropriation but from digital theft as well. That means a Bitcoin wallet is necessary. The best wallets are cheap or free to use, mobile, user-friendly, and convenient—but most importantly, they’re safe. Here are six of the most secure Bitcoin wallets Bitcoin can buy.
Trezor Hardware Wallet
This is one of the coolest hardware wallets on the market. With a hardware wallet, you can store your cryptocurrency in a physical object. While online exchanges and wallets are vulnerable to hacking or other issues, a hardware wallet remains safe as long as you keep it in your possession, and Trezor’s is equipped with numerous features that make it even safer than other hardware wallets. It’s always accessible to you via a personal 12-24 word recovery seed. This seed is generated by the wallet and is unique to you. You can choose from the Trezor One, which supports over 500 coins, or the more deluxe Model T.
Jaxx Mobile Wallet
This multi-platform, multi-currency digital asset wallet is 100% free and supports more than 70 altcoins, so even if you’re a diversified investor, chances are it’ll be able to store your coins. Jaxx Liberty is available for Android, iOS, and Google Chrome, and they’re working on desktop versions for the Mac and PC. You’re the only one who will have control of your private keys, as Jaxx neither stores nor has access to them.
Electrum Software Wallet
This popular wallet can integrate with hardware versions for added security and can be used with the Tor browser for complete anonymity. It’s fast and lightweight, and won’t slow down your phone or computer, and has been around for a few years, building a reputation for reliability and security.
Coinbase Hot Wallet
Despite only having support for Bitcoin and Ethereum, this online wallet is one of the most popular out there. That’s probably because it’s tied to the tremendously popular crypto exchange Coinbase. It’s a “hot wallet” because you can use it to interface with the exchange directly, and make purchases using fiat currency in the same interface. To make the wallet more secure, you can turn on 2-Step Verification and Google Authenticator, and the more paranoid might opt for the vault option.
KeepKey Hardware Wallet
This is one of the rare hardware wallets that lets you execute exchanges directly on the wallet, using a technology called ShapeShift. It’s PIN protected, has an OLED display, and has a restoration system similar to the Trezor’s, with a twelve word seed. And the anodized aluminium case is genuinely cool to look at and hold.
You need to ensure your private keys are stored safely! The wallets above have their advantages and disadvantages, but all of them are secure and can help you keep your Bitcoins out of the prying hands of hackers.