Why a seed phrase is the key to crypto security

seed phrase

A seed phrase is a randomly generated sequence of words that you need to restore your cryptocurrency wallet if you forget the password. This post will cover what this means, when it needs to be used, and how to use it!

What is a seed phrase?

A seed phrase is the private key to your cryptocurrency, in word form.

Let us explain what this means.

In crypto, ‘digital assets’ (cryptocurrency) are recorded on a public ledger called a Blockchain. If you own crypto assets you have a private key to those assets. Your private key authenticates you (using cryptography) as the owner. You can’t access or transact those digital assets on a blockchain (a digital ledger of transactions) without your private key.

Your private key is a 256 bit string of binary code (256 1s and 0s in a certain order).

Even though blockchains are public ledgers and transactions can be viewed, your private key for any transaction you make (like buying a coin) is never revealed publicly. This is what makes it secure.

seed phrase
a seed phrase represents the key to your crypto

Turning numbers into passwords

Because humans don’t use the language of 1s and 0s, there’s a technical standard called BIP 39 that everyone uses to turn your private key from the binary language of computing (1s and 0s), into English. BIP 39 is the standard used to do that translation.

When that translation happens, you get a mnemonic phrase (12 or 24 word phrase) in a language humans can understand and recognize. The private key is no longer in 1s and 0s.

In practice, mnemonic phrase (called ‘seed phrase’) is just a phrase made up of either 12 or 24 words generated according to the BIP 39 standard. The phrase and words in it represent the binary form of your private key.

It’s important that humans can recognise and understand the private key to access their cryptocurrency, incase they need to use that key. That’s why we use a seed phrase of 12 or 24 words – we can write down or record words more easily than a long string of 1s and 0s.

Where will you come across a seed phrase in crypto?

You will come across a seed phrase wherever you set up a new crypto wallet, whether it’s a cold storage wallet or a digital (hot) wallet.

The wallet will generate the phrase for you as part of the wallet set up and present it on screen.

a 24 word seed phrase

What is a seed phrase used for?

Seed phrases are used to recover ‘lost’ cryptocurrency from a cryptocurrency wallet.

Things can and do go wrong with cryptocurrency wallets. Cold storage wallets can be stolen or lost. Digital (hot) wallets can have software bugs or no longer be supported by companies or developers.

Seed phrases allow you to trace and recover any crypto you cannot get access to as a result of using a lost, stolen, or failed crypto wallet.

What to do with a seed phrase

When you first set up a crypto wallet, you create your password to access it. This is wallet layer security, so no one can access your wallet.

The next step will be to access and record (somewhere safe) a 12 or 24 word seed phrase that is generated by the wallet set up process. The wallet should prompt you to do this.

The seed phrase secure’s your actual crypto asset because it authenticates your ownership of that asset. If you ever have problems with your crypto wallet you must have this seed phrase to prove that you own your crypto and can then recover them to another wallet.

If someone else gets hold of your seed phrase, they can steal your crypto assets.

seed phrase

5 tips to keeping your seed phrase secure

Here are 5 tips you should always follow when it comes to your cryptocurrency seed phrase:

  1. You should never forget or lose your seed phrase. You MUST record it somewhere safe.
  2. Never share your seed phrase with anyone.
  3. Record all of the words, in the order they are generated. Double check this.
    • As stated above, seed phrase is the word form of your private key which is a string of 256 1s and 0s. The order of the words matter. You must write down each word in order starting with the first word, at that exact order.
    • Do not try to change any words around because this will cause your wallet to fail when trying to recover your wallet.
  4. You will have one seed phrase per crypto currency wallet. You need to keep records of the seed phrase for every crypto wallet you use
  5. Always keep your seed phrase somewhere separate from your crypto wallet. If you lose both together, your coins are lost with no hope of recovery.

Where to safely store your seed phrase – metal storage wallets

The safest place to store a seed phrase is in a metal crypto wallet.

A metal crypto wallet is a physical device that looks like a cash wallet but is made of metal like stainless steel. The wallet comes with engraved tiles. Each tile features a letter of the alphabet. You arrange the tiles in order to form the words of your seed phrase. You arrange the tiles and secure them inside your metal wallet.

Metal crypto wallets are designed to be indestructible – fire proof, flood proof and shock proof – and many are lockable. This is why they are the best form of storage for your seed phase. Writing your phrase down on paper risks loss, damage and access by prying eyes.

We’ve reviewed and rated the best metal storage wallets on the market for their construction, security and ease of use. The BillFodl wallet comes out on top in our view. It’s durable, sleek and well designed. It’s also a pretty good feeling to have your crypto private key backed up safely in one of these chunks of metal!

metal crypto wallet
BillFodl – best metal storage wallet to secure your seed phrase

Check our our metal storage wallet recommendations here.

And don’t forget – if you’re hesitating about needing a metal storage wallet – you lose your seed phrase and something happens to your crypto wallet, your coins are gone!

How to use your seed phrase with a metal storage wallet

The thing to understand about using your seed phrase is this: You only need to record the first four letters of each word in the phrase.

You can absolutely recover your crypto using just the first four letter of each word. Here’s why:

The words of your seed phrase are taken only from a specific list of 2048 words used in the BIP 39 standard. The words in this list all share one characteristic: the first 4 letters of each word are unique to that word. No two words in the list share the same first 4 characters.

For example, for the word “apple” the first for letters “appl” does not come up anywhere else in the list.  

What this all means is, if you have the first 4 letters, you know the rest of the word by looking for those first 4 letters in the BIP 39 word list.

You simply need to arrange the first four letters of each word in order, inside your metal storage wallet. Knowing this saves time setting up your metal storage wallet and some metal storage wallets only provide room to hold the first for letters of each word.

For words that only have 3 letters, you just use record the 3 letters. For example the words “add” and the word “addict” are both in the list. You would use ‘add’ and then “addi” for “addict”.

Conclusion

Your seed phrase represents the private key to your cryptocurrency. You should always keep it secure from hack, theft, destruction or loss. The best way to do that is by storing it in a metal storage wallet like the BillFodl wallet. These are made of titanium so they can withstand almost any disaster! They’re also stylish as well as functional and will protect your crypto assets for years to come.

The new Cryptosteel Capsule – it’s sleek, it’s sexy but is it safe?

The new Cryptosteel Capsule – it’s sleek, it’s sexy but is it safe?

The Cryptosteel Capsule is the latest storage device to protect your Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency wallet seed phrase. It is sleek, sexy and pretty easy to use. But how safe is it? Let’s take a look at the new capsule style storage device and compare it to the the Billfodl metal storage wallet.

What is the Cryptosteel Capsule?

The Cryptosteel Capsule is a powerful backup solution for preserving critical and sensitive information offline without relying on third parties. You use it to protect and store a passphrase, software generated key, PIN code or other valuable secret.

It’s a sturdy stainless steel capsule-shaped device, intended to endure harsh environments and function under virtually any conditions.

The capsule features engraving, a do-it-yourself assembly process, and a stainless, shockproof, acid-resistant and fireproof material. It is compatible with the majority of secret sharing and key generation algorithms, ensuring that the enclosed data stays safe. Even in cases of aggressive acts such as theft, bribery, vandalism or violence it’s designed to protect the master secret contained inside.

Like other wallets of its kind, it’s stainless steel metal construction is far more durable than paper, wood, and corrosive metals. It is also hard to detect using next-gen methods of surveillance because of the stainless steel metal used.

With Cryptosteel, your most valuable secrets are kept safe both from hackers and from environmental events.

cryptosteel
Internal rod that holds your engraved tiles

Why do you need one?

Cryptosteel is a physical backup solution for your digital assets and data. Physical storage devices like the cryptosteel are best to keep your sensitive data in an offline environment, safe from cyber criminals and hackers. The durability of a stainless steel construction means that the device will last for years and is impervious to damage and destruction.

The most common use of the Cryptosteel Capsule is to safely store the seed phrase (back up phrase) to your cryptocurrency wallets. Hence the name ‘cryptosteel’. Paper wallets are used for this purpose today, but can be easily destroyed, lost or stolen. Even if you use a hardware wallet, you should still have a Cryptosteel as a backup in case of loss or damage to your hardware wallet or compromise of your private keys.

A metal storage solution for your seed phrase means that you can recover your cryptocurrency as a last resort should anything go wrong with your digital wallets.

The Cryptosteel Capsule is an excellent choice to store your cryptocurrency seed phrase because:

  • it is made of a sturdy, shockproof and acid-resistant material
  • the assembly is do-it-yourself, so you can be sure that the encryption process is done properly, by you!
  • it features a variety of compatibility with secret sharing and key generation algorithms, including the BIP39 standard for mnemonic seed phrases commonly used to recover lost cryptocurrency.
  • it is fireproof and waterproof.
  • its stainless steel construction means it can’t be detected by high tech scanners.
  • it can function under virtually any conditions.

For more than just your crypto seed phrase

Cryptosteel Capsule can also be used to protect other types of secrets or keys such as:

  • BIP39 (unabbreviated 12-word recovery seeds),
  • Shamir Backup SLIP0039 (4-letter abbreviations of 20-word recovery seeds)
  • BIP32 root keys
  • WIF private keys
  • Monero mnemonic seeds (25-word recovery seeds)
  • Random ASCII passwords
  • PINs
  • Insurance account numbers
  • Master passwords to your password manager (e.g. LastPass, KeePass, 1Password)
  • Bank account info and passwords
  • GPS coordinates
  • Poems and haiku
  • Rainbow Codes
  • Elliptic curve coordinates.

How is the Cryptosteel Capsule different from other metal storage wallets?

The Cryptosteel is also unique in that it allows you to use a variety of secret sharing and key generation algorithms. This provides extra security for your data. The Billfodl and other similar metal wallets only support the BIP39 standard for mnemonic seed phrases. While you might buy the Cryptosteel Capsule for your cryptocurrency, you can use it to store a range of other secrets.

The design of the Cryptosteel Capsule is also different. It’s a cylindrical shaped device containing a stainless steel rod on which you arrange the engraved tiles into words, numbers or phrases that form your secret. The tiles are kept in place with a fastener and there are spacers that you can use to break up words. The tiles contained within the cylinder are obscured from view by the stainless steel capsule and cap. The device measures around 10cm in length and 1.6cm in diameter. It is slender and therefore easy to conceal somewhere or to hide.

Most other metal storage wallets are shaped like a cassette or credit card holder. They’re flat with a stainless steel sleeve and a chassis with your tiles hidden in between.

Is the Cryptosteel Capsule safe?

The answer is yes, the Cryptosteel Capsule is safe. It’s safe from damage, destruction, prying eyes and of course from cyber attack. But not as inherently safe as the Billfodl metal storage wallet in our view. This is because the device itself doesn’t lock. A cap screws on to the capsule and can be fitted with tamperproof seals. While you will (eventually) know if someone finds your Cryptosteel Capsule (because the seal is broken), that person will also have almost immediate access to the inside of the device, and your secret phrase. They could access your seed phrase and write it down easily, with no deterrent except a seal sticker to overcome.

The BillFodl on the other hand has separate locking protection on the outside of the chassis, where you can fit your own padlock. While padlocks can be broken, this does add an extra layer of protection on top of the Cryptosteel. If someone finds your device, they can not get into it as quickly or easily. And this may just be enough to deter their curiosity, so that they move on to something else. If you want the BillFodl to remain undetectable to scanners, you simply need to buy a stainless steel padlock to use with it.

cryptosteel
Billfodl with padlock protection

Like any metal storage wallet, the Cryptosteel Capsule itself can still be stolen. So you need to keep it in a safe place. The good thing about the capsule design is that there are no hinges, pins or moving parts. You can bury it, or hide it inside a wall and still retrieve your tiles from inside of the capsule without worrying about dirt jamming up the device.

Conclusion

The Cryptosteel is a nice addition to your crypto security arsenal. It’s also more flexible than other wallets in that it can be used to protect lots of different types of secrets or keys. It’s the slickest, sexiest looking metal storage wallet on the market! But if you’re strictly buying a metal storage wallet to protect your crypto seed phrase, then we prefer the BillFodl for that extra level of security that acts as a deterrent from prying eyes.

You can buy the Cryptosteel capsule directly from the Ledger website here. The device will cost you a little more than the Billfodl will.

The Billfodl is available for purchase direct from the manufacturers Privacy Pros.

Click here to read more of our seed storage wallet reviews and recommendations.

About us

crypto wallet reviews
crypto wallet

Why use Crypto Wallet Reviewer?

We are cryptocurrency investors and disruptive innovation enthusiasts. Because we trade, stake, farm and hodl different types of cryptocurrency, we are motivated to make sure that our crypto – and yours – is stored securely. Crypto can be a technical and complicated world to navigate. But it’s also “by the people for the people” – based on the most groundbreaking technology since the internet. We want to help crypto become accessible to more non-technical people. That’s why we research and produce great crypto wallet reviews.

We do the hard work for you! There are loads of new wallets coming on the market as the crypto universe grows. This makes it harder and much more time consuming to find the best hardware wallet for your needs. Crypto Wallet Reviewer does the research leg work for you, helping keep your crypto safe and saving you heaps of time googling down that crypto wallet worm hole on the internet.

We make the tech stuff simple. Crypto security can be about as technically complex as cryptography itself. But the task of keeping your crypto safe need not be too overwhelming. We’re here to translate all the jargon into real life for you. We’re into finding wallets that are secure and easy to use for beginners and non-tech heads.

We review hardware wallets or cold wallets in detail. These are by far the safest way to store your crypto because they’re not connected to the internet. A good hardware wallet is the backbone of your crypto security system. Anything connected to the internet can be hacked and believe us there are plenty of smart hackers in the crypto space.

We link you directly to the manufacturer or authorised reseller. This is an added layer of protection for you. Don’t just buy your hard wallets from anyone and then put all your coins on them. As we mentioned, the crypto space is rife with scams, hacks and other fraud.

We keep you up to date with the latest crypto scams and fraud. Not to freak you out, but to make sure you’re on top of keeping your crypto assets safe. You need to fully understand why a hardware wallet is a must for your crypto assets and the risks of transacting in hot wallets – so you can protect yourself. Check out our crypto scam alerts blog here.

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Our crypto wallet reviews – rating system

Our top pick crypto wallets are awarded a 5-coin rating. 5 coins simply means the wallet is the pick of the bunch, the cream of the crop. We rate the crypto wallets based on the following criteria:

  • Security
  • Features
  • Versatility
  • Ease of use
  • Value for money

We provide an easy price checker for each hardware wallet we review so you can stay up to date on the latest pricing and to make your purchase seamless.

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How to set up your Metamask Trezor connection – 3 troubleshooting hacks

MetaMask Trezor

If it’s your first time using a Trezor hardware wallet then this post will hopefully save you a bunch of time, angst and searching the internet for non-existing troubleshooting guides. In this post we are going to step through – with photos – how to set up your Trezor device and most importantly, your Metamask Trezor connection.

We wrap up with 3 top troubleshooting tips that you just won’t find in the set up guides or MetaMask Trezor support forums. We spent two days resolving these exact issues and couldn’t find the answers anywhere online.

We’re sharing our experience and our fixes, so that you get back two days of your life that we lost making this work! 🙂

Contents of this post

  1. Why use Trezor with MetaMask
  2. Setting up your Trezor
  3. How to connect your MetaMask and Trezor wallets
  4. 3 MetaMask Trezor connection errors and how to fix them

Why use Trezor with MetaMask?

Before getting in to our tips that you WON”T find in any user guide or online, let’s look at why the MetaMask Trezor combination is A MUST HAVE to build wealth with cryptocurrency.

One of the top reasons we recommend the Trezor hardware wallet is because it integrates with MetaMask wallet. Trezor’s premium model, the Trezor Model T, is one of the top 2 cold storage wallet brands in the crypto market. You can read more about the pros and cons of the Trezor Model T here.

MetaMask is the most ubiquitous hot wallet in the crypto ecosystem. You’ll need MetaMask to connect to loads of different crypto platforms and to DeFi protocols. MetaMask is basically THE wallet to move your assets around the crypto ecosystem, which is what you’re going to need to do if you want to grow your crypto assets and invest in DeFi.

If you want to know more about what a cold storage wallet is and how it’s different from a hot wallet, check out our FAQs here.

The problem with MetaMask is its security. It’s a hot wallet, so its vulnerable to cyber hacks. And… because it’s the most popular hot wallet, it’s also a nice big, fat target for hackers. Reports of MetaMask wallets being hacked are rife on crypto Twitter.

So what do you do keep your crypto secure while using MetaMask? You connect your MetaMask wallet to Trezor and run all of your transactions through the Trezor MetaMask account!

MetaMask convenience with Trezor security

Once you have a Trezor device and connect it with MetaMask, you can safely use a multitude of DeFi protocols. You simply connect to these protocols using your Trezor account in MetaMask.

Using Trezor with MetaMask means you don’t have to worry about hackers exploiting your MetaMask wallet and stealing your coins. This is because you need to manually validate every transaction you complete using your MetaMask Trezor account using your Trezor device. You validate transactions offline, so that the private keys to your crypto are never exposed to the internet and to cyber criminals.

If you want to buy a Trezor Model T to secure your crypto, we recommend Privacy Pros (authorised reseller).

To maintain the highest level of hardware security with MetaMask wallet you must never give anyone your Trezor PIN or Trezor seed phrase. NEVER. EVER.

You can keep your seed phrase secure with a BillFodl metal wallet, manufactured in-house by Privacy Pros.

billfodl
BillFodl metal wallet protects your Trezor seed phrase from fire, flood, destruction, loss and peeping toms…

Now that you know ‘why’ the MetaMask Trezor combination is critical for your crypto assets, let’s start where the journey all began for us: setting up your Trezor Model T hardware wallet…

Setting up your Trezor

The first thing you’re going to want to do when you buy the Trezor Model T is set up its security and native wallets. Here are the exact steps we took to set up our Trezor Model T for the first time:

  1. Got to trezor.io/start and download the desktop app “Trezor Suit’.
  2. Open Trezor Suit
  3. Connect your Trezor device to your computer with the cable provided
  4. A security check will pop up on the Trezor Suit screen asking you to confirm when you received and opened your Trezor that:
  • the hologram was intact
  • you purchased from a Trusted Reseller
  • box packaging was in tact.
  • Once you confirm these security features, you’ll be prompted to do a firmware upgrade for the Trezor device.

You’ll then be given the option to ‘create’ or ‘recover’ a wallet. Most times, you will create a wallet.

Setting up your seed phrase

Whichever option you choose above, you’ll need to input and confirm the seed phrase for your created or recovered wallet, using the screen on the Trezor. Here’s some things to know about your seed phrase:

  • Your seed phrase will be a series of either 12 or 24 words in a fixed order.
  • If you are recovering a wallet, input the seed phrase for the wallet you want to recover.
    If you’re creating a wallet, Trezor Suite will generate a seed phrase for you to input.
  • Make sure you tap each letter grouping on the Trezor screen until you get the correct letter to spell out each seed word, then tap the green ‘tick’.
  • Words must be spelled out in order.
  • Make sure you record your seed phrase somewhere really secure. It’s like the master key to your crypto. If you’re looking for secure seed phrase storage, check out out our metal storage wallet reviews here.

Next you’ll see prompts to set up a PIN, to secure physical access to your device.

How to connect your MetaMask and Trezor wallets

If all goes smoothly, these are the three basic stages to connecting your Trezor with MetaMask:

1. Pre-connection system checks

For the connection to go smoothly, it’s important to check a few things you before trying to connect your Trezor to MetaMask:

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of Chrome, Metamask and an up-to-date operating system on your computer
  2. Make sure your Trezor is connected via cable to your computer when following any of the Troubleshooting steps below.

You should also know what systems you’re operating with as different system interacting can cause different connection errors. These trouble shooting steps below are for the following system settings:

  • MacOS Monterey v12.1
  • MetaMask Chrome Browser
  • Trezor Model T

2. Connect MetaMask and Trezor

Open your MetaMask Chrome browser extension and click the circle at the top. A menu will pop up that looks like the one pictured. Click ‘Connect Hardware Wallet”.

A new window will open in MetaMask asking you to select the hardware device you want to connect. Select “Trezor”.

Once you click “Trezor” this will open a window in Trezor Suite . Follow the prompts in this window to complete the connection.

Before you’re finished, MetaMask will pop up again asking you to select the Trezor account that you wish to connect. Pick the account you need, and click ‘Unlock’.

Your MetaMask will open with two accounts showing:

  1. The original MetaMask account
  2. The Trezor account you nominated.

3. Import tokens to your Trezor account in MetaMask

If you can’t see your assets in the MetaMask Trezor account, you will need to add the tokens in MetaMask.

You can do this by opening the Coingecko site, typing in the ticker for the token or coin you want to import, and then finding the MetaMask fox icon right of screen. Scroll to the token contract address and click the copy button.

MetaMask Trezor

Re-open MetaMask and scroll down to the ‘Import tokens’ link. Click this.

Select ‘Custom Token’ in the menu on the next screen. Paste the contract address from Coingecko in the Token Contract address bar. The correct ticker should appear below once you do this. Click ‘add custom token’.

Rightio, if like us this connection process is not going smoothly, you’re going to want to tune in next for our 3 troubleshooting tips.

MetaMask Trezor connection errors and how to fix them

Things don’t always go smoothly in crypto. The tech is new and sometimes protocols, apps and hardware don’t work together. When we tried to connect our Trezor Model T to the MetaMask Chrome browser, it failed. Instead of a smooth connection, we got error messages that made absolutely no sense to us!

Frustrating, as one of the reasons we recommend the Trezor is because it integrates with MetaMask wallet. This combination gives you secure connection to hundreds or even thousands of DeFi protocols which you can use to build your crypto wealth.

When these tech issues happen in crypto it can be tough to find a solution because support services – like email and chat – are few and far between. You might have to wait days or even weeks to get a response from a contact email. If you get one at all. On top of this, the unfortunate truth is that both the Trezor and MetaMask user guides are a little inadequate when it comes to troubleshooting connection problems.

We spent two days researching and trying every trouble shooting hack we could read about and dream up, before we stumbled on a fix to our connection problems. So lets go through what we learned, so that you don’t have to waste your time doing the same!

3 connection errors you won’t find in the user guides (and how to fix them)

Issue 1:TypeError: Cannot add property default, object is not extensible.

When we first tried to connect Trezor to MetaMask, we had this error message come up.

We fixed this first error by doing a manual update of the MetaMask Chrome extension. This is how:

Firstly, open Chrome and click on Chrome Extensions icon in the top right of screen. Then click on the three dots next to the MetaMask extension. A pop up box will appear. Choose ‘Manage Extensions’.

In the ‘Manage Extensions’ screen, turn on ‘Developer Mode’, then click update.

Re-open MetaMask wallet and try connecting again. The TypeError message should be gone.

Issue 2: ‘Looking for Trezor’

The second issue that we had was MetaMask constantly looking for the Trezor device, but never finding it. After following the Connect Hardware steps, a message would display in MetaMask “Looking for Trezor” with the spinning wheel to show a request was processing. MetaMask stayed stuck like this until the request timed out, making it impossible to connnect.

We fixed this by adjusting the settings inside MetaMask. Here is how:

Open MetaMask afresh and click the circle icon. When the settings menu opens, click ‘Advanced’.

In Advanced, scroll down until you see “Preferred Ledger Connection Type”. Now this is misleading because you’re not connecting a Ledger device you’re connecting a Trezor. But stay with us here…

Click on the drop down menu underneath ‘Preferred Ledger Connection Type’ and select ‘U2F’. This is the connection type you need for MetaMask to find your Trezor device.

The default selection in MetaMask is usually ‘WebHID’ – but for us, this would not work with Trezor! If you have WebHID selected, MetaMask will keep looking for Trezor but will never find it.

Once you’ve set the connection type to U2F, navigate back to the MetaMask wallet home screen and start the process of connecting your Trezor to MetaMask that we’ve outlined here.

Issue 3: Enter Trezor Passphrase

Issue 3 is not so much an error as it is a step no-one tells you about.

Once you’ve solved Issue 2 and MetaMask is able to detect your Trezor, you’ll be taken to a Trezor Suite screen to confirm your connection. The Trezor Suite screen features a prompt to enter your Trezor passphrase.

MetaMask Trezor

So how do you know what passphrase they’re talking about? Good question!

The passphrase Trezor Suite is prompting you to enter here is NOT your Trezor device PIN OR your Trezor seed phrase. It’s the passphrase you set if you have a hidden wallet in Trezor and want to access that wallet via MetaMask.

What none of the Trezor user guides tell you is that if you want to connect MetaMask to your ‘Standard wallet” in Trezor, you should bypass this step by simply clicking ‘Enter’.

You will only need to enter a passphrase here if you are trying to connect your Trezor ‘Hidden Wallet’ to MetaMask. Let us explain a little more…

When you set up your Trezor initially, you had the option of setting up a ‘Standard Wallet’ or a ‘Hidden Wallet’. Most typical users will first set up a Standard Wallet. The Standard Wallet does not require a separate passphrase (on top of the Trezor device PIN and seed phrase). The “Hidden Wallet’ requires an additional passphrase to access it as an extra layer of security.

So at this step, DON”T ENTER ANYTHING. Simply click ‘Enter’ and the connection process will continue. If you’ve done this step correctly you will be asked to select the Trezor account you wish to connect.

A list of wallet addresses will appear, some of which are completely irrelevant. Select the one you need based on the token value associated with the address. Click unlock.

That’s it! Your MetaMask Trezor connection should be up and running!

You’ll now be able to interact with DeFi protocols, stake crypto and build your wealth with the added safety of knowing the private keys to your cryptocurrency are protected.

Huzzah and happy investing!

How to use Avalanche Wallet: 4 tips you should know

Avalanche wallet

If you haven’t heard of Avalanche during 2021 you must have been sleeping on your crypto investments. The Avalanche Layer 1 blockchain has experienced a meteoric rise in popularity and price alongside it’s growing on-chain ecosystem. To get to know your way around the Avalanche ecosystem, use its NFTs stake your AVAX, you’ll need the native Avalanche wallet. But the Avalanche wallet itself has some unique features that others don’t. So in this guide we step through how to access Avalanche wallet, how to use it without losing your AVAX, and some of the best dApps to get into on Avalanche.

What is Avalanche and why do you need to know about Avalanche?

Avalanche is a rapidly growing blockchain and crypto ecosystem. It bills itself as a network of blockchains with blazing fast speeds and better decentralisation (more validators) and scalability than other blockchain networks.Avalanche has a fast growing ecosystem with loads of DeFi protocols and dApps, tonnes of exchanges and swaps, as well as a growing NFT dApp presence. If you’ve been sleeping on your crypto Layer 1 projects, here are some fast facts about Avalanche:

  • Avalanche’s Total Value Locked (in DeFi) has gone parabolic since August 2021. It’s grown from $300M to $11B!
  • Avalanche’s total market cap is up 85% in the 30 days, hitting $23 billion at the time of writing
  • Avalanche recently announced $600 million in funding to encourage development on its network. That equals more ecosystem growth.
  • Avalanches native blockchain token AVAX is used for network fees, capped at 720 million, and burned (on creation of blockchains, assets, subnets and payment of transaction fees). If the AVAX burned is larger than AVAX rewarded (to validators) the tokenomics are deflationary.

It’s growing popularity and attention makes it a crypto project worth following and an ecosystem worth exploring.

What is Avalanche wallet and why would you use it?

Avalanche is the native wallet for the rapidly expanding Avalanche ecosystem. You might use Avalanche wallet to do any of the following:

  1. To stake your AVAX and earn rewards (you need a minimum of 25 AVAX to delegate for staking).
  2. To run an Avalanche blockchain validator node (you need to hold a minimum 2000 AVAX in your wallet to run a node).
  3. To mint and store AVAX NFT collectibles.

Staking and validating inside the Avalanche wallet earns attractive returns of between 9% and 11% depending on how the term you choose. Read this to learn more about staking and validating opportunities using Avalanche wallet.

Avalanche has a fast expanding NFT scene, with several new and popular NFT marketplaces. We look at the most popular Avalanche NFT dApps below. Avalanche wallet is where you mint and store NFTs for the Avalanche blockchain.

Getting started with Avalanche wallet

Avalanche wallet is a web wallet so you’ll need to be on a browser to use it. You can access Avalanche wallet here.

The first thing to do when you access the webpage is create a new wallet. The software will generate a seed phrase for wallet security for you. If you don’t know what a seed phrase is and why it’s important, check out our quick explainer here.

You’re going to want to write the seed phrase down (in order) so that you can recover your crypto if anything happens to your wallet.

The next step in creating your Avalanche wallet will require you to fill the missing blanks (words) in your new seed phrase – so make sure you don’t skip this first step or you won’t be able to complete the wallet set up process.

Once you’ve gained access to your newly created wallet, you’ll come to a screen that looks like this:

Before you complete any transactions you need to finish setting up the wallet security. There are two steps:

1. Set up wallet name and passphrase

Scroll down to the bottom left of the wallet ‘Portfolio’ screen and you’ll see an orange warning symbol. Click on this symbol to set up a name for your Avalanche wallet and to set a passphrase to access the wallet. You will need to use this passphrase to access the web wallet in future. It’s critical you do this to help with online security as the Avalanche wallet is a ‘hot wallet’.

2. Set up Avalanche wallet security

The next step is to set up your Ledger hardware wallet to secure any crypto you hold inside Avalanche wallet. Hot wallets are vulnerable to cyber hacking and theft. The best way to secure a hot wallet is by protecting it via a cold storage wallet connection.

The best cold storage wallets are the Ledger and the Trezor. To learn more about cold storage wallets, have a read through our article Getting started with cold storage wallets: all you need to know.”

We review the top cold storage wallets here if you’re wondering which is best for you.

If you’re interested in buying a Ledger to secure your crypto, we recommend the Ledger website.

If you’re interested in a Trezor, Privacy Pros authorize dealer is a great site to get one from.

The great thing about Avalanche wallet is you can easily connect the Ledger cold storage wallet to it. You should do this before you put any funds in the Avalanche wallet.

Connecting ledger to Avalanche wallet

To connect your Ledger, you’re going to need to have the Ledger Live app installed and add both Ethereum and Avalanche wallets inside the Ledger Live app. You can add new wallets through the ‘Manager’ function inside Ledger Live.

Once you have Avalanche wallet set up inside Ledger Live, you can go to Avalanche wallet web version, select ‘Access wallet’ and select Ledger as the device you want to use to access your Avalanche wallet. After you confirm a few transactions on your Ledger, you’ll be given access to the Avalanche web wallet with Ledger security.

Avalanche wallet

We recommending setting up Ledger wallet security for your Avalanche wallet BEFORE sending your funds to the web wallet. This way you’ll know your funds are secure.

4 unique Avalanche wallet features you need to know

Avalanche wallet is a little different from other wallets. You need to know how it’s different so you can use it fully, without worrying about losing your funds. Here are the main differences:

1. It’s three blockchains in one

Avalanche composes of a few blockchains together. So you’re going to need to deal with 3 different ‘chains’ inside the Avalanche ‘primary’ network. There’s three you will come across:

  • X chain – Exchange chain – is where you first receive your funds (AVAX token) into Avalanche wallet.
  • C chain – Contract chain – is where you find most of the decentralised finance applications.
  • P chain – Platform chain – is where staking and validating takes place.

All three chains – X, C and P – can be accessed from within one place – the Avalanche wallet. Check out the rectangle in red on the right:

Avalanche wallet

2. Your public address is different for each chain and changes with each transaction

Each of X, C and P chains have different public addresses. If you don’t know what a public address is, check out our crypto wallet FAQs here. It’s basically like a public facing email address for your wallet…

What this means is, to use Avalanche wallet you need to know which chain to use before you transact. Once you’ve worked this out, then click on ‘X’, ‘C’ or ‘P’ inside Avalanche wallet, to get the right public address.

  • The X chain address starts with ‘x-avax’,
  • the P chain address starts with ‘p-avax’ and the
  • C chain address starts with ‘Oxb’ (like an Ethereum address).

Your public address on each of these chains will also change with each transaction. It’s an extra layer of security in the wallet. But don’t worry, because sending your crypto to an old address from a previous transactions will still get them to your wallet!

3. You send your AVAX to different chains for different uses

The Avalanche wallet ‘cross chain’ tab (see the red rectangle on the left menu bar above) allows you to transfer funds between X, C and P chain. You need to do this to use your AVAX for different things.

For example, if you want to stake AVAX token, you will need to send it from an exchange (where you bought it) to your Avalanche wallet using the X chain public address. You then use the cross chain tab (left of screen) to transfer your AVAX from X chain to P chain so that you can stake it.

4. Avalanche wallet is not set up for dApps

Avalanche wallet is not set up to interact with dApps built on the Avalanche blockchain, from inside the wallet. For that you will need to use MetaMask wallet, with the Avalanche C chain set up inside it.

To set up Avalanche C chain in MetaMask, you need to go to the Metamask menu (red square) and select ‘settings’, then ‘network’. From there, follow these directions to add C chain network to your Metamask.

Avalanche wallet

How to get funds into the Avalanche ecosystem

There are two main ways to get funds into the Avalanche ecosystem so that you can interact with NFTs and DeFi products on the Avalanche blockchain.

1. Send funds to Avalanche wallet

You might send AVAX to you Avalanche wallet if you want to set up a validator node inside the wallet, or you want to stake your AVAX. Returns for staking are currently around 10%.

If you want to send AVAX or NFTs to your Avalanche wallet, you need to send them to Avalanche X Chain.

You can buy AVAX on Binance and send it directly to your Avalanche wallet on X chain. Simply open your Avalanche wallet, click on ‘X’ from the portfolio tab and hit the document icon to copy the address. You then past this address into the Binance ‘Withdraw’ screen and chose the ‘AVAX chain’.

Avalanche wallet
Binance withdraw screen will ask you to choose the right Avalanche chain for your transaction

If you are in the US, you can buy AVAX on Kucoin and send it directly to your Avalanche wallet for a small fee. Remember to select X chain.

2. Send funds to Avalanche network on MetaMask

You’re probably going to use Metamask if you want to use DeFi on the Avalanche ecosystem. If that’s the case, you’ll need to send your AVAX to Avalanche C chain.

You can send AVAX from Binance directly to C Chain – just make sure you select this network when you withdraw from Binance. The public address you send your AVAX to is the Avalanche network address copied directly from your MetaMask wallet. Remember you may have to add the AVAX token in your MetaMask for your token to show up.

Once you have AVAX in your MetaMask wallet, you can connect MetaMask to a growing number of dApps on Avalanche and start using their products and services.

If you are in the US, you can buy AVAX on Kucoin and make sure you select C Chain when sending your AVAX to your MetaMask wallet.

5 Best dApps to use on Avalanche

This Avalanche projects webpage is where you can find and explore the long list of many dApps built on Avalanche network. Here’s our highlights on some of the best dApps to use on Avalanche if you’re into DeFi, NFTs, exploring the metaverse or shopping with your crypto:

  1. Avalanche Bridge you can use this bridge to transfer ERC20 tokens from Ethereum to Avalanche’s C-Chain and back. It’s fast and low cost to bridge to Avalanche. In fact, bridging to the Avalanche blockchain from Ethereum can be a cheaper way of executing a trade than doing it on the Ethereum network.
  2. TraderJoe – is a decentralised exchange to swap crypto quickly and cheaply. It also has lending, borrowing, liquidity farming products available. It’s probably the most popular dApp on Avalanche as we write and well worth checking out.
  3. Wonderland – DeFi staking dApp where you can stake $TIME and earn 86,000% APY at the time of writing. And yes, you read that correctly. 86,000%.
  4. Curate – DeFi Shopping App with AVAX Payments. You can also Mint and sell NFTs using the Curate gasless NFT Marketplace (charges 4% commission instead of gas fees).
  5. Kalao – There are 7 NFT marketplaces on Avalanche network all vying for what has become the hottest sector in crypto bar metaverse gaming. Our favourite is Kalao NFT marketplace where you’ll find the cool Party Animals NFT collection among others. Not as big as the ETH NFT marketplaces, but a lot cheaper to buy into, mint or swap if you’re just getting into the NFT scene.

The best hardware wallet for your Bitcoin

best hardware wallet

If you are looking for the best hardware wallet to store your Bitcoin, then look no further. The Ledger Nano S is the best wallet on the market if you want something easy to use, that offers top level security at an affordable price point. There are many wallets out there that offer great features like multi-currency support and can act as a password authenticator, but they come with a higher price tag. Let’s take a closer look at what makes Ledger Nano S a great pick for your Bitcoin!

What to look for in a Bitcoin-only hardware wallet

So you have bought some Bitcoin because you think it’s a good investment. You understand that you’re now in charge of keeping your assets safe from hackers and you’ve discovered that hardware wallets are the best way to do this. Congratulations! You’ve made a great start to protecting your cypto!

Now you’re looking for the best hardware wallet to hodl (hold) your Bitcoin asset safely over the the long term.

But how do you go about picking the best hardware wallet for your Bitcoin?

After researching loads of cryptocurrency wallets, here is our list of the top 5 features to look for if you want to the best hardware wallet to store your Bitcoin.

Top 5 features – the best hardware wallet to store Bitcoin:

1. Security

Security is always first on the list, especially if you’re looking at securing a large amount of Bitcoin. Make sure you have these security features as a minimum to protect your Bitcoin private keys:

  • PIN Code security
  • Seed phrase security
  • Offline seed phrase generation
  • Secure element chip (CC EAL5+). The same types of chips that store sensitive information like biometrics and banking details. These have intrinsic security features that protect the information stored on them from attack.

2. Price

The price should be affordable given you’re only looking to store the one type of cryptocurrency (Bitcoin). You shouldn’t be paying for bells and whistles you just don’t need.

3. Brand trust

If you want to hodl your Bitcoin for a few years you need to know the company that produces your hardware wallet will be around to support the device for years to come. Some folks have been let down storing their coins on hardware devices only to find a few years later the company has disappeared. They have a hard time getting their coins back once this happens because there have been no firmware upgrades and there no tech support. You’re basically on your own. So while it is possible to recover your coins in this situation, it sure ain’t easy!

4. Simple set up and use

You need a hardware wallet that is intuitive, that will take you through the steps of set up quickly and easily. You just want peace of mind of knowing you can get your Bitcoin private keys stored in the wallet in one go, and they’re safe there, are we right?

5. Quality construction

The device itself needs to last as long as you want to hodl your Bitcoin. This will rule out a bunch of more flimsy card type hardware wallets from consideration.

You’ll find the best brands in the market offer great security for your private keys in simple to set up and well constructed hardware wallets. Some even have different models of hardware wallets that offer the features you need for an affordable price.

So lets take a look a the best brands in the market when it comes to finding the best hardware wallets for Bitcoin.

What are the best hardware wallet brands in the market?

The two most trusted, popular, widely used and best brands of cryptocurrency hardware wallets are Ledger and Trezor.

Ledger

Ledger is a company that was established in 2014 in France. It was established by eight individuals who were passionate about cryptocurrency security and wanted to contribute back to the crypto community by combining their expertise in cryptography and entrepreneurship.

Over the last 7 years the company has transformed from a start up to employing over 300 people around the world. It’s is now valued at $1.5 billion and recently raised another $380 million in venture capital to inject into its business and its devices.

Ledger has sold over 3 million hardware wallets and claims to secure around 15% of all cryptocurrency assets globally. They produce two hardware wallets. 1.5 million people use Ledger Live app (that complements their hardware devices) each month.

The company has a long history in crypto terms and is raising funds for the future. Our view is that it will be around for years to come.

Ledger produces the Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X (premium model).

For a full review of the Nano X and Nano S, check out this page on our site.

Trezor

Trezor was established in 2013 in the Czech Republic by Pavol Rusnak (“Slush”), Marek Palatinus (“Grafik”) and Tomáš Jiříček (“Carmac”). It’s a subsidiary of Satoshi labs that formed around Bitcoin mining and security. Satoshi labs produced the first Trezor prototype in 2012. The Trezor brand has been around ever since and has a strong following of customers buying their two hardware wallet models.

There is less public information available about the company value or number of Trezors sold. Trezor does continue to release product upgrades, such as the Trezor Suit desktop app. Trezor also publishes a forward roadmap of upgrades, projects and bug fixes on Github. One of the things Trezor enthusiasts enjoy about the tech is that it’s all open source.

Trezor produces the Trezor One and Trezor Model T (premium model).

For a full review of the pros and cons and stand out features of each model, click here.

Why Ledger Nano S is the best hardware wallet for your Bitcoin

The best wallet on the market if you just want Bitcoin is the Ledger Nano S. There’s a good reason Ledger has sold more than 2 million of these particular devices. Ledger Nano S offers the best of those features that you should be looking for in a Bitcoin hardware wallet. Let’s take a look.

best hardware wallet

Trust

We’ve already covered why Ledger is one of the two most trusted brands in cryptocurrency hardware wallets. Their Ledger Nano S model has been around for 6+ years and is widely used in the crypto community with over 2M sold.

Security

Ledger offers all of the security features mentioned above – they use a secure element chip, PIN code and offline seed storage phrase generation. They also offer a few security features that we think are incredibly value and stand them above the pack.

1) The Ledger devices themselves are certified by French cyber security agency ANSSI. They’re the only hardware wallet to go through this kind of certification.

2) Ledger has a software validation feature that allows you to confirm online that the hardware wallet you have received in the mail is a genuine Ledger device. Counterfeit of hardware wallets is a real risk in crypto. Even hologram tape and other secure packaging can be counterfeited. There’s no need to worry about this with Ledger.

Ease of set up

There are three simple steps to set up your Nano S. You have to set up the device, then choose your PIN code, and finally you have to write down your recovery seed phrase. You start out with downloading the Ledger Live app. The app then takes you through the steps to set up the device.

The Ledger Live app is another area where we think the Ledger shines over the Trezor One and Trezor Model T. While the Trezor has a large screen than the Ledger, the app just makes the Ledger easier to use without even needing a screen on the device. You mobile acts as the screen!

You just use the two buttons on the device to complete these tasks, following a set up guide that comes with the device and the instructions in the app. Easy peasy!

For Android users, you’ll need to buy what is called the “OTG kit” for an extra $24 if you want to connect to and Android phone or laptop. You will find these for sale on the Ledger website.

Quality construction

Ledger Nano S has been around for years and lasted the test of time. It’s a compact and solid USB type device made from brushed stainless steel and plastic. There is no battery required to operate it and it doesn’t rely on Bluetooth to connect. Connection with your computer or phone is via cable. All in all, it feels sturdy and durable and it’s performance over the last 6 years shows that it’s a long lasting piece of technology.

Price

This is where the Ledger Nano S shines. It has everything you need to store your Bitcoin and doesn’t charge you for things you don’t. Let’s look at what you get in the cheaper Nano S model versus the others.

Nano S versus Nano X

The Nano X premium model is almost double the cost of the Nano S so what are the extra’s you’re paying for and do they matter to securely storing your Bitcoin?

The Ledger Nano X has three things the Nano S doesn’t:

  1. It can concurrently store 100 different coins and tokens. The Nano S is limited to 6.
  2. While the Nano X has Bluetooth or cable connection to your mobile phone, the Nano S connects with a USB type B cable only.
  3. The Nano X has a larger screen than Nano S, with touch sensor instead of buttons.

The good news is, none of these three things impact on you if your aim is to safely store your Bitcoin!

You can pay around $100 less for the Nano S and get the same strong security and Ledger Live app as the Nano X. You can easily set up the device, store your Bitcoin and manage it all with the Ledger Live app and Nano S.

If it’s just Bitcoin you’re storing, save your hard earned dough and go with the Nano S.

Nano S versus Trezor

Nano S is also around half the price of the premium Trezor hardware wallet – the Trezor Model T. So we’re going to compare the Nano S to it’s nearest Trezor competitor in terms of price – the Trezor One.

Trezor devices we just find are a bit more complicated to set up than Ledger. There are extra steps to take, like establishing a connection between your Trezor device and the Trezor software. You also have to install the firmware for the device before you can start setting up your PIN code and seed phrase.

You’ll come to find Trezor One doesn’t have the secure element chip for PIN, password and recovery seed phrase protection that the Ledger Nano S has.

While the Trezor One has a large device screen, with the Nano S + Ledger Live app you can use your mobile as your screen. You really don’t need a screen on the Nano S itself. The Ledger Live app is one the biggest drawcards Nano S has over Trezor One, and why we think Nano S is a better choice to secure your Bitcoin.

The Nano S is also slightly cheaper than the Trezor One to buy.

What else do you need to keep your Bitcoin secure?

It’s not enough to just have the Nano S and think that your Bitcoin is secure. What happens if your Nano S hardware wallet is lost or stolen, or damaged in fire or flood?

You will need to recover your coins using the seed phrase you wrote down when you set up the hardware wallet.

3 or 5 years down the track, are you going to remember where you wrote it down?

What if the flood or fire that destroyed your Nano S also destroys the paper or the book you wrote your seed phrase on?

Don’t worry. There’s a solution for every problem when it comes to securing your crypto!

The best Bitcoin bundle for security plus

Our advice is to get a metal storage wallet to store the seed phrase for your Bitcoin.

A metal storage wallet is a stainless steel lockable tablet with an inner and outer layer. It comes with stainless steel tiles that have letters and numbers engraved on them. You use the tiles to form your Bitcoin seed phrase on the inner layer. You then close the outer layer so your phrase is not visible. You lock the outer layer.

The construction makes your metal storage wallet indestructible in case of fire or flood.

Billfodl is our pick for the best metal storage wallet on the market. You can read why here.

best hardware wallet
Billfodl metal storage with Nano S hardware wallet – Best Bitcoin Bundle

Once you have a metal storage wallet set up for your Bitcoin seed phrase, just make sure you store it in a different location to your Nano S. You can then track it down and open it up to get the seed phrase, if you ever need to recover your Bitcoin.

Think of James Howells who lost $100 million worth of Bitcoin on a hard drive that went to the local rubbish dump. If he had a metal storage wallet, he’d have been able to recover his coins on the Blockchain. Big mistake. Huge.

You never know what’s going to happen. So don’t be the next James Howells and get yourself a Nano S and metal storage wallet to protect your Bitcoin. It’s your hard earned money – make sure it’s secure!

Best cryptocurrency app to trade, earn, win and stake crypto

best cryptocurrency app

Hackers stole $700 million in crypto in the month of August 2021 alone. And that’s just the reported number. As the cryptocurrency world continues to welcome more new crypto wallets and epic platform hacks continue to be a feature of the space, choosing the best cryptocurrency app to guide your investment decisions is more complex but also more crucial. 

To trade or invest in cryptocurrency, there are a few ground rules if you don’t want to lose all your dough. The most important rule is that you should never invest what you are not willing to lose. Another rule is to have the best resources to securely trade, earn, win and stake your cryptocurrency. Downloading and using the best cryptocurrency app can help you:

  1. move your crypto around online
  2. avoid human error when you transact your crypto,
  3. improve your user experience, and
  4. give you access to tier 1 crytpo investments and decentralised finance protocols
  5. help to secure your crypto while you earn with it and compound your investments.

We’ve reviewed the newest and most popular cryptocurrency apps to select the best cryptocurrency app to do all of these things. The winner? Read on to find out!

What is a cryptocurrency app?

A crypto app can be a mobile or a desktop application. It provides a platform for you to transact your cryptocurrency and store your coins while you do so. Whether you decide to buy, sell, stake, earn, farm or hodl your crypto, it’s best to ensure that you are transacting using the best full-featured cryptocurrency app available.  

Different cryptocurrency app types

There are a few types of cryptocurrency apps. Two of the main types are cryptocurrency exchange apps and crypto wallets.

  1. Cryptocurrency exchange apps – These apps are used for buying and selling cryptocurrency. The best cryptocurrency exchange apps protect the safety of user assets and provide low fees on trades and swaps, good technical customer service, and fast trades. Examples of these apps include Binance, eToro, and Coinbase, etc. Crypto exchange apps like the Binance app also act as a crypto wallet.
  1. Crypto wallets – These applications are designed to help you monitor, manage and transact your cryptocurrencies regularly on-the-run. Since this is a software application that can be installed on the user’s phone, the ease of access is guaranteed. However, because the user has to connect to the internet to use the app, this type of wallet is more vulnerable to hackers than a hardware wallet.

Best cryptocurrency app

While traders use cryptocurrency exchanges to conduct daily trades, the cryptocurrency app serves as a form of storage to secure your digital assets while you need to transact with them. The best crypto wallet app can both secure your private keys and provide a platform to trade, stake, lend and borrow digital assets. While choosing the best cryptocurrency app, we prioritized its security capabilities and depth of native features that will allow you to make money on your crypto investments.

What else are you in crypto for after all!

Security from hack is essential in crypto, and any app that cannot guarantee the security of your assets should not be rated as one of the best.
The first thing to remember is cryptocurrency app you choose is only as secure as your phone security settings allow. Once your phone security is up to scratch the best cryptocurrency wallet apps have great added security features including pin code, two-factor authentication, and seed recovery phrase.

Apart from the security features, the best cryptocurrency wallet app should also guarantee:

  • an exceptional user experience,
  • fast transactions,
  • low transaction fees, and
  • diverse integrations with various blockchain networks and decentralised finance protocols.

These are the necessary features to invest and make money on your crypto

After reviewing these features across the most popular and newest crypto apps, here is our pick for the best cryptocurrency wallet app available.

We also recommend a best ‘up and coming’ crypto app. It’s one we have yet to test fully but are keeping an eye on. This newcomer has incredible features. It brings unparalleled convenience to crypto transactions which will make crypto far easier for newcomers.

No. 1 – Binance Wallet

Binance is one of the leading names in the crypto industry and the Binance Wallet is our pick for best cryptocurrency app. The Binance Wallet offers the best app features to help you invest and make money from your crypto. The top money making features include:

  • Trading spot, margin and futures markets
  • Automatic locked and flexible staking
  • Interest earning opportunities on crypto held in the wallet
  • Mining
  • Airdrops and rewards competitions
  • Binance marketplace for non-fungible tokens

All of these functions are available and customizable directly from the mobile wallet app and also from the desktop app.

best cryptocurrrency app
An example of the different features Binance wallet offers – staking, loans, pooling, earn, and trading spot, margin and futures makets

Binance Wallet provides constant security upgrades helping to keep its users’ details secure. Binance offers password and multiple-factor identification. It adds a custom whitelisting feature to this suite of protections. You can whitelist wallet addresses to prevent crypto withdrawals from your wallet by hackers.

Binance trumps its peers in terms of performance. The app is swift while trading spot, margin and futures markets. It also allows you to customize the home page to your taste.  

Beginners can get used to cryptocurrency trading using Binance Lite. Binance Lite is trader-friendly and comes with simple instructions for the beginner. Binance Pro was also released to help professionals conduct fast trades. 

To get a 5% discount on your Binance spot market trades, set up your account with our link.

The Binance wallet is not available in the US. It’s offshoot BolsaDX is available for US citizens however. BoslaDX advertises as a Latin American platform but it is cloud based. US citizens can trade with it without needing a VPN. The app is forthcoming and we imagine will give you everything we enjoy from the original Binance wallet.

No. 2 – Celsius Wallet

The Celsius wallet is one of the best out there for earning interest. Celsius allows you to borrow and lend cryptocurrency to earn more coins and tokens. Apart from earning interest, the Celsius wallet can also be used to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

The security features include the standard pin code, 2-factor identification, “know your customer” details, and setting Hodl mode. Hodl mode prevents any withdrawals from your account without entering a second passphrase. It’s an extra layer of protection from hackers.

Celsius is easy to use because you’re not making complex transactions, so if you’re new to crypto you don’t have to be worried about losing your money from human error.

All you have to do is send your crypto to their given wallet address and you can start earning interest. The rates on stablecoins (which don’t fluctuate with crypto volatility) are what draws many customers into Celsius. At the moment you can earn 8.8% on your USD stablecoins through their lower risk lending vehicle. This is an industry leading rate for the risk profile.

Celsius provides an incentive to get paid in their native token CEL by offering higher interest rates. CEL is traded on crypto markets like other coins. You can also opt to be paid in the coin you are lending, but the rates can be around 2% lower.

If you want $50 worth of BTC free, set up your Celsius account with our link. It helps support our research!

No. 3 – Metamask Crypto Wallet

Metamask is one of the original crypto wallet apps and one of the best.

Their platform works on Android, Desktop, and iOS. While it works well on mobile, we love it’s browser extension for making DeFi from your desktop super easy.

Metamask allows you to move your crypto seamless between DeFi protocols once you know how to list different Blockchain networks in the wallet. If you want more information about how to set up Metamask for DeFi, have a read of this post. While the DeFi capabilities Metamask supports are diverse, using the wallet takes some getting used to. It’s also worth noting the DeFi dApps are not native to the wallet themselves. Instead, you can connect your Metamask wallet to different dApps that you find in your browser or on your browser app for mobile phone.

Although it supports 2-factor authentication, password and seed phrase recovery, Metamask wallet is not suited for long-term storage of private keys. Like any crypto wallet app, the fact that it is online also increases the security risks due to online hackers. However, Metamask now seamlessly integrates with Ledger and Trezor hardware wallets. This means you have the security of a hardware wallet while you transact your crypto with Metamask! That’s about as secure as it comes for a mobile wallet in crypto.

Best ‘up and coming’ cryptocurrency app

Coin 98 Wallet

Coin98 is a new crypto up and comer project from South East Asia building up a portfolio of DeFi products that you can use to make money in crypto. You can access many of these products on the Coin 98 mobile wallet app.

What differentiates Coin 98 Wallet is its multi-chain and cross chain capabilities. The wallet makes it seamless for new users to move crypto across different blockchains, without having to know which blockchain to choose for which transaction.

This is a game changer for crypto if it works because it leapfrogs the steep learning curve needed when you first enter the crypto space. If you’re new to crypto, Coin 98 Wallet may just be the best thing since sliced bread.

The best features of this cryptocurrency app that make it a contender for our list are:

  • Exchange connect – connect directly to 9 different crypto exchanges from the wallet, including the popular ones such as Binance and FTX.
  • Native dApps – the inbuilt dApp browser is where you’ll make money with Coin98 wallet. You can connect directly to major DeFi protocols.
  • Cross Chain bridge – convert tokens between 4 blockchains – Ethereum, BSC, Tron, Solana – directly in the wallet. Extremely convenient and only available in Coin 98 wallet
  • Cross chain staking, swaps, earning and yield farming – the best feature of Coin98 to invest and earn crypto. If you want read more about this check out our full featured Coin 98 write up here.

Verdict

Binance is the best cryptocurrency app going. Its versatility, performance, and functions are exemplary compared to other similar apps.

Celsius wallet is the best cryptocurrency app for new crypto users who don’t know how to transact on the blockchain. It is also a great starter app for risk averse investors interested in earning passive income.

MetaMask is the most ubiquitous crypto app. It doesn’t have the native features that other apps have but its browser extension will help you move coins and tokens between decentralised apps. You need to be able to do this to invest your crypto and manage those investments.

Binance is the most popular and widely used cryptocurrency app because of its unique ‘all in one’ features and value add. Whether you’re a beginner who needs to learn the ropes or a professional who needs advanced features in his trading app, Binance has got you covered. It is no surprise that Binance emerged as the best cryptocurrency app available. We predict Coin 98 wallet might just give Binance wallet a run for its money in the next 12 months or so. It’s definitely one to put on your watch list and check out!

Top cryptocurrency wallet – best to secure and invest your crypto

Top cryptocurrency wallet

With the number of cryptocurrency wallets already in the market, choosing the top cryptocurrency wallet is not an easy proposition. But having the right cryptocurrency wallet for the right purpose is critical to protecting your money. In crypto, you are your own bank. This means the safety of your assets is up to you! But don’t worry, we’re here to help.

Whether you’re a cryptocurrency trader, an investor, or a beginner, you will need a cryptocurrency wallet to store your coins securely, transact, and recover them. There are several options out there, and they all offer unique features which makes choosing the best crypto wallet an arduous task. 

The very top cryptocurrency wallet should offer their users safety, security, a great user experience, excellent technical support, and customer service, among other things. We’ve researched the market and have rated the top cryptocurrency wallets in three categories to help you protect your assets and make money from your investments.

What Is a Cryptocurrency Wallet?

Cryptocurrency is not like fiat money. You can neither hold nor see it in its physical form. However, you can still lose it. Like the traditional wallet that holds your valuables, a cryptocurrency wallet works similarly, albeit with more advanced security features. 

A cryptocurrency wallet helps you to store the information with which you can access your cryptocurrency. The crypto wallet keeps private keys that give you direct access to your cryptocurrency on the blockchain. 

As a trader or an investor, you should be ready to invest significantly in getting the best crypto wallet because the safety of your coins should always be prioritized.

Types of Cryptocurrency Wallets

There are three things we consider when classifying a cryptocurrency wallet. Firstly, a cryptocurrency trader or investor needs a place to store his coins securely. There is no better place for that than a hardware wallet. Hardware wallets or ‘cold wallets’ remain the most secure options for storing cryptocurrencies.

Secondly, like with fiat money, cryptocurrency users may not want their coins to keep sitting idly in their hardware wallet. There will always arise a need to transact with the crypto. That’s where the crypto wallet app or the ‘hot wallet’ comes in.  

Finally, if the user loses his hardware or software wallet, a seed phrase recovery wallet acts as the last resort. To match these three use cases for crypto wallets, there are three types of wallets you will need.

Hardware Cryptocurrency Wallet (Cold wallet)

This is the most secure type of cryptocurrency wallet. It is a storage device that you can handle physically and keeps your private keys to access your coins offline. This feature makes it unsusceptible to internet-based hackers. 

Mobile Cryptocurrency Wallet (Hot Wallet or mobile crypto apps)

Every cryptocurrency trader wants to transact cryptocurrency daily without stress. While owning a hardware wallet is perfect for security, they are secure because they’re not connected to the internet. Hot wallets offer convenience in daily cryptocurrency transactions. However, they are susceptible to attacks from internet hackers so you need to know you’re using mobile crypto apps that are safe.

The top cryptocurrency wallet in the mobile category may have several security features, but its ratings are more concerned with the ease of use and speed of transactions. For this reason, we advise readers to employ a hybrid approach of storing most of their crypto (or their private keys to access it) securely in a hardware wallet and keep private keys for the coins you want to transact with in a mobile app or ‘hot wallet’. 

Seed Phrase Recovery Wallet (metal crypto wallet)

Because in crypto you are your own bank, it is critical to have a last resort when dealing with the security of your cryptocurrencies. While hardware wallets are almost impervious to attack online, they are still susceptible to physical attacks, loss or technology failure. Seed phrase wallets serve as the means of recovering your coins from the blockchain if you lose access to your hot or cold wallet. For optimum security, ensure that you have a seed phrase recovery wallet for each hardware wallet you own.

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Top Cryptocurrency Wallet – our pick for your crypto

All three types of wallets we explain above have different specific functions that cannot be understated. Because of the distinct roles played by each type of wallet, we have chosen the top cryptocurrency wallet in each category.

Whether you are a cryptocurrency trader or a long term investor, you should consider getting the best crypto wallet in each category. With all three, you can be sure you’re using our ‘crypto safe system’ and doing everything you can to protect your investment.

Top cryptocurrency wallet – hardware

The most important reason for having a hardware crypto wallet is the security it guarantees. The rate at which users lose their hard-earned cryptocurrency to fraudsters, hackers, fake app wallets is alarming, and cryptocurrency owners should spare no effort to secure and manage their cryptocurrencies safely. 

The hardware crypto wallet offers the highest level of security among the other types of wallets. Although security is the most critical feature of a hardware wallet, several other factors also come into consideration. They include the number of cryptocurrency options available, user experience, mobile apps and third party integrations supported, connectivity, size, and cost. 

After considering all these, our top cryptocurrency wallet (hardware) is the Ledger Nano X.

Ledger Nano X

Selecting Ledger Nano X as the best crypto wallet (hardware) wasn’t an easy choice. Although Nano X had a wide variety of unique features that make it stand out in its field, several worthy alternatives like Trezor T lost out narrowly. Ledger as a brand stands out among its peers in the hardware wallet sector. Its latest product, Ledger Nano X, is significantly better than Ledger Nano S in user experience, user interface, and security features.

Ledger Nano X is 7.2 x 1.175cm in size. It has top security features with a pin code, secure element chip, and seed recovery phrase generation.

Nano X also has a ledger software validation process used to verify the authenticity of the Ledger device when you buy it. This differentiates its security offering from other hardware wallets.

The Leger Nano X wallet is very versatile as it supports the most coins and  integrations with third-party wallets and crypto exchanges. Ledger Nano X also allows you to connect to mobile devices via Bluetooth and cable. Nano X offers Bluetooth mobile connection for both iOS and Android. 

Finally, Ledger Nano X has a mobile application called Ledger Live App. The app allows users to monitor and manage their accounts on both mobile and desktop, as well as perform a number of transactions (buy, sell, trade, stake) through its native features and third party integrations. The Ledger Live is the heart of the Nano X wallet and its greatest feature.

Purchase a Ledger Nano X to protect your cryptocurrency.

Top crypto wallet app (software wallet)

While hardware wallets are essential for enhanced security, software wallets are also necessary if you intend to transact regularly or remotely. Software wallets are apps that you can download to you rmobile phone or iPad. Since software wallets are used for transactions, the best crypto wallet in this category was selected based on the security of the wallet, native features, variety of coins and third party integrations supported, transaction fees, speed of transaction, and ease of use.

After weighing up these features across the extensive crypto wallet app market, our top cryptocurrency wallet (software) is the Binance wallet.

Binance Wallet

Mobile wallets are not usually well known for their security features, but Binance Wallet offers a wide range of these features. Apart from the standard password protection, Binance wallet also offers multiple-factor authentication on login and transactions. Binance also has a security feature that whitelists unknown crypto wallet addresses to protect the wallet against hackers. The wallet user can input and see the list of devices allowed to access his account with the device management feature under the wallet settings menu.

In terms of versatility, performance, and function, Binance stands out among its peers.

Binance wallet provides 24/7 support and is compatible with Android and  iOS. Binance also caters to beginners and professionals with two types of apps: Binance Lite and Binance Pro.  Binance Pro has advanced features for traders with knowledge, while the Lite version is more simplistic to allow the beginner to trade efficiently. Binances range of native features is what makes its software wallet truly stand out from its competitors.

You can trade the spot, margin or futures markets direct from your phone. You can also stake your crypto, earn interest on it, participate in Airdrops and join rewards competitions. It’s a great place to engage in multiple different ways to earn cryptocurrency, directly from the one app.

Binance also allows you to customize the language and currency of the wallet application. Finally, Binance wallet has a QR code generator that will enable you to log in to your account from any web browser.

You can set up your Binance account and download their crypto wallet app right here.

Binance Wallet

Top Seed Phrase Recovery Wallet (metal crypto wallet)

In order of importance, the seed phrase recovery wallet (or metal crypto wallet) might just be the most important. It is the last layer of protection a cryptocurrency wallet holder has to restore access to their coins on the blockchain. If you lose your hardware wallet and don’t have your seed phrase, you cannot recover your cryptocurrency and it is lost for good. 

Seed phrase recovery wallets must be both enduring and secure. In choosing the best crypto wallet in this category, we considered three things: the construction, security features, and ease of use. For the best type of construction, durable materials should be used to make the wallet. The best crypto wallet must also have excellent security features to prevent the loss of data. Finally, the recovery wallet must be easy to use. 

Billfodl satisfied all these conditions with ease and was therefore chosen as the top seed phrase recovery wallet.

Billfodl

Billfodl is made from a combination of 316 marine grade stainless steel, iron, and steel. The security against both destruction and unauthorised use is strong as Billfodl wallet has a very thick protective metal casing that is fireproof and waterproof.

It’s also easy to set up the Billfodl wallet. There are tiles that you slide into the casing for each word in your seed recovery phrase. This is easy to do. Once the user slides the seed recovery phrase tiles in the wallet, the wallet can then be closed and locked with a padlock. Our advice is always to store your metal crypto wallet in a secure location separate from your hardware wallet. Remember, if someone has your seed phrase, they can steal your coins.

The best place to buy the Billfodl wallet is directly from the makers – here.

metal crypto wallet
Billfodl wins the rating for best metal crypto wallet in our view

Conclusion

The three types of wallets have very distinct features, but they are all necessary to ensure the safety of your cryptocurrency. The three wallets together form our recommendation for your ‘crypto safe system’ – they give you the maximum protection available as custodian of your own crypto assets. Remember, in crypto you are your own bank. As a cryptocurrency trader or investor therefore, safeguarding your digital assets should be your top priority.

Backed by extensive research, we have selected the top cryptocurrency wallet in each category. Top cryptocurrency wallet Ledger Nano X, Binance wallet and Billfodl are the best of their kind in each category that the market has to offer. For your peace of mind, choose wisely!

Ledger vs Trezor – find out who wins the battle of the best crypto wallet

Ledger vs Trezor

The Ledger vs Trezor hardware wallet comparison is THE battle of the crypto wallet kings and one of the most sought after research articles among cryptocurrency newcomers. 

Both of these cryptocurrency hardware wallets have many similarities and specific peculiarities that might appeal to different users. Our research and review looks only at the facts and features of Trezor and Ledger and weighs their pros and cons before making a final verdict. 

Ledger and Trezor are premium manufacturers of secure hardware wallets, the most secure type of crypto wallet due to their security against hackers. With over 1500 coins supported by these brands and the option to swap between endless different cryptocurrencies, it is easy to see why the two wallets have staunch supporters. 

But.. after extensive research on the features of both, we pick the Ledger Nano X in this battle of the hardware wallets.  Here’s why:

Content

  1. What is Ledger?
    • How does Ledger work?
  2. What is Trezor?
    • How does Trezor work?
  3. Ledger vs Trezor – which is better?
    • safety and security
    • supported currencies and third party integrations
    • Android and iOS mobile support
    • Price
    • Mobile and web integrations
    • User experience 
    • Connectivity
  4. Final verdict – battle of the hardware wallets

What is Ledger?

Launched by cryptocurrency experts in 2014, Ledger was created to provide solutions for safe blockchain transactions. Ledger, a company with headquarters in Paris, offers two  cryptocurrency hardware wallets: the Nano X and Nano S. With either of these wallets, you can store the private keys for your cryptocurrencies offline and protect your coins permanently from hackers. 

How Does Ledger wallet work?

There are several reasons that users prefer the security of hardware wallet to other types of wallets. The most significant reason is the fact that they are not susceptible to hackers. When you conduct transactions using cryptocurrencies, you need cryptographic private keys. Usually, these keys are stored online, which makes them a target for hackers. 

Ledger’s hardware wallets use a USB-type secure device to store the private keys to your cryptocurrency offline, preventing anyone with online access from hacking them. With Ledger wallets, you can send and receive cryptocurrencies and also run other applications from the wallet. 

If your hardware wallet is stolen or lost, there is also a 24-word recovery phrase that you can use to recover your private keys and your stolen cryptocurrencies. Ledger Nano S and Nano X are similar in functionality, but the more expensive one, Nano X, offers more features. Ledger’s Nano X hardware wallet is commonly considered the best crypto wallet on the market by many users.

What is Trezor?

Founded by SatoshiLabs in 2013, Trezor has gained a significant boost in its reputation after creating several user-friendly products. Trezor makes two hardware wallets for securely storing your cryptocurrencies: Trezor One and Trezor T. 

While Trezor T uses a touch screen, Trezor One comes with two control buttons. If you’re a beginner, you will not have trouble using Trezor hardware wallets due to the excellent tech support and the detailed how-to guide on their website. Trezor’s recent cryptocurrency wallet, Trezor T is widely regarded as the top competitor to Ledger Nano X for the title of best crypto wallet.

How Does the Trezor wallet work?

Trezor wallet works similarly to the Ledger wallet. It is offline cryptocurrency storage that guarantees the safety and security of your private keys from hackers. All transactions on Trezor are confirmed in the device so that the wallet keeps all private keys away from the internet. Before sending your cryptocurrency, Trezor allows you to check the screen to confirm the address and the transaction fees.   

Trezor T is a significant upgrade on the older Trezor One. Trezor T has a card slot that allows you to insert MicroSD cards and encrypt a security pin code for enhanced protection. Its screen touch feature also makes it easier for beginners to use than the Trezor One, which has control buttons.

Ledger Vs. Trezor: Which Is Better?

While researching the best cryptocurrency wallet, it is hard to look further than these two brands. 

As a beginner, you can’t go wrong with either of these devices for outstanding user experience. Both offer excellent tech support and step by step guides on their respective websites. If you’re finding it hard to decide between the two, here’s a comparison to help you.

We compared Ledger and Trezor over a wide range of important uses, and arrived at a verdict based on the user features of both. In the Ledger Vs. Trezor battle, we considered several features in particular – the safety and security, user experience, interface, cost, complexity, customer support – in order to rank the two. 

Safety and Security

Winner: Ledger Nano X

Whether you’re a beginner or a professional cryptocurrency investor, your first priority is always the safety of your cryptocurrency. Both Ledger and Trezor have outstanding safety features that put them above their peers in the cryptocurrency market. Trezor improved its security significantly by adding new features to Trezor T compared to the older version Trezor One. 

With Trezor T, users can input their pins, passwords, and seed phrase using the touchscreen rather than on the keyboard used on Trevor One, making the privacy keys secure from attacks on the web. Ledger also requires its users to input passwords and pins on the hardware directly. Because both device’s firmware is open source, users can view the code and report weaknesses. 

Trezor is favoured by many diehard crypto enthusiasts because it’s built on open source code, making it’s security more transparent to users. While this is philosophically in tune with the crypto community it doesn’t mean Trezor hardware wallets are more secure than Ledger ones.

Indeed, while Ledger requires the user to generate a seed phrase while setting up his wallet, Trezor is more flexible with this. The strict approach of Ledger is better for security, while Trezor’s flexible approach makes it more user-friendly. 

Anti counterfeit protection

Ledger’s device authenticity validation makes it stand out against Trezor in the security stakes. In crypto, device counterfeiting is one tactic used to steal your coins. Device counterfeiting is when you unknowingly buy or receive a fake device instead of the genuine article. Once you load your private keys on the fake device, they are stolen and your crypto is gone. Ledger is the only device to protect against this with software. They offer an online device look-up and validation, which you should do when you’re setting up your Ledger (before you send your private keys to the device).

Overall, we like knowing that the hardware wallet we buy online is the real deal and because Ledger provides this peace of mind, we rate it’s security over the Trezor T.

Price

Winner: Ledger Nano X

At the time of writing, the Trezor One was around $59 while Trezor T was around $190 although it’s always best to check the price when you buy.

On the other hand, Ledger Nano S costs $60 while Ledger Nano X costs $119.

You can check the Ledger price here.

Trezor One is the cheapest. But Nano S is also affordable and supports more coins than Trezor One. So if you’re on a budget and want to hold coins like Monero or Cardano, choose the budget Ledger Nano S over the Trezor One. 

Check out the price of Trezor from authorized reseller PrivacyPros here.

The Ledger Nano X generally comes out cheaper than its competitor Trezor T and so wins in this category.

Supported Currencies 

Winner: Ledger Nano X

Ledger (both Nano S and Nano X) supports over 1800 coins and tokens in its hardware wallets compared to Trezor T, which supports 1,649 coins and tokens. Trezor One supports fewer tokens than Trezor T. Because of the higher number of supported coins and tokens, Ledger Nano X wins this stage in the Ledger vs Trezor battle. 

Android and iOS Mobile Support

Winner: Ledger

All Ledger and Trezor wallets support Linux, Macbook, and Windows computers. However, while Ledger supports both Android and iOS mobile devices, Trezor only works on Android. 

If you’re an iPhone user, you would be more inclined to choose Ledger, knowing that Trezor does not support your phone. 

Mobile and web integrations

Winner: Ledger

Although Ledger wallet is a cold hardware wallet storage, its technical team has created a Ledger Live application that allows users to monitor and manage their accounts and buy, sell and swap coins on both mobile and desktop. Trezor does not have an app. Instead, Tresor has the Trezor suite feature which uses Chrome extensions on your desktop to manage your crypto in your wallet, but has no mobile support.

Both Ledger and Trezor support third-party integrations such as with MetaMask wallet or crypto exchanges, but Ledger supports more integrations than Trezor.

User Experience

Winner: Trezor Model T

Although Ledger and Trezor are easy for beginners to navigate, some unique features make Trezor more favorable to users. Trezor T has a small color touchscreen that allows easier navigation and control. Ledger’s Nano X is bigger than the Nano S wallet, but it can still be harder to read than the Trezor T due to its smaller size. 

Connectivity

Winner: Ledger Nano X

Ledger’s Nano X is best for users that value mobile convenience as it has an optional Bluetooth capability that allows the wallet to connect to mobile phones. Trezor does not support Bluetooth connection and depends on USB cable support to connect to the mobile phone. 

Final Verdict – battle of the crypto wallets

From this review, there is very little that separates Ledger and Trezor wallets. While Trezor trumps Ledger in its user experience and open source code, Ledger tops Trezor in its anti counterfeit security protections, number of supported currencies, iOS support, Bluetooth connectivity, price, and supported mobile applications. 

In the Ledger vs Trezor comparison, Ledger Nano X comes out on top as the best crypto wallet.

Buy Ledger Nano X here.

The Trezor Model T is available through authorised Reseller Privacy Pros.

What makes cryptocurrency prices rise and fall?

what causes cryptocurrency prices to rise and fall

If you’re crypto curious and looking to better understand how cryptocurrency works before you put your hard earned money in, then this post is for you. Crypto is the wild wild west of investing. While cryptocurrencies are traded like stocks in the stock market, the crypto market is nothing like the Dow Jones, Nasdaq or S&P 500. Crypto is unique, with prices driven by factors that don’t exist in other money markets. If you want to make money with crypto it’s critical you know what makes cryptocurrency prices rise and fall.

Cryptocurrency markets

Cryptocurrency is traded between parties in markets. The demand and supply of a particular cryptocurrency in a specific market will set a baseline for its price action, whether that be upwards or downwards. But did you know that unlike stocks, there are both centralised (CEX) and decentralised (DEX) crypto trading markets? It’s important to know this because the price is determined differently in each type of exchange.

How is the price of crypto set on centralised exchanges?

On centralised crypto exchanges, the price of a crypto asset is determined between two parties using the traditional order book model that conventional exchanges like the S&P 500 or ASX use. Order books are just a record of all open buy and sell orders for a particular crypto. The spread between buy and sell prices determines the depth of the order book and the current market price.

In this model, the CEX acts as an intermediary to clear trading transactions and provides custody services for your crypto assets.Trades occur on the CEXs server rather than directly on the blockchain.

The leading centralised exchange by volume is Binance. It’s also the one we recommend you get started on as covers more small cap coins than its rival Coinbase. Binance has a hot mobile wallet with all the bells and whistles you could wish for – check it out here.

If you’re in the US and you want to set up on Binance you’ll need to use BolsaDX which is a Binance brand that operates in Latin America and can be used by folks in the US. Binance is not available in the US.

How is the price of crypto set on decentralised exchanges?

Peer-to-peer trading occurs on DEXs through automated smart contracts (programs) that execute trades without an intermediary. DEXs use liquidity pool protocols to determine crypto pricing. These exchanges execute trades or ‘swaps’ between users directly and instantly from wallet to wallet. There is no intermediary like in a CEX.

Swaps are made in one of two ways: through an order book that interacts with the blockchain, or through an automated market maker (AMM) approach. Since we already know what order books are, lets talk about AMMs. AMMs remove the need for counter-parties to set the price. Instead, AMMs us algorithms to set the price, which means that you can trade a particular coin or token regardless of whether there’s someone on the other end of the trade. To facilitate this, “liquidity pools,” are needed. These pools pay users to keep some of their funds in a smart contract that can then be drawn on for trades to occur.

With AMMs there are no prior orders in an order book. There are only takers (buyers) looking to exchange a specific cryptocurrency pair.

DEXs are non-custodial, which means you are responsible for managing the safety of your crypto. You keep your crypto secure whilst trading on DEXs by using a hardware wallet and seed phrase recovery wallet. You can find the best hardware wallets to keep your crypto safe right here and the best metal seed phrase storage wallet for your private keys here.

UniSwap and SushiSwap are the two biggest DEXs in crypto at present.

Both CEX and DEX rely on the demand of buyers and the supply from sellers (or liquidity providers) to set the price of a trade or swap. So if crypto prices are determined by demand and supply in these markets, let’s look at the factors that influence the commitment of those buyers (demand) and of sellers or liquidity providers (supply) themselves.

11 market movers that cause cryptocurrency prices to rise and fall

What drives people to buy and sell their assets in different markets is a complex discussion. People can be influenced by the market sentiment, news, their own personal circumstances, market analytics, trading signals, etc etc. So lets look with more granularity at 11 factors that can move the crypto market and cause cryptocurrency prices to rise and fall.

  1. Bitcoin
  2. Whale manipulation
  3. Trading patterns
  4. Trading bots
  5. The news that moves the market
  6. Airdrops
  7. Coin burns
  8. Pump and dump groups
  9. Major exchange coin listings
  10. Rebranding
  11. Project partnership announcements

1.Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the king of crypto and its price action in both directions moves the rest of the market. If you want to know more about when Bitcoin moves the price of other coins up or down, have a read of this great article on the crypto market fundamentals you need to know before investing.

2. Whale manipulation

Whales are crypto holders with very large bags of a particular coin. You can get Bitcoin whales, Ethereum whales etc. Whales can use their coin share to move the market with large buy or sell orders. Whales can do this in conjunction with options trades, to make profits. It is particularly easy in small cap coins as it doesn’t take much trading volume to spike or drop the price. One example of price manipulation might be if there is a lot of trading volume on a particular coin but the price is going sideways or downhill. It may be that whales are waiting in the water as the price sinks and weak hands hit the sell button.

3. Trading patterns

Crypto traders trade assets according to the same trading rules and patterns. They all use the same indicators. This makes the patterns they use to signal buy and sell trades self fulfilling. Everyone sees the signal and makes the trade. Trading patterns constantly influence whether the price will move up or down, depending on the volume of trades and traders.

4. Trading bots

This one is linked to trading patterns. Programs are now available so that traders can execute trades using bots (or automation) and based on conventional trading patterns and rules. For example, it’s common for trading bots to be set up to buy up a certain cryptocurrency when the price retraces to .618 of its previous high. This is based on the Fibonacci retracement rule and its application to market trading. Sometimes its possible to actually see trading bots provide price support at this level in trading charts and order books on centralised exchanges.

5. The news that moves the market

Crypto markets are very news sensitive. Project news and development milestones can and routinely do cause particular coins to pump or dump. Hardfork, testnet and mainnet release announcements will generally move the price significantly. In many cases the price of a coin will run up before the project testnet or mainnet date, and sell off just before the testnet or mainnet release.

Similarly, the price of a coin will tumble if a published milestone is missed or the project is hacked, experiences a development failure or is exploited in any way.

Coin Market Calendar is a great site to see if there is any upcoming project news for a particular coin or token.

6. Airdrops

Airdrops are a promotional event in crypto to raise awareness of a particular project or coin. They usually involve the project group sending free coins to the wallets of existing coin holders. So it’s basically a free money giveaway to reward project faithfuls. When it happens, the price of a particular coin can go thermal nuclear.

7. Coin burns

A coin burn is a process of intentionally destroying or ‘burning’ coins to make them unusable and reduce the total market supply of that particular coin and increase the value. It’s the crypto market version of a stock buyback in conventional markets. Coin burns are used to stabilise the value of a coin and they are often scheduled ahead as an incentive for buyers to hold the particular coin (and benefit from price rises when coin burn occurs).

8. Pump and dump groups

Pump and dump schemes are not specific to crypto but they are pretty common price manipulation attempts. Pump and dumps are a scam so beware. They go something like this. A group of investors (organisers) – usually on Telegram or other social platforms like Discord, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook – collude to buy a low cap coin slowly over time so as not to raise its price. The same group then pays an inner circle to promote the bejeezus out of the coin, convincing other investors it’s going to the moon. When those investors (the outer rim) jump in, the organisers sell causing the price to dump immediately. It’s the quick or the dead, the organises versus the bagholders.

9. Major exchange coin listings

This is a well know strategy for some traders – to buy smaller coins and tokens on DEXs or unknown, low volume exchanges and wait and hope that the coins are listed on large exchanges like Binance, Coinbase or Kucoin where most of the trading volume is. Because of the larger volume on these exchanges, newly listed coins can pump hard at the time of listing. This is when existing holders will sell, often causing the coins to dump again straight after. It’s a risky strategy but can be high reward if you know what you’re doing.

10. Rebranding

Rebranding can cause the price of a cryptocurrency to rise if there is significant social media to raise awareness of the event. Rebranding is seen as a move to popularise a particular project and cryptocurrency, driving demand for its coins and tokens and pushing the price up.

10. Project partnership announcements

When small crypto projects announce partnerships with established mainstream brands, the price will often pump. For example when Steller Lumens announced a partnership with IBM, boom the price when through the roof. The fastest way to find out about these announcements is by following the project on Twitter or on a site called cryptopanic. If you find out early enough you may be able to pick up some coins before the price pump and make a decent profit.

What does a crypto wallet do and what do you need one for?

what does a crypto wallet do

If you’re new to crypto you’ll be scratching your head trying to understand how the cryptocurrency ecosystem works, so you can navigate around it. One of the first questions you’ll ask yourself is – what does a crypto wallet do? In this article we’ll run through exactly what a crypto wallet does and what you’ll use it for, in non-tech head terms.

What is a crypto wallet for?

A crypto wallet is a way to store the private keys that you need to ‘unlock’, access and transact with your crypto assets.

The crypto ecosystem is very different to fiat currency coins and dollar bills that you physically keep in your wallet or purse and in the bank. Crypto is non-custodial and decentralised. What this means for you is that the security of your coins is up to you. No-one is going to look after them for you. There are no government guarantees like there are for fiat currency stored in the bank. On the flip side, you have complete control and autonomy over your finances.

The way you secure your coins is through your crypto wallet.

Another concept to understand with crypto is that your coins remain on the blockchain ledger and don’t actually exist in your wallet. Instead you wallet holds the private keys to any coins you own, and through those keys you can access the blockchain ledger and see – in your wallet – how many coins you have. Your wallet, which holds your private keys, allows you to securely validate and confirm the transactions you make with your crypto assets – like sending them to someone else’s public address on the blockchain. Anyone who has access to your private keys can easily access and steal your coins, so security is super important when it comes to a crypto wallet.

The last thing to understand about crypto is that there are different types of crypto wallets that you use for different things depending on the levels of cyber and physical security you’re after and what you want to do with your coins.

The different types of crypto wallets

If you think about fiat currency, there are a bunch things we do with our dollars and coins. We store some in the bank, we invest some, we use them to buy things, we carry them around with us. These same sorts of transactions are available with crypto and all require some kind or interaction with a crypto wallet. Lets run through a few of these under the two main categories of crypto wallets – offline (cold wallets) and online (hot wallets):

Offline wallets (cold storage)

These are the safest type of cryptocurrency wallets because your private keys are kept separate from the internet and not exposed to cyber attack. The biggest vulnerability with these wallets is physical security – either from theft or loss.

Crypto hardware wallet

This is the bank vault for your crypto private keys. It’s a physical device that you use to store your private keys offline and separate from the internet. This is the most secure and safest form of crypto storage because a lot of the cyber attack vectors for crypto come from connection to the internet.

Crypto hardware wallets are where you store your coins long term for the highest level of protection. You usually keep the device at home – somewhere hidden and safe.

If you’re looking for a great hardware wallet to store your crypto, then check out our review of the top cryptocurrency wallets for 2021.

Crypto seed storage metal wallet

This is a physical wallet too but usually some form of indestructible and engraved metal plate construction. You use it to store you seed recovery phrase for your hardware wallet. Your seed recovery phrase is like your spare house keys. If anything happens to your hardware wallet, you’re going to need your seed recovery phrase to recover access to your coins on the blockchain.

You should always keep your seed phrase storage wallet in a separate location to your hardware wallet.

We’ve also researched and reviewed the best seed storage wallets for you.

Online wallets (hot wallets)

These are less safe forms of storage, but they are necessary to interact with if you want to traverse the crypto ecosystem. They’re not for long term storage of large amounts of coins. They’re like the wallet in your pocket that you use daily.

Crypto wallet app

If you transact with your crypto on the go and use your mobile phone, then you’ll end up downloading a crypto wallet app. This is an online wallet – in app form – that you can use to check your crypto balances and receive crypto (through a public address that the wallet provides). As crypto becomes more mainstream, the features and functions offered by these wallets are expanding. Some crypto wallet apps allow you to buy, swap, stake and trade your crypto – all from within the one wallet.

You might also use a crypto wallet app to interact with Decentralised Finance protocols like Aave, Compound or with decentralised exchanges (dEX) like UniSwap or PancakeSway if you want to yield farm or participate in swap pools.

There are also apps that act like crypto wallets but are primarily a place to lend and borrow crypto – like the Celsius Wallet or BlockFI. If you want to earn interest on your crypto while you hodl it without the complications of using a dEX or DeFi protocol, you might use these wallets and their services.

It’s likely you’ll have several of these crypto wallet apps on your phone, depending on how active you are in the crypto ecosystem. One thing to remember is that because they are online, they’re not safe to store large amounts of crypto.

Crypto wallet browser extensions

what does a crypto wallet do

These are crypto wallets that you download and take the form of browser extensions for popular web browsers like Chrome, Brave or Firefox. You’ll use these if you’re on your desktop a lot. They are a convenient way to interact with DeFI platforms and protocols (websites). The browser apps seamlessly connect with these websites directly in your Chrome browser and allow you to move your coins in and out of smart contracts that govern DeFi transactions like lending and borrowing.

Like crypto wallet apps, they’re online and have a larger attack surface than a hardware wallet.

Crypto exchange wallets

If you sign up to an exchange to trade crypto, then for any crypto you buy you’ll keep your private keys on the exchange. Centralized crypto exchanges like Binance and Coinspot provide their own coin wallets where your crypto assets will appear when you are using the exchange. These wallets are only as safe as the exchange itself and exchanges do get hacked from time to time, so you be aware of this.

More and more exchanges are offering DeFI products from within the exchange as a reward for keeping your crypto there. On Binance for example you can earn interest, stake, and pool your coins all from within the exchange. Exchanges often have a supporting app – for example the Binance Wallet – that you can use to transact your crypto on the go.

Hardware wallet and crypto wallet app integrations making it safer to transact your crypto

A new development in the crypto world is making transacting your coins safer. Wallet developers from the hardware and software worlds are getting together and partnering up their services so that you can transact with the convenience and flexibility of an online crypto wallet app, but utilising the safety and security of a hardware wallet.

MetaMask – the crypto wallet app and browser – now provides support for both Trezor and Ledger hardware wallets. Exodus wallet has an integration with Trezor. Your can move your crypto to Exodus easily from your Trezor Model T hardware device and use Exodus to manage the crypto in your Trezor.

For you, this means interacting with DeFi and making passive income on you crypto with peace of mind that your coins and tokens are as safe as they can be. So if you’re looking for the safest crypto wallet to use, check out our reviews of Ledger and Trezor, as well as the MetaMask and Exodus reviews here.

If you want to delve further into how crypto wallets work, have a read of our FAQs page here.

Fake crypto wallets scam – 4 tips to safe-keep you crypto fortune

fake crypto wallet apps

It’s commonplace now to regularly visit Google Play or the Apple Apps store and download new apps for some use or another. There’s an app for everything after all. This is also true for the cryptoverse, where cryptocurrency apps or dApps have flourished in number over the past year as the bull market has started its run. So many it’s hard to keep up with what’s going on. The sheer speed of development in the crypto app space also makes it a prime target for scammers who continue to exploit the trust that mobile phone users place in ubiquitous app marketplaces like Apple’s App Store and Google Play. Here’s what to watch out for and our tips scam wallets.

Fake Trezor App

The fake Trezor app story came to light when it hit the news that one unfortunately guy had lost 17.1 Bitcoin when he went to the Apple Store and downloaded what he thought to be the app for the popular Trezor Hardware Wallet. The app was a fake set up to perpetrate a phishing attack. Phishing is well known in the world of email where internet users are well-schooled in not clicking on links in emails that are unsolicited or come from a foreign source. The 21st century version of mama telling you never to speak to strangers.

In the world of crypto, apps are a common medium of phishing attacks designed to get the user to input their private keys and seed phrase that used to secure access to coins on the blockchain.

In this case, as soon as the unsuspecting Trezor hard wallet user entered his private keys to set up the fake Trezor wallet app, his Bitcoin was gone forever. Apparently, criminal app developer is now a job title. The fake app displayed hundreds of 5 star ratings which added to its appearance of legitimacy and even linked to the actual Trezor website.

It’s reported that as many as 8 fake Trezor apps have appeared on the Google Play store from time to time.

fake cypto apps
SafePal tweets about fake SFP app

Fake SafePal App

Fake app scams seem to keep popping up like pimples on the proverbial crypto butt. Probably because they’re pretty successful at duping crypto users out of their precious coins. Earlier this year SafePal, a crypto wallet developer, was warning customers on twitter of a fake SafePal wallet app on Google Play. There was no way of distinguishing from the icon alone which was the fake and which was the genuine SafePal app.

If these types of scams are commonplace, the question becomes one of whether app marketplaces are as closely curated and scrutinised as companies like Apple and Google might claim. Especially when some of the icons look suspiciously similar to the real deal? Apparently, the apps are put forward and pass through app market place review processes and then are morphed by developers into fake crypto wallets that impersonate real brands.

Electrum wallet phishing attack

In 2018 a hacker famously targeted Electrum wallet in a cleverly designed phishing attack. The story goest that the hacker created and sent to all Electrum Wallet users a fake message prompting them to perform a security upgrade for the app. The message was disguised with a GitHub site URL, which made it all appear legitimate. The real purpose of the upgrade was to install a client that collected the user’s private keys so the hacker could steal their crypto. The hacker reportedly stole 243 BTC, which in 2018 was worth around $1M but in today’s dollars is more like $8.5M.

These are just some of the many examples of fake crypto wallets that keep popping up in app market places. This reddit forum, organised to get the word out about crypto wallet app scams, reports fake Exodus wallets, Cardano wallets and Trust Wallets, so user beware.

How to avoid being scammed by fake crypto wallet apps

With app market places unlikely to take on more responsibility for policing the growing number of fake crypto apps in their stores, the onus is on you to protect yourself from crypto app phishing attacks. Here are some things you should do before downloading ANY crypto app from Apple’s App Store or Google Play:

  1. google the name of the app with the words ‘scam’, ‘phishing,’ ‘fake’ or ‘hack after it. See what people are saying. Get onto reddit and do the same thing.
  2. don’t search for the app in the app store. Go to the developers website and click through to the app from there. Pay attention to the developer’s website address!
  3. don’t trust the 5 star review ratings in the app store. Bots can be used to manufacture fake 5 star reviews. Click on the reviews and see what they say.
  4. check the app developer – does this align with the developer’s website? Google the developer’s name. Cross check it.

There are some other simple strategies that you can use to protect against total loss if you are the unfortunate victim of a crypto scam. Avoid putting all of your coins in one wallet and keeping your crypto fortune on a hardware wallet air gapped from the internet are two of these strategies.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t put that crypto to work – Exodus wallet and Trezor have a new partnership that allows users of the Exodus mobile crypto wallet to securely stake coins from cold storage. We expect these types of offerings to increase as the cryptoverse fights back against damaging scams and hacks that cost the crypto community millions and can turn the victims off crypto for a lifetime.

Best crypto wallet app

Best crypto wallet app
Best mobile crypto wallet

Lets face it, one of the great perks about cryptocurrency is Decentralised Finance (DeFi), where you can lend, borrow and stake your crypto to earn tokens and rewards. If you want to know more about what DeFi is and how it can benefit you, you can find out here.

DeFi is where online wallets, like mobile crypto wallets or crypto wallet apps can really benefit you and your hip pocket. On this page, we look at the best crypto wallet app in different categories to cover off what is important to YOU! Let us help you find the safest mobile crypto wallet and the best crypto wallet app to take advantage of the killer staking, earning, lending and borrowing capabilities out there with DeFi!

We’ve researched and reviewed the top crypto wallet apps in 2021 – here’s the verdict:

The verdict

  1. Binance Wallet – best in class for DeFi
  2. Celsius Wallet – best for passive income
  3. Exodus crypto wallet – safest crypt wallet app

You can read about how we reached our verdict in the full reviews below.

Our research also covers these other popular apps:

If you want to learn more about different crypto wallet apps and how to use them to interact with Decentralised Finance to make passive income, then be sure to keep up to date with our DecryptiFi blog.

First through, let’s make sure you’ve got all of our safest crypto wallet app tips.

Safest crypto wallet app – tips

Before we get in to our review of the best online crypto wallets, it’s important to consider that crypto wallet apps are connected to the internet and so are a target for fraud and hacking. To help you, we’ve put together our biggest tips to follow before you start using any online crypto wallet to transact your crypto. Following these tips will help make your crypto wallet app as safe as possible while you use it.

Secure your mobile device first

Crypto wallet apps and their services are generally non – custodial. This means the apps rely on the security of your device and your own security practices. This is the first rule making sure your crypto wallet app is safe. Make sure your operating systems is updated, 2FA is turned on, and you’re not clicking on any random links or opening sites that are dodgy. Also, take advantage of any extra security features the wallet might offer – like the Trust crypto wallet ‘Hodl on’ security feature. We receive the Trust crypto wallet below.

Download the ‘real’ crypto wallet app

The first thing you need to know about crypto wallet apps is that they can be and are counterfeited. That’s right, a fake crypto wallet app that looks exactly like the one, waiting for you to download it from whatever app store you use. Once you set the fake one up and link it to your coins, they disappear. Concerning I know. So how do you get around this? It’s tricky, but there are a few tacts to take.

Firstly don’t download any app from any link sent to you via text or email or posted on messenger apps like WhatsApp or Telegram. Don’t even click on these links.

Secondly, don’t go to your app store and look up the app directly. You may just click on a fake one. The way we access any crypto wallet apps is directly from the developers website. You have to check the domain name carefully for any website you look up directly. The best approach is to type the domain name into the address bar.

We also use Coinmarketcap, which is an excellent crypto resource for coins, exchanges, and protocols. In the example below we searched TWT (Trust Wallet token) in the search bar. You can see Coinmarketcap has a direct link to the developers site and a search bar at the top of the page you can use to find what you are looking for. They also have an excellent crypto app themselves.

safest crypto wallet

Set up ‘in-wallet’ security

Another thing to understand when you use a mobile crypto wallet is that you need to take all of the steps available to set up security. Most crypto wallet apps, with the exception of the Argent Wallet, will require you to either create a wallet or download a wallet when you open the app for set up. This usually involves writing down your seed phrase, which the app generates for you and you use if ever you need to recover the coins that are accessed via the app.

Most crypto wallet apps will also prompt you to set up a Pin Code to open the app itself, like a banking app would. If you don’t see this, find ‘settings’ in the app menu in the app and go into the security settings. Our advice is to take advantage of any and all additional security settings the app makes available, whether its 2FA functions or other ways to protect your coins while using the app. Turn on auto lock functions and turn on transaction signing functions via the security menu too if these are available. If they are not available, then you might consider it risky to use that app and certainly don’t keep a lot of coins in it.

Update the wallet app every single time!

You must update your wallet apps as soon as updates are available. In the crypto world, many of these updates will be there to protect you from ‘zero day vulnerabilities in the software. A ‘zero-day attack’ can happen if a flaw, or software/hardware vulnerability, is identified by a hacker before it is identified by the app development team. The vulnerability is exploited when the attackers release malware before the developer has the chance to create a patch to fix the vulnerability—hence “zero-day.” You need to make sure any developer patches are applied to your wallet by keeping the app up to date at all times.

Best crypto wallet app in 2021

Binance wallet – best in class

What is Binance wallet?

Binance Wallet

Binance wallet is the crypto wallet app the accompanies the Binance cryptocurrency exchange. Binance is one of the biggest names in crypto, operating the largest centralised crypto exchange by volume.

Their wallet showcases exactly why Binance is the industry leader in crypto services. It’s simply value packed with features that give you a user experience you won’t get with other apps – in terms of performance, versatility and function. Here are some of the features we love:

Home Page Customization – you can customize the appearance of your App home page based on your preferences. Simply select the icons that relate to the services you use most and voila – everything right there on the homepage with just a tap of the screen.

Comes in two version Lite and Pro, with one-click Switch between them – In the wallet, you can switch between Binance Lite and Pro versions depending on your trader level and internet speed. This makes it both beginner and pro trader friendly. Binance Pro has more features for pro traders that require advanced user knowledge, while the Lite version is for beginners and runs smoother, if your network connection is lagging.

Local settings – in the settings menu you can customise both the language and the currency settings of the App. This is awesome if you’re not from the US as most of the other crypto wallet apps on the market come in US dollars, which you then need to convert yourself.

Price widget – you can add the Binance wallet to your phone widget page and then add your favour tradings inside the Binance widget. You never have to open the app again to see what Bitcoin or Eth are trading at while you’re on out and about!

QR Code login – the Binance wallet has a QR code generator that you can open and use to easily log in to your Biance account in any web browser. Saves heaps of time faffing around with your login credentials and authentication processes.

The app comes with a menu that includes “Home” screen, “Markets” screen, “Trade” screen, and “Wallet” screen. You’ll find all of the crypto you own in the wallet screen.

You can download the Binance wallet app straight from their website.

Is Binance wallet safe?

Let’s look at the security features of the Binance wallet and what it offers to protect your crypto.

Passwords – Binance offers the standard password protection of all crypt wallet apps. For Iphone you can also switch on face recognition.

Authentication – Binance wallet offers multiple factor authentication on login and transactions. You an use SMS, email and Google authenticator to validate authorised transactions in the app. Just turn these on under “Security’ in the settings menu.

Whitelist Addresses – this feature helps protect you from phishing attacks and hackers. Turning on the whitelist address function will only allow withdrawals to specified wallet addresses. Keeps hackers out of your account!

Security updates – Binance, regularly communicates any security-related updates to everyone who uses the exchange. This can be in the form of an email, post, or blog update. Make sure you read these and follow any steps required for the update.

Device management – “Device Management” allows you to see the list of all devices authorised to access your Binance account, You can check this any time under the “Security” menu on the app.  You can also remove any unrecognized or unused devices.

What can you use it for?

This is such a long and distinguished list that we won’t be able to cover everything here. What we will do is provide you blog updates on the latest features in the Binance Wallet and what you can use them for. Stay tuned to our DeCryptiFi blog for more! In the meantime, let’s get into what we love the most about the Binance Wallet.

Trading Options

Crypto trading is the bread and butter of the Binance service and it’s easily done right from the Binance Wallet. There’s a Spot and Futures market that you can trade directly in the wallet for the pro traders out there. There is also higher risk margin trading products.

Binance Spot

Here’s where you do all of your crypto trading. The Binance wallet has a nice easy view of the dollar value of exactly what’s in your Spot wallet at any one time. If you go deeper into the Spot feature you can see all deposts, withdrawals, distributions and BNB conversions. Binance allows you to convert what it calls ‘dust’ (small assets that are left over from trades) into BNB which means you can over time get a nice collection of the Binance native coin.

Binance Save

This is where you can earn interest on the crypto while it sis in your Binance wallet so you’re just accruing small amounts of crypto each day. It all adds up!

There is a ‘flexible savings’ feature, which means you can access the particular coin you want to earn interest on at any time but generally with lower savings rates of 1 to 3%. This has a nice autosubscribe function that you can turn on for each coin or token. Autosubscribe will pay you interest automatically whenever you have that coin in your wallet.

There is also ‘locked savings’, which is pretty much the same as ‘Staking’. This is where you lock your crypto assets up in the wallet for an agreed period and in return you’re paid a higher interest rate.

Binance Staking

Binance staking is where you can lock your crypto in a particular protocol (as part of a pool of similar coins) and earn interest on it. The coins are staked on your behalf, which introduces additional risk but which you are compensated for through the interest rate. We’ve received staking interest of more than 40% using this wallet function. The best thing about it? How easy it is. Literally tap into the staking screen and click ‘stake’ for the coins you want to earn interest on.

When you have crypto assets in Save or Staking, you’ll need to toggle to ‘Earn’ in the Wallet screen to find where these coins are. You get an “Overview’ in your wallet that adds up all of your assets across the various features of – Spot, Margin, Futures, P2P, Earn and Pool.

This is just the beginning of what you can do with the Binance Wallet. It’s such a full featured offering that we’d just recommend you sign up to Binance and download the app from their website QR code and start earning some crypto. What are you waiting for?

If you want to save on your Binance transaction fees, sign up to a Binance account using this link! Oh, and Binance also has some of the lowest transaction fees in crypto – winning!

Chose from tonnes of services and custom icons on your home screen

Celsius wallet – Best crypto wallet app for passive income

What is Celsius wallet?

Celsius is a platform that provides DeFi personal financial services. They aim to provide services they say the big banks have forgotten about – fair interest rates, zero fees and fast transactions. They have been around since 2017 and the service is now available in more than 100 countries around the world.

The Celsius business model is not a Ponzi scheme! Reward payments (interest) are funded by their lending business. They lend out the coins users transfer to hedge funds, institutional traders and exchanges, and other corporate partners. These partners can deposit up to 150% collateral to secure the coins Celsius lends them and pay Celsius interest on those loans. They also lend US dollars directly to users – with digital assets as collateral – and earn interest from those loans.

The great news with Celsius is at the time of writing they have a promo where you can earn $40 in Bitcoin if you set up an account, with this link and our promo code 1910143eb7.

Just follow our direct link to the developer site, download the Celsius Wallet directly from there and once you set up your Celsius wallet go into your profile and add our promo code. Who doesn’t love a little free BTC!

Best crypto wallet app

Is Celsius wallet safe?

We we’re talking ‘safe’ here we mean wallet security not financial security. Do your own due diligence for any financial investment!

As we always say, your crypto is always safest in a hardware wallet. Like your fiat cash (at least once upon a time) was safest in the bank. But if you are looking to compound your crypto currency and earn interest, then you are going to need to invest it and here is where the Celsius wallet shines.

Celsius wallet has some great security features to protect your crypto. When you set up Celsius access you do have to set up an App Pin Code (like with your banking app) and provide your KYC or Know Your Customer details. This includes name, address and ID document. Verification occurs within minutes and then you’re all ready to start earning, borrowing. BUT, before you do anything it’s a good idea to go into the menu and set up the security features for the App. This includes turning on their biometric security access if you want to do that, setting up 2 factor authentication, and also setting up “Hodl mode’. Hodl in crypto language means ‘hold’ or stash your coins rather than trade or sell them. Hodl mode is an extra layer of security on withdrawals only. It prevents any withdrawals from your account without a separate PIN code.

What can you use it for?

Celsius lets you earn, borrow and buy crypto directly in the app. So let’s dive in to everything you need to know.

Earn interest of up to 17%

You can deposit your crypto into Celsius wallet and start earning some great double digit interest with very little hassle. Here’s what you need to know:

CEL token – The first thing to understand about the interest earning products is the Celsius token. Celsius has a token that they use to provide rewards for ‘Celcians’ that use their service. The ticker is CEL. You can opt to earn interest in either CEL or in the currency you deposited. If you hold and earn in CEL you will receive a higher interest rate on your coins. The CEL your hold as a percentage of your total holdings, the higher your earnings rate.

Stablecoins – At the time of writing, Celsius offered 10% APY on stablecoins such as USDT and USDC. Earning this kind of interest on stablecoins is probably considered lower risk than other types of crypto because the price is not subject to the large fluctuations that other crypto can experience. You can learn more about stablecoin earnings here. There are no minimum deposits for Celsius wallet, which is also a great feature if you want to test it out or teach your kids about crypto and financial freedom.

Crypto coins and tokens – at last count Celsius wallet supported over 40 coins and tokens in their lending (interest) service. You could earn rates as high as 14% without holding the Celsius token or 17% with a bunch of CEL in your account. These coins will fluctuate with the crypto market while you lend them via the Celsius platform.

Interest calculations – Weekly rewards are calculated every Friday at 05:00:00 UTC, according to prices at that moment. Which means that their interest rates change on a weekly basis depending on the current market conditions. This is common for DeFi where markets set the earning and borrowing rates rather than big banks or governments.

The wallet has a nice ‘total balance’ and ‘total earnings’ functions where you can track the overall interest earned in US dollar terms. You can also track individual coins.

Borrow fiat or crypto with rates as low as 1%

Celsius also offers a borrowing service where you provide your crypto currency as collateral to borrow either fiat currency (US dollars) or cryptocurrency. You might ask – why you would borrow against your crypto. Well, its a form of leverage where you can continue to hold your crypto coins and have them move with market fluctuations but access value in them at the same time. None of this is financial advice – if you’re going to borrow that is up to you in the true ethos of crypto which is about managing your finances the way you want!

Celsius wallet also provides this borrowing service with zero paperwork because if you don’t pay back the loan they can liquidate the position you have in crypto to ‘get their money’. They support over 25 different crypto coins at the time of writing. Crypto loans are immediate and US dollar loans can take 3 to 5 business days (because they’re on the slow-as-a-snail fiat money system).

Some of the features you should know about are probably pretty familiar, including the loan to value ratio, loan term and borrowing rate.

Loan to value ratio – the loan to value ratio just sets out how much collateral you need to put down in cryptocurrency, based on the amount of crypto or US dollars you would like to borrow. You can toggle your LTV to keep your interest rate lower or reduce the collateral you are required to provide for the loan. One thing to understand is that you do not earn interest on your collateral over the term of your loan.

Loan term – there is a minimum loan term of 6 months. You can exit your loan at any time but you’ll have to pay the interest for a 6 month period if you exit earlier than this. After 6 month, you can exit your loan at any time without penalties or fees. We think that is awesome. Standard loan terms are for 6, 12, 18, 24, 30 or 36 months.

Borrowing rates – your borrowing rate (the interest you pay on your borrowings) depends on how you chose to pay. Paying with CEL tokens will get you the lowest rates. If you want to know what borrowing rates are available there is an excellent calculator on their website and in the app.

Buy crypto

You can also buy crypto directly in the Celsius Wallet either via credit or bank transfer using the Gem network. This is never going to be the cheapest way to buy crypto because there are third party service fees involved, but it is convenient.

CEL pay

CEL pay lets you send and receive crypto within the Celsius networks. Its fee free to send or receive crypto between users of the Celcius network and its super fast to transact.

Exodus wallet – Safest crypto wallet app

What is Exodus wallet?

Exodus mobile wallet

This Exodus crypto wallet review will help you decide whether to download and trust your crypto to the Exodus crypto wallet. Exodus was set up in 2015 to make interacting with your crypto as simple as possible. The ethos seems to be about taking the geek out of crypto to enable mass adoption, which we applaud. Exodus platform comes in a Mobile or web version. Here, we’ll look at the Exodus mobile wallet.

Mostly used for crypto exchange, sending and receiving lets have a look at what the Exodus wallet offers.

Is Exodus wallet safe?

Exodus states that it does not store sensitive data about your wallet. They cannot view, access, or control individual Exodus wallets because each wallet’s information is stored locally on the device. This means that Exodus, is as secure as the device you store it on and the security practices you put in place. As with the crypto ethos, it’s all down to you! We’d say the same of any mobile wallet but Exodus has some security offerings that others don’t currently.

In terms of security, the wallet allows you to set up a 12 word recovery seed phrase to recover your crypto if anything goes wrong. You must write down this phrase or even record it on your seed phrase recovery wallet. You can also set up a password.

Exodus also has automatic update notifications whenever you open your wallet to protect against Zero Day attacks, so make sure you go and click on the update every time!

A really nice aspect of Exodus security is that they have an integration with Trezor. Your can move your crypto to Exodus easily from your Trezor Model T hardware device and use Exodus to manage the crypto in your Trezor. Model T The integration is great for users – offering better security with the Exodus app and a user interface with Trezor that we would recommend over the Trezor Suite. This is a novel partnership that provides better security than many of the other crypto wallet apps.

While there is a focus on security with Exodus there is also no registration or verification required to set up and use Exodus wallet which is a plus for users that value total privacy.

What can you use it for?

The main two features of the note about the Exodus mobile wallet is the security and exchange functionality. We’ve talked about security above so lets get into the other ways you can interact with your crypto in the Exodus wallet.

Exodus has a great crypto exchange function and user experience and A++ user support.

Crypto exchange

with Exodus you can very easily and conveniently exchange one crypto for another with just a few clicks. The Exodus wallet currently supports around 150 odd different coins and tokes, although we suspect they’ll be adding to this list all of the time.

Crypto staking

Direct rewards for staking for limited cryptocurrencies including VET, TZS, ATOM, ADA, ONT, ALGO and NEO. What we will say is there is staking offered for some crypto that isn’t covered by other mobile wallets such as Trust Wallet and Celsius so Exodus is a nice complement to other wallets if you want to diversify your staking holdings.

User experience & design

If you’re all about the feels, user experience and design are a feature of the Exodus Wallet and make their interface the sexiest of all of the mobile crypto wallets we’ve seen. There are a lot of nice design features for inside the app that make it a pleasure to use.

DeFi integrations

You can access Compound Finance (a DeFi platform) directly in the wallet. This gives you access to more staking opportunities with your crypto particularly with DAI which at the time of writing you could get 4.5% APY for staking. While this is a nice feature, it doesn’t really measure up to the integrations of the Trust Wallet for example and Compound Finance doesn’t seem to have the best APY interest rates compared to other platforms at the moment.

Trust crypto wallet

What is Trust crypto wallet?

Trust wallet crypto

Trust wallet is a mobile crypto wallet owned by the Binance crypto exchange. It’s built on open source code which means it is transparent, can be audited and developers can build on it. This transparency is a plus if you are going to put your money into it. Trust wallet claims to have over 5 million users at the time of writing and comes in 18 languages.

Because its the official mobile crypto wallet of Binance, it supports the Binance Smart Chain ecosystem as well as Ethereum tokens. This is a plus, because when it comes to transacting your crypto you can do this on the Binance Smart Chain a lot of times and avoid the very high transaction fees associated with ERC-20 tokens transacted on the Ethereum mainnet. This all just means there are cheaper ways to profit from DeFI with lower transaction fees due to some of the many features of this wallet.

Is Trust Wallet safe?

Trust Wallet set up has the security features that you would expect from a mobile crypto wallet. It’s how you use these features, plus your device security functions and user habits that are all needed in combination to keep your Trust Wallet as safe as possible. Trust Wallet offers seed phrase recovery, a PIN code for app access and biometric security. Make sure that you go into the security menu under ‘settings’ inside Trust Wallet and turn on Auto Lock, Transaction Signing and App Lock functions.

You shouldn’t hold all of your crypto permanently in any mobile crypto wallet. A hardware wallet is the safest place to store your coins and tokens.

Best crypto wallet app

What can you use it for?

Because of its Binance links Trust Wallet offers A LOT of features that other wallets don’t currently have the integrations for. You can use it for Staking directly inside the wallet but it also has decentralised app links directly within the wallet where you can stake and farm your cryptocurrency in a few of the major protocols on the Binance Smart Chain ecosystem like PancakeSwap and 1Inch, as well as some other big players in DeFi such as SushiSwap, UniSwap, Compound Finance, Curve and Lido Staking. This is one of the major pluses of Trust Wallet – its access into DeFI products all within on the one app.

UPDATE: 9 June 2021, Trust Wallet announced that in order to update their iOS wallet Apply requires them to remove the dAPP browser integration which will impact Trust Wallet functionality for a lot of users. Read more here.

Trust Wallet also offers NFT integrations with the Rarible NFT marketplace which means you can buy and sell collectibles in the app if that’s your thing. Let us have a look at some of these offerings in more detail.

Buy, sell, exchange and swap

You can buy crypto without KYC in Trust Wallet through Simplex or Moonpay. You can also swap and exchange crypto directly in the App and it also has price alerts if you are trading. Trust Wallet has support for literally thousands of coins and tokens so the swap function is a good way to get hold of some of coins and tokens that aren’t supported across a lot of exchanges or at least may not be available on the exchange you use. The swap function is onne way to avoid having multiple exchange accounts chasing new or small cap coins and tokens.

In wallet staking

In wallet staking is available for 6 different cryptocurrencies at the time of writing, all with pretty health APY interest rates of between 5% and 23%. It’s super easy to stake these from within Trust Wallet with the tap of a few buttons and you can unstake them at any time although most have a lock up period that you need to stick to in order to get the promised interest rate.

Third party DeFi integrations

Trust Wallet has by far the most third party DeFI integrations we’ve seen of any mobile crypto wallet on the market. You can open up dApps for major DeFi protocols and exchanges including UniSwap, SushiSwap, Curve, Compound, Aave, 1inch, Yearn Finance, and PancakeSwap. This is the most valuable part of Trust Wallet and why it has so many users. Trust Wallet doesn’t charge fees when you interact with your crypto, but there are network fees involved when you transact your coins in any ecosystem and this applies within Trust Wallet and on other wallets.

You can also directly open a bunch of other dApps in the Games and Social media category – so Trust Wallet really is a gateway into the new dApp ecosystem developing with Blockchain technology.

Access to NFT marketplaces

There is a Rarible NFT marketplace dApp interface directly with the dApps section of the Trust Wallet. When you open it up it links to your wallet balances which means you can buy, sell or create NFTs. You can also add funds directly via Paypal or Credit card to buy or bid on collectibles.

Metamask crypto wallet – best DeFi wallet

Best crypto wallet app

What is Metamask crypto wallet?

Metamask is a crypto wallet designed by a team of developers whose mission it is to ‘democratize access to the decentralized web’.

Metamask crypto wallet has a mobile version that is available for both Apple and Android users and it also has a web browser version if you’re on the desktop. You can sync both of these up so they work seamlessly together.

Is Metamask crypto wallet safe?

Like other online wallets, Metamask requires set up with a seed phrase and you also need a password to access your account. It also has some internal security settings that you should set ‘on’ – like the phishing detection feature that sends you messages if Metamask suspects transactions are associated with phishing scams.

All of that being said, Metamask crypto wallet is not a place to store your crypto long term as there’s no real financial benefits to doing so and because its a hot wallet, meaning it’s online and like any hot wallet has a greater attack surface and more vulnerabilities than a hardware wallet. We don’t recommend keeping your coins in Metamask long term. BUT…. the good news is that Metamask has awesome integrations with Ledger and Trezor hardware wallets, which means you have the security of a hardware wallet while you transact your crypto with Metamask!

Once you set up your Metamask wallet, you simply go into the menu and click on ‘connect hardware wallet’, follow the prompts and you’re away! With your Trezor or Ledger crypto wallet connected, each time you transact with Metamask you get the validations on your Trezor or Ledger and you have to physically confirm these on the device.

What can you use it for?

Buy Ethereum

You can pretty quickly use Metamask to buy Ethereum (ETH) via the Wyre services directly in the wallet and then use the wallet swap function (see below) to swap that ETH into a bunch of other coins or tokens. This wouldn’t be the most economical way to go about obtaining coins, but if you are a beginner it gives you a pretty simple gateway to get started with some coins and Decentralised Finance products.

Buy and swap functions in Metamask
Browser for dApps and Settings for securit

Swap

You can also use Metamask to swap your coins with other coins on certain networks – like Ethereum or Binance Smart Chain. A service fee of 0.875% is automatically factored into each swap quote – the price you pay for convenience! You can swap coins on a bunch of DeFi platforms – like QuickSwap on the Matic Mainnet or SushiSwap on the Ethereum Mainnet – once your Metamask is connected to them, so we don’t really use this function within the wallet at all.

DeFi

The main reason to have Metamask crypto wallet is to move your coins around the cryptoverse. Why would you be moving your coins? In one word, DeFi. Decentralised Finance protocols like Aave, Curve, and Yearn Finance. Metamask allows you to use these protocols to earn passive income on your crypto through lending, staking and yield farming.

There are a couple of tech type things you need to know and do to set up your Metamask wallet so that you can use it with DeFI. Check out our post on this that walks you through the basics of Metamask set up for non-tech users.

Getting through this set up really opens up the world of Decentralised Finance via Metamask. And its also the reason that every crypto holder should have MetaMask crypto wallet in their crypto tool kit.

Trastra Wallet – best fiat + crypto bundle

What is Trastra app?

Trastra is a FinTech company founded in 2017. They currently have offices in London and the Czech Republic. They state that their aim is let people use and spend their crypto as easily as they spend traditional fiat currency. One thing to know is that Trastra offers their services in the European Economic Area only at present, covering 31 EEA countries.

Trastra offers a unique bundle of products that include a side by side crypto/IBAN account, crypto wallet app, and crypto debit (payment) cards all linked. You can also get a Trastra Visa Card.

Their crypto debit card is linked to the Trastra app crypto wallet. You can use it to spend cryptocurrencies in the same way as funds from a regular debit or credit card. These types of cards – Bitcoin visa cards, or crypto debit cards – are identical to their traditional banking counterparts, with the only difference being that crypto debit cards allow their holders to spend cryptocurrencies at a wide range of merchants accepting crypto around the world and at Bitcoin ATMs for withdrawals.

To use their services you need to set up and verify your account, then activate your wallet and transfer crypto into it. With that done, you can then order your debit (payment) card. When the card arrives you need to activate it online. There is a 9 EURO fee for the card delivery and then a 1.25 EURO monthly ongoing fee for the service.

Once you have it all of this set up there are a bunch of pretty convenient features that make Trastra attractive to EU crypto adopters.

Is Trastra app safe?

The first thing to know, before we get into the actual security of the app is that Trastra wallet requires you to go through the KYC process. Only once you confirm your identity can you download and access the Trastra App. The KYC process ncludes personal information, address and uploading your ID. In some cases they may require you to provide additional documentation such as proof of residency or proof of address While it’s not the privacy that some crypto enthusiasts look for, it’s apparently a regulatory requirement in Europe for the types of services they provide.

Trastra app covers off your security in a couple of ways:

2FA (two-factor authentication) keeps your account secure from any unauthorized access. You do need to go into Profile and Settings inside the App to activate the 2FA feature.

Confirmation Emails Your account is linked to your email. For any information concerning the account, card, wallet or anything fund-sensitive, confirmation emails will be sent directly to an email address you provided in the TRASTRA account.

Encrypted data. All of the important data passed between Trastra servers and third parties is encrypted. They use 2048-bit SSL encrypted connections.

Trastra also have a bunch of financial services type security feature that link back to their bundled cards like anti skimming and instant card block.

What can you use it for?

Trastra app has separate wallets for BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC and XRP. The following features are limited to those coins plus EUR.

Send and receive crypto

Just like most crypto wallet apps Trastra provides your public address to receive crypto and allows you to send your crypto to other public addresses. You can also select the speed of the blockchain transaction when transacting, which means you have some control over network fees. It also has an in-built QR scanner which makes transacting your crypto with third parties pretty seamless.

Buy crypto

You can buy crypto directly in the Trastra App with VISA debit or credit card.

Spend crypto

Like we said above, the crypto debit card allows you to spend your crypto at any crypto accepting merchants.

SEPA/Wire payments across 34 European countries.

If you have a Trastra Visa Card you can also get a Payment Account with an IBAN (International Bank Account Number). An IBAN allows you to make easy SEPA/wire transfers across 34 countries in Europe within 1 -2 business days. The main advantage of IBAN is the fast processing of electronic transactions with minimum delays and extra costs. Skrill, eBay, PayPal and other similar services support SEPA/wire transfers which makes it pretty flexible and convenient. You can basically buy and sell cryptocurrency using bank transfers following market rates.

Supported countries include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom.

Convert crypto to Euro and back

The big thing with Trastra app is that Trastra card holders do not need a traditional bank account to convert their crypto into Euros. You can convert your crypto to Euro and back easily all within the app via the ‘Exchange’ function. This is a point of difference between Trastra and other crypto wallet apps. It means your crypto is more accessible for daily use if that’s what you need it for. It also means you can effectively ‘unbank’ yourself – because of the in-app instant crypto/fiat exchange you no longer require a traditional bank.

Trastra fees

Trastra have zero card loading fees which they say makes them more competitive than other offerings such as the Coinbase card. Trastra do take a 5% fee for any crypto you buy, which may be expensive but it’s also worth thinking about how you would use their packaged services and whether your still better off. Have a look across all of their fees to work this out. There is a 9 EUR set up fee for the card and a 1.25 EUR ongoing monthly fee to use the service.

eToro wallet

What is eToro Wallet?

The eToro wallet is designed to be used in tandem and exclusively with their trading platform

eToro brands itself as ‘the world’s leading social trading network’. They are a Fintech company that has been around since 2007 and started their business with a commodities, currencies and stock trading platform and mobile trading app. In 2018 eToro moved into cryptocurrency trading and they now provide a mobile wallet for traders and customers. The app is available from Google Play and Apple App Store and the eToro Wallet supports both iOS and Android.

eToro states it has millions of users across 140 countries using their various stock and crypto trading products and services.

You have to be a eToro platform user to use the eToro wallet and it is designed to be used solely with their platform products. This differentiates it from other wallets like Trust Wallet which offer multiple third party integrations and therefore lots of versatile use cases across the exploding DeFI ecosystems and blockchain networks.

We’d say the eToro wallet is a wallet that’s more about ‘trading’ than it is about crypto.

Is eToro Wallet safe?

You do have to go through KYC to set up and eToro account which you need to have to use the eToro wallet. This means providing your government ID, phone number and proof of address. They may also ask for extra verification information if they feel you need it.

eToro wallet offers the standard type security that most crypto wallet apps offer these days – multi-signature facilities, DDoS protection, and standardisation protocols. This generally means you have a seed phrase for the crypto on the app and a PIN code to access it. The wallet provides 2FA through text message too. eToro claims that your seed phrase is ‘unloseable’ because they offer a service to recover access to your crypto wallet if things go wrong. This seems nice on the surface, but makes us worry a bit about what access they have to your information. They can do this, because they also require identification and verification when you set up the wallet. We didn’t find a lot of transparency about the security systems that eToro has in place to protect your coins from hacking or other attacks. This is an area they could improve to gel more with the crypto community, which is big on transparency and open source, verifiable technology and software programs.

What can you use it for?

Crypto CopyPortfolios

eToro is a fiat plus crypto platform which means it gives traders and investors access to more than 2,000 different financial assets including stockscryptocurrenciesETFsindicescurrencies and commodities – all in one place. This makes it a pretty big player in the fintech world but you can’t access all of these functions from the wallet itself.

You can transfer your crypto in between the eToro trading platform which is web based, and the eToro wallet. However there is far more functionality in the eToro platform than in the wallet. For example, if you want to stake your crypto this must be done on the platform rather than in your eToro wallet.

One of the worthwhile features of the wallet if you do trade both crypto and stocks is that you can see all of your trading investments together.

The eToro wallet doesn’t offer you the same versatile Decentralised Finance functions that other crypto wallets on our list offer. You can perform the basic transactions you’ll need to trade crypto – buy, receive and transfer coins – on the eToro wallet. The wallet supports over 120 cryptocurrencies and you can swap around 500 different types of crypto pairs in the wallet.

They do offer a unique mix of crypto and fund-type investing via Crypto CopyPortfolios. This is a portfolio management product that uses a predetermined investment strategy. Users must invest a minimum of $2,000 to $5,000, depending on the portfolio, to automatically copy the portfolio. It’s like a fun mix on a crypto curated index fund.

A word about fees

eToro charges charges fees to buy crypto through the use of spreads. Here is how they work our the fees upon transfer:

The eToro website has a list of the spread they charge for different coins – link here.

They also charge fees to transfer your crypto, although these are typically the network fees that you pay to transact crypto on almost every blockchain network.

If you trade contracts for difference with crypto you’ll pay both spreads and overnight fees.

eToro also charges a $5 withdrawal fee and a $10 per month inactivity fee so its targeted at the active trader.

The full Fees PDF is here.

Swyftx wallet

Best metal crypto wallet

metal crypto wallet

In crypto, you are your own bank. Just like banks use metal bank vaults, in crypto you use a metal crypto wallet. If you want to keep you crypto secure then your seed phrase is like your spare house key. If anything goes wrong with your device or you’re the target of cyber or physical crime then you’re going to need your seed phrase to restore your access to your coins on the Blockchain. Where you keep your seed phrase has to be secure and last the test of time.

Here, we review the best metal seed storage wallets to keep your crypto safe. If you’re wondering what a seed phrase is, check out our FAQs here.

Do you need a metal crypto wallet

The answer is yes. Categorically. Like we said already, you are your own bank when it comes to your crypto. It’s up to you to keep your assets secure. We recommend a three pronged system to do this and your metal crypto wallet is your last line of defence in that system.

If you buy or already own crypto then its highly likely you’ll have multiple wallets that you use for both hot and cold storage. Because of the cyber and physical risks of being your own bank, we recommend diversifying where you hold your coins. For each of your hard wallets and mobile wallets, you will have a seed phrase that needs to be securely stored away from your other wallets. So what do you do keep this safe? If you write it on paper you risk losing it or accidentally throwing it away, and with it all of your crypto wealth.

A seed storage wallet is a dedicated, long-lasting and indestructible solution for your seed phrase security.

Best metal crypto wallet

There are three things we look for before recommending any seed storage wallet:

  1. Construction – Strong, sturdy construction from quality materials means the wallet will last, which is important if you hodl your crypto assets over years.
  2. Security features – we are looking for wallets that are stand alone secure meaning they don’t need to be placed in a safe to stop prying eyes.
  3. Ease of use – we want wallets that can be set up quickly without any particular skills or fuss.


The verdict

The Crypto Wallet Reviewer pick for best metal crypto wallet goes to….

BillfodlThe Rolls Royce of metal wallets, you can’t go wrong with the Billfodl. It’s sturdy, quick to set up and has all the security you need.

best metal seed storage wallet

Crypto Wallet Reviewer’s 2021 metal crypto wallet reviews

Now read on as we review the best seed storage wallets for 2021 including:

  1. Billfodl – best seed phrase wallet of 2021
  2. Cryptosteel capsule – a new approach to metal storage
  3. SteelWallet – runner up best seed phrase wallet
  4. Cobo Vault – solid security after fiddly set up
  5. Safe Seed – cost effective for multiple crypto

Billfodl

Construction

Billfodl is made from a combination of 316 marine grade stainless steel, iron and steel and is rated to 2200 degrees farenheit. So fireproof protection is slightly lower than the Cobo Vault but the stainless steel grading is higher. These features are key to your seed storage wallet being fireproof and water proof.

Billfodl is fireproof, waterproof, smash proof and will keep your assets safe for generations to come.

Billfodl comes with a one year warranty.

In the box you get:

  • the Billfodl metal tablet with three stainless steel plates that slide open and closed
  • a cardboard container with 400+ laser cut stainless steel letter tiles
  • user guide
  • tamper proof seals are available separately – and come in a pack of 10.

Security

The Billfold tablet comprises thick stainless steel plates with your seed recovery phrase inputted on the inside. Once the stainless steel plates are closed together the seed phrase is obscured from view.

The metal tablet can be locked with a padlock (self supplied).

The tablet itself feels very sturdy including the pin joint holding the metal sheets together which could be a point of weakness if someone attempted to force open the table to get to your seed phrase.

Billfodl seed storage
Billfodl seed recovery

Ease of use

By design you only need to record the first 4 letters of each seed word on the Billfodl. This is because under the BIP39 standard, the first four letters of all words that can be used as seed words must be unique from other seed words. This means the full seed word can be determined by the first 4 letters. This feature is a time saver in the set up of your tablet.

Each Billfodl supports 24 words exactly like the Cobo Vault.

To set up the tablet you need to open the inner metal plate which is secured by screws. There is no screw driver to do this so the only solution we could see was to use one of the metal tiles to rotate the screw 90 degrees. While this worked, it was a little finicky.

You then slide each tile into the slot one by one which is easy, and resecure the locking mechanism with the original screw.

The verdict – best seed phrase wallet of 2021

Best cryptocurrency wallet

The Rolls Royce of seed phrase wallets, you can’t go wrong with the Billfodl. It’s sturdy, quick to set up and has all the security you need.


Cryptosteel Capsule solo

Construction

The Ledger Cryptosteel Capsule offers a different construction and design from other metal crypto wallets on this list. Instead of coming in lockable wallet form, the Cryptosteel brand uses a stainless steel capsule to secure your seed phrase.

The capsule is 25mm x 185mm x 255mm in size and weighs in at around 500g. The shell and all internal parts are made from stainless steel – either 303 or 304 grade – so its as sturdy as hell and solid in your hand.

The Cryptosteel Capsule is rated as fireproof up to 1400C/2500F and shockproof and waterproof up to a 150000N pressure.

Security

We don’t rate security as highly as the BillFodl wallet for the simple fact that the capsule itself is not lockable. The lid simply screws into the capsule and that’s it. While it’s a sleek piece of kit made from durable and strong materials, you will need to store it in a safe or hide it somewhere in order to really secure your crypto.

There are ways to make the capsule more secure. For example, you can create your own tamper proof seal with a sticker placed where the lid and capsule join together. The idea is to then paint across all three – the capsule, the sticker and the lid – with nail polish. After that you take a photo of the seal you’ve made. With this system in place, you can at least tell if someone has accessed your seed phrase inside the capsule.

You could also weld the capsule closed, but this is a pretty unrealistic solution for most of us.

But there is nothing physical to prevent access in the device or at least to act as a deterrent to prying eyes.

metal crypto wallet
Check out the Cyptosteel Capsule on Ledger.com (in accessories)

Ease of use

Inside the capsule is a stainless steel rod. You slide the engraved tiles that come with the capsule onto the rod, to form the words of your seed phrase. There are separator tiles to mark and separate the beginning and end of each seed phrase word. Once you’ve arranged the tiles on the rod, a final end tile keeps everything in place.

The tiles are easy to slip on and off the rod without being too small to manoeuvre.

What’s not clear to us is how easy it is to retrieve your seed phrase when you need to. Once your tiles are arranged on the rod, you can’t see what your seed phrase is. We’re assuming retrieving the phrase is a process of taking each tile off the rod and laying the tile flat and in reverse order so that you don’t get a backwards word.

Things could be come complicated at this point if you’re not systematic about how you remove your tiles to reveal the seed phrase.

The verdict – a new approach to metal storage

cryptosteel capsule

Sleek and sexy but not stand-alone secure. The Cryptosteel Capsule will withstand fire and flood but not those prying eyes.


SteelWallet seed storage

Construction

SteelWallet is a seed phrase recovery wallet of the same ilk as BillFodl and Cobo Vault. Its a two sided stainless steel wallet made from 6 stainless steel plates – three that pin together on each side of the wallet. It comes with 96 tiny stainless pre-engraved steel tiles covering both letters and numbers and that you use to slot into each wallet sleeve to make up your seed phrase.

It weighs 12 ounces and measures 8.03 x 5.67 x 0.71 inches so credit card size but much thicker and studier.

Like the Bilfodl and Cobo Vault the SteelWallet is fire and corrosion resistant. The tiles are engraved deeply enough to stand the test of time.

Security

The stainless steel plates are secured together with pins and small screws that are accessible from the inside (once the wallet is open).

There is a spring lock that keeps the two sides of the wallet together and a slot that you can pass a small padlock through (padlock not supplied). The BillFodl lets you use a larger and more secure padlock on the outside.

After you insert your tiles, close the spring lock and push the two sides of the wallet together your seed phrase is obscured from view.

You don’t get any tamper proof seals to stick on the wallet once you’ve set it up and locked it down.

Ease of use

The SteelWallet is just as easy to use as the BillFodl and easier to use than the Cobo Vault. It takes about 30 to 40 minutes to set up your seed phrase in the wallet and lock it all down.

You might wonder why there are a not enough spaces to insert every letter in each word of your seed phrase but this is by design. The seed phrase standard BIP39 ensures that words that make up seed phrases are must be distinct from one another using the first four letters only. This means that if you need to recover access to your crypto you only need to put in the first four letters of each word to do so. This saves you time, and is why there are few spaces to insert the letter tiles than you might expect.

The verdict – solid storage wallet for the price

Not the bells and whistles or comprehensive security of the BillFodl but equally easy to set up and a solid product for a pretty good price..


Cobo vault

Construction

The Cobo Vault tablet consists of four laser-cut, anti-corrosion steel plates – two outer plates and two twelve word inner plates. There is a large pin (screw) that is designed to hold the plates together at all times and this does not need to be removed for set up.

The 304 grade stainless steel plates are sturdy and rated to 2650 degrees farenheit, protecting from fire, water damage and corrosion.

In the box you get:

  • The tablet consisting 4 metal plates – 2 inner, 2 outert
  • 4 sheets of laser etched metal letter tiles
  • 26 screws and 4 spares
  • screw driver
  • user guide

Security

  • The four steel plates comprising the tablet are secured with screws in the corners.
  • Two outer plates face each other when closed concealing your seed phrase from view.
  • There is a single tamper-evident sticker provided to seal the Cobo Vault after the seed letters are put in place.
  • The plates can then be padlocked together – it does not come with the padlock.

Ease of use

If you can use a screwdriver then using the Cobo Vault is pretty simple. You unscrew the plates, place individual letter tiles on to laser cut and numbered slots on the slots to match your seed phrase, and screw the inner and outer plates back together. It’s a bit annoy that the plates come screwed together as this doubles your set up time. You also need to be careful you don’t strip the screw heads as you go or you won’t get back into the wallet.

Double sided storage means you can use Cobo Vault for a couple of crypto wallets with a 12 word recovery phrase (e.g. mobile wallets), or one crypto wallet with a 24 word recovery phrase. (hardware wallet)

Like the Billfodl, you only need to enter the first 4 letters of your seed word into the Cobo Vault tablet.

The verdict – solid security after fiddly set up

Top cryptocurrency wallets

Cobo Vault is a close runner up for best seed phrase wallet and rates well on value for money. The Billfodl beats out Cobo Vault in ease of use both in the mechanism and tile slot design.


Safe Seed metal wallet bundle

Construction

The Safe Seed bundle is a different type of metal seed wallet than the Billfodl and Cobo Vault. Safe Seed provide you with pure copper stamp plates, which actually look pretty sexy and different to other metal seed storage wallets on the market. The plates are pre-formatted with spaces to stamp up to 24 seed words, plus a space at the bottom to record the Crypto ticker, so you know which crypto the seed phrase is for.

The stamp kit comes in a timber box which is nice and makes them harder to lose. You’ll need to have your own hammer, and we recommend a steel bench block or you’ll struggle with getting clear stamping impressions.

Security

The beauty of the Safe Product is its simplicity. The copper plates are fire resistant to 2000 degrees and copper is essentially immune to corrosion because of a naturally protective film that forms on the metal’s surface.

As long as the plates are either hidden or secured inside a safe somewhere, then the Safe Seed is a safe option.

What it does lack on the security side however, is that there is no ability to conceal your seed phrase inside a metal wallet like there is with the Billfodl or Cobo Vault. Once your stamp plates are exposed, your seed phrase is out there. The Billfodl and Cobo Vault just enable that extra layer of protection so that you don’t HAVE to lock up or hide your metal seed storage from prying eyes in your own home.

Ease of use

Safe Seed is really a metal seed storage SYSTEM. With the stamping kit and the Steel bench block, all you need to do as you add cryptocurrency to your portfolio is purchase additional stamp plates. You can’t do this with the Billfodl or Cobo Vault as they have a limit to how many plates they hold. This feature makes the Safe Seed system the most economic metal seed storage over time for crypto hodlers.

One other thing to know, once you set your seed recover phrase for a particular crypto and stamp it out, there is no changing that phrase. This doesn’t really matter for most people, but if you’re super vigilant about your crypto security and know how to go about it, changing up your seed phrase in your hardware wallet can be an extra security precaution.

You do need to do some work with Safe Seed to set it up – the stamping is up to you! The plate is small, fitting in the palm of your hand so you have to have nimble fingers.

Overall its a cool product for the home handy type, or if you are into metal craft or artisan working. Just don’t pick the wrong letter or number when you’re at the stamping stage! The rest, is pretty self explanatory.

What’s in the ” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Seed Safe bundle?

The Seed Safe bundle package includes:

  • 1 x 36 piece stamp kit in a timber box
  • 2 x copper plates
  • 2 x copper plate sleeves to protect from scratching

Alternatively, if you want the package in a more mobile form check out the sleek version – the Safe Seed Soft Kit. In this bundle you get a soft case for your Stamp Kit plus two copper stamp plates in sleeves:

To make sure the stamp impressions work, you need a hard surface to stamp on. A steel bench block like the SE 4” x ¾” x 4” Steel Bench Block is recommended:

The beauty with the Safe Seed is that if you add more crypto to your bags, just purchase a new Safe Seed stamp plate! Single stamp plates:

The verdict – most cost-effective for multiple crypto

Top cryptocurrency wallets

You need a safe at home or a killer hiding space but Safe Seed is a solid option for seed storage and offers a cost effective system for adding more crypto over time.


What is a crypto wallet?

what is a crypto wallet

In our experience, many of the frustrations and complaints about crypto wallets come about from users that don’t understand the basics of how wallets work when it comes to safekeeping and transacting you crypto. So what is a crypto wallet? What does a crypto wallet do? How does a crypto wallet work?

Here, we’ve put together a list of the key facts to make the purchase, set up and use of your crypto wallet as easy as can be.

What is a crypto wallet?

A crypto wallet is a place to safely and securely access, secure and transact your cryptocurrency. Before you dive into crypto you need to understand that it is a decentralised and non-custodial asset – it’s based on the premise of individuals controlling their own tokens and coins.  There are no crypto banks like there are fiat banks. The safe storage, management and use of your coins is up to you!

Crypto wallets are widgets that allow you to safely and securely access and use your coins and tokens in a way that is protected from hackers and cyber attacks. There are different types of cryptocurrency wallets and all have different levels of safety to them and features, so to keep your coins safe. Because of this its important you do your research before you buy.

When you start to interact with different types of crypto wallets there are a bunch of terms you’ll read over and over and will need to become familiar with to use the wallet. Terms like ‘public address’, ‘wallet address’, ‘private key’, ‘seed phrase’, ‘recovery seed phrase’…. These are explained in the following FAQs.

What types of crypto wallets are there?

Hardware crypto wallets (cold wallets)

Hardware wallets, also called cold wallets are hand-held storage devices that keep your private keys safe. They are the most secure cryptocurrency wallets because they store your private keys offline so they are not exposed to a lot of the internet based hacking that happens in the cryptoverse. Think of your hard wallet like a bank vault that only you have the keys for. Your wallet is somewhere to safely keep and protect these keys for your coins.

Mobile crypto wallets (hot wallets)

If you own crypto you’ll also come to use crypto wallet apps – also called mobile crypto wallets. These are App wallets and therefore more convenient to transact with daily. Because these are connected to the internet, they are less safe than hardware wallets. Think of your mobile wallet like the wallet or purse you carry in your pocket or handbag every day. You keep less cash in it, but it’s very handy. We’ve researched and reviewed some of the most downloaded and best mobile crypto wallets here.

There are other types of hot wallets that come in the form of browser extensions and desktop wallets. Examples of desktop wallets are Electrum and Blockstream. Other types of hot wallets are crypto exchange wallets which is where your crypto is accessed when you are trading it on exchanges like Binance or Coinbase.

Seed phrase recovery wallet

A seed phrase recovery wallet or seed storage wallet is a must have in your crypto security arsenal. Most wallets, hot and cold, will require you to set up a seed phrase that you can use to recover your crypto on the blockchain should anything go wrong. If you lose this phrase, then the crypto for that wallet IS GONE!. There is no way to recover it.

A seed phrase recovery wallet is basically a physical place where you record the different seed phrases for each of the hardware wallets and mobile wallets that you use to interact in the cryptoverse. You can check out our reviews of the best seed phrase recovery wallets here.

What is a public address?

what is a crypto wallet

This is like the public username for your wallet. You use it to send and receive cryptocurrency. This is one piece of information about your hardware wallet that you can safely share with others.

What is a PIN?

Most wallets – hardware and mobile – come with a PIN which you create on first powering up the device or setting up the wallet. You use the PIN code from then on to access the wallet itself. The PIN acts as the first line of defence in your crypto security.

What is a private key?

Private keys are a feature of blockchain assets secured by cryptography. They prove ownership of crypto assets associated with a particular wallet address and allow you to access and spend the assets in that address.

It is like a password to access your coins along with your wallet PIN. It’s pretty important you keep this safe. Don’t give it to anyone. Ever.

Private keys give you access to your coins on the blockchain and in many hard wallets are stored in a highly secure chip that never connects to the internet. You use the hard wallet to sign transactions that are sent to the crypto hardware wallet.

What is a seed phrase?

A seed phrase is a combination of your recovery words, usually 12 to 24 words. Think of it like your spare house key. This is what you use to recover your cryptocurrency if anything happens to your wallet. To be truly secure, you should only ever view and confirm your seed phrase on an air-gapped wallet such as a hardware wallet that is not connected via Bluetooth or cable to the internet. This is why hardware wallets are the safest form of storage for your crypto.

You must NEVER lose your seed phrase or give it to anyone else. If you do, your crypto is gone and cannot be recovered. To keep all of your crypto seed phrases secure for your hardware and mobile wallets, check out our reviews and top picks for the best seed storage wallets.

What is multi signature security?

When a hardware wallet requires multiple keys to authorise a transaction, providing a more stringent level of security for your coins and tokens.

What sort of seed phrase should I use?

Use randomly generated 14 character + passwords. Some wallets will generate these for you and others will allow you to set them yourself. Never re-use the same password with multiple wallets.

Are my coins & tokens actually stored in my hardware wallet?

No. This is confusing for a lot of crypto newcomers.  If you think of monetary coins and a wallet, your coins are stored inside your wallet, right? With crypto, your coins are kept on the blockchain. Your wallet contains the keys to access your coins and transact them. No coins are kept inside your wallet.

What is the safest crypto wallet?

As we’ve mentioned here there are are lots of types of crypto wallets – mobile wallets, web browser extension wallets, wallets held in cryptocurrency exchanges and hardware wallets. Without question hardware wallets are the safest crypto wallets to keep your coins secure. This is because the built in technology designs to provide an ‘air gap’ between access to your coins and the internet. It is connectivity to the internet that represents the largest attack risk (hacking etc) for your coins.

This is not to say that other types of wallets are unsafe – there will be times when you interact with the crypto verse that you will probably need to use all of these types of wallets. Wallets are the keys to your crypto transactions. That’s why at Crypto Wallet Reviewer we are focussed on helping you understand the best and safest wallets across all types and uses.

What features should I look for in a hardware wallet?

Screen – a screen allows you confirm and verify transactions off line (not connected to your internet).  Your wallet air-gapped — which makes it harder for security to be compromised.

Secure element chip – traditionally used to protect data for high security need finance products like credit cards, you should look for a secure element chip that stores your critical keys, codes, phrases air gapped (separate from) internet connection.

A good native app – the best hardware wallets also have the best native apps with super convenient functions that allow you to transact with your crypto just like you need to transact with your fiat money. The basic functions are send and receive. The better hardware wallets will have apps that allow you to buy, stake, lend and borrow seamlessly either through their native app platform or via integration with third party services and decentralised apps. The very best hardware wallets will offer integrations that help you to avoid large on chain transactions fees like those that tend to occur on the Ethereum network because of network congestion.

After sales service – when things go awry or the device doesn’t work as described (which lets face it happens with even the best tech) – who ya gonna call?

What is a brute force attack?

It’s where your PIN is compromised by software that keeps trying combinations of numbers automatically until it hits on the right combination.

What happens if you lose your hardware wallet or it is stolen?

You can recover your coins in any compatible hardware wallet using your seed phrase. A compatible hardware wallet is one that is BIP32 BIP39 and BIP44 (a technical standard) compliant. You should do this quickly to make sure no one else has time to hack into your lost hardware wallet to access the keys to your coins.

What is tampering?

Tampering with wallets can happen during the manufacturing process or en-route to you receiving your purchase. Tampering is designed to steal your coins. Open source standards can protect against tampering during the manufacturing process – a so called ‘back door’ attack. Anti tamper seals and packaging such as holographic stickers are there to protect against tampering in the supply of your product, although counterfeiting of these types of seals also occurs. If you are worried about tampering, check out our review of the Ledger Nano, which is the only crypto hardware wallet to offer software validation of the authenticity of their hardware wallets.