There are over 50 different wallet for Ethereum token as we write. Now we’re pretty sure you don’t want to go through the pros and cons of that many wallets to work out which one is the best wallet is for you. So that’s the question we will answer in this post!
To find the best wallet for Ethereum, we have to make some assumptions about what you, our readers, wants to do with your ETH tokens. So, we will assume that like most crypto users, you want to hodl some Ethereum as well as use the Ethereum ecosystem to access DeFi, blockchain gaming, and NFTs.
Before we launch into our Top 4 wallet picks, let’s first start with a quick look at what the Ethereum token is.
What is Ethereum (ETH)?
Ethereum (ETH) is a cryptocurrency and the native token to the Ethereum Mainnet. Ethereum Mainnet is the dominant layer 1 smart contract blockchain in the cryptocurrency world, and has been since crypto first began.
The Ethereum ecosystem comprises all of the layers of software products and services built on the Ethereum blockchain. The native Ethereum ecosystem is the most extensive ecosystem in cryptocurrency. Hundreds of different decentralised apps, Decentralised Finance protocols, crypto exchanges, gaming applications and NFT marketplaces are built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. You can explore the dApps built on the Ethereum Mainnet here.
Whenever these applications are used, the ETH token is required to pay ‘gas fees’ to use the Ethereum blockchain. ETH token is also used as native currency for some decentralised applications and protocols built on Ethereum. For example, many popular NFTs minted on the Ethereum Mainnet are priced in ETH.
The ETH token is multifunctional – ETH is ‘gas’ for the network, it’s a native currency, and it’s also a digital asset store of value for many crypto investors. This is important to understand because how you use ETH can impact the type of ETH wallet that best suits you.
What is an Ethereum wallet?
An Ethereum wallet stores the private keys to your ETH tokens. When you want to transact your ETH tokens, you use these private keys to sign the transaction. Blockchain transactions are cryptographically secured with private keys. Your private key ensures that only you have access to the tokens you are transacting, so that nobody can take your crypto from you without having your password or authorization.
Different types of Ethereum wallets
An Ethereum wallet can take different forms. For example you can have:
A cold storage Ethereum wallet that stores your private keys completely offline and never exposes them to the internet. This is the safest type of wallet for Ethereum as cyber criminals are unable to get access to your offline wallet to steal your private keys and crypto.
A hot wallet for Ethereum which is connected to the internet. A hot wallet is typically a mobile phone app, browser extension, or website. Because it is connected to the internet, it’s not as safe a cold storage Ethereum wallet. A hot wallet secures your private keys online using password security, 2FA and other similar means. Like anything with password protection, hot wallets can be cyber hacked and your private keys (and cryptocurrencies) stolen. There are ways to make your hot wallets more secure, but they generally involve connect and protecting them with cold storage security. We’ll go into this more below.
What to look for in a wallet for Ethereum?
The top features you should look for in an Ethereum wallet include:
- Functionality – we’ve chosen wallets for Ethereum that you can use across the Ethereum ecosystem for DeFI, gaming AND NFTs.
- Security – the best wallet for Ethereum should integrate with a hardware wallet, so you can make sure you keep your private keys offline at all times. This is the ONLY safe way to protect your crypto assets from hackers.
- Portability – a good wallet for Ethereum should have both a mobile and web versions. A web version is important if you want to create and mint your own NFTs. A mobile version is critical to almost everything else.
- Smooth on-ramp – we include only those wallets that allow you to buy ETH with a bank card or VISA.
- Easy importing to other clients – the wallet needs to be partnered with lots of other crypto projects so its usable across the Ethereum ecosystem.
The best wallet for Ethereum – our Top 4
We’ve left the best til last! Based on these features, here is our list of the top 4 wallets for Ethereum:
1.Ledger and Trezor cold storage wallets
Ledger and Trezor are cold storage wallets. For all you need to know about cold storage wallets, check out our recent post here.
Security – Ledger and Trezor are listed together because they are the best hardware wallets on the market from our extensive hardware wallet reviews. These hardware wallets are the most secure way to store or hodl your ETH. They are a MUST if you want the best protection for your crypto.
Portability – Ledger has an accompany Ledger Live (mobile and desktop) App. Ledger also supports WalletConnect. Trezor comes with Trezor Suite Desktop App (no mobile wallet version).
Smooth on-ramp – You can buy ETH and other crypto directly in the Ledger Live App (which you download and use with the hardware device). You’ll pay fees to these banking service providers, which are Wyre and Coinfy. Trezor wallet also lets you buy ETH through a selection of 9 different crypto exchanges or direct SEPA transaction.
Easy importing – Since both devices connect to MetaMask, you can virtually connect to any dApp or protocol in the Ethereum ecosystem with hardware level security.
The rest of the wallets on this list are hot wallets, which means they store your private keys on your mobile phone or laptop. While your private keys are protected by wallet security when online, they are still susceptible to hack. This is why we have prioritised hot wallets that connect with either Ledger, Trezor or both. We highly recommend using this combination when hodling and using your ETH, to get the flexibility and functionality of a hot wallet with the security of cold storage.
Functionality – One of the original wallets for Ethereum and also one of the most trusted, you can use MyEtherWallet for the big 3 – DeFI, gaming and NFTs.
Security – MyEtherWallet connects with Ledger Nano and Trezor hardware wallets, to provide hardware level protection for your ETH and NFTs.
Portability – MyEtherWallet is available in app form and as a web wallet.
Smooth on-ramp – You can by ETH via simplex using your VISA or MasterCard. If you’re European, you can also cash out to Fiat currency through partner Bity.
Easy importing to other clients – MyEtherWallet connects seamlessly to exchanges and DeFi protocols through WalletConnect and WalletLink.
Functionality – MetaMask is the ubiquitous ETH wallet – used for DeFI, gaming and NFTs. MetaMask does not offer a lot of native functionality in the wallet itself. However, it connects to almost every Ethereum platform, dApp and protocol out there, so you don’t really need the wallet to do much.
Security – You can use Ledger or Trezor hardware wallets to secure your MetaMask with cold storage protection for your private keys. We don’t recommend leaving your crypto on MetaMask without a hardware wallet connected however. Just too many hacks of the hot wallet version…
Portability – MetaMask comes as a browser extension and mobile app. Both sync pretty seamlessly.
Smooth on-ramp – You can buy ETH directly in-wallet through either Apple Pay, bank transfer or credit card. Metamask takes a fee itself in these transactions and you will pay a fee to Apple or Transak (for bank transactions). You also pay the gas fee to use the Ethereum network. It’s not the cheapest way to get your ETH.
Easy importing to other clients – We haven’t found a platform or application it won’t connect to in the enormous Ethereum ecosystem
Functionality – Guarda Wallet offers NFT storage as native and integrated DeFi capabilities. You can also manage your blockchain or .ENS domains using Guarda wallet. This is functionality Metamask doesn’t offer yet. For ETH hodlers, Guarda runs it’s own staking pool for ETH. This means you can stake your ETH in the Guarda app and earn 14.5%. Guarda supports over 50 different blockchains and hundreds of coins and tokens. There’s a coin search function here if you want to make sure your coins are supported. https://guarda.com/coins/
Security – Guarda Wallet lets you connect a Ledger device to their platform, so you can securely display your balances and manage your transactions.
Portability – The Guarda Wallet comes in mobile, desktop and web versions.
Smooth on-ramp – You can buy 300+ different coins and tokens, including ETH, directly in-wallet using VISA or MasterCard.
Easy importing to other clients – You can easily connect Guarda Wallet to various DeFI protocols with the WalletConnect integration.
Conclusion – which is the best wallet for Ethereum?
All of the wallets on this list will let you navigate the Ethereum ecosystem securely and access Ethereum’s its DeFi, NFT and gaming benefits. However, the combination of Guarda wallet + Ledger is overall the best wallet for Ethereum based on our research. This combination is easy to use, you can keep your private keys securely offline and best of all, you can stake your ETH inside the app and earn rewards while you hodl! (Note, all staked ETH is locked until the release of ETH2.0).