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Best Bitcoin Wallets

Electrum is our pick for best overall Bitcoin wallet

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Bitcoin is a digital currency that serves as a means of payment without being controlled by a central authority (governments or central banks), ensuring the coin exists without the interference of intermediaries. This digital asset was introduced in 2009 by an anonymous developer(s) popularly known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Currently, Bitcoin (BTC) serves as a means of payment and investment.

Unlike fiat currency, Bitcoin can only be stored in a digital wallet. The best Bitcoin wallets have some features that make them suitable for investors, including maximum security, a friendly user interface, native swaps, multi-platform usage, and durability, in the case of hardware wallets.

Best Bitcoin Wallets of 2023

All of the providers included in this article can help investors gain exposure to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. However, not all of the providers listed below meet the strict definition of a Bitcoin wallet, as many do not permit users to deposit or withdraw cryptocurrency from their accounts. Some of these providers may also subject investors to increased loss risk from hacking. To better understand the risks involved, read the full provider sections below.

Best Overall : Electrum


Electrum

Electrum

Key Specs
  • Wallet type: Hot, but with cold storage
  • Purchase cost: Free
  • Incorporated exchanges: None
  • Compatible hardware: Ledger, Trezor, and KeepKey
Why We Chose It

Electrum is a highly secure Bitcoin-only wallet with specialized features such as speed, security, decentralization, and multi-signature access. It suits the needs of a wide spectrum of users, making it our top choice for advanced Bitcoin users. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Cold storage

  • Multi-signature feature

  • Security

  • Speed

Cons
  • Supports only Bitcoin

  • Not suitable for beginners

Company Overview

Electrum wallet supports only Bitcoin transactions and boasts advanced security features, making it suitable for advanced Bitcoin users. Created by Thomas Voegtling and launched in 2011, Electrum is headquartered in Berlin, Germany. 

Despite being one of the oldest wallets, it is being updated regularly. The wallet supports the Bitcoin Lightning Network, enabling cheaper and faster transactions.

Electrum has customizable features that enable users to switch between the original Bitcoin blockchain and the Lighting Network. Users also have access to flexible security features such as a recovery phrase, cold storage, two-factor authentication, creating a multi-signature wallet, etc.

A drawback of the Electrum wallet is that it supports only Bitcoin, making it unsuitable for investors with diverse portfolios. Its complex user interface makes it suitable for only those with advanced crypto skills.

Best Hardware Wallet for Security : Trezor


Trezor

 Trezor

Key Specs
  • Wallet type: Cold, non-custodial
  • Purchase cost: $69⁠–$219 depending on the model
  • Incorporated exchanges: Changelly, CoinSwitch, and ChangeNow
  • Compatible hardware: N/A
Why We Chose It

Information stored on online wallets and exchanges is vulnerable to attacks and data leaks, increasing the risks of crypto theft. However, we view Trezor as the most secure way to store crypto assets offline.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Supports a wide range of crypto assets

  • Available touch screen

  • Highly secure

Cons
  • Security key only available on model T

  • Relatively high cost

  • Not beginner friendly

Company Overview

Trezor is the best hardware wallet for security because it allows users to store their crypto assets offline, protecting them from malicious online attacks. This wallet can be connected to desktop computers and smartphones using USB-C or USB-A cables.

Created by Pavol “Stick” Rusnak and Marek “Slush” Palatinus in 2013, Trezor is headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic, and is now part of SatoshiLabs.

Trezor has two models, the Trezor T and Trezor One, with the former displaying advanced features such as a touch screen, a security key, advanced backup, etc. In addition, the T Model is more expensive than the One Model.

This hardware wallet supports over 1450 crypto assets with a PIN and passphrase system that guarantees safety when in the wrong hands. Owing to the November 2022 crash of the FTX centralized exchange, Trezor reported a 300% increase in sales, especially as investors are now showing renewed interest in decentralized wallets and exchanges.

Best Hardware Wallet for Durability : Ledger Nano X


Ledger
Key Specs
  • Wallet type: Cold 
  • Purchase cost: $149
  • Incorporated exchanges: Wyre, Binance, Coinbase
  • Compatible hardware: N/A
Why We Chose It

Ledger offers a secure offline wallet that is embodied in a moveable metallic strip that prevents it from physical damage. With its 100mAh battery, PIN code and seed phrase, and durable structure, Ledger Nano X is our top choice for durability.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Highly secure

  • Durable construction

  • Supports a wide range of coins and NFTs

Cons
  • More expensive than Nano S Plus

  • Uncustomizable lock screen

Company Overview

Ledger Nano X has a durable and strong battery life, which is why we named it the best hardware wallet for durability. The device was created in 2019 as an upgrade of the Nano S version, which the company decided to discontinue in June 2022.

Ledger supports over 5,500 cryptocurrencies and NFTs under tight security conditions. It is compatible with the Ledger live app and has an OLED Screen. The wallet serves as a platform to meet crypto investors’ needs such as buying, swapping, and exchanging crypto assets.

In November 2022, Binance exchange launched a partnership with Ledger to promote Web3 growth and enhance a smooth way for users to purchase crypto assets. The wallet also launched a new crypto wallet version called Ledger STAX to boost accessibility to crypto storage with unique features. 

Best for Beginners : Exodus


Exodus

Exodus

Key Specs
  • Wallet type: Hot wallet
  • Purchase cost: Free
  • Incorporated exchanges: FTX (now bankrupt)
  • Compatible hardware: Trezor
Why We Chose It

Exodus is a non-custodial wallet that supports a diverse selection of crypto assets, including Bitcoin. The wallet’s interface is easy to navigate, making it one of the best Bitcoin wallets for beginners.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Easy-to-use interface

  • Supports vast crypto assets

Cons
  • No fee customization

Company Overview

Exodus has an easy-to-use interface that new Bitcoin investors may find interesting. Founded in 2015 by Daniel Castagnoli and JP Richardson, Exodus is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. The wallet supports assets on the Ethereum, Algorand, Solana, and Build and Build (BNB) networks.

In 2021, Exodus added FTX integration, allowing users to exchange assets within the platform and view their FTX and Exodus balances while sending assets to and from each platform. However, since FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. on November 11, 2022, this setup no longer exists.

Exodus is suitable for both new and experienced investors due to its support for various assets and simple-to-use interface.

Best for Mobile : Mycelium


Mycelium wallet

 Mycelium wallet

Key Specs
  • Wallet type: Hot wallet with offline storage modes
  • Purchase cost: Free
  • Incorporated exchanges: Local Trader
  • Compatible hardware: Ledger, Trezor, KeepKey
Why We Chose It

We chose Mycelium as the best for mobile because it is a mobile-only, non-custodial wallet that provides excellent features for investors to manage their portfolio on the go.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Non-custodial

  • Strong security

  • Supports over 90 crypto assets

  • Zero exposure to centralized exchanges

Cons
  • Mobile-only

  • No native staking and/or rewards

Company Overview

Mycelium is a mobile-only crypto wallet that supports over 90 tokens and lets users manage their portfolios even from their pockets. This makes it one of the best Bitcoin wallets for mobile.

The Mycelium core team came together in 2008 and later shifted its focus to crypto following the development of blockchain technology. The wallet is non-custodial, giving users sole custody of their private keys. Additionally, privacy is paramount as Know Your Customer (KYC) verification is not required to access the wallet’s features.

The Mycelium app is reproducible, allowing for its codes to be duplicated and compared to the original. This allows transparency, as users outside Mycelium can audit the code for security issues.

With thin customer support, though, the wallet is suitable for experienced investors capable of navigating several interfaces with little or no support.

Best for Desktop : Guarda


Guarda Wallet

Guarda Wallet

Key Specs
  • Wallet type: Hot, non-custodial
  • Purchase cost: Free
  • Incorporated exchanges: Change Now
  • Compatible hardware: Ledger
Why We Chose It

Guarda is a multi-platform wallet that serves as a modern solution for crypto management. The wallet’s industry-leading desktop-based application comprises a web interface, a desktop software application, and a Chrome extension.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Multi-platform

  • Visa card availability

  • Excellent security

  • Supports 400,00+ crypto assets

Cons
  • High in-app crypto purchase fee

Company Overview

With the desktop application, web wallet, browser extension, and mobile app, Guarda wallet makes crypto asset management easy. Launched in 2017 by Guardarian OU, Guarda is a popular multi-asset wallet, supporting 50+ blockchains and 400,000+ crypto assets.

Licensed in Estonia to provide crypto services in Europe, Guardarian OU offers a range of regulated crypto assets within the Guarda wallet. It allows in-app purchase, staking, and borrowing of crypto assets.

In September 2022, Guarda introduced its Earn 2.0 staking platform. This wallet is also valuable for investors who desire security and a friendly user interface.

Final Verdict

Electrum is highly secure and remains a top choice for advanced investors who have Bitcoin-only portfolios, making it our choice for the best overall Bitcoin wallet. Exodus Wallet has a simple user interface that makes it ideal for both new and experienced crypto investors, while Guarda and Mycelium allow users to manage their crypto portfolios on several interfaces. Trezor and Ledger exhibit optimum security and durability, respectively, but they also have high prices.

Compare the Best Bitcoin Wallets

 Company Type of Wallet (hot/cold)  Purchase Cost Incorporated Exchange Compatible Hardware
Electrum Best Overall Hot with cold options Free to download None Ledger, Trezor, and more
Trezor Best Hardware Wallet for Security Cold $69⁠–$219 (depending on the model) Yes N/A
Ledger Nano X Best Hardware Wallet for Durability Cold $149 Yes N/A
Exodus Best for Beginners Hot Free to download Yes Trezor
Mycelium Best for Mobile Hot with cold options Free to download Yes Ledger, Trezor, KeepKey
Guarda Best for Desktop Hot  Free to download Yes Ledger

What Makes a Great Bitcoin Wallet?

Crypto assets such as Bitcoin are meant to be stored in digital wallets. A wallet can be considered great based on the features it presents. These features include native swaps, dApps connectivity, native staking, great user interface, regular updates, and security.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin (BTC) is a cryptocurrency designed to act as money and a form of payment outside the control of any person, group, or entity, thus removing the need for third-party involvement in financial transactions. The virtual currency was introduced to the public in 2009 by an anonymous group of developers known as Satoshi Nakamoto.

How Is Bitcoin Mined?

Mining is the process of successfully adding a block to the blockchain. Bitcoin works using the proof-of-work consensus mechanism and miners must race to solve complex mathematical puzzles before a transaction block can be added to the blockchain.

The miner who solves the mathematical operation first and correctly adds the block to the blockchain is rewarded with the miner’s fee. CGMiner and BFGminer are two popular mining programs that miners use.

What Are the Types of Cryptocurrency Wallets?

The two main types of crypto wallets are custodial and non-custodial wallets. Custodial wallets are hosted by third-party entities or companies that provide enterprise-level data security systems and hold users’ private keys. Non-custodial wallets are wallets that give users sole custody of their private keys.

Based on function, crypto wallets are also categorized as hot and cold. Hot wallets have an internet connection or a device that has a connection. Cold wallets, on the other hand, do not have an internet connection.

How Should I Choose a Bitcoin Wallet?

Choosing a Bitcoin wallet depends on individual needs. However, there are certain features you must look out for to gain optimum satisfaction. These features include security, native staking, hardware compatibility, native swaps, and several others.

While all leading cryptocurrency wallets provide a high level of security for safekeeping your crypto assets, improper security practices on behalf of the user can lead to a complete loss of funds. Crypto enthusiasts should take care to store the bulk of their assets meant for trading on exchanges using cold storage methods, and never share their wallet’s login details, recovery phrase, or private keys with anyone.

Methodology

One of the most important things to consider before you transact in and store cryptocurrencies is that you have a suitable crypto wallet in place. To help determine the wallet that works best for you, we conducted a comprehensive review process of the top cryptocurrency software wallets. 

Our review process is built around key factors like security, costs, privacy, usability, customer support, and features according to their importance. Our team of writers, who are experts in this field, then provided their qualitative points of view.

We gave preference to companies with the strongest security measures and reputations. Companies with rich features, such as supporting a large number of crypto assets, giving users the ability to sync with hardware wallets, and allowing for fee customization, also ranked highly.

Investing in cryptocurrencies, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), and other Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) is risky and highly speculative. The markets can be extremely volatile. Consult with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions. This article is not a recommendation by The Balance or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies nor can the accuracy or timeliness of the information be guaranteed.

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Getty Images / D-Kleine

Article Sources
  1. Electrum Wallet. "Home."

  2. Trezor Wallet. "Compare Trezors."

  3. CoinTelegraph. "Trezor reports 300% increase in sales."

  4. Ledger. "Ledger Blog."

  5. Ledger Nano X. "Secure your crypto."

  6. Binance. "Binance partners with Ledger for even smoother growth of Web3."

  7. Mycelium. "Home."

  8. Guarda Wallet. "Supported Cryptocurrencies and Tokens."

  9. Guarda Wallet. "Supported Crypto assets and tokens."

  10. Globalnewswire. "Guarda introduces Earn 2.0 staking."

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