Crypto Wallets: Top Picks for November 2022

You’ll need a non-custodial wallet unless you want someone else watching over your crypto.

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.


The investing information provided on this page is for educational purposes only. NerdWallet does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend or advise investors to buy or sell particular stocks, securities or other investments.

MORE LIKE THISCryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency wallets come in many forms, but at their core they all provide a way to protect secret information that gives you control over your digital assets. This is not something you want to leave to chance; if you lose access to these “private keys,” you may never get your cryptocurrency back.

Non-custodial wallets are the type of storage option preferred by many crypto enthusiasts because they place you in control of your own private data. Unlike when you keep assets on a cryptocurrency exchange, with a non-custodial wallet, you don’t have to trust a third party to secure your private keys.

That’s not to say non-custodial wallets are without risk. They are less forgiving of errors such as lost passwords, and you have to trust that your wallet’s hardware and software will work as intended.

And moving assets between wallets regularly can become costly because of transaction fees imposed by underlying blockchain networks. For these reasons some crypto users have multiple types of wallets: some for long-term safekeeping and others for active trading.

One way to choose a wallet is by looking at the website of the cryptocurrency you’re hoping to store. There are many single-purpose solutions built for individual cryptocurrencies. But if you’re planning to protect multiple kinds of cryptocurrencies in one place, it’s a good idea to shop around. Here’s how to know what’s right for you.

How to choose the best crypto wallet

If you’re going to use a non-custodial wallet, the first question is whether you want a hot wallet or a cold wallet. These terms may sound unfamiliar, but the main difference between a hot wallet and a cold wallet is whether it is connected to the internet.

  • A hot wallet is on a device that is connected to the internet. These are often free to use, offering add-on services such as trading or staking in exchange for fees. A hot wallet makes it relatively easy to carry out transactions using crypto, but it may be more vulnerable to hackers who could theoretically reach your crypto over the internet.

  • A cold wallet is on a device that is disconnected from the Internet. These tend to cost money, because you have to buy a piece of actual hardware that’s set up to store your crypto. Because they are not connected to the internet, they may be harder for other users to reach. But if you lose the actual device, recovery could be very difficult.

8 hot wallets to consider

There is a large selection of hot wallets on the market, and most of them can support hundreds or even thousands of cryptocurrencies. They also generally can hold at least some types of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, and many connect directly to exchanges where you can buy or sell crypto.

The key differences between crypto wallets are:

  • How many types of digital assets are supported?

  • How easy is it to move crypto offline, into a cold wallet?

  • Are there resources for in-app staking or rewards programs?

Atomic Wallet

Atomic Wallet allows users to store more than 400 cryptocurrencies, and it also provides options for people who want to buy, exchange, or stake digital assets directly from their wallets. Unlike some of its competitors, Atomic Wallet doesn’t have the option of directly connecting your holdings to cold storage.

One feature that distinguishes Atomic Wallet from its competitors is that you can buy a paid membership, which allows you to earn rewards when you carry out a transaction using its platform. Unlike some other hot wallets, however, Atomic Wallet does not offer a browser extension, which can be a big help in using cryptocurrencies to interact with decentralized applications.

  • Assets supported: More than 400.

  • Can convert to cold storage: No.

  • Staking/DeFi support: Yes.

Coinbase Wallet

You’ve heard of Coinbase. The company operates the largest U.S.-based crypto exchange. But Coinbase Wallet is a separate product that allows users to store cryptocurrency themselves rather than keeping it in the custody of Coinbase. Because the Coinbase Wallet was created by Coinbase, it integrates easily with its company’s exchange and may be a good introduction for users who haven’t used a non-custodial wallet before.

The free application has some other strengths, such as mobile and browser-based connections to decentralized applications. It also lacks some functionality offered by competitors, such as a desktop app, though its browser extension connects to the Ledger hardware wallet.

  • Assets supported: "Thousands” according to Coinbase marketing materials.

  • Can convert to cold storage: Yes.

  • Staking/DeFi support: Yes.

Crypto.com DeFi Wallet

Crypto.com DeFi Wallet is another wallet created by a company mostly known for its crypto exchanges. It’s specifically tailored for use in what is known as decentralized finance (DeFi), which is a sector of the crypto world focused on lending, saving and other financial products that don’t rely on a central broker. Users of Crypto.com DeFi Wallet can use their crypto holdings to interact with DeFi products both on their mobile app and in a browser extension. It also has a desktop app that integrates with Ledger hardware wallets.

Another offering that might be of interest to some security-minded users is the availability of two-factor authentication. It’s worth noting that many competitors, however, don’t have 2FA, arguing that it raises the risk of losing your crypto and is made redundant by some of the fundamental technology of wallets.

  • Assets supported: More than 700.

  • Can convert to cold storage: Yes, on desktop.

  • Staking/DeFi support: Yes.

Electrum

Electrum is an outlier among wallets reviewed by NerdWallet, in that it only works with one cryptocurrency. That cryptocurrency, however, is Bitcoin — far and away the most valuable cryptocurrency on the market. What Electrum lacks in altcoin offerings, however, it makes up for in security and transparency. This free, open-source product offers two-factor authentication, straightforward connections to cold storage, and support for multisignature transactions (which require the signoff of multiple users). Electrum offers only a desktop app, but the tools it offers to Bitcoin power users make it a standout. And it’s a reminder that if you’re only looking to store one cryptocurrency, it can be a good idea to refer to its official website for recommendations.

  • Assets supported: One (Bitcoin).

  • Can convert to cold storage: Yes.

  • Staking/DeFi support: No.

Exodus

Exodus offers a solid set of software tools, including a mobile app, a desktop app and a browser extension. Its products allow users to buy, trade or stake cryptocurrency directly from their wallets, and it has an integration with the Trezor cold wallet intended to help people easily move crypto from hot to cold storage. Exodus, which is free to use, also has a solid library of explanatory content for people who are learning about crypto. Exodus supports about 250 cryptocurrencies, including many of the most popular assets. However, that number is smaller than some of its competitors who say customers can store tens of thousands of different types.

  • Assets supported: More than 250.

  • Can convert to cold storage: Yes.

  • Staking/DeFi support: Yes.

Guarda

Guarda is a free, all-purpose crypto wallet whose users can access their crypto via mobile, desktop or browser extension. It says it supports more than 400,000 digital assets. Users of Guarda can move crypto into cold storage through an integration with the hardware wallet Ledger. Guarda also has staking programs available.

  • Assets supported: More than 400,000.

  • Can convert to cold storage: Yes.

  • Staking/DeFi support: Yes.

MetaMask

If you’re a regular user of applications on the Ethereum blockchain, chances are you’ve come across MetaMask. Free and open-source, MetaMask can store any digital asset that’s built on Ethereum (there are more than 500,000). MetaMask also integrates with many of the “Web3” applications that exist on the Internet and require crypto transactions to work.

MetaMask has mobile and browser-based wallets, though it does not have a desktop app. MetaMask also does not have staking directly in its app. You can, however, easily stake tokens using the apps that connect to MetaMask on the web. Just remember that if you’re not a big user of Ethereum and its related tokens, MetaMask might not be much help to you.

  • Assets supported: More than 500,000.

  • Can convert to cold storage: Yes.

  • Staking/DeFi support: Through connected apps.

Trust Wallet

Trust Wallet is another storage product that operates in partnership with a major crypto exchange. It is the official wallet of Binance, the international digital asset firm, and that partnership gives users the ability to buy, sell and trade directly from their wallet. It says it supports more than a million types of digital assets, though it lacks some offerings that competitors provide. It doesn’t have a browser extension, though it allows users to interact with decentralized applications through its mobile app. It also doesn’t have an obvious way of converting assets from hot to cold storage. It is, however, fully open-source — a distinction that only a handful of competitors share.

  • Assets supported: More than 1 million.

  • Can convert to cold storage: No.

  • Staking/DeFi support: Yes.

3 cold wallets to consider

Cold wallets are usually gadgets that help you store sensitive crypto information on a device that isn’t routinely connected to the internet.

While there are ways to do this yourself, hardware wallets come preloaded with software and other usability and security features that make the process smoother.

Cold wallets cost more than hot wallets, in part because you’re buying an actual, physical product. When you’re comparing crypto wallets, you may want to consider details such as price and security measures. If you also use a hot wallet, you should check to make sure the hardware you’re considering will work with your software wallet.

Here are some of NerdWallet’s top picks for cold crypto wallets.

Ledger

Ledger is one of the best-known names in crypto wallets. Its prices range from around $79 to $149, and Ledger can integrate with many popular software wallets such as Crypto.com and Guarda. Ledger has a highly rated mobile app, plus a dedicated desktop app, and its developers are in the process of rolling out a browser extension. Ledger also has two-factor authentication available, and a library of educational content for users.

  • Assets supported: More than 5,500.

  • Can convert to online storage: Yes.

  • Staking/DeFi support: Yes.

SafePal

SafePal is something of a hybrid wallet, with both offline and online elements. It stores your crypto on a hardware device, which costs a relatively affordable $50. You can then use that device to interact with SafePal’s software products such as a mobile application and browser extension that facilitate services like buying, selling and trading. It says it supports about 30,000 digital assets, which is the most among hardware wallets reviewed by NerdWallet. It does not, however, have a dedicated desktop app.

  • Assets supported: More than 30,000.

  • Can convert to online storage: Yes.

  • Staking/DeFi support: Yes.

Trezor

Trezor offers some of the highest-end hardware available in crypto storage. While its entry-level model costs around $70, it also has a more expensive model (price at publication was $243) with a touch screen and additional cryptos available for storage. Trezor has integrations with other crypto firms such as Exodus, though it also provides built-in services such as staking and crypto purchases through its software products. It does have a desktop offering, but Trezor doesn’t offer a mobile app.

  • Assets supported: More than 1,800.

  • Can convert to online storage: Yes.

  • Staking/DeFi support: Yes.

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.