11 Best Crypto Wallets: Top Picks for 2024

Crypto 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.
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Written by Andy Rosen
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Nerdy takeaways
  • With non-custodial crypto wallets, you don’t have to trust a third party such as a crypto exchange to keep your coins safe.

  • Crypto wallets come in two types: hot (online storage) and cold (offline storage), and a variety of price points.

  • Crypto.com DeFi Wallet and Zengo Wallet are two of the highest-rated hot wallets. Ledger earns top marks among cold wallets.

Cryptocurrency wallets come in many forms, but at their core all crypto wallets 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.

What are non-custodial crypto wallets?

Non-custodial crypto 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. The collapse of crypto platforms FTX and BlockFi in 2022, which left customers wondering if their funds were lost forever, shows some of the potential pitfalls of leaving your crypto in someone else's hands.

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. For example, MetaMask is often considered a top Ethereum wallet because it focuses solely on ERC-20 tokens. Similarly, Electrum is among the top Bitcoin wallets because it's built specifically for Bitcoin power users.

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 best hot wallets

Zengo

4.8

Crypto.com Defi Wallet

4.8

Guarda

4.6

Exodus

4.5

Trust Wallet

4.4

Coinbase Wallet

4.3

MetaMask

4.0

Electrum

2.5

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?

Zengo Wallet: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Zengo Wallet
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on Zengo's website

Zengo has emerged as a next-generation wallet that claims to build on the technology of previous wallets. Rather than seed phrases and private keys, Zengo uses a form of cryptography known as multi-party computation, or MPC, to secure assets and perform transactions. Zengo claims this is the first instance of a consumer wallet (as opposed to an institution) using MPC. Seed phrases and private keys have been at the heart of self-custody in crypto since the beginning, but Zengo aims to enhance security while doing away with the issues that come from managing your own keys and seed phrases. The company says that as of 2024, no Zengo wallets have been phished, hacked or otherwise taken over. 

The biggest downside to Zengo is that it does not offer a downloadable desktop version, and currently, it lacks support for some very popular cryptocurrencies, including Solana, XRP, Cardano and Polkadot

Zengo. Multi Cryptocurrency Wallet. Accessed Mar 25, 2024.
.

Assets supported: 1,000+

Can convert to cold storage: Yes, via WalletConnect.

Staking/DeFi support: Yes.

» Read full Zengo Wallet review

Crypto.com DeFi Wallet: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Crypto.com DeFi Wallet is a 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.

  • Assets supported: More than 1,000.

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

  • Staking/DeFi support: Yes.

Guarda: 4.6 out of 5 stars

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.

» Read full Guarda review

Exodus: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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.

  • Assets supported: Around 300.

  • Can convert to cold storage: Yes.

  • Staking/DeFi support: Yes.

» Read full Exodus review

Coinbase Wallet: 4.4 out of 5 stars

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.

  • Can convert to cold storage: Yes.

  • Staking/DeFi support: Yes.

Trust Wallet: 4.3 out of 5 stars

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 10 million types of digital assets, though this should probably be taken with a grain of salt, as CoinMarketCap only puts the number of circulating cryptocurrencies at about 2.4 million

Coin Market Cap. Today's Cryptocurrency Prices by Market Cap. Accessed Jun 12, 2024.
. Trust Wallet also does not provide a full list of supported cryptocurrencies on its website. However, it is fully open-source — a distinction that only a handful of competitors share — and by supporting more than 100 blockchains, it's likely the wallet will be able to support just about any cryptocurrency you come across.

  • Assets supported: More than 10 million digital assets and over 100 blockchains.

  • Can convert to cold storage: Yes, to Ledger via browser extension.

  • Staking/DeFi support: Yes.

» Read full Trust Wallet review

MetaMask: 4.0 out of 5 stars

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. 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. It also offers staking and DeFi apps through its MetaMask Portfolio feature. 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 650,000, with the option to manually add unsupported ERC-20 assets.

  • Can convert to cold storage: Yes.

  • Staking/DeFi support: Yes.

» Read full MetaMask review

Electrum: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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 only offers a desktop app and a mobile app for Android, but the tools it offers to Bitcoin enthusiasts 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.

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3 best cold wallets

Ledger

5.0

Trezor

4.0

Safepal

3.8

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: 5.0 out of 5 stars

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.

» Read full Ledger review

Trezor: 4 out of 5 stars

Trezor offers some of the highest-end hardware available in crypto storage. While its entry-level model (the Tezor Model One) costs around $60, it also has a more expensive model (price at publication was $179) with a touch screen. 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 has a desktop offering, as well as a mobile app (Trezor Suite Lite) for Apple and Android.

  • Assets supported: More than 9,000.

  • Can convert to online storage: Yes.

  • Staking/DeFi support: Yes.

» Read full Trezor review

SafePal: 3.8 out of 5 stars

SafePal is something of a hybrid wallet, with both offline and online elements. It stores your crypto on a hardware device, which starts at 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 lets users explore more than 100 million digital assets

SafePal. SafePal Assets. Accessed Nov 15, 2023.
, although in our analysis of the specific cryptocurrencies listed on its website, we counted about 45,000. Still, this is the most among hardware wallets reviewed by NerdWallet. SafePal does not, however, have a dedicated desktop app.

  • Assets supported: More than 100 million types of digital assets, with 45,000 specific cryptocurrencies listed on its website.

  • Can convert to online storage: Yes.

  • Staking/DeFi support: Yes.

Best crypto wallets by category

For hot wallets: Crypto.com DeFi Wallet and Zengo Wallet

Crypto.com and Zengo are tied for the title of highest-rated hot wallet, owing to DeFi Wallet's support for a wide variety of coins, and Zengo Wallet's advanced security protocols and spotless security track record.

However, each of these wallets' strengths is the other's liability. DeFi Wallet lacks many common security features, including two-factor authentication, while Zengo lacks support for several popular coins such as Solana and XRP.

For cold wallets: Ledger

Ledger takes the highest marks in the cold wallet category thanks to its affordable price, popular mobile app and educational resources, security features, and integrations with popular crypto software.

Methodology

How do we review cryptocurrency wallets?

NerdWallet’s comprehensive review process evaluates and ranks products that allow U.S. customers to store, send and receive cryptocurrency. Our aim is to provide our independent assessment of providers to help arm you with information to make sound, informed judgements on which ones will best meet your needs. We adhere to strict guidelines for editorial integrity.

We conduct first-hand testing and observation, and the results fuel our proprietary assessment process that scores each provider’s performance across more than 15 factors. The final output produces star ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). For more details about the categories considered when rating wallets and our process, read our full methodology.

Frequently asked questions

That depends on the broker. Some, like Robinhood, do work with external wallets, while others, like SoFi, do not. For more information, check out our roundup of the best crypto exchanges and apps.

Once you've set up a crypto wallet, you can buy crypto to put in it via crypto exchanges, certain traditional brokers, certain money transfer services, Bitcoin ATMs and more. Our article on how to buy Bitcoin gives a good overview of the current options for buying crypto.

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