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Intermediate Guide Choosing a Cryptocurrency Wallet

Discussion in 'Intermediate Level' started by xyzzy, Jun 25, 2017.

  1. xyzzy

    xyzzy Master of None Staff Member Super Admin

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    What's up ladies and gents.

    Let's talk about the options out there for safely storing your precious, hard-earned cryptos. See the attached analysis and comparison of a few of the options for both soft and hard wallets.

    This will be added to and adapted over time as crypto gets bigger and more wallets are introduced to the market.

    Happy trading. Enjoy!
     

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    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  2. xyzzy

    xyzzy Master of None Staff Member Super Admin

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    Crypto Wallet Analysis and Comparison
    Soft Wallets
    Soft wallets can come in the form of a desktop program, mobile app, or online website. Desktop and mobile soft wallets are risky because they store your crypto information on the device itself. We all know from past experience that computer hard drives can fail and phones can be accidentally taken with you on dives in the pool, in which case you would be SOL (Shit Outta Luck). Additionally, viruses that infect your computer can also risk your information and your money.

    Online wallets are convenient as well, but of course come with the same security risks as any online account: hackers can potentially acquire your account information. Despite these risks, soft wallets are, however, quite convenient. Just be sure to make backups and follow best practices for protecting your computer from malware.

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    Coinbase

    Description: Coinbase acts as both an online wallet as well as a cryptocurrency exchange, meaning you can buy and sell BTC, ETH, and LTC directly from your Coinbase wallets. There is both a website and a phone app that can be used relatively interchangeably. Coinbase is the easiest way to get started on crypto, though there are concerns of functionality and privacy issues.

    Overview

    Wallet:
    Coinbase

    Wallet Type:
    Online + App

    Ease of Use:
    4/5

    Privacy:
    3/5

    Security:
    5/5

    Versatility:
    3/5

    Price/Fees:
    3/5

    Ease of Use:
    One of the biggest pros of Coinbase is that it is very straightforward and easy to use. Coinbase’s website design is modern and designed much like an app. The dashboard gives you a snapshot overview of your portfolio, showing the price charts for BTC, ETH and LTC as well as the money and coins in your wallet. Buying/selling and sending/requesting funds is simple and easy. Beware, however, that there are fees associated with ANY transfer of funds (whether buying, selling, sending, or requesting). Additionally, Coinbase can become very slow and unresponsive whenever chaos happens in the market and website traffic/trading volume surges, making it difficult to impossible to use the website or the phone app.

    Rating: 4/5

    Privacy: In order to use Coinbase solely for a wallet, it does not require that much personal information. That being said, if you want to use Coinbase for trading/investing, you need to be ready to dish out a lot of your information. Coinbase also places limits on the amount that you can buy and sell in a week, and the only way to increase those limits is to give more and more of your personal information. Another important thing to note is that Coinbase tracks users on how they use their money and coins, though this is kind of expected in this day and age. Once you agree with their Terms of Service (TOS), you pretty much give them control.

    Rating: 3/5

    Security: Coinbase maintains security of your account with identity verification through your phone number, as well as Second Factor Authentication (2FA) using the Google Authenticator app. You can even set when verification is required when transferring coins. Coinbase will also require you to verify a new device via email whenever you log in from a new computer or phone. What we also like is that Coinbase keeps a log of log-ins, devices, and IP addresses that you can check any time.

    Rating: 4/5

    Versatility: Coinbase currently supports only BTC, ETH, and LTC, but has the added option of also including a USD wallet. This allows you to store your USD in Coinbase much like an online bank account, with the potential to use that account to purchase any of the three cryptocurrencies they support. Although, if you are wanting a wallet to store alt coins, then you will need to look elsewhere.

    Rating: 3/5

    Fees: Coinbase is free to use and there are no fees associated with solely storing money in your digital wallet. However, as soon as you want to send that money elsewhere, you will incur network transaction fees. Buys and sells on the market will incur steeper fees, but for this review we are only looking at Coinbase as a crypto currency wallet. You can look at Coinbase’s fee schedule here: https://support.coinbase.com/customer/portal/articles/2109597-buy-sell-bank-transfer-fees.

    Rating: 3/5
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    Blockchain

    Description: Probably the wallet to start with if you are completely new to the cryptocurrency world and are interested in starting with Bitcoin. Blockchain has been an early leader in the Bitcoin world, and as such received deserved respect from the Bitcoin community at large. This simple and easy to use online wallet will allow you to send and request BTC as typically expected. Currently you cannot purchase Bitcoins directly from your wallet; however, that feature will soon be added in the near future. The biggest disadvantage of Blockchain, though, is that there is little protection of privacy.

    Overview


    Wallet:
    Blockchain

    Wallet Type:
    Online + App

    Ease of Use:
    5/5

    Privacy:
    4/5

    Security:
    5/5

    Versatility:
    1/5

    Price/Fees:
    5/5

    Ease of Use:
    With a very user friendly interface, you can get started sending and receiving BTC with nothing but an email address. You don’t even need to verify your email to get started using Blockchain (Of course, it’s always recommended to verify your email to further secure your account). You should have no trouble starting your Blockchain account and opening up your very own Bitcoin wallet.

    Rating: 5/5

    Privacy: Blockchain seems to take your privacy very seriously, so much so that they claim to not be able to even view your total BTC balance. They cannot make payments on your behalf and cannot prevent you from accessing your own wallet. They even go so far as to claim that they do not even store your password. That’s right, they won’t even be able to reset your password if you forget it. This is why they include a “recovery phrase” in their security settings for such occasions. Just make sure you don’t lose that too.

    Rating: 4/5

    Security: Blockchain includes all the classic methods for securing your wallet and ensuring your funds don’t get stolen by hackers. Blockchain offers 3 levels of security to secure your account, complete with 2 step authentication and backup recovery phrases. Utilizing all their security options should allow you to sleep soundly knowing your precious Bitcoins are safe from would-be cyber thieves.

    Rating: 5/5

    Versatility: Unfortunately, Blockchain is a Bitcoin only wallet so it does not support any other cryptocurrencies. If you are only concerned with BTC then this is a non-issue for you, but you will have to look elsewhere if you are looking for a place to store multiple cryptocurrencies.

    Rating: 1/5

    Fees: While Blockchain is free to use, there are still transaction fees associated with the transfer of BTC. This is expected (since these fees are used to pay miners as incentive). What is interesting about Blockchain, though, is you actually have some control over specifying the fee you wish to pay. Blockchain will show you the fee they recommend, but it is up to you to set the fee if you wish.

    Rating: 5/5
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    Jaxx

    WARNING: As of June 20, 2017, Jaxx has a glaring security vulnerability that would allow someone to access your recovery backup phrase. With that information, they could recover your wallet on their own computer/device, having access to your wallet and all the funds within. Until this issue is resolved, we CANNOT recommend using Jaxx as your cryptocurrency wallet.

    Description:
    Jaxx is a free, user friendly, cross platforum, multi-currency wallet that offers a great measure of privacy. The flexibility and versatility that Jaxx offers can be very attractive to those who need access to their cryptocurrency wallet no matter where there are, no matter the device they use. Once their current security issue is fixed, Jaxx will be a great option to the more advanced crypto users.

    Overview

    Wallet:
    Jaxx

    Wallet Type:
    Online, App, Desktop

    Ease of Use:
    5/5

    Privacy:
    5/5

    Security:
    1/5

    Versatility:
    5/5

    Price/Fees:
    4/5

    Ease of Use: Jaxx is pretty user friendly and cross platform, meaning it can be used on your desktop computer, laptop, phone, and online via a Google chrome extension. This flexibility allows you to access your wallet anywhere, from potentially any device. This kind of accessibility definitely earns them some brownie points.

    Rating: 5/5

    Privacy: Like Blockchain, Jaxx does not store your private information (private keys, backup phrases, or passwords). You are responsible for backing up and retaining your private information. To make it even sweeter, Jaxx does not require you to register to use it. That means you don’t even have to give them your email. Everything works off of the device you are using Jaxx on. They even claim that the physical location of your device is not communicated to them. Now that’s privacy.

    Rating: 5/5

    Security: As mentioned above, Jaxx currently has a glaring security vulnerability that would potentially allow someone to extract your backup phrase for your wallet. If they are able to acquire that, they can use that to “recover” your wallet on their own computer and then have full control over your money. Obviously, this is a huge deal breaker until this vulnerability is fixed. Read more about it here: https://vxlabs.com/2017/06/10/extracting-the-jaxx-12-word-wallet-backup-phrase/.

    Rating: 1/5

    Versatility: Jaxx is an extremely versatile wallet, supporting quite a large list of crypto coins including BTC, ETH, LTC, Ethereum Classic (ETC), Dash, Golem (GNT), Doge, and more. You can find the full list of supported coins here: https://decentral.zendesk.com/hc/en-us.

    Rating: 5/5

    Fees: Jaxx is free to use with the usual inclusion of transaction fees to compensate miners for their work. Jaxx does give you some freedom in specifying between 3 different fee options depending on whether your transaction is time-sensitive or not.

    Rating: 4/5
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    Armory

    Description:
    Armory is a well-known Bitcoin desktop wallet that provides options for offline cold storage of your coins, maximizing safety and security over your funds. Such benefits come at the price of user friendliness and requires more advanced user knowledge to be used effectively.

    Overview

    Wallet:
    Armory

    Wallet Type:
    Desktop

    Ease of Use:
    3/5

    Privacy:
    5/5

    Security:
    5/5

    Versatility:
    1/5

    Price/Fees:
    3/5

    Ease of Use:
    More difficult to use and less user friendly than alternative Bitcoin wallets, Armory is a wallet recommended for more advanced users. If you are brand new to the cryptocurrency world, it is probably in your best interest to start with a more user friendly BTC wallet (such as Blockchain). The difference here is that Armory provides cold (offline) storage that Blockchain does not.

    Rating: 3/5

    Privacy: Armory has the typical privacy protection that other wallets offer. No registration or email needed to get started.

    Rating: 5/5

    Security: Armory is an extremely secure way of storing your BTC, utilizing features such as cold storage, distributed multi-signature, and GPU-resistant encryption. With cold storage, Armory can essentially allow you to create your own hard wallet that is disconnected from the internet. You could potentially use an old, dusty laptop or netbook solely for cold storage of your BTC.

    Rating: 5/5

    Versatility: Not much versatility here in terms of crypto coin support. Armory is a BTC-only wallet, albeit a great one.

    Rating: 1/5

    Fees: Just like the other wallets, Armory is free to use and includes the typical transaction fees (which are dependent on the BTC network and not Armory itself). With Armory, you are subject to the network with little flexibility to set the transaction fee.

    Rating: 3/5
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    Exodus

    Description:
    Exodus is an incredibly easy to use multi-crypto wallet with a beautiful user interface. Supposedly, Exodus stores your data on your computer and does not host your financial data on servers; however, it is not 100% open source. A great plus though, is that Exodus provides a currency exchange within the wallet, so you could trade your BTC for ETH, or ETH for LTC, etc.

    Overview

    Wallet:
    Exodus

    Wallet Type: Desktop

    Ease of Use: 5/5

    Privacy: 4/5

    Security: 4/5

    Versatility: 5/5

    Price/Fees: 5/5

    Ease of Use: Exodus sports a very intuitive design and straightforward user interface, so you should have no issues getting used to the platform. Seeing your portfolio broken down into a circle/pie chart is very handy. It’s easy to see at a glance how many coins you have, and more importantly, how much they are worth in USD (or EUR, GBP, CAD).

    Rating: 5/5

    Privacy: Exodus doesn’t connect your information to servers and you don’t need to provide any information to get started using it. No account is registration required, which is always nice. Once you deposit funds, you can password protect your wallet with an account. However, Exodus is only partially open source, which hurts the score a little. Can’t be sure what’s going on in the rest of the code if we don’t have access to it.

    Rating: 4/5

    Security: There are not many security options in Exodus. Because it is an offline desktop wallet, there is little need for extra security like 2FA, though we still like to see these extra measures to secure your money. Exodus does come with a built-in backup wizard to backup your wallet/coins in case your machine is bricked. Gotta give them some brownie points for that feature.

    Rating: 4/5

    Versatility: At the time of writing this review, Exodus supports up to 9 cryptos/altcoins, with the ability to exchange between them within the software. Doesn’t get much more versatile than that.

    Rating: 5/5

    Fees: Exodus does not charge fees when sending/receiving crypto from your wallet. That’s right, folks. The only fees that Exodus charges are when exchanging currencies from one to another. While it’s not completely obvious what the fees are when exchanging, it does tell you the exchange rate and exactly what you are getting from the exchange.

    Rating: 5/5
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
  3. xyzzy

    xyzzy Master of None Staff Member Super Admin

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    Crypto Wallet Analysis and Comparison
    Hard Wallets
    That’s right folks, the future is here. We now have credit chips just like the Sci-Fi movies we grew up watching. And now it’s possible to own your very own! Hard wallets actually store your public addresses and private keys offline on a physical device, which is much safer and more secure than an online wallet. Just keep track of it and don’t lose the sucker. If you’re serious about securing your hard earned coins, then we recommend you invest in one of these bad boys.

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    Ledger

    Description: As a very popular cold wallet, the Ledger is designed for those who want increased security over their Bitcoins. Ledger products have very sleek designed, especially the Ledger Nano S (Which is what we mostly refer to in this review). Easy to use and simple to set up, it works great as a “My First Crypto Hard Wallet”.

    Overview:

    Wallet: Ledger

    Wallet Type: Hard Wallet + App

    Ease of Use: 5/5

    Privacy: 5/5

    Security: 5/5

    Versatility: 5/5

    Price: 5/5

    Ease of Use: You should have no trouble setting up your Ledger via the web interface. The Ledger interface is straightforward and simple.

    Rating: 5/5

    Privacy: Nothing to complain about in terms of personal information privacy. No need to give your identity in order to use the device.

    Rating: 5/5

    Security: Ledger provides the security options that are expected of a secure cold storage wallet. With anti-malware protection, PIN code security, and authentication support, you and your crypto coins should be covered.

    Rating: 5/5

    Versatility: The Ledger Nano S natively supports all the classics (BTC, ETH, LTC) as well as a few other alt coins (Ripple, Stratis, Doge, etc). The Nano S can be used with other wallet software as well (not just Ledger native apps), which offers some great versatility in terms of use.

    Rating: 5/5

    Price: At €58 ($65), the Ledger Nano S is a cheaper cold storage alternative to the Trezor. OR, if you are patient and have money, you can pre-order the very sexy Ledger Blue at €229 ($256), which acts as more of a hard wallet tablet than a hard wallet USB. It’s nice to have options.

    Rating: 5/5
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    Trezor

    Description: Trezor is a secure offline hard wallet for your crypto coins. Utilizing limited USB connections to your computer, Trezor is not affected by viruses or malware, making it a very secure option for storing your coins. With an easy to use and newbie friendly web interface, it is a great option for a crypto newbie’s first hard wallet. It doesn’t come cheap, though.

    Overview:

    Wallet:
    Trezor

    Wallet Type: Hard Wallet

    Ease of Use: 5/5

    Privacy: 5/5

    Security: 5/5

    Versatility: 5/5

    Price: 3/5

    Ease of Use: Your Trezor comes with a very easy to use web interface that you connect to your specific Trezor wallet. The web interface is very newbie friendly and you should have no problems setting up your wallet as a first timer.

    Rating: 5/5

    Privacy: Nothing to complain about here. No need to register an account to use your Trezor wallet.

    Rating: 5/5

    Security: Trezor allows for cold storage and cannot be affected by malware, making it an extremely secure place to store your precious BTC. You can even use your Trezor safely on a compromised and infected computer, as Trezor uses a limited USB connection (just like a mouse or keyboard). Incorporating a PIN also prevents anyone else from accessing the BTC in your Trezor in the event that it gets stolen.

    Rating: 5/5

    Versatility: Trezor supports multiple coins including BTC, ETH, ETC, LTC, Dash, and so on. More coins are being added over time, so Trezor offers some great versatility in terms of crypto coin support.

    Rating: 5/5

    Price: Currently, Trezor costs €89, which is equivalent to about $100, which is pretty pricey. That being said, you get what you pay for, which in this case is excellent ease of use, privacy, and security.

    Rating: 3/5
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    Keepkey

    Description: Touting themselves as “the most secure Bitcoin wallet available”, KeepKey is another virus-proof hard wallet that can keep your Bitcoins secure. With multi-currency support, multi-device compatibility, and limited USB connections, KeepKey is a safe and secure way of storing your cryptocurrencies.

    Overview:

    Wallet:
    KeepKey

    Wallet Type: Hard Wallet

    Ease of Use: 5/5

    Privacy: 5/5

    Security: 5/5

    Versatility: 4/5

    Price: 2/5

    Ease of Use: KeepKey’s web interface is easy to start and simple to use. No complaints here. You shouldn’t have any either.

    Rating: 5/5

    Privacy: The same as other hard wallets, no need to give your social security number to use this hard wallet. That was a joke, if you couldn’t tell.

    Rating: 5/5

    Security: Just like the others, KeepKey utilizes limited USB connections to prevent potential malware infection from whatever device it connects to. With the expected security, backup, and restoration functions, you can rely on KeepKey to keep your coins safe.

    Rating: 5/5

    Versatility: KeepKey is advertised as a Bitcoin wallet, but it offers multi-currency support including ETH, LTC, Dash, Doge, and the like. It may not support as many coins as other hardware wallets, but it’s definitely got the basics covered.

    Rating: 4/5

    Price: When KeepKey first came out, it was priced at $239. It had dropped down to $99, but currently KeepKey is out of stock with no word on when it will be available again. Their website (and listing on Amazon) do not show their current price, so it’s hard to tell how much this purchase will set you back. Also, the point is pretty moot until they are restocked and we don’t have any indication on when that will be. Until they come back in stock, KeepKey loses a few points in this regard.

    Rating: 2/5
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    CoolWallet

    Description: The CoolWallet is a Bitcoin-only hard wallet that has a really sleek and sexy credit card-like design. It’s an option for those who want a hard wallet to use mostly with their mobile phone or other Bluetooth enabled devices. This wallet does NOT connect via USB, it only connects via Bluetooth and NFC. Still, it’s an option for those who want (and should) store their Bitcoins in a hard wallet. Albeit, it is an expensive option.

    Overview:

    Wallet:
    KeepKey

    Wallet Type: Hard Wallet

    Ease of Use: 3/5

    Privacy: 3/5

    Security: 4/5

    Versatility: 2/5

    Price: 3/5

    Ease of Use: Though the CoolWallet has a great design, it’s not as easy to use as its alternatives. It connects to devices via Bluetooth and NFC, rather than USB connections. This means it’s meant to be used with Bluetooth compatible devices (like your mobile phone). This obviously limits its uses to devices that have Bluetooth functions, which your Desktop probably doesn’t.

    Rating: 3/5

    Privacy: While you don’t need to give your identity in order to use the CoolWallet, we are a little concerned that the firmware is not open source. It’s hard to say what is going on in the background without access to the source code.

    Rating: 3/5

    Security: Good, solid security. While their firmware is not open source, you shouldn’t have to worry about losing your Bitcoins with this hard wallet. Open source is always more trustworthy, though.

    Rating: 4/5

    Versatility: While the CoolWallet can connect to more devices than the Trezor using Bluetooth, it currently only supports storage of Bitcoin. Though they claim they are considering supporting more crypto coins in the future, right now their “focus” is on Bitcoin.

    Rating: 2/5

    Price: The CoolWallet will set you back about $119, which is even pricier than the Trezor. Nothing else to say, really.

    Rating: 3/5
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  4. DavidCoins

    DavidCoins Contributor

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    Wow great guide bro! Good looking out on Jaxx as well.. I read the owner is in damage control once it was proven there were vulnerabilities.
     
  5. DavidCoins

    DavidCoins Contributor

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    If I get a hard wallet, how should I store it? In a safe? What's to prevent it from corroding?
     
  6. Charlie

    Charlie Contributor

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    can you do a review on Exodus (desktop wallet)?
     
  7. KarenC

    KarenC Contributor

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    I've also heard a lot of good reviews about the Exodus Wallet.
    Will you be writing a review for it?
     
  8. xyzzy

    xyzzy Master of None Staff Member Super Admin

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    I'll be adding to the list over time. Exodus will definitely be there in the next revision. Stay tuned!
     
  9. xyzzy

    xyzzy Master of None Staff Member Super Admin

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    A hard wallet is similar to any external drive. If you store it in a cool, dry, safe place it should be fine. Do you live next to the ocean or something?
     
  10. xyzzy

    xyzzy Master of None Staff Member Super Admin

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    The much awaited Exodus review has been added. Let me know if y'all have any questions/concerns on the wallets reviewed here.
     
  11. horiacretan

    horiacretan Contributor

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    [​IMG]
     
    xyzzy likes this.
  12. xyzzy

    xyzzy Master of None Staff Member Super Admin

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  13. RamaKrishna

    RamaKrishna Contributor

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    Team,
    Blockchaian is also very good wallet. Since I am using these wallet since 2013 and getting/updating the features... and the security is also very good...

    RK
     
  14. cryptoguru

    cryptoguru Contributor

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    At my opinion best wallets is desktop.
     
  15. geoffreycelen

    geoffreycelen Contributor

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  16. spindle.ico

    spindle.ico Contributor

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    I use Blockchain info - very easy to use and convenient
     
  17. russel123456

    russel123456 Contributor

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    that's a good topics for everyone
     
  18. David Michaels

    David Michaels Contributor

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    Standout feature that is included in Exodus Wallet is its compatibility. It is compatible with Windows (64 bit), Linux and Mac OS. This means that cryptocurrency users can use the Wallet on their preferred devices with ease. It can store upto 11 cryptocurrencies globally. It is a very efficient desktop crypto wallet developed to provide you total control over your cryptocurrency activities. It is 100% safe because it stores all your cryptocurrencies directly in your system. This means you have complete control over your cryptocurrency assets all the time. I have read a good review about Exodus Wallet on a website but not allowed to post the link here if anyone can post the link i can give them the link so it could be helpful for all :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018
  19. jitenrajput

    jitenrajput Contributor

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    Hardware wallets are the best to store your cryptocurrency possessions.

    Ledger Nano S is among the best of all available in the market at present.
     
  20. squadus

    squadus Contributor

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    Personally, I use Bread Wallet for storing Bitcoins.
     

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