Crypto Wallet Guide | Everything You Need To Know

crypto wallet

Wallets are an inevitable part of your crypto journey assuming that you have been brave enough to get off of Coinbase and dive into the world of defi. So today I wanted to share with you some of my favorite crypto wallets as well as some important tips to keep your funds safe.

My Top Crypto Wallet Recommendations.

Ledger Nano X

crypto wallet

Ledger Nano X is basically the gold standard of crypto wallets. It is sleek, modern, and even works with bluetooth to connect to your mobile phone if you want. This physical hardware device is a MUST for anyone who has more than a few thousand in crypto. Ledger contains unique security features that mean it is only possible to access your funds by having the physical device and pressing the buttons on it. It also contains valuable security features like automatically resetting after incorrectly entering the pin three times. Seriously, buy one if you don’t have one yet!

Metamask

crypto wallet

Metamask has become the standard for connecting to and interacting with applications on Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, and other popular networks. The biggest problem with Metamask is that it is a hot wallet. So if someone was able to gain access to your computer and your crypto wallet was open then they can just drain your accounts in a matter of seconds. HOWEVER, Metamask is the most popular wallet and the most widely integrated, which leaves us in a sticky situation. BUT the good news is that you can very easily add your Ledger wallet to Metamask and have a highly secure crypto experience. This is what I do. Connecting my Ledger to Metamask means that I get broad integrations into defi, but also that I maintain robust security since no transactions can be sent without my physical hardware wallet.

Phantom

crypto wallet

Phantom Wallet is a great hot wallet for Solana. It has nice NFT features, a great user interface and has basically become the standard for Solana. The big bonus here is that, much like Metamask, Phantom can be connected to your Ledger Wallet. So you can have a great browsing experience with top notch security.

Trust Wallet

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Trust Wallet is a popular mobile wallet with lots of useful features. It has in app staking, in app swaps, it supports multiple chains, has a connected earn service, a user friendly NFT service, and even a DAPP browser to help you easily connect to popular services like Pancake Swap. It is however a hot wallet, and while user friendly is not a good substitute for a hardware wallet. Substantial funds should not be kept here. Think of Trust like cash in your wallet in your pocket, and Ledger like money in your bank account. You wouldn’t keep your life savings in cash in your wallet, so why would you hold all of your crypto in such a place?

Keeping Your Crypto Safe In a Wallet

Hot Wallets

Understand that hot wallets are inherently less secure than something like a Ledger which has unique and powerful security features. Hot wallets are useful for doing smaller transactions quickly, but please do understand their limitations.

Passphrases

Your 12 or 24 word passphrase is the most important thing in your crypto security. Sadly the most common way that people lose their crypto is by handing over this critically important collection of words to hackers. NEVER give it to someone claiming to be support. NEVER enter it on a website. NEVER enter it into a link you got in an email claiming some urgent security problem. NEVER put your passphrase anywhere online – Do not email it to yourself, do not put it in Evernote, do not store it on the cloud, do not send it to a friend on Twitter or any other crazy idea. Take a piece of paper and pen and write two copies of your passphrase and then store those somewhere very safe. Laminating can protect against water damage. Also, one final note. Do not use the same passphrase for multiple crypto wallets. If you use your Ledger Wallet passphrase to access a hot wallet like Trust Wallet then you are asking for trouble because all of the great security features of the Ledger don’t mean shit now because if someone gets to your hot wallet then they can get the crypto on your Ledger.

Backup Security

When and where possible use every security feature available. For example Trust Wallet allows for biometric ID, so use it. When you walk away from your computer, lock your Metamask. Use passwords that are super tricky to guess. For example using “123456789” as your password will be hacked in about 5 seconds, but using PASS##123456word will take 3 quadrillion years to crack. Also use two factor authentication on EVERYTHING!!! The Ledger comes with 2fido app which can be used to back up your email account. DO IT! Seriously, email hacks are super common, and you may not even know it has happened until your accounts have been drained. Use a strong password that is 100% unique to this email account and back it up with a hardware wallet. Chances are you are not being even close to paranoid enough about your security. Be more paranoid.

Exchanges

I want to be real with you for a second too. Self custody is not for everyone, which may shock some of you to read. But we have to be honest, one of the most common methods these days for people to lose their crypto is by clicking on a phishing link or giving permission to a malicious contract. Centralized exchange security for services like Binance, Coinbase, and lenders like Celsius have come a long long way since the mega hacks of the past. For some of you the truth is that keeping your funds on the exchange may actually be safer. Do you truly own your assets when you leave them on Coinbase? No. But for some of you it may actually be the safer option. Not as good as a hardware wallet, not even close.

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So in summary, buy a hardware crypto wallet.

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