A complete guide to Mobile wallets
Every cryptocurrency address is controlled by a wallet.
That means that wallets are essentially the banks of the crypto world.
There are dozens of different wallets out there, built for all sorts of operating systems.
Today, we’re going to be taking a look at mobile wallets and teaching you everything there is to know about them!
Whether you’re totally new to crypto or you’ve got a decent understanding of how wallets work, we’re sure that we can teach you a thing or 2!
Buckle up and charge your mobile phone, we’re looking at mobile wallets!
What are mobile wallets?
Simply put, mobile wallets are crypto wallets that live on your phone.
They’re a bunch of code that connect to various blockchains using your mobile data or WIFI.
You can generally add multiple addresses for each currency when using a mobile wallet, increasing your privacy.
Some mobile wallets are packed with more features than others, making them the standout choice.
Mobile wallets go everywhere you go and can often be secured using biometrics, if your device supports it.
You can always set up 2-factor authentication (2FA) on your mobile wallets as well as strong passwords to crank your security up a notch.
Best of all, smartphones come with cameras, meaning that you can scan a QR code to fill in the address rather than having to type it out.
This makes mobile wallets the perfect choice for crypto hodlers that are on the go or like to make frequent transactions with added security and safety.
How do mobile wallets work?
Mobile crypto wallets are cool bits of kit, and can take full advantage of the hardware your device has to offer.
For example, BRD, MEW and VivoPay all use the Secure Enclave on Apple devices to work with FaceID and to unlock the wallet.
While the Secure Enclave cannot create keys compatible with blockchain, it can create a symmetric key based on the password or pin code that a user creates for the wallet.
It then stores this symmetric key in the Secure Enclave and uses it to unlock access to your mobile crypto wallet.
Not all wallets use this super secure tech, but it’s always good to know the small handful that are using it.
A fun side note, MEW on a Samsung device can use the Samsung Blockchain Keystore to generate blockchain friendly keypairs – how cool is that!
If you’re not using a device with a Secure Enclave, then your wallet will run just like any other app.
When you load up your crypto wallet for the first time, you’ll be able to create addresses for multiple cryptocurrencies.
These addresses are assigned 2 keys – 1 private and 1 public.
The addresses then live in your crypto wallet and your crypto wallet is used to control the addresses.
This means that the cryptocurrency is never stored on your mobile phone.
It lives on the blockchain in the address you’ve generated through the mobile wallet app.
The mobile wallet app simply acts as the interface that you use to control those addresses.
It’s just like mobile banking in the traditional finance world.
You can move money between your accounts and send to other people from the banking app, but the money doesn’t live in the app.
Your mobile wallet will have a backup phrase, known as the seed phrase.
This can then be used to restore the crypto wallet and its bound addresses on any device.
So, it’s important that you keep this safe and secure.
Do all mobile wallets support all cryptocurrencies?
There are hundreds of mobile wallets out there, and some do support just about every cryptocurrency under the sun.
However, there are some that specialize in just 1 cryptocurrency.
This is not a bad thing as it allows the wallet to be more streamlined and offer a lot more interaction with the blockchain in question.
You’ll often find that these single blockchain wallets allow you to stake and make advanced types of transactions, such as time locked transactions.
On the other hand, small cryptocurrencies and new cryptocurrencies might not be listed on most wallets.
This means that you won’t be able to interact with that particular currency.
So, let’s say you’ve got BabyBitcoin which runs on the Binance Smart Chain, you will be hard pressed to find a wallet that supports it other than Binance Wallet or MetaMask.
But, if you’re using mainstream coins, let’s say the top 100, then you should have no problem at all finding a wallet that supports them all.
Can I stake from a mobile wallet?
Staking cryptocurrency is currently all the rage, so it’s only natural that you want to know whether you can stake from your mobile wallet.
You’ve got 2 options here, you can either use a 3rd party mobile wallet or use the official blockchain’s wallet.
The difference here is that a lot of the 3rd party wallets will skim a percentage off the top of your rewards as their fee.
This will show up as a lower APY than you’ll see if you use the official blockchain’s mobile wallet.
However, you are able to get around the minimum staking requirements by using these mobile wallets.
For example, with Ethereum 2.0 you need 32 ETH to stake.
But, using a 3rd party mobile wallet you can stake with 0.1 ETH if you wanted to.
So, consider the lower APY as the “pool fee”.
If you use the official blockchain’s wallet, you’ll get better APY and staking rewards, but, you’ll end up with 100 different wallets if you’re staking multiple cryptocurrencies.
It all depends on you and your preferences.
If you’re happy to have multiple wallets each for specific blockchains, then go for this option as you’ll earn more from staking.
On the other hand, if you want it all managed under one roof, then you’ll have to take the lower APY and use a 3rd party app.
At the end of the day, it’s not the end of the world getting a lower APY simply for the convenience.
Can my mobile wallet get hacked?
If you’re worried about your mobile wallet getting hacked, then you’re asking the right questions.
In this day and age, everything can be hacked.
While wallets using the Secure Enclave technology are far more secure than those that do not, they are still vulnerable.
But, a lot of the risk actually comes down to you and your habits.
What we mean by this is that your security is only as good as the weakest point.
Let’s say you’re using a pin code that’s your date of birth – that’s not safe.
If you don’t have any pin code on your wallet at all, that’s even more risky.
You should avoid downloading apps that are not official and especially from random websites.
Fake apps can contain scripts that infect your phone, allowing the hacker to take over your device, and therefore crypto.
Don’t click on random links and don’t download files if you can’t verify the origin of them.
The safety of your crypto on a mobile wallet all depends on you and how savvy you are when it comes to cyber security.
You should enable a password or pin in your device.
It is possible to trick FaceID and fingerprint scanners if a hacker is determined enough, so don’t rely on these features alone.
You should also enable 2-factor authentication (2FA) on your crypto wallet, especially to send cryptos.
This will ask you to input a 2FA code from a 2FA application like Google Authenticator or Authy before your transaction will be sent to the blockchain.
Obviously, you should use a 2FA application on a different device.
If a hacker has access to your phone, they can easily open up the 2FA app and pop in the code.
If the 2FA app isn’t on the same device as your mobile wallet, then you’re already that much safer.
What is the best mobile wallet?
There are hundreds of mobile crypto wallets out there, and picking the right one can be tricky.
But, we’ve spent time testing out a lot of the big ones, partly for personal use and for the reviews we put together for CryptoMeister.
This gives us a lot of knowledge and insight to help you make the best choices when it comes to picking a mobile wallet.
At the end of the day, it really depends on you.
Do you want to use an official wallet and have 20+ wallets on your phone, each with unique passwords to access, or do you want 1 wallet to rule them all?
We prefer using 1 or 2 wallets to run the show on the mobile side, using dedicated cold storage wallets for the vast majority of our portfolios.
This is the safest and most secure way to store your crypto, as anything can happen to your phone.
So ideally you don’t keep too much crypto on your mobile crypto wallet.
Here are our top picks for crypto mobile wallets!
|Rank||Wallet||Staking||OS||Secure Enclave||Can Exchange|
|1||Exodus||Yes||iOS & Android||Yes||Yes|
|2||BRD||Yes||iOS & Android||Yes||Yes|
|3||MEW||Yes||iOS & Android||Yes||Yes|
|4||Trust Wallet||Yes||iOS & Android||No||Yes|
|5||Crypto.com||Yes||iOS & Android||No||Yes|
|6||Atomic||Yes||iOS & Android||No||Yes|
|7||Klever||Yes||iOS & Android||No||Yes|
|8||Coinomi||Yes||iOS & Android||No||Yes|
|9||MetaMask||Yes||iOS & Android||No||Yes|
|10||SafePal||Yes||iOS & Android||No||Yes|
As you can see, the best mobile wallets are fairly evenly matched across the board.
Additional ranking factors include ease of use, open-source code, and range of supported currencies.
If you’re looking for a solid crypto mobile app, you will enjoy using all of these.
Just remember to use security features!
Mobile wallets are super useful!
Mobile wallets are powerful apps that give you total control over your crypto.
The best mobile wallets give you the power to manage multiple different assets and take advantage of staking.
Some wallets use the Secure Enclave chips in your mobile device as well, keeping your wallet even more secure.
These are all features that you should look for in a mobile wallet and should be the standard.
But, if you’re looking for a wallet to store your entire portfolio, then you should perhaps look at using a hardware wallet.
Mobile wallets are safe, but not safe enough to store your entire crypto portfolio for the long-term.
There are still plenty of risks associated with mobile wallets, so treat them with caution!