The 7 Best Bitcoin Hardware and Software Wallets

A good Bitcoin wallet needs to be secure and come from a reliable company

Cartoon of two businessmen trading BItcoin via smartphone software wallets
Software wallets can be great for smaller Bitcoin wallet transactions. alashi / DigitalVision Vectors

A Bitcoin wallet is a device used to access funds on the Bitcoin blockchain. These wallets possess unique data that unlocks the owned Bitcoins and allows them to be used when making a purchase or when converting them into cash either through an online exchange or a Bitcoin ATM.

The Two Types of Bitcoin Wallets

  • Software wallets
    Essentially programs or apps that can be run on a smartphone or computer. These are usually very easy to use but are potentially vulnerable if the device they're on is compromised or hacked. Software wallets are usually used for making smaller transactions when shopping both online and offline with Bitcoin.
  • Hardware wallets
    These are actual physical devices that run their own wallet software but are significantly more secure than purely software-based wallets as they require the manual pressing of their buttons to confirm transactions. This manual input requirement makes hardware wallets much harder to hack and is why they're often used to secure large amounts of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Here are the seven best Bitcoin wallets worth checking out.

01
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Ledger Nano S (Hardware Wallet)

Ledger Nano S Cryptocurrency Wallet
Ledger Nano S Cryptocurrency Wallet. Ledger

The Ledger Nano S is one of the most-popular hardware wallets on the market. This wallet supports Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Dash, Dogecoin, Neo, and Zcash in addition to a large and growing number of lesser-known altcoins. All transactions with the Ledger Nano S require the manual input of a four digit PIN code via the hardware buttons and the device is malware proof, making it very secure against hacking.

In addition to its own first-party apps, the Ledger Nano S also supports a range of software wallets like Copay and Electrum which means that this hardware wallet can be used to add an extra layer of security to software wallet transactions. Measuring 60mm in length and encase in a brushed stainless steel shell, the Ledger Nano S is both a secure and stylish option for those looking for a quality Bitcoin (or altcoin) hardware wallet.

02
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Ledger Blue (Hardware Wallet)

Ledger Blue Bitcoin hardware wallet
The Ledger Blue Bitcoin hardware wallet. Ledger

The Ledger Blue features all of the security of the Ledger Nano S but is much more user-friendly due to its built-in color touchscreen which can be used to open and use apps on the device itself. Managing transactions is much easier and faster on the Ledger Blue than the Ledger Nano S. The setup process has also been streamlined due to the touchscreen navigation.

The Ledger Blue is a good hardware wallet option for those who aren't particularly tech savvy or who have less-than-perfect eyesight.

03
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Trezor (Hardware Wallet)

Trezor Bitcoin hardware wallet
The Trezor Bitcoin hardware wallet. Trezor

Ledger's range of hardware wallets may be number one but the Trezor is a very close second. The Trezor hardware wallet supports Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Dash, Dogecoin, Zcash, and several others while also allowing for integration with third-party software wallet ups like Electrum and Copay.

Transactions made with the Trezor wallet require confirmation via the device's hardware buttons and there is also added support for 2-factor authentication for an extra layer of security.

04
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Exodus (Software Wallet)

Exodus cryptocurrency wallet
Exodus cryptocurrency wallet. Exodus

Exodus is a free software wallet that runs on both Windows and Mac computers. It supports one of the largest collections of cryptocurrencies and features a clean, easy-to-understand visual design that clearly lists transactions and a user's entire crypto portfolio.

One of the best features of Exodus is its built-in ShapeShift feature which allows users to convert one cryptocurrency into another with the push of a button and without leaving the program. This is one of the easiest ways to buy cryptocoins not supported by services like Coinbase. Want to buy some Dash? Simply exchange some Bitcoin for it within Exodus.

05
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Electrum (Software Wallet)

Electrum Bitcoin wallet
Electrum Bitcoin wallet. Electrum

The Electrum wallet is one of the oldest software wallets, having been around since 2011. Electrum is available to download for free on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. There's also an Electrum Android app which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store for Android smartphones and tablets.

This software wallet is limited to just Bitcoin however it is a very solid Bitcoin wallet solution which receives frequent updates and a lot of support.

06
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Coinbase (Software Wallet)

Coinbase iPhone and Android apps
The Coinbase iPhone and Android apps. Coinbase

Coinbase is a massively-popular service for buying and selling Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash. Most people use the Coinbase website for the buying and selling of crypto however their official smartphone apps are also incredibly functional and worth checking out.

The official Coinbase apps, which are available to download for iOS and Android devices for free, allow users to log into their Coinbase accounts and manage their funds. Users can buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies all within the apps and they can also function as software wallets for sending and receiving payments when making purchases online and in person at real-world stores.

Coinbase in general is a great option for those new to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency and their apps provide a convenient way to use cryptocoins without having to invest in another service.

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Bitpay (Software Wallet)

Bitpay Bitcoin software wallet
Bitpay Bitcoin software wallet. Bitpay

Bitpay is one of the largest consumer-focused companies in the Bitcoin space. They assist businesses with accepting Bitcoin payments and also provide users with their own Bitpay debit card which can be loaded up with Bitcoin for making traditional payments via the VISA network.

The official Bitpay smartphone apps can be used to manage the Bitpay Card but they also be used as software wallets for storing, sending, and receiving Bitcoin. These apps are completely free and are available on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Linux, Mac, and Windows PCs.