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What’s the Best Wallet for Me? Three Potential Set-Ups

Picking a crypto wallet to store your digital assets can be a complex decision. There are seemingly endless options for crypto wallets on the market, with new ones continuing to come to market. Cryptocurrency wallets can offer a variety of features and support for different digital assets and their blockchain networks. Crypto exchanges sometimes even release their own non-custodial wallet, such as Coinbase’s Coinbase Wallet. There are hardware wallets, software wallets in the form of browser extensions, desktop applications, or mobile apps, and more.

With so much variety on the market, knowing which is best for you specifically can be difficult. Do you need a hardware wallet? Can you get by with just an exchange wallet? Answering those questions requires you to know what you are planning on doing with crypto assets once you buy them. Sell, hold, trade?

In this guide, we’re going to give you three potential crypto wallet setups, and describe whom each is best for. Let’s start with the easiest option.

Option 1: Easy Mode Protection

Coinbase Exchange + Coinbase Wallet

Coinbase Exchange is the most popular exchange in the US, with the highest trading volume and some of the best features for their users. Coinbase Wallet is a non-custodial wallet app created by Coinbase exchange. When you create a Coinbase account, you will automatically have an exchange wallet that can hold any supported assets you buy on Coinbase.

However, if you’re not planning on trading them or selling them soon, or you’d like to participate in DeFi, you’ll need to set up Coinbase Wallet as well. This is simple, as it’s a mobile app for iOS and Android, and a browser extension for Chrome. You simply install the app, complete the setup, and can then connect it to your Coinbase Exchange account for easy transfers to and from.

Who is Easy Mode Protection Best For?

This setup is best for newer crypto users who aren’t looking to do much with their digital assets and who aren’t overly concerned with security. You have an easy on and off ramp with Coinbase Exchange, allowing you to buy and sell crypto should you decide to cash out or buy more. You also get the benefit of a non-custodial wallet in the Coinbase Wallet, which has great integration with Coinbase Exchange.

You can also participate in DeFi activities using the Coinbase Wallet, which can be used with a variety of blockchain networks such as Ethereum, Bitcoin, Solana, and Binance. You can cash out your DeFi earnings through Coinbase Exchange very easily too.

While this option isn’t as secure as the other 2 options on this list, it’s still extremely safe, as Coinbase Exchange has never been hacked, and there have been no security issues with Coinbase Wallet. If you’re outside the US, you can do a similar setup with Binance Exchange and their Binance Wallet, or another option within the US is and their DeFi Wallet.

Option 2: Intermediate Protection

Tangem Wallet

The Tangem Wallet is a more convenient form of hardware wallet in the sense that it’s not a physical device, but rather a card with NFC communication built in. It’s quite affordable, at under $50 US for the classic version set of 2 cards. The classic version doesn’t use recovery phrases in the event that you lose your card or device, rather your other cards are the backups, meaning you need to keep them safe.

Tangem has an updated version of their wallet coming out that has an option to have a recovery phrase, nullifying this minor security issue. They will be slightly more expensive at $55 for 2 cards.

The Tangem Wallet allows you to swap crypto assets using 1Inch Exchange, and you can connect to dApps using the WalletConnect feature meaning it can be used for all your DeFi needs. You simply use the card in conjunction with their mobile app to do all your crypto transacting. The Tangem Wallet supports over 6,000 crypto assets across 30 blockchain networks, making it a great option for those looking for an affordable and convenient hardware wallet.

Who is Intermediate Protection Best For?

Intermediate protection is best for those who are slightly more invested in digital assets and want more security as a result. It’s for those that want increased security for their assets but with more convenient access and usage than if they were to use a hardware wallet.

Tangem Wallet gives you close to hardware level security, trading the full-on security of a hardware wallet like a Ledger or Trezor for the convenience of not having to connect a device and instead replacing it with an easy to use app.

Perhaps the main reason this isn’t a top option is the lack of a recovery phrase to recover your wallet in the event you lose access. However, Tangem’s new version of the wallet will have an optional seed phrase, meaning it could become a top option once that has come to market. Though, it’s also worth pointing out that NFC communication means it’s not a cold storage wallet.

Option 3: Professional Protection

Ledger Nano X + MetaMask

Ledger has long been the most popular crypto hardware wallet provider on the market, and the Ledger Nano X is their highest quality option. It’s a cold storage option because unless you turn it on it can’t be connected to the internet, whereas something like the Tangem has constant NFC communication. You can do quite a few things within the Ledger Live application for mobile or desktop, including buy, sell, trade, and stake digital assets.

However, it still doesn’t have full integration with DeFi platforms, and this is where MetaMask comes in. MetaMask is the most popular wallet app for using with DeFi platforms and you can integrate it with your Ledger Nano X so that you’re able to access DeFi platforms such as Uniswap with your Ledger hardware wallet.

Who is Professional Protection Best For?

Professional protection is, as you might expect, best for professionals, however, that doesn’t mean you’re a professional crypto trader. Rather, it means you’re a professional when it comes to crypto security. By combining your Ledger with MetaMask, it means your assets are locked away safely in cold storage, and nothing can be done with them without you connecting your Ledger to your laptop or phone to confirm and sign a transaction. At the same time, you can participate in DeFi or any other blockchain activity by using MetaMask to access them.

This option is more expensive than the other ones because of the price of the Ledger Nano X, but you can get the same security using their Nano S Plus, or by using something like a Trezor hardware wallet with Exodus wallet.

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About the Author

Evan Jones

Evan Jones was introduced to cryptocurrency by fellow CryptoVantage contributor Keegan Francis in 2017 and was immediately intrigued by the use cases of many Ethereum-based cryptos. He bought his first hardware wallet shortly thereafter. He has a keen and vested interest in cryptos involving decentralized backend exchanges, payment processing, and power-sharing.

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