In the following article we present the best Cardano wallets so that you can keep your ADA easily safe. At the beginning, however, we would like to give you a short introduction to the topic by teaching you the basic technical knowledge. This is from our point of view essential to find the best Cardano wallet for you.
If you are already familiar with cryptography and wallet types, you can also skip the info box (click!) and scroll to the best Cardano hardware wallets.
Apart of the basic knowledge, we would like to give you two clues:1.Even before buying Cardano (click here to read our guide) you should know which wallet you want to use to store your private key. If you have already made this decision before the purchase, you can enter your wallet address as the destination address during the purchase process and thus save fees. 2.Our second advice is that you should withdraw your Cardano from an exchange or broker as soon as possible. There are two main reasons for this. As you (now) know, the private keys are the property of your cryptocurrency, so they should never be given to third parties.
But that’s exactly what you do on a trading platform that keeps the private keys for you. The second problem arises from this: cryptocurrency exchanges are popular targets for hacker attacks. The list of exchanges that have been hacked in recent years and lost their private keys and thus their cryptocurrencies is long! Therefore, you should manage the private key yourself and keep ADA on an exchange only as long as necessary.
Cardano hardware wallets
Cold storages in the form of hardware wallets are the safest and best option for the long-term storage of cryptocurrencies in the private customer sector according to the current state of the art. With established and proven hardware wallets, it is almost impossible for the private keys to be stolen from the device due to numerous security mechanisms. The main reason for this is that the private keys are stored isolated on the hardware wallet without ever coming into contact with the Internet.
Only other components of the hardware wallet are connected to the Internet to send the transaction to the blockchain. Due to the architecture of the operating system, the private keys do not leave the wallet even when signing a transaction, i.e. confirming it on the device (by pressing a button on the hardware wallet). Thus, even if hackers succeed in compromising the software needed to manage the hardware wallet (e.g. Ledger Live or Trezor Bridge), they cannot perform a transaction.
In addition, the hardware wallets presented by us have additional security functions that protect them in the event of analog theft. This means that both Ledger’s hardware wallet and Trezor can be secured with a PIN and 2-factor authentication. This makes it very difficult to steal Cardano (ADA) even in the event of physical theft.
If you want to secure your cryptocurrencies in the best possible way, then you should buy a hardware wallet, as there is currently no better storage solution. Every penny invested is worth gold in this case, as you will probably invest much larger amounts of capital than 120€ (price for our hardware wallet test winner).
1.Ledger Nano X
In our extensive practical and comparative test of 8 hardware wallets, the Ledger Nano X is the clear test winner. Accordingly, it is also our top recommendation for the storage of Cardano (ADA). The Nano X is the successor to the Ledger Nano S, which has been on the market for several years and was upgraded with the Nano X in May 2019. Compared to the “old” model of the French hardware wallet manufacturer, the Nano X offers some new features:
- Bluetooth function: Via Bluetooth function the Ledger Nano X can be paired with a smartphone, so that users can manage their Cardano via the Ledger Live Smartphone App without having to do without the security of the cold wallet.
- Larger memory: The internal memory of the device has been greatly increased, so that now 100 apps (instead of 5 apps) can be stored on the new Ledger Nano X.
- Larger screen: Not only the memory, but also the screen has been enlarged. This makes it easier to check and confirm the correct address on the device by ensuring that the reception addresses fit completely on the display.
- Improved security chip: The central component of the hardware wallet was further improved for security reasons and certified by the French cyber security authority ANSSI.
Conclusion: From our point of view no better hardware wallet can be purchased than the Ledger Nano X! If you want to know more about the Ledger Nano X, we recommend you to read our detailed guide and test report.
2.Ledger Nano S
The Ledger Nano S is no longer Ledger’s latest model after the Nano X was released. Nevertheless, there are still good reasons for buying the Ledger Nano S. First of all, the price is half the price of the Ledger Nano X (120 EUR vs. 59 EUR) and makes the Nano S an absolute bargain.
The device is still one of the most secure hardware wallets worldwide. In recent years, for example, there has been no (known) incident in which cryptocurrencies could be stolen by a Ledger Nano S. The Nano S is a new product from the Nano S family. Furthermore, it can store private keys of well over 1,000 different cryptocurrencies via Ledger Live software.
Conclusion: If you live without the new functions of the Nano X, the Nano S is our top recommendation. In our comparison of 8 hardware wallets, the Ledger Nano S offers the best price/performance ratio.
3.Trezor Model T
Just like Ledger, SatoshiLabs has completely redesigned its long-standing success model, the Trezor One, and presented the Trezor Model T in May 2019. Among other things, the new model supports significantly more cryptocurrencies than the Trezor One.
For this purpose SatoshiLabs has developed the new Trezor Bridge Software (not available for the Trezor One), which makes Cardano (ADA) compatible with the Trezor hardware wallet via the AdaLite Cardano wallet. In addition to the larger number of cryptocurrencies available, Trezor has also added numerous improvements to its hardware wallet:
- Touchscreen: The Trezor Model T has a touch screen that confirms the transactions on the device.
- Firmware Upgrade: The firmware, Trezor Core has been completely revised and improved from security aspects.
- More powerful processor: The new Model T has a faster processor, which makes operation smoother.
- Card slot for Micro-SD: Added Micro-SD card slot that can be used for data encryption.
- USB-C Port: The “old” USB port has been replaced by the new industry standard, USB-C.
Conclusion: Due to the somewhat higher price (of around 180 euros), the Trezor Model T only came third in our ranking. From our point of view, the Ledger Nano X performs better than the Trezor Model T in the price/performance comparison. This is because the Nano X is around 60 euros cheaper and even has a few more functions. Ledger offers more native apps, requires less third-party software, and is more intuitive to use.
Cardano (ADA) Desktop wallets
Desktop wallets are programs that are installed on your computer to store private keys and send cryptocurrencies. Compared to hardware wallets, they have the advantage that both download and use are completely free of charge. However, they belong to the category of hot wallets. As a result, they have the disadvantage that the private keys are not stored offline, but come into contact with the Internet.
Storing the private keys on your own computer is a great responsibility, as the PC must always be supplied with updates and (good) anti-virus software must be installed. If the protection is not sufficient, there is a risk that the wallet will become vulnerable to hacker attacks. However, if the computer is adequately protected, desktop wallets offer significantly better protection than online and web wallets. Besides mobile wallets, they are therefore the best option if you are looking for a free wallet for Cardano (ADA).
Below we have created a ranking for the best Cardano (ADA) Desktop Wallets in 2019. But first we’ll show you the advantages and disadvantages of using a desktop wallet:
Below you will find our top recommendations for a safe and serious Cardano Desktop Wallet:
The Daedalus is the official wallet for ADA, which was developed by the Cardano Foundation. It is a hierarchically deterministic (HD) wallet which is considered serious and safe. The wallet is developed as open source software and is therefore completely transparent. Furthermore, the private keys are stored exclusively on the user’s computer.
Thus, Daedalus users retain full control over their private keys, which are protected by advanced cryptography. Since this is a HD Wallet, a new wallet address is created for each new transaction. This significantly improves anonymity, as it makes it very difficult for third parties to determine how much ADA the user or a wallet has.
It is good to know that the Daedalus wallet is a Full Node wallet (no specific, powerful hardware is required). This is important to know because the Daedalus may take a few hours to synchronize the whole blockchain (about 6 GB) with your Daedalus Wallet during the first installation. For most users with a fast Internet connection and a relatively new device, full synchronization should take about an hour. Apart from that, the installation and operation of the wallet is very simple.
In addition, the Daedalus wallet has several other functions that are very useful and ensure an even higher level of safety:
- Export of the private key to a paper wallet
- Staking: ADA holders can participate in the block generation process via the Daedalus wallet and earn more ADA as a result.
The Daedalus wallet is available for Windows, Linux and MacOS and can be downloaded from the official website. A mobile version for iOS and Android is planned. However, a date for publication has not yet been set.
The Atomic wallet is a multi-coin-wallet , which from our point of view is always highly recommended if you want to manage numerous different cryptocurrencies on a single wallet. With over 300 cryptocurrencies, the Atomic Wallet is one of the most comprehensive multi-coin wallets on the market and some of the few that support Cardano (ADA).
But this is not the only reason why the Desktop Wallet, which was only released in 2017, has become so popular. The Atomic wallet is also endorsed by the CEO and co-founder of the popular crypto exchange platform Changelly.com, Konstantin Gladych. In addition, the wallet focuses on three central demands of the crypto industry:
- Anonymity and
In accordance with these guiding principles, both the private keys and the transaction data are stored in encrypted form on the users’ computers. This means that neither the developers nor other third parties have access to this important data. A very useful function that meets the demand for decentralization is the Atomic Swap function, from which the wallet gets its name.
Atomic Swaps allow the user to exchange cryptocurrencies directly with other users, peer-to-peer. Since the function has not yet been developed for all coins, the wallet has also integrated the exchange services of Changelly and ShapeShift.
Considering the functional scope and the high security level, the Atomic wallet is our top recommendation among the Multi-Coin wallets. To download the Atomic Wallet, you must visit the official website (click here!). There you can find the wallet for Windows, Mac, Ubuntu, Debian and Fedora. In addition, the mobile versions for iOS and Android are available in the respective App Stores.
Mobile Cardano wallets for iOS and Android
Mobile wallets have the essential advantage that they can be installed on (almost) any smartphone. So you can make transactions on the go and are not tied to your stationary PC. Apart from this feature, mobile wallets are very similar to desktop wallets.
The most obvious common feature is that the private keys are stored on the user’s device, the smartphone, instead of the computer. However, like computers, smartphones are (presumably) permanently connected to the Internet, potentially putting private keys at risk.
The security problem with smartphones is even more serious, as many smartphone users use public hotspots, such as cafés and restaurants. These are, however, public networks in which the data is transmitted completely unencrypted, without any security measures of their own. Therefore it is all the more important to protect the smartphone as best as possible and, if necessary, to use a program for data encryption.
The following overview provides an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of mobile wallets:
As there is no official ADA wallet developed by the Cardano Foundation, users have to use Multi-Coin wallets that support ADA. Therefore the Infinito wallet is our top recommendation. The Infinito is a Multi-Coin-Wallet, which is only available as Smartphone version for iOS and Android. It is being developed by the Infinity Blockchain Group, a company headquartered in Singapore, and was not released until 2017. Nevertheless, it already has over one million users worldwide.
The wallet is a hierarchically deterministic (HD) Wallet, which attaches great importance to the security and user friendliness. A password, touch ID and passphrase are available to protect the wallet.
In addition, the private keys are not stored on centralized servers, but directly on the user’s smartphone. With each new transaction, a new address is also created, which is linked to the “original address” (= HD-Wallet). Another plus point from a security point of view is that the Infinito wallet was audited by the IT security company Smart Dec.
In addition to the very good safety standards, the wallet offers many additional functions which make the wallet the best mobile Cardano Wallet:
- Touch ID: Optionally, the Touch ID can be used to unlock the account.
- Contact management: Frequently used crypto addresses can be stored in a list, a kind of contact management.
- Support for multiple languages: English, French, Russian, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese.
- QR code scanner: Addresses can be imported very easily using the QR scanner.
- dApp browser. The dApp browser, named App Square, is designed to make it easier for users not only to keep their cryptocurrencies, but also to use them in decentralized applications (dApps) from Ethereum, NEO, Ontology, EOS and the Binance Chain.
- Optimization of transaction speed: Economy, Regular or Premium
- Import and export of private keys: Any private key of all supported cryptocurrencies can be imported and exported.
- Crypto credit function: Cryptocurrencies can be loaned via the “Crypto Lending” function in order to earn passive income.
- Export transaction history: Display and export your own transaction history, filtered by date and cryptocurrency.
Beside these numerous functions there is only one point of criticism! The Infinito wallet does not offer 2-factor authentication.
The mobile version of the Atomic wallet is a very similar version to the desktop version. Accordingly, it also offers the same advantages, which we would like to briefly summarize at this point:
- Management of over 300 different cryptocurrencies
- Storage and encryption of private keys and transaction data on your smartphone
- Atomic Swaps
- Use of Changelly and ShapeShift exchange services
You can either download the wallet from the official website. In addition there are the iOS and Android versions in the respective App Store.
Cardano online wallets
Cardano Online wallets offer the easiest way to manage Cardano online without having to install a wallet. Online wallets only require registration and login. This is also one of the main reasons why online wallets are so popular, although they generally offer the lowest level of security.
This is especially true for wallets on cryptocurrency exchanges, which offer the advantage that the user does not have to worry about anything other than sending them. However, users transfer ownership of the private key and thus of the cryptocurrency to the trading platform.
Since exchanges are a popular target for hackers, the user of the platform must fully trust that the cryptocurrencies are securely stored and protected. On the other hand, there are Cardano specific wallets. The AdaLite wallet should be mentioned first and foremost here.
Below we have compiled an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of online wallets:
AdaLite, formerly known as CardanoLite, is a web wallet developed by Vaccumlabs. It can be seen as a counterpart to the popular MyEtherWallet, a very popular web-based wallet for Ethereum. Like the MEW, the wallet works with any browser and operating system without having to download anything.
The creation of the wallet works very fast. When you create a new wallet with AdaLite, the wallet generates a 12 word mnemonic phrase that is your key to the wallet. Furthermore you have the choice to initialize the wallet via hardware wallet or key file. The private key of the AdaLite wallet is stored exclusively on the user’s computer, especially in the web browser. The AdaLite wallet is also compatible with the Trezor Model T, the Ledger Nano S and Nano X.
One disadvantage of AdaLite is that it is limited to 10 predefined addresses, which means that it does not work with imported data from Daedalus. Failure to comply with this notice may result in 0 balances being displayed on AdaLite as the developers write. The second disadvantage of the AdaLite wallet is that it does not support Cardano Staking.
If you want to use the AdaLite Wallet, you can follow this link.
The storage of Cardano (ADA) on Binance is only a good option if you intend to trade on the trading platform. Over 150 cryptocurrencies are available for trading on one of the world’s largest (adjusted trading volume) and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges. Cardano is one of those cryptocurrencies traded against Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Coin and Tether.
Since it is a stock exchange wallet, you have to be aware of the disadvantages. Firstly, Binance is in possession of your private keys, so you must rely on sufficient protection from Binance. Secondly, Binance is a popular target for hacking attacks. Just how dangerous this combination is has been demonstrated by the numerous hacks of cryptocurrency exchanges in recent years.
Even Binance experienced a hack in May 2019 in which 7,000 BTC were stolen due to a security hole in the Binance API. Binance strengthened and improved the security measures immediately after the hack. Nevertheless, the hack clearly shows the vulnerability of exchange wallets. Our recommendation is therefore: Use the Binance wallet only as long as you trade in cryptocurrencies!
If you would like to set up a Binance account, you can do so via this link*.
Our second choice is eToro, which, however, only appeals to residents outside of the US and UK (as of 01/2021). eToro is one of the largest CFD providers in the world and offers various cryptocurrencies in “physical form” as well as CFD (outside of the two aforementioned regions). Due to its high security standards and reputation, eToro can be a good option for custody in our view.
**68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Cryptoasset investing is unregulated in some EU countries and the UK. No consumer protection. Your capital is at risk.
In the following we have summarized the most important aspects of the use of web wallets:
Further important information about the Cardano wallet test
Finally, we would like to give you a hint: We have compiled the information in this article to the best of our consciences and from our own experience and that of active traders.
Despite all efforts on our part, you should seek further information and opinions. In the best case you should just install some wallets yourself and try them out. Find out which wallet is the best choice for you.
If you have a question or a suggestion for improvement, please leave us a comment. We are happy to help you and are open for constructive criticism! We would also appreciate a positive review if you liked our contribution to the best Cardano wallets![ratings]