Even though the selection of IOTA wallets is not as large as that of Bitcoin or Ethereum, choosing the best IOTA wallet can be a complex task. In the following article we would like to give you an overview of the currently available and safest IOTA Wallets.
Before we introduce the individual wallets in more detail, however, we would like to clarify the basics first. It is important that you understand what distinguishes the different wallets and types of wallets. The most basic distinction is the differentiation between a
- cold wallet and
- hot Wallet.
The distinction is made on the basis of the characteristic “connection to the Internet”. While hot wallets are connected to the Internet, cold wallets do not have a permanent connection. This makes cold wallets much safer than hot wallets. This can be explained by the fact that hot wallets can be attacked by hackers via the Internet connection. Hackers can use your Internet connection to install malware on your computer or smartphone. Cold wallets generally do not have this point of attack.
In the crypto industry, it is common for large crypto investment firms and cryptocurrency exchanges to store only the most necessary portion of customer funds in hot wallets in order to be liquid. They manage the majority of cryptocurrencies in cold wallets (also called cold storages), because the difference in security level is so significant. You should take this as an example.
Private customers can purchase cold wallets in the form of hardware wallets or create a free paper wallet. The former are small devices, usually as large as a USB stick, that are used to manage Bitcoin, IOTA and other Altcoins offline. In contrast to cold wallets, hot wallets can be divided into various subcategories. These types have in common that the “private keys” come into contact with the Internet in different ways.
The subcategories of hot wallets are:
- IOTA desktop wallets
- IOTA mobile wallets
- IOTA online wallets
Before you buy IOTA (click here to read our guide) you should already have decided which IOTA wallet you want to use. This will save you precious time and money afterwards, which you can use more sensibly elsewhere. Besides, we’d like to give you a second piece of advice:
The storage of IOTA on a cryptocurrency exchange or with a broker (online wallet) is basically not a good option. This is because you give control of the private key to the trading platform. Our recommendation is therefore to install an external wallet and / or buy a hardware wallet in the best possible way.
IOTA Hardware Wallets
As explained above, cold storage solutions are the best and most secure way to store large amounts of cryptocurrencies such as IOTA. In comparison, they have the highest security standard, since the private key or seed from IOTA does not come into contact with the Internet. This is stored on the hardware wallet. The release of a transaction can therefore only take place via confirmation on the hardware wallet (at the touch of a button).
Should the administration software (e.g. Ledger Live) be hacked, the hackers cannot nevertheless carry out a transaction (e.g. to a manipulated address), since the user must confirm the transaction – to the (correct) destination address – on the hardware wallet at the touch of a button. Thus the hardware wallet itself would have to be hacked. The theft of your IOTA from the hardware wallet is almost impossible.
Apart from that, hardware wallets also provide very good protection in the event that the theft happens analogously, in the real world. If the device is stolen, the hardware wallet is protected by an authorization with a PIN. In addition, a 2-factor authentication can be set up for the hardware wallet, so that sharing via a second device (e.g. a smartphone) is always required. This makes it very difficult to steal the cryptocurrencies managed with the hardware wallet, even in the event of physical theft.
In our opinion, a hardware wallet is a very worthwhile investment. Even the price for our test winner, the Ledger Nano X (around 120 euros), is rather low compared to the amount you probably invested.
Admittedly, there are now a large number of hardware wallets on the market. However, IOTA is one of the least supported cryptocurrencies for hardware wallets. Currently only the Ledger Nano S and Nano X are compatible with IOTA. The second well-known manufacturer of hardware wallets, Trezor, has already indicated for the first time in May 2018 that an integration of IOTA is planned. However, implementation has not yet taken place (as of August 2019).
In the following box we have summarized the advantages and disadvantages of hardware wallets:
1.Ledger Nano X
The Ledger Nano X is the test winner in our hardware comparison test and also the best IOTA hardware wallet. The Nano X is the successor of the Ledger Nano S, which has been sold over 1.3 million times worldwide. In a direct comparison with the Nano S, the functional range of the Nano X has once again increased considerably.
The biggest innovation is certainly the Bluetooth function, whereby the device can be used as a mobile wallet. In addition, the Nano X has a much larger memory, so that up to 100 cryptocurrencies can be managed simultaneously. In addition, the display has been enlarged so that Bitcoin addresses can now be displayed completely – without scrolling. The fourth major innovation is an improved safety chip that has been installed to further increase the safety of the device.
All in all the Ledger Nano X is the best IOTA hardware wallet from our point of view. The new functions justify the (fair) price of around 120 euros.
2.Ledger Nano S
Although the Ledger Nano S is no longer Ledger’s newest model, it can still be an interesting investment. It is still one of the most secure hardware wallets on the market. Especially the very favourable price of 59 Euro makes the Ledger Nano S a very attractive investment for beginners.
The price/performance ratio of the Nano S is unbeatable. If you can live without the new functions of the Nano X and only want to manage a small number of different cryptocurrencies, you should access the Nano S in our opinion.
IOTA desktop– and mobile wallets
Desktop wallets are programs that are installed on your computer in order to send and receive IOTA. They offer the advantage over online wallets that the IOTA Seed is stored on your own device and not on the Web wallet Provider’s server. So you have full control over your IOTA. However, desktop wallets also have a big disadvantage compared to hardware wallets. Your PC is (probably) permanently connected to the Internet. So the IOTA seed can be a potential target for hackers, as phishing or other malware could be installed on your computer by hackers to steal your IOTA. However, desktop wallets offer better protection than web wallets.
Desktop wallets are in our opinion the best alternative if you don’t want to spend money on a hardware wallet and are looking for a free IOTA Wallet. The following table summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of IOTA desktop wallets compared to other types of wallets:
Mobile wallets have the advantage that you can access the wallet with your mobile phone and thus make transactions very fast and from everywhere. However, smartphones are also a very popular target for hackers. In comparison to desktop wallet they offer a comparable protection. Below we have summarized the advantages and disadvantages of mobile wallets:
Below you will find our top recommendations for a secure and reputable IOTA desktop or mobile wallet. You will notice that there is no Multi-Coin-Wallet in the list. This is due to the IOTA Tangle technology, which differs significantly from the Blockchain technology and is therefore not compatible with the common Multi-Coin wallets (such as the Atomic Wallet, Jaxx wallet or Exodus Wallet). Our recommendations are therefore:
- IOTA Trinity Wallet
- IOTA GUI Wallet
- Nostalgia Wallet
And one more note: If you have already read other guides, on other websites and have browsed IOTA wallet instructions, like the Guarda wallet and Nelium Wallet, let us tell you that these (as of August 2019) do not exist! There were occasional announcements for the Wallets. For example, the Nelium wallet was announced in January 2018 by a promo video and hyped big. However, no official release has taken place so far. From our point of view the best and free wallet by far is the IOTA Trinity Wallet.
1.IOTA Trinity wallet
The IOTA Trinity wallet is the easiest to use and safest IOTA Wallet. The wallet has a very clear and intuitive user interface, which should be self-explanatory even for beginners. The developers of the wallet attached great importance to this after the predecessor (the IOTA Light Wallet) had its weaknesses in user-friendliness.
The developers of the Trinity wallet are supported by the IOTA Foundation, which is responsible for the development of the cryptocurrency. The Trinity wallet was only launched in July 2019. However, the previously available beta version of the wallet was already very popular and has been downloaded over 160,000 times and has processed IOTA transactions worth over $1.8 billion.
Another advantage of the IOTA Trinity wallet is that it is an open source wallet developed by the IOTA developer community. This makes the source code visible and transparent for everyone. With the second version of the IOTA Trinity wallet released in August 2019, support for the Bluetooth feature of the Ledger Nano X has also been added. With this extension, Trinity Mobile users can also manage their funds with a Nano X ledger.
In addition, the wallet can be classified as very safe. The IOTA Foundation announced the full release of the Trinity wallet only after SIXGEN, a Maryland-based cyber security company, completed a full audit of the wallet. In order to support the user in protecting the Wallet, the wallet also has a so-called “Seed Vault”. This is a password-protected file that stores the seed in encrypted form. The file can then be stored on one or better still, multiple external devices or media (never on the same device). In addition, biometric authentication can be selected.
The Trinity wallet is also available in a desktop and mobile version. To download it, you need to visit the official website (click here) to download the desktop version. If you prefer the mobile version, check out the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for Android.
2.IOTA Light wallet
Before the Trinity Wallet, the IOTA Light wallet was the only option to store IOTA on an external wallet and not on a cryptocurrency exchange. Although it is our Top 2 recommendation, it is much more complicated to use and set up than the Trinity Wallet. Beginners should therefore make sure to use the Trinity Wallet, which is the successor of the IOTA Light Wallet.
The wallet has its name (“Light”) because it functions as a Light Node. This means that it is part of the tangle network without having to set up a full node. The Light Node wallet works by connecting to a full node to gain access to the tangle and enable transactions. Another disadvantage of the Light wallet is that there is no mobile version. In addition, security is generally good, but not optimal. Thus the seed is stored exclusively on your own computer. Apart from that, there are no other security features.
The IOTA Nostalgia wallet is a very rudimentary wallet user interface to access the IOTA network. It was published on GitHub in January 2017 by Dominik Schiener, one of the co-founders of IOTA, and has not been updated since.
The Nostalgia is also not recommendable for other reasons and if so, then only suitable for advanced users. So the source code of the wallet has to be modified (even if only to a small extent) so that you can connect the Nostalgia to a server running IOTA. For this you have to open the file nostalgia.html in an HTML editor and change the code lines with the “Host” and “Port”. In general, you should have at least basic knowledge of programming in order to find your way around this wallet.
If you are still interested in trying out the wallet, you can use it on Windows, Linux and MAC computers.
4.GUI Full Node IOTA wallet
The GUI Full Node IOTA wallet is for all those who want to run an IOTA Full Node and are looking for a wallet to do so. For a detailed manual and description we recommend the website IOTA Support.
IOTA online wallets
IOTA Online wallets are currently still limited to the classic online exchange wallets, as there are no wallets such as the MyEtherWallet or MetMask wallet for Ethereum. The online exchange wallets offer the advantage of being an even easier and faster way to manage IOTA than desktop wallets. Both the installation and the creation of a backup are omitted. However, exchange wallets also require a very high level of trust in trading platforms.
Users must be aware that they are relinquishing control of the private key or the IOTA Seed. Users must therefore be confident that the platform stores the private keys in cold storages. In addition, the employees of the trading platform who have administrative access must be trusted. At this point we would like to mention Mt. Gox Hack, which may have been an inside job. Ultimately, however, well-known and established exchanges and brokers have very good security precautions. Therefore, it cannot be assumed that online wallets are insecure. They only require a great deal of trust!
Below we have compiled an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of online wallets:
1.Binance web wallet
From our point of view, storing IOTA (MIOTA) on Binance is the best option among online wallets. On the one hand, you can trade over 150 cryptocurrencies out of Binance’s online wallet. On the other hand, Binance is one of the world’s largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges. As with any Exchange Wallet, you should be aware that the IOTA Seed is managed by Binance. Accordingly, the security must also be rated lower than with the aforementioned wallets. This is because your IOTA Seed is located on external servers.
Even though Binance is one of the most secure cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, a hack can never be ruled out. Binance was already hacked in May 2019 and 7,000 BTC were stolen. Fortunately, Binance took full responsibility for the hack and made up for the loss. This means that Binance users have not suffered any damage. Nevertheless, the hack shows that you should use cryptocurrency exchanges exclusively for trading IOTA and not for permanent storage. If you want to store your IOTA for a long time, you should use the Ledger Nano S, Ledger Nano X or Trinity Wallet.
You can register an account on Binance by clicking on this link*.
The eToro wallet is a special wallet. This is because the eToro account (web wallet) has a deposit guarantee of up to €20,000 per customer. This is not usual and is offered by the fewest brokers and exchanges. In principle, users bear the risk of loss or theft. This great advantage can be particularly interesting for newcomers who are less familiar with the handling and setting up of a wallet.
However, users of the eToro wallet also have to accept two disadvantages! On the one hand, the storage of the IOTA per day is subject to so-called “overnight fees“, which make the longer holding on eToro rather unattractive (details on the amount of the fees can be found in our eToro review). On the other hand, IOTA cannot be transferred to an external wallet.
All in all, the eToro wallet has one big advantage, but also two big disadvantages. Depending on what is more important to you, the eToro wallet may or may not be an option for you. To use the eToro Wallet, you need to create an account with eToro (click here*).
3.Coinmerce online wallet
Coinmerce is a broker from the Netherlands, which enables the direct purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies per euro. In addition to trading, Coinmerce offers its users the option of storing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on the exchange. In this case, the exchange takes over the task of taking care of your private key.
For Coinmerce, the platform has never been hacked before. In addition, according to Coinmerce, the majority of cryptocurrencies are stored in a cold storage to protect against hackers.
If you click on this link*, you will be taken to the official website of the exchange where you can create an account.
We summarize for you the most important things about Online / Web Wallets:
IOTA offline wallets / IOTA paper wallets
IOTA Paper wallets have the reputation of being a “safe wallet”. But what exactly does paper wallet mean and how can IOTA be stored in a wallet with a piece of paper? The difference to a digital wallet is actually very simple and quickly explained: The paper wallet is a piece of paper on which the seed is placed (“stored”). The advantage over a digital wallet is obvious.
If the IOTA Seed is generated completely offline and also created offline on a paper wallet, no hacker can access it. Many IOTA buyers make the mistake that they store their seed unencrypted on their own PC. Hackers can then very easily steal the seed from the computer and empty the wallet. The big disadvantage of a paper wallet, however, is that the piece of paper cannot be used to send transactions. To send transactions, you have to go online! For security reasons, an IOTA paper wallet should therefore only be used once and a new paper wallet created afterwards.
IOTA offline wallets are especially useful if you do not want to access the IOTA (MIOTA) for a long time. You can then store your IOTA paper wallet in a safe place. It is important that your PC and printer are free of viruses and malware. This can be a potential weakness of the IOTA Paper Wallet.
To create an IOTA paper wallet there is for example the Arancauchi paper wallet Generator. This generator is very popular within the IOTA community. The code of the generator is open-source and available on GitHub. We are also pleased that the IOTA paper wallet Generator is available as an offline version. Nevertheless, it must be mentioned that this is a third-party program whose seriousness must be trusted!
The tool accesses the IOTA libraries, which are used for “address creation”. If you are interested in the paper wallet Generator, you can test it on this website (GitHub). For security reasons we recommend to use the offline version!
Further important information about the IOTA wallet test
Please note that we have compiled the information to the best of our knowledge and experience. However, you should always seek further information and test different wallets to find the best wallet for you. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding our IOTA wallet review, please feel free to leave us a comment. We’ll be glad to help you!
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