Monero (XMR) is an open source, decentralised, privacy centric cryptocurrency that allows you to transact anonymously. Unlike Bitcoin, Monero uses cryptography to shield receiving and sending addresses as well as transacted amounts on the blockchain. If Monero is your cryptocurrency of choice, you’ll need somewhere to store it – so here’s what you need to know about XMR wallets.
Features to look for in a Monero wallet
- XMR Support – Make sure that the wallet supports XMR as opposed to one of the forks such as XMO, XMV, etc.
- User Friendly – A user-friendly interface is important if you are new to the crypto scene and want to avoid feeling intimidated.
- Privacy – Ensure that the wallet has features that incorporate good privacy measures and protect your anonymity
- Security – There are security features you need to look for, such as: how are you protected against hacking and theft? Do you hold your private keys or does a third party hold them? What encryption is used to protect your data? As well as, how easy it is to back up and restore your wallet?
- Customer support – In case of difficulty, it helps to have a support line you can contact.
- Ongoing development – You want to be using a wallet that is more than an old, forgotten about project. A wallet should always have a development team that is constantly working on upgrading and improving their product.
We will be looking at the highs and lows of 4 different types of wallets in this article – A desktop wallet, a web wallet, mobile wallets and a hardware wallet.
Monero Gui – desktop wallet
The Monero GUI (Graphical User Interface) is based on top of the Monero CLI (Command Line Interface). It is a downloadable desktop wallet that is very widely used and trusted.
- The GUI is Monero’s official desktop client is available for Windows, Mac, Linux and a range of other operating systems.
- Designed specifically for XMR support
- The wallet has a simple and easy to use interface making it an option for crypto newbies
- The official GUI is very secure and is always being worked on by Monero developers.
- The GUI is a full-node wallet which means that waiting for it to download and sync with the blockchain is time consuming
- The wallet requires a considerable amount of processing power and hard drive space.
MyMonero – Web wallet
MyMonero is a web wallet that was created by Monero’s lead maintainer – Riccardo ‘FluffyPony’ Spagni. The wallet reviewed below is the web wallet but MyMonero has also released a desktop wallet and mobile wallet to combat the security risks that come with using a web wallet.
- Easy to use, intuitive interface.
- Constantly being worked and improved upon by a development team
- Free access to support in case of difficulty
- You can store your XMR without the need to run a full node.
- Your private keys are encrypted and are never accessible by the MyMonero team.
- All web wallets come with security risks such as the possibility of phishing. This is why anyone using a web wallet is encouraged to store small amounts of money in them. The MyMonero team has released a desktop wallet to combat this issue.
- Whilst it is not a custodial platform, in order to access your account, you have to enter your 13-word mnemonic seed, if you lose this seed or if it is stolen – you lose access to your account or your funds can be taken. The best fix here is to keep your seed off your laptop and in a secure place, like a vault.
Mobile wallets -MyMonero and Cake Wallet(iOS) & Monerujo(Android)
MyMonero – iOS wallet
To combat the security threats that go along with using a web wallet, the MyMonero team released a mobile wallet for both convenience and security. Currently, this wallet is only available on iOS devices but there is talk of an android version being released soon.
- Mobile and convenient
- More secure than a web wallet
- Free support line available to users
- Wallet is constantly being upgraded and involved by an active development team
- Wallet is currently only available for iOS devices
Cake Wallet – iOS wallet
Cake wallet is a Monero wallet app that is designed exclusively for iOS devices. It is a ‘light wallet’, allowing users to access the XMR blockchain without having to download all of the blockchain data. With an impressive 4.2 out of 5 on the app store, this wallet has become a household name for XMR users.
- The app has a very intuitive interface that is easy to use for both the novice and experienced XMR enthusiasts.
- Despite being an XMR wallet, Cake wallet comes equipped with a built-in exchange for a host of other coins.
- The app has good privacy features such as your private keys being stored by you and not by a central authority.
- Users are able to create and import multiple wallets allowing them to transact fluidly and safely.
- This app is designed exclusively for iOS devices which means that android users miss out on this one.
Monerujo – Android wallet
Monerujo is an open source Android Monero wallet. This Android app is a light wallet that uses remote nodes to synchronize to the Monero blockchain. The opensource nature of the app’s code has allowed for Monero community members to verify the code, ensuring that it does not have any malicious pieces of code built in.
- Portable and convenient
- Manages multiple payments
- All your private data is stored on your phone
- App has an easy to navigate interface
- QR scanning is available for sending and receiving
- The wallet is only available for Android devices
Ledger NanoS – hardware wallet
The ledger NanoS does not actually hold your crypto, it protects information like your private keys. Sensitive operations are isolated inside your hardware wallet within a state-of-the-art Secure Element, locked by a PIN code. Transactions can’t get tampered with, they are physically verified on the embedded screen with a simple press on a button.
- Versatile and portable
- Very secure and includes security features such as 2-factor authentication, a secured pin code and recovery seed accessibility.
- It has a built-in OLED screen, where you can check the transaction details with a double tap button. Rather than actually storing your currency, the Nano S tracks your XMR holdings on the blockchain.
- One of these devices retails for between $95 and $99 which is quite steep.