Monero (XMR) has climbed to the number 10 position in terms of market capitalization because cryptocurrency users appreciate the privacy features that come with the use of Monero.
Along with the growth in popularity of Monero, the number of wallets that support this privacy-centric coin have also increased. This makes it more difficult to decide which wallet is best for storing your Monero, but I’m here to help you navigate that decision.
In the following guide to the best Monero wallets you’ll learn about five different ways to store your XMR, ranging from hardware wallets to mobile and desktop wallets, and even web based and paper wallet. You’ll get to know the top pros and cons of the various wallets, and will be able to make a more informed decision as to which Monero wallet is best for your needs.
Before we dig into the various wallet and storage options, it is important to point out our criteria for the selection of the “best” Monero wallets. We are basing this on the security of the wallet, ongoing support, community feedback, ease of use and cost.
There may be other wallets that have been mentioned but we didn’t think that they stacked up to the same level as some of these more established options. With that being said, let’s start with one of the most secure and expensive options.
The Ledger Nano S is one of the most popular hardware wallets, providing top of the line security for your cryptocurreny holdings. It can be used to store hundreds of different cryptocurrencies, and as of April 2018 it has support for Monero as well.
Users waited a long time for the Ledger to add Monero support, and even now it isn’t well publicized. This is probably because some users are intimidated with the set-up process. It requires the user to be relatively comfortable with using the command line. However, ledger does have a helpful step by step guide in order to help you set this up.
This means Monero holders can take advantage of all the security features offered by hardware wallets such as Ledger.
The only downside to the Ledger is the cost, which is currently $99.
If you’re looking for a more cost effective solution for storing your XMR coins why not go with the official Monero desktop client. You can get it from the official Monero website and it’s available for Windows, Mac, Linux and other operating systems. It’s designed to allow for ease of use when storing or transmitting Monero holdings.
The official Monero desktop wallet is a full-node wallet, which means you’ll have to wait for the wallet to download and synch with the full blockchain. Not only does this take a long time, it also takes up a good amount of hard drive space and processing power. If that doesn’t appeal then it might not be the right wallet for you.
Once everything downloads and syncs the wallet is fairly easy to use, but it helps if you have some prior crypto experience.
The basics of sending and receiving are quite simple, and you’ll find access to your XMR coins is both fast and reliable. It isn’t the most user friendly wallet though, so newcomers to the world of cryptocurrencies may want to consider a wallet that is more user friendly.
MyMonero is an easy and simple way to store your Monero. It’s an online wallet, meaning you can access it from any web browser. It is managed by the same Monero core developer who created the Monero Ledger integration, and provides users with secure, hosted Monero accounts.
If you want a hassle-free option for storing Monero without the need to run a full node you’ll probably appreciate the web based MyMonero interface. You can have an account registered in less than a minute, but please note the need to remember or record the 13-word login key. It’s not stored on the Monero servers, so if you forget or lose this key you’ll also lose access to your account.
While this web wallet is a fast and convenient option, it also exposes your coins to the greatest security risks. MyMonero even warns you of this during the wallet creation process with the following message:
“… It is extremely difficult for MyMonero to securely deliver its code to your browser. This means that there is considerable risk in using MyMonero for large amounts!”
If you do have large amounts of Monero or want to store it for an extended period of time your best option is a hardware wallet, or a paper wallet, which I’ll address later.
Monerujo was created as an oprn source Android app, allowing mobile users a way to store and transmit Monero. Because it is open source, the code has been examined and verified to be free of any malicious code by the Monero community.
Monerujo has been popular with the Monero community, and the app has a 4.2 star rating on Google Play, with nearly 300 reviews. It’s been downloaded and installed more than 10,000 times according to the Google Play store.
Monerujo runs as a light wallet, giving you the option of running your own node or of using remote nodes to synchronize your wallet with the Monero blockchain. This allows the app to be small and lightweight, taking up very little space on your Android mobile device.
And for a light wallet Moneroujo is quite full featured. It gives you the ability to import or create multiple addresses, so you can easily move XMR between several address in the same app. This can be very useful if you use several wallets for different purposes – say one for long-term storage and another for daily use.
You can also use the built in QR code scanning ability, allowing you to more easily send Monero without the hassle of typing in long Monero addresses.
Another very handy feature is the integration of the XMR.to service in the app, which allows users to send Monero to a Bitcoin address, where it is received as Bitcoin. All the conversions are down in the background so it’s a seamless process, and one that can be very handy, allowing you to pay for Bitcoin transactions anonymously.
While people don’t really talk about paper wallets as much as they did several years ago, a paper wallet is still and excellent way to securely store your Monero for the long term. You’ll find a Monero paper wallet generator at MoneroAddress and you can even use it offline so your keys are never exposed.
The Monero paper wallet will give you two QR codes and two keys, one which is your private key, and one which is a public key that can be shared to have Monero sent directly to the paper wallet.
A paper wallet, when used correctly, is one of the most secure wallets, with almost no risk of getting hacked or having your coins stolen.
Exactly which wallet you should use highly depends on your own personal requirements and resources. Each of the wallet options above may satisfy one requirement but be lacking in another. It is often a trade-off one has to make when selecting the best Monero wallet.
If you have a great deal of XMR that you want to store for a long term HODL then you are probably best suited going for the Ledger Nano S or a paper wallet. While the former may be more expensive, the latter is easy to lose and you will still have to use a wallet client if you want to send coins out.
MyMonero is probably one of the quickest ways to set up a Monero wallet and start sending XMR, but it is also susceptible to phishing. The Monero Official GUI and the Monerujo are probably the most user friendly options but are of less secure as offline storage.
There is a great deal of excitement around the Monero ecosystem currently. Hence, there are quite a few multi-currency wallet providers that are working on XMR integration. For example, the team over at Trezor have been working on Monero support for a while and plan to release it in their Trezor Model T soon.
This could be great for those Monero fans who want a hardware wallet option for their XMR and are not particularly keen on the Ledger Nano. If you are in this camp then you are probably best suited to use a free option in the interim until Trezor releases their official update.
However, whatever wallet option you do eventually decide to go with, make sure that you follow cryptocurrency security best practices. These wallets are pretty secure but they rely on prudent use as in many cases the weakest link is the user.
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