We must all be familiar with the concept of digital currency or cryptocurrency. Even if we might not understand the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies, I am sure we can grasp the concept of how they work. Now, BitCoin is a cryptocurrency you would have definitely heard of because of its rise to popularity in the past few years. With the spotlight on cryptocurrencies, more types of similar currencies have launched, and one of them is IOTA.
IOTA is a cryptocurrency that was launched in 2017. It is currently among the top five most-traded cryptocurrencies. The feature that sets IOTA apart from the rest, is that it does not use blockchain technology. Instead, it uses Tangle — an Open-Source Distributed Ledger technology. This simplifies IOTA transactions between devices on the Internet of Things.
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What Are IOTA Wallets?
Just like you need a wallet to store and keep your physical money safe, IOTA coins need to be secured and stored in a wallet as well. Today there are many different types of options of IOTA wallets are available, and choosing one can be confusing. But don’t you worry, this article will explain to you how different types of IOTA wallets work, and provide a complete review and comparison for the top 5 IOTA wallets.
Types of IOTA Wallets
There are five different types of IOTA wallets: Hardware Wallets, Desktop Wallets, Mobile Wallets, Exchange Wallets, and Web Wallets. Each type of IOTA wallet offers different levels of security, accessibility, and functionality. In terms of security, the following list shows wallet types ranging from most secure (Hardware Wallet) to least secure (Web Wallet). So let’s look at each of them in detail
As mentioned previously, Hardware wallets are the most secure types of IOTA wallets. They store and secure coins offline in a physical hardware device. You can access the wallet by plugging in the device to your computer or laptop. Since it only connects to a server when it is plugged in, it is not vulnerable to hacking threats or theft.
Hardware wallets are best suited if you have to store a large number of IOTA coins.
Desktop wallets are wallets that you download on your laptop or personal computer just like any other software application. The wallet holds your currency offline on your device and only you can access it using your special private key.
Your currency remains safe in your device while only connecting to the internet when performing transactions. However, since you can only access it using your computer device it can be inconvenient.
Mobile Wallets are similar to Desktop Wallet except that the wallet is downloaded on your mobile phone. You can store IOTA coins on your mobile wallet, and you can access them on your phone from anywhere. This makes it a more convenient wallet type than a Desktop wallet. Besides, it also offers additional features, such as scanning QR codes with your phone camera to perform transactions.
However, your wallet can be at risk if your phone is stolen or if your mobile device gets infected with viruses.
Exchange wallets are software programs where you can not only store crypto coins but also exchange “real money” for cryptocurrency. However, they do not offer full control over the wallet and use centralized servers for exchange.
This makes exchange wallets a less secure option for holding large amounts of coins. Therefore, it is preferred to move coins to your own private (desktop, hardware or mobile) wallet after exchange and transactions.
Web Wallets are online wallets where you can hold your IOTA coins. You can access them using a web browser and make fund transfers and transactions. In terms of accessibility and ease of use, web wallets are the best type of wallets.
However, web wallets offer the lowest level of security for your currency, as hacking, theft, and cyber-attacks are constant risks of using online wallets. Unlike private hardware, desktop, and mobile wallets where you own and control the wallet, web wallets are owned and controlled by a third-party. Using a web wallet is similar to handing all your money to a stranger and trusting them with it.
So now that we have understood the different types of IOTA wallets, let’s move on to compare and review top IOTA wallets in 2019.
Top Five IOTA Wallets in 2019:
Although IOTA is a fairly new cryptocurrency, due to its rising popularity, numerous IOTA wallets are available today. In this section, you will find a discussion on Trinity, GUI Light IOTA Wallet, Ledger Nano S, Nostalgia IOTA Light Wallet, and Coinbase.
Trinity Wallets are a top choice for IOTA wallets because they are developed by the IOTA organization. It offers mobile and desktop wallets to hold your IOTA coins. A unique selling point for Trinity is that it easy to set up and use; it provides a high level of security using seed encryption. The user-friendliness of Trinity’s mobile and desktop software makes it a perfect choice for beginners.
Although Trinity is not compatible with any other cryptocurrency besides IOTA, it offers a Market Watch feature that allows you to monitor currency exchange rates and market value of a range of cryptocurrencies. The Trinity wallet for mobile is compatible with both iOS and Android, and the desktop wallet is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.
GUI Light Wallet is another great option for beginners because of how easy it is to use. It is an open source desktop wallet for Windows, Mac, and Linux that can be downloaded from GitHub. The process to set up GUI light consists of a few easy steps that anyone can handle.
When GUI Light is downloaded and set up, users are required to choose between the two wallet types: Light node wallet and Full node wallet. A light node wallet is perfect for beginners who want to perform simple transactions of sending, receiving, and storing IOTA.
The full node type, on the other hand, is for complex uses and is only advised to be used if you have the required technical expertise. GUI Light is undoubtedly one of the best IOTA wallets for those who are on the lookout for easy navigation and a simple user interface.
Ledger Nano S
Ledger Nano S is a hardware wallet for a range of cryptocurrencies including IOTA. It secures users’ funds offline in a hardware device, which can be plugged in a server to access and make transactions. The highly secured chip used by Ledger Nano S keeps your funds completely protected from any type of security threat. This is the reason why this wallet is trusted by professional cryptocurrency traders and beginners alike to hold their IOTA funds.
Ledger Nano S is a wallet for you if you are searching for a fast and highly secured wallet to secure a large amount of IOTA funds. However, note that it is a fairly technical wallet, which requires technical experience especially for setting up and configuring the wallet. Hence it is comparatively less user-friendly.
Nostalgia IOTA Light Wallet
Nostalgia Light Wallet is another top choice for IOTA wallets. It can be downloaded on Mac, Windows, and Linux and easily used to store cryptocurrency. It is a light solution that allows it to perform at a higher speed and makes it possible for you to make quick payments.
Nostalgia Light Wallet also offers exemplary security features to keep your IOTA secured. However, Nostalgia is a bit complicated for those just starting to work with cryptocurrencies.
Coinbase is an exchange wallet that does not only offer services to store and manage IOTA funds but also to trade them. It is a popular wallet for not just IOTA but other cryptocurrencies as well. Coinbase’s mobile application is available for Android and Mac, which can easily be downloaded.
A key feature of Coinbase Wallet is that it is an easily accessible and user-friendly wallet. With simple navigation you can manage your crypto funds and collectables with ease; it is just like using any other mobile app. In terms of security features, Coinbase uses a biometric authentication process to keep your IOTA funds safe.
IOTA and other cryptocurrencies are growing in demand today and more people are investing in them. It does not matter if you are a beginner or a professional trader, but if you own IOTA coins then you need to store them in an IOTA wallet.
There are different types of IOTA wallets including Hardware, Desktop, Mobile, Exchange and Web wallets each with different features and offerings. Whereas, Trinity, GUI Light, Ledger Nano S, Nostalgia IOTA Wallet and Coinbase are some of the top choices for IOTA wallets.
Before you decide to opt for any of these wallets, you must weigh the pros and cons of each wallet option. And to make an informed decision keep in mind four key features of IOTA: Security, Accessibility, Usability, and Functionality. I hope this article proved helpful for you in deciding which IOTA wallet to choose.