Mobile wallets are mobile phone applications that manage your cryptocurrency private keys and public addresses, as well as balances.
Mobile wallets are similar to web wallets except for one crucial difference: your private keys are not held on a server. Instead the private keys are stored on your personal mobile device (like your iPhone or Android).
Many mobile wallets also have desktop wallet counterparts that allow for crypto to be easily moved from a relatively safe desktop wallet to a more convenient mobile wallet. My favorite desktop/mobile wallet combination is Exodus.
Are Mobile Wallets Safe?
These days most of us like to use our mobile phone for just about everything. So it makes sense that we might want to use a crypto wallet on our mobile phone for some transactions. If done correctly, I think this is okay.
What I mean is only keep small amounts of crypto on your phone for regular use. When you want to store crypto for long-term use a hardware wallet. And for me, when I want to store crypto mid-term, I use a desktop wallet, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Be careful and keep small amounts on mobile devices.
When smartphones were a new product, the security frameworks of mobile operating systems and apps were underdeveloped compared to those of the personal computer. Today, mobile apps have advanced substantially in terms of security – biometric identification and two-factor authentication (2FA) are two security methods that greatly reduce the threat footprint.
They have features like QR codes for simplifying payment processing when purchasing products or services with crypto. And many mobile wallets incorporate exchange applications for buying and selling crypto.
The number one reasons to use a mobile wallet are accessibility and convenience.
Most Popular Mobile Wallets
- Exodus – interfaces with the desktop wallet, popular and highly rated
- Atomic – supports over 300 cyrptocurrencies
- Trust – interfaces with Binance Int’l exchange who acquired this mobile wallet in 2018
- Coinbase wallet – interfaces with Coinbase exchange
- Guarda wallet – buy crypto with fiat money directly in the wallet
- Mycelium – one of the older and most trusted wallets, lots of features
- Blockchain – very popular, auto backups, problems with recent update
- Edge (formerly Airbitz) beginner friendly, has built-in exchange
- Edge wallet – one of the oldest beginner friendly wallets
- Blockchain wallet – another wallet that’s been around a long time
The Coinbase wallet is one of the best mobile crypto wallets for beginners and experienced users alike. The Coinbase Exchange and Coinbase Mobile Wallet are owned by the same company, but you don’t need to have an account on Coinbase Exchange to use Coinbase Mobile Wallet.