What are Altcoins?
At the beginning of the crypto era, Bitcoin stood as the only functional digital assets with blockchain as its underlying technology. In time, we slowly witnessed the rise of a new breed of cryptocurrencies that, to a certain degree, tweaked the bitcoin protocol to create new functionalities and features. These cryptocurrencies are what is widely known as altcoin (coined from the fact that they are alternatives to Bitcoin). All the cryptocurrencies active in the crypto market, and not named bitcoin, fall under this category.
While many of these coins have customized wallets, it is, however, difficult for crypto participants, with extensively diversified holdings, to keep track of such an array of wallets. Hence, the need for a single wallet that can support multiple altcoins. This is where altcoin wallets enter the fray. This tool has multicurrency adaptive features that enable security and transaction services to altcoin's holders.
Owing to the growing affinity for crypto diversification strategies, an altcoin wallet has become a must-have tool for crypto enthusiasts. And as it is with the majority of the services and products available in the crypto space, you ought to consider several factors while picking a wallet for altcoins. Before exploring these factors, let’s take you through some of the different types of altcoin wallets available in the market.
Software altcoin wallets
Software altcoins wallet is a broad name for application-based altcoin wallets. It can be broken down into online (web) wallets, desktop wallets, and mobile wallets.
Online altcoin wallets
Online wallets for altcoins are cloud-based applications that users can access via their computers. All you need do is register on the application, get your private key, and start facilitating transactions. A lot of crypto practitioners opt for this type of wallet because it is easy to use. However, utilizing an online wallet exposes you to more risks than you would normally encounter on other types of altcoin wallets. This is especially true for online wallets that store users’ private keys, as this mode of operation makes them prone to attacks. If you are convinced that this category of wallets is suitable for your crypto activities, then you should consider the security measures available on the wallet before choosing one. This is one of the core factors that would help you pick the best online wallets for altcoins. You can access the rest in the section of this guide that explained our review guidelines.
Desktop altcoin wallets
Desktop wallets are one of the safest wallets out there. This wallet offers functions that make it less susceptible to attacks. Nonetheless, there is a drawback. You have to download the entirety of the coin’s blockchain on your computer before you can transact using a desktop wallet. Imagine having to download a blockchain as large as the Etheruem blockchain just to get started? Nevertheless, people who are critical about the safety of their holdings might see this as a little price to pay for added security benefits. After downloading the blockchain, a special file will store your private key, then you can start using the wallet to perform transactions.
From the basic understanding of how a desktop wallet works, you will agree that it might take a bit of time to set up one, particularly if you own multiple altcoins. For those that are ready to go through this lengthy process, ensure that you carry out in-depth analysis to select the best desktop wallet for altcoins.
Mobile altcoin wallets
As the world continues to shift to mobile-based services, so also are mobile wallets increasingly stealing the spotlight. In its basic form, a mobile wallet is an app that allows users to store their private keys and access it on the go. In other words, you can simply get yourself a mobile wallet, create a private key, and access your holdings via your mobile phone anywhere in the world. Even better, you can use some mobile wallets to pay at retail stores that accept crypto. With mobile wallets that support multiple coins, you can put all your crypto holdings into one wallet and access them at any given time. On the downside, there are security threats associated with using mobile wallets. A stolen phone could expose the owner to crypto thefts. Also, since a majority of these wallets are custodians of their users’ private keys, they are target practice for hackers.
Hardware altcoin wallets
Hardware wallets are the opposite of software wallets because the private keys are embedded into a hardware device designed to function as a wallet. We can also call them offline wallets, as you would only need to connect the device to the internet whenever you want to make transactions. There are several hardware wallet providers in the crypto space, and you might need to do extensive research to pick the best hardware wallet for altcoins.
Paper altcoin wallet
Another class of offline wallets is paper wallets for altcoins. These wallets are less technical, as you only need to generate your public address and private key and print it out or write it on paper. Hence, whenever you want to make payments, you only need to enter your private key into the required field in a software wallet. As expected, losing the paper and its content could spell doom to your holdings (unless you have multiple copies, which also increases the chances of falling victim to crypto theft).
Now that you understand the workings of the different types of wallets for altcoins available in the market, the next section will explain the factors we at Cryptolinks considered while picking our list of the best altcoin wallets. These factors are:
The range of altcoins supported
● Added features
What alt coins are supported by these wallets?
All altcoin wallets are multicoin wallets. The only difference is the number of coins each wallet supports. While some altcoins wallets are selective as regards the number of cryptocurrencies users can store on them, others operate as a universal wallet for the growing number of altcoins. Knowing that you might be tempted to go for a universal wallet, we have, therefore, included a series of analytic models to help you choose wisely. Here, it is not necessarily the range of altcoins supported that matters, but how well the wallet supports them. For this review, we have chosen altcoin wallets that have shown, time and again, that they can effortlessly provide support for their chosen altcoins. On the other hand, you should consider the altcoins you are looking to buy before picking any of the best multicoin wallets on our list.
How safe are altcoin wallets?
Details regarding the security protocols and features are the most important piece of information in each wallet review. Since your altcoin wallet is primarily a security tool, it is only fair that it delivers standard security features. If this is not the case, then we advise that you look for alternatives. It is this assertion that motivated our relentless search for altcoin wallets that boast sophisticated security protocols. For one, two-factor authentication processes are a must for wallets. Even, some wallets have included biometrics to their validation process to ensure that users' holdings are safe.
Then there are crypto custody services that wallet providers are increasingly subscribing to. With this, it is easy to for users to claim coins lost to hacks. Note that this option is only available to people who opt for insured online or mobile wallets where the private keys are in the custody of the wallet provider. We have also considered the type of encryption each wallet is utilizing. All in all, Cryptolinks have examined a variety of security requirements for this review, and we advise that you do the same.
How is with altcoin wallet accessibility?
From the definition of each type of wallet discussed earlier, it is safe to say that you have an idea of the level of accessibility that each avail. Accessibility refers to the capacity of the wallet to bypass geolocation barriers. In other words, it indicates how easy it is to use the wallet anytime and anywhere. For roaming crypto holders, it is better to opt for a wallet that is not geo-selective. In this review, we emphasized on the capacity of the altcoin wallet to function properly anywhere in the world.
While this is a given, the level of accessibility a wallet offers also depends on the category it falls under. Although using an online or mobile wallet comes with risks, they, however, make it relatively easy for users to access their holdings. Likewise, looking beyond the perceived restrictions associated with hardware wallet for altcoins, wallet providers are tweaking their products to improve the speed at which users can access their coins.
Do you need to update altcoin wallets?
Owing to the delicate nature of altcoin wallets' functionalities and the growing number of cases of hacks, wallet providers must, therefore, continue to evolve their services or products. This assertion holds as wallet providers must analyze their systems occasionally to pinpoint loopholes that attackers might capitalize on. The ability of your wallet provider to update its system very much determines its credibility.
Also, we got to look at the frequency of updates that each of the listed altcoin wallet releases and how easy it is for users to access them. Similarly, we went further to examine the users' feedback after a system upgrade. The questions asked here were: Was it easy for users to understand the importance of the update? And did the update fix critical frailties or increase the efficacy of the wallet?
What are the additional features of altcoin wallets?
Altcoin wallets are exploring other ways to cater to the needs of their users other than securing private keys. As such, some wallets have adopted features that go beyond securing crypto. For one innovative payment features are becoming standard requirements for running a topnotch wallet. Also, some offer tracking tools, exchange tools, and much more. In this review, we acknowledged the innovative wave sweeping across the altcoin wallets market and ensured that our analysis encapsulated the new trend. Hence, we considered the features of each altcoins wallet, its essence, and the value it adds to users.
That said, we advise that you examine your needs as a crypto practitioner while doing your research. For example, a crypto trader would value features that help him or her track earnings for tax purposes than a feature that adds no value to his or her business.
How Then Should You Go About Utilizing Our Review on Altcoin Wallets?
In this guide, we have introduced you to the fundamentals of altcoin wallets, the various types available today, and the factors that we considered while researching the best multicoin wallet. From our analytic process, you will agree that this review took into account vital details that define the efficacy of an altcoin wallet. In this section, we will show you how to put this information to good use.
First, you must assess the security capacity of the altcoin wallet under consideration. Note that the more altcoins a wallet supports, the higher the risk of attacks or hacks. Therefore, you might need to stick to a wallet that has historically shown that it can offer premium security features for the range of altcoins it supports. However, this is not enough, as it is vital to also confirm its accessibility. Lastly, you can take a look at the added features the wallet provides to determine how it improves your crypto activities.
All in all, we recommend that you choose an altcoin wallet that incorporates all of the factors mentioned in this guide. By so doing, you can ascertain that you are not lacking important functions that a standard altcoin wallet should avail.
At the moment, 12 altcoin wallets meet Cryptlinks criteria for the best altcoin wallets. This list encompasses a variety of wallets that have adopted the concept of software altcoin wallets or topped the list of best offline wallet for altcoins.