Ethereum, as the second most popular cryptocurrency in the world, has a pretty large amount of blockchain activities. It is literally the most used platform for issuing new tokens. Yes, many altcoins released in 2017 to 2020 were almost all issued in the form of ERC-20, which operates inside the Ethereum ecosystem.
For that reason, Ethereum wallets become much more popular than most other cryptocurrency wallets – because you can use it for many different tokens, and not just Ether (ETH).
People who want to learn how to use an Ethereum wallet aren’t just Ether believers. Considering many altcoins are also operating on Ethereum, it is actually understandable to see them using Ethereum wallet even though they might not hold many ETHs and only use the wallet to HODL other ERC-20 tokens.
So, what wallet applications are the best Ethereum wallets?
Available on both iOS and Play store, Trust Wallet was designed to simplify user experience from the get-go. After you create your account and save your backup phrase, you would be able to see the default home interface, and it is pretty straightforward. You see a list of tokens, and you can add more ERC-20 tokens by clicking the + button on the top-right.
The great thing about Trust Wallet is that it automatically detects any incoming ERC-20 token transaction. For example, if your wallet receives a random ERC-20 token, you would be able to see the same token on the homepage. It is very convenient because many other Ethereum wallet applications still force you to manually add the token contract address if you want to see a specific ERC-20 token that you own.
At the moment, some other wallet applications have been able to detect incoming ERC-20 token as well and automatically add it to your wallet list, but Trust Wallet was the pioneer. Trust Wallet is currently owned by Binance, the most famous crypto exchange in the world. Many people use it for the fact that it is backed by a huge crypto company and also because the user interface is very straightforward.
With Trust Wallet, you can easily buy and sell cryptocurrencies within just two touches from the main homepage. You can also Export your Private Key and backup phrase easily. Trust Wallet supports other blockchains such as Bitcoin, VeChain, and many others.
Created and managed by the Enjin team (who became famous due to their partnership with Samsung Galaxy S10), Enjin Wallet is one of the top Ethereum wallet applications you will want to use. Just like Trust Wallet, Enjin Wallet is one of the most straightforward Ethereum wallet applications.
After you create an account and save your backup information somewhere else, you can go straight to the “Main Wallet” interface, where the default coin list will be displayed (with ETH being one of them). To send or receive ETH, you can just click “ETH” from the Main Wallet menu, and there will be two buttons (on top-right) “Send” and “Receive”.
To add an ERC-20 token, you can click the + button on the top-right. Under Select Coins, you can select the “Ethereum” tab and select the ERC-20 token that you want to add to your coin list. You can also choose “Add Custom Token” to manually add a token contract address.
Of course, just like most other popular crypto wallet applications, Enjin Wallet also supports Bitcoin, BNB, and other popular alts. A simple multi-crypto wallet application.
Ledger Nano Or Other Hardware Wallets
Another big recommendation to store your ETH (or any ERC-20 token) is a hardware wallet called Ledger Nano. Yes, it is a bit of hassle to buy a hardware device, but it’s also the most secure way to store your cryptocurrencies. For you who are still new in the crypto space, a hardware wallet basically blocks remote hackers to send away your cryptocurrencies even if your device is fully compromised.
That means you can only send away cryptocurrencies from your Ledger Nano after you press the hardware button located on the Ledger Nano itself. If (for some reason) your smartphone or computer device gets hacked by someone from the other side of the world, the hacker still wouldn’t be able to press the hardware button on your ledger nano to send away your crypto. This fact alone would give you much better peace of mind.
It’s highly recommended to use Ledger Nano or other hardware wallets to store your ETH and ERC-20 tokens if you are a crypto investor (which means you prefer to HODL your crypto for a long time). If you are just a trader who doesn’t really HODL cryptocurrencies for a long period of time, having a Ledger Nano or other hardware wallets could feel inconvenient.
An alternative to a Ledger Nano is a Trezor device. Just like Ledger Nano, you are also forced to push a hardware button on your Trezor if you want to send away your ETH or other cryptocurrencies. That being said, Ledger Nano looks like the more secure cold wallet (compared to Trezor) due to the fact that someone can steal your private keys if they physically steal your Trezor device. Meanwhile, you cannot do the same thing to a Ledger Nano. Trezor device is still safe as long as you keep it at home.
Managed by Consensys, Metamask is one of the oldest Ethereum wallets in the crypto space. Originally, Metamask was only available in the form of Chrome extension, but now it’s also available for both iOS and Android. You can also use other Chromium-based browsers and install Metamask as the extension (for example, Metamask is also compatible with Brave browser and Chromium Edge).
Metamask is not as convenient and as simple as Trust Wallet or Enjin Wallet. It is also not as secure as hardware wallets. However, it’s still a good balance between the two. You can easily log in and export backup phrase and/or private keys with your Metamask. To add an ERC-20 token, you can just click the three lines on the top-left, scroll, down, and click add a token. To send ETH, it’s pretty easy with Metamask. Just click the “Send” button after you log in, and you will be asked the recipient’s address along with the gas fees preference.
Metamask is perhaps one of the oldest targets of criminal phishing. When you want to download metamask, always make sure the extension (or the app) has plenty of reviews. The safest way is to go directly to their website metamask.io and download directly from there. In the past, there were some fake Metamask browser extensions that were used by online criminals to steal users’ ETHs and other cryptocurrencies.
One of the oldest open-source Ethereum wallets in the world is MyEtherWallet or MEW. There are some Ethereum or multi-crypto wallet applications out there that look and feel more simple than MEW, but they don’t have as many customization features as MEW. In fact, MEW was one of the very first Ethereum wallet applications that give you the freedom to easily add your own ERC-20 token contract address (even though nowadays many other wallet applications allow you to do the same).
MyEtherWallet is also pretty straightforward to use. You only need to go to https://www.myetherwallet.com and click the big blue button “Create A New Wallet.” After you save all the backup information, you can easily send and receive ETH and any ERC-20 token. It’s a web-based wallet application, so you can easily access it from any device and any browser. Just remember to log in using the same backup information.
With MEW, there’s a slider on the top of your main page to set up the gas fees.
Tips In Using Ethereum Wallets
All the wallet applications and selections mentioned above are the popular Ethereum wallets. You can choose them or use other Ethereum wallet applications. There are dozens of them on the web, Apple App Store, and Google Play Store. Here are some tips that you should listen to in using Ethereum wallet applications (or any other crypto wallet application):
- You should always write down your backup phrase and/or private keys in another device or on a piece of paper. Do not save your backup phrase information in the same device where you access your wallet.
- Always make sure you go to the right address when you use a web-based wallet app. For example, always make sure you go to https://www.myetherwallet.com if you want to access your MEW wallet address. Some online criminals use a slightly different domain to take advantage of newbies.
- If you prefer to HODL your cryptocurrencies in the longer period of time, you should buy a Trezor or Ledger Nano. A cold wallet is always preferable although you might want to utilize a simpler software wallet application if you transact daily.
- Do not store your cryptocurrencies in your exchange’s account. Only use your cryptocurrencies in your exchange account if you trade every day. If you only want to trade several times a week or more rarely, you should always withdraw your cryptocurrencies from your crypto exchange to your own wallet address.