There are a lot of wallet options floating around crypto-communities nowadays that range from ultra-secure cold storage hardware wallets to paper wallet generators to mobile wallets you can use on the go. Sometimes, a solid desktop wallet is the perfect middle ground for even the most enthusiastic cryptocurrency investors and traders. Like with any crypto wallet, there is a balance between security and convenience when choosing a desktop wallet to use with your cryptocurrency investments.
The desktop wallets in this list are among the most popular with novices and experienced cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Here you will find wallets with varying degrees of complexity and functionality.
Plus, many of these have companion mobile apps, and some interface well with hardware wallets as well.
These are the top 10 best cryptocurrency desktop wallets of 2017:
Exodus lays claim to being the very first desktop wallet with ShapeShift built right into the interface. ShapeShift lets users exchange different cryptocurrencies instantly, e.g. bitcoin to litecoin or ethereum to dash. Exodus has a super simple user interface with all the necessary functionality for the vast majority of crypto-traders and investors.
This multi-asset wallet lets users keep full control of their private keys, is aesthetically pleasing, and even gives you access to personalization features and gorgeous, live portfolio charts. This is the desktop wallet that I use, personally.
mSIGNA is a self-described (by Ciphrex) as a “next-generation” multi-signature HD wallet. It’s completely free and open-source, scalable to an enterprise level, supports wallet sharing, escrow, and multifactor authentication.
They offer versions for both bitcoin and litecoin and support Windows, Mac,and Linux. Ciphrex, the company behind MSigna, is also the creator of CoinSocket, an enterprise-grade development platform.
This open-source, HD multisig wallet from BitPay offers shared wallets and supports multiple wallets from within the application. They support not only Windows desktop, but also Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Mac, and Linux. This is a great option for developers, since they are the first to bring testnet support to iOS and Windows Phone.
Armory’s claim to fame is that they are the “only open source wallet with cold storage and multi-signature support.” They are trying to bring cold storage to everyone by offering online watching-only bitcoin wallets for use in viewing transaction data and wallet balances.
Their cold storage wallet information–that is to say the private keys required to gain access to a wallet–can be stored offline on a user’s computer, even if that computer itself is offline. This makes it harder to succumb to the ever more frequent crypto malware attacks.
Armory claims that users can create a transaction and sign it offline in less than a minute so that it can be broadcast to the network.
MultiBit HD is a desktop wallet available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Its intuitive interface and simple-to-follow tutorials guide users through creating a bitcoin wallet and its backup in minutes. This wallet has been featured on Forbes, Wired, CoinDesk, and The Register. It is available in 40 languages and can be used with the KeepKey hardware wallet.
Bitcoin Core is Bitcoin’s bitcoin wallet, i.e. it is the one that can be downloaded from Bitcoin.org. It’s available for Linux, Mac, and Windows. With Bitcoin Core, users will need a substantial chunk of hard drive space as well as quite a bit of time to initially sync the bitcoin blockchain (over 145GB). While this wallet can be resource-heavy, it also supports the community by helping prevent miners and banks from taking over bitcoin.
Green Address is an HD wallet with two-factor authentication and a convenient, watch-only mode that lets users check transactions and balances securely even over public wi-fi, because it doesn’t allow for changing wallet settings or making transactions because the private key is never loaded. A simple username and password is all that’s needed to check transactions on even a third party computer, but Green Address also offers apps for desktop and mobile.
Electrum has been around since 2011, and is a free and decentralized open-source bitcoin wallet option that is very fast thanks to using servers that index the Bitcoin blockchain.
It supports two-factor authentication via Electrum and Trustedcoin, multisignature, and cold storage by broadcasting transactions from a machine that doesn’t have access to your keys. Your private key can instead, if you choose, be stored on an always-offline machine. Electrum also supports third-party plugins like those for hardware wallets.
Electrum is available on desktop, mobile, and even via command line interface (CLI).
Etherwall lays claim to the title of first ethereum desktop wallet. This open source ethereum wallet supports Trezor hardware, and can run in two modes–full node client or thin client. In full node client mode, it downloads the full ethereum blockchain, but is able to store all your data on your machine. The thin client mode uses a remote ethereum node to retrieve data and send signed transactions.
Etherwall supports Linux, Mac, and Windows.
Mist does double duty, because, technically, it is a Web 3 browser that lets you view decentralized apps (DApps). However, it also comes packaged with an ethereum wallet, so you can store and send ether while you browse all the cool DApp projects like games where you can win crypto and places where you can declare your love for whoever and have it permanently saved in the blockchain. Mist has a lot of cool options and functionality for those people who really enjoy the blockchain community and the many, many uses for this technology even beyond cryptocurrency.