Best Tezos Wallets: Top 7 Storage Options for Your XTZ
Tezos (XTZ) is a decentralized blockchain network that promotes community governance. Decisions regarding protocol changes on the Tezos network are made via community consensus, with every Tezos holder having a vote in each proposed change to the network.
Tezos has been inspiring for many cryptocurrency users as a blockchain network that keeps its users front and center for all decision making. While all of this is excellent, there is one problem with Tezos, and that’s the lack of an official wallet for storing XTZ tokens.
This article will give you some great third party options for storing XTZ tokens. It’s pretty certain you’ll find one that meets your needs.
Top 7 Tezos Wallets
There are a number of requirements that we have when looking for the best Tezos wallets. These include factors such as the security of the wallet, community support, functionality and ease of use. It is also really important that the wallet in question has the ability to stake your Tezos.
Given that Tezos also uses the Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism, the token holders have the opportunity to earn more tokens by staking their current XTZ tokens and participating to secure the network. Therefore, not only will staking your Tezos help make the network more secure but it will also earn you a return.
The below list includes a range of options from hardware to mobile and paper wallets. There may be wallets that we have excluded on this list but if you are going to be using any other third party software you should make sure that there is sufficient support for it in the community.
Trezor (Hardware Wallet)
Trezor was the first cryptocurrency hardware wallet, and it remains a popular choice. It is both small and secure, giving you PIN protection, manual transaction verification, 2-factor authentication, and advanced cryptography.
The Trezor Model T. Image via Trezor.io
The Trezor not only supports Tezos, but also all the other major cryptocurrencies and hundreds of altcoins. The Trezor also has an active group of developers constantly making improvements.
There are two types of Trezor, the original Trezor One and the second generation Trezor Model T. While the Model T is more advanced and secure, it is also more expensive, and it is the only Trezor model that has support for Tezos tokens. Of course it’s also the only hardware wallet with support for Tezos tokens, so those who want the security provided by a hardware wallet are likely to be happy to purchase a Trezor Model T.
The Trezor Model T starts at €149 + VAT, which might be expensive for some, but is a good investment for those with a substantial amount of cryptocurrency to store.
TezBox (Desktop/Online Wallet)
The TezBox was the very first GUI wallet released for Tezos. It was developed by one of the Tezos community members, and was released during the ICO period for the token. Users appreciate the friendly interface of the TezBox, and that it has support for both Windows and MacOS.
There’s also a Chrome extension for the wallet, and mobile versions for both Android and iOS are in development. And Linux users will be pleased to know that a Linux version is also in development.
TezBox Desktop, Mobile and Ledger Support
TezBox has also developed support for both Trezor and Ledger integration, although the Ledger website does not show support for Tezos. Trezor certainly does, so given the two solutions the Trezor might be better supported.
The TezBox remains a secure option for storing your Tezos as public and private addresses never leave the users device.
Tezos.blue (Desktop/Mobile Wallet)
The Tezos Blue wallet is a lightweight mobile wallet that’s available on the Google Play store for Android and the Microsoft Store for Windows 10. It is available for iOS users, but only as part of the Apple Test Flight program. There’s no indication when it might become available on the Apple App store.
While this is a lightweight wallet, it doesn’t skimp at all on features or security. Because it’s a native app it gets strong protection right from the operating system, but it adds to that with multi-level encryption of your private keys. This makes hacking this wallet extremely difficult.
The Tezos Blue is a very capable wallet. If we had any complaints it would be the lack of updates to the wallet for the past year.
Kukai (Online Wallet)
Kukai an online open-source wallet for storing Tezos. It is the only fully web based wallet as far as we know. It allows you to create a completely new wallet, or import an existing wallet using a .tez file or a mnemonic seed phrase. Those who might still have an ICO credential can use that to create a wallet and collect their Tezos as well.
Creating a new wallet is extremely easy, and the website uses the movement of your mouse to add additional entropy to the seed phrase when generating a new wallet. This helps to secure the wallet further and ensure it is nearly impossible to crack the seed phrase or master key.
Simple User Interface of the Kukai Online Wallet
Obviously the wallet can be used to either send or receive XTZ and it is a direct connection to the Tezos network. Probably the most unique and useful feature of the wallet is the ability to sign transactions offline, thus ensuring your keys are never exposed to the internet. Once the transaction is signed offline it can later be broadcast once an internet connection is re-established.
Don’t be put off by the simplicity of the website as this is a good wallet that has received a lot of praise and support from the Tezos community.
Wetez (Mobile Wallet)
Wetez is one of the earliest companies to provide a mobile wallet for sending, receiving and staking XTZ tokens. The company behind the Wetez wallet is based in China.
The mobile wallet is available for both Android and iOS operating systems and it integrates fullt with the Tezos delegation service, allowing you to stake tokens and receive your XTZ dividends.
Tezos Paper Wallet
Currently (early December 2018) there is no formal Tezos paper wallet generator. Of course you can always create your own paper wallet by writing down your mnemonic seed phrase and/or public key.
That said, it does look as if there will be a paper wallet generator coming in the near future. In September 2018 there was a contest held on 99designs to create a design for a Tezos paper wallet. There were two winning designs chosen and you can go to the 99designs contest page to see them if you like.
The contest was hosted by SimpleStaking.com, which appears to be a desktop Tezos wallet that’s in development. You can download the beta to check it out, but there are no guarantees it is secure. I assume that the paper wallet will be released once the desktop wallet is out of beta.
Ledger Nano S (CLI Knowledge)
Another very popular hardware wallet that you could use for storage and staking is the Ledger Nano S. Given that this is a hardware wallet it means that your keys are kept securley in an offline environment. It is also slightly cheaper than the Trezor Model T costing only $99.
Even though this is safer than a number of the other wallets above, it is not as user friendly. This is because in order to use the Ledger Nano with your Tezos you have to know how to make use of Command Line tools. However, there are step by step guides that could make this process that much more simple.
Ledger Nano S with Tezos Wallet Loaded. Source: Medium
As mentioned, the TezBox developers have also added support for the Ledger Nano. Therefore, if you think that the command line setup above is a bit too overwhelming then you can always set up your device with the TezBox desktop software. The same author has created this guide with steps to complete this.
Tezos Wallet Security
Irrespective of which wallet you do choose, you should make certain that you are following wallet security best practices. These include some of the following factors:
- Backup Your Seeds: This is probably one of the most important steps that you need to undertake when setting up your wallet. Your seed words are the only thing separating you from password recovery and potential long term regret. Keep a backup of these seed words in a safe place and away from the inquisitive eyes of others.
- Take Care with Malware: Hackers are developing some pretty ingenious key stealing malware these days. Sometimes these are even able to evade anti-virus software. Hence, a healthy dose of skepticism is the only line of defense between you and the hackers. Don’t download suspicious zip files and don’t use knockoff Tezos wallets.
- HODL in Private: While there may be some people who feel the need to boast about their large cryptocurrency holdings, this is perhaps not a very wise move. You don’t only face threats from online hackers but you will also face the risk of physical violence and theft. This has happened to a number of Bitcoin traders in the past and it could easily happen to the Tezos hodler. The age old saying holds true, silence is golden.
It is perhaps also wise to hold your XTZ in more than one wallet in more than one form. For example, you could store the majority of your XTZ in your hardware device while holding a smaller balance in a desktop or mobile wallet. The hardware balance can be used for secure staking purposes where the mobile / desktop can be used for every day transactions.
From the above list you can see that the hardware wallets are no doubt the safest options. These allow your private keys to remain out of reach of hackers. Yes, they do cost money but in the long run this could be insignificant compared to the cost of a loss.
As Tezos further develops it it likely that many more XTZ wallet options could present themselves. There are quite a few other wallets available, and some still in development (such as the SimpleStaking desktop wallet mentioned). If these wallets meet the minimum security options then they could be considered viable candidates.
Of course, the virtue of Doing Your Own Research (DYOR) is also the key to wallet selection. You should make sure that your Tezos wallet of choice has substantial community backing and a reputable developer team behind it.
Featured Image via Fotolia
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