Ethereum is an open-source blockchain platform that supports decentralised (Dapps) applications and the execution of smart contracts. It was launched in 2015 by Vitalik Buterin and a number of other co-founders. Ethereum Dapps are powered by the platforms own cryptocurrency, Ether (ETH), though this is often referred to as Ethereum as well. ETH is the second-largest cryptocurrency in the world, behind Bitcoin, making it a very popular investment option for Australians. However, after you buy Ethereum (ETH) in Australia, it’s important that you find a secure place to store it. This guide has been put together to provide insight on the best Ethereum wallets In Australia in 2021.
What is an Ethereum wallet?
An Ethereum wallet is a digital wallet. A digital wallet, or blockchain wallet, is unlike the wallet you keep in your pocket. Instead, they are software mechanisms that are designed for storing, receiving and sending cryptocurrencies.
An Ethereum wallet allows you to manage the Ethereum you own by checking your balance and performing transactions. Below we have listed the top 6 ETH wallets available in Australia.
Hardware wallets and cold storage options
Hardware wallets are considered the most secure form of cryptocurrency storage. They are USB-like devices that store and separate your private keys from the internet. This means they will not be vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The private keys of a hardware wallet are encrypted into a USD hard drive.
Ledger Nano X
Price (AUD): $199.00
The Nano X is an Ethereum hardware wallet from Ledger, one of the most reliable companies in the blockchain wallet space. This particular wallet supports the storage of 1350+ digital assets like Ethereum, Bitcoin, XRP, Cardano and Dogecoin. One of its most prominent features is its wireless Bluetooth connection, meaning you can connect the device to your Mobile phone or computer. Additionally, it has an LED screen that displays payment validation information and requires a PIN for access, which adds an extra layer of security. Other features include
- USB type-C connector
- 100 mAh battery
- PIN Protected with a backup
Ledger Nano S
Price (AUD): $109.00
The Nano S is the older version of the Nano from Ledger. Despite this, the Nano S remains the most popular hardware wallet in Australia as it has a great reputation for storing crypto assets and securing digital payments. It’s also a lot cheaper than the newer Nano X, which means it may be more suitable for Aussies on a budget. It’s also incredibly convenient as it plugs straight into your computer through a USB type-B connector. Other features include:
- Wire connection
- PIN protected
Trezor Model T
Price (AUD): $268.00
The Model T is the most recently available crypto wallet from Trezor that is designed to suit both active traders and HODL’s. Similar to the Trezor One, the Model T is one of the most reputable hardware wallets for securely storing ETH. A built-in LED touch screen gives the Trezor a premium feel. This allows users to access the wallet via a PIN or passphrase which is very convenient. Other features include:
- Improved processing
- Easy setup and use
Software wallets and hot storage wallets
Software wallets and hot wallets are digital wallets that are connected to the internet. There are a number of different types of hot wallets including desktop wallets, mobile wallets and online wallets.
Free to download and use
Bread is a mobile wallet that supports Ethereum and a number of other cryptocurrencies. It is available on both Android and iOS devices as an app. The app has a strong focus on having a user-friendly and easy to navigate interface making it a popular choice amongst new investors. Additionally, it has also built a robust security framework to ensure it is a secure option for storing Ethereum. Other features include:
- Fingerprint login option
- Built customer support and live chat
- Quick transaction speeds
Price: Free to download and use
Metamask is a web browser wallet that supports Ethereum and all other Ethereum based tokens (ERC20 tokens). This means it can be added as a browser extension on Google Chrome, Firefox or Brave and then allows users to interact with decentralised applications. Useful Metamask features include:
- User-friendly interface
- In-built customer support
- Securely connect to decentralised applications
Price: Free to download and use (transaction fees are paid to miners)
Exodus is one of the most popular wallets for storing Ethereum in Australia. Launched in 2015, Exodus is a desktop wallet that is supported by all major software programs. Users have full control over their owned cryptocurrencies and private keys. Features include:
- Live chat and portfolio tracking
- Built in trading feature
- Multi-currencies supported
What is the best Ethereum wallet in Australia?
Given Ledger’s reputation in the cryptocurrency industry, the Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X are widely considered to be some of the best Ethereum wallets available to Aussies. Though these can be quite expensive compared to that of a free downloadable wallet, the added security offered by Ethereum hardware wallets is worth the extra cost. We recommend all of our users have an offline wallet for storing their digital assets.
Two main types of storage: Hot and cold
There are two main types of storage options, cold storage and hot storage. The main difference between the storage types relies on whether the storage method is connected to the internet. If a storage device is connected to the internet, it’s hot.
On the other hand, you have cold storage. Cold storage applies to when a storage device is not connected to the internet.
Private key management and ownership is one of the biggest advantages of cold storage. Although hot wallets and exchange wallets allow for added convenience, the extra security and privacy of hardware wallets is must not be overlooked.
Cold wallets are offline wallets, hence “cold,” where the transactions are signed offline. For example. With cold wallets, cryptocurrencies are stored in a hardware device or are printed on a paper document. The method of transaction helps in protecting the wallet from unauthorized access and vulnerabilities. The only issue with cold wallets is they can easily be misplaced or destroyed, so it’s important to keep them in a secure location where they can’t be compromised.
Hardware wallets and paper wallets are two of the main types of cold storage.
A hardware wallet refers to a USB-like device that stores your private keys and crypto assets offline. These wallets are similar to portable devices that can be plugged into your computer.
They are less prone to malicious attacks, malware, hackers, and anything else that could prove to be detrimental for your cryptocurrencies.
Great examples of Hardware wallets are Ledger Nano (both X and S) and Trezor. These are considered to be some of the best hardware wallets in Australia in 2021.
Paper wallets refer to printing your private key and public key, or a public wallet address (often accessed using a QR code) on a piece of paper. Examples of paper wallets are Bitcoin paper wallets and My Ether wallets. To make a transaction, paper wallets work with software wallets or also known as online wallets. And to transfer funds from your software wallet, you must send it to the public wallet address as shown in your paper wallet. That is the QR code shown on the printed paper wallet.
The risk of storing your private keys on a paper wallet is that the paper could be destroyed or lost.
Hot wallets are wallets that are connected to the internet, meaning digital assets can be transferred quickly and conveniently. Though this type of storage is easier to interact with, it is less secure than that of a cold storage wallet and is therefore subject to cyber theft. The most popular type of hot wallets are desktop wallets, online wallets and mobile wallets.
Desktop wallets are like cold wallets in that the private keys are stored in cold servers. You can unplug them from the internet and do all your transactions offline.
In case the main server goes down or gets lost, you can use the cold server as a backup. You can download this wallet on any computer. But to access it, you must use it in the system you first installed on it.
For safety purposes, you must make sure to keep backups on your servers, always keep your systems in check, and always ensure that you keep your computer away from others to prevent theft.
The great thing about these wallets is that they’re cost-efficient. A great example of a desktop wallet is Electrum, and it’s one of the most popular cryptocurrency desktop wallets.
A mobile wallet is similar to an online wallet except it’s designed and built specifically for mobile usage or mobile accessibility. These are apps designed for iOS and Android devices.
Mobile wallets are user-friendly crypto wallets in that the user interface for making transactions is made easy.
A web wallet is a wallet that is added as an extension to an internet browser like Google Chrome or Firefox. This wallet can then be used to interact with decentralised exchanges. They’re typically easy to use and have sleek interfaces. Metamask is a web wallet that allows users to interact with decentralised applications on the Ethereum network.