If you’ve been wondering what the best Bitcoin or cryptocurrency wallet in Australia is, you’re in the right place. When you buy cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Ethereum, it must be stored in a cryptocurrency wallet. A Crypto wallet allows you to send and receive as well your store your digital assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum and many more. If you’re new to the world of crypto, choosing a suitable wallet for your digital assets can be difficult. This guide will compare a number of cryptocurrency and Bitcoin wallets in Australia. We give you a breakdown of the different types of wallets and describe what cryptocurrency wallets work best for Australian cryptocurrency holders.
Sometimes what is considered ‘the best cryptocurrency wallet in Australia’ will come down to preference, however, it’s important to know what to look for. This cryptocurrency wallet guide will discuss the following topics:
- The best cryptocurrency wallets in Australia
- History of cryptocurrency and Bitcoin wallets
- Types of wallets
- Pros and cons of cryptocurrency and Bitcoin wallets
If you’re interested in learning more about digital currency basics, then be sure to check out our 2020 Beginners Guide for Cryptocurrency Investing.
A hardware wallet is essentially a digital upgrade of the steel wallet. Hardware wallets are tiny USB devices that store and separate your private keys from the web. Private keys are encrypted into a small, USB hard drive.
Ledger Nano X Wallet
Price (AUD): $199.00
Supported cryptocurrencies: 1350+ cryptocurrencies
Ledger Nano X is the latest version from Ledger, which is one of the oldest and most reputable companies in the digital wallet industry. This hardware wallet supports a multitude of crypto assets. It has wired and wireless connections which means it can connect to mobile PC devices via Bluetooth. The Nano X has a LED screen displaying payment validation info and a PIN number for convenience and security. Other features include:
- USB type-C connector
- Wired + Wireless connections
- 100 mAh battery
- PIN Protected with a backup
Ledger Nano S Wallet
Price (AUD): $109.00
Supported cryptocurrencies: 1330+
The Nano S is the highest selling hardware wallet in Australia. This is likely due to its ease of use, simple yet sleek design and good security reputation. Given that it is the older version of the Ledger Nano, the S may be more appealing for people on a budget. Setting up a Nano S is relatively simple. All you have to do is plug it into your laptop or computer using the chord that comes with it. Other features include:
- Support for up to 18 coins
- USB type-B connector
- Wire connection
- No battery
- Pin Protected with a backup
Trezor Model T
Price (AUD): $268.00
supported cryptocurrencies: 1280+
The Trezor Model T is the next generation Crypto and Bitcoin wallet from Trezor available in Australia. It supports the main digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP and many more. The biggest difference between the Model T and the previous Trezor One wallet is the colour touchscreen. Other features include:
- supports MicroSD card
- improved processing
Price (AUD): $149.00
Supported cryptocurrencies: 7
The Keepkey hardware wallet is one of the most popular wallets in the world. It is one of the cheaper hardware options on this list and has an array of handy features. Features include:
- PIN protection
- customisable transaction speeds
- limitless wallet address support
Software wallets are crypto wallets that connected to the internet. Often referred to as ‘hot wallets,’ software wallets are considered more susceptible to online dangers like cyber theft. These wallets are generally used for more active use and trading than hardware wallets.
Price: Free to download and use
Supported cryptocurrencies: 100+
The Bread wallet is a mobile wallet application that is available to Australians. It is available as a mobile app on both iOS and Android. This app has a user-friendly interface and an easy setup process. Additionally, if you ever lose your phone, you can recover your bread wallet via a passphrase which should be safely stored offline. Features include:
- fingerprint authentication
- simple payment verification
- fast transaction speeds
Price: Free to download and use
Supported cryptocurrencies: 1 (Bitcoin)
Electrum is a Bitcoin-only wallet that is downloadable on Windows, Mac, Linux and Android (for mobile users). Electrum is quite popular in Australia because it is highly secure. Electrum wallet features include:
- fast and easy setup
- hardware wallet integration
Price: Free to download and use
Supported Cryptocurrencies: All ERC-20 tokens
Metamask is a web browser wallet that can be used on Chrome, Firefox and Brave Browsers. This means it is used as a browser extension. It essentially works as a bridge between normal browsers and the Ethereum blockchain. Metamask has a number of advanced features such as
- built-in coin purchasing
- customer support
- Simple, easy-to-use interface
What is the best crypto wallet in Australia?
When it comes to the best crypto wallet in Australia, we at Swyftx believe the Ledger Nano S and X models are your best options. Just as we discuss here, the strongest type of storage you can have is offline storage or ‘cold’ storage. We recommend that all of our users have an offline wallet like one of the Ledger Nano models.
A brief evolution & history of the crypto wallet
The blockchain wallet has transitioned greatly from where it started to where it is now. Although crypto exchanges have improved their security features to become more secure, offline wallet storage is still the most secure option.
The first known Bitcoin wallet created was created by Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. It was called the Bitcoin-Qt wallet. Released in 2009, the private keys for the Qt wallet were stored on a user’s desktop. The wallet was developed by the Bitcoin Foundation and serves as the ‘official’ client on the Bitcoin network. The wallet can also be used as a server utility for merchant payment services.
The Qt wallet required downloading the entire blockchain and waiting for the history to be synchronized to a computer. This was obviously a lengthy process, however, it served its purpose(s), chiefly sending money and generating wallets.
In 2014, the Ledger Nano delivered its first model to Bitcoin users around the globe on a USB-drive product. In the following years, other wallets such as Trezor and Exodus became household names for cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Wallets were said to evolve even further with the creation of Mist, which allowed storage and sending of all ERC20 compliant tokens, but also other smart contract functions as well.
Crypto and Bitcoin wallets: The overall market
The number of crypto wallets has grown significantly from nearly 15 million wallets in July 2017, to over 70 million wallets in July 2021. This represents a 366% increase in just 4 years. This can largely be attributed to the large spike in Bitcoin and the global cryptocurrency market capitalisation.
As the number of people investing digital currency increases, the number of wallets naturally increases too. Every cryptocurrency transaction requires a private key and a public key, and a crypto wallet is merely a specific method of saving your private keys. There are a variety of means and methods to securing keys, and this article will explain these different types of wallets.
Public and private keys explained
Each wallet has both a public and private key.
The public key is an alphanumeric code that is required when another wallet is sending crypto assets to your wallet.
On the other hand, private keys are data snippets that are intended to be read by computers. Only the owner of the wallet is supposed to know this information. The account owner uses it to unlock a digital wallet. The private key is always different from the public key. It is nearly statistically impossible to guess this key. Private keys are usually displayed in form like this:
Private keys can also be displayed in a user-friendly way, typically expressed as a 12 or 24-word phrase. An example of this would be:
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An easy way to think about this is to compare it to a post office box. The public key is like the address to the mailbox. Anyone with the address (public key) can send a letter (cryptocurrency), but only you with the key to the mailbox (private key) can retrieve the letters (cryptocurrency).
Cryptocurrency wallet providers in Australia
Whether you are choosing to store your crypto keys in a hot wallet or a cold wallet, there are hundreds of options available.
The most common crypto storage option is a crypto exchange wallet. That is because users like to have crypto ready at their fingertips to trade as the market fluctuates. However, just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s the best or the safest.
Even as a cryptocurrency exchange, Swyftx strongly encourages our users to have a hardware wallet in addition to their cryptocurrency account. Remember, a crypto exchange is where you buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrency. It’s not necessarily where you must hold your cryptocurrency.
Types of crypto wallets
There are dozens of different types of blockchain wallets that are available today. The ideal wallet for every user can vary depending on a user’s specific needs and preferences. In this next section, we discuss the wallet types to help you determine what the best one is for your specific needs.
Hot wallets (hardware wallet) vs Cold wallets (software wallets)
Hardware wallets are sometimes classified in the cryptocurrency wallet category as either “cold storage” (offline) or “hot storage” (internet-connected). Cold storage diminishes your exposure to the vulnerabilities that online asset storage is susceptible to.
A major benefit of cold storage is private key maintenance and ownership. Otherwise, crypto exchanges hold the keys to your crypto all in the back end on a server or multiple servers. While clicking around on a website may be easier for you to maintain than having to store the private keys yourself, the allowance of third party key storage is not as safe for long-term holding.
Although Swyftx places a lot of time and effort into our security, we still recommend that you have an offline wallet like Ledger Nano or Trezor that compliments your Swyftx account.
Desktop wallets & mobile wallets
The major difference between desktop and mobile wallets is that desktop-based wallets cannot typically be taken on the go with the user. On the other hand, mobile wallets go with you wherever your smartphone goes.
Desktop wallets are the oldest form of hot wallets, and as a result, they are still quite popular. For some people, their first cryptocurrency was held in a desktop wallet, and for one reason or another, they have never moved it to another wallet.
For others, they prefer the added security of storing their private keys on their computer’s hard drive instead of relying on a crypto exchange for key hosting. Many of the organisations that created and maintain the code behind their cryptocurrencies have their own native desktop wallet.
As the smartphone market continues to grow alongside the cryptocurrency market, the demand for wallet apps is also rising. Instead of having one native wallet for each cryptocurrency, many of these wallets are able to hold multiple cryptocurrencies at once.
A popular app for storing cryptocurrency is the Swyftx wallet, available for iOS and Android. The wallet gives you not only the ability to securely store your Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, but over 100 other cryptocurrencies in total. Download the app today to get access to Australia’s highest-rated cryptocurrency exchange, according to Trust Pilot.
A 2019 New York Times article estimated that about 20% of all Bitcoin is lost or unrecoverable. A large number of these unrecoverable accounts are due to losing the private keys to a wallet. It is impossible to know exactly how many Bitcoins were lost due to physical damage.
With that said, one of the original methods for cold storage of private keys was a paper wallet. A paper wallet is stored offline, essentially handwritten on a piece of paper or printed from a computer. Paper wallets are completely different from hot wallets because they are not connected to the internet.
Instead of the private keys being held and accessed from a third party, the user directly enters the private key by retyping it into the transaction’s code. Considering that private keys are the one and only way of accessing cryptocurrency, writing the key on a piece of paper could be one of the least secure ways of storing it. Paper is easily damaged, whether it be fire, water or even just crumpling. While it is not connected to the internet, paper wallet storage is risky because it’s susceptible to damage.
The concept behind the paper wallet itself is the most offline and most inaccessible way to store your wallet keys. A natural evolution was bound to occur. It took in the form of a steel wallet. Steal wallets use the same concept as paper wallets but instead of having the private keys written on paper, the private key is stamped onto a piece of steel. Thus creating an almost-indestructible offline storage method. The stamped steel can be secured somewhere such as in a safe deposit box at a bank.
Benefits of blockchain wallets
The two largest benefits of a hardware cryptocurrency wallet compared to cryptocurrency exchange storage is that hardware wallets are not connected to the internet, and hardware wallets give you key ownership. An offline wallet that can safely store your Bitcoin away from hackers is the best place for long-term asset storage.
If you are looking to trade frequently, holding your crypto on a safe crypto exchange like Swyftx makes the most sense.
Pros and Cons of Crypto Wallets
As mentioned above, the biggest advantage of a private crypto wallet is the fact that you get to maintain ownership over your private keys, and that you can store those keys offline. Private key ownership delivers the utmost autonomy in controlling your cryptocurrency stash.
Another benefit of having a crypto wallet is the great convenience that comes with it. Depending on whether your preference is to take your crypto with you on the go, or leave it at home on your desktop, crypto wallets are convenient.
The biggest downside of a crypto wallet is arguably the fact that some wallets are ‘hot,’ which as you know by now, means that the wallet is internet-connected. Hot wallets may leave your private key exposed.
Frequently asked questions
What is a crypto wallet?
A cryptocurrency wallet is a software program or device that stores your cryptocurrency. Crypto wallets can be offline, online, or on separate, physical USB devices. Some of the most popular choices for cryptocurrency wallets include the Ledger Nano S and X and Trezor Model T. Learn more about how to set up a Ledger Nano S and X right here.
What is the best Bitcoin wallet?
At Swyftx, we recommend both the Ledger Nano S and X as the best Bitcoin wallets for Australians. If you’re looking for a Bitcoin-only wallet, Electrum is one of the more popular options, however this a desktop wallet, which isn’t as safe as a hardware wallet.
How to get a crypto wallet in Australia?
In order to get a crypto wallet in Australia, you may need to verify some basic information with an exchange. Typically that includes a driver’s license, passport, and other identifiable information. Once you verify yourself with an exchange like Swyftx, then you’ll be all set to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrency as you wish.
How to use a crypto wallet?
The way a person uses a crypto wallet depends heavily on the type of wallet they have. Although it’s unlikely for a cryptocurrency wallet in the year 2021, a person can have a full client-server like the early Bitcoin-Qt wallet. This wallet type requires the full Bitcoin transaction history to be uploaded onto a server. However, more common in 2021 is the USB-style wallet like a Ledger Nano or Trezor that are both convenient, secure, and compatible with over 1000 cryptocurrencies.
Are crypto wallets safe?
The safety of a crypto wallet depends heavily on the user. If you are using a hot wallet like Bread wallet, then you’re sacrificing security with your money than you would be if you were to use cold wallet storage.
Can I have a multi-coin wallet?
The number of coins that any particular wallet may hold will vary depending on the type of blockchain wallet you have. Even within the same company, different wallet models will hold different coin amounts. For example, although the Ledger Nano S and the Ledger Nano X both contain multi-coin wallet features. The Electrum wallet, on the other hand, only supports 1 coin (Bitcoin) to be stored.