Despite much debate over the security and privacy of browser Bitcoin and crypto wallets, these are gaining more traction as of late. Between hackers focusing their efforts breaking exchange platform encryptions and developers creating better security protocols, web-based wallets are making a comeback.
What Qualifies as a Browser Crypto Wallet?
Browser-based cryptocurrency wallets are essentially hot wallets or hot storage options for your crypto assets. But unlike most digital wallets, a browser wallet isn’t something you have to download on your device.
You don’t have to download and install an app on your desktop or mobile device. You simply log in using your credentials from your favorite browser. Some of these wallets have come a very long way in terms of security and authentication.Andseeing as most of them are free, it doesn’t hurt looking at them more closely, until you decide whichcold wallet to buy.
First thing’s first. If you have a Coinbase account you automatically have a multi-currency wallet. However, the Coinbase wallet is more like a bank account than having money in a wallet in your inside pocket.
That said, you can store your crypto assets long-term, as long as you’re not worried about Coinbase becoming compromised following an attack on the exchange.
With that in mind, the Coinbase wallet is by far the best web-based hot wallet for novice and experienced crypto investors.
From the wallet you can buy crypto assets using fiat money and various payment methods. You can also buy at least 50 crypto coins, including some of the newer releases.
In terms of security, Coinbase is a very stable and reliable exchange. Hence, wallet security has been on point for years.
The user interface is perhaps the most intuitive that you can find, which should service novice investors. The only downside with using your Coinbase wallet is the fact that the exchange has plenty of transaction fees.
Including fees when depositing funds and withdrawing either fiat money to your bank account, or your crypto assets to your hardware wallet or paper wallet. But it’s still free to own and use.
So if you’re only looking to make a few big crypto trades, the Coinbase wallet may be a better option than buying a hardware gadget that you won’t use long-term.
Another interesting solution for a hot wallet is the Guarda wallet. This is an entirely web-based walletthat puts a lot of emphasis on security. It also has a wide selection of coins and crypto tokens that makes other alternatives feel very limiting.
What’s also nice is that Guarda allows you to freely import and export private keys, including from other services such as exchanges. Furthermore, you can back up the wallet with easeand also buy cryptocurrency using fiat money.
The thing that separates Guarda from many other web-based hot wallets is its noncustodial nature coupled with complete user control. You’re in control of your private keys. Something that’s not up for grabs with every browser wallet out there, where storing your keys isn’t really an option.
The fact that Guarda caters to multi-currency investors makes it even more appealing. And at the end of the day, its interface is quite intuitive too. Something which is always great for novice crypto users.
If you’re not a Chrome or Firefox loyalist and you’re still using Opera as your main browser, here’s one more reason to stick with it. Opera is the first web browser that offers a native solution for cryptocurrency storage.
Opera’s built-in crypto wallet is available for desktop users as well as to Android and iOS users, in Opera Touch.
The wallet offers online payment solutions and direct trading. You can use it to buy cryptocurrencies directly from the wallet. Plus, you can also send your coins easily to your private hardware wallet if you want.
But where it really shines is by offering mobile users a hot wallet that doesn’t have to be downloaded like any other app. And it simplifies the interaction with merchants that support crypto payments.
It’s also worth noting that this is an entirely user-controlled wallet. As such, your keys will be under your control.
While the support for cryptocurrencies is limited, you can at least trade in Bitcoin and Ethereum with ease. Furthermore, you can buy crypto assets through Apple Pay, or a credit card.
Browser Wallets – Final Thoughts
Browser wallets aren’t the most secure but they’re secure enough in most cases. It’s all about making sure that the wallet developers allow you, the user, complete control over your keys. Once that’s sorted, most of the issues are gone.
It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to use a web-based wallet for long-term storage. No one’s stopping you from also using a hardware solution for long-term safety. That said, the ease of making transactions, buying, selling, and transferring crypto assets and fiat money through digital wallets is often underrated. At least by people that are just getting into crypto.