Best Bitcoin and Crypto Wallets in Canada for 2022
Because bitcoin is a virtual currency, you cannot hold it in your hand. Nor can you store it in a traditional bank account. That’s where crypto wallets come in. A crypto wallet is a type of software that lets you store your cryptocurrency online, or in the case of a hardware wallet, offline in a physical storage unit. The owner of a crypto wallet gains access to their wallet by using a private key. This article will cover ten of Canada’s top crypto and bitcoin wallets for 2022. I’ll also let you know how they compare to cryptocurrency exchanges and share some key terminology.
What Is a Crypto Wallet?
Simply put, crypto wallets are where you store your cryptocurrencies for safekeeping. They can be paper, software, or hardware-based – think of them as a bank account for your crypto assets. Regardless of which type of crypto or bitcoin wallet you choose, you will need to use two types of keys to access, send, or receive crypto. These are public and private keys, and each type performs a specific function. Here’s a closer look at the different crypto wallets and key types.
A paper wallet is as basic as it sounds. You can choose to store your public and private keys on a piece of paper. This method can be highly secure because your keys are stored online, but it also comes with some risk; if you lose the paper your keys are written on, you could lose all of your digital currency. If you’re going to store your keys using paper, make sure you make multiple copies and store them in different locations. You may even want to store a copy in a locked safe or a safety deposit box.
Software wallets like the ones offered by Armory or Coinbase are a popular way to store crypto due to the convenience and ease of access. Software wallets are also cheaper to use than hardware wallets. The downside to software wallets is that because they exist online, they can be compromised. They are not the safest crypto wallet type. I recommend software wallets for storing small amounts of crypto due to the low cost and convenience. Hardware wallets are a more secure choice if you need to store large amounts of digital currency.
Hardware Wallets is the safest crypto wallet because it keeps your crypto offline where hackers can’t steal it. You can purchase an individual hardware wallet, also known as a cold wallet. Many cryptocurrency exchanges also use hardware wallets, so when you use a crypto exchange, you indirectly keep your crypto assets in hardware wallets. I’ll cover the hardware wallets below, but brands such as Ledger and Trezor cold wallets at various price points.
Hot vs. Cold Storage
You may have heart crypto wallets referred to as hot or cold storage. Hot storage, or hot wallets, are simply software wallets connected to the internet. Cold storage refers to hardware wallets that store crypto offline.
Crypto wallets use public keys to receive crypto. If someone transfers Bitcoin or another type of crypto to your wallet, you would share your public keys with them.
If you wish to transfer digital assets from your hot or cold wallet to a cryptocurrency exchange or spend crypto stored in your wallet, you’ll need to use your private keys for the transaction. Remember, however, that you should never share your private keys with anyone. You are the only person that needs them to conduct transactions. Keep your private keys as secure as you would keep your bank debit card password.
Crypto Wallets vs. Crypto Exchanges
In recent years, cryptocurrency exchanges like Bitbuy, Coinbase, and others, have emerged as a top choice for Canadians who wish to store and trade their crypto assets. While we’re covering crypto wallets for the purpose of this article, there are several reasons you may want to use a crypto exchange instead.
For starters, they tend to be more secure. Cryptocurrency exchanges offer guarantees on the digital assets you hold, and they keep the vast majority of their crypto reserves in highly secure, cold storage.
Secondly, cryptocurrency exchanges are less expensive than crypto wallets. This is mostly due to economies of scale and the sheer volume of transactions that move through crypto exchanges regularly. The top crypto wallets can be as high as $500 to purchase, although the average wallet is less than $100.
Crypto exchanges are much like online brokers like Questrade, or TD Direct Investing, in that you can often take advantage of welcome bonuses or referral bonuses when you invite a friend to open an account. Crypto wallets don’t offer that feature.
For more information on cryptocurrency exchanges, check out my list of the best crypto exchanges in Canada.
Best Bitcoin Wallets in Canada
Without further ado, I present my list of the best crypto wallets in Canada, updated for 2022. To make things easier, I’ve broken the list into two categories: Beginners and Experienced Traders.
Best Crypto Wallets for Beginners
If you’re getting started buying and selling bitcoin, the best cryptocurrency wallet is probably a software or hot wallet. Most are free while offering a fairly high level of security. If you prefer a hardware wallet, I’ve included some reasonably priced options.
Armory offers free bitcoin cold storage, which means that your bitcoin wallet is stored in a computer that is never connected to the internet. This increases the level of security. Armory is limited to bitcoin storage only, so if you’re trading other cryptocurrencies, it won’t be your best option.
- Software wallet with ‘cold storage’ capability
- Network fee
- Dedicated bitcoin storage
- A cold wallet enhances security.
The Coinbase software wallet is flexible and easy to use, making it a great option for beginners. Coinbase operates a popular crypto exchange, so you can easily transfer funds from your wallet to trade on the exchange. Storage is free, although there are miner fees to account for. Unlike Armory, you can store several cryptocurrencies in your Coinbase wallet.
- Miner fees
- Access keys are stored on your phone.
- Online storage via mobile and web
- Connects to crypto exchange for easy transfer of funds
Trezor One is a more affordable but slightly less functional version of Trezors flagship cold wallet, the Model T. For $69.99, you still get a highly secure wallet, but it must be connected to an external device to work. According to Trezor, you can easily backup the data on the One in case of loss or theft.
- Cold wallet
- Secure storage
- Open-source software
- Connectivity to a Windows, macOS, or Linux device
Ledger Nano S
Ledger has a top-of-the-line cold wallet, called the Nano X, featured below. The Nano S, on the other hand, is a more affordable alternative. Unlike the X, the Nano S lacks Bluetooth connectivity, so you will need a USB cable to connect to your device. If you’re new to bitcoin trading, it offers reliable and secure storage that’s well priced.
- Cold wallet
- Safe and secure storage
- Well-tested with over 1MM users
- Lacks Bluetooth connectivity of Nano X
Founded in 2014, Coinomi claims to be the “oldest multi-chain wallet on the market, with millions of active users.” They also claim to have never had a single hack on a Coinomi wallet. That should reassure new users, who can manage over 1700 cryptocurrency assets with Coinomi.
- Hot wallet
- Mining Fees
- No fees for sending and receiving transactions
- Broad crypto support
Exodus is a multi-currency software wallet that supports over 200 currencies and is available as a mobile and desktop wallet. Exodus is compatible with the Tezor wallet, so you can manage your crypto assets in Exodus with the security of Trezor running in the background. This allows you to keep your assets offline, in cold storage while taking advantage of the intuitive Exodus user interface. The exodus app is free, but to benefit from Trezor interaction, you’ll need to purchase a Trezor wallet at an additional cost.
Price: Free app
- Free mobile and desktop wallet
- Trade more than 200 cryptocurrencies
- No 2FA available
- Offline storage available via a Trezor wallet
- Works as an Ethereum wallet
ZenGo is a software wallet that eliminates the need for private keys by implementing facial biometric technology (Face ID) to verify your identity. With ZenGo, you can buy and trade crypto and connect to NFT and Defi Dapps. The app is available for iOS and Android devices, and you can access more than 70 cryptocurrencies.
Price: App is free; no transfer fees to send and receive, but there is a 0.75% exchange fee on crypto trades.
- Supports more than 70 currencies
- No keys required (Face ID)
- 3FA authentication for recovery
- Visa debit card that lets you spend crypto in the US.
Best Crypto Wallets for Experienced Traders
The following bitcoin wallets are well suited for experienced traders or those requiring higher crypto storage volumes. In general, cold wallets are more expensive, but they are worth the price if you’re serious about cryptocurrency.
Trezor Model T
The Model T is Trezor’s top-end bitcoin wallet. It supports hundreds of coins and offers high levels of security. The wallet connects to your computer via USB and can be stored offline when not in use. It even has a touchscreen to display authentication requests. If there’s a downside, it’s the price, as the unit will set you back over $200.
- Cold wallet, very secure
- Unlimited wallets available
- Supports a large number of cryptocurrencies (almost 1,400)
Ledger Nano X
The Nano X is a modern, sleek device resembling a USB drive that allows you to securely manage several coins, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and ERC20. It can connect to your mobile phone via Bluetooth, making it easy to trade crypto while you’re on the go, or you can connect to your device using the USB-C cable, which is included. It has a lower price point than its main competitor, the Treznor Model T.
- Cold wallet
- Available Bluetooth connectivity
- Open-source software
- Over 1500 cryptocurrencies are supported.
If you’re looking for cold storage without the expense of the higher-priced Ledger and Trezor, KeepKey is a solid alternative. It features its own exchange and is highly resilient to viruses because it doesn’t have its own operating system. It is compatible across Android, Linux, PC, and Mac systems but is limited in the number of cryptocurrencies it supports.
- Cold wallet
- Works with the new Shapeshift platform
- Storage for over 40 top coins
- Unlimited wallet addresses per device
Do I Need a Wallet for Bitcoin?
You can use a cryptocurrency exchange if you’re not interested in storing your bitcoin or other cryptos in a dedicated hardware wallet. As I covered earlier, crypto exchanges offer distinct advantages for storing crypto assets. Learn more in my review of Canada’s best crypto exchanges.
Are Crypto Wallets Safe?
While all crypto wallets have numerous built-in security features, hardware wallets that offer cold storage are considered the most secure. The reason for this is simple: your bitcoin is stored offline and is not accessible to hackers or viruses. If security is your top priority, consider investing in a hardware wallet. Any of the offerings from Trezor or Ledger would work well.
Crypto Wallet: Glossary of Terms
If you are new to crypto, the terminology may seem very confusing. To help, I’ve put together the following glossary, with definitions of the terms you’ll need to know if you plan to open a cryptocurrency wallet.
Cold Wallets – A cold storage crypto wallet that is not connected to the internet. A cold wallet is also known as a hardware wallet and is considered a highly secure form of storage.
Hot Wallets – A wallet that is connected to the internet. It offers a convenient way to send, receive, and store crypto but is less secure than a cold wallet. Also known as a software wallet.
Paper Wallet – When you store your private and public keys on a piece of paper, it’s referred to as a paper wallet.
Mobile Wallet – A mobile app that lets you store your keys online and send and receive crypto. Mobile wallets can be downloaded for use on iOS or Android devices.
Multi-Currency Wallet – A mobile crypto wallet that lets you store, send, and receive multiple digital currencies.
Private Key – A private key is required when you want to transfer or spend your crypto assets in your crypto wallet. Storing private keys offline is recommended.
Public Key – a public key can be used to receive crypto. Sharing your public keys is okay, as they can’t be used to remove digital assets from your crypto wallet.
Wallet Address – a set of numbers and letters (also known as your public key) that people use to send you crypto. The address is also used to verify transactions on the blockchain.
Two-Factor Authentication – An extra layer of security beyond a basic username and password, used by many crypto exchanges for additional security.
Ledger Nano X – A popular brand of cryptocurrency wallets available in Canada. It’s a hardware wallet offering secure cold storage.
Trezor Wallet – Another popular crypto hardware wallet that supports many cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrency Exchange – An alternative to crypto wallets in Canada, currency exchanges have become increasingly popular in recent years. Store and trade your crypto assets easily and at a very low cost.
What Is the Best Crypto Wallet In Canada?
There you have it; 10 of the best crypto wallets available to Canadian crypto traders in 2022. If you’re new to the crypto world, I recommend learning how to buy and sell cryptocurrency before deciding to download or purchase any of the bitcoin wallets featured in this article.
Remember that cryptocurrency is highly speculative and cannot be considered a traditional investment like a stock or bond. In other words, you should never trade cryptocurrency with money you can’t afford to lose.
As for the best crypto wallet in Canada? If we’re not counting crypto exchanges, the products from Trezor and Ledger are our top choices. If you’re a beginner, the Trezor One or Ledger Nano S should be more than suitable (and less expensive.) For experienced traders, the Trezor Model T and Ledger Nano X will get the job done.
You mention CoinBase as one of the best cryptocurrency wallets for Canadians, however, there is currently no way to link their wallet service to a Canadian bank acct. Coinbase only allows a Canadian debit card to ‘buy’ (thats it), and sell only with Paypal. They have no way for Canadians to deposit or withdraw currency, or be tied to a Canadian bank account in any way right now. Just a heads-up 🙂