You’ve got yourself some Ripple (XRP) and now you’re not sure where to store it. There are a lot of Ripple wallets out there and it can be hard to choose the best one. This guide will take you through the various types to help you decide which Ripple wallet is the right one for you.
The very first thing everyone should know about having a Ripple wallet is that, no matter which one you choose, 20 XRP will be required to reserve your wallet address. Think of this like a downpayment, or like a deposit fee. That 20 XRP won’t be usable; it simply keeps your wallet open and activates your XRP on the Ripple Ledger. (This doesn’t apply to storing XRP on an exchange.)
That’s why it’s a good idea to stick to having one Ripple wallet, unless otherwise unavoidable. That’s also why you’ll want to be careful in your wallet choice, so as to start with a wallet that is suitable to your own needs.
With that in mind, let’s dig in.
What are the different types of wallets?
Before diving into the various types of Ripple wallets, it’s important to understand the difference between the different types of wallets in general. Knowing the difference can help determine the best wallet type for your own needs and will, therefore, help lead you to the right Ripple wallet.
A software wallet is an online wallet. Software wallets can be held on a computer, tablet, phone, or specifically on a website. They are accessed through the internet and stored via the internet. A software wallet is a full digital wallet in every sense of the word.
Typically, software wallets come in the form of a cryptocurrency exchange, but not always.
Because a software wallet is connected online, it may be considered more vulnerable to attack, and transactions are reliant on having a stable internet connection. However, most software wallets are easiest to use, they are quick, and many are free to download (other than the required 20 XRP holding amount, mentioned above).
A hardware wallet is a physical wallet for storing cryptocurrency. Hardware wallets generally look like a USB stick and will sometimes have a screen allowing you to check your funds. You can perform basic functions directly on the hardware wallet, or it can be plugged into your device, either a computer or a smartphone, to run more complicated actions.
Hardware wallets may be expensive to buy and cumbersome to maintain, eventually needing replacement. However, hardware wallets are popular among the crypto crowd due to their security and privacy.
A hot wallet is one that is always connected to the blockchain and is almost always online. This allows for fast transactions and instant access to your funds (and so, usually popular among day traders).
Think of a hot wallet as a real wallet, one that your store your cash and cards in. Your money’s right there for you to use, without the hassle of having to stop at a bank.
Hot wallets, which would usually come in the form of a software wallet, are popular because of their immediate access to crypto funds, making them extremely convenient to use. However, this increases their risk. A hot wallet may be considered less secure, due to its online connection. Plus, with such easy access to your funds, you may be more tempted to spend them.
If a hot wallet is like a real wallet, then a cold wallet can be thought of as being like a bank account, or perhaps a safe. Cold wallets are often physical (hardware) wallets and are left offline when not in use. This increases the security and privacy of a cold wallet.
Cold wallets usually require a passphrase, or private key, to access them, which is partly why they are so secure. However, make sure you keep this code safe because if lost, you won’t ever be able to retrieve any of your stored funds.
A paper wallet could be considered the ultimate cold wallet, as it will never have access to the internet (because it’s paper). The paper wallet itself is a document (physical, not stored on a computer) containing all the data for your crypto funds. This includes the private keys and crypto addresses.
It’s important to keep this somewhere extremely safe, as it contains all the information needed to access your crypto funds. Like with the cold wallet above, if you lose the paper, you will no longer have access to your funds, so be careful.
What is the best Ripple wallet?
This is debatable and dependent on what you’re looking for. The Ripple company doesn’t sway towards one wallet or another, instead stating that each individual investor should do research on their own to figure out the best wallet for them.
Here’s a broken down list of some of the, arguably, best Ripple wallets.
Ledger Nano S
The Ledger Nano S is a type of hardware wallet and probably one of the most popular.
The Ledger Nano S is pretty much the only hardware wallet that supports XRP. It also supports Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and various other altcoins, such as Litecoin (LTC).
It’s small, compact, and allows you to buy and trade cryptocurrencies, as well as store them. Using the Ledger Nano S, you will be able to send and receive payments, check your accounts, and manage multiple addresses for your currencies. It’s a USB-style stick that can be plugged into both computers and smartphones.
The Ledger Nano S is highly secure, keeping private keys under protection, and must be unlocked via a PIN code.
Transactions are verified on the stick’s display screen and can therefore not be tampered with. Accounts are also backed up on a recovery sheet.
Cryptonator is a software wallet that supports XRP.
Cryptonator is both a wallet and an instant exchange, allowing you to invest in other cryptocurrencies than XRP via Cryptonator. You can also exchange for fiat currency on Cryptonator.
It’s easy to sign up for (and free) and offers both convenience and security. You’ll have access to your Cryptonator wallet from both your computer and smartphone.
Cryptonator uses a secure web connection (SLL), plus a 2-factor authentication (2FA) process that gives users a one-time password. Cryptonator wallets also block activity from suspicious IP addresses.
Toast Wallet is another software wallet. It offers a secure, easy-to-use service that is great for those new to the crypto sphere.
Toast Wallet is free and open source and is first and foremost a mobile wallet, but there are desktop versions available for Windows, OSX, and Linux. This mobile wallet is available on both Android and iOS devices.
Private keys are kept safely on your device, rather than stored online.
However, some bugs have been discovered in various versions (only PC versions right now), so it’s good to keep this in mind. Toast Wallet’s site ensures that the bug only allows the PIN screen to occasionally be bypassed. It doesn’t affect the encryption of the wallet or allow XRP to be sent. Upgrading your Toast Wallet app may help resolve this issue.
Where do you go from here?
Taking all this information in, you’ll have to decide for yourself what the best Ripple wallet is for you. If you’re looking for fast, instant transactions, for example, one of the software wallets may be most applicable to you.
However, if your top priority is security, a hardware wallet is what you should go with.
Featured image: Elevenews