Comparing cryptocurrency wallet apps

August 23, 2019

After you’ve bought crypto through an exchange or over-the-counter platform, you may want to keep the coins in a cryptocurrency wallet separate from the platform’s account. One option is to use cold wallets which are hardware devices such as Ledger and Trezor. The other option is to store crypto funds in a dedicated cryptocurrency wallet app installed on your phone. 

In this article, we will compare some of the popular cryptocurrency wallet apps for mobile devices.

The basics of crypto wallets mobile apps

Cryptocurrency wallet apps allow you to safely store your coins. Commonly, apps have added features such as sending and receiving crypto as well as trading into other cryptocurrencies, with some wallets supporting stablecoins too. There is one big distinction to be made between cryptocurrency wallet apps: custodial vs. non-custodial wallets.

A custodial wallet is a type of crypto wallet that keeps a customer’s private keys and provides back-up and security. Non-custodial wallets are decentralised which means the owner is the only one responsible for the security and safe-keeping of private keys. The former is more customer and user friendly, whereas the latter is more secure yet harder to integrate with other systems.

With that said, let’s compare some of the best cryptocurrency wallet apps available for mobile devices.

Abra – crypto and stocks

Abra is more of an investing app rather than a straightforward crypto wallet app. It gives you the ability to trade and exchange between different cryptocurrencies, fiat currencies, and stocks. From the mobile app, you can invest in top global equities, ETFs, 30 cryptocurrencies and 50 local currencies. It is a non-custodial wallet which means Abra cannot access your assets or reset your recovery phrase.

You can fund your Abra wallet using cryptocurrencies, credit card or in some countries even bank transfers. Credit card deposits are charged a fee of 4% (or a flat fee of $10 below a $200 purchase), with potential additional charges due to foreign exchange rates for USD.

Bitspark – Cash trades and stablecoins

The Bitspark mobile wallet is the only crypto wallet on this list that allows customers to cash in and out of cryptocurrencies. Through the app, users can find Cash Points nearby where cash-to-crypto trades can be made. It also has a wider range of local currency stablecoins than most crypto wallet apps with support for stablecoins pegged to USD, EUR, CNY, GBP, SGD, AUD, HKD, and PHP. 

In addition to stablecoins which can be used in many different ways, the wallet also supports BTC, ETH, BTS, and ZEPH.

Cash-to-crypto is possible by using stablecoins as bridge currencies. Say you want to buy BTC with HKD cash: the initial HKD cash to HKD stablecoin trade has a 1.5% charge, and the subsequent HKD stablecoin to BTC trade incurs another 1.5%, making the total fee for a cash-to-crypto transfer 3% - still by far the best rates for buying BTC in Hong Kong.

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Coinomi – the most coins

This crypto wallet offers exchange capabilities and is considered a privacy friendly app. Coinomi emphasises that there is no identity link to the wallet, for added security purposes. 

Next to Bitcoin and Ethereum, it supports a very extensive list of cryptocurrencies that includes the usual suspects such as Ripple as well as the more obscure such as PutinCoin. The stablecoins supported in the crypto app are mostly USD and EUR based. 

While the range of coins supported in the app is very good, the downside is that you cannot deposit or withdraw local currency to and from the Coinomi wallet, which in part is related to the app being a non-custodial wallet.

To deposit money, you need to buy cryptocurrency using a credit card with the fees set by a third party. To withdraw money from the crypto wallet, their support channel advises to set up an account with a different exchange or crypto wallet that does support fiat withdrawals, and then send the crypto to that new account.

This is similar to our explanation of how you can deposit or withdraw cash from Binance using the Bitspark mobile app.

MyCelium – one of the oldest Bitcoin wallets

This is a popular open-source crypto wallet app and certainly one of the oldest ones on the market. With a wide range of advanced privacy and security features, MyCelium is certainly a very capable crypto wallet but it can be a bit overwhelming for crypto beginners. A decentralised in-person exchange is built into the wallet itself. Currently, MyCelium only supports Bitcoins.

A massive upgrade is expected to roll out soon with top new tools including blockchain-based fiat accounts, wallet-linked debit cards, personal finance tools, escrow protected transactions and crypto assets creation.


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