A crypto wallet allows you to login and interact with Web3 apps.
For example, Console is a group chat app that uses wallet login. On Console (as with many Web3 apps) you don't need to reveal your phone number, or your email address — this preservers user privacy, and hardens security.
A Web3 wallet has many benefits: On social apps, wallets allows you to use your ENS, BNS, Lens, Nostr and Farcaster names (read more about ENS and sovereign identities if you're not familiar). Wallets also allow you to send and receive cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and Ethereum. And they allow you to use your digital assets (like NFTs) within other apps.
As you onboard to Web3 you may be confused about which crypto wallet to choose? Which ones are the best? What are the pros and cons?
Below we share eight of our favorite web wallets that you can use to join Console, and thousands of other Web3 apps.
What is a Web3 Wallet?
Web3 wallets are catalysts for the mass adoption of decentralized technologies. Their importance has grown hand-in-hand with the expansion of dApps, smart contracts and a broader recognition that a user’s crypto can grant access to an entire ecosystem of blockchain services.
Most Web3 wallets are non-custodial, meaning that users retain full control over their assets (for example, cryptocurrency and NFTs).
Hot wallets are the most popular type of Web3 wallet. Hot wallets, also called software wallets, are wallets that you access from your web browser or your iPhone. They differ from cold storage wallets which typically include a hardware device (see Ledger and Trezor below). Hardware wallets are ideal for longer-term asset storage, and are generally more secure. Both types of wallets can be used to access Web3 apps. Keep reading to learn more on the differences between hot wallets and cold wallets.
Why Web3 Wallets?
Web3 wallets empower users to actively participate in shaping the decentralized ecosystem through the embodiment of Web3 principles, like identity sovereignty
Today, Web3 wallets have become a critical part of the evolving landscape. They give users a secure and user-friendly avenue to connect to an expanding ecosystem of dApps, and give them control over their identity and personal data.
8 Crypto Wallets To Get You Started
We’ll dive into eight of the top Web3 wallets on the market today and reveal why each one could be a solid starting point for your Web3 journey.
Rainbow, available on iOS and Android, is a popular Ethereum mobile wallet supporting L2s like Arbitrum, Optimum and Polygon. Its integration with Ethereum Name Service (ENS) enables users to effortlessly secure their personalized Ethereum address.
Rainbow’s superpower is in being beginner-friendly. The wallet’s built-in NFT support, in-app swap interface, and “Discover'' feature for tracking token prices and gas fees cater to beginners and experienced users alike. As of May 2023, Rainbow users can purchase Ethereum assets using credit cards, bank transfers, and mobile payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay through its partnership with MoonPay.
Xverse is a popular Bitcoin wallet that gives users access to Web3 on Bitcoin via the Stacks blockchain. The wallet, which can be accessed via mobile (iOS and Android) and desktop (Google Chrome), was one of the first wallets to connect its users to Ordinal inscription services and Ordinal marketplaces just weeks after Casey Rodarmor’s protocol went live on mainnet.
Ordinals support is another addition to Xverse’s library of Bitcoin NFT services. The wallet has established itself as a mainstay among Bitcoin NFT enthusiasts looking to access and manage NFT collections on the world’s oldest blockchain. Aside from Bitcoin NFTs, Xverse provides user access to DeFi protocols, acting as a gateway into the expanding Bitcoin DeFi space.
Coinbase Wallet is a separate product from the wallet used for transactions on the Coinbase exchange. Unlike the exchange wallet, Coinbase Wallet is self-custodial, meaning that the user has full control over their private keys, seed phrases and assets.
Both the mobile app (for iOS and Android) and Chrome desktop extension give users the ability to interact with some of the biggest Ethereum L2s like Arbitrum, Optimism, and Polygon. Coinbase Wallet has been praised for integrating extra security features like biometric authentication and KYC rules, the result of compliance features originally set by Coinbase.
Founded in 2016, MetaMask is Web3’s most popular web wallet — largely in part because it’s one of Web3’s first web wallets. With over 30 million monthly active users across its Chrome extension and mobile app (iOS and Android), this non-custodial wallet is the most popular wallet in Web . Metamask users can purchase ERC-20 tokens directly in-app and connect to a multitude of decentralized applications thanks to the wallet’s widespread appeal. MetaMask supports Binance Smart Chain and L2s like Arbitrum and Polygon.
In July 2023, teams closely affiliated with MetaMask (including Consensys) developed MetaMask Portfolio, an app that serves as a one-stop shop for users to view up to 10 MetaMask accounts and buy, swap, bridge, and stake their assets.
Leather Wallet is your go-to for Bitcoin Web3. It’s available for Chrome, Firefox, and Brave. Users should install the Leather Wallet browser extension (Chrome, Firefox and Brave) to browse Web3 applications. The desktop app’s primary use cases are storing, sending, receiving, and staking Stacks (STX), but won’t be useful for signing into apps.
With the browser extension, users can connect to dApps and inscribe their own Ordinals, purchase NFTs and mint Bitcoin Stamps (a function that the majority of Bitcoin wallets don’t have yet). Users can send and receive their collectibles in-app with full control over their peer-to-peer transactions. If you’re a Stacks user, both the wallet extension and desktop application support Ledger devices, providing an extra layer of security.
Ledger is one of the two leading crypto hardware wallets. Since the company launched its Ledger Live app in 2018, Ledger has continued to provide users with a growing library of options that they can use to interact with Web3 applications.
Ledger Extension, which launched in March 2023, is its latest Web3 initiative. Ledger Nano X users can connect to the Safari-compatible browser extension to manage their assets and interact with a variety of Web3 applications. The extension has an integrated , “Web3 Checks” feature that automatically flags potentially untrustworthy domains, URLs, dApps and more.
Similar to Ledger, Trezor is a hardware wallet for safely storing your bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Trezor users have added support for web wallets like MetaMask. They can connect their Trezor hardware device to some of the most popular Web3 wallets (like MetaMask), and access Web3 platforms and services.
While Trezor currently doesn’t have an app similar to Ledger Live – which allows users to connect to Web3 apps – its Trezor Suite desktop and app provides a simple interface for users to create multiple wallet accounts and manage all of their assets in one place.
DeFi and NFTs are two of the most popular sectors in Web3, and Zerion is one of the most user-friendly wallets for both. This non-custodial wallet has become a must-have for DeFi and NFT enthusiasts because of how easily it helps them find and track the best deals across multiple Ethereum-compatible networks.
Zerion users on mobile (iOS and Android), tablet (iPad) and web apps can connect their non-Zerion wallets (including Ledger hardware wallets) to take advantage of the platform’s trading and bridging aggregator, which operates on over 10 networks to help users determine the best trades to make in real-time. The app allows users to follow any wallet address, ENS name or NFT collection they’re interested in so that they’re notified whenever a new mint or trade takes place.
Web3 security and web wallets
In the evolving landscape of blockchain technology, Web3 wallets have granted users the power to navigate the future of the internet on their own terms.
Whether you’re new to Web3 or familiar with the space, it’s important to remember that security is paramount when using a Web3 wallet. Private keys and seed phrases should never be shared with anyone; ideally, they should be stored in a location only accessible to the user.
In the world of crypto and Web3, securing your keys isn’t just about protecting your assets. It’s about protecting your identity and a passport to the wider Web3 ecosystem.