How to get a crypto wallet

October 16, 2023


Written by: Algorand Foundation

Before you start exploring Web3, you need to get a crypto wallet. A crypto wallet is a digital storage device that allows you to store, send, and receive cryptocurrency. There are many different types of crypto wallets available, so it's important to choose one that's right for you. In this article, we will discuss the different types of wallets, how to get a crypto wallet, and safety precautions to take with your wallet. 

Crypto wallet types

There are three main types of crypto wallets: mobile, browser, and hardware wallets. By understanding these options, you'll be better equipped to choose a wallet that aligns with your goals and provides a secure means of managing your digital assets.

Mobile wallets offer a practical and accessible solution for managing your cryptocurrencies. These wallets are well-suited for quick transactions and easy access to your holdings. 

Web wallets and extension wallets integrate seamlessly with your internet browser. They provide a convenient way to manage your crypto assets while browsing the web.

Hardware wallets offer an unparalleled level of protection. These physical devices store your private keys offline, minimizing the risk of online threats.


Things to consider when choosing a crypto wallet

Supported currencies: Make sure the wallet supports the specific cryptocurrencies you plan to store. It's like ensuring your wallet can hold both dollar bills and euros.

Custody: Choose the level of control and responsibility you want to have over your crypto. A non-custodial wallet gives you full control of your crypto, while a custodial wallet has a service provider safeguard the wallet’s private keys.

Security measures: Look for wallets with robust encryption and two-factor authentication (2FA). Think of it as locking your wallet with a fingerprint and a secret code.

Fees: Be mindful of transaction and withdrawal fees. Some wallets may charge a small fee for sending crypto. 

Usability: If you’re new to crypto wallets, opt for a wallet with an intuitive interface. Also, ensure that the wallet is compatible with the device that you intend to use it on.  

Customer support: Good customer support is important. You'll want a wallet provider with responsive customer service in case you run into any issues. 

How to get a crypto mobile wallet

This section will walk you through downloading and creating a mobile crypto wallet.

Step 1: Choose the wallet you want to use. As noted above, there are many wallet options available, and even mobile crypto wallets can vary in their features and security measures. Some wallets are geared toward those new to crypto and have user-friendly features to make storing and accessing crypto very simple. Others offer more advanced features for those more familiar with crypto. Trusted mobile wallets are Pera, Defly, and Exodus.

Step 2: Download the wallet to your smartphone. You can download your selected wallet app from the Google Play Store or the App Store. You will also find a link to download it on the wallet website. Please take care when downloading from an app store that you are downloading from the official wallet provider, as there have been cases where scammers have imitated wallet apps to steal funds. 

Step 3: Create a wallet. When you first open the app, it will prompt you to create or recover an account. You will be shown your recovery passphrase and asked to back it up somewhere safe. You’ll be required to give the wallet a name (simply so you can identify the wallet on your phone). You may then be asked to set up biometric authentication or a PIN code. 

Step 4: Use your wallet. You’re now ready to add assets to your wallet. Some wallets require that you transfer funds from a cryptocurrency exchange or another wallet, while others allow you to transfer funds from your fiat bank account.

How to get a crypto web or extension wallet

This section will walk you through the process of creating a web or extension wallet.

Step 1: Choose a web or extension wallet. To get started, you'll need to select a wallet that specifically supports the cryptocurrency you want to hold in the wallet. Look for a wallet with a user-friendly interface that has a reputation for being reliable and secure. Pera is a web wallet, while Exodus is an extension wallet.

Skip to step 3 with a web wallet and follow step 2 with an extension wallet.

Step 2: Install the wallet. Visit the official website of the chosen wallet and find the install link that is appropriate for your web browser. For example, the Exodus download page will take you to the Chrome Web Store, where you can download the wallet. Be cautious of phishing attempts and only download from the official source to avoid potential security risks. Once downloaded, install the wallet in your browser. 

Step 3: Create your wallet. Upon launching the wallet application, you'll be guided through the process of creating an account. This typically involves generating a new wallet address and securely storing your recovery passphrase. The recovery passphrase is crucial for restoring access to your wallet in case you forget your password or encounter any issues.

Step 4: You’re ready to use your wallet. You are now able to send and receive tokens to your web or extension wallet. Within your wallet, you can manage your digital assets, view your transaction history, and view your public and private keys. 

How to get a hardware crypto wallet

This section will walk you through the process of buying and setting up a hardware wallet.

Step 1: Choose a hardware wallet. Opt for a reputable hardware wallet such as Ledger, which supports a variety of cryptocurrencies.

Step 2: Purchase the hardware wallet. Navigate to the official website of the chosen hardware wallet provider. Explore the available models and select the one that best suits your preferences and security needs. It's advisable to purchase directly from the manufacturer to ensure authenticity and minimize the potential risks associated with third-party sellers.

Step 3: Set up the hardware wallet. Carefully follow the provided instructions to set it up. This typically involves connecting the device to your computer or smartphone, initializing the wallet, and generating a new wallet address. During this setup process, you'll often create a recovery seed—an essential piece of information that serves as a backup in case you ever lose access to your wallet. Keep this recovery seed offline and in a secure location.

Step 4: Manage your crypto securely. With your hardware wallet configured, you can confidently manage your cryptocurrencies. Whenever you need to access or authorize transactions, connect your hardware wallet to your computer or mobile device. Since the hardware wallet stores your private keys offline, it significantly reduces the risk of online threats and attacks.

Crypto wallet safety precautions

Crypto wallets are a valuable tool for storing and managing your cryptocurrency, but they can also be a target for hackers. Here are some safety precautions you can take to protect your crypto wallet:

Choose a secure wallet. There are many different types of crypto wallets available, so it's important to choose one that is secure. Hardware wallets are considered to be the most secure, as they store your cryptocurrency offline. Software wallets can also be secure, but they are more vulnerable to hacking if they are not properly secured.

Use a strong password. Your wallet password should be long and complex, and it should not be reused for any other online accounts. You should also avoid using dictionary words or personal information in your password.

Enable two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA adds an extra layer of security to your wallet by requiring you to enter a code from your phone in addition to your password when you log in.

Keep your seed phrase safe. Your seed phrase is a set of words that gives you access to your wallet. It is important to keep your seed phrase safe and secure, and you should never share it with anyone.

Be careful about what links you click on. Phishing scams are a common way for hackers to steal cryptocurrency. Never enter your wallet information on a website that you don't trust.

Only use reputable wallets. There are many scams and hacks associated with cryptocurrency wallets. It is important to only use reputable wallets that have a good track record of security.

Defly Pera Exodus

Further reading: 

What is a Web3 wallet and how does it work?

How to create a Pera wallet

A guide to wallet security and best practices


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