If you’ve got caught up in Bitcoin fever and decided you’re going to dip your feet into the world of cryptocurrency in 2018, you’ll need a secure crypto wallet on your Mac to store your fortunes in. Desktop crypto wallets for Mac are one of the securest ways to store your precious cryptocurrency offline so that they are secure in the event of a cryptocurrency exchange hack. They’re also safer than mobile crypto wallets because your Mac is harder to hack, steal or lose than your mobile. The market for crypto and bitcoin wallets for Mac in 2017 is still very much evolving though and will continue to do so in 2018 so here’s an up to date look at the best cryptocurrency wallets for Mac out there so that you can sleep easy knowing your crypto investments are safe.
Top Cryptocurrency Wallets For Mac
The world of cryptocurrency wallets can be complex for newcomers and there’s a few things to be aware of first to avoid disappointment or confusion.
Crypto currency wallets are divided into “hot” and “cold” wallets. Hot wallets are those that need to be connected to the internet in order to work which are the majority of wallets out there. These can be wallets that you either download to your desktop or mobile (like those featured here) or can also be cloud based (which are less secure). “Cold” wallets usually refer to to physical hardware wallets such as the Trezor crypto wallet (see review below) and are considered the most secure wallets to use. If you’re storing large amounts of Bitcoin or crypto currency, it’s recommended that you use a cold wallet which are much harder to hack and add greater levels of security. If you’re just starting out with a few funds, a hot wallet will be fine.
Not all cryptocurrencies are supported by wallets. Most wallets support popular currencies like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Dash etc. However, there are many currencies which only work with their own custom wallet. For example, the Neo and Cardano crypto currencies both have specific wallets that only work for them. In the case of Neo, there are several wallets designed for it, the best being Neon. For Cardano, you can only use the Daedalus Wallet which is made by the creators of the Cardano ADA cryptocurrency.
Make sure you backup your wallet once you’ve transferred funds into it. All wallets make it very easy to backup which is essential in case you lose access to your Mac. When you’ve backed up, you’ll be given a secret key which you can use to regain access to your funds if you ever get locked out. Cold wallets also give you a secret key which you can use to recover your funds if you lose your wallet. This is often a sequence of words such as the example below which you can use to regain access to your money.
Treat this code (or “seed”) as the keys to your wealth – if you lose it you may never be able to regain access to your funds again. We strongly recommend that you print out multiple paper copies of the secret key and store them in the securest method possible.
As with the cryptocurrency industry, the market for crypto currency wallets is still quite immature at this time and there will probably be many new wallets that emerge and current wallets that disappear over the next few years. It is still a rapidly evolving industry and you may end up having to change wallets further down the line.
With all this in mind, here then are the best hot and cold crypto wallets for macOS.
Exodus looks like it was a crypto wallet designed specifically for macOS although it’s available on both Mac and PC. Exodus is incredibly slick but what we really like is that Exodus is integrated with ShapeShift. This means that there’s no need to go to an exchange to buy other coins, you can simply exchange say Bitcoin for Ethereum within Exodus. Exodus only takes a very small exchange fee which means its cheap and easy to build a portfolio of coins without leaving the app.
Exodus is simple and extremely easy to navigate. It gives you a nice overview of your crypto portfolio in a simple pie chart format. Exodus automatically connects to crypto P2P networks so that your currency values update in real-time.
What’s really handy is if you click on the Exchange tab, you can change any currency instantly. Exodus will send the exchange to ShapeShift and when complete, you’ll hear a reassuring cash-til sound effect which notifies you that your money has been returned in the new currency. Don’t worry if there’s a delay as it can take some minutes to exchange the currency depending on the crypto currency you want to exchange. If you don’t see the currency exchange visible in Exodus, just click on Wallet and then click on the currency’s symbol at the top of the screen and the figures should update.
The one thing to be aware of with Exodus is that it’s not open source. Potentially, this means the developers could insert malicious code into it although this is probably unlikely. If you’re just storing relatively small amounts of crypto, you really don’t have anything to worry about but if it’s larger amounts, you may want to consider a cold wallet like the Trezor.
Bottom line – if you’re looking for something user-friendly that looks great on Mac, Exodus is an elegant and easy to use crypto currency wallet for macOS.
Jaxx is another multi platform crypto wallet supporting a wide range of crypto currencies in a simple, easy to use interface. Jaxx doesn’t feel quite as polished as Exodus but it also allows you to conveniently swap coins into other currencies by clicking on the blue fox icon. Jaxx is a Canadian based project and was founded by Anthony Di Iorio, co-founder of the Ethereum crypto currency. Jaxx works with all major cryptocurrencies and uses a highly secure 12 word “Masterseed” to help manage the private keys to your assets. There are also Jaxx apps for Android, iOS, Windows, Linux and even a Chrome extension. If you’re looking for something truly cross-platform and particularly if you like using Chrome extensions, Jaxx is a secure and easy way to store crypto currency.
Trezor isn’t actually an application – it’s a hardware wallet which is the securest form of crypto storage you can get. Even though $100 might sound a lot, if you’re making serious money in crypto currency dealing, it’s a very small price to pay for ultra secure protection. Trezor adds multiple layers of protection to your digital currency. It connects you your Mac through micro USB and will only connect when you enter a PIN. Most major currencies are supported on Trezor If you lose your Trezor, don’t worry. As long as you have your secret “seed” written down somewhere, you can recover your funds. Using a hard crypto wallet such as Trezor is a bit more complicated than a soft wallet like Exodus and Jaxx so to get a better idea of how it works, check out the video below.
Electrum doesn’t win any prizes for looks but it’s arguably the securest hot wallet out there. Electrum is perfect to use alongside Trezor as an ultra secure crypto or Bitcoin storage solution for Mac. Electrum is completely open source which means it’s much harder for back door exploits to appear since it is peer tested by other users and programmers. Electrum is definitely one for those that are paranoid when it comes to Bitcoin and other crypto transactions as verifies that transactions are in the Bitcoin chain. If your experienced with crypto currencies and aren’t intimidated by basic GUIs, then Electrum is worth looking closer at.
Copay was created by Bitcoin payment provider BitPay and is an open source multisig wallet. This means that it adds extra layers of security to your blockchain purchases similar to how cold wallets work. Copay is one of the few wallets to support the full Bitcoin Payment Protocol (BIP 0070-0073) which means that if the merchant you are sending to supports the protocol, you can be 100% sure it’s going to the right place. Copay also secures your wallet with multiple signatures and allows several users to use the wallet at the same time making it a good option for friends or family. Before money can be sent, each member must approve the transaction. There’s a mobile and Mac desktop app which looks sleek and elegant on macOS. You can watch how to use Copay on Mac below.
As the name suggests, Armory’s focus is on added security although it requires a bit of Bitcoin know how to use these features correctly. Armory isn’t actually a “hot” wallet – it can create a wallet that never actually touches the internet but is still able to manage the wallet online with what it claims is a “minimal risk of an attacker stealing your funds”. Armory is one of the few wallets that not only supports Mac and PC but also RasberriPi. Armory is very experienced at enterprise solutions for storing very large amounts of Bitcoin and if you’re looking for something extremely safe, secure and yet not too geeky, Armory is worth checking out.
KeepKey is flashy looking cold wallet that supports one of the biggest number of alt coins you’ll find in any cold wallet. KeepKey supports bitcoin, litecoin, dogecoin, ethereum, and dash which at the time of writing, is a lot for a cold wallet. What’s really cool is the built in ShapeShift integration which allows you to trade coins within the wallet itself, a bit like with Exodus and Jaax. If you want something good-looking with convenient coin exchange support, KeepKey is a slick and easy to use cold alt coin wallet.
These are currently the best bitcoin wallets for Mac and for other crypto currencies too. If you’re wondering why Coinbase is not on here it’s because it doesn’t have a Mac desktop app yet – it’s only available on mobile. However, it’s probably only a matter of time before we can add it to the list.
The Nano Ledger S is another slick cold bitcoin wallet which can also store many other alt coins. It uses a secure OLED display to secure transactions with a tap on its side buttons. One thing that makes the Nano Ledger S different is that it can run companion apps such as U2F, GPG, SSH and even apps that you’ve created yourself. The Ledger Nano S also supports the FIDO Universal Second Factor authentication standard used by Google, Dropbox, Dashlane etc.
The Nano Ledger S is also one of the only cold wallets that currently supports the Neo cryptocurrency and PIVX.
These are a selection of the best hot and cold bitcoin wallets for Mac and for other crypto currencies. For those starting out, we recommend using one of the hot wallet desktop apps but if you’re going to be investing large amounts of cash, you should get yourself familiarized with a cold wallet sooner rather than later. The important thing is to use at least one of them rather than leave your profits on a crypto exchange.
If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the crypto wallets featured here, let us know in the comments below.