Compare Ethereum Mobile Wallets

Find the best mobile Ethereum wallet.

With a mobile wallet, you can access your ether on the go. Use our reviews to find the sites to download the best Ethereum wallet for you.

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What should I look for in an Ethereum mobile wallet app?

Mobile wallets often have some great features, such as allowing you to transfer ether by merely scanning a QR code. However, you also want to make sure you find a wallet with good security features and backup options, otherwise you could lose your ether if your phone gets lost or stolen.

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The top Ethereum mobile wallets.


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Finding the best Ethereum mobile wallet in 2018.


What is an Ethereum mobile wallet?

A mobile wallet is an app on your phone that stores your Ethereum and allows you receive ether and transfer it to other wallets. You can usually download the application through the App Store or Google Play (depending if you have an iOS or Android phone), register an account and access your ether anywhere with your mobile phone. All details of this wallet are stored locally on your phone, unlike with online wallets that store your private keys on the host website’s servers, so it’s essential you keep your phone secure.

How do Ethereum mobile wallets work?

Mobile wallets are all built to have very user-friendly interfaces, so sending and receiving ether (the cryptocurrency used on the Ethereum blockchain) is made easy. Your public key can be given to others so they can pay you, and you can also transfer ether to others in the app by entering their wallet address.

Additionally, to make it even more convenient for users, most mobile wallets come with QR-Code technology, which allows you to simply scan the QR-Code of a receiver’s wallet address and make instant payments without having to manually enter their wallet address.

So they’re like regular banking apps?

Yes, they work very similarly, except that your ether is stored directly on your phone. As is the case with a banking app, you can view your transaction history, balance, and make payments or receive money through the Ethereum wallet.

What other types of wallet are there?

There are four main types of alternative ethereum wallets that you can consider. Here’s a brief look into the differences between them

:

  • Online wallet. Also known as a web-based wallet, this is a wallet that allows you to access your ether via a web browser. The private key is usually hosted by your provider, and they are solely responsible for its security. Good examples of web-based Ethereum wallets are MyEtherWallet or Coinbase.
  • Desktop wallet. This is effectively a wallet that you can download and install on your PC. It stores the private key on your computer, giving you control of your funds and their security. Examples of good desktop wallets include Exodus, Mist, and Electrum.
  • Hardware wallet. This is an electronic device that’s specifically built to hold ether. It stores your private key completely offline, guaranteeing the maximum protection of your coins from online attacks. Some of the most widely-known manufacturers of these wallets include KeepKey, Trezor, and Ledger.
  • Paper wallet. This is basically a piece of paper with both the private and public keys of ether addresses printed on it. Just like the hardware wallet, it keeps the ether completely offline, making it a great choice for those looking to hold their coins for long-term. Some of the best places that allow you to create a paper wallet include ETHAdress and WalletGenerator.

How are Ethereum mobile wallets different to online wallets with mobile apps?

Online wallets are like accounts, where all your information is stored remotely and password protected. Online wallets with mobile apps are like mobile banking apps, where you can see, send, and receive funds on your app. No information is stored on your mobile app if you have an online wallet.

On the other hand, mobile wallets physically store your private keys and wallet addresses on your mobile device. In this way, instead of being like a banking app, a mobile wallet is the bank – your funds are stored directly on the device. This gives you complete control of your account.

When it comes to keeping your coins safe, mobile wallets are more secure than online wallets because you’re storing your wallet information offline. However, as your device is connected to the internet it’s still not as secure as a hardware wallet. Your phone could be infected by malware or targeted by hackers, so it is important to utilise all of a wallet’s security features.

What are the best Ethereum mobile wallet providers?

There are lots of options to choose from when it comes to Ethereum mobile wallets. Here are some of the best around:

Mycelium

Formed by a group of engineers in 2008, Mycelium is one of the most popular wallets for iOS and Android devices. It currently integrates with Ledger, Trezor, Coinapult, Glidera, and Cashila wallets.

BRD

Formerly BreadWallet, BRD is a Zurich-based mobile wallet available for both Android and iOS devices. It supports Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin, as well as multiple ERC20 tokens.

Edge

Formerly known as Airbitz, Edge is a wallet known for an easy interface. It was launched in February 2018 and currently supports five cryptocurrencies.

Abra

This is a cryptocurrency wallet that allows you to fund your account with fiat currency and then invest in Ethereum and 24 other cryptocurrencies all in one place. The wallet also allows you to exchange between cryptocurrencies.

Jaxx

Created in 2014 by Anthony Diiorio Ethereum co-founder, Jaxx is a wallet that runs on iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows platforms, which allows you to store over a dozen cryptocurrencies.

Important note: Coinbase is not a mobile wallet. It is an online wallet that has a mobile app.

Are Ethereum mobile wallets free?

Yes, Ethereum mobile wallets are free to download and use. All you need to do is go to Google Play Store or App Store and download your preferred wallet app and register for an account.

Are there additional fees for using Ethereum mobile wallets?

Technically, yes. When you conduct transactions through your wallet, you will incur a network transaction fee, which is used to reward miners for verifying transactions on the blockchain. These fees are referred to as ‘gas’ and are usually under £1 worth of ether. Some wallets give you the option to pay higher or lower gas fees, which correlate to faster or slower transaction speeds.

Can I back up an Ethereum mobile wallet?

Yes, by noting down your ‘recovery seed’, you can effectively backup your Ethereum wallet. A recovery seed is simply a string of words that you can generate yourself or that are generated by your wallet app, allowing you to access your wallet’s funds on another device at a later date in case you lose access to your wallet.

How to set up an Ethereum mobile wallet

Each individual ethereum mobile wallet will have its own steps to set up, but generally this is what to expect:

  1. Choose the right Ethereum mobile wallet for you.
  2. Go to the Google Play or App Store and download the app.
  3. Open the app and you’ll usually have the two options: ‘create new wallet’ and ‘recover wallet’.
  4. Click ‘create new wallet’ and follow the steps. Usually this will involve setting up a PIN or password, and revealing your recovery seed (you must write this down as it enables you to back up your wallet).
  5. Note: If you don’t get asked to set up a recovery seed, then find out how to set one up manually within the app or what other features your chosen walled has in order to create a backup.
  6. Once you’ve set all of this up, you’ll be able to use your wallet. Go to your details to find out the wallet address and transfer your ether into your new mobile wallet.

What are the risks of using an Ethereum mobile wallet?

Generally, mobile wallets are more secure to use in comparison to online wallets, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Being connected to the internet. Since your mobile device will usually be connected to the internet, you might be vulnerable to attacks by viruses and malware, meaning you have to stray away from dangerous websites.
  • Losing access to your phone. Because all your funds are stored on one device, This makes it incredibly vital that you protect your wallet recovery seed locked to access funds on your device, as otherwise losing access to your phone will also mean losing complete access to your funds.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that mobile wallets are unsafe. Most of them encrypt your private key and store it locally on the device. Regardless, it is advised that if you have a substantial investment you want to store long term, you consider options such as a hardware wallet for maximum security.

And what are the advantages?

On the other hand, mobile wallets carry signifiacnt advantages such as:

  • Control over your security. Because the details of the wallet are stored on the mobile phone (a local device) and not by an online wallet provider, you have complete control of your private key and its security
  • Convenience. This is the best thing about mobile wallets. Accessing your wallet to pay or receive ether while on the move like you would on your regular banking app is very convenient.

Should I use an Ethereum mobile wallet?

Well, if you’re looking to access your ether regularly, either for making payments or trading, or looking to hold a small amount of ether, then yes, an Ethereum mobile wallet would be a great choice. If your goal is the storage of ether as a long term investment, consider going for even safer choices such as paper and hardware wallets.

How do I find the best Ethereum mobile wallet?

You can find them right here. We have narrowed down a list of the most reliable and reputable Ethereum wallets and reviewed them for you to help you make your decision for what provider is best for you.

Should I use a mobile wallet to store my ether?


Advantages

  • You can store your ether directly on your phone
  • Mobile wallets are very simple to use
  • They have good security features
  • Mobile wallets are free to download and use

Drawbacks

  • Mobile wallets are not as secure as hardware or paper wallets
  • Your ether could be at risk if you lose or damage your phone

Frequent questions.


What is a mobile wallet’s relation to the Ethereum blockchain?

Mobile phones don’t have enough space to download all the Ethereum blockchain data (as some desktop wallets do), which is currently at around 1TB. Instead, they use what’s known as Simple Payment Verification (SPV), a lightweight client that verifies that transactions are included in the blockchain. What happens is that mobile wallets sync to the blockchain through the internet in order to record transactions. This is the reason they’re often known as ‘light wallets’.

Can I connect an Ethereum mobile wallet to an exchange?

Yes and no. Most exchanges usually have integrated wallets, meaning that you will need to move your ether from your mobile wallet to the exchange in order to trade. However, some mobile wallets such as Jaxx do allow for the exchange between certain coins through the mobile app.

What if I lose my phone?

This is a serious issue. If you lost your mobile phone and didn’t take steps to back it up, it means you will lose your coins forever. So, just to be safe, it’s advised that you note down your recover passphrase so that you can use it to restore your funds in the event you lose your phone.

Can mobile wallets hold multiple cryptocurrencies?

Yes, provided you have a smartphone, you can get your preferred wallet app on either the Google Play Store or the App Store.

Is it secure to use my mobile wallet on 3G?

3G is usually secure because it’s a network solely dedicated to your device. Always avoid using public Wi-Fi to access your mobile wallet, as your information could be at risk of being intercepted by other people on the same network.

Are Ethereum mobile wallets large apps?

No, Ethereum wallet apps are no larger than your regular apps. Unlike some desktop wallets that download the entire blockchain, mobile wallets only download a part of it, which is why they are known as light wallets.

What’s the battery usage of an Ethereum mobile wallet?

Not very much. It depends on the app and whether your phone runs it in the background or not. If you only use it to view balance and make a few payments here and there, the battery usage will be negligible. Generally, these apps are not power hungry.

What is an Ethereum wallet?

Also referred to as an Ethereum digital wallet, an Ethereum wallet is a program or software where ether is stored. The wallets come in many forms, each providing unique features. There are web-based wallets, mobile wallets, and offline based wallets such as paper and hardware wallets.

Why are they called wallets?

Because, just like regular wallets, the purpose of an Ethereum wallet is to store your money. However, an Ethereum wallet does this by recording the movement of ether in and out of itself on a publicly displayed ledger (the blockchain). The wallet facilitates receiving and sending of ether and gives you ownership of your ethereum balance. Although they function similar to a banking app, wallets are not only online; there are options such as hardware and paper wallets that store your ether offline.

What is a ‘cold wallet’?

Also known as an offline wallet, a ‘cold wallet’ is a wallet that is not connected to the internet. This is the most secure type of wallet because it protects your funds from cyber hacks, unauthorized access, and other types of vulnerabilities that systems connected to the internet are susceptible to. These wallets are useful if you’re storing a large number of coins for a long period of time, but if you want to be regularly trading your coins you’ll want to be using an online wallet.

How fast are transactions between Ethereum wallets?

Transactions between Ethereum wallets are executed instantly, but the verification process might take a bit of time. Depending on network traffic, the transaction could take 2 hours to process, but they usually complete within a few minutes time. The expediency of transactions on the Ethereum network is one of the reasons why Ethereum is popular, as transaction speeds on the Bitcoin blockchain are usually longer.

What are private and public keys?

Also referred to as a wallet address, a public key is essentially your account number (to use a banking example). You need it to make payments to another wallet. And as the name suggests, the key is viewable publicly and can be obtainable by anyone. A private key, on the other hand, is like a PIN number: it is the password required to access your funds and transfer ether out of a wallet. This key should be kept confidential (in cases where you are using paper or desktop wallets) as anyone with access to it can access your coins and transfer them.

Can I have more than one wallet at a time?

Absolutely. You can register as many wallets as you want to. You can have any type of wallet, from an online wallet, to a mobile wallet, to a hardware wallet, to a paper wallet. Further, multiple wallets might allow you to transact more anonymously. Wallets might also help you fit different purposes, such as being able to use funds on an online wallet for trading, or keeping funds in a hardware wallet for long term storage. Moreover, it can be a good idea to spread your ether across multiple wallets depending on your needs. For example, if you want to trade your ether regularly you can keep your funds on an online or mobile wallet, and you can use a hardware or paper wallet to store your other funds offline long term.

Can I transfer from my Ethereum wallet to my bank account?

No, it’s not possible. You see, Ethereum wallets hold ether rather than regular (fiat) currency held by bank accounts, so you cannot transfer directly between them. What you can do is sell your ether on a platform such as Coinbase and transfer the money into your bank account. Services like Wirex are making this process easier by offering users Ethereum debit cards that are linked to a fiat currency and Ethereum account.

What is a ‘recovery seed’?

This is basically a mnemonic phrase that allows you to restore your wallet if you lose it, usually consisting of 12,18, or 24 words. It’s recommended that you record this phrase on paper and keep it locked away in a safe place. This is because if you ever misplace or forget your wallet or its details, or - in the case of paper and hardware wallets - your wallet gets damaged, lost, or stolen, you can use the recovery seed to recover your ether onto a new wallet/device.

On a technical level, how do transactions work?

Think of internet banking. An Ethereum wallet comprises of a public and private key, which correspond to an account number and private PIN respectively. To access your own funds or ether, you will need the private key. However, when sending ether to another address, all that is necessary is the account number of another person, like when you send funds to a friend for the first time. When the transaction goes through, all that will be visible on the blockchain is both the incoming and outgoing wallet’s public addresses. Ultimately, funds will be deducted from your wallet address.

What is a deterministic wallet?

This is effectively a wallet that can generate multiple different keys from a single ‘seed’ for the purpose of backing up your wallet to recover funds at a later date, so long as you have the recovery passphrase saved. These wallets also carry additional strong security features, making general storage of ether less of a worry.

Do I need a wallet to mine Ethereum?

Yes. In order to receive your block rewards and transaction fees generated through mining, you will need to have a wallet. A cloud mining account may have an integrated wallet where your coins will be sent to, but eventually you will need to have your own wallet to transfer your funds into.

What connection do Ethereum wallets have to the blockchain?

The blockchain is simply a technology behind Ethereum transactions, recording the movement of coins. If you make a transfer from your wallet to another, the blockchain will show the transaction between the two wallet addresses, but not anything relating to the identity of the wallet owners.

Do I have to pay tax on the ether in my wallet?

In the UK, if you earn profits from trading with ether, you are technically required to declare it as a taxable profit under capital gains, so long as you make a profit above £11,700. Otherwise, profits are tax free. However, if you are located within another country, you should look at your local legislation as the tax status of cryptocurrencies might be different.

Are transactions between wallets irreversible?

Yes. You can’t possibly reverse a transaction after it’s initiated on the Ethereum network. If you’re making a payment using ether, make 100% sure you’re sending it to the right wallet address.

Can wallets be hacked?

Ethereum wallets cannot be ‘hacked’ in the sense of forceful entry into the wallet. The private keys, which allow transfer of coins, are impossible to guess because they comprise of a long tail code, unlike regular passwords. What hackers try to do is acquire your private key/password and target exchanges to try and acquire user’s details. Always make sure you’re using a reputable exchange with solid security features to keep your online funds safe. If you have stored your private keys offline, you do not have to worry at all.

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