What is an NFT wallet?
An NFT wallet, or cryptocurrency wallet, is a secure environment that supports the blockchain protocol NFTs are built on. It doesn't work like a physical wallet: you don't actually store NFTs (non-fungible tokens) or cryptocurrencies in your wallet, your wallet provides access to your digital assets, which are held on the blockchain. It provides and maintains a private key, which allows you to authorize NFT transactions. Your private key is unique to your wallet address. Your seed phrase is a fingerprint of all your blockchain assets that you can use as a back-up if you lose your crypto wallet. A wallet takes care of the technical things for you: it provides you a nice user interface for buying, transferring and trading NFTs.
There are two types of wallets: hot and cold. Mobile wallets, desktop wallets and web wallets are generally "hot wallets" and give you a user interface you can use to access, transfer, mint, buy and sell your digital collectibles. Some hot crypto wallets also offer increased security with two-factor authentication. "Cold wallets" are generally hardware wallets. These are physical devices that often look like a small USB stick, and that you will need to connect to your computer.
Choosing the best crypto wallet can be difficult, as there are many on the market and various factors should be considered: compatibility, functionality, multi chain support, quality customer support, security features, whether you can store NFTs, cross-device use, and more.
There are over 100 DeFi wallets on the market, so there is no doubt you'll find one that matches your needs. If you want to cover all your bases, WalletConnect, an open-source protocol that's made for connecting multiple wallets, is known as "chain-agnostic", and claims to work with all blockchains.
What are the best crypto wallet providers?
Bitcoin and Stacks Wallets
In 2023, the ecosystem was rocked by the rise of Bitcoin Ordinals: digital artifacts that live directly on the Bitcoin blockchain, essentially making them Bitcoin NFTs. They've been trending ever since, so it only made sense for Stacks wallets to support Ordinals.
Stacks is a blockchain network that uses Bitcoin's high security while allowing the creation of smart contracts. Although it's built on Bitcoin, you'll need a Stacks compatible wallet in order to store your STX tokens and digital assets on the Stacks blockchain. Using the Hiro wallet or Xverse wallet will allow you to connect to Gamma.io, the largest NFT marketplace on Stacks, where you can discover incredible NFT art and the largest NFT collections on Stacks.
With the Leather wallet (previously Hiro) Chrome browser extension, you'll be able to connect to Bitcoin and Stacks NFT marketplaces and buy, mint, sell and transfer NFTs. Leather wallet has user-friendly interface, and will let you increase or lower transaction fees (also called gas fees), and manage your digital assets and NFT transactions very easily. We've also set up a short video guide on how to set up your Hiro wallet.
If you'd like to access your wallet on your mobile devices, you'll need to download the Xverse wallet app. The mobile application has a built-in browser that will let you access and update your Gamma profile, buy NFTs, mint and sell and manage your transactions. You'll find more information on how to set it up here. Like with Leather, transactions are synchronised in real-time.
Multi-chain and Ethereum wallets
If you're looking for software wallets that are compatible with different blockchains such as BSC, Polygon or the Ethereum blockchain, here are a few of the top NFT wallets.
MetaMask is the top, most widely used Ethereum wallet. It also supports custom networks such as Polygon and Binance Smart Chain. It is easy to set up, has a web browser extension that can be downloaded for multiple browsers and ETH NFT marketplaces, providing easy access to web3 sites and dApps (decentralized applications), and has a mobile app as well as a built-in exchange feature. Metamask also supports many cold storage options including Ledger, Ledger nano, and Trezor.
Since MetaMask only supports ETH, Math Wallet is a strong cross-chain alternative, supporting more than 70 blockchains. It has a web, desktop and mobile version and has integrations with several hardware wallets. The built in dApp browser enables you to view NFT marketplaces, and includes other features such as staking, swapping, etc, as well as its own utility token.
Trust wallet is a highly regarded non-custodial wallet, and is renowned for its security and seamless user experience. It is user-friendly and is viewed as one of the best NFT wallets for beginners: the set up is easy and the mobile app is available on both iOs and Android. Although there is no browser extension, it has a dApp browser so you can search for NFTs with the app. It supports millions of assets, including BTC, XRP, XLM, ETH, DOGE, MATIC and BNB and you can buy crypto with a credit card. When it comes to NFTs, it can store ETH and BSC assets.
The Coinbase wallet is a self-custody crypto and NFT wallet, supporting multiple coins and ERC-20 tokens. Although it doesn't support hardware wallets, it connects to over 7 hot wallets and is accepted on a variety of dApps. It is very user-friendly, and has lots of video tutorials, mobile app guides and educational content for beginners. It supports BTC, ETH, LTC and more. Coinbase wallet also allows you to transfer crypto assets to others by using usernames instead of public wallet addresses.
AlphaWallet is an open-source cryptocurrency wallet. It is mobile only, and only works on the Ethereum blockchain, directly with OpenSea, CryptoKitties and other NFT marketplaces and blockchain gales. It has a built-in dApp browser to find more NFT marketplaces and direct access to DeFi applications such as Compound.
The Enjin wallet is a mobile wallet. It's a great option for NFT traders and NFT gamers. It has its own utility token, the $ENJ. The exchange is the best NFT wallet for users to collect NFTs in-game. Your Enjin wallet supports ETH, BTC, LTC, DOGE, BNB, BEP2, ERC-20, ERC-1155 and ERC-721 assets, and can also be connected to other wallets, including hardware ones. Additional security features include auto-lock and biometrics.
Other top NFT wallets include Zengo wallet which has an MPC feature, and XDEFI wallet which ideal for first-time NFT collectors as well, since all blockchains are installed natively in the wallet. Support for Solana and Near are coming soon. In the meantime, if you're interested in Solana or Tezos NFTs, you can check out the Phantom and Temple wallets, respectively.