Stellar is a decentralized payment platform designed to connect banks, payments systems and people. It aims to provide a worldwide financial network that allows for fast, reliable and affordable cross-border payments.
Lumens (XLM) are the native asset of the Stellar network and, at the time of this writing, were one of the world’s top 10 cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalization.
If you’re thinking of buying Lumens, you’ll first need to find somewhere safe to store your XLM. However, there’s an array of wallets available, so read on to discover more about five of the most popular options and find one that’s right for your needs.
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If you’re searching for a Stellar wallet, keep the following tips in mind before choosing how to store your XLM:
Minimum balance. Take note that every Stellar wallet must maintain a minimum balance of XLM at all times. The minimum balance was previously 20 XLM but is now set at 1 XLM.
Security features. You always take care to ensure the safety and security of your physical wallet, so make sure you do the same with your cryptocurrency wallet. Consider the security features your wallet offers, such as enhanced encryption, 2-factor authentication, secure PINs and passwords and more.
Private keys. Your private keys are the tools that let you access your cryptocurrency holdings, so look for a wallet that allows you to retain control of any private keys and doesn’t require you to hand them over to a third party.
Backup and restore. Look for a wallet that offers an easy-to-use backup feature, so you can easily recover your XLM if something goes wrong.
Development team. Is the wallet backed by a strong development team that is always working to upgrade and improve its features, such as adding support for more currencies and developing protection against new security threats?
Support for multiple currencies. If you want to hold multiple kinds of coins and tokens in one wallet, check to see whether any wallet you’re considering supports all your desired currencies.
Customer support. Finally, make sure you’ll be able to quickly and easily access customer assistance if you ever have a problem with your wallet.
Strong security, easy to set up and use, can store multiple cryptocurrencies
If you’re looking to hold a large amount of XLM, storing them offline in a hardware wallet is widely recommended as the most secure option. The Ledger Nano S is one of the most popular hardware wallets available and offers a simple and safe place to store your cryptocurrencies.
A small and portable device that connects to your computer via USB, the Nano S supports Lumens (XLM), bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Dash (DASH) and a host of other digital currencies. The setup process is straightforward, and the Nano S works with Ledger’s own companion apps or other compatible software and online wallets to allow you to manage your holdings.
However, the main advantage of this wallet is its security. The Nano S features a secure element and dual-chip architecture, and your private keys are protected by a secure PIN and never given to anyone else. 2-factor authentication is also supported, and a built-in OLED display and buttons allow you to manually check and verify transactions.
As for downsides, the major drawback of the Nano S is that it doesn’t come free. At the time of this writing (2/26/18), it was selling for around $97 plus tax on the Ledger website.
Open source, relatively easy to use, designed with XLM in mind
Can’t store other cryptocurrencies
This open-source desktop wallet is available for download on Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. It allows you to encrypt your XLM secret key and then store it on your own computer, ensuring that you don’t have to hand the key over to a third party. There’s no registration requirement, and transactions are signed offline.
It’s easy to send and receive XLM from this wallet, and it also provides the option of depositing and withdrawing Chinese yuan (CNY). If you’re looking for a simple wallet designed with the purpose of managing XLM, this is well worth a look.
However, there are other wallets out there with better-looking interfaces. You may also want to consider the fact that this wallet is for XLM only. If you want to store multiple cryptocurrencies, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Stargazer (desktop and mobile wallet)
Available on multiple devices, easy to send and receive XLM
Not available on iOS devices, some negative reviews
Next on the list is Stargazer, a Stellar wallet available for both desktop and mobile devices. You can download Stargazer for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux operating systems, and it’s also available for Android devices from Google Play. Unfortunately, there’s no iPhone app.
Designed to be as simple and straightforward as possible, Stargazer makes the process of sending and receiving Lumens easy. It accommodates multiple accounts and multiple assets, offers support in multiple languages and allows you to set up federated addresses and rely on multisig security.
However, it does have some shortcomings. Of the 51 reviews of the Stargazer app on Google Play at the time of this writing, 25 gave it one star out of a possible five, with many users pinpointing several in-app bugs as the source of their unhappiness.
Must read: Storing XLM in an exchange wallet
One other option you may consider is storing your Lumens in the wallet attached to your account on a cryptocurrency exchange. If you’re planning on placing a trade using your XLM, this option ensures that your funds can be quickly accessed whenever you need.
However, storing cryptocurrency on an exchange does expose you to security risks. Not only is there the risk of your account being hacked, but there’s also the distinct possibility that the wallet is actually owned by the exchange and not by you. This means the exchange could theoretically close your account at any time.
As a result, it’s generally recommended that you store your digital currency in a private wallet that you own and allows you to retain control of your private keys.
Lobstr (mobile wallet)
Simple to use, great user interface, easy to manage your XLM
Not as secure as other options
If you’re looking for a no-fuss wallet designed to provide a simple way to store and manage your XLM, Lobstr is designed with you in mind. Right from step 1 of the setup process through to handling transactions on a day-to-day basis, Lobstr is functional, uncomplicated and straightforward.
Available on both Android and iOS devices, Lobstr boasts an attractive interface that crypto novices should have no trouble understanding. You can send and receive funds easily, and there’s also a quick XLM price converter for added convenience. Other features include 2-factor authentication, fingerprint support and secure PIN protection.
However, it’s worth pointing out that mobile wallets will never offer the same level of security as offline wallets, and those looking to store multiple currencies won’t be able to do it in this Lumens-only wallet.
Astral (web wallet)
2-factor authentication and AES-256 encryption, easy and convenient access, auto-enrollment in inflation pool
Security risks associated with online wallets
Astral is a web-based Stellar wallet with a host of handy features. At the top of the list is the fact that it provides simple and convenient access to your XLM whenever you need it, allowing you to quickly send and receive Lumens as required.
When you sign up for an Astral account, all eligible accounts are automatically enrolled in an inflation pool, which earns you bonus XLM every week based on your account balance. 2-factor authentication is also mandatory, and data is encrypted with AES-256. Email confirmation is required when you withdraw funds to new addresses. There’s also the added flexibility of being able to generate multiple addresses for easy organization of funds.
However, before choosing a web wallet, it’s important to be aware of the security risks associated with online wallets. If you have a large balance you want to store, keeping your XLM in an offline wallet is widely seen as a safer choice.
Top tips for securely storing your XLM
Want to know how to keep your XLM holdings as safe as possible? Keep the following tips in mind:
Private keys. Never give anyone else access to your private key, as this will ensure that you’re the only person who can access your crypto holdings.
Consider cold storage. If you’re looking for the most secure way to store XLM, you may want to consider storing your Stellar Lumens offline in a hardware or paper wallet. This may be especially worth considering if you have a large XLM balance.
Set up 2-factor authentication. Make use of security features like 2-factor authentication, which provides an extra layer of protection for your funds.
Secure your device. Make sure you have the latest antivirus and anti-malware software installed on your computer or smartphone, and remember to always use strong passwords when setting up wallets.
Research wallets. The final tip to remember is to thoroughly research any wallet before deciding to use it. This will allow you to gain a clearer picture of its pros and cons as well as the level of security it provides.
Tim Falk is a freelance writer for Finder, writing across a diverse range of topics. Over the course of his 15-year writing career, Tim has reported on everything from travel and personal finance to pets and TV soap operas. When he’s not staring at his computer, you can usually find him exploring the great outdoors.
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