Your guide to the best wallets for safely holding Cardano Ada (ADA) tokens.
Cardano is a smart contract platform that runs the Ada cryptocurrency (ADA), which itself can be used to send and receive digital funds. Launched in 2015, Cardano is one of the 10 largest cryptocurrencies in the world in terms of market capitalisation at the time of writing.
If you’re looking for somewhere to store ADA, there’s only one compatible wallet available for now. Known as Daedalus, it’s the official Cardano wallet. Read on for details of how the wallet works and what you need to know when storing ADA.
Best Cardano (ADA) wallets
What to look for in a Cardano wallet
Whether you’re looking to store ADA or any other cryptocurrency, there are a few key features you should look for in a wallet. These include:
- Support. If you ever experience a problem with a transaction or with the functionality of your wallet, can you quickly and easily access customer support? Does the support team have a good reputation for providing prompt assistance?
- Ongoing development. Some wallets are released and then effectively abandoned, with nothing in the way of upgrades or continued development. Look for a wallet that’s backed by a strong development team that’s always looking to make improvements.
- Easy-to-understand user interface. Make sure any wallet you choose offers a simple user interface that’s easy to understand and interact with from the get-go.
- High level of security. Does the wallet allow you to retain control of your private keys? Does it offer two-factor authentication? Is there a backup facility? Consider the included security features to determine whether the wallet will provide safe storage of your crypto holdings.
- Only wallet for securely storing ADA, security features, backed by development team
- No app (yet), no support for other cryptocurrencies (yet), user complaints
Daedalus is the name given to the official cryptocurrency wallet for ADA. An open-source software download for Windows and macOS, Daedalus provides ADA storage and a host of other features for crypto enthusiasts.
Daedalus runs the Cardano protocol and participates directly in the network. A hierarchical deterministic wallet (HD), it allows you to manage any number of wallets and organise your funds however you like.
The setup process is relatively straightforward, and it’s easy to send and receive ADA as well as view your transaction history. When you use Daedalus, you retain control of your keys, which are protected by advanced cryptography. You can also attach spending passwords and seeds to all of your accounts for an extra layer of security.
The development team behind the wallet also claims that future releases will allow third-party developers to develop their own applications for increased functionality, for example to set up recurring payments or exchange one cryptocurrency for another.
However, this wallet does have a few downsides that are worth mentioning. First, it’s currently not available on Linux operating systems and as yet there’s no ETA for a Linux release.
iOS and Android apps are also yet to be developed. In the FAQs on the Daedalus website, you’ll find the reasoning behind this: Daedalus is a “full” client running the Cardano protocol and participating directly in the network, and full clients are usually unable to run on a mobile operating system. “Light” or “thin” clients, which only hold transaction information and private keys, and interact indirectly with the protocol, will one day be developed. Check the Cardano Roadmap for details of when this is likely to occur.
Daedalus can also currently only hold ADA, but support for bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) is reportedly coming soon.
Do any other wallets support Cardano?
No. At the time of writing, the only secure place to store ADA was in the Daedalus Wallet, the official wallet of the Cardano project. While reports have indicated that ADA support will be added to Ledger hardware wallets at some stage, and this is also mentioned in the Cardano roadmap, no concrete date has yet been announced.
Of course, this is assuming that you’re looking to store ADA somewhere other than in a wallet on a crypto exchange.
Storing Cardano in an exchange wallet
When you acquire Cardano on an exchange, one option you have at your disposal is to store those ADA in the hot wallet linked to your exchange account. If you’re preparing to place a trade and want quick access to your holdings, this is quite a convenient option.
However, exchange wallets actually belong to the exchange, not to you, so your funds can’t be guaranteed. This also means you’re exposed to the risk of hacking by third parties or even theft from within the exchange.
With this in mind, if you’re looking for somewhere to safely store ADA for any length of time, it’s generally recommended that you transfer your holdings away from the exchange and into a secure wallet.
Tips for securely storing your Cardano
Keep the following tips in mind to help ensure the safe and hassle-free storage of your Cardano holdings:
- Go offline. Remember, offline storage eliminates the threat of hacking, making it safer than any wallet that connects to the Internet. If you’re holding a large crypto balance, the safest place to store it is in a hardware wallet.
- Make use of security features. Does your wallet support two-factor authentication, recommend setting up a secure PIN or anything else for extra security? Make sure you take advantage of every possible option to protect your cryptocurrencies.
- Backup. Make sure you regularly backup your wallet so that it is up to date and you can access your crypto holdings in case something goes wrong.
- Use common sense. Remember to always use standard security practices when storing your Cardano. For example, use strong passwords, never give passwords or private keys to anyone else, install antivirus and anti-malware software and only use wallets from trusted providers.
- Watch out for scam wallets. There have been reports in recent months of scam Cardano wallets popping up online. Make sure you only use a wallet from a trusted and reputable provider.