If 2022's well-publicised stories of crypto platform insolvency have taught us anything, it's that "not your keys, not your coins" is as true now as ever. To help you keep your ETH holdings safe, we've conducted an extensive review of the best Ethereum wallets available in South Africa.
We looked at criteria including overall security, functionality and cost to determine which wallets are the best all-rounders for self-custody of your Ether.
Our selection of the best Ether wallets is updated by our editorial team throughout the year to reflect changes in the market.
"Top picks" are those we've evaluated to be best for certain product features or categories. If we show a "Promoted Pick", it's been chosen from among our commercial partners based on factors that include special features or offers and the commission we receive.
Keep in mind that these picks are suggestions and that the best ETH wallet for you will depend on your individual needs. There are other Ethereum wallets on the market not included in our picks.
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific
provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.
1. Ledger Nano S Plus – Best Ethereum wallet overall
The Nano S Plus is our pick for the best ETH wallet overall thanks to Ledger's robust security, wide range of cryptocurrencies and NFTs all at the affordable price point of US$79.
The Nano S Plus is a hardware wallet manufactured by French company Ledger, which has been around since 2014. Ledger wallets have a clean security track record, with no hardware breaches recorded.
The accompanying Ledger Live app also allows you to swap cryptocurrencies, purchase them with debit or credit card or put them to work via staking. You can also sync your device with MetaMask to interact with DeFi protocols while keeping your private keys safely offline.
You'll be hard-pressed to find another wallet that offers so much value at such a moderate price.
Cheaper than the Nano X, but has most of the same features
The Ledger Nano X is one of the best-known and feature-rich hardware wallets on the market. Its robust security, support for a wide range of cryptos and connection to both desktop and mobile interfaces are some of the reasons it was our pick for the best Ethereum hardware wallet.
Ledger has a long track record of providing industry-standard level security for digital assets.
The Nano X hardware is supported by the Ledger Live app, which helps you manage up to 5,500 cryptos, Ethereum and Polygon NFTs and a range of DeFi apps from a single user interface available on both desktop and mobile.
You can also stake a selection of your digital assets via Ledger Live.
The Nano X is Bluetooth-enabled and compatible with both Android and IOS mobile devices, so you can manage your crypto on the go.
Exodus Wallet is a software wallet for desktop and mobile that provides access to a wide range of cryptocurrencies. While many wallets only let you manage coins on a single network, Exodus supports assets on blockchains including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Solana. This all-in-one functionality makes it our top Ethereum wallet pick for beginners.
The wallet has added features like a portfolio overview that help you to oversee your holdings. And if you'd like to top up your portfolio, you can use the wallet's built-in exchange to swap your digital assets.
You can also stake cryptos like Algorand (ALGO) and Cosmos (ATOM) through Exodus.
For added security, you can store the keys to your assets on a Trezor hardware wallet, making it easy to upgrade from one to the other if you decide to go pro.
One of Exodus's most beginner-friendly features is its highly-responsive support staff. If you email them for support, you can expect to hear back within an hour.
Supports tokens and coins from a variety of blockchains
Great customer support
Less secure than a hardware wallet
Doesn't support 2-factor authentication
4. Trezor Model T – Best Ethereum wallet for advanced users
The Trezor Model T wins our best pick for experienced users thanks to several advanced features which come together to give you greater control over your funds.
Multisig. Multisig wallets allow for multiple stakeholders to manage a single Bitcoin wallet. This is particularly useful for businesses and families.
Taproot. Trezor Suite supports Bitcoin Taproot addresses which can reduce fees, improve privacy and enable smart contracts on Bitcoin.
Shamir backup. Instead of using a single seed phrase, Shamir backup distributes it across multiple phrases which can then be stored in different locations. Think of it like multisig for a seed phrase.
Timelock. Users can delay a transaction until a specified block height.
Tor Switch. Anonymise your crypto transactions using the Tor network, which can be enabled via Trezor Suite.
Where the Model T falls short is the range of coins and tokens it supports. It's best thought of as a Bitcoin wallet first and an altcoin wallet second. The Trezor Suite software only supports a small handful of popular blockchains, but through third-party software, the Model T supports over 1,800 coins and tokens.
Advanced transaction types for Bitcoin
Highly customisable security features
Integration with MetaMask for additional usability and DeFi
Touchscreen for improved functionality and security
In-app swaps and purchases
Trezor Suite only supports 14 blockchains
No native staking support in Trezor Suite, must use third-party apps
Atomic Wallet is our pick for best Ethereum desktop wallet thanks to its support for over 500 crypto coins and tokens across more than 50 blockchains in a single app – and it's available on Windows, Mac and Linux.
Its easy-to-use interface makes it a popular choice for beginners and pros alike.
The wallet was launched in 2017 by Konstantin Gladych, CEO of Changelly. Changelly is a decentralised crypto exchange built into Atomic Wallet, allowing you to swap cryptos or purchase them with a credit or debit card.
You can stake 10+ digital assets including Cardano (ADA), Cosmos (ATOM) and Tezos (XTZ), and the wallet features an NFT gallery for the Solana blockchain.
If you run into any problems while using Atomic Wallet, you can reach out to its 24/7 customer support team.
Built-in decentralised exchange
Supports staking for various cryptos
Only supports NFTs on Solana
The in-built exchange charges a high fee and the minimum spend can be high for certain coins
How to choose the best Ether wallet
When new to the cryptocurrency industry, searching for a wallet to store the private keys of your Ether, or ETH, can be a daunting task. Even for experienced investors, there are hundreds of options available. Luckily there are some standout elements that every good cryptocurrency wallet should have.
At the top of the list should be security. A wallet's sole purpose is to keep private keys secure. If a wallet's security protocols are not up to scratch, move on to the next option.
Become familiar with how the wallet keeps your private keys safe. Does it implement 2-factor authentication (2FA)? Does it allow backups to be created? Can you whitelist IP addresses? Additionally, what is the company's development record like? Are they constantly working and looking for new ways to upgrade the system? To stay ahead of those wishing to exploit consumers, development teams need to be continuously working.
For extra security, look for a cryptocurrency wallet that allows a user to remain in control of their private keys. While some exchanges or online platforms offer a wallet service, if the cryptocurrency is stored through a centralised organisation, a user is never truly in control. To remain in full control, search for a non-custodial cryptocurrency wallet.
Another factor to consider is the ease of use. Does the wallet have a beginner-friendly user interface that will help a user avoid making mistakes? Is the associated software easy to navigate and install? Especially for beginners, keeping software as simple as possible is key.
While security and ease of use are crucial, another aspect to consider is smart contract functionality. One of Ethereum's unique characteristics is that it allows developers to program digital contracts, otherwise known as smart contracts. Smart contract functionality allows for interaction with all decentralised applications (dApps) that run on the Ethereum blockchain. If a wallet is compatible, a user can lend, borrow, exchange and trade all from their wallet.
Finally, it is important to look at what other cryptocurrencies are supported by the wallet. Some crypto wallets focus on a select few cryptocurrencies. Others are compatible with hundreds. Do you want the cryptocurrency wallet to be compatible with all Ethereum compatible (ERC20) tokens?
Tips for securely storing your Ether
To safely and securely store Ether, remember these simple tips:
Store your private keys securely. A private key is meant to be just that, private, so make sure you store yours in a safe place. If it's kept online, ensure that it's encrypted.
Make a backup. Back up your wallet regularly to protect yourself against unexpected accidents or mishaps. Ensure that your backup includes your most recent transactions.
Go offline. If you're holding a large amount of ETH or any other cryptocurrency, store the bulk of your funds in a reputable hardware wallet for the best security. You can keep a small portion of your coins and tokens in a desktop or online wallet for quick access but the bulk should remain offline.
Choose a wallet that suits your needs. Some wallets are focused on security and can be time-consuming to use; other wallets are better for frequent trading and provide easy access to your ETH. Make sure whichever wallet you choose is right for your requirements.
Set up 2-factor authentication. Make the most of any security features included with your wallet. For example, if you can set up 2-factor authentication for an extra layer of protection, do it.
Compare more wallets for Ethereum
Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly
volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of
future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information.
You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory
requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may
have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.
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