Digital wallet technology is a fast developing sector of the cryptocurrency industry, driven by an increasing need for better security and improved functionality. Data from Statista reveals the massive year-on-year growth of cryptocurrency wallets, from only five million in early 2016 to over 40 million today.
As cryptocurrency adoption expands globally and digital wallets enter the mainstream market, the need for better accessibility and security becomes paramount. Here are five wallets to look out for in 2019:
1. Civic Wallet
The new Civic Wallet, due for release later this year, is already piquing interest in the crypto community. Built on Bitgo’s multi-sig technology, the advanced new wallet promises to change the face of the crypto wallet landscape, combining “identity and payment functionality.”
A key benefit derived from the combined identity and payment function is the ability to purchase age-restricted goods without the need for further confirmation. The wallet should also provide users with the ability to prove their identity in the absence of traditional methods and quickly and easily make payments at vending machines.
In addition, a convenient backup mechanism means users can easily recover funds in the event that a phone is lost or stolen. This is achieved without the need to hold any assets in a centralized location, so the wallet is well protected against common hacking methods.
2. Kakao Wallet
Korean messaging giant Kakao has announced plans to release its own crypto wallet, Klip, in Q4 of 2019. The company recently launched its own blockchain network, dubbed Klaytn, in collaboration with its subsidiary company GroundX.
With 50 million active users, Kakao certainly has an impressive customer base to test out its new wallet on. The wallet will mainly support the Klaytn blockchain’s native Klay token and others based on its KRC-20 standard, but support for external cryptocurrencies will also be included. One notable benefit is that users will be able to earn reward tokens for using various dApps that have partnered with Kakao for the release of the wallet. These tokens and others like them can be used in several blockchain games that GroundX is developing for the Klaytn network.
3. VELAS Wallets
Swiss-based Velas AG recently launched its AI-enhanced VELAS blockchain (Virtual Expanding Learning Autonomous System) and has now expanded on the system with several proprietary wallets. VELAS is the world’s first blockchain network that incorporates artificial intuition for improved security and efficiency, enabling uninterrupted block formation and increased fault tolerance.
The company has released both a WEB and Desktop wallet in combination with a node staker system that rewards users for their participation in maintaining the network. The Velas WEB wallet uses RSA-256-CBC encryption to securely store mnemonic data used to create the wallet, providing guaranteed protection against theft or illicit data usage. In addition, any unauthorized access is prohibited by two-factor authentication.
The VELAS desktop wallet, available for Windows, macOS, and Linux provides a greater level of security by avoiding web-based attacks like phishing, IP spoofing, and XSS. The desktop wallet benefits from the added ability to choose your specific currency when conducting transactions, providing constant exchange rate updates of fiat against the wallet’s native VLX token.
4. Button Wallet
As with Kakao, Button Wallet hopes to improve the mass adoption of cryptocurrency by marketing its services to messaging app users. In this case, Button Wallet aims to utilize the 300 million strong Telegram user base to launch a free testing service for users unfamiliar with crypto. Button Wallet co-founder and CEO Alex Safonov says the purpose behind the service is to encourage adoption amongst users who are afraid of the risk associated with cryptocurrency.
“Cryptos’ biggest obstacle is mass adoption and what we’ve created will help people comfortable with trading cryptocurrency without using real money,” he said in an interview with Forbes magazine.
Telegram users who activate Button’s Telegram Open Network (TON) wallet will get 6.6 free ‘grams’ (Telegrams own token) – to experiment with as they please. The wallet also supports Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC), amongst others.
5. LINE Crypto Wallet and Exchange
Not satisfied with simply launching an in-app wallet, Japanese messaging service LINE is going the whole hog and launching an entire cryptocurrency exchange. The exchange, named Bitmax (confusingly similar to existing crypto exchange BitMEX), will be made available to LINE’s 81 million-strong userbase.
By incorporating LINE’s built-in crypto wallet, new users will be able to easily experiment with trading cryptocurrencies without the additional hassle of setting up a 3rd-party wallet. Unlike Button’s TON wallet, LINE’s Bitmax exchange is not designed as simply a testing ground and promises to make fully-fledged cryptocurrency trading more easily accessible to a massive, untapped market.
The wallet and exchange will initially support Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), XRP, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC).