Best Cardano ADA Wallets of 2021

The best Cardano wallets prioritize the security of your ADA coins, support the safe and timely transfer of your cryptocurrency, and offer a seamless and intuitive user experience.

Our in-house team of experts vetted the top most reputable crypto wallets with demonstrated track records and catalogued over a dozen wallets that were verified to be compatible with Cardano’s ADA cryptocurrency. 

From that list, we compared and rated each wallet in over thirty different categories and distilled our top picks for the best Cardano wallets of 2021 and their runner ups.

The Best Cardano Wallets of 2021

Yoroi-wallet-logo

Yoroi Wallet

Backed by official Cardano development team, EMURGO

Ledger-wallet-logo

Ledger Nano X

Highly secure cold storage with support for over 1,000 different coins

daedalus-wallet-logo

Daedalus Wallet

Backed by official Cardano development team, IOHK

exodus-wallet-logo

Exodus Wallet

Fully synchonizable multi-platform mobile, desktop, and web app

coinbase-exchange-logo

Coinbase

Most popular publicly traded exchange in the United States

How did we pick the best Cardano wallets?
At InvestorRoyale, our analysts picked the best Cardano wallets from a universe of over a dozen well-known crypto wallets with demonstrated track records that were confirmed to be compatible with Cardano’s ADA coin. 

We cross-referenced the features and applications for each wallet and identified a top pick and runner up for each of the major wallet categories, including software, desktop, mobile and hardware wallets.

For each platform, we compared over thirty characteristics across each wallet and ranked wallets across a variety of categories including, but not limited to, security, user experience, platform support and versatility.

Performance was graded on the robustness of each wallet’s offerings, independent reviews from reputable third-party platforms, and the presence of key functions. After analyzing and ranking the resulting lists, we reviewed the finalists and runner ups for each category.

Best Cardano wallet for beginners

Yoroi Lite Wallet

Yoroi is an excellent wallet for beginners seeking to invest in Cardano’s ADA coin thanks to its straightforward interface and quick transaction times.

Hardware wallet compatibility:Ledger Nano S and X
Cardano staking support:Yes
InvestorRoyale rating:★ 4.0/5
Official Cardano wallet developed by EMURGO, one of the development teams that built Cardano
Available as a mobile application on Android and iOS
Like all web wallets, Yoroi may be vulnerable to phishing attacks if your device is not secure
Holdings are limited to Cardano’s ADA cryptocurrency

Yoroi is a light web wallet that was developed by EMURGO, one of the main development teams that works on the Cardano blockchain and is endorsed as one of two official Cardano wallets.

As a web-based wallet, Yoroi relies on EMURGO’s servers to execute all transactions, significantly cutting down on the time between when you initiate your ADA transfer and when it shows up in your account summary. By contrast, comparable desktop wallets like Daedalus might take up to fifteen minutes for your transaction to register.

Yoroi is also one of the most adaptable Cardano wallets available, featuring hardware wallet compatibility with Ledger’s Nano S and Nano X, and mobile apps on both iOs and Android. As a web wallet, Yoroi is primarily available as a browser extension on Google Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge, however it’s not currently offered on Safari.

Beginner Cardano investors will find almost everything they need with the Yoroi wallet, including the ability to send, receive, and delegate ADA through Cardano staking pools. However, users will still need to buy ADA through a separate exchange and transfer it into the wallet, as Yoroi does not currently support its own exchange.


Runner up: Best wallet for beginners

Coinbase Wallet

The Coinbase web wallet is a good alternative for beginners who want a single place to conduct all of their Cardano transactions and hold their ADA coins. Coinbase wallet offers the key elements of Yoroi wallet, but also seamlessly integrates with Coinbase’s native exchange.

With Coinbase wallet, you can buy, sell and exchange ADA for fiat money as well as other cryptocurrencies without ever having to leave the app. However, in exchange for the added convenience of having your wallet and exchange in the same place, you’ll give up some security by relying on Coinbase’s servers to store and maintain the security of your private keys and holdings.

Keep in mind that you may be charged additional fees when using the Coinbase wallet that aren’t required when using a dedicated Cardano wallets like Yoroi. Coinbase also doesn’t allow you to stake your ADA tokens.


Best Cardano hardware wallet

Ledger Nano X

We picked the Ledger Nano X as our best Cardano hardware wallet because it outclassed all of its competitors in terms of price, features, and capabilities.

Cost:$119
Cardano staking support:Yes
InvestorRoyale rating: ★ 5.0/5 Editors’ choice
Compatible with Cardano and 1,000+ other cryptocurrencies
Allows you to stake your ADA while it sits in cold storage
Price is a little steep at $119 a piece
Ledger’s bundled exchange, Ledger Live, does not allow you to buy ADA

The Ledger Nano X is one of the most advanced hardware wallets on the market for the cold storage of your Cardano ADA and 1,000+ other cryptocurrencies, likely making it the only hardware wallet you’ll ever need.

The Ledger Nano X comes in a sleek metal casing, marking its durability and attractiveness, and weighs in at a sturdy 34 grams, the heftiest of all the hardware wallets we compared. 

Ledger’s Nano X is capable of storing over 100 coins and token applications at any one time, miles ahead of its predecessor, the Nano S, which capped you at 6 applications. For serious Cardano investors, its added ability to secure your ADA in a cold wallet while earning staking rewards is also a feature that’s worth its weight in gold.

At a price of $119, we believe that the Nano X offers a better value than its closest competitor, the Trezor Model T. Ledger’s Nano X outclasses the Model T in cross-platform compatibility while also coming in over $60 cheaper in price.

Finally, the Nano X is the only wallet of the two that supports both Android and iOs mobile devices. In comparison, Trezor is not currently supported on iOS. Ledger’s Nano X is also Bluetooth-compatible and functions on all major operating systems, including the new Chrome OS.

In terms of shortcomings, the average crypto investor might find the $119 price point a little steep if they’re looking for a basic no-frills hardware wallet. Those users may find that the cost-effective Nano S better suits their needs.


Runner up: Best hardware wallet

Ledger Nano S

If you’re a beginner crypto investor who doesn’t intend to branch out beyond a couple of top cryptocurrencies, the legacy Ledger Nano S might better suit your needs. While not as capable as the Nano X, the Nano S still performs all of the key functions of a cold storage hardware wallet, making it an excellent option for long-term buy and hold investors.

The Nano S is an excellent value at just $59, making it the least expensive of the top hardware wallets we’ve reviewed. It’s a great choice for new investors looking for a starter cold wallet.

Supporting the same roster of cryptocurrencies as the Nano X, the Nano S is capable of storing up to 6 crypto applications at a given time. This isn’t as robust as the Nano X’s storage capacity of 100 applications, it’s more than enough for most beginner crypto investors. Those looking for something with a little more staying power might prefer the Nano X.

Ledger also currently offers a crypto starter pack for $69 plus shipping; the package includes a Nano S, a PDF beginner’s guide to crypto investing and a free $25 voucher to buy a cryptocurrency of your choice on Ledger Live, Ledger’s native crypto exchange. Still, keep in mind that Ledger Live does not currently support the direct purchase of ADA, so you’ll need to acquire your ADA through a seperate exchange.

In terms of weaknesses, while the Nano X offers free shipping for most buyers within the continental United States, neither the Nano S nor the crypto starter pack offers that option on its own.

A U.S. buyer of a Nano S would have to pay $59 for the wallet and likely another $19+ in shipping, putting their total purchase cost at or around $78 dollars. In this case, some buyers might opt for the Nano X as a premium option to bypass the shipping costs and gain some added features.

Alternatively, users might be able to avoid the shipping charge altogether by checking out the Ledger S with a shopping cart of $75 worth of products or more.


Best Cardano desktop wallet

Daedalus Wallet

We picked Daedalus wallet as our number one choice among desktop wallets because it offers the greatest level of functionality for buy and hold investors who want to engage directly with the Cardano blockchain.

Hardware wallet compatibility:Trezor and Ledger
Cardano staking support:Yes
InvestorRoyale rating: ★ 4.0/5
Official Cardano wallet developed by IOHK, one of the development teams that built Cardano
Downloads a full Cardano node onto your desktop for a trustless experience
Slow load times
Holdings are limited to Cardano’s ADA cryptocurrency

Daedalus wallet is the official desktop wallet of Cardano developed by IOHK, one of the primary development teams that built the Cardano blockchain.

The Daedalus wallet is a full-node wallet, which means that it downloads a full copy of the Cardano blockchain onto your device, allowing you to independently verify all transactions without relying on any third-party servers. This makes Daedalus wallet the most decentralized option for transacting your ADA.

In terms of features, Daedalus has all of the key functionality required of a Cardano wallet, it fully supports staking delegation, multi-wallet functionality and even allows users to create and contribute tokens to a group-owned wallet.

Daedalus also offers built-in tools to help you browse Cardano staking pools, which can help you evaluate and find where to best maximize your staking rewards.

On the other hand, Daedalus wallet may not be the best choice if you’re looking for a wallet that holds multiple types of cryptocurrency, as it currently only supports ADA, but support for other coins may be coming soon.

Finally, the extended installation and load times of Daedalus wallet’s full-node wallet may be off-putting to some users. We found that the synchronization process can take up to 15 minutes or more, and can take even longer if you haven’t opened the application for an extended period. This isn’t ideal for most active traders.


Runner up: Best desktop wallet

Exodus Wallet

If you’re an active crypto trader who’s looking for more versatility when it comes to their Cardano wallet, Exodus might be a better option for you. Exodus wallet is compatible with over 100+ coins and tokens, making it a much better option if you day-trade cryptocurrencies.

Cardano investors won’t sacrifice much in the way of functionality, as Exodus fully supports Cardano staking through its partner Everstake, a third-party staking service platform. However, users will have to give up some staking rewards in the form of fees if they choose to stake through Exodus rather than a dedicated Cardano wallet like Daedalus. 

Exodus also charges fees and commissions beyond the standard amount required for standard crypto transfers, so investors who use Exodus can expect to pay more over the long-run.

Additionally, Exodus lacks many of the key security-features offered by its major competitors, like two-factor authentication and multi-signature addresses. Users may want to consider using this in tandem with a cold wallet like a paper or hardware wallet device if they’re worried about security.


Best Cardano mobile wallet

Exodus Wallet

We picked Exodus as our best Cardano mobile wallet due to its focus on user experience, versatility as a trading tool, and cross-platform support.

Hardware wallet compatibility:Trezor Model T and Trezor One
Cardano staking support:Yes
InvestorRoyale rating: ★ 4.0/5
Compatible with over 100+ cryptocurrencies
Available for iOS, Android and as a desktop and web wallet
Not open source
Lacks two-factor authentication and multi-signature addresses

Exodus has been around since 2015 and has an active development team that consistently releases new software updates every two weeks.

The Exodus wallet offers versatility that isn’t shared by all of its competitors. Available as both a mobile wallet as well as a desktop wallet, Exodus allows users to sync instances across all their devices and provides full trading functionality on all its platforms as well. Users can also stake their ADA cryptocurrency directly from the Exodus mobile app.

However, where Exodus falls behind is security, as it lacks many of the key security features its competitors offer, including two-factor authentication and multi-address signatures. While its designers may have intentionally made this decision to favor a more seamless user experience, this does represent a weakness relative to its competitors.

Traders who choose Exodus and are worried about security should consider using Exodus wallet in tandem with a hardware wallet for long-term cold storage. 

Finally, we note that Exodus is currently only compatible with the Trezor Model T and Model S, which limits your choice of eligible hardware wallets.


Runner up: Best mobile wallet

Guarda Wallet

Users who want a versatile mobile wallet but don’t want to compromise on security may want to consider the Guarda wallet. Guarda features two-factor authentication, multi-signature addresses, and is truly open-source, all areas where Exodus falls short.

Guarda wallet is a close competitor to Exodus and matches its rival on key features that matter, including multi-platform compatibility with Android, iOS, desktop computers and browsers.

The Guarda wallet’s exchange platform even allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using fiat currency, a feature that Exodus and many smaller mobile wallets do not offer. It also allows users to stake their Cardano and buy, sell, and trade their ADA from their smartphone.

In terms of weaknesses, the Guarda wallet’s list of supported assets only spans 50 coins, less than half of what Exodus supports. 

Casual crypto investors worried about cybersecurity may prefer Guarda for its key security features, however active traders who frequently buy and sell their holdings might prefer Exodus for its larger roster of supported coins. Both Guarda and Exodus are close competitors and the best choice depends on your personal investing habits.


Best Cardano exchange

Coinbase

We picked Coinbase as our number one exchange for trading Cardano due to its ubiquitous popularity within the United States and its stellar reputation when it comes to security and privacy.

Hardware wallet compatibility:Trezor and Ledger
Cardano staking support:No
InvestorRoyale rating: ★ 5.0/5 Editors’ choice
Most popular publicly traded crypto exchange in the United States (COIN)
Allows for currency exchange and direct purchase and sale with fiat
Low number of supported altcoins compared to competitors
High fees

Coinbase controls over 67% of the U.S. crypto market as of the day of this publication, with no other crypto exchange controlling more than 28%. The company currently trades on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol COIN.

Unlike many smaller exchanges, Coinbase does not restrict the purchase, sale or withdrawal of assets in fiat currency. This fact, combined with its large institutional backing, makes Coinbase a more trustworthy option than most. 

By contrast, many smaller exchanges and wallets allow their users to buy coins using fiat, they often prohibit users from converting their holdings back into cash. This forces traders to convert their holdings into other tokens or rely on stablecoins instead, which can limit your options for liquidity. The fact that Coinbase allows for unrestricted purchases and withdrawals in fiat, is an attractive feature for many casual investors.

One of the downsides of Coinbase is its low number of supported altcoins. Coinbase currently only supports trading in 25 of the top cryptocurrencies, which falls short when compared to many of its top competitors like Binance, which support as many as 500 coins. It also does not support Cardano staking.

Regardless, this likely won’t be an issue for most average Cardano investors. However if you’re looking to trade certain niche coins, you may need to look elsewhere.


Runner up: Best exchange

Kraken

Cardano investors will find that Kraken offers many of the same capabilities as its top competitor Coinbase, and more. Albeit with a smaller market share, Kraken supports a wider number of altcoins and also allows users to stake their Cardano holdings, which Coinbase does not currently support.

Crypto traders who intend to actively trade their ADA may find themselves more at home with Kraken, as it offers advanced trading features like leveraged trades, futures contracts, and advanced limit orders.

Comparatively, Coinbase sticks to the basics, offering simple fiat and crypto exchange trades. Coinbase only started offering leveraged trades as of February of 2020 and seems to be making a late entrance into this sector. 

Finally, Kraken also features lower trading fees at just 0.26% of each trade compared to Coinbase’s 0.5%. However, Kraken still charges higher fees for online bank purchases. Fees can add up to greater amounts the more you trade, so make sure you take your personal investing habits into account when picking the best Cardano exchange.


What to look for in a Cardano wallet

When comparing Cardano wallets, it’s important to check off the boxes when it comes to each wallet’s compatibility with the coins you intend to trade, how secure and well-known the wallet is and whether the wallet offers additional features like staking or cross-platform compatibility.

These aren’t the only features you should consider when deciding on the best Cardano wallet, but they’re the ones most frequently considered by serious crypto investors. They also engender the characteristics you should review when considering any kind of crypto or bitcoin wallet.

Compatibility

First and foremost, check whether your target wallet supports the cryptocurrency you intend to buy. In the case of a Cardano wallet, a bitcoin wallet does you no good if it isn’t also compatible with ADA tokens.

While this may seem obvious, it’s good to take this first step so that you’re not wasting any time when shopping for wallets. All of the wallets cited in our roundup have been vetted to support ADA, so we’ve already handled this step for you.

Also worth thinking about is cross-currency compatibility, as there are a number of crypto wallets on the market that are capable of supporting multiple cryptocurrencies. Are you looking for a dedicated Cardano wallet that focuses on ADA or are you seeking a one-stop shop for your entire crypto portfolio? It’s certainly worth thinking about if you intend to diversify your holdings across Cardano and other cryptocurrencies.

Security

The crypto space is rife with bad actors who want to separate you from your hard-earned cash. That’s why it’s important to give preference to popular Cardano wallets that prioritize safety and security and steer clear of little-known wallets that lack a meaningful track record. 

It’s also worth checking if the underlying code of a wallet is open-source and whether it can be independently audited by third-parties for security vulnerabilities. The trustless operation is the foundation upon which cryptography is built, so make sure you consider whether a wallet is hot or cold and whether it requires you to entrust any third parties with your private keys. 

Hacks of crypto exchanges are not uncommon and have resulted in the attempted theft of billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency over the years. Often the best protection is to maintain the secrecy of your private key and make sure your cryptocurrency is secured in an offline cold wallet, like a paper or hardware wallet.

User experience

While not central to the process, you’ll also want to consider crypto wallets that are easy to use and suit your level of experience. Advanced capabilities may not be necessary if you’re a beginner crypto investor and practice a long-term buy and hold strategy. Alternatively, a trader who swaps in and out of currencies daily may want a wallet that offers them more optionality when it comes to trading..

A clean and easy-to-use interface is certainly among the nice-to-have features when it comes to crypto investors, however we’d like to remind readers to keep other important features like security and customer support in mind when choosing the best Cardano wallet.

Support

The best Cardano wallets are backed by active and engaged development teams and may offer live customer service support as an added bonus. As is the case with the Daedalus and Yoroi wallets, the developers that work on the underlying Cardano blockchain may be among the best equipped to build wallets to support their ADA tokens.

For any crypto wallet, an active development team indicates continued support, enhancements, and most importantly, confidence in their product. Wallets with development teams that have ceased operations, or otherwise neglect their product, may indicate mis-aligned priorities or a product that has reached the end of its lifecycle.

Staking

The Cardano blockchain relies on a proof-of-stake methodology to reward crypto “miners” that help grow and maintain the blockchain. One of the key benefits of holding onto ADA is the ability to “stake” or delegate your ADA tokens to staking pools in exchange for regular rewards.

Staking is a lucrative feature that provides Cardano investors with regular returns in the form of additional ADA coins for supporting the blockchain. Not all wallets support Cardano staking and it’s important to consider whether a given wallet has that capability as it can help boost the potential return on your investment.

Tips for securing your Cardano Coins

It’s important to ensure the security of your Cardano ADA tokens, and paramount to the preservation of your investment will be your personal cybersecurity habits. Despite the security protocols put in place by developers, you remain the best advocate for your own security. Here are a few tips that can help you ensure the safety and security of your ADA.

Make sure you backup your wallet

The worst mistake a new Cardano investor could commit is neglecting to properly or accurately record the seed phrase for their wallet. If this happens, you might not even realize you’ve committed this blunder until after something has gone horribly wrong and you’ve already lost the wallet on your device.

The consequence for not properly backing up your wallet is the total loss of all its underlying tokens.

The consequence for not properly backing up your wallet is the total loss of all of its underlying tokens. In almost all cases, there’s no recourse for recovering a wallet without a seed phrase. The proper and accurate recording of your seed phrase is essential to ensure that you have a way to backup and restore your ADA holdings in the event your wallet is lost or deleted.

Consider storing your cryptocurrency in an offline cold wallet

While convenient and accessible, most desktop, mobile and browser-based wallets are hot wallets that maintain a constant connection to the internet. This makes them more vulnerable to software intrusion attacks from hackers, Malware, and Spyware.

Cold wallets like hardware wallets and paper wallets largely eliminate the risks posed by those threats by eliminating the means through which hackers access your device. They’re the most effective way to secure your private keys and ensure your crypto holdings remain within your control. 

Bear in mind that while cold storage is an effective way to stave off cybersecurity risks, it is not foolproof, and care should be taken to ensure any future device you use to access your holdings through the blockchain is secure as well.

Don’t share your password or private keys with anyone

Anyone who holds the private key to your wallet has the ability to access and transact your ADA coins. This also applies to your seed phrase, as it contains the means by which anyone can restore your Cardano holdings to another device. 

Keep your private keys and seed phrases secret and locked away in a secure location that only you can access. If your holdings are stored on a paper or hardware wallet, you may even consider laminating your paper wallet to protect it from the elements, or getting a safe deposit box for your hardware wallet to prevent any unauthorized access.

Make use of security features offered by your wallet

While some wallets and exchanges offer optional security features that users can choose whether they want to implement, many users opt out of these features due to the extra steps it takes to access their funds.

In general, every extra layer of security helps ensure the safety and continued viability of your ADA tokens. If your wallet offers security features like two-factor authentication or PIN numbers, make sure to take advantage of them. After all, there’s no point to a fire alarm if it’s never on.

Vet the reputation of your wallet

Due to the number of crypto wallets available on the market, it’s difficult to choose what might be the best wallet for your ADA tokens. It’s important that you put some thought into choosing the best Cardano wallet rather than picking the first wallet that comes along with an attractive offer.

The best Cardano wallets have large user bases, boast lengthy track records for security and reliability, and receive top user ratings via app stores and independent reviews. Take care to read up and do your own research on your chosen wallet.

What types of Cardano wallets are there and how do they work?

Cardano wallets fall into one of two categories, “hot wallets,” which are always connected to the internet and make it easy to access and trade your cryptocurrency, and “cold wallets,” which are more secure and far removed from any software intrusion attempts. 

While all Cardano and crypto wallets fall under the categories of either hot or cold wallets, they can also be categorized by the platform they’re featured on. These devices categories fall under the following:

Desktop wallets: Desktop wallets are software applications meant to be installed on your desktop computer. They offer easy access and trading of your cryptocurrency and present the least amount of friction between your cryptocurrencies and a trading exchange.

Mobile wallets: Mobile wallets are apps installed on your mobile device. They usually offer the same level of access and functionality as desktop wallets, which makes them convenient for accessing and trading your cryptocurrency on the go.

Hardware wallets: Hardware wallets are physical devices, usually in the form of a usb drive, that store access to your cryptocurrency. These are always “cold wallets” due to their partition from the internet. They are the safest electronic device for storing your ADA coins and other cryptocurrency.

Cardano wallet FAQs: