Guide to Cardano Wallets: Daedalus vs Yoroi

If you’re looking for a Cardano coin wallet that accepts and holds ADA Cardano cryptocurrency, the two most widely accepted and trusted are the Daedalus wallet and Yoroi Wallet. Both are open-source wallets built by the same developer teams who built the Cardano blockchain and are designed to accept and store ADA currency.

We cover the key traits that distinguish the Yoroi and Daedalus wallets so that you can decide which Cardano wallet best fits your needs.

Daedalus vs Yoroi?: What are the advantages of each?

Without jumping into the technicalities, the Daedalus wallet has the advantage of having a completely trust-free operation and is packaged with a full copy of the Cardano blockchain. Daedalus also independently verifies all transactions that occur, operating as a full node, rather than having to rely on a third-party server. This arguably makes it the more secure and decentralized option of the two.

The Yoroi wallet has the advantage of being a browser extension and is also available as a Cardano mobile wallet to boot. It is a light software wallet, so it does not require a full localized copy of the blockchain to work. Transactions made through the Yoroi wallet occur and update through your wallet almost instantaneously. This makes it the faster and more convenient option of the two.

If you’re wondering which is the best Cardano wallet for you, we’ve summarized the main features of each wallet below:

Platform:Daedalus walletYoroi wallet
Setup time:1 – 2 hoursInstant
Setup process:Full node download and complete blockchain syncConnects to third-party EMURGO node
Wallet and private key storageLocalLocal
Backup processSeed phraseSeed phrase
Hardware wallet integrationSupportedSupported
Paper wallet integrationSupportedSupported
Mobile platform supportNoYes
Multiple wallet supportYesYes
Staking and delegationYesYes
OperationIndependently logs and verifies all transactions as a full-nodeLogs and verifies all transactions through full-node hosted by EMURGO
Resource requirements6+ gb of space and active processing power to maintain synchronization6+ mb of space, functions as browser add-on and does not require synchronization

Both the Daedalus wallet and Yoroi wallet are “hierarchical deterministic (HD) wallets,” which means they’re easily backed up and restored using a random combination of words called a seed phrase.

Both wallets also store your encrypted private key and wallet directly onto your local device, which means that neither requires you to rely on third-party servers to house your wallet or store your key (however, Yoroi will require you to rely on third party servers to complete ADA cryptocurrency transfers). 

They also both allow users to stake or delegate their ADA and are fully-integratable with hardware wallets like Ledger or Trezor.

What is the Daedalus wallet and how does it work?

The Daedalus wallet (Daedalus) is a desktop-based software wallet designed by IOHK to house Cardano’s ADA cryptocurrency. The Daedalus wallet is bundled with a full Cardano node and a local copy of the Cardano blockchain. 

The “full-node” designation means that the Daedalus wallet itself validates all transactions made through the Cardano blockchain, and therefore directly partakes in the Cardano blockchain without having to rely on third-party servers. 

This makes it one of the more secure digital options for holding ADA cryptocurrency, as no trust of any entities outside of your own wallet is needed to complete a transaction. Contrast this with exchanges like Coinbase or Binance which implicitly require you to trust the exchange with your private key to complete transactions. This can pose a risk if the exchange is hacked.

How to use the Daedalus wallet?

To use the Daedalus wallet, you will need to download the full software package and install the application. You can find links to download Daedalus wallet from either of the following sites:

Installing the Daedalus wallet on your operating system will require you to fully download and sync your computer to the Cardano blockchain, a process which can take a couple of hours, depending on your internet connection and file size. The Daedalus wallet application is compatible with the following operating systems:

  • MacOS
  • Windows
  • Linux

Daedalus wallet setup process

Upon completing the installation, you will be prompted to create your first wallet and record your seed phrase. If you’re wondering how to backup Daedalus wallet, your seed phrase will be the key to your cryptocurrency’s location on the Cardano blockchain.

Make sure you record this phrase accurately, as it will only be shown to you once. You’ll also want to store it in a secure location, as the seed phrase grants full access to your wallet to anyone who knows the code.

Key Terms: What’s a seed phrase?
The seed phrase is a random collection of words or symbols that, in tandem, allows you to access your private key and recover your cryptocurrency from the blockchain. Think of it as an account recovery feature. You’ll want to store this in a safe place and keep it a secret, as anyone who has access to your seed phrase can access your wallet.

Make sure you don’t lose it either; if you lose or delete your wallet from your platform, there’s no way to recover your cryptocurrency without the seed phrase.

Once you’ve saved your seed phrase and created your new Daedalus wallet, you’re now ready to transfer your Cardano ADA cryptocurrency to your wallet. You can receive ADA by copying any of the “receiving addresses” and pasting them into the relevant exchange or wallet that you want to send it from.

Keep in mind that Daedalus must be resynched with the Cardano blockchain each time a transaction is made. All transactions are recorded the second they’re entered, but it will take some time for your Daedalus application to re-sync with the blockchain and show the transaction on your end.

 Is Daedalus wallet safe?

The Daedalus wallet is one of the safest developer-supported software wallets for holding ADA Cardano because it features a full Cardano node on your operating system. This eliminates the need to rely on any third-parties to exchange cryptocurrencies and creates a completely trustless system for the user.

Keep in mind that Daedalus wallet is subject to the same hacking risks faced by all hot software wallets. This means that the wallet may be vulnerable if your local platform is not secured. Be sure to secure your platform with the most current cybersecurity software and practice smart cybersecurity habits. 

Daedalus also provides paper wallet functionality and is compatible with Hardware wallets like Trezor and Ledger. Make sure you take steps to secure and protect these items as well, should you choose to utilize them in tandem with Daedalus.

What is the Yoroi wallet and how does it work?

The Yoroi wallet (Yoroi) is a browser extension light wallet designed by EMURGO and IOHK to house Cardano’s ADA cryptocurrency. The Yoroi light wallet runs as a browser extension or mobile application and does not need to be synced with the Cardano block chain from your end. 

The “light” designation means that the Yoroi wallet is not a full node and does not actually store a copy of the blockchain on your device. Instead, Yoroi taps into the Cardano blockchain via third-party servers hosted by Cardano’s affiliate, EMURGO. 

Bear in mind that your wallet and encrypted private key will still be stored locally on your device and not shared with EMURGO. This provides the security of a local software wallet and the speed of a node hosted via a well-equipped third-party server, making Yoroi the faster and more convenient way to transact ADA.

How to use the Yoroi wallet?

Yoroi wallet is available on both desktop and mobile devices thanks to its minimal bandwidth requirements. The setup process differs slightly depending on whether you want to use a desktop or mobile wallet.

Yoroi on Desktop (Cardano desktop wallet)

To use the Yoroi wallet on a desktop, you will need to download the browser extension for Yoroi from either the chrome web store, or your respective add-ons store, depending on your choice of web browser. Currently, Yoroi wallet is compatible with the following browsers:

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Microsoft Edge

Yoroi on Mobile (Cardano mobile wallet)

To use the Yoroi wallet on mobile, you will need to download it from your mobile app store. Yoroi wallet is currently available on the following:

  • Apple Store (iOS)
  • Google Play (Android)

Yoroi wallet setup process

Regardless of whether you use the desktop or mobile edition of Yoroi, upon completing installation, you’ll be prompted to create your wallet and record your seed phrase. 

Make sure you record your seed phrase accurately, as this will only be shown to you once. You’ll also want to ensure it’s stored in a secure location, as the seed phrase grants full access to anyone who knows it. Do not lose your seed phrase, as it’s the only way to recover your cryptocurrency if your wallet is deleted from your device.

Once you’ve saved your seed phrase and created your new Yoroi wallet, you’re now ready to transfer your Cardano ADA cryptocurrency to your wallet. You can receive ADA by copying the wallet address, under the “Receive” tab, into the send option of any exchange or wallet you would like to transfer cryptocurrency from.

Yoroi mobile wallet users can also receive ADA by scanning the QR code located under the “receive” tab. The QR code represents the barcode version of your wallet address.

Is Yoroi wallet safe?

The Yoroi wallet does require you to “trust” EMURGO’s full-node hosted through their servers. This does not necessarily suggest that Yoroi is “unsafe” due to its reliance on EMURGO’s servers, but does represent a weakness relative to Daedalus.

The team at EMURGO notes that they made the conscious decision to make Yoroi a browser extension to avoid a number of security issues that typically accompany web-based wallets, like DNS hijacking, and Javascript vulnerabilities. 

Yoroi wallet faces the same risks that accompany the use of any hot software wallet. This risk can be mitigated by ensuring you have the latest cybersecurity software installed on your computer, keeping your paper keys private, and migrating any large balances of Cardano ADA onto offline hardware wallets. 

The safety of your Yoroi wallet will be largely tied to the security of your operating platform as well as your personal cybersecurity habits.

Which wallet is safer? Daedalus vs Yoroi

The Daedalus wallet is arguably “safer” because it installs a full node of the Cardano blockchain on your desktop and is able to independently verify every transaction. Unlike Yoroi, Daedalus does not require any operations to be handled through 3rd party servers and is a completely trustless operation. By contrast, Yoroi requires you to trust EMURGO’s server security.

All transactions entered through both Daedalus and Yoroi are confirmed via Cardano’s blockchain ledger. Both wallets and their underlying private keys are hosted directly on your local device, and neither shares your private key with any third-party servers. This safety protocol helps preserve your privacy but will require you to safely store your seed phrase in a secure off-line location.

… Yoroi and Daedalus wallets were created by professional blockchain development teams employed by EMURGO and IOHK.

We note that both wallets are subject to the same security concerns faced by all “hot” software wallets. However, unlike many other software wallets, the Yoroi and Daedalus wallets were created by professional blockchain development teams employed by EMURGO and IOHK. 

This lends both Cardano wallets an extra layer of legitimacy and offers a medium for technical support and quality assurance that may not be available with other wallets. Both EMURGO and IOHK are also part of the official organizations that developed Cardano, and have continually reiterated their commitment to peer-review and transparency.

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