If you’re new to crypto it’s easy to become baffled by the number of different products and services out there.
Maybe you’re looking for the best exchange to buy Bitcoin? Or perhaps you already hold crypto and want a safe place to store it and are researching wallets?
Either way, a Google search can easily lead to more confusion than answers.
When it comes to wallets the choice is vast and includes paper wallets, hardware wallets such as the Trezor One, or apps that create a secure Bitcoin wallet on your phone.
One such app is Trust Wallet which has grown to become one of the most popular Bitcoin wallets in use today, boasting some 10 million users. It also has the backing of Binance after being acquired by the crypto exchange in 2018.
The first thing to say about Trust Wallet is that it probably isn’t the best choice for beginners. There are slicker wallet apps out there, especially if you intend to use it to buy crypto.
You retain control of your private keys
However, Trust Wallet is a market leader when it comes to offering a secure, decentralised service meaning you hold those all-important private keys.
There’s an often-repeated phrase in the crypto world that anyone trusting their coins to a third party should heed – ‘Not your keys, not your coins’.
This means that if you store your cryptocurrency on an exchange then there’s the potential for you to lose your coins as your keys are held by the custodian.
The risks include:
- There have been numerous high-profile hacks where millions of pounds of crypto have been stolen.
- The details of what you use your coins for, and the data associated with the transactions will be seen by the third-party.
- You may be ‘frozen out’ of your cryptoassets during periods of exchange maintenance or during periods of particularly volatile market trading.
- You may miss out on earning interest through staking if you leave your coins on an exchange (although some now offer this, like Binance for example).
Certainly, it’s unlikely that you’ll run into any problems with the major exchanges, as security protocols have been beefed up in recent years.
And most major exchanges now keep the majority of clients’ crypto in cold storage, meaning it’s air gapped from the internet, for added security.
But for some people, retaining control of their private keys is crucial. However, if you don’t want the restrictions a hardware wallet presents, an app such as Trust Wallet provides the solution.
At the time of writing Trust Wallet supports more than 160,000 digital coins and assets, include big name cryptos such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple (XRP).
It also offers access to a DApp (Decentralised App) browser, decentralised exchanges (DEX), such as PancakeSwap and Uniswap, staking, Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) and crypto collectibles.
Getting started with Trust Wallet
Setting up Trust Wallet is straightforward. It’s available as a free app for both Android and Apple iOS and the code is entirely open source so anyone can scrutinise the code for security flaws.
At the time of writing there was no desktop version of the app for either PC or Apple users.
You won’t have to give any know your customer (KYC) information, reaffirming its commitment to security and privacy.
However, you will need to make a careful note of your 12-word recovery phrase. Without this, you could permanently lose all your crypto.
The one drawback of this is that buying crypto is perhaps not quite as straightforward as it is on a major exchange such as Coinbase – the one we recommend for beginners.
And you’ll find the privacy element of the wallet becomes redundant if you use it to buy crypto. There are also varying minimum purchase amounts.
Buying crypto could be simpler
We decided to buy US$50 worth of Bitcoin to test out the functionality of the wallet. This was the minimum spend allowed. Other exchanges allow far less.
We were shown the company that was offering the best rate – MoonPay – which we accepted. (The Trust Wallet app does not sell crypto directly, rather it connects you with third-party providers).
However, on the MoonPay app we were told this minimum amount was too low, and we needed to spend at least US$77.
We changed our purchase amount, then were presented with multiple screens where we had to input personal info, including an address for billing purposes.
This is obviously par for the course on mainstream exchanges but felt a little intrusive on a wallet that billed itself as privacy centric.
Apparently not all providers make this requirement, but MoonPay consistently appeared as the cheapest seller for several different coins.
An easy way to securely store your crypto
The process of sending and receiving coins however is easy to navigate and has worked seamlessly since we’ve been using it.
The clean, minimalist interface is intuitive and even crypto novices will find they can navigate the basics quickly as you can see below:
The staking and DApps features are far more complex though so ensure you know exactly what you are doing here.
There are many reports online of people losing their money, not because of the app but due to their lack of understanding of the products they were engaging with.
At present Trust Wallet allows you to stake BNB (BNB), Cosmos (ATOM), Tron (TRX), Algorand (ALGO), Kava (KAVA) and Tezos (XTZ), with the highest returns available on BNB. Remember, staking does involve further risk.
Is Trust Wallet safe to use, is it a scam and can it be hacked?
Trust Wallet was originally set up by Viktor Radchenko as a means of holding ERC20 tokens issued via Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
In 2018 Binance acquired the company meaning it has the backing of one of world’s largest crypto exchanges.
Because you retain your private keys, the likelihood of you losing your crypto to hackers is incredibly remote.
However, for even greater security you should consider a hardware wallet if you won’t need to access your coins in a hurry.
Trust Wallet is clearly loved by many and has a strong support community if ever you run into problems.
Generally the functionality is good, although we felt the crypto buying process was not as smooth as it could be, especially compared to an exchange.
There are layers of complexity which a newcomer may find off-putting, but if you stick to the basic functions to start with you won’t be disappointed.
Trust Wallet offers a secure place to store your cryptoassets on the go while giving you easy access to your funds when you need them.
*This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial or investment advice.
Adam is the founder of The Crypto Adviser which offers experts guides and reviews on all things related to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
Adam is Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA) Level 4 qualified, a Member of the London Institute of Banking and Finance (MLIBF), and has worked for many years as a journalist and PR consultant, having studied with the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).