100% of all transactions on Monero are private. No one can see someone else’s wallet balance or track someone else’s transactions. That is if you are using a non-custodial wallet. If you hold your Monero on an online exchange, your activity is visible to the exchange, as they are technically the holders of your XMR and the owners of the wallet.
In the following article, we will show you where to store Monero by reviewing several different wallets that you can use to store Monero securely and ensure maximum privacy.
The Official Monero Wallet
Although not the easiest to use, the Monero GUI Wallet is the official wallet of the Monero project and is supported by a large community of developers.
Monero GUI wallet
For anyone unfamiliar with programming abbreviations, GUI stands for Graphical User Interface. The Monero GUI wallet was created by volunteers and continues to be maintained by a community of volunteers. Some developers volunteer their time, while others are funded by donations from the community.
The GUI wallet has a bit of a rocky past as it is known to be buggy and not always work properly.
The GUI wallet allows users to download a full copy of the blockchain (also known as running a full node). Downloading a full copy of the chain has a couple of benefits, but trust is the main one.
When you download the blockchain, you can directly interact with the network; you do not have to connect through a third party. Of course, the downside to this is that downloading the blockchain can take days.
By running a full node, it helps decentralize Monero. The more copies of the Monero blockchain that are stored around the world, the more secure the network will be.
At first glance, the wallet has everything you need to send and receive transactions, but advanced users can dig into the settings to modify the wallet as needed.
You can even mine Monero directly from the wallet. However, this is generally not recommended as it can burn your laptop and the profits are meager (most Monero users claim that you will never get enough mining to buy a new laptop before mining your old one).
Is the Monero GUI wallet secure?
In general, the GUI wallet is secure; however, anyone using the wallet should update it as soon as a new version is released.
The GUI wallet has a history of bugs. These bugs are often fixed quickly thanks to a community of talented developers, but that means users who don’t update can be vulnerable.
Monero Ledger Wallet
The Ledger Wallet is a hardware wallet that is designed for maximum security. The Monero GUI wallet is the best way to interact with the Ledger hardware wallet. Monero users can store their XMR on Nano S or Nano X.
Monero Trezor Wallet
Like Ledger, Trezor can integrate directly with the Monero GUI wallet and offers best-in-class security.
Exodus Monero Wallet (easier to use)
Exodus is a Monero wallet application platform on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and Apple iOS.
Exodus is consistently listed as one of the best cryptocurrency wallets. It has also been named the “Best Monero Wallet” by various publications such as Coin Switch, Anycoin Direct, and Coin Bureau.
What makes the Exodus Monero wallet popular is its intuitive interface, its ease of use and configuration, and its built-in exchange function. You can also sync the desktop and mobile apps with each other to access your Monero wallet on multiple devices.
Exodus does not require downloading the entire blockchain. Setting up a Monero wallet with Exodus only takes a few seconds.
Monero CLI wallet
CLI means command line, so Monero CLI wallet is just a text box; there is no graphical user interface. Users can write commands to the wallet, which then executes them.
This wallet is not recommended for 99% of users. For the average Monero user, it offers no real benefits and there is no reason to download the CLI wallet instead of the GUI wallet.
Monero Paper Wallet
Monero has an excellent paper wallet generator that can even be used offline. The wallet generator creates a wallet address as well as a seed phrase. Every time you refresh the browser, a new wallet is generated.
Remember to write the opening sentence on a piece of paper and keep it somewhere that only you have access to. Do not store it digitally. If a hacker were to gain access to your files, they could find the seed phrase and take all of your XMR.
MyMonero, a popular web-based Monero wallet, has recently launched a whole new set of products. That includes a desktop wallet for Windows, Mac, and Linux, as well as a mobile app for iOS. An Android app is in the works and should be released soon.
Unlike the GUI wallet, MyMonero runs on an external node, so users do not need to download a full copy of the blockchain.
How to Buy Monero
If you don’t have Monero yet, or would like to get more, there are a couple of ways to do so. First, we will explain how to buy Monero XMR with fiat, and then the best way to buy XMR with cryptocurrencies without the need to create an account or submit any identifying information.
Buy Monero with fiat
Kraken is the safest place to buy Monero with fiat. It is one of the few reliable exchanges with fiat pairs like XMR/USD and XMR/EUR.
Buy Monero with cryptocurrencies
If you already have any cryptocurrency and want to buy Monero, the fastest way to get XMR is to exchange it with the Exodus wallet. That is how.
- Download and install the Exodus wallet
- Select the cryptocurrency you want to buy Monero with. In this example, we will use Ethereum
- Open the Ethereum wallet and click receive. The wallet will display an address where you need to send your Ethereum
After the Ethereum arrives in your wallet, click on the two arrows just to the right of the “Receive” button
Fill in all the details on the exchange page, indicating how much Monero you want to buy
Once all the details are correct you can click ‘Exchange’. Monero XMR will appear in your wallet shortly!
The Monero Use Case
Monero provides a way to transact without everyone seeing what you are buying. People make totally legal purchases all the time that they don’t want anyone else to know about.
Credit and debit cards, Paypal and other financial applications are increasingly monitored and offer little privacy protection. Monero fixes that. Monero is truly digital cash. Paper money is the ultimate form of private money and the goal of the Monero project is to bring that anonymity to the blockchain.