Multi-Coin Mobile Wallets,An Alternative To Crypto Exchanges?

Coinomi’s multi-platform wallet (image taken from their website)

Over the years, there has been tremendous advancements in the crypto wallet space. I remember a time when I had to download a desktop-wallet for each crypto owned in order to store them. For larger amounts, I even had to do a cold storage on a paper wallet. This process was quite complex because the private keys had to be generated offline.

Fortunately enough, nowadays I can easily store my crypto on a mobile phone and use hardware devices like Ledger Nano S and Trezor for cold storage.

Sadly, the hassle is still the same as years ago when people want to buy and trade on crypto exchanges. Trading on these platforms always put users information and funds at risk. The reason is simple, the single point of failure in the crypto space was and still is the centralized exchanges.

New and long-time users are still keeping theirs funds on these websites for the sake of convenience, even if it goes against the philosophy “not your keys, not your bitcoins”. This decision could not be more ironic considering that the ability to own your own coins is the main reason why Bitcoin was invented in the first place. Going forward, users behavior need to change if we want mass adoption to ever occur.

What About DEX?

Screenshot of Waves platform

Lately, adoption for decentralized exchanges (DEX), such as Waves, Bisq and Crypto Bridge, is slowly picking up. DEX operate without central authority allowing users to retain control over their private keys. DEX are definitely the future of crypto trading, although people mostly use them to buy coins and tokens that aren’t listed on big exchanges yet. Overall the user experience on these platforms is pretty good and for most of them you can sign-in with Web3 applications like MetaMask, an in-browser wallet.

When you compare DEX to centralized exchanges, volume are still low and there isn’t even a single DEX mobile app yet. So, for people who do transactions regularly and aren’t always in front of a computer, DEX aren’t convenient yet.

All-in-on Wallets

Nowadays, a multitude of multi-coin wallets are available for cryptocurrency owners, the most popular being Coinomi, Exodus and Jaxx. These cross-platforms are convenient for users because more can be done with them than just store crypto assets. Indeed, you can also buy and trade digital currencies without ever having to leave these apps.

Screenshots of Coinomi mobile app

These past 3 years, particularly since the booming of Ethereum ERC-20 tokens, I’ve been using Coinomi mobile app in order to receive, send and trade my crypto assets. Here are the reasons why Coinomi is my go-to-app:

  • More than 500 coins and tokens can be securely stored and managed;
  • Users own the private key,
  • One key for all the assets;
  • The app is light, doesn’t require lot of space to run;
  • No registration and KYC required;
  • Integrated exchange API: going forward, I think it’s the best way to do crypto-to-crypto swaps without the risk of your funds being frozen on an exchange.

In-app exchange choices are still limited for now. For instance, Coinomi only offers a choice between Shapeshift and Changelly, which have pretty high exchange-fees (~5%). On Enjin mobile wallet though, users can choose between Changelly, Kyber (free for ERC-20 token swaps) and Bancor. In the future, we can also expect DEX API to be integrated into those mobile wallets.

Users should focus more on multi-coin mobile wallets as an alternative to exchanges. Eventually, trading on these platforms will be more secure than using current crypto exchanges.