Choosing the right Wallet for your Cosmos ATOM (Web, Android, iOS & Hardware Wallet)
Are you in love with the Cosmos Network and want to hold on to your ATOM forever?
Whilst holding tokens on an exchange (Binance, Coinbase, etc) has its conveniences, you are trusting a third party with the safety of your tokens.
Several teams have been hard at work on ATOM-compatible wallets to safe-keep, staking to passively grow your ATOM holdings and participate in network governance. In this guide, we are going to go over two of the Cosmos community’s favourite wallets.
The wallets we will be looking at are the following:
Ledger Nano S/X Hardware Wallets
- Most secure way to store private keys, as they never leave the secure element of the device.
- Transactions are signed and confirmed with a manual press of a button on the device.
- Ability to generate multiple Cosmos accounts from one seed phrase.
- Host other cryptocurrencies at the same time.
- Interact with multiple web wallets and not restricted to one interface.
- Cost is a minimum of €59 for the Ledger Nano S, €119 for the Nano X.
- Clunky functionality of the device and sometimes requires to retry operations due to time-outs. These issues are more prevalent in the Nano S compared the Nano X.
Cosmostation Android/iOS App
The Cosmostation team, who also run the Mintscan.io explorer, have built an open-source wallet Android and iPhone app for ATOM holders.
- Inability to participate in governance
- Seed phrase exposed to phone’s screen and malicious actors recording the screen.
- Works only for ATOM and IRIS.
- Private keys handled by software and stored on a device connected to the internet.
- App generates only 1 address per seed phrase.
Once you have decided on what wallet to use, we will go on with creating a Cosmos account and participating in the network.
Creating a new Cosmos account
The first step of holding ATOM is gaining access to an account. This is done by generating a seed phrase, which then can be used to access your accounts.
Cosmostation Android/iPhone app
On installation, you will be prompted to either Import a 12, 16 or 24 word seed phrase or Create an account, which generates a 24 word seed phrase.
The private keys generated from this phrase will then be encrypted with a password you are prompted to enter on importing/creating the seed.
Upon initialisation of the wallet, by confirming the seed phrase generated and writing it down on paper as a backup, you will be greeted by the app’s home screen.
The dashboard holds details of your wallet including:
- Address details
- Available, delegated and unbonding ATOM
- Pending rewards
- ATOM/USD exchange rate
- Current % yearly staking reward
Ledger Nano Account Creation
- Plug in your Ledger to a computer with Ledger Live installed.
- Create or restore a seed phrase on the Ledger, and secure with a PIN.
- Set Ledger Live to developer mode to gain access to the Cosmos Ledger App. This can be found in the Experiment features tab of the Settings page, accessible through the Setting button in the top right of Ledger Live.
4. Install the Cosmos Ledger App (currently v1.5.3), found in Ledger Live’s Manager dashboard.
5. Access the Lunie web wallet at https://lunie.io and click Sign In in the top right.
6. Select Use an existing address to continue with the Ledger Nano, then Use Ledger Nano in the follow-up screen.
7. Once on the Use my Ledger Nano screen, ensure that your Ledger is connected to your system, unlocked and with the Cosmos app open on your Ledger device.
8. Upon signing in, you will access your Cosmos account dashboard.
Sending, staking and voting
Wallets allow users to participate in the network by transacting money, delegating and sending network governance messages.
Sending ATOM using the app is as easy as clicking on the Send button in the bottom right of the dashboard, inputting the recipient address and confirm the transaction.
A list of available validators to delegate to or undelegate from can be found on the Reward tab of the app and selecting the All (100) tab. This shows a list of the validators ordered by voting power.
Delegations can be done by selecting the validator of choice, and going through the steps presented to confirm the delegation amount and transaction.
Lunie Web Wallet w/ Ledger Nano
Disclaimer: the following screenshots were taken by importing a non-affiliated address into Lunie
To send ATOM using Lunie, select the Wallet tab and click Send. Enter the ATOM amount, address and an optional MEMO field, then follow the steps to confirm the transaction on your Ledger.
To interact with delegations and validators, go to the Staking page, click Validators and select the validator you’d like to interact with.
Delegating/bonding on Lunie can be done in two ways, either delegating available ATOM or redelegating staked ATOM. Undelegating/unbonding can be done in a similar way by selecting the Undelegate button.
Below: Simply VC’s Lunie dashboard.
Compared to the Android/iOS apps available, working with Lunie and a Ledger wallet gives one the ability to participate in depositing, voting and issuing proposals related to the Cosmos Hub’s governance. The Governance tab lists all the past and active proposals that are being voted on, which can be clicked on to interact with or learn more.
The options for storing ATOM at the moment are not limited, however, to make full use of your rights as an ATOM holder such as participating in governance, the phone apps available aren’t sufficient. For those with substantial ATOM holdings, using a Ledger Nano S/X has been and remains the only recommended way to interact with the blockchain, due to it’s highly secure handling keys. Using the Web wallet and Ledger combination also enables the ability to participate in the Cosmos Hub’s governance process, an important feature for every ATOM holder to have their say on the network’s future.
We are looking forward to further work on wallets for Cosmos, such as improvements in the Android and iOS apps where it comes to participation in governance and more hardware wallet compatibility such as for the Trezor brand of hardware wallets.