Aside from creating a growth-enabling regenerative ecosystem that creates prosperity for all, Celo also offers an avenue for prosperity creation through a dynamic tokenomics setup. However, since one can't keep tokens or any digital assets at all without a wallet to keep your keys safe, it's impossible to take advantage of this tokenomics setup without a good understanding of the wallet options available to you as a Celo user.
To understand how crypto wallets work on Celo, it is important to first understand the Celo tokenomics, available token options, and their uses, as well as a basic understanding of what crypto wallets are.
Follow these links to get the required knowledge you need to understand what this tutorial explains.
What are Crypto Wallets?
For blockchain users, a crypto wallet is a storage tool for the public and private keys that secure and encrypt their digital assets and delivers an easy-to-use interface to oversee their crypto balances. Also, crypto wallets make cryptocurrency transfers through the blockchain seamless using your private and public keys.
Some types of crypto wallets allow users access to certain functionalities using their crypto assets such as buying and selling digital assets or interacting with decentralized applications (dApps).
Do Crypto Wallets Keep Your Digital Assets?
This is a common misnomer around these digital tools. To start with, keep in mind that a crypto transaction isn't the ‘sending’ of crypto tokens from your mobile phone to another person’s mobile phone. Instead, what happens whenever you send tokens is that you sign the transaction and announce it to the blockchain network using your private key. Then, the network adds your transaction to reflect the latest balance in your address and the recipients.
Overall, the term ‘wallet’ is a misnomer as your wallets do not store crypto assets like physical wallets store cash. Rather, using the public ledger, these wallets display your balances in your addresses. Also, they are safes for the private keys you need to complete and sign off crypto transactions.
Types of Crypto Wallets and Their Differences
Based on their functions and how they work, crypto wallets can be divided into:
- Hot and Cold Wallets
- Custodial and Non-custodial Wallets These two divisions are further split into examples.
Hot and Cold Wallets
Hot wallets are different from cold wallets because of the use of an internet connection. While hot wallets must be connected to the internet to function, cold wallets don't need this. They work offline. Therefore, assets secured by hot wallets are more vulnerable to hack attacks. Examples of hot wallets are:
- Web-based wallets
- Mobile wallets
- Desktop wallets
Although cold wallets are entirely offline and more secure, they're not as easy to use as hot wallets. Examples of cold wallets include:
- Paper Wallets
- Hardware Wallets
Custodial and Non-Custodial Wallets
We can also divide crypto wallets into custodial and non-custodial types.
Custodial wallets are mostly provided on cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance. The edge custodial wallets offer is their easy usage. Also, they are common options for newcomers, as well as experienced day traders. What makes these wallet types different is that users are not in full control of their tokens as the private keys required to sign transactions are in the custody of the exchange.
Non-Custodial wallets like the Celo wallet allow you to keep full control of your funds as you store the private key locally as the user. When you create a non-custodial wallet, you will be required to write down and safely store a list of 12 or 24 randomly generated words. These words are your ‘recovery’, ‘seed’, or ‘mnemonic’ phrase. With them, you generate your public and private keys. Also, they are a backup or a recovery tool should you lose access to your device.
Crypto Wallets: The Celo Way
Crypto wallets are also necessary to interact with various aspects of the Celo network. However, you must be careful when deciding on your chosen wallet as they manage your secret account keys and secure all your assets. Ensure you only use native or compatible wallets to avoid the loss of your assets. Also, ensure whatever wallet you choose is well maintained by organizations/people of repute.
In this article, I will walk you through the two categories of wallets available to Celo users —Celo Native Wallets and Celo Compatible Wallets— with the necessary details.
Celo Native Wallets
Celo Native Wallets are wallets developed particularly for the Celo network. These wallets often offer features that more general wallets do not, like paying for fees with cUSD.
Valora is a mobile wallet available on iOS and Android. This wallet makes global peer-to-peer payments seamless and accessible to everyone. Valora supports the Celo Identity Protocol and allows Celo users to verify their phone numbers and send payments to their contacts without glitches.
This is a lightweight, mobile-friendly wallet for both web and desktop (Windows, Linux, MacOS). With ledger support, CeloWallet allows core Celo functionality like payments, exchanges, staking, and governance.
- Celo Terminal
Here is another wallet option that also serves as a DApp platform. The Celo Terminal strives to be a hub for installing and running Celo DApps locally on your desktop. It is available on Linux, Windows, and macOS and also provides ledger support.
Celo Extension Wallet is a fork of Metamask that works for the Celo Network as a browser extension on Chrome. It provides ledger support but is only available on the Chrome browser.
Steakwallet is a non-custodial staking wallet aiming to be the hub for mobile DeFi. This wallet has supported Celo from the beginning with Android and iOS options.
Celo Compatible Wallets
Celo Compatible Wallets are wallets that can work with Celo although they were created for other networks (e.g Ethereum) or are products of company partnerships (e.g Pesabase).
Available on browsers, iOS, and Android, Metamask is one of the compatible wallets you can connect to the Celo network. Check out how this is done here.
- Dove Wallet
For use on the Celo network, this wallet option is only available on the web.
Pesabase is a mobile wallet available to Celo users on Android and iOS devices.
- Wallet Connect
This is not a typical wallet. As its name implies, Wallet Connect is an open protocol available on browsers, iOS and Android. It helps connect wallets to Dapps. Since Celo wallets use Wallet Connect version 1, dapp developers on the Celo network should use V1 as well. Here is a link to learn more about using this tool.
- El Dorado
El Dorado is another wallet option for Celo users. But, it's only available to users in Colombia, Argentina, and Venezuela.
Bitmama is an exchange platform with a wallet option currently available to only users in Nigeria and Ghana.
This crypto wallet option is available to iOS and Android Celo users in Brazil only.
Other compatible wallet options include:
Pay attention to these Celo wallets to be certain they support all the token options available on the Celo network before performing any transaction. For example, a platform like Binance supports Celo but doesn't support Celo Dollar, or Celo Euros.
Also, on some of these wallet options, these different tokens have unique wallets. Pay attention to this to avoid making Celo Dollar payments, for instance, to an only Celo wallet addresses.
Overall, the list of wallets you have above includes your recommended options as a Celo user or developer.
Going forward, ensure you do your own research on any of these wallet options that interest you before using them. That way, you can learn their "How To" as well as other necessary details about them.
About the Author
Israel Okunaya sees blockchain as a fascinating yet tricky affair. So, he's given to simplifying its complexities with text and video tutorials.