Jaxx

Jaxx is a free to use mobile wallet launched in 2014 and has done an okay job in a short span of four years. It is good for using as a hot wallet and storing small amounts of cryptocurrencies.

Security isn’t good

The most important thing that matters to any cryptocurrency user is security. So you would be happy to know that Jaxx doesn’t store your keys on its servers. 

You retain full control of your private keys and in turn, your cryptocurrency funds. They are stored on your smartphone itself. But keep in mind that you don’t need to pass through an identification check to use the wallet. 

There is no two-factor authentication or multi signature support for transactions. 4 digit PIN is not considered enough in this day and age and that is why top wallets require you to enter a second key (two factor authentication) to access your funds and private keys. 

Your private keys backup is kept through a master seed. This seed is just a string of words using which you can recover your private keys in case you happen to lose them accidentally. Jaxx is an open source wallet which is a good point to build trust in the user community.

This mean you have to protect your smartphone from going into the wrong hands or you will lose all your funds. Jaxx isn’t exclusively a mobile wallet.

It supports various platforms including Android, iOS, Windows, OSX, Linux and a comes in a Chrome browser extension. 

That said, it is not exclusively a mobile wallet, but it is highly effective in the mobile space due to its ease of use. And that is the reason we have included it in the mobile wallet category.

A Hot Wallet to Store Small Amounts

But you should only use Jaxx as a hot wallet to store small amounts of cryptocurrency. Why? In June 2017, there was a report of security breach from a Jaxx desktop wallet leading to loss of 400,000 dollars worth of crypto funds from user accounts.

When the CTO of Jaxx, Nilang Vyas, was questioned about the same, his statement was:

“The fact is there will always be tradeoffs between user experience, portability and security and we believe we’ve struck a great balance.”

And on how you should protect your funds, his suggestion was:

“In the future users will be able to secure their Jaxx wallet with both Trezor, Ledger and our own hardware wallets,” Vyas continued. “Until that time, please use Jaxx as a hot wallet for small amounts, and use hardware wallets for larger amounts.”

Therefore it is clear that Jaxx is not entirely secure as a mobile wallet. I recommend that you thoroughly research their security infrastructure with recent updates (as you should for any other wallet) before you decide to register.

Jaxx supports the following cryptocurrencies and does a good job at including the world’s leading ones:

  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Dash
  • Ethereum Classic
  • DAO
  • Litecoin
  • REP

It is available on the following platforms. It is good that the company has made both mobile and desktop options available:

  • Windows, Apple and Linux desktop
  • Android and iOS mobile and tablet
  • Google Chrome and Firefox extensions

When it comes to user interface, Jaxx has done a good job at making it simple and easy to use even for absolute beginners with no prior knowledge of cryptocurrency.

The app interface doesn’t overwhelm you with too much information or too complicated menu options. Everything is well organized and easily understandable. 

Moreover, Jaxx has made getting started really easy. In their own words, there is “No onboarding, no information, no verification required. Nada”. But when there is no verification, there is a trade off with security.

But why would anyone decide to store their cryptocurrency in Jaxx? What makes it worth it?

There are three primary advantages to using Jaxx:

  • Control over your keys – Your private keys are stored locally and stay locked. They aren’t stored on Jaxx’ online servers.
  • Free access – You don’t need to verify your identity to use Jaxx. However, this may not sound very secure to many cryptocurrency users.
  • Easy to use UI – You can easily understand how to store, send or receive cryptocurrency. This really helps beginners.
  • Access to top cryptocurrencies – Jaxx supports the most in-demand cryptocurrencies in the world including Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and more.

Fees

The Jaxx app is free to download and use. But as it is with other desktop or mobile wallets, you need to pay a fee for every transaction you make. 

This fees goes to the cryptocurrency trading networks. For instance, for every Ethereum transaction, you pay a fee of .000441 ETH. In the same way, you pay a transaction fee for other cryptocurrencies. 

Since these fees aren’t banked by Jaxx, but by the trading networks, they can vary depending on the pricing of the networks. Jaxx doesn’t earn through transaction fees, it earns through its facility of ShapeShift transactions.

Pros

  • An easy to use user interface
  • Supports the most in-demand cryptocurrencies
  • Perfect to use on the go – accessible across multiple platforms including smartphone and desktop
  • Open source builds trust in community
  • Very convenient functionally; doesn’t overwhelm you with complicated functionalities

Cons

  • Security concerns arise because there is no two-factor authentication and any ID verification needed
  • Some reports of security breaches have surfaced with hundreds of thousands of dollars lost

Should You Choose Jaxx Mobile (and Desktop) Wallet?

If you want to store your cryptocurrency in a hot wallet in small amounts and just starting out in the world of cryptocurrency, Jaxx may be a good option. 

But we won’t vouch for its security infrastructure, so consider other options in this guide, such as Coinbase before you make the final decision. 

The good part is that you have full control over your private keys and they aren’t stored on the company’s servers. It is easy to use and has intuitive controls. So beginners will find it especially appealing.

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