While it is a common misconception that your wallet stores your various coins or tokens, in reality, a wallet is simply an interface that interacts directly with the relevant blockchain.
Multi-wallets are, therefore, wallets that have the ability to converse with a variety of blockchains, meaning you can access your various balances and send and receive tokens or coins.
Cold storage wallets are often compatible with a wide range of tokens or coins. Market leader Trezor, which makes small USB wallets for physical security, offers compatibility for any ERC-20 Token (built on Ethereum), as well as a wide range of other coins including Bitcoin, Ether, Dash, Litecoin, Ether, Ethereum Classic and Dogecoin.
Many tokens create their own wallets that allow the consumer to interact directly with their newly-created blockchains. These so-called official wallets are often considered some of the safest ways to store your coins - of course, depending on which coins you’re referring to.
However, they can often be inconvenient. Having so many different logins for so many different wallets could create a climate of confusion.
Examples of official wallets include MyEtherWallet (ETH), ClassicEtherWallet (ETC), and Litecoin Core (LTC). We recommend any of these individual wallets as some of the safest available wallets for their respective coins.
In contrast to official wallets, multi-wallets offer access to a number of blockchains, allowing users to access several of their coins and tokens in a single portal.
This comes with many advantages. Many multi-wallets allow users to send and receive dozens of different coins and in some cases, exchange between them. However, not all coins and tokens are available on any one single multi-wallet.
Two of the most popular multi-wallets, Jaxx and Exodus, integrated with Shapeshift to enable live transactions between any two coins that are supported by the respective wallets.
Exchanging between coins
As we’ve learned in past DCorp Academy lessons, exchanging between coins can be difficult unless you’re using a dedicated service, such as Changelly or Shapeshift.
Both these services can be used independently of any wallet or storage device, simply by putting in the correct public keys to each of your addresses and sending your half of the transaction.
However, Shapeshift works as a dedicated exchange partner to both the Jaxx and Exodus wallets, giving its users a range of potential transactions that are traditionally not possible.