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How to Build a Crypto Wallet: Full Guide

How to Build a Crypto Wallet: Full Guide

WEB development
21 min
1452
23.04.2024

Gone are the days when managing assets meant relying solely on banks. Today, individuals seek secure and user-friendly tools to bring their cryptocurrencies under control. This guide delves into the exciting world of crypto wallet development, exploring the key features that attract users and the factors influencing the cost of launching such a product.

We'll bypass the traditional financial systems and dive straight into the heart of blockchain technology. Here, you'll discover the steps involved in creating a crypto wallet app, such as choosing the type of crypto wallet, finding the right development partner, building an MVP, testing the product, and others. 

Let’s begin our research!

Crypto wallet: definition and main types

A cryptocurrency wallet is an app or platform designed for users to store, trade, purchase, send, and get digital assets. Additionally, it maintains transaction records. It's essential to note that the wallet itself doesn't store the assets; rather, it grants users access to their cryptocurrency holdings within the blockchain network. Typically, crypto wallet applications are installed on smartphones or desktops, but they can also exist as browser extensions or physical devices.

In reality, transactions involving crypto assets are essentially transfers of information, not the assets themselves. During these transactions, participants exchange ownership rights of specific cryptocurrencies.

However, the question arises: Is a cryptocurrency wallet application secure? Each wallet contains a security key or a private recovery phrase, also known as a seed phrase, which enhances asset protection. 

When conducting transactions, the crypto wallet utilizes public and private keys. To draw a comparison with traditional banking, the public key is akin to a bank account number, serving as the wallet's address, which users can share with others or financial institutions. 

Conversely, the private key functions similarly to a PIN code for a bank card, granting the user access to their wallet assets. Safeguarding the private key is imperative to prevent wallet breaches or fund theft.

Types of crypto wallets

Picking a crypto wallet application type hinges on diverse factors like usability, regulatory measures, cryptocurrency availability, wallet type, and additional functionalities. 

Let's explore some wallet classifications to understand their unique characteristics for the right blockchain wallet app development.

By operational method

Wallets are categorized into hot (software) and cold (hardware) types based on their operational method. 

Hot wallets 
They encompass web, mobile, and desktop apps. These are some examples of popular hot wallets:

  • Trust Wallet
  • MetaMask
  • Crypto.com
  • BRD
  • MyEtherWallet
  • Safe (previously Gnosis)
  • Exodus

CoinGecko’s hot wallet study shows that the most widespread crypto hot wallets are included in the top 10 wallets mentioned above. The user base of these wallets collectively amassed a staggering 61.92 million installations in 2023.

Cold wallets
These crypto wallets store digital assets offline. Cold wallets can work disconnected from the internet. They are regarded as more secure than hot wallets because they are not so exposed to online hacking attempts. Here are some well-known examples of cold wallets: 

  • Trezor Model T
  • Ledger Nano S
  • Ledger Nano X
  • KeepKey

Cold wallets typically have the form of paper wallets, hardware devices, or even offline computer storage. Due to their enhanced security features, they are perfect for long-term retention of large amounts of cryptocurrency.

By governance

Wallets can also be distinguished based on how they store and control store users' private and public keys. Custodial wallets, typified by cryptocurrency exchanges, store keys on company servers, including responsibility for data backup. 

In contrast, non-custodial wallets enable users to retain keys on their devices, with the provision for a recovery phrase to access cryptocurrency in case of key loss. Non-custodial solutions generally offer enhanced security compared to custodial counterparts. 

There is also another type of crypto wallet. In contrast to traditional approaches, where private keys remain intact, MPC (multi-party computation)wallets divide the private key into secure fragments, minimizing the risk of unauthorized access. Multisig wallets engage multiple parties, each possessing their private key. The transaction is completed only when a majority signs it.

FeaturesNon-custodialCustodialMulti-party computation (MPC)
ControlUsers control their crypto fullyThird-party entities like crypto exchanges control users’ coinsThere are multiple parties, each with their own private key
KYC verification for onboardingNeed for minimum or zero KYC (know-your-customer)KYC while onboarding or off-rampingKYC policies may vary depending on the platform
Restoring optionsLost password equals lost fundsLost password can be restoredAllows for recovery mechanisms like backup phrases
FeesUsers pay all network feesMay cover a percentage of feesFees structure may vary, typically user-oriented
SecurityMore vulnerable to cyberattacksHigher, depends on the third-party entityHigher, private keys are not stored in one place
ExamplesBinance, Kraken, GeminiLedger, MetaMask, TrezorZengo, Liminal, Coinbase

By device

Let's delve into non-custodial wallets further, considering their prevalence and types based on the devices they are used on.

  • Desktop wallets: These are widely favored among users and require PC installation. All cryptocurrency data and private keys are stored locally on the user's computer, necessitating additional security measures like two-factor authentication and robust security software.
  • Mobile wallets: Offering advanced functionality, mobile wallet applications are installed on smartphones. They facilitate quick access to assets, making them ideal for everyday transactions. Encrypting these wallets with strong passwords and creating backup files is recommended.
  • Web wallets: Accessible via regular browsers without software installation, web wallets are considered less reliable. To bolster security, you should add security measures like anti-phishing encryption and two-factor authentication. 
  • Paper wallets: Paper wallets, which contain wallet keys in QR code format, serve as an alternative to cold storage. This method ensures robust protection against online threats, as private keys and data remain offline.
  • Hardware wallets: Resembling flash drives, hardware wallets are deemed the most secure option. They generate private and public keys autonomously and operate independently of the internet. Suited for long-term investments, hardware wallets are favored by crypto enthusiasts and investors seeking heightened security measures.

It is important to recognize that limiting yourself to a single platform is unnecessary when developing your own cryptocurrency wallet. Users often switch between different devices throughout the day, so it's beneficial to cater to their preferences by providing your wallet across multiple platforms.

For instance, the widely-used MetaMask cryptocurrency wallet is available both as a browser extension and as a mobile application for both iPhone and Android devices. Furthermore, it is compatible with popular hardware wallets like Trezor or Ledger, offering users a variety of options for securely storing their cryptocurrency assets.

By coins availability

It may come as a surprise, but not all cryptocurrency wallets support every coin listed on platforms like CoinMarketCap. This discrepancy arises because various cryptocurrencies and tokens are built on distinct blockchain networks. For instance, Bitcoin operates exclusively on the Bitcoin network, whereas currencies such as SHIBA or DAI are traded on the Ethereum blockchain.

Therefore, if your aim is to develop a cryptocurrency wallet application that accommodates a wide array of coins, it must be designed to be multi-currency and capable of connecting to diverse blockchain networks.

The process of blockchain wallet app development

Creating your own cryptocurrency wallet involves several crucial steps. Let's break them down one by one. 

Idea conceptualizing

If you are wondering how to create a crypto wallet, begin by generating a viable business concept for your cryptocurrency wallet app. As the industry is still evolving, many innovative ideas stem from personal encounters with various challenges in the crypto landscape.

Your concept may arise from encountering unresolved issues while dealing with cryptocurrencies. Conduct competitive research to ascertain if similar products exist and analyze how you can enhance them to cater better to your target audience.

Consider cryptocurrency wallet development if:

  • You're developing a DeFi (decentralized finance) platform and need to onboard users.
  • You have a unique idea for a crypto wallet with innovative features.

For instance, imagine a cryptocurrency wallet that not only facilitates transactions but also enables users to track their entire coin portfolio, including those held in their wallets and those staked for interest. This type of feature addresses a gap in existing crypto apps and presents an opportunity for innovation.

Gather feedback from various sources, including colleagues and online communities, to understand user perspectives and refine your product idea accordingly. Deep market research and determining your target audience's needs will set the foundation for designing a top cryptocurrency product.

Choosing a development partner

After validating your crypto app idea, finding a reliable development partner to bring your vision to life is crucial. Look for a software development agency with experienced professionals, like Peiko, who are capable of handling the entire product development lifecycle.

Key specialists required for crypto wallet app development include:

  • Project managers: These specialists coordinate the development team and ensure project delivery.
  • UX/UI (user experience/user interface) designers: They design an intuitive and visually appealing interface for the crypto wallet.
  • Developers: Build the backend, frontend, and mobile components of the wallet.
  • QA (quality assurance) testers: Conduct comprehensive testing to verify the app's security and functionality efficiency.
  • DevOps engineers: They set up infrastructure and deployment processes for seamless development.

Choose a development partner with previous experience in crypto development and a portfolio of successfully created projects and reviews from clients. For example, at Peiko, we offer a wide range of blockchain development services, including crypto wallet, crypto exchange development, and more. Ensure effective collaboration and communication throughout the creation process to achieve optimal results. 

Assessment and planning

The customer must initially understand how he sees a crypto wallet for their project. This must be formalized as a technical specification (TOR). In the absence of a ready-made technical specification, the client and project manager fill out the brief and then draw up the technical specification anyway.

The project manager carefully examines the project brief and takes into account the client's preferences. They then collaborate with the team to determine the necessary personnel for the new project and estimate the time and expenses required for development. The outcome of this process is the creation of a project concept, which delineates the project's objectives and outlines the necessary steps to achieve them. 

The team leader is responsible for establishing the technical specifications for the cryptocurrency wallet app. This specialist compiles detailed app specifications and articulates the development roadmap, precisely outlining specific tasks for programmers.

Developing an interactive prototype

Before proceeding with full-scale development, creating an interactive prototype of the crypto wallet app is recommended. A prototype allows you to validate your app's concept, gather user feedback, and refine the user experience before putting money into the full creation process. 

If the client does not have a prototype or sketches of the user interface, the UI/UX designer makes it from scratch. First, a wireframe is built with the core details of the future solution, and then come prototypes. The final design is developed after the interface and required functions are approved by the customer.

An interactive prototype serves as a visual representation of your app, showcasing its key features and user interface interactions. Share the prototype with target users to collect important insights and improve the design according to their feedback.

Building an MVP

Once the prototype has been validated, proceed with developing a minimum viable product (MVP) for your crypto wallet app. Work closely with your development team to implement core features and functionality while adhering to the project timeline and budget. During development, it is essential to prioritize security, scalability, and usability to ensure a seamless user experience.

Key considerations during development include:

  • Choosing between custodial and non-custodial wallet models.
  • Selecting target platforms (e.g., desktop, mobile) and integrating with blockchain networks.
  • Adding top security measures to safeguard user data and assets.

Developing the full-scale version

At this stage, developers begin writing program code, taking into account the technical specifications, brief, and available prototypes. When creating for iOS, they use Objective-C or Swift languages. When developing a wallet for Android, they use C++, C#, Java, Kotlin, or Python.

After the code is written and the solution is operational, the UI/UX designer checks the app’s interface. This development phase results in a full-fledged version of the crypto wallet that is ready for testing.

Smart-contract development (for non-custodial wallets)

Building a secure and user-friendly non-custodial wallet hinges on robust smart contract development. These digital contracts act as the core for these wallets. 

A smart contract represents an automated digital agreement stored securely within a blockchain network. It executes designated actions autonomously when predetermined conditions are met. Contracts function as a digital pact that enforces agreed-upon terms among various parties without requiring an intermediary.

These contracts are written in programming languages specifically designed for particular blockchain platforms, such as Solidity for Ethereum. They operate on logic akin to "if-then" statements, encapsulating the terms and conditions for a given transaction or agreement. Once the specified conditions are fulfilled, the smart contract initiates the predetermined actions, minimizing the need for manual intervention, reducing the potential for human error, and enhancing overall operational efficiency. Below, you can see how the smart contracts operate.

Testing and bug fixing

When the developers pass the comprehensive version of a wallet, QA engineers begin testing it. At Peiko, we test by considering all the application's options. If we find bugs or shortcomings, we will correct them immediately. The full-scale version will be released only after all employees are convinced of the quality of the solution.

Launching and maintaining

After the team has completed testing and corrected possible shortcomings, the project manager publishes the mobile crypto wallet in the Apple App Store and/or Google Play. Or the customers themselves place the application on digital distribution platforms.

Monitor user feedback and app performance closely, and be ready to tackle any challenges promptly. Regularly update the solution with new functionality and security patches to enhance functionality and address user needs. Consider implementing a feature request mechanism to gather feedback from users and prioritize future updates accordingly.

By following these steps and collaborating effectively with your development partner, you can create a successful cryptocurrency wallet app that meets the needs of your target audience and contributes to the growth of the crypto ecosystem.

Key functionalities to include in your crypto wallet app

Your crypto wallet application should offer robust features that meet your business aims. Here are the indispensable functionalities to integrate if you are asking how to make a crypto wallet:

  • User authentication: Given the susceptibility of wallet apps to security breaches, enhancing user authentication is paramount. Include two-factor or multi-factor authentication to improve security beyond traditional username and password mechanisms.
  • QR code scanner: To create crypto wallet app, add a QR code scanner functionality to expedite and secure transactions. This feature automatically scans public keys and wallet addresses, streamlining crypto transactions with a simple click.
  • Multi-currency support: Ensure your wallet supports multiple cryptocurrencies to accommodate diverse user needs without requiring multiple wallets. This allows users to segregate their assets effectively.
  • Push notifications: Implement push notifications to deliver timely updates to users regarding their transaction statuses, account balances, and any significant price fluctuations in the cryptocurrency market. 
  • Live conversion rates: Offer users access to up-to-date conversion rates between various digital and fiat currencies directly within the app. By providing real-time exchange rates, users can accurately calculate the value of their transactions and seamlessly switch between different currencies as needed.
  • Blockchain-based transactions: Leverage blockchain technology for secure and swift fund transfers, ensuring transparency and immutability.
  • Address management: By applying the decentralized nature of blockchain, users can enjoy enhanced security and transparency, knowing that their transactions are recorded on a distributed ledger that cannot be altered or tampered with. 
  • Payment gateways: Integrate payment gateways to facilitate efficient purchasing and trading of digital assets within the app. Thereby, you will enhance the app's utility and user satisfaction.
  • Optional session logout: Enhance security measures with automatic session logout after a period of inactivity, prompting users to re-authenticate for continued app usage.

To further enhance the appeal of your cryptocurrency wallet to users, consider integrating cutting-edge features such as:

  • Customizable transaction fees: You can provide users with the option to customize transaction fees. This empowers them to adjust fees based on their preferences and the urgency of their transactions. Such a feature adds flexibility and control over transaction costs, optimizing user experience.
  • Integration of airdrop listings: By facilitating easy access to airdrop opportunities, the wallet enhances user engagement and participation in token events.
  • Provision of multiple coin addresses: Offering support for multiple coin addresses allows users to control diverse digital assets within just a single wallet app. By accommodating diverse cryptocurrencies, the wallet caters to the needs of users with diverse investment portfolios.
  • Personalized notifications: Providing personalized notifications for preferred price movements allows users to stay informed about changes in cryptocurrency prices relevant to their investment preferences.
  • Staking capabilities: Staking cryptocurrencies has become a prevalent practice among crypto enthusiasts for earning passive income. Integrating staking capabilities into your wallet, akin to platforms like Binance and Coinbase, enables users to participate in network maintenance and earn rewards for their holdings.
  • Additional features: Offer a dark mode option that will enhance user interface customization and reduce eye strain during extended usage periods. Quick web login functionality simplifies the authentication process. Seamless integration with decentralized finance (DeFi) products expands the wallet's functionality and utility within the broader crypto ecosystem.

When implementing advanced functionalities, it's crucial to prioritize features based on your budget and development expertise, particularly if it's your initial venture into mobile app development. Creating a roadmap can help strategize the integration of these features, with the flexibility to incorporate additional functionalities in future iterations. Remember, the list provided serves as a suggestion. You have the freedom to pick the set of features that aligns best with your cryptocurrency wallet's objectives and target audience.

Cryptocurrency wallet development technology stack

Building a cryptocurrency wallet requires a well-rounded understanding of the tech stack involved. From blockchain integration to user interface design, each component is essential in ensuring the solution's security, functionality, and overall user experience.

  • Blockchain integration, smart contracts development: Solidity is a programming language specifically designed for writing smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. It offers a robust framework for implementing complex logic securely.
  • Backend development - Node.js (Nest): Node.js, coupled with Nest.js framework, provides a powerful backend solution for crypto wallet development. It offers scalability, real-time capabilities, and efficient handling of asynchronous operations. Clients can also opt for other backend technologies like Python, Laravel, C#, or Java.
  • Frontend development: For the frontend, React.js or Vue.js combined with TypeScript is recommended for creating a responsive and user-friendly interface. These frameworks offer modular components, state management, and easy integration with backend services, ensuring a seamless user experience.
  • Mobile app development: Developing a mobile app for the crypto wallet requires a versatile approach. React Native paired with TypeScript is an excellent choice, allowing developers to build cross-platform applications with native-like performance. Alternatively, clients may opt for native development using Kotlin, Swift, Flutter, or Java for platform-specific advantages and functionalities.

Through using the modern and robust technology stack, developers can create wallets that offer seamless transaction experiences and help drive the adoption of cryptocurrencies worldwide.

Crypto wallet development cost

Allocate a budget ranging from $40,000 to $120,000 for the development of your unique crypto wallet, aiming to introduce innovative functionalities and drive new crypto adoption scenarios.

If all you have is an idea, initiating the discovery phase is the optimal approach. This crucial step involves comprehensive research and analysis to refine your concept. Once you've crystallized your vision, transitioning to the creation of a rapid prototype is the next logical step. This initial prototype development typically incurs costs of around $4,000-$9,000.

Peiko’s expertise in creating modern crypto wallets

At Peiko, we have vast experience and profound expertise in providing top blockchain development services. Our approach to blockchain wallet development is rooted in a modern agile methodology, allowing us to adapt and iterate quickly in response to evolving project requirements and market dynamics. By applying agile principles, we foster collaboration, transparency, and flexibility throughout the product creation cycle. Thus, we ensure that our clients obtain projects that are robust, innovative, and developed within budget and without delays.

By the way, credible platforms such as Clutch, GoodFirms, and others have proved our reliability, including Peiko in top blockchain development firms over the years.

Now, we will show you one of our successful crypto wallet projects. Bitcoin Additional is a reliable mobile cryptocurrency wallet developed by Peiko. It is convenient to use, and its functionality helps individuals manage their digital assets. This wallet offers support for transfers to contacts, multi-coin compatibility, and an offline payment feature. Bitcoin Additional streamlines cryptocurrency transactions for users everywhere and from any device.

The creation of Bitcoin Additional comprised 8 sprints (periods of time in agile), each focusing on key tasks and challenges to ensure the successful realization of the app's functionalities. 

One of the primary tasks in this blockchain wallet development was adapting the application design for tablet devices to ensure optimal user experiences across diverse screen sizes. We successfully coupled with this challenge, making the app user-friendly and responsible on various devices.

Another pivotal aspect of the project involved implementing QR code generation, simplifying transaction processes by enabling users to generate wallet addresses effortlessly. Furthermore, the introduction of the Shake-to-Pay feature brought innovation to the forefront, allowing users to initiate coin transfers with a simple shake gesture.

The synchronization of the contact book enhanced user connectivity and engagement. Thus, we empower users to seamlessly connect with their contacts and extend invitations within the application.

Peiko remained steadfast in prioritizing the security of user data. To ensure bank-level security standards, the team adopted industry best practices. We embedded security processes within the application lifecycle to easily find and address vulnerabilities. Additionally, regular monitoring of the source code's security was conducted. In such a way, we protect the application against potential cyber-attacks and ensure the safety of user data.

Since its launch, Bitcoin Additional has garnered widespread adoption, boasting thousands of users. They rely on its intuitive interface and secure functionalities to manage their cryptocurrency holdings effectively.

Conclusion

The surge in various blockchain techonology solutions and their use cases can be attributed to the widespread popularity of cryptocurrencies. The crypto wallets hold significant importance as it grants users control over their cryptocurrency assets. Through this blog post on how to create a crypto wallet, we aimed to provide readers with a deep understanding of the full app creation process.

A successful cryptocurrency wallet app development involves not only technical expertise but also a keen understanding of user needs and the ever-changing regulatory landscape.

With dedication and innovation, your crypto wallet app has the potential to empower individuals and improve the way we interact with digital currencies. If you are ready to unlock the future of finance, turn to Peiko. We are glad to discuss your idea and help you create the top crypto wallet that end-users will like. 

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