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Many networks and dApps offer a wide choice of wallets you can use to interact, but some give a much narrower choice. Therefore, a discussion of wallets is warranted. As we progress through the book, I will introduce many wallets in addition to Exodus and Muun, but as our collection of wallets grows, we might want a way to consolidate the tracking of our funds. That’s what this section is about. Before we get to the wallet trackers or portfolio managers, as they are often called, a special mention about the Metamask wallet.
Metamask is a browser-based wallet that works with Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Brave, and Opera. The wallet of choice?
Metamask has dubious ownership and past performance. The parent company of Metamask is Infura which is part-owned by Microsoft- yuck. In addition, Infura has been known to censor transactions. For example, when the US levied sanctions on Russia in 2022, Infura took sides and censored Russia-based wallets via their network of nodes. I will not take sides between the West and Russia, but what if they censor your country or you? I use Metamask, but I don’t do all my DeFi with it; I do as little as possible with it.
I offer no opinion on whether Russia should be punished this way, just that it was possible and that we should avoid controlling forces. At some point in this book, we will submit and use Metamask, and you are free to do so now if you wish, but making sure you understand the situation is my aim. We will install and use Metamask when we learn how to lend and borrow money using the AAVE protocol on the Polygon network.
Sometimes this book will recommend the “best” for a task, sometimes, we may use a wallet because we must, and occasionally we will use a wallet to try something new. The purpose is never to tell you what you should use but to introduce you to many options and let you decide.
We are seeing a proliferation of tokens and different wallets, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Algorand, etc. In addition, many wallets exist, such as Exodus, that can custody many tokens. Another example we have discussed is Metamask. I encourage you to explore wallets, projects, and blockchains. I like to use as many as possible. I don’t like doing everything in one wallet.
Unfortunately, this decentralization can lead to proliferation. Firstly you should always write down all your holdings, I use a spreadsheet, and you should always record your purchases and sales, including the prices, for accounting and tax purposes. The wallets and centralized exchanges do this for you with different degrees of thoroughness. For example, I find that Kucoin and Binance keep good records which I can later merge into a spreadsheet for my accounts, but the wallets, although they keep the data, don’t provide an easily exportable format. Keep this in mind as you proceed. This leads me to my point. There are several apps where you can connect wallets, and they will track the activity.
Apart from being able to combine multiple wallets into one tracker, these portfolio apps will also track your DeFi activity. This is useful as we will see as we progress through the book. So, I will introduce you to three cool portfolio apps without further introduction.
The Nansen portfolio app is the most powerful for investors, traders, or NFT flippers. This is not because of the portfolio features but because it is connected to the Nansen suite, a paid service. You can view the Nansen portfolio app here: https://portfolio.nansen.ai/. In the following screenshots, you can see a wallet in action. Remember that most blockchain wallet addresses are public, so you can use them to view any address.
The preceding screenshot shows the wallet address of a substantial ETH holding. They have nearly 400 thousand dollars worth of ETH. With Nansen, you can manage unlimited wallets and thousands of tokens on over 40 chains.
Visit https://zapper.fi to try this next portfolio app. Amongst other features, zapper allows you to connect multiple wallet apps to its aggregated portfolio manager, as shown in the following image.
You can manage your NFT collection, do DeFi direct from Zapper, and even trade tokens directly from Zapper.
About portfolio apps
Despite the various privacy statements of the different apps, and you should investigate them, it goes almost without saying that if you group wallet addresses in a portfolio app, there is a link between them. This is because somebody somewhere knows that two or more addresses are connected. This isn’t necessarily a big deal; all the exchanges will likely share your withdrawal addresses if the authorities ask them, but it is worth considering which wallets you group. Perhaps there will be some addresses you never share with a portfolio app.
We understand the advantages and disadvantages of blockchains, layer 2s, relay chains, and more. Now we have some tools to help us track all our different wallets.
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