What is the most irritating thing about EOS wallets? If you’re like me, it’s the
“welcome-aboard” payments you only find out about when you are being forced to pay them. There is nothing as disappointing as creating an EOS wallet and then having to pay just to conduct your first financial transaction. EOS newbies don’t know the ins and outs of how this system works, which might result in losing a certain amount of money that could be spent on crypto instead.
So if you are an EOS neophyte looking for lifehacks, this article will help you see the pros and cons of the most user-friendly wallets that work on the EOS blockchain. The aim is to get you to the point where you will be informed enough to easily choose your platform and create an account for free. To get started, let’s take a look at what users actually pay for when they register an account, and how to avoid making unnecessary payments.
To fill you in on the EOS economy, it is important to start off with NET, CPU, and RAM.
● NET means network bandwidth. In EOS systems this is a space denominated resource, the equivalent of how much data you are
sending through the system.
● In computing, CPU stands for Core Processor Unit. In this case we are talking about the time denominated resource measuring how long it takes to process an operational order.
● RAM temporarily stores your current operations till you switch off your computer. In crypto, RAM is a storage layer which hosts all the data related to your operations.
There is a nice metaphor that makes NET, CPU, and RAM plain and simple. Imagine an EOS account as a smartphone. RAM is the memory of the smartphone. CPU is something like the battery charge of the smartphone. And NET can be compared to a traffic packet. Now that you’ve got a basic idea of the 3 fundamental parameters let’s find out how they function.
EOS offers free transactions unlike open key systems Bitcoin and
Ethereum. But it is impossible to create an account if you do not have another account with some amount of EOS. In other words, to interact with the network, you need to ask a user who already has an account to create an account for you, thereby spending some resources. And this is exactly what you have to pay for. The chicken-and-egg dilemma is related to how resources are allocated in EOS.
CPU/ NET resources are renewable. Every 72 hours, they are fully restored. NET is the simplest resource that is almost never used. CPU is a more in-demand resource. Like NET, CPU can be stacked - that is, rented from block producer servers.
To use the network, you must perform certain actions. These actions are code written in smart contracts. To fulfill them, a producer or a user needs to spend a certain amount of his processor time and space.
Imagine that the total computing power of the network is 1000 CPU units. If a user wants to use 10 CPUs, then they should have 1% of all tokens in the stake contract. In other words, they compete with other users for available CPU resources, and the higher they bid compared to others, the more resources they receive.
With RAM, things are different. It has to be bought at market price, which is
determined by the ratio of supply and demand. RAM is allocated for the data that accounts store on the blockchain. For example, RAM is needed when creating an account in order to make a record about it. Unlike CPU and network traffic, RAM is not automatically renewed. To clear it, you must delete the data from memory. Then RAM can be sold at the market price.
To a layman, it’s hard to imagine conducting the complex operations listed above with no extra payments. But it turns out that several EOS wallets enable users to create EOS accounts free of charge without having to pay for NET, CPU and RAM up to $20 as most users do. (Are you a visual learner? Scroll down for a self-explanatory rating chart that lays things out clearly).
This member of the Freewallet family was launched in November
2018 soon after Freewallet was listed as the third most popular online wallet for Android. According to statistics taken from a company press release, in just half a year, Freewallet EOS users saved over $500,000 due to their not having to pay for NET, CPU and RAM, which is quite a substantial amount of money. The most remarkable features of
the wallet are:
- Sending EOS using a built-in converter,
- 50+ trading pairs,
- The ability to top-up your wallet with BTC, ETH, and other
With the help of these, plus free NET, CPU, and RAM, Freewallet EOS has managed to become something of the people's EOS wallet.
Throughout the years, the reputation of Freewallet has had its ups and downs. Nevertheless, crypto community has always held EOS Freewallet in high regard. If you don’t mind having a hosted wallet or keep losing your keys and forgetting your mnemonic phrases, Freewallet is a smart choice.
Greymass is an ambitious project that made a big splash in 2018. Since then, its namesake desktop EOS wallet
has been consistently ranked among the top EOS options due to the following characteristics:
- Ability to import private keys that don’t have to be stored.
- Deeper governance interactions and smart contract integrations.
- Voting for block producers.
This feature combination can also be found in similar competitor wallets like Scatter. What is unique about Greymass is Fuel - the new prototype service that will allow users to make limited free external transactions with dApps covering their costs. The prototype is now in the developmental stage.
EOS beginners find it confusing that there is no official link to Greymass. It takes time and effort to find a secure resource. More worryingly is that downloading it from github.com is potentially dangerous as github files are often hacked.
On the whole, the wallet is suitable for experienced EOS users who prefer desktop to mobile and don’t mind being sent to external exchanges such as Binance.
Bancor is a brainchild of the non-profit Bancor foundation that aims at developing and promoting smart contracts based on the self-named protocol to provide liquidity for blockchain-based tokens.
Here are the pros worth mentioning:
- Bancor offers swaps across 8,700+ token pairs, including EOS tokens and ERC-20, and promises to add more blockchains.
- The company created its own smart token, the Bancor Network Token (BTN), with an embedded converter that can be exchanged with any token directly from the wallet. But it only has a limited range of free capabilities inside the EOS system.
Talking about cons, it’s important to mention Bancor is not quite decentralized. On July 9th, 2018, it suffered a cyber attack with total damage adding up to $23.5 million and froze BNT to reduce the damage. In fact, not only has the company lost customers funds but it has also frozen clients tokens, which was highly criticized by Litecoin creator Charlie
Wombat claims to be a “free, fun and easy to use” wallet designed for EOS beginners and gamers. There is some (Editor's Note: Updated on Request of Wombat Team) info available about the product, as it was only launched half a year ago.
It mostly gets positive reviews for:
- Providing unlimited Play for selected games and
- Re-staking favourite Apps automatically to keep them accessible.
This newcomer wallet was submitted to stateofthedapps in May 2019, and is out of its beta stage. (Editor's Note: Updated on Request of Wombat Team). Probably due to its young age, Wombat is currently available only for Android, not iOS users. A frequent complaint is that the service requires a Google sign-in for use.
Zeos is not a wallet but a service that allows people who don’t already have EOS accounts to create EOS accounts. ZEOS provides free CPU and NET
sponsored by @cryptolions, but technically it can’t be called free of charge. To register an account, a user needs to enter a name they would like to buy, and check its availability. Then they register via email and password and pay for RAM in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum or Bitcoin Cash. The good thing about ZEOS it that you don’t have to overpay for an account, and EOS transactions are free of charge. But there are many downsides. For
- There is no consistent amount of payment, as the RAM price is in constant flux, and the ZEOS payment processor charges a transaction fee.
- In some cases users haven’t been able to complete payments, running into problems like a "redirect URL Website is not verified" error.
Reportedly, ZEOS leaks information.
Honestly speaking, many ZEOS mechanisms, like having to buy EOS outside the system, work against it providing a smooth user experience.
Besides, developers can’t really claim ZEOS is free, as users still have to pay
for RAM. But as long as there are good reviews and 12,541 registered users, it might be a viable option for those looking to get started with EOS.
This chart displays 5 prominent features of the 5 EOS wallets on the list. For convenience, the wallets are ranked according to the number of features they provide and the way users have reviewed them.