Coinomi Review: Multi Crypto Mobile & Desktop Wallet
Coinomi is a well-known and popular cryptocurrency wallet that can store over 500 coins and is supported on a number of devices.
The wallet has kept a focus on the privacy of the user and despite a minor setback in 2019, remains one of the most secure wallets on the market. It also allows you to exchange your coins from within the wallet and is quick and easy to install and setup.
However, is this the right wallet for you?
In this Coinomi Review, I will give you everything you need to know about the wallet including security, usability and community support. I will also give you some top tips in order to setup your wallet and keep your coins secure.
Coinomi Wallet Overview
Coinomi is a multicurrency cryptocurrency wallet. It has been around since 2014 so this makes it one of the oldest cryptocurrency wallets around. It was first released as an Android wallet, then ported to iOS and finally, a desktop version has been released in 2019.
It has quite an extensive coin coverage that provides native support and true ownership for over 125 blockchain assets. It also has support for over 382 tokens. Given that it has this ERC20 token standard support, you can add any amount of more customised tokens as you wish.
The wallet is also SegWit enabled which means that you can send transactions that are much "lighter". You also have the option to set dynamic or custom fees. This means that you can either choose the fee that gets you the best value for money at the time or you can set your own fee to be used irrespective.
Private Key Storage
Not your keys ?... Not your Crypto?
We all know how the saying goes. It is often used in the crypto community to warn newbies about the risk of leaving their coins on an exchange or any other centralised platform. In the event of an exchange hack or any other losses, your coins are at risk.
Thankfully though, the private keys generated on the Coinomi device are kept entirely on said device. They are not sent to Coinomi’s servers. This means they are stored on your phone if you’re using the mobile version, and on your PC if you’re using the desktop version.
So, unless someone is able to get access to your seed words or your actual device, they cannot extract the private keys.
One of the primary reasons Coinomi became so popular, and a good reason for its continued popularity. Is that the wallet excels at privacy. Most cryptocurrency enthusiasts are looking for privacy, that’s one reason they’ve turned to cryptocurrency.
Coinomi doesn’t collect any personal information to use its wallet and they even go as far as to hide the IP address of users to prevent anyone from spying on wallet usage patterns or transactions.
In addition to that privacy, you can also feel secure as the Coinomi wallet is locked with a password. Even if someone stole your phone there’s no way they could get into your Coinomi wallet without that password.
And if you do lose your phone, or if it gets stolen there’s a handy password recovery phrase generated when the wallet is created that can be used to open the wallet on a different device.
Coinomi User Friendliness
This is one of the best features of the Coinomi wallet if you’re concerned with the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies, as I am. The interface is easy to understand, even for those new to cryptocurrency. Options are clearly visible, and everything takes just a few taps or clicks at most.
This ease-of-use will help cryptocurrencies gain more acceptance from those who don’t want to be bothered with technological hurdles. It also sets a bit of a standard in the wallet industry as other providers will have to at least match Coinomi if they want to attract market share.
Finally, for those users who are not native English speakers, the Coinomi wallet has been translated into a number of different languages. They support Chinese, Spanish, French, Russian and German. The have also alluded to more language support down the line.
Coinomi Exchange Feature
Something that quite a few multicurrency cryptocurrency wallets are offering these days is an in wallet exchange feature. This allows you to exchange one coin for another without the coins ever leaving the device.
Coinomi is no exception in this regard and they have partnered with ShapeShift and Changelly to provide users with the ability to exchange their cryptocurrencies on the fly, right there on the Coinomi wallet. This saves on exchange fees, and it saves the time and hassle of sending coins to an exchange.
Moreover, given that you do not have to send your coins onto an exchange to convert them, it also avoids the onerous and privacy intruding KYC requirements these exchanges sometimes have.
Coinomi Help & Support
Despite Coinomi being free, they do offer support to their users through a number of mediums. Firstly, they have their official support portal where they have a plethora of user guides as well as some of the most Frequently Asked Questions.
If you have a more specific question that has not been answered then you can always open a ticket through this portal. Once your ticket has been submitted then you will be given a ticket number. This is useful as you can use it to chase up with the team through their other communication channels.
Coinomi has an active Twitter, Telegram and Facebook where they regularly interact with their community. For some of the more important announcements and releases, they maintain an official blog. As a test, I submitted a support ticket a few days ago and got a response in under 2 days.
Coinomi is not Open Source
Typically cryptocurrency enthusiasts want software that is open source so that code can be reviewed to ensure it’s free of bugs or malicious code. Coinomi was long a part of the open source movement, and anyone was able to view and review their code to identify any issues.
However, in 2018 Coinomi switched to closed source code. While that by itself doesn’t mean the Coinomi code is malicious, it does remove some of the transparency and protection that was previously enjoyed by Coinomi users. This was quite unfortunate for me.
Of course, open source means that Coinomi will be opening their code up to not only the same hackers, but also to competitors. This could reduce its competitive advantage and is the same reason that the Exodus wallet team decided to close source some of their code.
Whether you are comfortable using a wallet that has closed source code is something that you will have to decide. Indeed it is possible that the lack of community oversight led to a minor security flaw…
Coinomi Security Flaw
In February 2019 a user reported on social media channels that he lost over $60,000 worth of cryptocurrencies from a Coinomi wallet due to a security flaw. It seems that the Coinomi wallet was sending imported seed phrases to a Google API address for spell checking. The user claimed that someone at Google must have stolen his funds.
While there was a bug in the code that sent the seed phrase to Google for spell checking, it’s highly unlikely, bordering on impossible that anyone at Google stole the users’ funds, or that the bug was the cause of the loss.
The reasons are several. First, the requests sent to Google were rejected because they didn’t contain an API key. Secondly, it’s impossible anyone at Google is sniffing the API stream for cryptocurrency seed phrases. And thirdly, the seed phrase wasn’t sent as plain text, but was TLS encrypted.
Coinomi was able to patch the bug within hours of finding out about it and you can see Coinomi’s official response to the issue here.
Coinomi Online Repuation
Coinomi has a fairly active sub-Reddit where support staff are quick to answer any questions and handle any issues. In addition, the crypto-community has said that they appreciate the responsiveness of Coinomi representatives. The wallet has hundreds of thousands of users, so obviously they are doing something right.
And despite the media coverage of the February incident, Coinomi continues to state that “none of their phone-based wallets have ever been hacked or otherwise compromised.” Indeed there were no other claims of funds going missing because of that bug, and Coinomi continues to claim there’s no way the bug, while serious, could have resulted in lost funds.
Downloading and Using Coinomi
You can get the Coinomi wallet for both Android and iOS phones, as well as desktop versions for Windows, Linux and OSX. Downloading, installing and using the wallet on any device is a breeze.
I will take you through the setup of a Coinomi desktop wallet just for illustration purposes. You will want to head on over to the Coinomi download section and select the wallet for your current operating system.
Pro Tip ✔️: You may want to do a checksum on the download files just to make sure that you are downloading the correct version.
First, you will need to either create a new wallet or restore an old one. I am assuming that you are starting fresh, so click “Create New Wallet”
Next, you’ll be taken to a screen with your recovery pass phrase. As the instructions indicate, you’ll want to write this phrase down and save it in a safe place. You’ll need this phrase if you ever need to restore your wallet for any reason. Never share this phrase with anyone because with it they can access your funds. When you’ve copied it down check the confirmation box “I have safely stored my recovery phrase.” Click “Next”.
Next, you’ll be taken to a screen where you have to confirm your recovery phrase by clicking the alphabetically ordered words in the correct order. This is Coinomi’s way of ensuring you have actually recorded the recovery phrase. You can skip this step if you wish. Click “Skip” or enter the words in the correct order and click “Next”.
Next, you’ll be asked to set a password for unlocking the wallet for everyday use. Make the password as secure as possible, but also be sure you can remember it.
Then you’ll be asked to choose which cryptocurrencies you want to display in the wallet. You can choose now or skip this step. You can always add coins to display at a later date.
Finally, accept the Coinomi legal disclaimer and you’ll be taken into your new Coinomi wallet. Enjoy the free and decentralized world of cryptocurrencies!
Wallet Security 101
Now that you have downloaded and installed the Coinomi wallet, you will want to make sure that you are following the best protocols when it comes to wallet security and coin management. These include some of the following:
- Be Careful of Malware: Irrespective of how secure the Coinomi wallet is, it will do nothing to protect you if a hacker has installed malicious malware on your PC. Malware that can exfiltrate private keys and copy your key-strokes are a danger for any wallet. Make sure that you have the latest anti-virus software installed and don't download any suspicious files
- Keep Backups Secure: When you create a wallet, you will be given the seed backup phrases. Make sure that you make copies of this and that you keep them secure. They are the only way that you can recover your coins if you forget your password. They are also the only way to access your private keys should your device be lost or stolen.
- Physical Security: Of course, when you store a great deal of cryptocurrency on your Coinomi wallet, you are not only exposing yourself to the threat from hackers. There have been numerous cases of people who have been extorted for their cryptocurrency through the threat of physical violence. In short, keep your coin holdings private and trust no one.
Coinomi is one of the oldest cryptocurrency wallets, and judging by the number of downloads and the reviews it is also one of the most popular. By adding support for iOS and a desktop version it has been able to spread even further, and with its ease of use, it could well become one of the most successful wallets once mass adoption of cryptocurrencies takes place.
Adding support for Shapeshift and Changelly is an additional feature that’s pleasing to old and new cryptocurrency users alike, and the support for hundreds of coins allows many cryptocurrency enthusiasts the convenience of keeping just one wallet rather than many.
The February bug in the desktop wallet was a concern at the time, but after further reflection, it’s pretty obvious that while serious the bug never presented a threat of loss of funds. And the Coinomi team had it patched within hours of being alerted, which goes to show that users have been correct in praising the responsiveness of the Coinomi team.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.