Both Coinomi and Jaxx are decentralized, multi-currency wallets with solid security track records. With support for more than 500 coins and tokens, Coinomi would seem to have a clear advantage. Yet, Jaxx’s multi-platform support appeals to a wider range of computing needs. In the digital wallet battle of Coinomi vs Jaxx, which one will earn the deposits of your cryptocurrency holdings? Our comparison will help you decide.
About the Wallets
Coinomi was first released in 2014 at a time when many crypto wallets put function ahead of usability. The globally-distributed team of cryptocurrency experts and software developers created an easy-to-use interface that originally supported bitcoin, ether and litecoin. The crypto community responded favorably to the new wallet and it soon became a popular choice among early enthusiasts.
When novices flooded into the crypto community last year, Coinomi was well positioned to meet their needs. By 2017, the wallet’s listing of coins and tokens had vastly expanded. The developers had a well-earned reputation for creating secure and stable software. In addition, integration with Changelly and ShapeShift let users make quick and easy exchanges. Coinomi could provide everything people new to the crypto scene needed to get started.
Canadian developers at Decentral released Jaxx in 2016 with a goal to provide a consumer-friendly multi-platform wallet. Unlike other wallet-makers who took either a desktop-centric or a mobile-centric approach to wallet design, Decentral decided to make Jaxx available on both platforms.
That decision was decisive in making Jaxx a popular option for people in the crypto community. As 2017 came to a close, more than one million people had downloaded Jaxx’s various apps.
Looking into the future, Decentral wants Jaxx to be a complete portal into the crypto world. Its next-generation app, Jaxx Liberty, is now in beta testing. The interface will go beyond the basic functions of a digital wallet to become a central hub for market data and industry news. The beta program rolled out to Canadian users in early July and will expand further over the summer. Decentral hopes to roll out the final version of Jaxx Liberty in the Fall of 2018.
Coinomi is the hands-down winner when it comes to support for cryptocurrencies. Users can deposit into wallets for 125 cryptocurrencies running on their own blockchains and another 382 tokens — a total of more than 500 digital assets. By comparison, Jaxx only supports 70 digital assets.
Coinomi’s native support for 382 tokens is just the tip of the iceberg. Users can create their own token-specific wallets for any ERC20-based token. The manual process involves copying and editing information about the token from Etherscan, the Ethereum blockchain explorer. The new wallet will accept and send the tokens just like any other wallet. Since it is not a native wallet, however, Coinomi will not display the token’s icon or estimate the balance’s value in fiat currency.
Jaxx does not let you add tokens manually.
Although neither Coinomi or Jaxx support deposits of fiat currencies, both wallets will pull market data from the internet to calculate your crypto balances’ values in fiat.
Coinomi offers an interesting fiat feature thanks to its integration with exchange service Changelly. In addition to using Changelly’s crypto-to-crypto trading feature, Coinomi wallet users can access Changelly’s credit card service to buy bitcoins with fiat.
You may have to go through identity verification with Changelly’s third-party card processor. Once that’s done, however, your credit card purchases seamlessly deposit into your Changelly bitcoin wallet.
Coinomi gives users more flexibility when it comes to making in-wallet exchanges of cryptocurrency. Like Jaxx, the Coinomi wallet is integrated with exchange service ShapeShift to allow crypto-to-crypto trades from within the wallet app. Unlike Jaxx, Coinomi offers even more trading options thanks to the Changelly integration mentioned earlier.
The catch to in-wallet exchanges is that the coins Jaxx or Coinomi supports are not always the same as the coins the exchange services support. Here again, Coinomi comes out ahead. Jaxx and ShapeShift only share 21 coins while Coinomi supports 27 of the coins that ShapeShift supports. In addition, 36 coins listed in the Coinomi wallet are also supported by Changelly.
Both Coinomi and Jaxx are free to download and use, but that does not mean they are completely free from fees.
ShapeShift or Changelly will charge you their standard fees for using their services. ShapeShift builds its fees, about 0.5%, into the exchange rates it quotes. Changelly also has a 0.5% fee that it transparently adds to your trade rather than burying it in the exchange rate.
You will want to watch out for the credit card purchases. Changelly and its credit card processor charge a combined 10% for each transaction. If you plan to buy cryptocurrency frequently or in large quantities, then you will be better off joining a centralized exchange that supports fiat.
As with any crypto transaction, you must pay network fees to record your transactions to the blockchain. For some blockchains, such as Ethereum, these fees are predictable and not too big.
For bitcoin, however, the network fees can be larger than the transaction itself. Both Coinomi and Jaxx let you adjust how much you’re willing to pay to get your bitcoin transactions recorded. High fees will ensure that the transactions get recorded quickly. Low fees, on the other hand, save money but can result in long wait times for transactions to clear.
Hard fork policies
Jaxx does not have a set policy when it comes to which hard forks they support. If the app’s developers do decide to support a hard fork, they promise to make the process easy for their users. “You will never need to take any actions leading up to a hard fork,” company founder Anthony Diiorio wrote.
Coinomi also tries to make it easy for its customers, but has recently had some cautionary words about the latest wave in forks. Coinomi’s CEO George Kimonis was interviewed by Bloomberg about the number of fork-based projects appearing this year. Kimonis’ response:
“Unfortunately, most fork-based projects we see today are more of a sheer money grab. Looking back a few years from now we might realize that they were just mutations fostered by investors blinded by numerical price increases — rather than honest attempts to contribute to the blockchain ecosystem.”
Security & Privacy
As decentralized wallets, both Jaxx and Coinomi have some inherently secure features. Twelve-word backup phrases make it extremely difficult to break the encryption of a wallet’s private keys. More importantly, the only way a hacker can even attempt to break the encryption is to get access to the user’s mobile phone or desktop computer.
Both Jaxx and Coinomi have been criticized for their reliance on the end user’s security practices. A blogger stirred the pot when he announced that Decentral’s refusal to password protect the Jaxx apps meant hackers could get access to private keys. Decentral’s response was that password protection would require them to maintain a central database of customer passwords, itself a security risk. Without a central repository of passwords, Decentral argued, there would be no way for customers to recover a forgotten password.
Coinomi cam under fire earlier this year when developers found that the wallets did not have SSL protection. An abbreviation of Secure Sockets Layer, this is the protocol that encrypts internet connections and prevents hackers from scooping up sensitive information. Although Coinomi’s developers plugged the security hole, they were criticized for the slow response that left wallets vulnerable for months.
Features and Interfaces
Jaxx’s biggest strength is platform support. In addition to desktop apps for Linux, macOS and Windows, Decentral has created mobile apps for iOS and Android as well as a Chrome extension for Chromebooks and the Chrome browser.
The Jaxx apps do not have a central server they can ping to stay in sync, but there is a manual process for keeping the apps you use aligned. Let’s say you’ve been using the desktop app for a while and then switch to mobile while traveling. You will need to tell the mobile app to update its records by scanning the various blockchains in your wallet.
Coinomi’s developers have taken a mobile-centric approach since they released the wallet in 2014. By the Fall of 2018, however, Coinomi plans to release its first desktop app.
We’ve already discussed features like ShapeShift integration and the ability to create custom wallets for specific tokens. Jaxx has one other feature that makes life easier for its users. The Temporary Address Book lets you record frequently-used blockchain addresses to make transactions quicker. The term “temporary” refers to the way Jaxx saves the data — reinstalling the app erases all of the addresses, forcing you to start from scratch.
Coinomi displays promotional banners within the app. Although most people would call these banners “ads”, Coinomi insists “sponsors’ banners are not ads.” The banners promote airdrops and ICOs, and link to the area in the Coinomi wallet where you can take part (that is, buy).
Coinomi makes the process of buying into an ICO easier. If a new token is based on the Ethereum blockchain and the user only has a bitcoin balance, the Coinomi wallet will let the user buy with bitcoin and handle the bitcoin-to-ether exchange in the background. Unlike many crypto exchanges, however, Coinomi does not provide much information about the ICO and leaves the due diligence in the hands of the end-user.
Since Coinomi took a mobile-first approach to its app development, Jaxx is your only option for a desktop wallet. The straightforward layout lets you send, receive and exchange within each coin’s wallet. The hamburger icon opens settings menus that let you add more wallets and change other options.
The Jaxx experience on mobile is similar to its desktop experience with only minor adjustments for the different screen layout. All of the features available on the desktop are available on mobile. The reviews in the Android and iOS app store are evenly divided, with most reviews awarding either 5 stars or 1 star. Take the negativity with a grain of salt. Most of the 1-star reviews seem to come from people who accidentally deposited their ERC20 tokens into the wrong wallet.
As a mobile-first wallet, Coinomi’s developers have had four years to refine their clean, intuitive interface. That effort reflects in the ratings Coinomi receives in the Google and Apple app stores. The few negative reviews tend to be customer service issues.
If you want to recreate the fiat currency wallet experience with a crypto wallet, then the Coinomi vs. Jaxx choice is clear: Coinomi is the best carry-around wallet of the two. You can carry more than seven times as many different coins and tokens in the Coinomi wallet as you can in the Jaxx wallet. You also get a little more flexibility in the exchanges you can make thanks to Coinomi’s integration of both ShapeShift and Changelly. Finally, the Changelly integration brings with it the ability to seamlessly buy bitcoin with a credit card.
Jaxx’s availability on the desktop will tip the scales in its favor for certain users. People who prefer to keep their coins on a dedicated computer, for example, can get an added level of security for their crypto holdings. People who spend most of their time working on desktop or laptop computers, but occasionally need mobile access, will also appreciate Jaxx’s multi-platform strategy. And finally, for our Canadian readers, Jaxx is hand-crafted by Canadians in Toronto.