Updated: 22 february 2024
6 minutes

Most cryptocurrency wallets tend to be very versatile and allow you to store various assets and come with multiple integrated features. However, other wallets focus on a single cryptocurrency and almost a single functionality. This is the case with Daedalus, which is dedicated to the Cardano blockchain and ecosystem.

Below is a highlight of the main characteristics of the Daedalus Wallet to get you started on the Daedalus wallet review: 

Hot/ColdHot (online)
Custodial/Non-custodialNon-custodial
SupportDesktop application
Supported cryptocurrenciesOnly one: Cardano (ADA)
Integrated functionsSending, receiving, staking, paper wallet
PriceFree
FeesNo commission (only network fees)
Available in FrenchNo

Daedalus Wallet in Brief

Daedalus is a strictly Cardano wallet, specifically designed for storing Cardano (ADA) tokens. It is a full-node wallet and thus stores a complete copy of the Cardano blockchain and can be used to validate transactions. For this reason, you need to install a desktop application to use it and it is not available on mobile. 

Daedalus is also a non-custodial wallet which means you are in full control of your private keys and need to be careful how you store them. This is especially true because it is a hot wallet connected to the internet so it may be prone to attacks by hackers if you’re not careful, but a simple antivirus program should keep away most attacks. 

You will discover more details about the features of the Daedalus wallet in the rest of this article.

History of Daedalus Crypto Wallet

Daedalus was developed in 2015 by the company Input Output (IOHK). If the name IOHK doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps one of its co-founders might be more familiar – IOHK was founded by Jeremy Wood and Charles Hoskinson. The latter is none other than the creator of the Cardano blockchain itself. 

Furthermore, Charles Hoskinson is also the co-founder of the second-largest cryptocurrency in the world, Ethereum. Daedalus Wallet, therefore, has a solid technical foundation as it was developed by the same individuals who created Cardano. For this reason, the Daedalus wallet undoubtedly has an advantage over other Cardano wallets. 

Daedalus wallet fonctionnalités

The Features of the Daedalus Wallet

Now let’s take a closer look at the main features of the Daedalus wallet.

Daedalus is a Hot Wallet

Cryptocurrency wallets are generally divided into two categories:

  1. Hot wallets: web-based, exchange-based, software wallet, etc. The common characteristic of hot wallets is that they need to be connected to the internet to operate. Therefore, they are generally more vulnerable from a security perspective but also very convenient because you can access your funds quickly and easily
  2. Cold wallets: hardware, paper, etc. Here, the wallet is not connected to the internet, protecting it from cyberattacks. However, its use is often considered less convenient and perhaps a bit complicated for beginners, not to mention the risk of losing private keys

Both types of wallets are complementary. You can take advantage of the accessibility of a hot wallet by depositing cryptocurrencies you use in the short term. Since Daedalus is a hot wallet, you may need to consider a cold wallet to keep the ADA tokens you intend to keep in the long term. 

Daedalus is Non-custodial

The custodial (or non-custodial) nature of a cryptocurrency wallet is crucial as it determines whether you will have full control of your cryptocurrencies or not.

With a custodial wallet (also referred to as ‘managed’ or ‘hosted’), you do not have control over your private keys. Instead the company providing the wallet does. This is the case with most wallets integrated into exchange platforms (referred to as exchange wallets) and mobile wallets.

On the other hand, a non-custodial wallet (like Daedalus) does not give away any control of your private keys. Consequently, you truly own your assets and are fully in charge. Of course, this brings the risk of losing your cryptos if you don’t take adequate protection measures.

Daedalus Wallet is Dedicated to Cardano (ADA)

Most cryptocurrency wallets are built to handle various types of coins and tokens, sometimes even other additional features like NFTs. However, Daedalus is an exception! Indeed, Daedalus Wallet is entirely dedicated to a single cryptocurrency: Cardano (ADA).

For comparison, Guarda Wallet can support more than 400,000 assets! MyEtherWallet, meanwhile, was initially dedicated to Ethereum (ETH) but later decided to extend its services to other tokens compatible with Ethereum.

This is a significant stance taken by Daedalus, impacting the choice of a wallet. As a crypto user or investor, you will likely invest in multiple cryptocurrencies and consequently, the Daedalus wallet may not meet all your needs. But if you choose to use Daedalus, be aware that it will be only used for Cardano and you will need another wallet to handle other tokens you own. 

A Single-Support Crypto Wallet Meant for Desktop

Once again, Daedalus distinguishes itself from the competition which typically aims to be comprehensive and versatile. With Daedalus, there is only one platform for your cryptocurrency wallet – a desktop PC. No mobile apps or Daedalus hardware wallets here. 

Fortunately, the Daedalus wallet application is available on Mac, Windows, and Linux and you can download the application on your desktop or laptop from the Daedalus website. The lack of Daedalus on mobile could be a disadvantage for many users, but remember that this is a full-node wallet. 

A ‘Full-Node’ Crypto Wallet

Unlike most software wallets, Daedalus is a ‘full node’ wallet meaning that Daedalus downloads a copy of the entire Cardano blockchain to your computer. Nodes are used to validate the Cardano blockchain, therefore you can independently validate transactions and view all ongoing transactions in real-time. 

Daedalus mac windows

Of course, this requires significant storage capacity and helps to explain why Daedalus Wallet is not available on mobile. Aside from storage capacity, there is a need to maximize security and the wallet will use your computer resources to encrypt transactions. 

This also means that every time you use the wallet, you need to download the latest transactions recorded on the blockchain. If you haven’t connected for a while, this may take some time. Therefore, you’ll need to be patient before you can access your funds.

Daedalus Wallet and Its Integrated Services

As you may have seen by now, Daedalus is far from being a Swiss Army knife of crypto. Also, its integrated services (beyond Cardano storage) are rather limited.

Receiving and Sending Cryptocurrency

You can receive ADA tokens in your Daedalus wallet or send them from Daedalus to another wallet. However, Daedalus Wallet does not allow you to buy cryptocurrencies directly within the application or exchange ADA for another cryptocurrency. To perform these operations, you will need to go through an exchange platform and have another wallet compatible with the cryptocurrencies you are interested in.

Crypto Staking

Daedalus Wallet also allows you to stake ADA. When you deposit your Cardano into Daedalus’ staking pool, you earn rewards as compensation. This allows you to generate passive income through your savings in Cardano. The staking reward rate on Daedalus is approximately 5%.

Creating Paper Wallets

If you want to store your ADA offline in a cold wallet, you can do so with Daedalus. Simply go to Daedalus and click on “Create a wallet” and you will receive your private keys which you can write down or print on a piece of paper. You can then send ADA to your paper wallet using the address provided on the certificate.

Just in case you lose the private keys, Daedalus generates a recovery phrase in the certificate composed of 27 words. Please note that this has nothing to do with the Daedalus wallet recovery words. 

Once the paper wallet is created, the funds are no longer stored on Daedalus. The only way to recover your ADA is to use the information indicated on the certificate. Needless to say, this piece of paper can be very valuable!

Compatibility with Ledger and Trezor Hardware Wallets

Although there is no Daedalus cold wallet, it gives you the option to connect your Ledger or Trezor hardware wallet. To do this, simply go to the Daedalus application and click on “Pair a hardware wallet device.”

Once your hardware wallet is connected, you can use the Daedalus interface, for example, to send ADA coins stored on your Trezor or Ledger. Transaction confirmation will take place on the hardware wallet.

How Much Does Daedalus Wallet Cost?

Daedalus Wallet is a free Cardano wallet. In practice, all the following operations are entirely free:

  • downloading the Daedalus application
  • synchronizing the Cardano blockchain
  • creating or importing a wallet
  • pairing a hardware wallet
  • creating a paper wallet
  • receiving ADA
  • storing ADA

However, sending crypto will incur network fees which are independent of Daedalus and determined by the blockchain. 

About the author

Robert Balmes

EN Robert Balmes est analyste financier depuis 2013. Il est expert dans les marchés actions, le Forex et les cryptomonnaies. Il participe à l’élaboration d’articles de fond sur des sites spécialisés comme Tokize.com.