In this comprehensive Guarda Wallet review I will help you decide whether this digital wallet is for you or not. I will talk you through Guarda the main features, pros, and cons. Together we’ll be taking a look at the user interface and overall user experience. We’ll see what cryptos you can store and how you can stake them. I will also evaluate some of Guarda’s unique attributes such as the ability to generate tokens and borrow against your crypto as collateral. In this assessment, I will also walk you through what I think are some of the wallet’s weak points, especially regarding the fees and UX.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
Guarda has a rich set of features that make it unique as a non-custodial wallet and similar to a centralized crypto exchange in terms of the products and features available to you as a user. The wallet supports multiple cryptocurrencies across chains, includes a built-in exchange, facilitates staking, and offers a prepaid visa card, a lending facility, and an option to mint your own ERC-20 token. Its drawbacks are that it’s rather expensive and that some users complain about some UX glitches which I also experienced when testing the app.
- Available across devices
- English only
- Multi-crypto and cross-platform
- Built-in exchange
- Option to stake your cryptos
- Option to take a loan using your crypto as collateral
- Prepaid visa card (new)
- Multisig options
- Token generator
- Fiat onboarding
Most of these features are Guarda Wallet’s pros so let’s take a look in detail
#1. Available across device
Not all wallets are available across devices like Guarda is. Guarda is available on the following platforms
- Apple App Store for iOS
- Google Play store for Android devices.
- Dekstop application for Windows, Linux, Mac OS
- Web browser wallet i.e. you log into guarda.com/app
- Chrome browser extension which means you can easily plug into any DeFi app you want
#2. Multi-currency and cross-platform
Guarda is a multi-cryptocurrency wallet which mean you can store almost any coin or token you can imagine. When you create a wallet they show you the default listing of the main cryptocurrencies that most people want to store. But there is also the option to add a wallet for a token of your choice. When I searched for a niche token called $BEN I was surprised to find it. However, I was unable to find a way to import a token using a contract address.
#3. Built-In exchange service
Guarda partners with third-party aggregator exchanges such as ChangeNOW and Swapzone so that you can swap one crypto for another.
The Guarda crypto wallet has a nifty feature whereby you can stake the tokens in your wallet directly via their app.
If you have no clue what staking is, it’s a way to lock up your crypto and earn a yield.
TL;DR on staking: Staking involves holding and “locking up” a certain amount of cryptocurrency in a blockchain wallet to support the network’s functions. In return, you earn rewards in the form of additional digital currencies. Staking helps secure the network, maintain consensus, and incentivize participants to validate transactions and create new blocks. It’s a way to earn passive income while contributing to the blockchain’s operation.
Check out the following resources for more
- What Does It Mean to Stake Ethereum: Best Beginner’s Guide
- What Is Lido Crypto and How Is it Connected to ETH Staking?
- What Is Coinbase Staking: Best Guide on How to Earn Rewards
#5. Crypto Loans
Using the crypto in your wallet as collateral you can take out a loan. To be more precise this is a revolving credit line because there are no installment payments due and no repayment date. When you do finally repay you need to return your principal plus interest.
Guarda partners with CoinRabbit, an instant crypto loan provider. The process is nearly instant and it does not require you to go through KYC.
If you want to understand crypto-backed loans better check out the following resource:
#6. Prepaid visa card (new)
Guarda has just launched a prepaid visa card. You can use their virtual card directly and hook it up to Apple Pay or Google Pay or you can order a physical card. The card automatically converts the crypto in your account to fiat when you top up. You can order the card on the Guarda website
#7. Multisig options
Guarda allows you to create a multi-sig wallet for Bitcoin and Ethereum. A multi-sig wallet allows you to set more than one approver for transactions to go through. The benefit of doing this is that you add more security. Someone would need to hack all approvers to steal your crypto. The drawback is that it is a hassle every time you want to make a transaction.
#8. Create ERC-20 tokens
Guarda includes a token generator that allows you to mint your own ERC-20 tokens. I haven’t seen this feature in any of the other wallets I have used.
Your minted tokens are listed on Uniswap and you pay Guarda a fee in ETH.
ERC-20 tokens are a widely used standard for creating and managing digital assets on the Ethereum blockchain. These tokens adhere to a set of rules that ensure compatibility and interoperability, making them easy to trade, transfer, and integrate with various decentralized applications (DApps) and exchanges. They have become the foundation for many cryptocurrency projects and initial coin offerings (ICOs), allowing developers to create and customize their own tokens with relative ease, which has contributed to the growth of the Ethereum ecosystem.
Update: token generation is now available for Hedera (HBAR) too.
#9. Ledger enabled
If you are storing a large amount of crypto it is safer to use a hardware device. Guarda is compatible with the Nano S Ledger hardware wallet so you don’t need to manage both from separate interfaces. Hardware wallets are considered a much safer option to store large amounts of crypto as they are not connected to the internet.
That sums up the pros. Let’s take a look at the drawbacks of using Guarda
#10. Fiat Onramps
Guarda partners with Simplex and Gardarian so that you can directly buy crypto using your debit card, or SEPA transfer. You wil need to KYC with this provider if you plan on using this feature.
#11. Customer service
You can reach out to Guarda’s 24/7 customer support team via live chat, email or telegram
#12. Self Custodial
Guarda is a non-custodial wallet which means you are in full control of your crypto assets.
#1. Not completely open-source
Some people in the crypto community prefer it when all the code is open source. Open source code is more transparent and more people can check to make sure there aren’t any vulnerabilities that expose the project to hacker exploits. Personally, I don’t have such a big issue with Guarda protecting some of their code.
I would give the UX a 4/5 if I had to rate it. Guarda has a user-friendly interface however there are some things that could be improved.
In my research, I came across reviewers complaining about some UX glitches. Here are their main grudges:
- There is no option to add comments next to transactions like you can with Exodus
- The transaction history does not show the coin’s price at the time of purchase. This makes it harder to calculate your crypto gains for tax purposes.
- The app locks after 30 seconds of inactivity which can be frustrating when you are switching between apps.
- One user complained that the app has a tendency to lose its data and requires frequent backup file imports.
- When I checked their staking option for Ethereum the screen load timed out and would not load
#3. No Web3 browser
The Guarda app does not have an integrated web3 browser tab. This is not a biggie as you can easily use their extension to plug into to DeFi app and lend your crypto assets. However, it would be nice to have.
#4. Hefty fees
While Guarda gives you the convenience of taking actions from within a single app the fees it charges for its service are not the cheapest. Specifically
Guarda’s staking yield on EHT is 3% vs 3.8% which you can get as a validator. This implies that take a 21% cut from your returns which is on the higher side. Lido for example takes 10%.
Loan interest rates
Through its partnership with CoinRabbit, you get charged between 12-17% APR. At the time of writing the borrow rate for USDC on Compound.Finance is 2.16%. That’s a big difference.
Prepaid Visa Card
The Visa card charges you 1.5% to top up and 2.5% to convert crypto to fiat currencies. Again these are sizeable fees compared to cashing out your crypto in other ways.
In addition to the above some users complaining about the transparency of fiat on-ramping fees as well as the fees you pay to convert from one crypto to another on the exchange
The Guarda securely encrypts your wallet’s private keys on your device. However when you set up your wallet Guarda prompts you to download a backup of you wallet. Having a digital copy of your wallet is not the safest way to store your backup because anyone that accesses it will have access to your coins.
On the other hand, unlike other wallet Guarda does not share a seed phrase with you. Most other wallets will ask you to write down you fees.
#6. Limited information on Guarda team
On Guarda’s website you will find a small bio about the CEO of Guarda wallet, Paul Sokolov but that is about it. When I snooped around on LinkedIn there was not much else I could find about this person’s background or anyone else on the team. This makes me slightly concerned about their transparency.
#7. Collects some personal information
Staking fees: Guarda seems or their parners take a large cut of the staking rewards. For example the current reward rate for Cosmos is 21% whereas on Guarda it is 5%.
Prepaid Card Fees: 1.5% to top up and 2.5% to convert to fiat.
Exchange fees: Guarda partners with 3rd party exchange aggregators. You will have to account for fees paid to these platforms as well as any network fees for sending /receiving crypto
Send/receive crypto: Guarda does not charge fees to send of receive crypto but you do need to account for network fees to blockchains. These transaction fees are usually not substantial but can become when specific blockchains are clogged with demand.
How to use Guarda
To set up and a Guarda wallet you can download the app to your phone or PC or add the Chrome extension to your browser.
In the steps below I will show you how to set up the app on an Android device.
#1. Open the app and set up a wallet
Click on where it says create new wallet.
#2. To set up your wallet enter a password and confirm it
The app will show you that it is setting up 9 walletsf or the main cryptocurrencies they think you will need.
3. The app will then prompt to download a wallet back up.
It will then ask you if you want to activate touch id so that you don’t have to login with your password each time.
4. You wallets are now set up and ready to use.
You can see the main cryptocurrencies and wallet addresses for each network.
To receive cryptocurrency to a spefici address click on the crypto ticker and share you address or QR code with the sender. In this section you can also choose to stake your crypto. If you don’t have any crypto click on the buy button which will allow you