The short answer is no, you do not need different wallet apps for different cryptocurrencies. You can not store Bitcoin in an Ethereum wallet for example, but you can use a wallet like Exodus, Coinbase, or Trezor and you can store many different cryptocurrencies.
Different Types of Wallets for Cryptocurrencies
Crypto Wallets on Exchanges
There are a few different types of wallets that you can have to store your cryptocurrencies and some are safer than others. The first kind is a wallet on an exchange. When you sign up for an exchange like Coinbase or Gemini, the different cryptocurrencies that you purchase will be stored on those exchanges.
Exchange wallets have hacking issues. I used to have an exchange account with Bitfinex when they allowed customers from the USA. Someone hacked the exchange and I lost about a third of my cryptocurrency. Exchange wallets are easier to hack because you do not have control over your private keys.
Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallets
The gold standard for wallets in terms of security are hardware wallets. They cannot be hacked because they are not connected to the internet. The two most popular hardware wallets are Trezor and Ledger. Make sure to record your seed phrase and keep it in a safe place. I recommend keeping more than one copy in different locations. If you lose your seed phrase, it could mean disaster as you won’t be able to restore your wallet if you lose it. This is also known as cold storage.
The final type of wallet is a hot wallet. Hot wallets are software wallets that you can access from your phone or computer. They are typically considered less safe than cold storage or hardware wallets and safer than exchange wallets. Hot wallets are connected to the internet so they are considered less safe than hardware wallets. You still have more control than an exchange because you own the private keys. In the crypto world, they say, “not your keys, not your wallet.” So you have the private keys, but the wallet is connected to the internet. You still need to keep your seed phrase in a secure location. The Coinbase hot wallet, different from the exchange, password protects your seed phrase in your iCloud account which is pretty cool. Just don’t forget your password!
There are three main different types of wallets, Exchange, Hardware, and hot. Hardware or cold storage is considered the safest because it’s not connected to the internet. Exchange wallets are considered the least safe because you do not have access to your private key. If you don’t have access to your private key, then that means someone else does. Hot wallets are considered safe, but since they are connected to the internet they are considered less safe than hardware wallets.