You have heard about bitcoin, you might even have bought some but where do you store it and how do you keep it safe, let’s look at choosing the right wallet, that fits the way you want to use bitcoin and cryptocurrencies and store them safely for you.
- A hot wallet is a wallet which is connected directly to the internet.
- web wallet a wallet you can access through your browser
- Desktop wallet a wallet you have installed directly on your desktop.
- Mobile wallet a wallet that is on your smartphone, and functions mostly the same way as the desktop wallet directly checking the blockchain for amount stored.
- A cold wallet is a wallet which is not connected directly to the net.
- paper wallet a wallet printer on a piece of paper
- Hardware wallet a piece of hardware that stores your private key, and does all calculations on the device, so the private key never leaves the device
- A desktop wallet on an offline PC
A Paper wallet is a piece of paper with a public and a private key, this is seen as one of the most secure ways to store a large number of cryptocurrencies, but they are only secure if they are made with caution. We have made a guide to creating a safe and secure paper wallet which you can read her
A hardware wallet is an actual electronic device, made with the sole intent of securing cryptocurrencies. The core innovation is that the hardware wallet does all the calculations on the device thereby securing your private key, so it never leaves the device, and it must be connected to a pc, phone or tablet I order for the funds to be sent. To receive funds you just need the public address then it doesn’t matter if it is connected or not
There are many different producers of hardware wallets, so I will only go over those I have tried used and found to be reliable
- TREZOR started in August 2014 as the first Bitcoin hardware wallet. TREZOR is really a small apparatus. The Trezor customer service has been excellent, the communicating is outstanding, plus it supports many currencies such as Bitcoin, Dash, Ethereum, Ethereum Dogecoin, ZCash and Litecoin
- KeepKey was released in September 2015 and was the second hardware wallet to offer a screen. The KeepKey’s large screen gives it some extra security features that the Ledger Nano S and Trezor lack.
- Now we come to my favourite. The Ledger Nano S could be the most affordable of hardware wallets having a screen, it costs about €79 + V.A.T. The Ledger Nano may be used with GreenBits or Mycelium on Android mobiles, or almost any laptop or computer.
- Opendime is really a small USB stick which allows you to pay with bitcoin just like a dollar bill. Pass it over multiple times. Connect to any USB to examine balance. Works with almost any computer, notebook, and smartphone. The private key is generated in the apparatus, and is never known to any individual, not even you personally!
Personally, I like the ledger Nano it is just as easy as to use as any other hardware wallet, it just fit the way I administer my currencies, and I am currently looking into acquiring the ledger blue because it has a big colour screen, giving it greater usability. And before deciding on a hardware wallet, I will advise you to take a look at the ledger nano and blue you can find them here.
We split them into two categories the online and the downloadable for both wallets I have the same advice never store large amounts of currencies in them, they can be hacked, someone might gain access through phishing emails. So use them with care, make sure that you keep your computer security high for that we made some articles to get you started which you can read here.
Web wallets save your keys on the web, where they’re encrypted with a password. Although they supply a degree of security, they are just as vulnerable as other services so always have 2-factor authentication on your online wallets. Online wallets have the advantage of being accessible from any internet connected device.
GreenAddress is actually an online multi-signature Bitcoin wallet, desktop, Android, and iOS. “Multi-signature” in this context means that the website calls for a manual confirmation out of you to transfer the coins, this greatly enhances safety.
SpectroCoin is definitely an all-around solution for Bitcoin. Services offered include a vast selection of Bitcoin options, ranging from market to Bitcoin e-wallet.
As an added benefit on SpectroCoin, you can get a prepaid payment card so you can use your cryptocurrencies without getting them into your bank account. And you can even buy your bitcoin, Ethereum, and other currencies directly in the wallet.
For those who have a free account within digital exchanges such as Poloniex along with Bittrex are believed to be hot wallets since these businesses hold your capital within their servers and infrastructure. Where a skilled hacker can drain them, It may be worth mentioning that if you got a hot wallet, you can’t buy ICO token.
Coinbase, an integrated wallet/bitcoin exchange that functions on the internet. Users in the USA and Europe can buy bitcoin through its exchange services. And thanks to their mobile app you can receive your funds directly in your wallet then exchange them for FIAT currencies.
Xapo intends to supply the ease of a very simple bitcoin wallet with the additional security of a cold storage vault.
Wallets for your smartphone
When you are on the go it can be good to have the possibility to send and receive transaction directly on your smartphone whether you have an iPhone or Android smartphone there are multiple wallets, if you have Xapo or Coinbase as a hot wallet then they have their own apps but if you want to diversify your wallet not to keep all your eggs in one basket is here some great apps.
For those of you who are into star trek you might associate it with “star trek discovery,” and it is a great association to how the blockchain can be thought of, for the rest of you Mycelium is the most widely used Bitcoin wallet on Android. It’s very user-friendly for sending and receiving payments. Mycelium makes it very clear hove to backup and hs great installation instructions. Mycelium is a favourite among many experienced Bitcoin customers. It’s an HD wallet that has advanced features, such as support for hardware wallets such as the Ledger and TREZOR, you have the possibility of spending, and watch-only accounts.
Get it here
The mix of simplicity and security of the Breadwallet has made it one of the biggest iOS wallet. iPhone users browsing for their first Bitcoin wallet should look at Breadwallet as it is easy to understand.
Breadwallet, the great iPhone Bitcoin wallet, also released an Android wallet. It features the user control of private keys, a user-friendly interface, and passcode support. Breadwallet started out because the most popular wallet for iPhone was not that user-friendly, and now it’s also available for Android devices running Android 6.0 or higher. The simplicity and easy-to-use security make it a great place to start out for users that are not used to dealing with bitcoin.
Get it here
Airbitz handles accounts with usernames and passwords but doesn’t have access to private keys. This type of wallet is more accessible for less technical users who could have trouble understanding HD seeds or burning.
Airbitz is an easy to use Bitcoin wallet for both iPhone and Android. Its comfortable login feature makes using the program a breeze for folks new to bitcoin. The wallet creates automatic backups. Therefore it’s not necessary to think about the technicalities of wallet copies.
Bitcoin Wallet, or “Schildbach Wallet,” has been the very first Bitcoin wallet to make it accessible to Android users. Bitcoin Wallet is more stable than many portable Bitcoin wallets since it links directly to the Bitcoin network. Bitcoin Wallet comes with a straightforward interface and also only the minimum number of features, which makes it an excellent wallet and even a fantastic educational tool for Bitcoin beginners.
You might want a wallet on your desktop it does not offer the same mobility as a wallet on your smartphone, but it makes controlling security much more comfortable (more on security her). The wallets below support both PC and Mac.
Electrum might function as one of the faster desktop wallets, because of its speed and simplicity of use, I recommend for small businesses as a way to accept bitcoin. For those who have an additional computer that can be used, Electrum can be applied as cold storage. Electrum presents features like connecting through multi-signature wallets, Tor, integration with hardware wallets, plus much much more.
Electrum is a lightweight Bitcoin wallet for Mac, Linux, and Windows. Electrum was created in November 2011. The main options of Electrum are supported for hardware wallet (for instance, TREZOR, Ledger, and KeepKey, also secure Bitcoin storage working with an offline computer. Electrum is also a good option for beginners and advanced users.
Exodus wallet is a desktop wallet having a multi-asset wallet capability with shape-shift builtin. It encrypts keys and trade data locally for your eyes only. Your data stays confidential.
Exodus gives blockchain asset investors a platform to both fast overview, market overview and manages funds inside one rich application. Exodus now supports Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin and other altcoins such as Aragon, Augur, BATCivic, Dash, Decree, District0x, EOS, Ethereum, ETH Vintage, FunFair, Gnosis, Golem, Litecoin, OmiseGo, Qtum (ERC20) and SALT. with more to come
For advanced users, there is also EDEN from same producers which can be found at https://www.exodus.io/eden/
Bitcoin Core could be your official Bitcoin client and wallet, though isn’t employed by many due to slow speeds and too little features. Bitcoin Core, however, is a full node, which helps verify and transmit additional Bitcoin transactions throughout the system and stores a copy of the entire blockchain ledger. Since Core doesn’t need to rely on peers on the network or data from servers, this offers better privacy. Bitcoin Core is regarded as one of the best approaches when you want to use Bitcoin privately.
The digital wallet, Jax, operates on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux as well as other platforms. It has been in existence since 2014. Also, it supports a wide assortment of cryptocurrencies. The Jaxx wallet is secure and straightforward to use.
Summary and some small security advice
A high volume of cryptocurrencies should be handled in cold wallets (find out how to create one here) for maximum security, a medium amount of cryptocurrencies can be handled from a desktop wallet (but keep your computer security in mind (find out how here). And small amounts in mobile wallets think of your mobile wallet as your regular wallet you don’t walk around with your life savings. And if you receive payment often then have a separate wallet that fits how you accept them if it is in a store, I would use something like exodus or Jaxx and then transfer them out at the end of the day. To either cold storage for holding or coinbase for exchanging.