The best bitcoin wallet(which one to use?)
The best Bitcoin wallet to use.
A bitcoin wallet is where bitcoins are stored, it can be in the form of a website, an application or a device.
Bitcoin is a digital asset and as such, it does not exist in a physical form, so technically they can’t be stored.
Instead, it’s the private keys used to access your public bitcoin address.
A bitcoin address is similar to a bank account number.
It’s a unique 26-35 digit combination of letters and numbers, with this address people can send you bitcoin(s).
There have been many stories of people losing their bitcoins in one way or the other, in this post that i titled “The best bitcoin wallet in Nigeria”.
Am going to be writing about the different types of wallets, how secure they are, and the best options of these different bitcoin wallet types.
After you have finished reading this article, you will have an idea of how best to store your bitcoin(BTC).
Types of bitcoin wallets
1. Paper wallet
2. Mobile wallet
3. Web wallet
4. Desktop wallet
5. Hardware wallet
A paper wallet is a very safe way to store your bitcoin, it is a physical copy of your generated public & private keys, it is basically a sheet of paper containing your private and public keys.
The main advantage of a paper wallet is that it is not stored digitally anywhere, this means it is free from hacking threats.
You can send funds by transferring the money to the wallet’s public address & you can withdraw or send by entering your private key or by scanning the QR code on the paper wallet.
It is important to understand that while the paper wallet is immune to hacker attacks, it is prone to other problems like wear and tear or getting wet.
Some people usually laminate this paper and lock it in a safe place somewhere.
Mobile wallets are your phone applications, most people like mobile wallets because they are very handy, and they can be used as a means of payment even in physical stores.
Basically, all that you need to do is install an application, create an account, and you are all set.
Unlike the paper wallet, the mobile wallets are prone to hacker attacks, you can also lose your assets if your phone breaks down.
Some example of mobile wallets.
Edge wallet (formerly known as airbitz) is a mobile based digital wallet.
Edge wallet is easy to use and very secure. It can be downloaded for free on your mobile phone for either Android or iOS smartphones.
Edge wallet is completely free and you would not pay any money for storing or receiving coin on the wallet.
Launched in 2015, the copay wallet is owned by popular Bitcoin payment company bitpay.
Copay wallet can be installed on both mobile devices and PCs.
Copay is completely free to use, open source (meaning they let other check for mistakes, so corrections can be made), user-friendly and also allows multiple accounts per user.
Freewallet is a multi currency wallet that is trying to make it easier for users to manage a their cryptocurrency both online and on mobile devices.
Freewallet is based in tallin Estonia, it offers a number of different mobile only wallets for iOS and andriod devices as well as another wallet with a web based interface.
Jaxx supports about 67 cryptocurrencies, and is available for free download on most device types.
This includes windows, Mac and Linux for desktop devices and Android and iOS for mobile devices.
Mycelium is a wallet to was specifically designed for bitcoin. This wallet is designed as a mobile app for both Android and iOS.
Mycelium doesn’t have support for desktop devices.
For someone like myself, I find this wallet particularly important because I am always transacting with cryptocurrency, and it is fairly easy to carry around.
Web wallets are also known as online wallets, web wallets enables you to access your bitcoin as long as you are connected to the internet.
With web wallets your private keys are stored in servers owned by companies. Wallets on exchanges are in this category.
The disadvantage of this type of wallet is that the organization that own these servers can gain access to your private keys.
There have also been instances of some exchanges closing down and running away with peoples funds, this is why it’s never really a good idea to leave your bitcoin in exchanges.
Some examples of trusted web wallets
Coinbase is a trusted cryptocurrency exchange that offers wallet services for your bitcoin.
The coinbase wallet can be downloaded for both Android and iOS. It can seamlessly integrate with your mobile device.
Xapo is an intuitive and secure bitcoin wallet system that operates through a browser.
Xapo uses offline servers that are never connected to the internet that give it an edge on other web based wallet systems.
Luno (formerly known as bitx) is a London based company that offers wallet services on it’s platform.
You can create a wallet on Luno and start sending and receiving bitcoin.
This wallet is safer than than web wallets.
Desktop wallets are downloaded and installed directly on your computer, your private keys are stored on your hard drive.
Desktop wallets are also connected to internet, this makes them prone to hacker attacks, if your computer gets attacked by a virus or experiences some external damage, you could also lose all your funds. Some examples are:
The electrum wallet was launched in 2011 and is a cryptocurrency desktop wallet that is available for download for Windows, Mac and Linux.
The user interface of the electrum wallet can be quite confusing for the non tech savvy cryptocurrency user.
It places more emphasis on security and other aspects.
Exodus is an easy to use multi-currency software wallet that is available for desktop and mobile.
Exodus was found in 2015 and puts emphasis on design and user interface, even if you are just starting out with cryptocurrency, it will be very easy for you to understand.
Copay wallet was launched by bitcoin payment company bitpay in 2015 and can be installed on both mobile and desktop devices.
Copay is completely free to use and is open source.
Armory is a bitcoin wallet and is an open source cold wallet designed for bitcoin that supports multi-signature for a safe and easy to use user interface.
Armory can be downloaded on a variety of desktop operating systems.
Hardware wallets are the safest way to store your bitcoin, your private keys are stored on a hardware device (typically a USB drive).
They are able to make online transactions, some manufacturers make hardware wallets compatible with different web interfaces.
With hardware wallets, you can send and receive bitcoin by merely plugging in into internet enabled devices.
The main advantage of hardware wallets is that they can be offline as well as online. However, most of the time they are offline.
Hardware wallets are very expensive, some good examples are:
Ledger nano s
The ledger nano s is a popular cryptocurrency hardware wallet that supports a wide variety of coins.
The ledger nano gives users high security for their coins via an easy to use interface.
Trezor is a hardware wallet that allows you to safely store, send and receive a wide range of cryptocurrencies.
The trezor wallet is much safer than traditional software wallets as private keys are held on the physical device rather than on mobile or desktop computer.
The keepkey wallet was released in 2015. It is a hardware wallet that digital asset holders can use to store their cryptocurrencies.
Keepkey stores your private keys in a separate offline environment.
The only disadvantage in using hardware wallet is that, they will cost you some few dollars to acquire.
What are hot and cold wallets?
Hot wallets are connected to the internet, these are all online and desktop wallets.
Cold wallets refers to wallets without an internet connection, these are all hardware devices or paper wallets.
What are single currency wallets?
These wallets are used specifically for storing one type of cryptocurrency, for example:
* Bitcoin core wallet, mycelium, electrum are all bitcoin wallets
* Ethereum wallet, myether wallet are for storing ethereum
* Litecoin QT is used for storing litecoin
* Dash core is used for storing dash
What are multicurrency wallets
These wallets can store more than one type of cryptocurrency, for example:
* Jaxx wallet
If you want to be active interacting with your assets like sending, receiving and basically transacting with your assets, then you should go for the hot wallets.
On the other hand, if you are a long term investor and don’t necessarily have to be interacting with your assets, then you should go for the cold wallets which are less prone to hacker attacks.
In other for your bitcoin to be safe, always remember to update your software, backup your wallet, try to avoid keeping your assets on exchanges.
For example if you choose to buy Bitcoin from local Nigerian exchanges that offer wallet services, it is smart not to leave your assets on this wallet.
In a quite funny story that went viral online, the CEO of quadrigaCX died, and because he was the one who had the pass keys to the assets, they lost millions of customers assets.
The most important thing is to keep your keys safe, if you lose your keys, you lose all your assets.
Have you used any of these? If you have, share your experience, and also tell us what you think is the best option to go for.
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