A bitcoin wallet is a piece of a software that allows us to store as well as manage our digital money. Since you can’t hold bitcoins without having a bitcoin wallet, getting a bitcoin wallet is the first step you will take before getting bitcoins. Also, the wallet you choose is also extremely important since it holds all of your bitcoins.
It is important to properly understand all type of wallets is because it allows us to make informed decisions on our finances. It also allows us to effectively safeguard your digital wealth.
3 Best Wallets We Recommend
You’re obviously reading this article because you want figure out the best bitcoin wallet for your needs. The thing about bitcoin wallet is that they come in a number of shapes and forms and each of them have their own particular uses. For example, a hardware wallet cannot be fundamentally better than a digital wallet simply because they both service distinctly different purposes.
So, in this article, we will talk about the different purposes of different wallets and try to understand their unique uses. Moreover, we will also discuss the best bitcoin wallets we know and trust and ultimately help you find the best cryptocurrency wallet for you.
Understanding the Makings of the Best Bitcoin Wallet
Let’s briefly discuss the differences between hardware and online wallets before looking at different bitcoin wallets.
I. Should I Use a Hardware or Online Wallet?
As I mentioned earlier, it would be inaccurate to claim that hardware wallets are superior to online wallets. It is true that hardware wallets provide a degree of security that is simply unattainable with online wallets but online wallets also serve an important purpose.
For more detailed information on what bitcoin wallets are and how they work you can refer to some of the other highly informative articles on the website. As for this article, we will try not to go too deep into the workings of a wallet.
Using a Hardware Wallet
The most apt example of a hardware wallet is a bank. It is simply inconceivable to imagine losing our money from a bank. We store most of our liquid wealth (cash and cash equivalents) in a bank.
Similarly, you want to keep most of your bitcoins in a hardware wallets. Hardware wallets are near impregnable due to the sophisticated security features they offer.
You might not be able to access them at all times but it guarantees you a degree of safety that will help you sleep at night.
Using an Online Wallet
Online wallets offer a degree of accessibility and convenience that is unparalleled when compared to other types of wallets. These wallets are ideal for storing small amounts of money and using it for small, recurring purchases.
Think of online wallets like keeping cash in your wallet. It may not be the safest method for carrying your money.
However, you still need, at least, some cash on you at all times even if you are an ardent plastic user.
II. Hardware Wallets
Ledger Nano S is considered as one of the most economical options in hardware wallets. It is a compact USB device that is based on the smart card technology. The device relies on a computer app to execute transactions.
Features of Ledger Nano S:
The devices utilizes a dual authentical process with the smart card serving as the second authenticator. Hence, transactions cannot be executed remotely and requires human interaction.
There is also a PIN code that is needed to access the device. Users are prompted to enter a PIN code using a pseudo-random numeric pad. The wallet also uses a QR scanner to make transactions quicker but also safer.
Trezor is among the best hardware bitcoin wallets. It is a small device that is used via a USB cord. It allows us to create a bitcoin wallet and use it to send or receive bitcoins. The device is not designed to buy or sell bitcoin but rather act as a highly secure storage for bitcoins.
A brief video on how to use MyTrezor app
Trezor is an extremely small device, small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. In order to use it, you have to connect it to a computer and use its app to send or receive money. In order to complete transactions you have to verify each and every transaction by physically pressing a button on the device. This ensures no one can remotely access your bitcoins.
There are other security features as well, for example, you have to enter a PIN code after every transaction. There is also a passphrase that is used instead of a password. In case you lose the device, you can gain access to your bitcoins using the passphrase.
KeepKey is one of the three best bitcoin hardware wallets that are currently available. The device allows us to store our private keys in an offline and secure environment. It provides a number of security features and protects us against both, virtual and physical theft.
In addition to offline storage of private keys, KeepKey is also a randomized PIN code generator. The PIN generator can generate up to a 24 word long passphrase. The passphrase is displayed on the device’s display screen only when the device is offline.
In the case that your device is stolen, lost or damaged, you can easily recover all of your bitcoins using the passphrase. Of course, you should keep multiple backups of your passphrase. Lastly, KeepKey is compatible with Electrum Bitcoin Wallet along with a few other popular bitcoin wallets.
III. Software Wallets
Two Best Software Wallets for Windows:
Armory is one of the most secure desktop wallets we have. It was developed for the more technically inclined bitcoin users. It offers a huge number of features aside from storing bitcoins. However, due to the breadth of its functionalities, it has a bit of a learning curve.
Features of Armory:
Among its many features is the ability to use multi-signature functionality and cold-storage. Moreover, each user is given a one time permanent paper backup. Armory secures our bitcoins by storing our private keys onto an offline computer. Furthermore, it utilizes highly sophisticated encryption techniques to safeguard sensitive data.
Since Armory was primarily designed for developers, new users might find it a bit difficult to get used to it. However, the company does offer a number of video tutorial on its website. The wallet also has difficulty skill level settings such as standard, advanced and developer.
Electrum is another highly secure bitcoin wallet and is considered as one of the best bitcoin wallets for windows. It offers an ideal of mix of usability and security. The wallet finds its inspiration from the blockchain itself, as it operates as a decentralized and a not-for-profit entity. Thus, it offers one of the lowest operating costs.
Features of Electrum:
Electrum uses local encryption to secure your bitcoins, which means private keys never leave your computer. It also allows its users the option to export their keys to other clients. Since Electrum is a decentralized wallet, your wallet will never be down because of server issues.
Electrum is also incredibly easy to use. The entire process of downloading and installation is highly streamlined and is ideal for beginners. It also supports third party plugins to extract even greater value from your wallet.
Best Software Wallet for Android
Mycelium is known as the best bitcoin wallet for Android. It is an exclusively phone-based online and cold storage wallet. It is also renowned for the degree of anonymity it offers to its users.
Features of Mycelium:
Among its many features is the ability to turn the wallet into a cold storage, though it is better known as one of the best hot wallets out there. Another noteworthy feature is that it can be used to restore funds using old backups.
It utilizes a feature called, Private Key Deletion, which deletes our private keys when they are no longer needed, meaning, private keys are held onto third party servers but are still highly secure.
Mycelium is compatible with a number of different hardware wallets and it utilizes Bit-ID protocols for signing in. These are far more secure than conventional username and password logins.
Best Software Wallet for Mac
Bitcoin Core is a desktop wallet that despite being a multi-platform wallet, is known as the best option for Mac users. It is an open-source software and has the most active software peer reviewers.
Features of Bitcoin Core:
Using Bitcoin Core is equivalent to becoming a node in the blockchain. This means if you’re interested in the Blockchain technology and would like to learn more about it, Bitcoin Core could become your gateway to the technology.
It is also an excellent choice if you intend to dabble into bitcoin or other cryptocurrency mining. It allows its users to independently verify transactions on the blockchain.
Two Best Online Bitcoin Wallets
StrongCoin is a pioneering hybrid bitcoin wallet. It allows us to send and receive bitcoins like most bitcoin wallets but instead of sending your private keys directly, it automatically encrypts the private keys before sending it to the server, which creates a dual layer of security for your funds.
Features of StrongCoin:
One of the most attractive feature that StrongCoin offers is that it only holds encrypted private keys on its server. This means even if StrongCoin’s servers get hacked, your private keys will remain safe.
StrongCoin allows its users to keep their private keys in their hands, at the same time keeping an encrypted backup in an offsite secure server. This ensures that if your computer crashes, you can still use the encrypted backup files to restore all of our funds without any worries.
Copay is an online bitcoin wallet service offered by Bitpay, the largest bitcoin payment processor. It is considered as one of the most versatile bitcoin wallet, offering platforms for online, desktop and mobile wallets.
Features of Copay:
Copay is also a hierarchical deterministic wallet, which is also compatible with popular escrow services for security purposes. It is also compatible with Coinbase, which means users can use the popular exchange to directly buy or sell bitcoins from their wallet.
It utilizes a multi-signature mechanism for logins and both its app and servers are based on open-source software. Copy is extremely user-friendly and is designed to attract the first-time bitcoin user. It is also compatible with the Bitcoin Payment Protocol, which means quicker verification with merchants also on the payment protocol.
As you can see, there are a number of options when it comes to cryptocurrency wallets. Hopefully, after going through all of these bitcoin wallet reviews, you now have a good enough understanding to make informed decision on your financial security.
If you found this article to be informative and helpful, you should consider browsing through some of the other articles on our website. Each and every article will provide you with actionable information and help you better understand how to benefit from the rise of bitcoins.