Bitcoin is the first digital currency and it has changed world of payments ever since its introduction in 2009. In brief, Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies are electronic money – you can’t see it or touch it.
So, how can you start using the coins?
Well, you need to have a wallet, which is the place where all your Bitcoins will be saved and stored. In addition, your wallet will keep all the information about the transactions you have made.
Different Types Of Bitcoin Wallets
If your money needs a bank account where you keep it and make payments, a wallet is a place where you can keep your Bitcoins and use them. Before you set up an account, you have to choose the right wallet for you. There are several different types of wallets: desktop, hardware, online and mobile. What are their pros and cons? Which are the best Bitcoin wallets?
1. Desktop Wallets
The first type is desktop wallets. As the name suggests, these wallets are an application which you have to download and use on your PC or laptop. The information is stored on your hard drive; however, they are still connected to the internet. There are different desktop wallets depending on the operating system – Windows, Linux, etc. As a rule, these wallets are more secure than other “hot” wallets. Let’s take a look at the top three desktop wallets.
Launched last year, Exodus has a friendly interface and allows clients to store Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum. Even though the wallet has only a desktop version, users can trade using the platform. It’s partially open source and is suitable for Bitcoin newbies.
Electrum is one of the most secure and used desktop wallets. Even though its interface is not great, the app is open end, which means that many people have developed and improved it over time. It allows their clients to change the fees of their transactions. Available for Windows, Linux and Mac. Suitable for more advanced Bitcoin users.
Armory is another commonly used and trusted wallet which offers cold storage and full protection of customers’ private keys. Available for Mac, Linux, Windows Ubuntu and RaspberriPi.
2. Online Web Wallets
People also call them “hot” wallets because you have to connect your device to the Net. They are managed by third companies, which means that they will have the information about your private and public keys. The top performers are:
Coin.Space is a free online web wallet on which you can store Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum. It’s reliable, fast, secure and you can have a full control over your money. You can use it as a mobile and desktop wallet.
Coinbase is a force to reckon with when we talk about digital currencies. It’s the global leader in Bitcoin trading and is also an online wallet. It’s suitable for rookies and you can use one of their relatively new features – the Vault service. It allows you to store your coins in a vault without the company’s interference. On the downside, it only operates in 19 countries.
It’s a free online web wallet which you can use also on your mobile device. Users can send or receive payments from anywhere in the world. And if you happen to lose your internet connection, don’t worry – you can send Bitcoin via SMS.
3. Mobile Wallets
Nowadays, people are constantly using their phones from reading the news and talking to friends about sending money and making bank transactions. Why not have a mobile wallet which you can easily access anytime, anywhere? Which are currently the best platforms or apps to use?
Bitcoin Wallet is a dinosaur in the business and provides a transparent system, which is user-friendly and secure. This wallet is only accessible through the internet and operates on Blackberry and Android.
This is a hybrid web and mobile Bitcoin wallet. What does hybrid mean?
Well, you can access it only when connected to the web, but at the same time the company provider does not own your private key.
Due to its strong protection and security with the app offering advanced security features, it’s not very suitable for beginners. The changes and improves all the time because it’s an open source and allows you to make transactions anonymously. On the downside, the MyCelium is strictly mobile; no desktop or web versions available.
4. Hardware Wallets
Hardware wallets are the safest wallets of all since they are offline, and the privet key is stored on a hardware device. They are not connected to the net, which means that no one can hack and steal your information. Which are the best hardware wallets?
This is the right place if you have a lot of Bitcoins and want them to keep them in a safe and protected place. This wallet is extremely secure and user-friendly. Keep in mind that compared to its “peers”, it is relatively expensive.
This wallet is very similar to Trezor and is also highly secure. Ledger is a physical wallet which you have to connect to your PC and then you can start making transactions. If you don’t have the device, the process cannot work. In addition, they have several models from which a customer can choose.
Created by the Swiss-based company Shift Devices, Digital Bitbox is a minimalistic and secure hardware wallet. The device has its own app and you don’t need to download any software. You can store Bitcoin and Ethereum.
A relatively new hardware wallet, KeepKey offers safe protection for your Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. It has a lovely design and is virus- and malware-proof. The gadget will cost you some $99.