While the blockchain ledger and bitcoin nodes are all the same, people are not. We all have different needs, desires, and even fears. As an individual, you need to think about your needs when it comes down to using bitcoin in everyday life.
For starters, we suggest that you ask yourself these basic questions:
- What is more important, privacy or security?
- Is my plan to use only bitcoin, or am I interested in alt-currencies as well?
- How do I see myself using bitcoin?
- What is the quantity of bitcoin that I am planning on holding?
One of the important facts about bitcoin wallets is that they don’t really store bitcoins, but rather consist of both public and private keys that your bitcoin is associated with. It is highly recommended that if you plan on holding a large amount of bitcoin, you store them safely.
So, what kind of wallets are available to bitcoin holders?
These wallets are available for download through the App and Play Stores, for iPhone and Android, respectively. There are many wallet apps, but we will only recommend the ones that offer security and privacy to the users.
Online wallet with great security features. Your private key is AES encrypted and server-side protected and they offer 2FA features that allow you to confidently store your bitcoins through their app, available for both iPhone and Android.
One of the simplest mobile wallets, unfortunately available only for iPhone. It is a standalone Bitcoin client, so there is no third-party to trust, as it connect directly to the Bitcoin network. It builds upon iOS security to protect you from malicious software, security loops, and physical theft.
These clients usually require that you run a Bitcoin Node, which helps improve the quality of the bitcoin network. Bitcoin Core is a wallet application as well, but doesn’t make security mandatory, so it’s highly recommended that you educate yourself on how to properly safeguard your digital treasures.
Running this software on your computer means that you’re an active part in securing the integrity of the bitcoin network. This option is heavy, which means that it’s going to take up a nice chunk of your hard disk space (about 80gb) in order to run. This is one of the best solutions, since it puts you in complete control of your funds, and even if you’re a beginner, just combine it with Armory and you will be doing everything in your power to completely protect your Bitcoin.
This desktop wallet is the most secure solution for users of every knowledge level, since full tutorial documentation can be readily found on their website. It requires Bitcoin Core to run, but it’s worth it, especially if you’re concerned about privacy and safety. Armory is the best possible solution, both for business and individual use, since it promotes learning and understanding how Bitcoin works, and this knowledge will help you in all your affairs.
One of the most important features of this wallet is the ability to create cold storage wallets, which are completely inaccessible through digital means. This means that hackers need physical access to your devices to even attempt to decrypting your private keys!
Desktop software created by the KeepKey company, which also offers hardware wallets. It features quick setup, which guides you through the process of both creating and backing up your wallet. You’ll be ready to send and receive Bitcoin in minutes. Multi-bit is a lightweight client that doesn’t require you to download a complete blockchain copy.
This French startup with headquarters in Paris was founded in 2015, and they strive to bring efficient blockchain technology into the hands of their users, both businesses and individuals. Their technology is a low footprint OS, which is built around a secure element and provides all the necessary information to run blockchain applications.
At the current time, they are offering four different products:
- Ledger Nano S – Bitcoin and Ethereum hardware wallet, featuring a screen that displays transaction information.
- Ledger Blue – High Tech signature device, with a touchscreen and USB/NFC/BLE connectivity for PC and smartphones. It runs multiple apps, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, FIDO U2F, SSH, and GPG signatures.
- Ledger Nano – This is a small USB hardware wallet that is perfect for individuals, since it provides a quality user experience in a simple manner.
- Ledger HW.1 – This product is targeted towards enterprises, with multi-sig features. It is considered the best solution for heavy use and wide distribution, since it is quite affordable and durable.
This hardware wallet is produced by SatoshiLabs, a company created by experts in Prague, Czech Republic. Since 2013 their product has stood the test of time in terms of client satisfaction and quality. It comes with a hefty price tag, but it’s backed by highly developed technological solutions, providing both extreme security and simplicity for the users.
The newest competitor on the hardware wallet market, KeepKey features a slick design and the ability to hold many types of cryptocurrencies with one device. Besides bitcoin, it can hold litecoin, dogecoin, dash, and namecoin. It works by taking over the management of private key generation and storage, as well as transaction signing. This effectively secures your bitcoin and provides ease of mind. It features PIN code protection, support by popular Bitcoin clients, virus and malware protection, random key generation, and sophisticated recovery options
This is the online version for desktop browsers. It allows cross-connection with the mobile app and 2FA through Google Authenticator. It rotates your Bitcoin addresses, which helps to safeguard your privacy. They also don’t have access to your account, because all the sensitive information is processed client-side, which means it’s only available to your computer.
Advertised as the most secure online wallet, they’re offering a lot more than simply wallets. Xapo Debit cards, Bitcoin purchase, Cold-Storage Vaults, and more can be found through Xapo. Better geared towards organizations, but still useful for individuals, Xapo is a quality choice for both types of users. Basically an online Bitcoin bank, Xapo can be considered a trade of privacy for security.
In addition to being a wallet for Bitcoin and Ethereum, CoinBase also acts like a currency exchange, which allows you to exchange fiat and selected cryptocurrencies. It also offers merchant services that allow sellers to instantly exchange Bitcoin for fiat at the time of purchase, which is a really good feature that protects against Bitcoin volatility.
In the end it comes down to your choice and preference, and the best way to be informed about the latest wallets is to use them. Following this, we recommend that you take some time to personally explore all available options and make an experience-based decision. Each and every option is different, and there are many more available. Be aware that simple options usually do not offer the security and privacy that more complicated approaches offer. When you’re getting serious about Bitcoin, we highly recommend both investing in a hardware wallet for yourself or your business and allocating resources towards downloading and running a full Bitcoin node since this is one of the best ways to completely eliminate third-party involvement and implement highest security standards for your personal Bitcoin economy.
Remember, you are the one responsible for the safety of your Bitcoin, so make sure that you take the proper measures in order to safely store your Bitcoin!
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