- The article highlights the following issues:
- Where to keep mined or bought bitcoins
- What a bitcoin wallet is
- Types of wallets and their features
- Top-3 BTC hard wallets
“What bitcoin wallet should I use?” The question is actual both for beginners on the cryptocurrencies market and for those who have sufficient experience in this field. The concept of a digital wallet has existed for a long time and cryptocurrency holders use it for personal and commercial purposes. Simultaneously with the introduction of cryptocurrency there was a need to store funds. If people have learned how to manage without actual money in the form of banknotes and coins the issue of the storage place e virtual savings remains open even for virtual savings.
What is a bitcoin wallet?
BTC wallet is an online service, a computer application or a special device to store cryptocurrency and make money runs. Wallet plays the role of a link between users and the bitcoin network by analogy with online banking which connects a client with the financial system. The most important function of wallet is to store a unique key that opens access for transactions, so wallet hides not so much the bitcoins themselves, but this secret code. The key is contained in the encrypted and password-protected wallet.dat file.
Which bitcoin wallet is best?
Holders of cryptocurrency have the opportunity to choose the most convenient way of storing their assets, so it’s difficulty to say for sure which version of wallet is the best one. There are the following types of wallets:
A special program is downloaded from the official sites and installed on the PC. There are full and thin (light) wallets. The first ones are safer because they are protected by a chain of blocks, to which new blocks are added and this process must be done regularly. Thin (light) wallets do not require downloading the entire history and are easy to install on laptops, tablets and smartphones because they do not take up much space, but are not so securely protected compared to the full versions.
Bitcoin Core can be cited as an example of stationary computer wallets. This program is recommended by the official bitcoin resource as the most reliable. However for its installation and operation it will take 10 GB of hard disk space. It will take a long time to download the whole blockchain. Wallet Armory which is a favorite of professional miners is also well-proven. As for light wallets experienced users recommend Multibit and Electrum.
There are also wallets adapted to the Android and iOS. They are downloaded as other applications, extremely easy to use and do not need much space. What is the best bitcoin wallet to use for Android mobile gadgets? Application Coinbase Bitcoin – the wallet for Android platform – has all the necessary features, allows you to use cryptocurrency as a payment tool and take bitcoins from other users.
To operate such a wallet, you do not need to download all network blocks, which saves time and device memory. According to the opinion of experienced users even the best bitcoin wallet online is suitable only for storing small amounts and carrying out minor transactions, since there is a risk of hacking the service. One of the outstanding people in the cryptocurrency market Jordan Tuwiner compares the online service with a wallet that does not store savings for life.
Blockchain, Coinkite, Coinbase, Bitgo, GreenAdress, Hive and StroingCoina are among the most popular internet BTC wallets. While selecting one for your needs, pay attention to the way of saving keys. A multi-level security system which necessarily includes SMS access control, must be provided.
The hardware wallet is a device which resembles a standard USB flash drive. The product is easily connected to a PC or a laptop. High key protection factor is the use of the secret phrase called “seed”, the input of which opens up access to money and operations. The work is performed in a remote environment, so you can use the key on any computers.
Even in case of theft an attacker can not use the key without entering a personal PIN-code. If the device is lost or damaged it is easy to recover it using a special recovery code. Modern hard wallets are equipped with a screen on which data is shown. It is not only a convenient option, but also the additional security factor.
Cryptocurrency is entirely virtual while a wallet for its storage can be real and made of paper. Of course it doesn’t contain any coins inside. There are copies of the public and private keys printed on a paper. QR codes are widely used for this purpose. Cyber attacks and other problems don’t threaten your keys because they are not kept anywhere in the digital form but on the paper document. The registration of the wallet is made online and at the end of the process one should print the result. Owners of paper wallets must keep the printed code in a safe place and protect it from water or any other physical damage.
Bitcoin wallet reviews
As for the hard wallets the best ones are:
- Ledger Nano S;
Ledger Nano S is the cheapest device with a screen. The functional of the device includes all the necessary options; the configuration is not difficult and is performed using a standard computer. The wallet is connected to the PC via micro USB, but the computer must first be checked for viruses. Access to the device is closed by PIN-code, which is entered 3 times.
TREZOR has a compact design, and its dimensions are comparable to the size of a door key. The device stores Bitcoin private keys in autonomic mode and allows you directly spend cryptocurrency. TREZOR can be additionally protected with a passphrase. USB connection with a computer is one-way like a computer mouse, so the risk of software penetration into the device is excluded.
KeepKey of all three presented in top bitcoin wallets is equipped with the largest screen. This feature makes it possible to strengthen protective functions. Any owner of the device can watch the transactions run on the display and control the situation every time. The hardware has a full set of options, easy to set up and use without previous experience. The stylish design turns the hard wallet KeepKey into an elegant accessory and its metal case withstands mechanical impacts.
So which bitcoin wallet is best each user decides on his or her own. A set of functions, level of protection, convenience, design are important criteria. Beginners should start with online versions, while for experienced and wealthy owners of cryptocurrency reliable hard wallets are recommended.