Bitcoin Wallets: A few days back, I received a message on Facebook from an old friend of mine and I was really happy to know that bought his first Bitcoin. But he seemed to be a little confused about storing his Bitcoin safely and asked me hundreds of questions regarding the same.
I told him everything about Bitcoin Wallets and how he can keep his cryptocurrency safe from any theft or hack. So, I thought why not share this crucial information with my lovely readers as well.
So if you have bought your first Bitcoin, then the chances are that it would be lying on the exchange or web wallet itself. Isn’t it?
In 2013, Mt Gox was hacked and Bitcoin worth $450 million were stolen and as of December 2017 they worth more than $4 Billion. Recently, Bithumb was hacked a where $1 Million(as of July 2017) worth of Bitcoin and Ethereum were stolen.
Though Coinbase claims that all the funds saved on their servers are insured against any theft or loss but its still risky to test. 😉
However, if you are planning to buy Bitcoin in the near future or already have some then you really need to go through this article to know everything about storing your Bitcoins?
Here I will share all the basic information, tips and tricks that you must know before selecting the Best Bitcoin wallet.
So, Without any further delay, let’s get started!
Types of Bitcoin Wallet
There are various types of Bitcoin wallet each having its own pro and cons. Some have a high level of security while others are pretty easy to use but compromise security.
Technically speaking, the security of a wallet depends upon how the Private keys are stored i.e. Online or Offline.
This is typically divided into three categories which are:
- Software Wallet
- Web Wallet
- Mobile Wallet
- Desktop Wallet
- Hardware Wallet
- Paper Wallet
But before I explain each type of Bitcoin wallet, let me first give you a brief about what is exactly a Bitcoin wallet.
What is a Bitcoin Wallet?
A Bitcoin Wallet is an App, Website or a Device which allows you to manage your Bitcoin. It allows you to Store, Send, receive or spend Bitcoins.
In simple words, It’s like your Bank account which allows you to store, send and receive your money.
A Bitcoin wallet has Private Keys, a secret password which gives access to spend the Bitcoin. So, it’s the private keys which need to be kept safe and secure so that no one can spend your BTC illegally.
Golden Rule: If you own the Private Key then your Bitcoins are safe while if the keys are not owned by you then the BTC is at risk of loss.
Without boring you much, let’s quickly get to the main topic of the Top Bitcoin wallet. But if you want to know about each of the wallet types then don’t forget to read this post until the end.
Moreover, Most of the wallets allow you to store many other cryptocurrencies apart from Bitcoin.
Types of Bitcoin Wallet
As I already told that there are 3 types of Bitcoin wallets, each has its own up and the downside.
Hardware Wallet: These are specially designed devices with the sole purpose of keeping the cryptocurrency safe. You can send or receive funds on this device as a wallet address is associated with the device.
Hardware wallets have a layer of security(chip) which protect them from any malware attack whenever they are connected to the computer.
The private keys are stored on the device itself and it could not be extracted by any means neither by tempering physically or technically.
Being such a highly secure device, it comes with a price. If you plan to store your crypto for a longer period of time then getting a Hardware wallet is the best idea because your funds would be safe. However, If you are willing to regularly buy/sell cryptos then Hardware wallet won’t suit you much, hence let’s move forward to the second category of wallets.
- Ledger Nano S
Software Wallet: Software wallets are mostly the applications downloaded on Desktop, Mobile or a website. These wallets allow you to easily send/receive crypto anytime, anywhere unlike Hardware wallets where you need to connect your device to PC to send the funds.
Generally, there are three types of software wallets i.e.:
- Web Wallet
Web Wallet: Most of the people buy Bitcoin from Coinbase or some exchange and get the funds in there account wallet, this is called a web wallet.
Here is the major disadvantage is that your private keys are stored on the live servers of the company thus the company has control over your funds.
These are the most convenient and risky and you can lose your funds if the exchange is hacked.
Mobile Wallet: These are mobile applications which provide an interface to transact our Bitcoins. These are very convenient and a bit secure. Here the private keys are stored on your mobile itself, hence you need to keep your device safe from hackers or malware.
However, If you damage or lose your mobile you can easily restore your funds by using the seed key which you get while setting up the wallet for the first time.
Desktop Wallet: Similar to Mobile wallets, Desktop wallets are for your Computer/PC. The wallet gets downloaded on your machine and you can easily manage all your funds through it.
The private key of the wallet is stored on your machine and thus giving you full control over your crypto. But on the other side, if your computer gets hacked you might end up losing all your money within in a few seconds.
Best Bitcoin Wallet for 2018
Ledger Nano S
Ledger Nano S is one of the most popular Hardware wallets in the current times.
This is a USB looking device with an OLED screen and 2 buttons to confirm/reject the transaction.
You can receive Bitcoins anytime, anywhere on this wallet but in order to send the BTC to need to connect it to your computer.
At the time of configuration, you will get a Seed phrase and a Private Key. You need to keep the seed phrase very safely because that is the only way to recover your Bitcoins if you forget/ lose the private key or the device.
Your private keys are stored offline, hence keeping your cryptocurrency extremely safe from any hack or theft. Your funds can only be stolen if someone knows your private key.
It is the cheapest and the most reputable Hardware wallet currently available in the market and you can get it just for $65.
Moreover, Along with Bitcoin, Ledger Nano S allows you to store 9 other cryptocurrencies, which makes it even more useful.
Currently, Ledger Nano S supports:
A Hardware wallet costs a bit but you should definitely use this if you have a large amount of Bitcoin or altcoins.
If you are interested in this wallet, go ahead and read the complete review of Ledger Nano S.
- Extremely Secure
- Store other cryptocurrencies
- Affordable Price
- Less Usability(Common with all the Cold Wallets)
- Not Free
You must have surely heard about Coinbase which is one of the largest Bitcoin exchange in the world. Coinbase not only allows you to Buy/Sell Bitcoins but also store them safely.
For most of the people, Coinbase is most easy and simple way to Buy Bitcoin with your Credit or Debit Card. After buying a lot of them keep their Bitcoin on the Coinbase wallet itself. This is a very common mistake that most of the Newbies make.
Being a Web(Online) Wallet, the private keys of your Bitcoin address is kept on the Coinbase servers itself. And if by any chance, the exchange is hacked then you will lose your Bitcoin.
But if you have a very small amount of Bitcoin then there is no harm using Coinbase as it is a very reputable exchange and no theft or hack has been reported to date.
- Easy for Beginners
- Great Support
- Least Secure(Common for all Web Wallet)
- Not supported worldwide
Coinomi is a great mobile wallet which allows you to store various cryptocurrencies along with Bitcoins. It has a very intuitive user interface and follows robust security protocols to keep your Bitcoins safe.
Similar to other Mobile wallets, your Private keys are stored on your Mobile device itself.
Coinomi is available in various language likes Spanish, Russian, French, German, Chinese etc.
It also allows you to instantly convert one crypto to other as it has Shapeshift and Changelly integrated into it.
Recently I started using Coinomi and I was really surprised by the quality & features of the app.
Coinomi is absolutely free to use but as of now, it is available only for Android platform.
- More secure than web wallets
- Support various cryptocurrencies
- Convert one crypto to another
- Easy for beginners
- Free to use
- Available only on Android
- Some part of Coinomi app code is kept private while some is available on GitHub.
MyCelium is one of the Mobile Best Bitcoin Wallet that I had ever used. It has a very neat and clean UI and if you are new to cryptocurrency, I bet you will surely love it.
MyCelium is an open-source project and is regularly being technologically upgraded by an active community of developers.
Though it is primarily a Hot Wallet, there are many features of Cold Storage which make this wallet quite secure. Here the Privates keys of your Bitcoin wallet is saved on your Mobile. Thus, it is much safer than Web Wallets but your Mobile device should be free from any malware and you need to make sure that no one misuses your Mobile.
At the time of installing you won’t need any Email ID or any kind of verification which makes your Bitcoin address fairly anonymous. You would get a 12-word Seed Phrase which you need to write down and store at a safe place. This seed key allows you to recover your Bitcoin incase your Mobile is lost or broken.
#CageTip: If you lose the Seed Phrase, you will lose your Bitcoin.
You can also connect MyCelium to Hardware wallets like ledger Nano S, Trezor, Keepkey and even Bitcoin Paper Wallet. If you own an Android Mobile, make sure to have a look at the Bitcoin Wallets for Android.
You can also go ahead and read the complete review of MyCelieum.
- Better than Web Wallets
- Interactive UI
- Beginners might find it difficult
- Available only on Mobile
If you want to store your Bitcoin safely on your Desktop then Exodus is the best choice for you. It was launched in 2016 and has gained a huge popularity since then.
Along with Bitcoins, you can also store altcoins like Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, Dogecoin, Golem, and Augur.
The best thing that I like about Exodus is the UI. It’s UI is really very information and interactive at the same time. If you own several cryptocurrencies, you can easily check your portfolio with the real-time pie chart.
Apart from storing Bitcoins, Exodus allows you to exchange cryptocurrencies using the inbuilt Shapeshift.io.
Coming to the point of security, Exodus.io is really very secure as it does not host your Private keys on their servers. The keys are stored on your Desktop at the time of configuring the software installed on your Desktop itself.
At the time of configuration, you would not need any verification. However, You need to enter your email id to receive the one-click recovery link. Incase your computer is damaged or you want install Exodus on some other computer, you can use that email link to restore your account.
You can also backup your seed key which you need to store safely. One more thing to mention here, In order to take the backup of the seed key you need to have some balance in your exodus wallet.
If you face any issues, you can directly send an email to the support and you will get a reply back from the founder itself. The support is really very prompt and helpful.
- Informative UI
- Easy to Exchange cryptocurrencies
- Only for Computers/Laptops
Trezor is another Bitcoin Hardware Wallet which has a great reputation but costs a bit more than Ledger Nano S.
It is the first ever Hardware Wallet and is extremely secure.
Trezor has a tiny OLED which shows the secret pin whenever connected to the computer.
In order to send Bitcoins to some other address, You need to connect your device to the computer through the web interface of Trezor. It will show a 9 Digit pin which you have to enter on the computer to access the device. The Pin is generated randomly everytime and acts as an extra layer of security.
You can also store cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin. Currently, Trezor supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Dash, Zcash, Namecoin and Dogecoin.
- Extremely secure wallet
- Decent Design
- Supports Altcoins
- Cost doesn’t justify when compared to its competitors
- A bit heavier than Ledger Nano S
Jaxx is a Multi-Currency digital wallet which store Bitcoins as well as Altcoins.
Unlike Exodus and MyCelium, Jaxx is available for Mobile as well as Desktop. The UI of Jaxx is very simple and easy to understand for a newbie.
You do not need any user verification for onboarding. However, Similar to all the HD Wallets, you need to securely store the seed key which you would need incase your device is damaged or lost.
Similar to Exodus, Jaxx also provides cryptocurrency exchange through the integration of Shapeshift.io. We also have complete user guide and review of Jaxx wallet which you must surely have a look at.
Currently, Jaxx supports 14 crytocurrencies.
- Ethereum Classic
- Dash (not available for iOS wallets)
- Augur REP
- Zcash (not available for iOS wallets)
- Rootstock Testnet (not available for iOS wallets)
- Supports Multiple currencies
- Available on Mobile and Desktop
- It has 3-star rating on Playstore(Which is far less compared to other wallets)
- Relatively a new company
- Many users reported issues
So, These were some of the Best Bitcoin Wallets that I personally use. Here at Coinscage.com, we only share the stuff that we had personally used and are reliable.
Which is the Best Bitcoin Wallet, Finally?
Now you have enough knowledge about Bitcoin wallets. One thing is clear that you should never store your Bitcoins or any other digital currency on an exchange.
According to me, Ledger Nano S is the best and the safest way to store your Bitcoin. Though it costs a bit, it keeps you out of any hack or loss.
You can also use a Mobile wallet as it provides you ease of use but you need to be careful with your device.
Now, The call is yours and you need to select the top BTC wallet as per your requirement. You can go through our Bitcoin wallet reviews aswell to take a better decision.
I hope you liked this article and if you did then don’t forget to share it with your friends!
Also, comment below which wallet you prefer to use to keep you Bitcoins safe?
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