If you have involved in Bitcoin transaction or other digital currencies, you would have considered to choose a safe and convenient wallet to store your coins, right? While, how can you choose a reputable wallet that is great for you sending/receiving transactions, and checking balance at any given time? Here is a right place to start, continue reading to know more about Bitcoin wallets. After the completion of this post, I believe you can have a good understanding on how to choose a safe, easy-to-use, and reliable wallet to store your Bitcoins, facilitate Bitcoin transactions.
From the personal view, you may suppose a Bitcoin wallet as a physical wallet or a handbag. All Bitcoins will be stored in a BIG database or a public ledger – the so-called Blockchain. It allows Bitcoin users to check balance at any given time because Bitcoin wallets and Blockchain is interactional with each other.
So far, there have been a few sorts of Bitcoin wallets developed in the market, including software wallet (desktop wallet and mobile wallet), hardware wallet, online wallet, and paper wallet. Of course, some innovative and creative companies are engaged in developing new ways to create wallets. Let’s know more about the current types of Bitcoin wallets one-by-one as followed.
A software wallet refers to an application that you can install and use on your computer. It allows users to completely control and take some safety measures. Bitcoin wallet is a open course, which means the software source code absolutely can be checked by anyone. If you have a certain level of technology, you can check open source code and edit program to ensure that no malicious software or other suspicious codes destroy your computers and endanger security.
The current Bitcoin software wallets includes Bitcoin Core, Bitcoin Knots, Copay, Electrum, GreenAddress, ArcBit,BitGo, mSIGNA, Armory, Bither and more other options. Choose a wallet that has good reputation is a conservative approach to ensure your Bitcoins’ safety. Besides that, there are two types of Bitcoin software wallets – lightweight clients and full node/full clients.
The type of full node Bitcoin software wallet will give you a full copy of the entire blockchain, the full blockchain size is over 145GB. It will take a little bit longer time to download a lot of data and install on your desktop than the lightweight clients. It is not right for all computers. If prefer installing the full node on your computer, make sure you have enough bandwidth and large capacity storage. Click here to obtain a full node Bitcoin software wallet – publicly known as the Bitcoin Core. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
However, lightweight Bitcoin software wallet is perfect for those Bitcoin users who semplice want to send/receive Bitcoin payments in fast, secure, and easy way. This version will save you much time as it doesn’t need download and install too much data. One of the most reliable lightweight software wallet is Electrum, users also can choose to install it on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android.
Now we concentrate here on the Bitcoin Core software application and Electrum separately. Let’s show you how to install and use the full client and lightweight client wallet on your computer.
Before you start to download the Bitcoin Core software application on your computer, you’ve to make sure there is enough space on your hard drive for the complete blockchain, which currently (Sep 2017) is about over 145GB.
1. Go to the Bitcoin Core download page, choose your operating system and click download on your computer.
2. After the installation, you’ll see the following screen after opening the software. As you can see, it will take a few days to synchronize your wallet with Bitcoin network. There are tabs to allow you to send and receive Bitcoins. Also includes a transaction tab, under which users can check a history of all transactions made with the Bitcoin core wallet.
3. The “Send” tab allows Bitcoin users to transfer the Bitcoins they hold to another Bitcoin address.
4. The “Receive” tab allows Bitcoin users to request payment. Users need to fill in all the relevant information and click on “Request payment” button, will generate a QR code and a URL.
5. The QR code and URL will be posted online or sent out. On the request payment screen, you can see payment information: URI,address, amount,and message. Click Copy URL, Copy Address, Save Image, or Close option.
6. The “Transaction” tab allows Bitcoin users to check all the transaction associated with the private key that the Bitcoin Core wallet is storing.
Till now, you probably have a basic knowledge of using the Bitcoin Core wallet.
There are different kinds of Bitcoin software wallets, we’ll tell you how to use the most used one – Electrum.
1.Go to the Electrum official website, locate at Download and click on it.
2.Choose your system, Linux, Windows, OSX, or Android. We take the Windows operating system for example. Click on Windows Installer (signature).
3.A box pops up, prompts you save this file. If you want to download Electrum on your Windows computer right now, just need click on save file. Then the fill will be automatically downloaded on your computer.
4.After that, find the electrum-2.9.3-setup.exe file and double click on it to start installing. Choose install location, and click on Install.
5. When the setup was completed successfully, click on Close.
6.How do you want to connect to a server? If you have a certain level of technology, you may choose to select server manually. If not, just need click on the next.
7.Click Next again.
8.Create default wallet, there are 4 kinds of wallets you can choose to create. Choose your needed one and click on Next.
9.Keystore: Choose to create a new seed if you didn’t ever use Electrum.
10.Remember your wallet generation seed. You also can click Options to save your QR code. And on the next step, you still need to type your wallet generation seed manually to make sure you have properly saved your seed. After that, click Next.
11.Choose a strong password to encrypt your wallet keys, this step is highly recommended for ensuring your wallet safety. Then click Next
12.Now, Electrum wallet is on. Click send to pay to someone.
13.Click Receive to check the receiving address. Keep in mind: Backup your Electrum wallet, seed, and receiving address in case of any unexpected computer damage. If you lose your private key, you have to lose your money.
Apart from the desktop wallet, the mobile wallet also plays an essential role in depositing Bitcoins, there are quite a lot of people prefer using Bitcoin mobile wallets due to its convenience. The most reliable Bitcoin mobile wallets are recommended as:
Paper wallet can be generated at bitaddress.org, is an safe way for Bitcoin users depositing their coins for quite a while. The paper wallet will have the full copies of the public and private keys, and also contains QR codes so as to scan and login a software wallet quickly for making transactions.
Holding a paper wallet means that all your Bitcoins on its address haven’t been connected with the active Blockchain, thus it is useless. This is supposed as cold storage. But, it’s required to connect your paper wallet address with a online wallet at first if you want to spend the Bitcoins your paper wallet.
Paper wallet is a recommend method to deposit your Bitcoins safely if you don’t want to spend all of them at the beginning. And we can say that the paper wallet is the most safe way to hold Bitcoins. Of course, the premise is that you must ensure your paper wallet address’s safety.
Keep in mind, when you try to create a Bitcoin paper wallet, keep the Internet disconnected. This will stop potential malware hacking your data, stealing private key, and even spending your Bitcoins in soon future. Follow below steps to create a paper wallet for your Bitcoins.
1.Open the site bitaddress.org on your browser, and then a screen will be in front of you. On this screen you can choose your favorite language to start.
2.To create your paper wallet, you just need move your mouse around the screen for about 12-20 seconds until a Bitcoin address with public key, private key, and QR code shows on. In order to increase the randomness of your Bitcoin address and keys, you’d better enter enter some text in the blank box at first.
3.When you see the private key, public key, and QR codes, rather than save them, you need click on the “Paper Wallet” tab.
4.Enter the number of address that you tend to generate. You can check the “Hide Art” according to your preference. Click on generate button to create Bitcoin paper wallet addresses for yourself.
5.Click on Print button to save your paper wallet as a PDF or simply print it out. It is highly recommended to print your paper wallet out as soon as possible.
6.If you want to transfer Bitcoins onto your paper wallet, just need scan the QR code on the left side via your mobile Bitcoin client/other Bitcoin mobile wallets, or enter the public key address in the Bitcoin client/other Bitcoin software wallets on your computer.
Keep in mind: If you have completed all steps mentioned above, then you can get printable public and private keys and QR code that can be shown and scanned for transactions. The private key is used to identify the ownership of the account so as to spend the Bitcoins. The private key can be scanned with the QR code on the right side of your paper wallet.
Hardware Wallet is a great choice to keep your Bitcoins safe. Some companies are engaged in developing Bitcoin hardware wallet so that Bitcoin users can deposit their coins in physical and portable devices. When use this kind of Bitcoin hardware wallet, what you need to do is just to connect it to the Internet before starting your happy shopping, checking balance, and more. Before buying a hardware wallet, you’d better read reviews and know whether the hardware wallet you choose is reputable and reliable or not.
Hardware wallet is the most secure way to deposit your Bitcoin, however they are a little bit expensive. For example: the https:trezor.io offers hardware device at 89 Euros. Three best of cold storage wallets recommended as:
Trezor: An easy and secure Bitcoin wallet of your choice. TREZOR is one of the most reliable and trusted hardware wallet to facilitate users to deposit Bitcoin without risk.
Ledger: The Cryptocurrency hardware wallet also is a superior choice to store cryptographic assets and secure digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and more.
KeepKey: It is a simple hardware wallet that stores and secures Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Dash, and Namecoin.
We recommend you to take a look at these three hardware wallets’ respective websites if you decide to buy one for keeping your Bitcoins safe.
Online wallets refer to some websites that offer you to buy, sell Bitcoin. The are some current companies offering Bitcoin wallet services online, for examples BTC.com, Boinbase, Xapo, Coinapult, Bitgo, Green Address etc, who are responsible for holding users’ Bitcoins, allowing users to visit websites to spend, buy their Bitcoins, account management and security. Those ones effectively become the middlemen between users and their Bitcoins, in the meantime they will charge a fee.
An online Bitcoin wallet is convenient to use but also will be some risks. The biggest risk is you can’t access to your private key though you know the wallet address. If the online wallet service itself is hacked, then all your Bitcoins also could be stolen. You will not be able to control all the money in your wallet.
Using an online wallet means that you don’t need to download any software on your desktop, laptop, or mobile devices. All operations will be completed via an online service. Online wallet is quite convenient, however, Bitcoin users have to give away a part of the security, and face the risk of insolvency.
Keep in mind, securing wallet is a very important thing to do if you tend to use an online wallet. Your Bitcoin online wallet must be encrypted and strong password protected. Furthermore, don’t forget to backup passwords.
One of the most popular Bitcoin online wallet is the so-called Blockchain.info. Blockchain.info is well regarded as the world’s most popular Bitcoin website and wallet, as a Bitcoin online wallet which gives you simple, secure, and seamless digital wallet. Blockchain.info allows you to buy, sell your Bitcoins securely anywhere you go. Here will show you how to use Bitcoin online wallet at Blockchain.info.
Blockchain.info is well regarded as the world’s most popular Bitcon website and wallet, as a Bitcoin online wallet which gives you simple, secure, and seamless digital wallet. Blockchain.info allows you to buy, sell your Bitcoins securely anywhere you go.
1. Open the Blockchain.info site on your web browser. Locate at “Get A FREE WALLET” and click on it to get started
2. The next page “Create Your Wallet” shows on, sign up for a free wallet below. It requires you enter your email and password to create your account. Enter all required information and click on continue button. We encourage you to enter a strong password for the security reason.
3. After that, you’ll receive an email to verify your email to complete the setup. It requires you use your unique wallet ID to log into your Blockchain wallet. You can find the unique wallet ID from the email.
4. After the completion of your email verification, it prompts that you’ve successfully verified your email! Please return to your previous browser/tab to see your wallet.
5. Enter your unique wallet ID and password to login your account. Once done, you can see the DASHBOARD.
6. One the dashboard, click on Bitcoin tab, you can see all your sent, received, and transferred histories related to the private key that the Blockchain.info wallet is storing.
7. Click Send tab, paste or scan an address or select a destination to send Bitcoins.
8. Click on Request, copy the address to others so that they can send your Bitcoins to your wallet with ease. As it said, “Share this address with others, and they can send you BTC directly to your wallet. Your address changes with every payment. You can also create a request by attaching an amount below.”
9. Or you can click to view QR code. You can ask the sender to scan your QR code with their bitcoin wallet. So they can send Bitcoins to your wallet directly.
Till now, you may have a basic understanding of the main four types of Bitcoin wallets, why we want you to know how to choose a Bitcoin wallet? Because, making all your Bitcoin safe is a worthwhile undertaking. If you’re a complete beginner to Bitcoin, we encourage you to follow below guides.