How to choose a bitcoin wallet?
To get started with Bitcoin, you need a so-called wallet. Without it, to carry out transactions, that is, send and receive cryptocurrency simply will not work. The first step that you need to take is to determine for what purpose you are going to use bitcoin, and on this basis, choose one of the types of wallets.
What types of wallets are there?
Bitcoin clients are available for almost all popular operating systems: Windows, Linux, OS X, Android, iOS, Windows Phone and compatible with them. You can choose between several types: for PC (desktop), mobile, online wallets, hardware. It should also be noted that a number of wallets are multi-platform, that is, they are available on different operating systems and can be synchronized.
Bitcoin PC Wallets
The option of installing special software on a personal computer or laptop should be considered if you plan to work with more or less significant amounts and the issue of safety and security of funds is of great importance to you.
There are two types of bitcoin clients for PCs: “thick” (heavy) and “thin” (light). The first ones require downloading the entire blockchain, which will subsequently be stored on the computer, while taking up significant space on the hard drive. The light client accesses the blockchain through third-party services and therefore does not require downloading and storage.
- The most famous of the “heavy” wallets is Bitcoin Core – an original client written based on the development of the creator of bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto. He is considered the official client of the bitcoin network and therefore has a high level of security, privacy and stability. Also widely known is the Armory wallet, which runs on top of Bitcoin Core, expanding its functionality.
- Among the “light” clients, Electrum should be distinguished, which is designed to make working with the network as quick and easy for users as possible. The latter also has separate versions for cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin and DASH.
Mobile Bitcoin Wallets
They are designed to be installed on smartphones based on iOS and Android. Mobile wallets are primarily aimed at users who spend most of their time not on a desktop computer. Offering access to bitcoins anytime, anywhere, they are also ideal for paying for goods and services in stores or restaurants.
The most popular customers, including Jaxx, Electrum, Bread, Edge, Blocktrail and others, usually offer the ability to pay using QR codes or contactless NFC technology. Most of them have Desktop version.
Online wallets are considered a good way to introduce novice users to the principles of bitcoin. They do not require any download of programs, and you can enter such a wallet from any device anywhere with Internet access. Such wallets provide a standard set of functions: sending and receiving funds, address books, notifications, etc.
Despite the obvious advantages at first glance over desktop or mobile versions, the main drawback of online wallets is the safety of your funds, since a third party is responsible for it. In the event of a service hack, you may well lose all your coins.
Hardware wallets (HD-wallets) are a separate kind of bitcoin wallets. In fact, these are separate external devices that are connected to a computer or mobile gadget via USB or using a radio signal. Such a wallet can be completely autonomous. HD wallets offer a number of advantages over traditional wallets – they are not only easy to manage, but provide a new level of security.
However, this type of bitcoin storage is not so convenient for everyday use, so hardware wallets are more suitable for investors who own a large number of cryptocurrencies.
Among the most famous on today’s models of HD-wallets – Trezor, Ledger Nano S, KeepKey.