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Where to store your Bitcoins safely? In this article, we will review the types of available options and compare the best Bitcoin wallets.
Best Bitcoin Wallets 2019 – Detailed Comparison
The question of money security has always been an issue for people, and now with digital coins appearing here and there, traders and holders are concerned with the cybersecurity of their funds. Now when there are so many ways to earn Bitcoin, we need some virtual space to store the cryptocurrency without risks. For these purposes, a Bitcoin wallet was created.
Just as the Bitcoin cryptocurrency is the digital equivalent of cash, so the Bitcoin Wallet is a virtual alternative to a small flat item designed to carry money, which we used to call a wallet.
Bitcoin wallet is an online resource that stores all the secret information about access to your digital assets and their current balance, which allows you to carry out any cash transactions in bitcoins and control your money.
You need to understand that the Bitcoin wallet does not store money itself, but their digital equivalents. And Bitcoin itself is nothing more than a digital code, a record in a distributed Blokchain database. Therefore, the Bitcoin wallet stores information about various transactions (crediting/debiting funds from the account), as well as private keys that provide access to cash. And it is the secret keys, and not the bitcoins themselves, that need to be securely stored and protected from theft.
Types of Bitcoin wallets
What is the best Bitcoin wallet? There’s no such option: everything depends on the user’s needs and requirements. Five basic types of Bitcoin wallets are distinguished. Let’s observe them.
1. Desktop wallets
It is considered the most reliable, since all information about the keys is stored on the computer’s hard drive, eliminating the possibility of its leakage into the network. Moreover, the user himself is responsible for the safety of his savings, controlling the security settings and adjusting them to his needs. Such bitcoin wallets are also called software wallets: to work with them, you need to download one program or another and install it on your PC.
The main problem with desktop wallets is that some of them load the entire blockchain on user’s computer, which is over 200 Gb, and its size is growing. Lightweight desktop wallets download only a part of the blockchain: such bitcoin wallets are less reliable but work quicker.
The official Bitcoin website recommends the following desktop wallets: Bitcoin Knots, Bitcoin Core, GreenAddress, ArcBit, BitGo, Copay, mSIGNA, Armory, Bither, and Electrum.
2. Mobile wallets
We always carry smartphones, so with the best Bitcoin wallet mobile option, we can pay directly with the phone. Mobile wallets provide access to the necessary information but still lack some functional cryptocurrency tools. Smartphones are not so powerful to store the entire chain of blocks, which weighs several gigabytes and almost daily increases. Therefore, such Bitcoin wallets are developed with a simplified payment verification system (SVP or simplified payment verification). They download exactly the blocks that you need, and do not check the blocks themselves for authenticity, but rely on data taken from third-party resources.
3. Web wallets
Why load the entire blockchain on your PC when you can easily access a web wallet? Digital keys can also be stored on the network, without being tied to one specific device, and can be accessed on any device connected to the Internet. Such web wallets are undoubtedly convenient, as the user can easily access their private keys from any device.
However, easy accessibility can play against you: companies that provide these services for also have access to the funds of their customers. Therefore, if the contents of your Bitcoin wallet are solid, they become very attractive amount for fraudsters, we recommend that you carefully consider online services, since your savings can be an easy target for theft.
4. Hardware wallet
You can also create a Bitcoin wallet on a small specialized device that you connect to a computer via USB, write your private keys to it and store it in a place that is safe and inaccessible to other users. This device is called ‘hardware wallet’, and it has a lot of advantages:
- You can store a large number of cryptocurrencies as long as needed.
- You do not need to resort to the services of third parties or third-party services.
- It’s the safest option available.
The most common hardware wallets: Trezor, Ledger Nano, and KeepKey.
5. Paper wallet
Such wallets are also designed for long-term cold storage of cryptocurrency. In this case, the private keys are written in a piece of paper. The document proves ownership and serves to get access to the digital currency. The main threat is that paper is a pretty fragile material. If you want to get a paper wallet, make sure you store it in safe conditions
How to select a Bitcoin wallet?
In our list of best Bitcoin wallets 2019, you will find all kinds of wallets – all in all, each option proves to be efficient in certain cases. There is no one-fit-all product. Before you opt for one of them, find out how to select a decent solution.
There are five primary aspects to consider:
- Verification of payments.
- Control of funds.
Choice of a wallet should be based on what you want to do. If you want to store a large amount in cryptocurrency, then it is better to choose a hardware solution. If you want to quickly carry out some operations or explore the possibilities, then wallets like Jaxx or Blockchain.info will suit you.
For maximum privacy, use wallets that download the full blockchain, if the wallet uses centralized servers, then the group of your transactions can be very easily tracked by IP, even if you use Tor.
Storing all your BTC savings in one wallet is a serious mistake. Experienced users recommend using several Bitcoin wallets – each for a different purpose. One is for simpler tasks when you need to perform this or that operation with Bitcoins as quickly as possible: quickly replenish your account, convert to another currency or withdraw funds. And the second, with a more advanced interface – for complex and serious operations with coins (mining or trading on exchanges).
Now, without further ado, let’s review the best Bitcoin wallet hardware, software, and web solutions.
The best web Bitcoin wallets
As we’ve mentioned it’s the easiest way to store Bitcoins and perform some minor operations. Here are the most reliable solutions.
Reliable and convenient Bitcoin wallet, Coinbase.com is one of the best solutions thanks to ease of use. It allows storing not only bitcoins but also Ethereum and Litecoin. Coinbase is a very popular wallet with merchants on cryptocurrency exchanges. It supports integration with US bank accounts and Android applications. You can also transfer funds by email to the recipient.
Cryptopay is an online wallet where you can easily store and spend your money in the form of BTC, Euro, GBP or US dollars. Cryptopay is a British organization that was founded in 2013 and is committed to offering the best payment solution. Competitive advantages and features of the wallet include:
- The best way to manage your BTC;
- Ideal for anyone associated with the cryptocurrency market and willing to spend BTC in online stores without problems;
- Contactless BTC debit card that works with any terminal for sale;
- Simple conversion of your BTC into supported currencies;
- No hidden fees or unfair prices;
- User support for five minutes.
Blockchain is a Bitcoin wallet with the support of many different languages and a few cryptocurrencies (BTC, ETH, BCH, PAX, XLM). Today it’s used by more than 5 mln people. The wallet does not require installing any applications on the computer. Your Bitcoins, the service stores on its servers in encrypted form.
This wallet was designed to store Bitcoin and many other coins (Litecoin, Dogecoin, Ether Classic and dozens of others). It is also possible to receive a certain amount of some coins for free using their taps. You can freely convert one cryptocurrency to another with minimal fees.
This crypto wallet is installed as a browser extension. When registering with GreenAddress, you need to specify not only an e-mail and come up with a password. The crypto wallet will also require you to come up with a PIN code and pass two-factor authentication through several methods: email, Google Authenticator, SMS or mobile phone call.
GreenAddress, like BitGO, will generate a sentence of 15 random words. It needs to be saved, because in the future without this phrase it will not be possible to regain access to your account. The functionality of GreenAddress itself is not outstanding: sending and receiving, transaction history, address book.
The best desktop BTC wallets
Need a safer solution? Then you can store the cryptocurrency on your PC. Here are a few highly recommended options.
This is one of the most popular Bitcoin personal computer wallets. It is very fast and easy to use. Electrum uses third-party servers to confirm transactions, and this reduces the amount of downloaded data, but at the same time reduces the level of security and anonymity, since your data is sent to centralized servers that speed up work, but allow you to associate actions with your IP address.
This application accelerates the workflow on the Bitcoin network to the maximum and minimizes resource consumption. User is free to select a server to store private keys on. Electrum allows you to use offline storage if you have a computer that is not connected to the network to increase security. You can restore your wallet using a special mnemonic code.
Jaxx allows storing several cryptocurrencies at once and enlists most trending cryptocurrencies before everyone else adds them. You can view the information about tokens using conveniently switchable tabs. However, the abundance of coins is overshadowed by a somewhat inconvenient functionality. For example: fixed commissions (for which part of your coins are “reserved” in advance, regardless of your consent, and the more coins you keep, the more coins are “reserved”), the inability to import third-party Accounts (the ability to make settlements for the company is automatically excluded) and A 4-digit password, which is as easy to guess.
JAXX toolkit allows you to:
- View your Seed
- See private keys
- Synchronize devices (one JAXX to all your devices)
- Exchange tokens
The official Bitcoin wallet is the most highly recommended platform for BTC storage, but once you install it, turns out, it takes over 150 Gb on your PC. So if you don’t have enough memory – don’t opt for this software.
Bitcoin Core currently runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux and supports 27 popular languages. It boasts an increased level of security: data on all cryptocurrency transfers is stored in a separate file on the user’s computer. To prevent hacking, the file can be encrypted with a password.
This is another old and reliable Bitcoin wallet for all desktop platforms. If you have enough technical skills to work with this program, you can configure it for offline storage of your Bitcoins to boost security of your cryptocurrency. One of the best things about Armory is that it always works offline and connects to the Net only when a transaction is performed.
The best mobile BTC wallets
When in search of the best Bitcoin wallet app for mobile, you should pay attention to the level of security first. Functionality is pretty much the same in most apps.
Works offline on Android. You can quickly translate by scanning the QR code and is also supported by NFC. The existing calculator will convert and display BTC not only in the national currency but also in any other specified currency. It is possible to create an address book for the most frequently used addresses.
Need the best Bitcoin wallet for Android to store multiple currencies? Mycelium is considered one of the most popular Bitcoin wallets for Android. It is very easy to use. You can also easily back up, and a very detailed guide is provided with the application.
BRD is considered to be the best Bitcoin wallet for iPhone, which has recently introduced the version for Android. The wallet allows you to manage private keys using an easy to use user interface.
This is another Bitcoin wallet for iPhone and Android. Convenient authorization allows you to easily cope with the application, even for beginners in the field of bitcoins. The wallet automatically backs up so you don’t have to worry about it.
GreenBits is the native Android version of the wallet offered by GreenAddress company. The multi-signature wallet is also compatible with TREZOR and Ledger hardware wallets.
Best hardware BTC wallets
Hardware wallets were designed only for storing private keys on removable media. The idea is simple but genius. With a hardware wallet, no one can get your funds – only you know the password and combinations. The main threat here is the possibility of a loss of the device, so store it in a safe place.
- Ledger Nano S is the least expensive of the three hardware wallets equipped with screens. It will cost you about $ 63. The device was introduced in August 2016 by Ledger, one of the most famous in the Bitcoin industry.
- Ledger Blue is a premium-class portable hardware wallet, has its own touch screen and connects via USB / NFC / BLE to a PC or smartphone.
- TREZOR was released in August 2014, and it is the first hardware Bitcoin wallet in the world that provides a secure Bitcoin repository with the ability to spend it as conveniently as online wallets. The device is designed in a compact design.
- KeepKey wallet was launched in September 2015 and is considered the second wallet equipped with a screen in history. KeepKey’s large screen has allowed developers to add several new protection measures that are missing in Nano S and Trezor.
- Ledger HW.1 is considered one of the most budget hardware wallets. It does not have a screen, and therefore it cannot be considered as safe as the previous three wallets. Although at the same time it will still be better protected than online wallets.
There’s a huge amount of Bitcoin wallets available, and the choice should depend solely on your requirements and budget. For cold storage, choose a hardware wallet, but if you don’t have money to buy it, install a desktop wallet.
Beginners, active traders, and holders of minor BTC sums can opt for a mobile wallet and web wallets – they are easy to use and don’t require technical skills.
Here is the ultimate comparison of BTC wallets for you to make an informed decision.
|Wallet||Currencies supported||Platforms supported||Protection features|
|Coinbase||BAT, BTC, BCH +25||Online only||2FA, signature, AES-256 encryption, backup keys, transaction limits|
|Cryptopay||BTC +40||Online + mobile app (Android, iOS) + debit card||2FA, signature, recovery transactions, backup keys, transaction limits|
|Blockchain||BTC, ETH, BCH, PAX, XLM||Online + mobile app (Android, iOS)||2FA, signature, email verification, backup phrase, transaction limits|
|Coinpayments||BTC, LTC, BCH +23||Online + mobile app (Android)||2FA, PayByName feature, vault, backup keys, transaction limits|
|GreenAddress||BTC||Online + mobile app (Android)||2FA, signature, recovery transactions, backup keys, transaction limits|
|Electrum||BTC||Desktop||Encryption, private keys, password on PC, Tor support, Multiple Chain Validation, Proof Checking|
|Jaxx||BTC, ETH +80||Desktop, mobile apps||Encryption, private keys, password on PC, backups|
|Bitcoin Core||BTC||Desktop||Encryption, private keys, password on PC, full validation|
|Bitcoin Armory||BTC||Desktop (Mac, Linux, Windows, etc)||Encryption, private keys, password on PC, full validation|
|Bitcoin Wallet||BTC||Android, iOS||Encryption, private keys, 2FA, password|
|Mycelium||BTC||Android||Encryption, BIT ID protocol, private keys, 2FA, password, connection with hardware devices|
|Breadwallet||BTC, ETH, BCH, BNB, BRD, and others||Android, iOS||Encryption, private keys, password|
|Airbitz||BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, Dash, XMR, and others||Android, iOS||S-Crypt password hashing & AES256 encryption, zero client info, private keys, password|
|Ledger||BTC, BCH, ETH +1000||Hardware||Cryptographic secrets protected by chip, confirmation, seed generation, backup, BIP39 seed, 4 digit PIN|
|Trezor||BTC, ETH + hundreds of others||Hardware||Cryptographic secrets protected by chip, firmware confirmation, seed generation, backup, and recovery,|
|KeepKey||BTC, BCH, DASH, DOGE, ETH, LTC, NMC||Hardware||Confirmation, seed generation, password, recovery phrase|