Bitcoin has been making big rounds in the global market, attracting many individuals due to its promise of being an “alternative” currency – a currency that’s not backed by governments and not subject to the faults of normal currency.
Bitcoin supporters explain that cryptocurrencies offer the convenience, security, and privacy that traditional currencies can’t give. If you look how the value of bitcoin has risen compared to a regular currency like, say the American dollar, the difference is astronomical. This is a clear indication that many people are seeing bitcoin as a potential investment.
However, you need to have a clear understanding of cryptocurrencies before you go into them – and this includes the potential risks that come with them. Bitcoin has the capability to rise in value over a short span of time exponentially, but this also means that it can drop to a value near zero just the same. When investing in bitcoin, you should only use money that you’re ok with losing, because there is the possibility that it won’t be a lucrative venture. If you’ve full braced yourself and know every risk, then here are the best bitcoin wallets that will keep your cryptos safe.
Getting the best bitcoin wallet is your first step to securing and using bitcoins. “Why?” you may ask. You can imagine “wallets” as your cryptocurrency bank account that lets you receive and transact with bitcoins or other cryptos.
These wallets are your very own private interface for the bitcoin network, much like an online bank account acts as your interface to the conventional currency system. Every wallet has its own designated private key, and these are the secret codes that prevent access from anyone aside from its owner.
A bitcoin wallet is essentially a device, app, or website that can manage all your private keys. In our guide, we will go through the best bitcoin wallets and each one of their aspects so you can find one that’s the right fit for you.
Here are the types of bitcoin wallets and why they are better (or worse) than the other.
Hardware wallets are not like any other bitcoin wallet because they have a physical body. These devices need to be connected to a phone, tablet, or computer to access your cryptocurrencies. This kind of wallet is an excellent choice if you want a convenient and secure bitcoin storage.
Hardware wallets are often more secure than their software counterparts because they keep your private keys separated from internet-devices. And as you may have known, these devices can be very vulnerable to cyber-attacks. This is the reason why many consider hardware wallets to be the safest bitcoin wallet in the market. Each one of your private keys is being maintained within an offline environment in a hardware wallet. Because of this design, the device remains protected even if it’s plugged into malware-infected computers.
Because bitcoins, or any cryptocurrency for that matter, is digital, many cybercriminals can potentially target an owner’s software wallet and obtain their private key to access their crypto. By generating then storing your private key offline, this makes it virtually impossible for a hacker to breach into your wallet.
Even if a person were to steal the wallet itself, they’d still have other security measures to deal with, such as PIN codes. So you don’t really have to be anxious about your wallet getting lost, damaged, or stolen, as long as the backup code is with you, retrieving your bitcoins is easy.
Here’s a short rundown on all the pros and cons of hardware wallets:
The best bitcoin wallets for hardware are:
One of the best bitcoin wallets manufacturers in the market, Trezor, is the first-ever hardware wallet created for bitcoin. Granted, a few of its competitors have upped their game in recent years; it still remains a relevant force in the market for storing cryptocurrencies.
To put it simply, Trezor might be not as “high-tech,” but this makes it a lot less vulnerable to attacks. In addition, Trezor features a pin code creator that is randomized, and this needs to be used prior to every use. Trezor units are resistant to all malware attacks or all cyberattacks, for that matter.
Considered by many as the leading manufacturer of hardware wallets, the Ledger Nano S does not disappoint. This secure bitcoin wallet can support many cryptocurrencies and boasts an array of safety features.
The Trezor original hardware wallet is the main competitor of Ledger. One distinct advantage that Ledger has over Trezor is that it gives its users freedom to make their own special passphrases. Both Trezore and Ledger models require twenty passphrases to make reset and recovery easier. However, Trezor only sends its users a random list of passphrases instead of having them make their own.
In addition, Ledger wallets have a much sleeker design compared to Trezor’s, if aesthetics plays a large role in your purchases. The Nano is a great place to start if you’re looking for a hardware wallet.
Another potential hardware wallet for your bitcoin storage, DigitalBitbox, offers plenty of security that many software wallets can’t offer. While it doesn’t have the best physical interfacing, it manages to remain a top contender with its open-source, multi-platform software along with a whole slew of useful features.
DigitalBitbox uses a unique adaptation with its backups and passphrase security. This essentially offers you a reliable method of retrieving your crypto when it comes to worst. In addition, it features a multi-layered security system that includes two-factor type authentications and hidden wallets.
Another good reason why you should consider this unit is its price because it’s suited for many budgets. One minor drawback to DigitalBitBox is it doesn’t support a few altcoins. But if you prefer to use bitcoin only, then this wallet is a great option.
A hot wallet is essentially an open bitcoin wallet, which means that it can run on devices that can connect to the Internet, such as phones, tablets, or computers. A private key is a secret code. And because hot wallets have to generate the private keys using Internet devices, these keys aren’t completely secure from cyber attacks.
You can imagine hot wallets as your typical wallet that you store hard cash, not your savings. A hot wallet is good for frequent transactions and payments, but not as permanent storage for your bitcoins.
Here’s a short rundown on all the pros and cons of hot wallets:
To put it simply, you get hardware wallets for keeping your bitcoins safe. And you get software wallets for convenient transactions, another benefit of which is that they’re usually a free bitcoin wallet.
One form of an online wallet is the web wallet that allows you to store private keys online. And they are made secure through encrypted passwords. However, they are still the most vulnerable. Many individuals still use them for their accessibility and convenience.
A web wallet, as the name suggests, can be accessed through a web browser, with your keys being stored through the cloud. Exchanges like Coinbase offer this type of wallet for free if you’re a user of their services.
Web wallets let you access your bitcoins from any Internet-capable device. And to create a bitcoin wallet is very easy and usually doesn’t cost anything. However, you should know that whichever provider you choose holds all of your keys, so you have almost zero control over your wallet’s safety. These providers can potentially steal all of your cryptos, or their network could be breached by hackers.
We advise you not to use web wallets as a permanent form of storage for your cryptocurrencies because they are often the least secure.
With regards to web wallets, the blockchain wallet is quite the odd one out because, unlike the rest, they offer great security. Many even consider this to be the most secure bitcoin wallet.Without blockchain technology, bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency can’t exist. Blockchain wallets are very similar to Coinbase’s in a sense that you can access it through the Internet. And you can do your transactions directly through this platform.
Blockchain lets you receive and send cryptos for a minute fee. You can transact with bitcoin, etherium, stellar lumens, bitcoin cash, and many others. Blockchain is recommending its users to complete all of their security features – two-factor type authentication, email verification, as well as a security phrase back-up. Finally, blockchain is backing up all of the funds of its users as an extra security measure.
This wallet is very easy to obtain, and it’s also convenient for selling and buying with cryptocurrencies. Coinbase lets you connect your bank account, which makes dollar transfers quick and easy. These dollars can be converted into cryptocurrencies. This wallet also supports litecoin, etherium, bitcoin cash, and bitcoin. While many use Coinbase for its convenience, many still worry about its security. At some point in the past, Mt. Gox was the biggest platform for cryptocurrencies. However, a major hacking incident occurred, and users lost a total of $0.5 billion dollars. Coinbase regularly updates its security and user experience, but who’s to say that this kind of incident won't happen again?
You can download a bitcoin wallet app through your phone, and this app can store your bitcoins. Mobile wallets are very simple and convenient, making it a decent choice for people who regularly transact with cryptocurrencies. However, much like other hot wallets, mobile wallets can be subject to cyber hacking and malware attacks, but not as much as web wallets.
There are plenty of mobile android wallets to choose from, some of which are not compatible with Apple products. Here are the top bitcoin wallets we recommend:
Definitely one of the best bitcoin wallets, Samourai offers many useful features, enhanced privacy, and active development. The creators of this app are continuously working to regularly update the security and add new features. This wallet has been in the game for many years, and it’s one of the few that are open source.
Another popular wallet for Android users, Mycelium is very simple and easy to transact with. You can create a backup of your wallet by following the instructions in the backup and setup portion of their tutorial.
Originally a wallet for iPhone users, Breadwallet can now be used in Android devices. This wallet offers its users full control of their private keys, an intuitive interface, and support for passcodes.
One of the best bitcoin wallets, Edge can be used in both Android and iPhone models. It uses a simple login interface that makes it easy to access your cryptocurrencies. Backups of your wallet are automatically created which saves you a bit of time and adds an extra measure of security.
GreenAddress’ Android version of their mobile wallet. This wallet is multi-signature and capable of supporting hardware wallets such as Ledger and Trezor.
This is the first-ever bitcoin wallet for the mobile. It also offers more security compared to other wallet apps because it can connect directly to bitcoin’s network. With its simple interface coupled with a few useful features, Bitcoin Wallet is a good tool for bitcoin transactions.
Back in 2014, Apple banned the distribution of bitcoin wallets in their App Store, but this decision was reversed in just a few months. Today, there are plenty of viable wallet options for people using iOS devices.
Many consider this the best bitcoin wallet for iPhone because of its user-friendly interface. Sending bitcoins is easy because all you need is their phone number. Last but not least, DropBit allows its users full control of their keys.
Airbitz is a user-friendly app that’s made for iPad and iPhone devices, and completely free to install from the app store. It comes with advanced safety features and a user interface that’s easy to use and understand. Airbitz also offers a directory for its users, where you can find bitcoin establishments near you much easier. It also comes with Bluetooth Low Energy support and QR codes to make transactions more convenient.
This wallet was created to ensure the security of BitPay’s funds while offering a great interface to attract potential users. In terms of safety, it offers multiple-signature security transactions and an active Bitcoin Payment protocol. What does this mean? It means that all of your payments are verified by the establishment itself.
What is a bitcoin bank? There is a considerable difference between banks and wallets in real life, and this also rings true for their digital counterparts. Many make the mistake of viewing Coinbase as a wallet for their bitcoin, but these types of exchanges actually operate more similarly to banks.
We’re not saying that these banks are bad, because exchanges such as Coinbase have positively contributed to the world of cryptos by bringing in new users. However, you should always remember that whoever has control over a private key can control the cryptocurrencies of those keys.
A simple misunderstanding can lead to the loss of millions of dollars. This is why you should understand this key difference in the storage of private keys. Before you make use of a bitcoin wallet, you should first understand the technology behind, especially if you want to use it safely. Bitcoin is still very young, so the odds are that wallets will be made more user-friendly in the future.
In the future, many devices might come with wallets that are pre-installed, interacting with blockchain without any consent to the user. Always be aware of the security of your private keys because this is the only way of keeping your cryptocurrencies safe from user error, hackers, or theft.
Remember that private keys are your safety net. If they are compromised, your bitcoins are also compromised. By giving an individual or institution control of your keys, you are creating a “deposit” for that institution, not unlike the deposit that you make in a conventional bank.
Regardless of what kind of wallet you pick, always remember that your cryptos can only be safe if your private keys are securely generated, uncompromised, and fully under your control.
Here are some prime example of users losing millions of dollars because they left their cryptos under the care of third-party service providers:
If you want to avoid scams and theft, here are the basic principles you need to follow:
Securing your wallet is the first step for any potential user before anything else. With owning bitcoin comes not just privilege, but a responsibility as well in safeguarding our assets. There are countless bitcoin or cryptocurrency scams that should have been easily prevented if people took more time and effort to make their money safe. In general, you should never entrust your many with anyone unless you have complete and utter faith in them.
Online security is very volatile because hackers and scammers are always looking for new and better methods of stealing resources, but the same can be said for security systems. Developers of online exchanges and the blockchain itself are constantly updating their security to ensure the safety of their users' assets.
Here are a few extra steps you can take to safeguard your bitcoin: