How to Choose Bitcoin Wallet?

UTC by Andy Watson · 7 min read
How to Choose Bitcoin Wallet?
Photo: QuoteInspector

The cryptocurrency market is unforgiving for mistakes and thus, the key principle of operating in the industry is actually making an educated choice. In this guide, we’d like to provide a detailed explanation of how to choose the right Bitcoin wallet.

With Bitcoin grabbing the attention of both novice investors and amateurs, you may start asking yourself on whether it’s the right time to get in. Indeed, blockchain technology is promised to grow in the future, and, according to Accenture Research, reach its maturity by the year 2025. As follows, blockchain is predicted to become a part of our daily lives just in six years from now. The first step on the road of implementation may be an opening of Bitcoin wallet.

One thing to keep in mind while choosing a Bitcoin wallet – make an educated choice. It is not rare that inexperienced users become victims of scam. Generally, there is a basic list of criteria you may consider when opening your Bitcoin wallet. Below, you will find a more detailed description.

Types of Wallets

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Generally, there are five main types of Bitcoin wallets you should look at. These are: hardware, web, desktop, mobile and paper wallets. Below, a more detailed description of each type is provided, together with the main pros/cons and examples of each type.

Hardware Wallets

This type of wallets is usually considered suitable for long-term investment, since it never comes in contact with the internet (and, for that reason, considered as a cold wallet). Presented in the form of a small USB device, hardware wallets are secure and trusted. All of the private keys are stored offline, and that essentially brings down the possibility of being hacked almost to zero. However, one should be ready that this type of wallet is the most expensive one. For that reason, it is highly advised to get hardware wallet only if you have in mind storing over $1000 in crypto assets on a long-term span.

Advantages: so far, no single case of theft or Bitcoin loss has been recorded with hardware wallets. Apart from that, what makes them appealing is the ease of use – to make a transaction, it is sufficient to plug in the hardware storage into the internet-connected device and get authorized.

Disadvantages: relatively high costs associated with wallet purchase.

Web Wallets

In stark comparison with the previous one, web wallets are the least secure of all types. This type of online wallets provides an access to a multitude of devices with internet connection, since the data is stored on cloud. However, that may be considered disadvantageous too, since it makes users unable to control their private keys. That is exactly what makes the risk exposure in relation to web wallets so high. But, on the positive side, these are probably the most convenient wallets you can get.

Advantages: easy to use, practical and convenient, web wallets are based on a cloud service and therefore can be accessed from multiple devices.

Disadvantages: the highest number of scams have been occurring in the playground of web wallets.

Desktop Wallets

Though it may sound similar to online wallets, desktop versions are different in a number of features. One of them is security, which is substantially higher in the case of desktop wallets. Also, they can be downloaded easily and installed on a PC or laptop with no fuss. In most cases, the internet connection is required, so desktop wallets are generally regarded as hot. However, that has its negative side: if the computer is contaminated with a virus, then there is a hazard of losing all funds stored on the account.

Advantages: convenient and easy to use.

Disadvantages: the risk of getting hacked increases if proper measures were not taken to ensure cybersecurity.

Mobile Wallets

Those are hardly distinguishable from any mobile phone banking apps. And, like banks, they offer the possibility to pay with your funds stored on a mobile wallet in a physical store. Nowadays, it even became possible to order a plastic card bounded to your account – that feature makes mobile wallets most suitable for daily expenses. However, unfortunately, it is not the most secure type out of our list, as there is always a risk of phone loss or malfunction.

Advantages: an incomparable degree of convenience allows to use mobile wallets on the go.

Disadvantages: more protected than online wallets, they are nevertheless lagging behind on security features compared to desktop wallets.

Paper Wallets

Finally, there are paper wallets that offer the utmost security features. As it comes from its name, paper wallets are literally existing only on paper – there is a printed copy of public and private keys that should be used to access your account. But, other than that, the term also refers to software used to generate the keys as well as a digital version of paper to print out. Being classified as cold, it comes as no surprise that paper wallets are having high immunity to cyber-attacks.

Advantages: highly protected and secured, that makes it an excellent variant for the ones opting for a long-term hold.

Disadvantages: to make a transaction, each time the QR code has to be scanned or the private keys have to be entered – that can be wearisome for active users.

Bitcoin Wallet Recommendation

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We made research and would like to present you 6 Bitcoin wallets that deserved our highest esteem.

Coinbase – Best Web Wallet

This wallet is the easiest option if you want to buy and sell crypto. Maintained on multiple devices, it gives a possibility of connecting to a bank account and seamlessly transferring money in and outwards. Combined with instant purchase of digital tokens, that makes it an excellent choice for the ones stepping in a crypto world.

Even though in the past Coinbase was not always a safe haven for Bitcoin (recall the case of Mt. Goxx hack), the platform took a good lesson and made considerable improvements towards security.

Trezor – Best Hardware Wallet

As a hardware wallet, Trezor takes leadership when it comes to security. Taking a form of a separate device, it should be plugged in each time you would wish to access your balance. Trezor can be used for multiple currencies and has other useful features such as password manager and two-factor authentication device. One advice to keep in mind – the loss of password or device itself may entail the long process of recovery. After all, the wallet is meant to protect your funds, so it is doing its job well.

Electrum – Best Desktop Wallet

To store your coins on the web, you may consider going in favor of Electrum. It is supported on Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows and enables connection to hardware wallets. While being an offline wallet, it guarantees security, and at the same time can be installed and run easily by both beginners and advanced users. – Best Mobile Wallet

The platform offers an innovative approach towards cryptocurrency and payments. Selling at a true cost, also offers Metal Visa cards with 5% cashback on all spendings. And that is not all – the users even have a possibility of getting instant crypto loans by deposing cryptocurrency from their accounts. Innovative approach, catchy interface and a variety of features – that’s what makes wallets simply outstanding.

Bitcoin Paper Wallet – Best Paper Wallet

If you want to guarantee the security of your savings, paper wallet is probably the best you can opt for. While generating unique addresses and public and private keys for print-out, Bitcoin Paper Wallet may assure that your long-term savings will remain in the same place, safely stored against hacker intrusion. Besides, its tramper proof technology will guard your account from unintended guests might have the interest to look on your Bitcoin balance.

Things to Keep in Mind

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Prior to registering your wallet on any of the platforms, it is advised to look up for the characteristics you will base your selection on. Among the most common can be listed:

  • Security features
  • Control over private keys
  • Hot/cold wallet
  • Friendliness of interface
  • Compatibility with other devices

Deciding on the purpose of you need your account for, the frequency of future use and devices you want it to be connected is crucial when opening a Bitcoin wallet. This choice will predefine the quality of your future transactions and the experience you get from using your coin storage.

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