Best Bitcoin Wallets — Which One is Right for You?
One of the first things I had to learn when I started working with cryptocurrency was that it’s important to have a wallet to store your digital coins. There are many great wallets available, but sometimes it can be tough to know where to start. But before we get too far into which wallets are right for storing Bitcoin, let’s talk about what a Bitcoin wallet is.
What is a Bitcoin Wallet?
When we’re talking about a Bitcoin wallet, we’re talking about a software program that keeps your Bitcoin safe via private keys (we’ll talk more about these in a bit). Typically, cryptocurrency wallets come in either software or hardware form. These wallets grant you a public Bitcoin address, usually via an internet connection. This helps to facilitate selling or buying your Bitcoin.
To hold any type of digital currency or crypto assets, you’ll first need to have a blockchain wallet. Many wallets you’ll find now support not only Bitcoin but also let you hold many other digital currencies as well. So if you want to hold Ethereum, Ripple, and Stellar along with your Bitcoin, you can probably find a wallet that will allow you to do so.
Types of Wallets
There are several types of wallets in which you can store your Bitcoin: hardware, desktop, mobile, paper, and web. These wallets all have differentiating features. Let’s go through these wallet types so you can determine which makes the most sense for you.
Hardware wallets are often called cold wallets since they are not connected to the internet. These types of wallets operate entirely offline and have a physical piece of hardware which you use to store your Bitcoin. Cold wallets are usually thought to be safer as they aren’t susceptible to hackers or anyone else with nefarious intents who might be lurking online.
As the name implies, desktop wallets are installed directly to the desktop of your computer. These wallets provide users with complete control over their cryptocurrencies. Users can create Bitcoin addresses which they can use to sell or buy their BTC. Additionally, desktop wallets let users store their private keys.
Mobile wallets offer more in the way convenience since you can take them with you wherever you go. You can usually find these in the respective marketplaces of your Android or iPhone. Some are free and have ads while others might run you a few dollars. Just remember that typically you want a wallet that will do exactly what your desktop wallet does.
Of course, one of the biggest advantages of having a mobile wallet for your cryptocurrency is that you can use it to make or receive payments no matter where you are. You can also use it to pay for physical goods if you happen to be shopping or dining in a store or restaurant that accepts crypto.
Another type of wallet you can find, although it’s not as popular as others, is a paper wallet. A paper wallet is your private and public keys printed together on a piece of paper. For those keeping score, a paper wallet is considered a cold wallet since it is completely offline. A paper wallet is made of anything you can print on (although most people just use paper).
A web-based wallet is just what it says. It’s a wallet that keeps your digital currencies in a wallet stored online. Therefore, if you want to access your Bitcoin, you have to have a connection to the internet. While these types of wallets do offer more in the way of integration and flexibility, they are also subject to the dangers of being online, like hacks.
As you can see, there are several different options when it comes to the types of Bitcoin wallets available. Within each of these categories are additional choices that may or may not work for you. Understanding your Bitcoin wallet is critical and will help you make the right choice for storing your BTC.
Selecting a Bitcoin Wallet
If you’re looking to get into Bitcoin or even cryptocurrency in general, then you’ll want to have a wallet. Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine which wallet makes the most sense for what you’ll be doing.
The best thing you can do is find detailed reviews about Bitcoin wallets that meet the requirements you need. I plan on doing a few more here, but for now, I’ll include links to the ones I include below.
Here are a few of the more popular wallets you’ll find for storing your Bitcoin.
One of the best hardware Bitcoin wallets on the market is the Ledger Nano. This wallet is user-friendly and provides support for no fewer than 40 cryptocurrencies. That means if you plan on buying more than Bitcoin, the Ledger Nano is a great option for you.
The device only has two buttons, so it’s easy to use. Any actions you want to perform can be validated on the screen of the Ledger Nano. The wallet offers both back-up and restore capabilities, which means you can easily recover your data if you lose it.
One of the first cryptocurrency hardware wallets to hit the market was the Trezor. With this hardware wallet, you can store a wide variety of digital currencies offline. It supports Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Dash, and many, many other digital assets.
Like the Ledger Nano, the Trezor is a wallet that’s great for those new to crypto. This secure and private wallet offers two-factor authentication, encrypted cloud storage, SSH, and a bevy of other features that make it well worth the price.
The first (but not necessarily the best) web-based wallet on our list is Copay. You can download this multi-signature wallet from the Google Play or iOS app store if you want to use it on your smartphone. It will also work on Linux, Mac, and Windows devices.
There are plenty of features available with the Copay wallet, including two-factor authentication, secure payment validation, and complete support for Bitcoin’s Payment Protocol. The Copay code is open-source, so if you want to customer your wallet, you can.
The Exodus hot wallet is a fantastic combination of several services in one platform. It serves as a wallet, an exchange, and a portfolio, all in one place. With the Exodus wallet, you can trade your favorite cryptocurrencies, while maintaining the security and privacy Exodus is known for. It’s a great feature for those new to crypto.
You can make the app your own with some personalization settings, and you always have complete control of your private keys. There are beginner-friendly charts included in the wallet, along with a way to track your portfolio’s value in real-time.
Even though Jaxx isn’t as popular as some of the other wallets on this list, it’s still a solid wallet to have for your Bitcoin. It’s a free hot wallet which you can download for your Android or iOS devices. You can pair it with several devices and also use it with Linux, Mac, and Windows operating systems.
If you’re interested in more than Bitcoin, this is a solid option as it supports more than 85 different cryptocurrencies. It’s great for beginners as it has a simple and friendly user interface and straightforward navigation throughout the app. Users get an extra layer of security with two-factor authentication, along with other features that are included with the wallet.
If you want a popular and highly rated Bitcoin wallet for your BTC, then look no further than Mycelium. While it doesn’t boast the features many other wallets have, it has some unique ones that users like.
For instance, the app will provide blockchain-based fiat accounts and debit cards that link to the wallet. Eventually, Mycelium wants to start a cryptocurrency exchange through its software, which would make having the wallet even more convenient and useful.
Edge is another wallet that lets you store a variety of your favorite cryptocurrencies. You can use the Edge wallet on either your Android or iOS devices. It’s really easy to install and start using, so if you’re looking for simplicity, you might give Edge a try.
Whether you’re an active trader or a long-term HODLer, the Edge wallet offers a wallet that lets you hold and exchange your digital assets when you’re on the go. Additionally, Edge lets its users buy and sell crypto, which means you don’t have to visit an exchange every time you want to invest in a little more Bitcoin.
As the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, Coinbase has no shortage of users. It also offers a wallet service, which gives you the ability to buy, sell, and trade your Bitcoin from a single platform. The downside to Coinbase is that the site does charge some of the highest fees on the market. However, many users are willing to overlook this as they can perform all their crypto needs in one place.
As you can see, there are lots of Bitcoin wallets from which you can choose. Some of the choices listed here are some of the more popular ones, however, there are others available as well. As you make your decision, consider what you plan on doing with your wallet. Are you going to HODL you Bitcoin? Do you want to trade it? The answer to these questions might dictate which Bitcoin wallet you choose.
Let me know your thoughts, along with which wallets are your favorite Bitcoin wallets.