- Quick Overview on Bitcoin Wallet Guide
- What Are Bitcoin Wallets?
- What Is a Bitcoin Wallet Private Key?
- What Are HD Bitcoin Wallets?
- What Are the Types of Bitcoin Wallets?
- Which Is the Best Bitcoin Wallet for You?
- Important Bitcoin Wallet Concepts to Know
- How to Back Up Your Bitcoin Wallets?
- What Are Transaction Fees for Bitcoin Wallets?
- What Should You Pay Attention to While Choosing Bitcoin Wallets?
- Final Words on Bitcoin Wallets and Our Bitcoin Wallet Recommendations
If you are planning to take in the cryptocurrency world, then your first investment should be in Bitcoin wallets. These wallets come in different forms, and they all serve the same purpose. They can help you to keep your assets and perform transactions of your different cryptocurrencies.
Of course, there are many things to consider while choosing the best Bitcoin wallet for yourself. This is why we wanted to compile this guide for you. Below, you are going to find detailed Bitcoin reviews that will help you to pick the right one. So, let’s start?
Quick Overview on Bitcoin Wallet Guide
Bitcoin wallets can be hardware or software that allows you to access Bitcoin blockchains. They have their own security measures depending on the type of your choice. In general, they can be grouped under two headings as custodial wallets and non-custodial wallets. One of them allows you complete control over your wallet while the other does not.
Here are some of the popular Bitcoin wallet brands you may consider buying:
Of course, there are more brands that you can prefer according to your specific needs. Below, you can find a quick overview of the heading we have shared in our guide.
We wanted to share these headings for those who already know about Bitcoin wallets. In this way, you can directly skip to the relevant heading and learn more. If you are a total beginner, we recommend checking the entire guide.
What Are Bitcoin Wallets?
Bitcoin wallets are the crucial tools that allow Bitcoin transactions. With the help of these tools, you can access Bitcoin blockchains. The best part of these wallets is they are available in many different versions such as desktop, mobile, and even hardware.
You can think of these wallets as your private email to keep your cryptocurrencies. Anyone who would like to send or receive emails must receive a service from any provider such as Gmail. In this respect, your Bitcoin wallet corresponds to Gmail. After that, you need to have a unique email address to send or receive emails. This address is called the Bitcoin address.
Just like your email, you can receive and send Bitcoins through this address. These addresses always start with 1 or 3 and include numbers and letters. An example to a Bitcoin address is 3BautSLRHtKNhgkdXEwdbR76b53LETtplT.
The final element you need is a password to secure your email or Bitcoin address. This is called Bitcoin wallet private key and it is the only way to access your wallet. For safety reasons, you should never share your private key with anyone just like the password of your email account.
Another important thing to consider is you should never keep them in online mediums. Otherwise, it can be hacked, and your assets can be stolen from your wallet. You can write down your private key and keep it in your real wallet or in hardware that will never be connected to the internet.
What Is a Bitcoin Wallet Private Key?
As we mentioned in the previous section, Bitcoin wallet private keys are the passwords that allow you to protect your wallet from unauthorized access. These keys are composed of long sets of numbers and letters. Your wallets can only communicate with the Bitcoin network with the help of this code. Anyone who has this information can easily access your Bitcoin wallet and have full control of your assets.
These Bitcoin wallet private keys are unique to specific Bitcoin addresses. Once you download or run the Bitcoin wallet you are going to prefer, that software will generate a unique and random private key for itself. After that, your Bitcoin address will be linked to that private key and you will be ready to make transactions.
Although your Bitcoin address and private keys are associated with each other, it is not possible to guess the private key by simply checking out the address. No reverse engineering can be performed on this operation since it is a one-way process.
So, as you can understand from the process, your wallet is responsible for the creation, storage, and utilization of the private key. It is an automatic and encrypted process that offers a safe connection to the Bitcoin blockchain. Actually, the wallet you are going to mean nothing if you cannot keep your private key as a secret.
Let us explain the importance of Bitcoin wallet private keys with an example. Let’s say that you preferred a mobile Bitcoin wallet. You access your wallet through your smartphone and your phone is stolen. By the way, you keep your private key on a piece of paper in the drawer of your desk at home. You will not have to worry about your stolen phone for your wallet. Since you already have the key, you can download your Bitcoin wallet to your new phone and access your coins whenever you want.
Differences Between Custodial and Non-custodial Bitcoin Wallets
We talked about the main categorization of Bitcoin wallets at the beginning of this guide. Now it is time to discuss them in detail.
There is a general saying in the Bitcoin community, “If you do not have the keys, you do not have your Bitcoins”. Of course, this is totally optional and therefore, we have provided information about both types you need to know.
Let’s start with non-custodial wallets. These wallets are considered to be the safest type of Bitcoin wallets. You are the only owner of your private key and no one but you can access your wallet and assets.
On the other hand, non-custodial wallets are just the opposite. You can think of these wallets as your bank account. You have your assets in them, but you do not really own them since your assets are stored in a company’s vault.
This creates a risk for cryptocurrency holders. It is because if that specific system will be hacked, all your assets will be hacked too. Since they are stored in virtual environments, hacking will be a risk for you all the time. Of course, these companies take the required measures but after all, every system can be hacked or the company may go bankrupt.
What Are HD Bitcoin Wallets?
As you can guess, the HD in HD Bitcoin wallets does not represent high resolution. HD refers to the hierarchical deterministic concept. Well, what are HD Bitcoin wallets then? These wallets convert your private keys into a set of words, which you can determine on your own. Instead of a long set of numbers and letters, you need to memorize words in the right order.
In this way, you can easily remember your private key and do not have to write it down to keep it in a safe place. One of the other features of these wallets is they can help you to create more than one Bitcoin address.
This means that you can have multiple wallets from the same seed and control each of them individually. In this way, you can receive or send cryptocurrencies from different addresses and keep your main account safe without sharing it with anyone.
What Are the Types of Bitcoin Wallets?
Besides the categorization as custodial and non-custodial, there is one more classification according to the function of these wallets. Bitcoin wallets are divided into two groups as hot Bitcoin wallets and cold storage Bitcoin wallets. Now, let’s check these:
What Are Cold Storage Bitcoin Wallets?
Cold storage Bitcoin wallets, which are also known as cold wallets, are the wallet types that do not have access to any internet connection. In this way, you can provide better and more security for your wallet. Due to this feature, they are classified as non-custodial wallets. Below, you can find more about the types of these wallets, which we are going to also describe brain Bitcoin wallets, a kind of cold wallets, later on.
Paper Bitcoin Wallets
Paper Bitcoin wallets are nothing but a piece of paper on which your private key is written on them. In fact, any piece of paper that you are going to write down your private key to not forget can also be considered in this group.
Of course, you need to keep this paper away from everyone. Some cryptocurrency holders print multiple copies of their paper wallets to take precautions in case they lose the original one.
You need to be really careful while choosing this type as your main wallet. Papers are easily get lost and you may lose all your assets in case you will not have a copy of them in any secure area.
Hardware Bitcoin Wallets
In general, hardware bitcoin wallets are considered to be the safest method to keep your cryptocurrencies. They are physical devices, which you can carry with you all the time. The most common hardware used as Bitcoin wallets is flash drives. You can always connect them to your computer and make transactions from your wallet.
The biggest advantage of these wallets is you can use them on any computer you want. You do not have to worry about whether the computer is infected or not. In general, you need to connect a web page to make transactions from your wallet once you connect your wallet to a computer. Additionally, some wallets require specific software for access.
They are quite easy to use and offer an amazing level of security for Bitcoin holders. They are also the most expensive wallet type when compared to other wallets available on the market. However, the prices are still affordable and most of the traders prefer this wallet type.
What Are Hot Bitcoin Wallets?
Hot Bitcoin wallets may not provide the same level as the previous wallet type, but they are definitely more convenient to use. Unlike previous wallet types, these wallets are connected to the internet by any means. Hot Bitcoin wallets can be in any form such as a wallet accessible through a web platform, a wallet downloaded to your smartphone or a wallet that can only run on computers.
These wallets are the most popular wallets due to ease of access and use. However, you should never forget that you will always have the risk of being hacked. Therefore, we do not recommend these wallets for those who want to take additional security measures for their wallets.
What Are Mobile Bitcoin Wallets?
Mobile Bitcoin wallets are wallets that store the private key on your smartphones. These wallets are usually considered to be the least secure hot wallets available on the market. The risks of getting your phone lost, stolen, or broken are quite high.
However, most mobile wallets offer an additional security measure which is two-factor authentication. We highly recommend using this feature to provide extra safety for your wallets. You can also create a backup for your private key on a cloud service.
On the other hand, they are very convenient. We always keep our smartphones next to us. Thus, you can access your wallet all the time.
What Are Desktop Bitcoin Wallets?
Desktop Bitcoin wallets are another type of hot wallet that is designed to keep your private key on your computer. You need to pay utmost attention to malware or security weaknesses to keep your cryptocurrencies safe.
Since most hackers usually target computers, they bear a higher risk of being hacked. On the other hand, if you often spend time in front of your computer, these wallets can be extremely convenient for you.
What Are Web Bitcoin Wallets?
In general, most traders carry out their trade operations through web services, exchange platforms, and so on. As a result, the majority of the traders also prefer web Bitcoin wallets. They may be a great option for quick transactions, but they bear many risks for storing your currencies for a longer time. Moreover, you will not own the private key but the platform you are receiving services does. This is why they are custodial wallets.
They have a higher risk when compared to other hot wallet types. First of all, if your computer is infected, hackers can access your account through your computer. Additionally, the system or service you are using can be hacked and you can lose all your coins in seconds.
Moreover, you have to rely on the safety and goodwill of the services you use. If the company will go bankrupt or shut down its system, you can still lose all your coins.
On the other hand, they can be quite convenient for those who often spend time on their computers and trade often. In general, most of these services offer two-factor authentication options, which you need to use.
If you are going to prefer this wallet type, we recommend getting another wallet and use it as your main wallet. You can use the web Bitcoin wallets for your quick transactions and daily trades. Otherwise, you will be one of those newbies who lose all their coins when they wake up in the morning.
Which Is the Best Bitcoin Wallet for You?
Unfortunately, there is no single best Bitcoin wallet we can recommend for you. This is all optional and you can get any of them you like. However, it will be worth noting that most of the traders have multiple wallets. Traders usually keep a large portion of their Bitcoin investments in cold storage Bitcoin wallets, and they prefer hot Bitcoin wallets for their everyday transactions.
In the simplest term, you have to choose between security and convenience. You cannot enjoy both concepts to the fullest in any form of bitcoin wallet. Therefore, it is always a good idea to use multiple wallets and make sure that one of them will be hardware Bitcoin wallets. The second one can be a mobile Bitcoin wallet so that you can always carry it with you no matter where you go.
You can ask questions such as how many Bitcoins you are planning to store, how often you will use your Bitcoin wallet, do you want to invest in Bitcoin wallets, are you going to use multiple wallets, will you need to use your wallet during the day, are you planning to share your wallet with anyone else? All these questions will help you to decide on the best option for yourself.
Moreover, you can also think about your technology familiarity for using these Bitcoin wallets. Do you give importance to your privacy, and will you be okay to let a third party keep your private key on behalf of you? Answering the above-mentioned questions will assist you in choosing the right Bitcoin wallet.
Where Can You Get a Bitcoin Wallet?
If you are planning to use mobile or desktop wallets, you can download them from the internet for free or application stores. However, you need to order your hardware Bitcoin wallets from stores or visit any mortar and brick store to buy them.
Those who are going to use web Bitcoin wallets can simply pick any service and signup to them to start using their wallets.
What Are the Best Mobile Bitcoin Wallets?
Here are some of the best mobile Bitcoin wallets that you can prefer to keep your assets safe. Although there are more options available on the market, we recommend choosing one of the following wallets due to security reasons.
BRD Mobile Bitcoin Wallets
If you are looking for a simple mobile Bitcoin wallet, then this should be your choice. It is an open-source wallet and a bit more secure than other options. The best part of BRD is you do not have to register for any system. Once you download and install the application, you can start using your wallet. Since it is an open-source project, it does not offer many features just like other alternatives.
Coinomi Mobile Bitcoin Wallets
You can also prefer Coinomi mobile Bitcoin wallet, which allows exchange within the application. Since you do not have to provide your identity, it allows improved security for the users.
Edge Mobile Bitcoin Wallets
Edge is another open-source wallet, which used to be known as Airbitz in the past. It is one of the beginner-friendly mobile Bitcoin wallets you can prefer, and it supports multiple cryptocurrencies. You will not feel any regret by preferring this wallet.
Ledger Nano X Mobile Bitcoin Wallets
Ledger is one of the best mobile Bitcoin wallets you can prefer. In fact, you are going to find detailed information in the following about this wallet. Ledger Nano X is actually a hybrid wallet that can serve as both hardware and mobile wallet. Due to this feature, it is considered to be the safest option you can prefer.
What Are the Best Desktop Bitcoin Wallets?
Here are some of the best desktop Bitcoin wallets you can easily find on the market. If they are planning to buy desktop wallets, then we recommend choosing one of the following models.
Armory Desktop Bitcoin Wallets
Armory Bitcoin wallets are suitable for every level of traders but in general, it is often preferred by advanced traders. It is an open-source brand that offers well-balanced wallets in terms of security. It is one of the brands that offer multisig wallets.
Bitcoin Core Desktop Bitcoin Wallets
Bitcoin Core offers a full node wallet to buyers. This means that it downloads the entire Bitcoin blockchain to your device. The only downside is this process may take a few weeks. If you have experience in coding or blockchains, you can adjust the download from advanced settings and shorten this time. It is not a beginner-friendly Bitcoin wallet and must be preferred by advanced traders.
Electrum Desktop Bitcoin Wallets
Electrum is one of the popular Bitcoin wallets in the world. Although it may seem a bit challenging for many beginners, you can easily find amazing tutorials about the installation and use. Its interface is a little bit complex too, but you can enjoy amazing features such as Segwit and RBF.
Exodus Desktop Bitcoin Wallets
Exodus is one of the versatile Bitcoin wallets that can hold different cryptocurrencies. We believe it is the most beginner-friendly desktop Bitcoin wallet you can prefer. Moreover, it also allows you to carry out the transaction with your wallet and supports cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin, and Dogecoin. The best part of this wallet is it is compatible with Trezor hardware Bitcoin wallets and offers mobile services.
What Are the Best Hardware Bitcoin Wallets?
Below, you can find some of the best brands that offer hardware Bitcoin wallets to traders. You can visit their official pages to buy those wallets or simply order them through eCommerce platforms.
CoolWallet Hardware Bitcoin Wallets
If you are looking for a stylish wallet, then you can prefer CoolWallet. This wallet looks like a credit card, and you can activate it by simply pressing a button on it. One of the outstanding security measures in the card is you need to keep it close to your mobile app to send coins. Otherwise, it will not be activated.
KeepKey Hardware Bitcoin Wallets
KeepKey wallet is another amazing option you can prefer, especially you are looking for a stylish design. This wallet is our favorite in terms of appearance. It is a great choice for tech-savvy people, and you can store various cryptocurrencies in it.
TREZOR Hardware Bitcoin Wallets
TREZOR is one of the most popular hardware Bitcoin wallet manufacturers in the world. Whether you are a beginner or expert, you can easily use their wallets. The best side of the company is their products are equipped with extra safety measures. TREZOR is also one of the most reputable Bitcoin wallet companies in the industry. It will be worth noting that TREZOR Model T has a built-in touch screen.
Ledger Hardware Bitcoin Wallets
If security is important for you then you can prefer Ledger Bitcoin wallets too. They are hardware, which you need to connect to your computer to run them. You can easily make transactions through their products as soon as you connect them. Moreover, Ledger offers a wide range of products to buyers.
Important Bitcoin Wallet Concepts to Know
There are three concepts that we would like to share with you about Bitcoin wallets. We believe that these concepts can affect your purchasing decisions, so we highly recommend checking them out.
What Are the Brain Bitcoin Wallets?
Do you remember the HD wallets we have mentioned before? Brain Bitcoin wallets are typically the same. They are predetermined text or a series of words that can be used instead of your original private key. In this way, you can easily remember your private key and do not worry about losing it.
The only challenge in these wallets is they are prone to hacking. This is because people tend to use words that are easy to guess, and this creates a great security weakness. Moreover, there is a method that most hackers are aware of for hacking brain wallet passwords.
Many studies were conducted about the security of these wallets and unfortunately, they all failed. On Reddit, you can find a post in which a user got his 4 Bitcoins stolen after using brain Bitcoin wallets. He used an unknown Afrikaans poem, but language is not a barrier for attacking software.
Therefore, make sure that you include numbers and even symbols in your password. However, since you are going to include all these, why should you not use the original private key that offers more security? Although this wallet is an option, we do not recommend it to anyone.
What Are the SPV Bitcoin Wallets?
Before talking about SPV Bitcoin wallets, we need to talk about full node wallets. These wallets download and run the entire blockchain to provide extra security. On the other hand, SPV wallets benefit from the full nodes and use simplified payment verification to provide extra security.
As you can guess, they operate faster and require less space. If you do not want to deal with extra-large files and long processes but enjoy extra security, then SPV Bitcoin wallets can be a great option for you. These wallets can also run on smartphones, computers, and tablets.
What Are the Multisig Bitcoin Wallets?
Multisig Bitcoin wallets offer extra security by requiring the approval of multiple private keys. Multisig stands for multi-signature, and these wallets have more than one private key that can be shared between wallet owners.
Let’s assume that you, me, and one of your friends are going to invest in Bitcoins together. Since you both do not know me personally, you are going to hesitate to invest together. How can you know that I will not transfer all our Bitcoins to my personal wallet? This is where multisig Bitcoin wallets are used.
We all three have unique private keys and none of us will be able to make anything with these Bitcoins unless the other two people approve the transaction.
Now, let’s assume that 5 more people want to invest together with us, and we accept all. Now one wallet has 8 owners. These wallets become handy again because we can create different key combinations. For example, money transactions may require five out of eight keys to be processed through these wallets.
They are generally used in large businesses and private keys belong to members of the board of directors. However, you can still use it between your friends and family members.
Another usage area of these wallets is escrow services. If a buyer and seller cannot agree on the conditions of a trade, an independent third party can get involved in the process. Once the buyer and seller approve the trader, the third party can approve and realize the transaction.
How to Back Up Your Bitcoin Wallets?
Private keys as well as the seeds are the most important information for the security of your assets. If you will lose any of these data, you will never be able to access your wallet again. In the same way, anyone who finds them will have full control over your wallet.
All Bitcoin wallets but HD Bitcoin wallets create the private key in a file called wallet.dat. It is important for you to copy and save it to another device. It will be better if that device will not have any active connection such as external flash drives.
If you are going to use HD Bitcoin wallets, then you need to write down the set of words somewhere else. It is a metal plate that is impossible to destroy. You can keep your private key on it and do not worry about anything.
What Are Transaction Fees for Bitcoin Wallets?
Just like all financial assets, Bitcoin transactions are subject to transaction fees. It is a great way to encourage Bitcoin miners and used as a kind of safety measure for the next block of transactions. As you can guess, the transaction fee is higher depending on the size of your transaction.
The price of the transaction fee also determines how fast the transaction will be held through the blockchain. This is why you may always want to use higher transaction fees while making payments to other people or systems. On the other hand, you may want to keep the transaction fee while transferring your funds from one wallet to another.
Well, how do these transaction fees are determined? Of course, they vary depending on the number of transactions to be confirmed. This totally depends on the trade volume and every day you may find a different fee while transferring your Bitcoins.
Here is some brief information that you may want to know about your wallets and their fee handling capacities. Some Bitcoin wallets allow you to determine your own transaction fees while others do this process automatically for you. Segwit Bitcoin wallets can help you to reduce your transaction fee costs. Wallets supporting Segwit can reduce your transaction file sizes to achieve so.
RBF Bitcoin wallets allow you to bid on your current transaction fee to make sure that it will be carried out quickly. It will withdraw the current transaction and send it with a higher fee so that you will not have to wait for it anymore.
What Should You Pay Attention to While Choosing Bitcoin Wallets?
Although you need to be really careful in every step of your trades, there are two common things that we would like to warn you about. You need to open your eyes wide to prevent any unwanted scenario.
Hardware Bitcoin Wallet Tampering
You should avoid buying second-hand hardware Bitcoin wallets at all costs. In fact, you should never buy it from anywhere apart from the manufacturers. Although the majority of the Bitcoin wallets have extra security measures that will inform you about tampering, you still need to be really careful.
Another thing you need to pay attention to is the holographic sticker on your device. If this sticker has been removed before or there are traces that prove so, you should return it. You should also avoid wallets, which seed phrase is generated by the manufacturer. This process should be carried out by the device itself once you receive it.
This guy on Reddit bought Ledger Bitcoin wallet, which he received a 24-word seed phrase on the device. He did not suspect anything and started to use the wallet. After a while, all his Bitcoins were stolen since the seed was generated by someone else.
Some Mobile Bitcoin Wallets Can Steal Your Bitcoins
Bitcoin is a profitable business for hackers too and from time to time they upload mobile Bitcoin wallets to Google Play. The only intention of these wallets is to steal the funds of the traders. Unfortunately, you cannot know whether an application is malicious or not before it is too late and without checking its code.
This is why we highly recommend preferring well-known and open source mobile Bitcoin wallets to prevent such problems. There are many reputable applications that you can prefer. Moreover, always make enough research before choosing a new wallet.
We have gathered the best and most reputable Bitcoin wallet reviews for you in this guide. All these wallets are quite safe to use, and you will not have to worry about your security.
Final Words on Bitcoin Wallets and Our Bitcoin Wallet Recommendations
Since you reached this point in our guide, now you know everything you need to know about Bitcoin wallets. It is all up to you to determine the best one for yourself. However, we would like to share some of our favorite Bitcoin wallets with you in this section too.
Almost all our team used Edge as the mobile Bitcoin wallet, and we can recommend it to all with ease of mind.
Always have a hardware Bitcoin wallet to keep the majority of your investments. In this sense, our team is divided into two groups. We have Ledger lovers and TREZOR lovers. They are both amazing options for beginners.
You do not have to pick any of the above-mentioned recommendations. What matters in Bitcoin wallets is your preferences and needs. You can always leave a comment on this article about your questions. We will try to do our best to assist you.