A Bitcoin wallet is a software program where Bitcoins are stored. To be technically accurate, Bitcoins are not stored anywhere, there’s a private key(secret number) for every Bitcoin address that’s saved in the Bitcoin wallet of the person who owns the balance. Well it comes in many forms :desktop, mobile, web and hardware are the four main types. They are as follows according to their platforms supported and other features:
Software Bitcoin Wallets:
- Electrum: Ranked number one as the most versatile desktop wallet available. It can be used on various platforms like Windows, OS X, Linux and Android. It’s safe as private keys are encrypted and never leave your computer. It’s fast as it uses servers that index the Bitcoin block-chain. Also it verifies all transactions in your history using SPV. It has got two factor authentication(2FA) and multisig as well.
- Breadwallet:It is our highest ranked iOS wallet available. Mobile Bitcoin wallet needs to be fast and lightweight, as no-one wants to wait around minutes or even hours to synchronise with the block-chain. Breadwallet uses the SPV mode to achieve this goal, resulting in direct synchronisation with the network. Its source code is open source, which lets anyone inspect the code and make their own additions for personal use if they prefer to do so. But Breadwallet has some improvements to take into consideration. There’s no support for multi-signature-which is not a deal-breaker for most people-nor is there 2FA built in.
- Airbitz: A relatively new Bitcoin wallet launched in 2015. This is one of the nicest and most fun mobile Bitcoin wallets to try if you are an Android or iOS user. Although there’s no support for Windows Mobile and Blackberry at this time. It’s basically a HD wallet, which lets users change the address for every single transaction and provide some additional privacy. To make the whole concept on using Bitcoin wallet on a mobile device more appealing, Airbitz team has built in a feature to search transactions based on associated notes, payee, or category. However, the platform is open source.
- Multibit HD: It is another great light desktop wallet. It offers almost identical features that Electrum provides. However, it doesn’t support multisig wallets. It supports platform like Windows, Linux and OS X.
- Mycelium Android wallet: A great wallet available for Android users. The private keys are stored on your phone, just like Breadwallet, this means there are no servers to hack! Mycelium awards extra security with the implementation of watch only addresses. Check out this full Mycelium wallet review for a more in detail overview.
- Blockchain Bitcoin wallet: It has both an Android and an iOS with the addition of a website. The private keys can be stored on both mobile as well as online meaning if the site goes down, access to the coins are lost! The cross platform compatibility and the ability to gain full control over your bitcoins rank Blockchain as the top online wallet.
- Jaxx wallet: It’s one of the most popular multi currency wallet out there. What sets Jaxx wallet apart is the fact that they support more than just Bitcoin. Ethereum, Dash, and Litecoin are just a few examples of supported crypto-currencies. Jaxx claims that they don’t store user information and one isn’t required to provide any information to start using the wallet.
- Green Address wallet: It packs a good number of features, like instant transactions, 2FA, address book, and transaction history. It supports the platform like Windows, OS X, Android, and Chrome. The main issue with this wallet provider is the stability of the site. For a full review,checkout this article Green Address Bitcoin Wallet.
Hardware Bitcoin Wallets:
- Trezor: A reputable hardware wallet launched in 2014 which allows multisig. Trezor is the safest way to store your Bitcoins. Being a hardware wallet it is much difficult to hack.Checkout this article for its full review for Trezor.
- Ledger Nano wallet: It’s the cheapest hardware wallet out of the 3. Just like other two, it keeps your private keys offline, preventing any malware on your infected machine to compromise your wallet. Furthermore, it includes a security card which acts as a 2FA feature while authorising transactions.
- Keepkey wallet: It comes in a higher price point of $239 but offers a sleek design and an easy user interface for authorising transactions. It’s also a HD wallet and allows for secure offline storage of funds with cold storage.
That’s all about the Bitcoin wallets. Happy online Bitransactions 🙂