As important as having a bank account is before you can make transactions in a bank, so is having a secure wallet in the world of cryptocurrencies. We take you through a host of excellent options to secure your Bitcoins.
What is a Wallet?
Wallet works as an interface that allows you to spend or use your Bitcoin. While a bank account holds and stores whatever money you have or receive, wallets do not—in practice—store your coins. A crypto wallet would hold and only store the private codes or secret key that would authorize and grant you access to your coins. This is why they have to be particularly secure because the anonymous nature of a decentralized platform ensures anyone with the right keys automatically has full access. Crypto wallets are designed and specific to each cryptocurrency. For the best Bitcoin wallet options, they cannot be forced to support another coin say Ethereum for example. In this post, we will only explore the best wallet options for Bitcoin.
Choosing a Wallet type
Before deciding what wallet to store one’s private keys, one must understand the different types of wallet available and what strengths they each have to offer. General types of wallets include hardware wallets—which are considered the most secure, but expensive, Hot wallets, web wallets and software wallets. The last two are the most popular choices, not because they are the most secure but because they strike a fair balance between security and cost.
Best Bitcoin Wallets
To categorize the best bitcoin wallets from the hundreds of options available, they would have to be analyzed separately in their respective categories.
1. Hardware Wallets
The best hardware wallets available on the fly and trusted by many Bitcoin holders can be mostly streamlined to three: the Ledger Nano series, KeepKey and Trezor One. If you are particular about security and have more than a few coins to secure, your best choices would be KeepKey, an old and much-trusted wallet, and Ledger Nano X, a 2019 upgrade on Nano S which costs $119.
2. Android wallets
Android wallets are very common, and the best of them include Salamander which is incredibly dedicated to security and is open source. MyCellium, however, is the most popular Android wallet available on Google PlayStore.
3. IOS wallets
After cracking down on Bitcoin and banning cryptocurrency in 2014, Apple allowed IOS wallets once again, and there are a few popular choices such as Edge, DropBit, and Breadwallet.
4. Desktop Wallets
Desktop wallets are not always advised given they can be prone to attacks if you use the internet frequently and also susceptible to total loss from damage to the computer. Popular desktop wallets include Exodus—which is not entirely open source and Atomic Wallet.
You can choose to store your Bitcoins on crypto exchanges too which are so not advisable. However, if you must, store as only little as possible on exchanges: more than $1 billion worth of bitcoins have been stolen from compromised exchanges.