Bitcoins were invented by an anonymous team of programmers, and they had an aim of creating a digital currency. Bitcoins are now widely accepted as a form of payment and also can be exchanged with other currencies. Physical money is usually put in bank accounts and therefore, there was a need to create storage for the digital currency as well.
As a result, bitcoin wallets were created to help with the issue of storing digital currency. A wallet comprises of two types of cryptographic keys namely: public keys and private keys. There are five types of bitcoin wallets, and their mode of working is explained below.
Desktop wallets were made by installing bitcoin clients on desktop machines. These desktop applications allow the user to create bitcoin addresses for sending and receiving virtual currency and also safely keep the private key for it.
It was also considered that mobile phones had become the easiest way to reach people remotely was to use a platform that they encounter with most of the time. Therefore, it was convenient to develop a mobile wallet. However, the mobile applications are not entirely bitcoin clients because they do not download the blockchains of bitcoins. The reason why they do not download the blockchains is that the mobile storage cannot easily accommodate the blockchains of the bitcoins.
The mobile wallets are available for all mobile operating systems. The mobile wallet of iOS was scrapped off from the app store in the year 2013 because Apple company had the benefit of doubt on the use of bitcoins. In July 2014, bitcoin wallet applications resurfaced in the iOS application stores with improved versions of the previously made iOS applications. On mobile devices, browsers also support bitcoin wallets and save the user the agony of installing an application.
These wallets store your cryptocurrency information on online servers. These online servers are linked to desktop and mobile applications. Online wallets can be accessed from any device and at any time because they are not localized as compared to mobile wallets and desktop wallets. However, online wallets are considered to be risky because they can give service providers access to control your bitcoins.
Hardware wallets are special devices that have been dedicated to handling bitcoins, storing private keys and also, they can be used in making payments. Most bitcoin users prefer this device to placing their bitcoins into someone else’s hands, who may end up tampering with them.
Ledger USB Wallet
This USB device is highly secured and cannot be accessed just like any other USB memory stick. It requires authentication from the user before it can give access to bitcoin information of an individual.
Paper wallets are the most common way of storing bitcoins, and it is provided by many companies. The bitcoin paper wallet works in such a way that, it has two QR codes printed on it. One QR code allows bitcoin owners to get access to their bitcoins while the other is used for the spending of the bitcoins.
The paper wallet has more security advantages compared to online wallets since private keys on paper wallets are stored physically, and therefore they are nor vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Recommended Wallets For Beginners
Coinbase is a hosted wallet that is user-friendly, and it allows the users to receive bitcoins by email. Its user-friendliness makes it the most suitable for beginners. Coinbase has also developed an android application which enables users to access their account activities in an instant.
Coinbase has established its roots as one company that deals in bitcoins that have not suffered a significant hack compared to other leading bitcoin companies.
Electrum is a bitcoin software that mainly focuses on the security of the user. During the registration process, the users are given a twelve-digit code which they can use to retrieve their bitcoins in case their computers crash.
The wallet is also encrypted which it makes almost impossible for hackers to phish into user accounts.
Bitcoin Wallet For Android And Blackberry
These applications are suitable for those who are used to doing transactions anywhere they are. The recommended application is known as Bitcoin Wallet mobile app which is supported on Android and Blackberry operating system and is among the best cryptocurrency wallets to use. The applications give one full control over their bitcoins.
Blockchain.info falls into the category of web wallets. They own an android application which makes users access their accounts more easily. It is also one of the easiest ways to own a bitcoin wallet because the registration details required are few.