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Bitcoin Wallets for Beginners

Bitcoin wallets for beginners

Bitcoin is far from traditional currency, so keeping it safe is different as well. That’s why you need a Bitcoin wallet.

One of the main ideas behind Bitcoin is empowering people to be their own banks. Since Bitcoin is not a physical thing, it can be stored almost anywhere (including physical things). There are several types of Bitcoin wallets that vary in terms of safety and security, convenience, accessibility, ease of use, device type and so on.

Since owning Bitcoin wallet private key is the only way to claim and prove ownership of your bitcoins, Bitcoin wallets and security go hand in hand.

Bitcoin wallet types

Online (“hot”) wallets, where the private key is stored online or on devices connected to the internet – e.g., on cryptocurrency exchanges or other websites, computers, tablets, or smartphones.

Offline (“cold”) wallets, where the private key is stored on paper or offline hardware like a password-protected USB, computer, or simply in one’s head (when you memorize a special phrase to access your funds). Besides, there are special encrypted cold storage hardware devices like Ledger or Trezor.

Bitcoin wallet for beginners ledger nano
Ledger Nano S hardware wallet. Source: http://unboxgo.com/ledger-nano-s

Online, or “hot”, wallets are less secure due to the threat of hacking. Website wallets are especially vulnerable as you must reveal your private key to a third party. But hot wallets are more convenient for daily use.

It’s thus recommended to use both types of wallets – hot wallets to hold small amounts of bitcoin for daily transactions, and cold, or offline, wallets for storing larger sums. In any case, you can have as many wallets as you want.

Bitcoin wallets for beginners

Here are several easy to use Bitcoin wallets that you can download, install, and use immediately.

Hot wallets

WalletTypeOSFeatures
ElectrumDesktop and mobileWindows, Linux, Mac OS, AndroidPopular Bitcoin wallet
ExodusDesktopWindows, Linux, Mac OSUser-friendly
Jaxx walletMobile and webAndroid, iOS, ChromeMulticurrency wallet
CoinbaseWeb and mobileAndroid, iOSCryptocurrency exchange
Wasabi walletDesktopWindows, Linux, Mac OSPrivacy-oriented
Blockchain.infoMobile and webAndroid, iOSSuper easy to use
Bitcoin walletMobileAndroid, iOSLet's you see local Bitcoin merchants
BinanceWeb and mobileAndroid, iOSCryptocurrency exchange
Samourai walletMobileAndroidPrivacy-oriented
ArmoryDesktopWindows, Linux, Mac OS, RaspberriPiMulti-signature and cold storage options

Cold wallets

WalletPrice RangeFeatures
Paper walletFreeCan be stored both offline and online
Ledger$50-$200Enhanced security, screen
TREZOR$60-$500Screen
KeepKey$80Screen
BitLOX$98-$198Extreme security, privacy-oriented

To learn how to create a Bitcoin wallet, you can follow our guide. Hopefully, these explanations of Bitcoin wallets for beginners are sure to help you take your first step into using the cryptocurrency.

Read more how to choose a Bitcoin wallet here.

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