The beauty of Bitcoin is that you are your own bank. You manage your Bitcoin using your wallet; no other person has access to your wallet except you. (Unless you give somebody access to your wallet by sharing your private key.)
What Is A Bitcoin Wallet?
A Bitcoin wallet is comparable to a regular digital bank account where you can send, receive, and manage your Bitcoin. A BTC wallet serves as a storage facility for your coins. When you buy BTC, it is sent to your wallet, where you manage your coins. You can also send your Bitcoin somewhere else simply by choosing the option ‘Send’ in your wallet and entering the receiving address of the recipient. The coins will be sent to the recipient’s wallet from your own wallet.
Which Bitcoin wallet should I choose?
There are several bitcoin wallets in use today. Some are available for free while others are paid. There are several factors that will determine the type of wallet you choose. Some factors to consider are the level of experience you have, what you want to use the Bitcoin for and the quantity of Bitcoin you intend to hold.
Creating a Bitcoin wallet is simple. There are three types of wallets which are: mobile wallet, software and hardware wallet. Hardware wallets are reputed to be the safest since they are not connected to the internet and therefore not susceptible to hacking.
Mobile and software wallets are often free. These wallets have multiple providers, and each wallet is unique in its own way with regards to things like ease of use and security.
Choosing A Bitcoin wallet
Bitcoins need to be stored inside a Bitcoin wallet, a piece of software that helps you manage your Bitcoins (i.e. send them, receive them, store them).
After the purchase of Bitcoin from an exchange, it is highly recommended they are moved from the exchange into a personal wallet in order to exercise full control over your coins.
This keeps the coins safe from potential hacks on the exchange.
Here is a list of our best Bitcoin wallets for 2021
The Best Bitcoin Wallets of 2021
- Best for Beginners: Exodus
- Best for Advanced Bitcoin Users: Electrum
- Best for Mobile Users: Mycelium
- Best Hardware Wallet: Ledger Nano X
- Best for Security: Trezor Model T
- Best Bang for Your Buck: Ledger Nano S
Bitcoin Addresses and Private Keys
A wallet usually holds two important pieces of information:
Your private key — also known as a seed phrase. This is like the secret code for your wallet. You should keep your private key safe and definitely not in a file on your computer or on the cloud! Whoever gets hold of the seed phrase can access your wallet and gain control of the Bitcoins in it.
Your Bitcoin address — Just like your email address, this is where people can send your Bitcoins. It’s a string of letters and numbers (alphanumeric) that start with a “1” or “3”. Here’s an example: 1BvBMSEYstWetqTFn5Au4m4GFg7xJaNVN2. It can be revealed to others and there’s no need to hide it.
Bitcoin Wallets and Security
Below are some of the security issues relating to a Bitcoin wallet;
- Malware Stealing Key: Malicious software can scan your device and steal your private keys, which means it can steal your Bitcoin in a matter of minutes.
- A digital exchange can conduct an “exit scam” and make off with your Bitcoin.
- You can lose your laptop or your phone with your wallets installed on them.
Protecting your BTC from thieves
- Ensure you are cautious and verify everything. For instance, you could receive an email that looks like it’s from Coinmama, but it is actually from “Coinmana”. If you approve it, your Bitcoins could disappear immediately. This widespread type of scam is called “phishing”.
- If using a desktop or mobile wallet, avoid unknown websites, as they may carry malware.
- If someone asks you to send them Bitcoin and promises to send you back more — don’t do it, it’s a scam.
- If anyone asks you for your Bitcoin private key, don’t send it to them because it enables them to steal your coins.
How to Buy Bitcoin
Here’s a quick guide for buying Bitcoin:
First of all, choose a cryptocurrency exchange that is reputable. There are many popular ones like; Binance, Coinbase, Kucoin, etc.
- Head to the crypto exchange and sign up.
- Locate BTC and click on “Purchase”
- Choose the amount of BTC you want and the payment method (Debit/credit card)
- Purchase your BTC.
How To Send and Receive Bitcoin
Sign in to the crypto exchange and locate the cryptocurrencies.
- Besides the “BTC” row, Tap the ‘Receive’ button on the screen of your Bitcoin wallet app.
- Select the wallet where you wish to receive Bitcoin. If you’re getting Bitcoin Cash, choose a (BCH) wallet; if you’re receiving Bitcoin, use a (BTC) wallet.
- Your chosen wallet will produce a receiving address for you. By tapping the QR code, you may copy this information.
- Give the sender this address, or if you’re in person, the sender can simply scan the QR code on your wallet with their smartphone.
- Tap the ‘Send’ button on the screen of your Bitcoin wallet app.
- Paste the wallet address of the receiver into your own wallet app. Select “Scan QR code” and scan it with your smartphone if you’re in person.
- Select the wallet from which you wish to send Bitcoin. If you wish to transfer Bitcoin Cash, use a BCH wallet; if you want to send Bitcoin, choose a BTC wallet.
- Tap ‘Continue’ after entering the amount you want to send.
- Double-check that all of the details are correct, then send.
We hope the above tips are helpful. Always remember to keep your private key secure. As the cryptocurrency ecosystem expands, so do the crypto scams and each day scammers are devising various means of swindling traders out of their cryptos. To be on the safer side, always integrate all the security methods in your account like the 2FA authentication.