Bitcoin Wallets

A bitcoin wallet is a software program where bitcoins are stored. In this article we perform bitcoin wallet review, including providing the current best option, by looking at ease of use, security and advanced features for the major bitcoin web and online wallets. There are also wallets that are available on mobile devices only, but most of them are web based or combined. You can also choose offline hardware wallets or cold storage, paper wallets and desktop wallets. All wallets are free to use.

Bitcoin wallets come in many different varieties, many times with trade-offs between ease of use, security and advanced features. Some are just websites that simply offer basic functions of sending and receiving bitcoins and developers try to make these functions as easy to use as possible. Other wallets are feature reach and offer more power and control including advanced options such as buying options, multisig transactions or very safely storing bitcoins.

Coinbaserecommended option

We think nothing comes close to Coinbase in terms of ease of use and security. This is a hosted web-based wallet used for sending, receiving and storing bitcoins. You can use it on a mobile too as Coinbase provides simple iOS and Android app. The platform is very popular and it makes owning and managing your coins very simple. They also take excellent security precautions with two-factor authentication on log-in and keeping the majority of their coins in an offline storage.

The added option is also the ability to simply buy bitcoins (not just store them in your wallet) by adding a bank account or a credit card to your wallet. Also a few services that are directly linked to your Coinbase account appeared recently. By connecting account to their service you get interest on your stored bitcoins.

We also like multisig vault that allows you to place your coins into a very high-security lock. A vault can receive bitcoin payments like a normal wallet, but it prevents bitcoins from being immediately withdrawn by adding additional security steps – you can require mandatory waiting period before the coins can be send away. Overall, we find Coinbase best bitcoin wallet.

BitGo

BitGo is known for high levels of security and its multi-signature wallet. BitGo requires two-factor authentication and uses enterprise-grade security measures to ensure full protection of your bitcoins. You can read more about their security measures here.

The company operates also a security-as-a-service platform that serves the industry’s enterprise bitcoin wallet with solutions for corporate treasury and key management. Some of the biggest bitcoin exchanges and trading platforms are using their technology.

Recently they started offering BitGo Instant service to other bitcoin related services. For example: many trading platforms now support BitGo Instant, allowing you to deposit or withdraw bitcoins instantly and that means no more waiting for transaction confirmations! Prior to this service typical transaction took a few minutes or more to be recorded in a block by miners. Until confirmed in the blockchain, transactions are unsafe to rely on (this is because it is possible for the sender to spend the money elsewhere before the transaction is confirmed). As a result, most bitcoin businesses require multiple confirmations to credit a deposit, which take time. But with BitGo Instant, funds are available immediately after receipt.

Despite the increased security, BitGo is still fairly easy to use.

What is multi-sig or multi-signature bitcoin adress?
There are different types of Bitcoin addresses. The ones that start with number 1 only have one private key, and if you have this one key you can use it to make bitcoin transactions.
For multi-signature wallets, addresses start with 3. This means that the bitcoin address has several private keys associated to it, and transactions can only be executed with the required amount of private keys. In most cases, service providers such as better online exchanges or good trading platforms use a 2 out of 3 multi-sig. It means that one key is held by outside service (such as BitGo), one key is stored in a secure offline location and one is stored at providers servers. At a minimum two keys need to sign a transaction in order to execute it.

Xapo

Xapo combines the convenience of an everyday bitcoin wallet with the security of a deep cold storage vault. They offer most of the services after verifying your identity. You will be able to buy bitcoins, send bitcoins to other account and transfer your bitcoins to your vault.

With multi-signature address settings, you can easily and securely share a single bitcoin wallet among multiple users. This feature provides a convenient way for bitcoin escrow or for groups (friends, family, employees), to view and access a shared pool of funds. With enhanced approval permission settings, you can ensure that any transaction is approved by multiple users.

However, it seems that most users are not really interested in the vault or wallet feature, but they are rather interested in international debit card that is linked to your wallet. The idea is to use the card as any normal debit card, but when you pay with it or withdraw money, spendings are converted instantly from your bitcoins in the wallet.

Hive

Hive has an instant messaging style interface that lets you send and receive bitcoins quickly and easily. It has an integrated application platform and comes with some built-in apps that give you easy access to some of the more popular bitcoin-related services available. Beside user experience built around simplicity we also like the fact, that Hive can be used on any device – you can access your tokens from the iOS and Android apps or via modern mobile and desktop browsers. Hive wallet also supports both bitcoin and litecoin, with a promise that more crypto’s are coming soon.

Related reading

  • There are many other bitcoin wallets that we did not review yet. You may want to look at GreenAdress, Coinapult and others.
  • A bitcoin wallet – definition: it is a software program where bitcoins are stored. To be specific, bitcoins are not really stored anywhere but there is a private key (secret code number) for every bitcoin address that is saved in the wallet of the person who owns the balance. Bitcoin wallets facilitate sending and receiving bitcoins and gives ownership of the balance to the user. They come in many forms: desktop, mobile, web and hardware are the four main types of wallets.
  • Please also note that basically every bitcoin service will already provide a bitcoin wallet. For example, if you buy bitcoin through some exchange, they will put purchased bitcoins into the built-in wallet. However, the major difference between built-in wallets and wallet-only services are in the terms of security.
  • Probably the fastest and the easiest way to get web bitcoin wallet is this service. Try RushWallet. You do not need an email, there is no verification or anything else, you just need to choose wallet password and that is it.

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