Hi there! Today I’d like to give you an in-depth review of best bitcoin wallets of 2019. In general, bitcoin wallet is a piece of software that is used to store, send or receive Bitcoin. Nowadays Bitcoin wallets are available for desktop, mobile and even as a hardware device. There are plenty types of wallets up to date, but lots of features and parameters must be taken in consideration to choose the best one. I didn’t actually expect the article to be this big, so I’ll provide you with the short summary of best wallets for 2019 so far (in my humble opinion of course).
1. Bitcoin wallets
Basically, bitcoin wallet is a piece of software that is used to store, send or receive bitcoins. Bitcoin wallet is dealing with blockchain to achieve that. There are plenty of types of wallets available for all platforms (desktop, mobile etc.) and even as piece of hardware (so-called hardware wallets). Every bitcoin wallet has a unique personal address, that is called Bitcoin address.
Usually, it looks something like that: 1BoatSLRHtKNngkdXEeobR76b53LETtpyT
You will also need a password. Usually, it is randomly generated by your bitcoin wallet software. This password is also called a private key.
2. Private key
Private key is a line of numbers and letters that is used as a password to get access to your bitcoin wallet. You need to remember one simple thing: do not share your private key with anyone. Also, your private key is used for your Bitcoin address generation. And don’t be afraid, since no one could decrypt your private key from your Bitcoin address, since the process is one-way.
3. HD wallets
As the time passed, HD wallets popped out. Instead of generating unrecognizable and unmemorable private key, HD wallets will generate a simple english phrase (also known as mnemonic phrase or a seed). It is usually a line of simple english words that can be easily memorised.
HD wallets can also generate many Bitcoin addresses from a single mnemonic phrase.
4. Choosing the best bitcoin wallet
Well, different goals require different Bitcoin wallets. E.g. you will use some to store big amount of BTC, and the other ones will be used for bitcoin trading or small transactions.
Before choosing a best wallet for you, some factors must be taken into consideration:
- do you need a free bitcoin wallet or you can afford a paid one
- do you need a multicurrency wallet
- what amount of BTC you will be storing
- do you need to take the wallet with you when you are travelling
- will you be the single user, or you will share your bitcoin wallet with your spouse or your friends
- are you literal in tech and IT or you just want you wallet simple
- will you accept the third-party to provide your bitcoin wallet security
Bitcoin wallet types
1. Cold storage: The best way to possess BTC
Cold wallets (or cold storage) is always referred to any wallet that is not connected to the Internet. It is pretty simple. It is not accessible from the web, thus it can not be hacked. Cold storage wallets include paper wallets, brain wallets and, last but not least, hardware wallets.
In a nutshell, paper wallets and brain wallets are best described by their names. To use a paper wallet, you just use a list of paper to write down your private key and bitcoin address.
To use a brain wallet, you just MEMORIZE your private key and bitcoin address. Not very convenient, isn’t it? The best option is to use hardware wallets.
Basically, hardware wallet is a storage device that is used to store your private keys, obviously. Hardware wallets in the form of a USB Flash device are the most popular right now:
Hardware wallets are designed to secure your private key and have some special software installed in order to protect your information even is some spyware or malware is trying to gain access to it. They are so secure that you can even use them on some public PCs safely!
My hardware wallets of choice:
|Cryptocurrencies||Platforms supported||Multisignature||Fee management|
|Ledger Nano S|
|Multiple||iOS, Android, Web||No||Segwit|
2. Hot wallets: The most handy way of Bitcoin storage
Hot wallet is basically any wallet that is constantly connected to the internet. It can be a wallet that is stored on some online cloud, or just a wallet that is installed on your PC that has some 24/7 internet connection. While being the most popular ones, hot wallets are usually least secure ones, since they can be hacked (obvious, isn’t it?).
Mobile wallets are pieces of software for one or both mobile platforms (iOS and/or Android), and they store your private key on your phone. Personally, i don’t like them. Phone can be easily damaged, stolen or lost, even if the phone itself is password-protected. Nevertheless, some of mobile wallets provide pretty good security level.
Some of the best mobile wallets up to date:
|Platforms supported||Multisignature||Fee management|
|Desktop, Android, iOS||Yes||Pre-set|
|Desktop, iOS, Android, Web||Yes||Customizable|
|Desktop, iOS, Android, Web||No||Pre-set|
|iOS, Android, Web||Yes||Customizable|
|Web, iOS, Android||No||Customizable|
|Desktop, Android||Yes||Customizable, Segwit|
|iOS, Android, Web||Yes||Customizable, Segwit|
Being almost the same, desktop wallets use your PC to store your private key. Your wallet and your private key will be secure as long as your computer is free of any security weaknesses and spyware.
Best desktop wallets are:
|Yes||Pre-set, Segwit, RBF|
Always do your backup
Since mnemonic phrases and private keys are, literally, the keys to your possessions, the must be secure. And the must be secured from hardware malfunction the same as they are protected from hacking. You see, you will lose the access to all your bitcoins if your private key is lost one way or another.
Usually, every Bitcoin wallet software will create a special file (usually named wallet.dat) to contain the private key. This file MUST be backed up to a safe location (or several of them). Your PC’s unencrypted drive is not a safe location by the way. You must back it up to some encrypted media, internal or external, or even on a piece of paper.
HD wallet will provide you with a mnemonic phrase (or a seed). Encrypt it and copy to any internal or external storage device. And again , write it down to some piece of paper and make sure that nobody except you will see it.
You must also remember that every BTC transaction has a transaction fee attached. This comes from the nature of blockchain. The bigger the size of your transaction, the bigger will be the transaction fee. And you will need to pay it if you want to be confirmed in the next block. Transaction fee is quite a time sensitive thing. And higher the fee – higher the speed. For e.g., i don’t care if funds transfer between my desktop wallet and my hardware wallet will take a week or two, so i’ll use some low fee. However, if i’m ordering pizza or trading bitcoins online, i will likely use high fee to get my money quickly.
Concerning transaction fees, you must be aware of some features of BTC (and Blockchain in general).
Segwit. Generally speaking, Segwit is an upgrade to Bitcoin Blockchain protocol, allowing the transaction file size to be shrinked (obviously reducing the fee required). Segwit addresses will always begin with “3”, not with “1”
You must also be aware of common ways that criminals will use to steal your BTCs.
There are basically two of them – software and a hardware one.
Sometimes, hackers will present some new fancy software (usually bitcoin wallets, usually via Google Play or App Store). Don’t be a fool and DO NOT download any software without reading any reviews. DO NOT download any software with only the reference from someone else. You should check my reviews monthly and use only the software with great reputation within cryptocurrency communities.
Also, some hardware wallets can be released, and claimed to be the best one. Again, don’t rush and DO NOT buy any hardware wallets without reading any reviews.
You are also free to ask questions in the comments below, i’ll answer you as soon as i have time.
Best bitcoin wallets short reviews
Now, i’d like to introduce you to a short summary of the most popular bitcoin wallets up to date.
Ledger Bitcoin Wallet
Ledger is a cold storage wallet, with security being its main feature. It is basically a device, that gives you some in-depth protection. It doesn’t allow you to send bitcoins from your wallet without the possession of Ledger device. With Ledger Nano S being the most popular one, you will also run into Ledger Unplugged – GREAT contactless wllet.
- Pros: HIGH security level, user friendly
- Cons: Expensive, not as good from usability point of view (basically, this is all cold wallets’ issue)
Explore Ledger devices.
Trezor bitcoin wallet
Trezor is great to store LARGE amount of BTC. High-level security of hardware wallets, combined with usability and flexibility of the web ones.
- Pros: HIGH security level, very user-friendly, additional wallets and cryptocurrencies support
- Cons: Expensive. Still worth it (in my opinion).
Trezor offers the next devices:
If you are not sure what to choose, you can visit official Trezor shop and view the full assortment with devices’ descriptions.
Coinbase Bitcoin Wallet
Coinbase is the one of the best exchange and trading services today (buying and selling bitcoins online). Very beginner-friendly, quite secure (in spite of the fact that the exchange is holding your money).
- Pros: User-friendly, established and well-know (hence minimizing the scam probability.
- Cons: Coinbase is not supported worldwide and has some control over your funds.
Coinomi is an Android mobile wallet. It supports wide amount of cryptocurrencies, very simple and user-friendly wallet.
- Pros: Variety of cryptocurrencies supported, very user-friendly
- Cons: Android only single platform, closed source
BTC.com bitcoin wallet
BTC.com is basycally and HD hybrid wallet. It is accessible from the web, but only you have all the private key to access the wallet.
- Pros: Lot’s of great features, user-friendly, open source
- Cons: It is a hot walley anyway
CoolWallet Bitcoin wallet
Coolwallet is kind off a portable hardware wallet. It looks like a simple credit-card with a button. To add another security level, this wallet is intended to be held near your mobile phone to send your Bitcoins out.
- Pros: Portable, secure
- Cons: The company behind CoolWallet is a newbie, so the device looks a little bit unwieldy
Copay bitcoin wallet
Copay by Bitpay is definitely one of the best Bitcoin wallets up to date. It supports multisignature (i.e. it is perfect to be used by multiple users or as a corporate wallet). Also, it is open source and supports any platform available (mobile, desktop and web).
- Pros: Supports all platforms, supports multisignature
- Cons: Not very user-friendly, may be some kind of difficult for beginners
Airbitz Bitcoin wallet
Airbitz is secured, decentralized and backed-up Bitcoin wallet. It is also stated that only you can access your Bitcoins. Also, it has a catalog of every Bitcoin-accepting businesses around.
- Pros: Decentralized, Bitcoin-accepting businesses catalog, user-friendly. Cons: Mobile only.
Bitgo is a Bitcoin Wallet with high security level. It also has multisignature support, meaning that two-way identification is required to complete every transaction. It is also stated that BitGo doesn’t hold the keys.
- Pros: High security level, relatively user-friendly
- Cons: Two-way identification can sometimes be a little bit inconvenient
Blockchain.info is one of the most popular wallets today. It supports multiple platforms, such as desktop and mobile. It is also known as a hybrid wallet.
- Pros: Well-known and established throughout the community, user-friendly, supports multiple platforms
- Cons: Third-party participation is required, not anonymous
Exodus Bitcoin wallet
Exodus was released three years ago, and it’s reputation is pretty good already. It supports multiple cryptocurrencies, has beautiful and intuitive interface, has trading support right inside the wallet. However, it is only available for desktops.
- Pros: Very user-friendly, multiple currencies, great user-support
- Cons: Available only for desktops
Jaxx Bitcoin wallet
Jaxx is multiplatform and multicurrency wallet, that also gives you a possibility to exchange different currencies within the wallet. Great intuitive user-friendly interface.
- Pros: User-friendly, supports trading currencies within the wallet, great support, supports multiple platforms
- Cons: Not yet established company
Mycelium is great mobile wallet, havin privacy and security as its mains features. The interface is not quite simple though. Another great feature is that Mycelium is being upgraded on a regular basis since this is an open-source project.
- Pros: Great privacy and security features, completely anonymous.
- Cons: Only mobile app, no web or desktop versions. Also, not very user-friendly.
KeepKey Bitcoin Wallet
Keepkey is a newcomer, but a pretty good one. Great design makes it maybe the best physical Bitcoin wallet. Very user and beginner-friendly.
- Pros: Good looking, user-friendly
- Cons: Expensive (but worth it in my opinion)
Bitcoin Wallet review
Bitcoin Wallet is one of the oldest names in Bitcoin world. It is popular for its speed and great user-friendly interface. I must also mention that it is completely decentralized and also has some really great security features..
- Pros: Great reputation, user-friendly, decentralized.
- Cons: Only online, only Android
Green Address Bitcoin wallet
Green Address is most users’ wallet of choice today. It supports every platform out there and has great, intuitive and user-friendly interface.
- Pros: User-friendly, supports all platforms
- Cons: Third-party is required to approve payments
Xapo Bitcoin Wallet
Xapo is a web-only wallet. Great privacy and security features. It also supports debit card payments and has very user-friendly interface.
- Pros: Supports debit-card payments, user-friendly
- Cons: Web only
Armory Bitcoin Wallet
Armory is quite well-known throughout the community for its security features. Great encryption and cold-storage features.
- Pros: Flexible, secure, well-known company
- Cons: Not very user-friendly
Electrum Bitcoin Wallet
Electrum is pretty fast and very lightweight piece of software, that most likely will attract some old-pc users. It delegates most difficult operations, so remote servers do the job.
- Pros: Lightweight, fast
- Cons: Not very user-friendly
Bitcoin Core will suit you well if you are looking for a great desktop solution. Great features in the fields of security, privacy, system requirements and stability. .
- Pros: Secure, private, very stable
- Cons: Desktop only