So, you have decided to start investing in Bitcoin, as an easy and accessible way to dabble in trading currencies. But just because Bitcoin is a digital currency doesn’t mean that you only need a computer to use it. Just like hard currency, you need a safe but accessible place to store your cryptocurrency coin.
This is where Bitcoin wallets come in. These are like a digital safe for your Bitcoin. They are digital storage devices that keep a private key or “seed” that is used to sign transactions. This provides mathematical proof that the coins have come from a particular wallet, and prevent transactions from being altered by anyone else.
There are lots of services out there that provide wallets for Bitcoin, and also other digital currencies, along with a whole bunch of other services. If you are looking for a new Bitcoin wallet, we suggest that you start with these ten top options.
Coinbase offers one of the easiest wallets to use as you can connect it directly to your US bank account to convert and transfer investments and proceeds easily between your bank account and your wallet.
You can use it for Bitcoin, as well as 20 other popular cryptocurrencies, and control everything from a convenient mobile app. Holdings of up to $250,000 are also fully insured. However, watch out for relatively high currency conversion fees.
Of course, the biggest bonus with a Coinbase wallet is that you are then tied into the Coinbase exchange network, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange platform in the US.
If you want an online wallet that is also entirely free, then the aptly named Robinhood is a good choice. It also ties in with their digital currency free-exchange platform, which is convenient.
While you can use Robinhood on your computer, it is a mobile first platform designed from convenient use from your smartphone, which is incredibly convenient.
However, Robinhood only supports six cryptocurrencies, and you can’t make transfers between your Robinhood wallet and other wallets, which does discourage the use of other platforms for trading.
Edge is another mobile first platform which makes managing your digital currencies as easy as using your bank app. As well as storing up to 30 different cryptocurrencies, there are a lot of different financial services built into the app, including exchange fiat (exchanging for “real” money) and even things like buying gift cards.
The online authentication security used by Edge is so good that many other online sites actually use Edge’s authentication system which is certainly reassuring.
However, if you want to use Edge on your desktop you are out of luck. It is mobile only.
If user experience is your priority, you might like the digital wallet offered by SoFi. It is more limited than some other options, but that is part of what makes it so usable. It only works with five different digital currencies, but these are the ones that most basic investors will be interested in.
The mobile app is intuitive to use and you only need to invest $1 to get started. The app also has loads of free financial tools to help you manage your wallet, even if you are a cryptocurrency beginner.
Charges are moderate, with a 1.25% transaction fee.
Trist Wallet is a mobile first wallet that supports 13 different crypto coins, but it is growing quickly with developers working to support a variety of other digital currencies in the new future.
This product has been developed with the user-interface as its top priority, so getting set up and started is incredibly easy with a step-by-step walkthrough.
One of the nice things about this option is that it comes with a seed back up key, so you can control and restore your assets even if something happens to your device (because let’s admit it, things to happen to our smartphones).
Electrum is one of the older Bitcoin wallets on the scene. It has been around since 2011, and it deals with Bitcoin only rather than trying to manage all your cryptocurrencies.
The wallet hasn’t been updated all that much since it was originally created, and it requires a quite a bit of expertise to use, but it appeals to many Bitcoin purists.
It uses open source technology that allows for a lot of customization. Users can choose the level of security that they want to implement, and also the transaction fees that they would like to set.
If you are not a fan of using your smartphone for financial transactions, then Exodus’ desktop-first Bitcoin wallet is what you have been looking for, though there is a mobile app available as well.
It is integrated with the Exodus exchange to make buying and selling easy, and it can also integrate with hardware bitcoin wallets like Trezor (see below) if you prefer to store your currency offline.
Another cool feature is that you can produce a huge range of different graphs and report so that you can assess the effectiveness of your investments, and create pretty pictures.
Mycelum is another open source Bitcoin wallet, though unlike Electrum, it is mobile only. It only works with Bitcoin, but it has the benefit of integrating with hardware Bitcoin wallets like Trezor and Ledger (see below).
You have a high level of customization, setting your transaction fees, and even how long you are willing to wait for transaction to be completed.
But again, the level of freedom that you get means that you need to know what you are doing with Mycelium, so it is for our tech whizzes.
If you prefer a Bitcoin wallet that resembles a stash under your bed rather than a bank, than you can invest in Trezor. This is a piece of hardware that you can plug into your computer or smartphone to store your cryptocurrency yourself, without having to rely on the services of an exchange.
You can pay for the level of security that you want, with models ranging from $55 to $500. But you don’t need t pay a fortune to store your coin. Even the cheapest model offers multi-factor authentication and can hold more than 1,000 different digital coins. Just don’t lose your password.
The challenge with Trezor is that you do need to know what you are doing to set this baby up, so it is really targeted as the tech-savvy trader.
The Ledger Nano is also a piece of hardware that you buy to store your currency yourself, without needing to rely on one of the cryptocurrency exchanges. About the size of a flash drive, just connect it to your phone or computer when you want to use it. Otherwise, it is offline so your currency is safe (as long as you don’t break or lose it).
Cheaper than the Trezor, a basic Nano S costs just $59, while the more expensive Nano X is $119. They both use highly secure chips for security, similar to the ones embedded in your credit card and passport.
While this is an extremely secure way to store your currency, again it is not simple, and you need to know a bit about the technical side of cryptocurrencies in order to set it up.
There is not much point in having Bitcoin if you don’t have a secure and accessible place to store your digital currency. This is why Bitcoin wallets were invented, to act as a bank for crypto currencies.
There are lots of options from “hot wallets” that store your coin online, usually in association with big Bitcoin exchanges, and “cold wallets”, hardware that allows you to store your coin offline.
If you prefer hot or cold, DIY or all inclusive, you are sure to find a great option in our list.