How to choose a Bitcoin wallet? A short guide
Bitcoin wallet — how to choose?
With plenty of Bitcoin wallets in the market, it feels quite hard to choose one. Each one says it’s the best; often they have similar features. Looking up user reviews is a good idea, but it only leaves a general impression and doesn’t tell if the wallet will be comfortable specifically for you.
To choose the best Bitcoin wallet, answer the following questions: do you need a cross-platform, a desktop-only, or a mobile-only wallet? Do you need ultimate security, or is usability more important? Are you ready to pay money to buy the wallet?
Let’s overview the most common types of Bitcoin wallets and see how they suit the needs of different users.
Bitcoin hardware wallets — ultimate security
These wallets look like flashcards, and they store your private keys inside. Hardware wallets are also called cold wallets because they store your keys out of the internet’s reach — this reduces the risk that your keys can be stolen in an attack.
The most popular Bitcoin cold wallets are Ledger and Trezor. Hardware wallets are considered the most secure ones on the market, so use them if you have considerate stashes of Bitcoin and it’s critically important to preserve them. Hardware wallets cost about $80–100.
To sign any transaction, you’d need to insert your hardware wallet into the computer. This makes cold wallets inconvenient for those who make many transactions daily and especially from their cell phones. Also, it’s not recommended to have a cold wallet for those who are prone to losing small things.
Bitcoin desktop wallets — enhanced usability
Desktop wallets are hot wallets — they are connected to the internet. This doesn’t mean wallets have access to your funds: they only generate private keys that are further stored on your computer. Desktop wallets allow accessing your crypto whenever you’re at your computer.
One of the prominent Bitcoin wallets is Electrum. It was created in 2011 by Bitcoin enthusiasts and hasn’t changed much ever since; as an old open-source wallet, it’s considered one of the most secure desktop wallets. As for the cons, the user interface is not perfect here, and it’s a Bitcoin-only wallet. However, it has a number of advanced security features such as 2FA, cold storage options, and on.
Another trusted Bitcoin wallet is Atomic. It allows for storing 500+ crypto assets. It also has a mobile version, so we’ll take a look at it in the next paragraph.
Bitcoin Mobile Wallets — accessibility above all
For a Bitcoin mobile wallet, the ease of use is a key factor. Here, Atomic Wallet stands out — a multi-asset wallet with a built-in exchange that allows you to swap your Bitcoin to other cryptos instantly without leaving the app. In Atomic, you can buy Bitcoin with a credit card, monitor the Bitcoin price chart, and set the network fee manually in case you want your transaction to be delivered faster or cheaper. The same features are available for the Atomic desktop version, so you’ll have access to your coins basically everywhere. Atomic is available for Android and iOS.
Cutting it short
If security is your top priority, choose a hardware Bitcoin wallet such as Ledger or Trezor. If you want to have access to your crypto from your desktop, use Electrum. If you are keen on usability and want to store all your crypto portfolio in one place, choose Atomic Wallet.