A cryptocurrency wallet is a software program that stores public and private keys and interacts with the blockchain so users can send and receive digital currencies and monitor their account balance.
A mobile wallet is simply an app that you can download online. The two that we recommend are the BRD Bitcoin Wallet (Bread Wallet) and the Trust Wallet, both of which you can find in the Android and iOS app stores.
Since people these days usually access the Internet using their mobile device, this makes the mobile wallet very convenient to use. It allows you to access your wallet anywhere and have it on the palm of your hand. It is also designed in a way that only you can access it.
Creating a mobile wallet is relatively simple, you just need to follow the instructions given by the creators of the app. Just make sure you store the recovery passphrase safely to always be able to access your Bitcoin even if you decide to switch phones and downloading the app again.
You could also use the Coinbase mobile wallet, which works just as well, but you do not ‘hold’ the Bitcoin as you would if you used the BRD wallet or the Trust wallet.
Mobile wallets might be convenient to use, but there’s downside of using mobile wallets. There’s a higher risk of hacks and scams. Hacks in terms of the wallet provider can get hacked and the users of the service lose their funds. Keep in mind, that a third-party is storing your cryptocurrencies, not you.
A hardware wallet functions in conjunction with your workstation or laptop. Instead of storing your public and private keys on your computer, they are stored on a specially designed device. It offers an extra layer of protection by enforcing the need to have the device manually plugged in for you to interact with your funds.
Those devices don’t come for free, but cost some money. They aren’t too pricy tho and think about it. Better spend some money now, rather than loosing some or all of your funds later.
Ledger Nano S is the most popular, followed by Trezor Wallet, both of which cost about $100.
A paper wallet is another kind of Bitcoin wallet. Using a paper wallet means nothing else than printing your public and private keys on paper, rather than storing them on a device. Hence, the name “paper” wallet. This type of storing is also known as putting it in “cold storage”. It is advised that you print several copies and keep them in a safe place. Through this storage method, you are safe from potential hackers, which are trying to access your private key by breaking into your network and device.
You can generate one here: https://bitcoinpaperwallet.com/
(Explain the potential problem with creating a paper wallet online)
- fraudulent websites trying to get your private key
We would not recommend creating a desktop wallet, since your PC or laptop could potentially be compromised by viruses, hackers, or phishing. Before you use any computer as a desktop wallet, you should ensure that it is free from viruses and malware. Hence, you may consider reformatting your computer.
Bitcoin Core (client): https://bitcoin.org/en/wallets/desktop/windows/bitcoincore/
Green Address: https://bitcoin.org/en/wallets/desktop/windows/greenaddress/
They also are less user-friendly in general.
Although this is the least recommended wallet, creating a web wallet is relatively straight forward. There are a couple options you can use:
Coin Space: https://coin.space
You simply have to sign up for an account which takes less than two minutes, and then you can start using your Bitcoin web wallet. To use your web wallet, you simply have to connect to the Internet, and then you can gain access to your wallet.