Where do you keep your earned Bitcoins?
You need a wallet to store, send and receive Bitcoins. There are different kinds of bitcoin wallets available and I have reviewed the following:
The Trezor hardware wallet is targeted at bitcoiners who wish to maintain a substantial stash of coins, but do not want to rely on third-party bitcoin storage services or impractical forms of cold storage. Developed by Czech startup SatoshiLabs, the $99 device is essentially a USB dongle designed to add an extra authentication layer to all outbound bitcoin transactions.
By virtue of its design, Trezor can be used to sign transactions on ‘unsafe’ computers and is impervious to keyloggers and many other vectors of attack, so even if your host PC is compromised, the attacker has no way of getting your private key. Apart from Bitcoins you can also store the following cryptocurrencies – Ethereum, Litecoin, DASH and Zcash.
2. Ledger Nano S
Ledgerwallet the company behind ”Ledger Nano S” Cryptocurrency Wallet have released two other Hardware wallets in the past, Ledger Nano and Ledger HW.1. Unlike the previous models the Ledger Nano S features a small built-in screen from which Users can directly gather important information, via the device reducing the risk of computer malware threat since it embeds a secure OLED display that allows an individual to double-check and confirm each transaction with a single tap on its side buttons.
Just like any other Hardware Cryptocurrency Wallet out there, it safely stores your Private Keys away in an offline storage within a protected area of a microcontroller, and cannot be transferred out of the device in plaintext, so you can rest assured that Hackers have little opportunity of directly accessing a Device that is not plug in or connected over the Internet.
Relatively new to the Bitcoin wallet scene, Xapo has certainly caught the attention of Bitcoin investors who are looking for ultra-safe security at a relatively small fee. Xapo has been able to come up with two major features that could turn them into a big name. First, they have a vault option where you can securely store your Bitcoins for a small fee.
This vault may not seem like a big deal at first, but it’s importance is amplified by the fact that the deposits into their vault are insured. The other main feature of this wallet is the addition of a traditional debit card. This would allow users to spend their Bitcoins at any merchant where major cards are accepted, and the most impressive aspect of this perk is that there would be no processing fees attached to the card for users. I personally use this one
4. Bitcoin Core
Bitcoin Core is the original Bitcoin wallet, originally developed by Satoshi Nakamoto and continually updated by the core Bitcoin development team. While it doesn’t have the advanced features of Armory or the social aspect of Hive, Bitcoin Core is probably the most scrutinized and worked-on wallet out there, making it a trustworthy choice.
One thing to be aware of is the fact that Bitcoin Core is a fully fledged node of the Bitcoin network. So it requires the entire blockchain to run. Bitcoin Core is available on Windows, Linux and Mac, and is also available as a Ubuntu PPA.
Multibit is a lightweight software wallet. As with most software wallets, Multibit encrypts your private keys locally (or on a USB stick). One useful characteristic of Multibit is that it doesn’t need to download the entire blockchain to access, send and receive funds.
Multibit connects directly to the Bitcoin network and downloads only a small part of the blockchain, making it very fast to use. Since Multibit doesn’t download the entire blockchain, it also takes up a lot less space on your hard drive, which can be important in some situations. Multibit has also been translated into more than 35 languages and is available on Windows, Mac and Linux.
Electrum is another lightweight Bitcoin wallet in the vein of Multibit. Electrum supports deterministic wallets or, in other words, generating multiple wallets from one seed. It also lets you sign and create transactions offline and export what it calls a “root public key”, which lets compatible applications monitor your wallet.
You can also import and export private keys from other Bitcoin wallets. Like Multibit, Electrum lets you perform Bitcoin transactions without having to download the entire blockchain, making transactions a lot faster. Electrum uses a network of servers to achieve this. Electrum is available for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android.
Hive is a Bitcoin wallet targeted at new users, with some interesting features. For one, Hive has an instant messaging style interface that lets you send and receive Bitcoins quickly and easily. It also 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.
Hive even has an SPV backend to speed up starting time, as well as support for the Tor network for increased anonymity. You can also schedule wallet backups onto Dropbox and Time Machine. Hive is only available on Mac OS X.
Armory is one of the most feature-rich and secure software Bitcoin wallets available today. Armory offers three different user modes: Standard, Advanced and Developer. Some of it’s security features include a graphical keyboard to protect against keyloggers, support for deterministic wallets, offline transactions and extensive cold storage options, including fragmented paper wallets.
Offline transactions significantly increase your wallet’s security and protects it from most security risks. It requires the official Bitcoin Core wallet, since Armory doesn’t have any networking features. Armory is available on Windows, Mac and Linux. It’s also available as a Ubuntu PPA.
KryptoKit is generally referred to as the most convenient way to use Bitcoin, but most people don’t feel that comfortable about putting a large amount of their wealth into a browser plugin.
This Chrome extension provides the most seamless, frictionless way to make Bitcoin payments while shopping online, and it also comes packed with a PGP messaging system and a Bitcoin merchant directory. This wallet could become even more useful if it is combined with a hardware wallet, such as TREZOR, in the future.
10. Dark Wallet
One last wallet that deserves a mention on this list is Dark Wallet. This is the brainchild of a few cryptoanarchists who believe in the anonymous, decentralized nature of Bitcoin above all else. The development of this project was bootstrapped by a crowdfunding campaign, and the main goal is to create a wallet that helps make Bitcoin as anonymous and private as possible.
Features include trustless mixing of transactions with other users for financial privacy, simple for more flexibility with Bitcoin addresses, and colored coin support. It should be noted that this wallet is still in the alpha stages of development.
Blockchain’s wallet has a few interesting security features designed to overcome some of the security risks inherent in online wallets. For example, Blockchain implements client-side AES encryption, protecting your wallet from a server side hack.
It also has support for offline transactions, a double encryption feature and two factor authentification. Blockchain not only lets you back your wallet up automatically onto Google Drive or Dropbox, but also lets you download your wallet manually. Blockchain also performs regular off-site server side backups every hour. This is also one of my favourites which I use specially because of it safety features.