Bitcoin Wallets

Where do you put your Bitcoins?

If you are going to buy some bitcoin then you need somewhere to put it. When you have cash you often store it in a wallet and bitcoin is a digital currency, so you need a digital wallet to keep it in.

Bitcoin wallets should be treated with care because if you lose your wallet or forget your password, you can kiss goodbye to your stash. When you create your first wallet, test it out with a small amount of currency first. You can buy a couple of £’s of currency and move it to other wallets if you like. It’s important that you understand how money is put into a wallet and transferred to other wallets. Once you are comfortable with this then you can move on to larger sums.

Paper Wallets

A popular way to store your digital currency is on paper. Yes I know it sounds low tech, but it works for lots of people. Unlike a desktop or online wallet, a paper wallet is almost impossible to hack. I say almost impossible as virtually anything is possible these days, but providing your paper wallet is safe, so is your bitcoin.

 

Online Wallets

Online wallets are a convenient way to store your cryptocurrency.  On the plus side you can access your online wallets from anywhere and from multiple devices. The downside of this is your private keys are stored online and are controlled by a third party, this makes them more vulnerable to hacking attacks and theft. I would advise you not to store large quantities of bitcoins on a web service because they are the most vulnerable to attack. A better approach would be to have an offline wallet for the bulk of your cryptocurrencies and a small amount on an exchange if for regular trading. If you aren’t going to do anything with your cryptocurrencies for a while then move them all offline.

Coinbase

Coinbase is a secure online platform for buying, selling, transferring, and storing digital currency. They offer a wallet, an exchange, and merchant tools.

Blockchain.info

Blockchain offer an online wallet with multi-factor authetication and backup phrase failsafe. You can also buy and sell bitcoins direct from the Blockchain website.

Kraken

Kraken was founded in 2011 in San Francisco and  is the largest Bitcoin exchange in euro volume and liquidity. They trade in Canadian dollars, US dollars, British pounds and Japanese yen.
They offer two-factor authentication security for each account.

Poloniex

Another US site offering a range of trading tools for many crypto currencies. They use 2 factor authentication.

Desktop Wallets

 

Offline Wallets (cold storage)

Cold storage or offline wallets are a way of protecting your wallet’s private keys by keeping them on a computer that will never be connected to the internet.

Armory Wallet
The Armory Wallet is a FREE offline Cold Storage Wallet that uses Open Source technology.

According to their website

“Armory was designed from the ground up to give users the best of both worlds — it focuses first on maximizing security, and then provides a well thought-out interface to make using this security as simple as possible. Many users regard it as the only way for those with a significant investment in Bitcoin to use and protect their funds. Beyond security and usability, Armory simply implements more features than any other Bitcoin client available. It includes Armory’s signature interface for offline wallets (also known as, “cold storage”), multi-signature transactions, simulfunding (escrow), one-time printable backups, multiple wallets interface, GPU-resistant wallet encryption, key importing, key sweeping, message signing, and more.” 

 

Hardware Wallets

You can’t get much safer than a hardware wallet and if you have £0000’s in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, you should seriously consider getting yourself one of these.

There is a small selection of hardware wallets on the market and these are the most popular.

When you own cryptocurrencies, you can securely protect your funds with a hardware wallet. The Ledger Nano S is an easy to use hardware wallet that can store your  crypto and your wallet can be restored even if your device is lost or stolen.
Ledger Nano S - The secure hardware wallet