Bitcoin may be digital cash, but it has a lot in common with the paper currency you carry with you. Both Bitcoin and paper money can be bought, sold, and traded. And both forms of money are stored in a wallet. A Bitcoin wallet is simply a digital version.
We’ll dig deep into the nature of Bitcoin wallets below. We’ll also talk about the many options that Bitcoin users have today when choosing a Bitcoin wallet. This might seem like a confusing topic at first, if you’ve never used cryptocurrencies before. But by the end of this, you’ll be able to download your own Bitcoin wallet, and know exactly how to use it. Before you do any of that though, you might want to have a look at the Bitcoin price before you decide whether or not you want to buy and store the cryptocurrency.
What is a Bitcoin/Crypto Wallet?
Bitcoin may be digital, but it still has to be stored somewhere. Just like a leather wallet is used to keep track of your paper money, a Bitcoin wallet is a personal storage and safety tool for the Bitcoin that you buy.
To buy Bitcoin and tie it with its owner, these wallets usually have “private keys”. These keys are secret codes that link specific Bitcoin balances to specific individuals. Without the keys, this Bitcoin can’t be accessed at all. But it’s inconvenient to keep track of long alphanumeric keys, so Bitcoin wallet software does the job for us.
When you send Bitcoin to a Bitcoin wallet you own, its keys are stored there. This allows the wallet to show you how much Bitcoin is present, and to use it for any purpose you desire.
Bitcoin wallets can live on your phone or computer, for everyday use of your personal funds. They can also exist in specialised hardware devices, safely disconnected from the internet.
Bitcoin wallets can also exist on third party exchanges, like Binance, which will temporarily store your Bitcoin after you buy it, or while you’re waiting to use it for trading.
Your Cryptocurrencies are always safer in a wallet that you control, preferably on a device not connected to the internet.
How to Create a Bitcoin Wallet
Binance is the most popular cryptocurrency exchange in the world, so if you want to use Bitcoin, chances are you’ll be using it sooner or later. Let’s take a quick look at how to create your Binance account and exchange wallet.
Go to Binance.com and complete registration by giving your email and new password.
You’ll be sent an email with a link to click.
Follow it into the Binance site. From here you’ll supply a little more information, then you’ll be able to send Bitcoin to your Binance exchange wallet.
Note: You can’t buy Bitcoin with fiat money on Binance.
Step 2 – Go to “Funds” > “Balances”
Here you’ll see all of your Binance wallets.
Anytime you buy a coin on Binance, it will be delivered to its respective wallet.
Wallets with balances will appear at the top of the screen. Send Bitcoin to the address you see after clicking “deposit”, and you’ll have Bitcoin on Binance for all your trading needs.
Coinbase is a great place to buy Bitcoin for the first time, because they let you use bank transfer, debit card, and credit card. Creating a Coinbase wallet is about as easy as opening your first Facebook account. Here’s how it works.
Step 1: Create Your Coinbase Account.
Go to Coinbase.com and sign up for a new account as an individual.
Give your first and last name, your email address, and your new password.
Go to your email and click the link inside when you find the new message from Coinbase.
This will lead you into the site.
Step 2: Find Your Bitcoin Wallet.
Click on “wallets” and you’ll see your Bitcoin wallet (as well as the other wallets for the rest of the coins sold on Coinbase).
Click it and you’ll see a screen like the one above.
You can send Bitcoin from “my wallet” to any other wallet you control, or to which you have the address.
Exodus wallet is a piece of software that lives on your computer. All you have to do is download it and set it up and you’ll be ready to store Bitcoin here. Follow these steps to do just that.
Step 1: Download Exodus.
Go to Exodus.io and download the desktop wallet (Exodus is not currently available for mobile). Install it just as you would any other desktop application.
Step 2: Open Your Exodus Bitcoin Wallet.
As you can see above, Exodus can hold all kinds of cryptocurrencies. To use it for Bitcoin, just click the “wallet” tab on the right, and then click the “Bitcoin” wallet. You’re now ready to use the Bitcoin Exodus wallet.
The Infinito Wallet is used to hold all kinds of cryptocurrencies, not just Bitcoin. Use it if you want an easy one-stop storage shop for all of your portfolio. Infinito wallet is also very convenient and well designed. Here’s how to get it.
Step 1: Download Infinito Wallet
Go to Infinitowallet.io and click “download” as seen in the image above. Select the right file for the device you’ll be using. Once the file is downloaded, install it just as you would any other application. Once it’s set up, open it up.
Step 2: Go to the Bitcoin Wallet already within Infinito
You’ve already got a Bitcoin wallet once you open Infinito. It’ll have your address, to which you can send any amount of Bitcoin.
Formerly Blockchain.info, the Blockchain.com Bitcoin wallet is one of the most convenient web wallets in the space. Create an account fast and have secure access to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies whenever and wherever you need.
Step 1: Create a Blockchain.com Wallet
Go to Blockchain.com and create a new wallet by submitting your email, choosing a new password, and clicking the link in the email Blockchain.com sends you.
Step 2: Find Your Bitcoin Wallet Inside Blockchain.com.
Click on “Wallet” at the top of the page. This will take your to your Bitcoin wallet, from which all your Bitcoin business can be managed.
Best Bitcoin Wallets in Your Country
For the best Bitcoin wallet available in the UK, we’re going to have to go with one we haven’t yet mentioned: Coinbase.
Coinbase used to be a place where you could only make value speculations on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. How things have changed.
Today, Coinbase offers the Coinbase wallet, a bespoke solution for sending and storing Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.
Coinbase is a fully licensed and regulated trading source, with a history that streches back before the time of cryptocurrency.
They’re not new to the game, and therefore have the benefit of trust and experience that few Bitcoin wallet providers can match.
Fortunately, the Coinbase wallet is not just for people in the UK any longer. While Coinbase used to be restricted in the United States, the team has improved its offerings so much that they now are fully licensed in the United States.
The Coinbase mobile wallet app is one of the best in the business, and will work perfectly for customers in the United States and Canada.
Binance is definitely the best wallet solution for Australians and New Zealanders.
Though it’s not the best option for long term storage, it’s the place where Bitcoin holders will get the most mileage out of the BTC.
Users can trade Bitcoin against dozens of other world-class cryptocurrencies and altcoins on Binance.
This is a great way to get access to the global cryptocurrency scene, as Binance has business in all parts of the world.
Differences Between Exchange, Hardware and Software Crypto Wallets
Let’s go into a bit more detail about the differences between Exchange, Hardware, and Software wallets.
Best Bitcoin Wallet on Mobile
Best Bitcoin Wallet Apple
Your mobile Bitcoin wallet isn’t there for ultimate security; it’s there for convenience.
Therefore, we say go with the most convenient option, which for our money is blockchain.info.
There is no Apple Bitcoin wallet more user friendly than Blockchain.info, and it’s free.
Another great option is the Coinbase wallet that was mentioned before. Your crypto will be safe and it’s a company with solid reputation. The only downside is that they currently hold 5-6 different crypto wallets.
Best Bitcoin Wallet Android
For Android, our vote has to be cast for Jaxx, which we’ve already mentioned in more detail above.
Although our first option is to always go with a regulated wallet like Coinbase that will allow you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies without any issues, we also recommend Jaxx for new users.
Not only is it secure and convenient, it supports many more coins than just Bitcoin.
You can even do basic trading within the app. If you have only one Bitcoin wallet on your Android phone, go with Jaxx.
There are tons of Bitcoin wallets for mobile devices. We’ll cut to the chase and give you the best option for Android and Apple. You can find the main differences regarding Crypto Applications below:
As you can tell by now, you have dozens and dozens of options when it comes to choosing a good Bitcoin wallet. As long as you choose one that has excellent security and a good user interface, you should have no problems. When choosing a wallet, always see what other users have to say, using independent comments and reviews from third party forums, like Reddit and BitcoinTalk Forum. Keep your keys to yourself and guard your passwords, and you should never lose access to your precious Bitcoin. Keep it safe for the long term, and you could have an incredible investment on your hands. Good luck!
Interested in storing other cryptocurrencies?
If you’re interested in buying and storing altcoins, check out our guides below to find the best wallets that cater to each specific coin.
Bitcoin wallets reviewed
If you have a specific bitcoin wallet in mind, check out our individual bitcoin wallet reviews below. We will be updating this list in the next few weeks with more detailed reviews so be sure to bookmark this page!
Yes. If you choose a wallet like Jaxx of Exodus, you’ll find that most cryptocurrencies you’re interested in buying are supported. There will be a different address for every coin (make sure never to send a coin to the wrong coin address!), but each coin will be supported in the same convenient user interface.
Absolutely not! This will result in the loss of your funds, so make sure never to send one coin to the address of another coin type. Bitcoin to Bitcoin addresses. Ethereum to Ethereum addresses. Ripple to Ripple addresses. Some ERC20 tokens (tokens created using Ethereum) can be sent to Ethereum addresses, but this is an exception that you’ll learn when you get deeper into this discipline. For now, keep it simple and send specific coin types to specific wallet type addresses.
The best way to store your cryptocurrency safely is to use a hardware wallet or other “cold” (offline) solution. Even a paper wallet is safer than a software wallet that’s running on an internet-connected computer, as the latter could theoretically be hacked. A device with no internet connection can’t be hacked through the internet.
On certain wallets, like the Coinbase wallet, you can trade fiat currency for Bitcoin, and vice versa. These are specially licensed and regulated wallets, and typically are associated with a specific exchange. This is not the norm.
On specifically licensed and regulated wallets, like those belonging to Coinbase, you can pay for Bitcoin with credit card. This is not normally available through software and hardware wallets.