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Guide to Bitcoin Wallets

Not your keys, not your bitcoin

Contents


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What is a wallet?

A Bitcoin wallet can be a device, program, or service which allows you to store your Bitcoin. A wallet is used to track ownership, receive, or send your coins. Contrary to popular belief, your Bitcoin wallet doesn't actually store your Bitcoins, but rather the private key needed to access them.

Wallets are available in many forms including hardware devices, mobile applications and web-based. To store your Bitcoins safely and securely, you need to choose a wallet that is compatible with your needs.

What is a private key?

Your Bitcoin wallet is a combination of your public and private keys. Your public key is your Bitcoin wallet "address" and your private key acts as the "password" to access the coins in your wallet.

A Bitcoin private key is a secret number that allows you to access coins. Every Bitcoin address (public key) has a matching private key. The private key is mathematically related to the address, and is designed so that the Bitcoin address can be calculated from the private key, but importantly, the same cannot be done in reverse.

The public key is the address of your wallet and the private key works as a password. Because the private key works as the password to your account, it is important that these keys are kept secret and safe.

Private key infographic

What is a seed phrase?

A seed phrase is a random string of 12 to 24 words that can be used to recover your Bitcoin wallet in case you lose access to it. This seed phrase can also be referred to as your recovery seed.

Your seed phrase needs to be kept somewhere extremely safe, protected from fire, water, and any other kinds of potential damage. Most people will store their seed phrases on a piece of paper. We recommend using an indestructible stainless steel enclosure like the Billfodl or the Cryptosteel.

Cryptosteel cold wallet

Coming soon


Hardware Wallets

Secure Offline Expensive

A hardware wallet is a physical device that stores and manages your private keys securely, in an offline setting.

Nano Ledger X Wallet

Nano Ledger X

The Ledger Nano X is an updated version of its predecessor, the Ledger Nano S. Available for $119, its' improvements offer a larger OLED screen and Bluetooth connectivity allowing for easy integration with your iOS or Android devices.

  • State-of-the-art security
  • Bluetooth® enabled
  • Extensive capacity

Price

$119

Released

2019

Popularity

Medium

Screen

Preview

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Nano Ledger S Wallet

Nano Ledger S

With over 1.3 million units sold worldwide, Ledger’s Nano S is a popular hardware wallet that is priced favorably at $59. Connecting to your computer via USB, it features a built-in OLED display, brushed stainless steel sleeve, and buttons on the device to manually verify transactions.

  • Certified security by ANSSI
  • Multi-currency support
  • Backup and restore

Price

$59

Released

2016

Popularity

Popular

Screen

Preview

Shop Ledger Nano S
Trezor T Wallet

Trezor T

Trezor’s newest model is the Model T, which was launched in early 2018. Boasting an LCD touchscreen, double verification for transactions, PIN protection and PIN lockout, the Trezor T prioritizes security above all else.

  • 240x240 pixel full-color LCD
  • Multi-currency support
  • USB-C connector for connecting to the computer or mobile phone

Price

$170

Released

2018

Popularity

Popular

Screen

Preview

Shop Trezor T
Trezor One Wallet

Trezor One

Trezor is one of the oldest and most reputable hardware wallets available, the Trezor provides multiple layers of security for your coins and tokens. It features PIN protection, a 24-word recovery seed, an in-built screen and physical buttons for transaction confirmation.

  • 128x64 pixel Monochrome OLED display with 2 buttons
  • Micro USB connector for connecting to the computer or mobile phone

Price

$59

Released

2013

Popularity

Medium

Screen

Preview

Shop Trezor One
KeepKey Wallet

KeepKey

Launched in 2015, this hierarchical deterministic (HD) features a large OLED display screen, aluminum body, and was acquired by ShapeShift. Since then, they have added a new feature that allows you to trade tokens directly on your KeepKey meaning you can make trades without having to create an account on an exchange.

  • Large OLED display screen
  • Multi-currency support
  • ShapeShift direct integration

Price

$79

Released

2015

Popularity

Medium

Screen

Preview

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Coinkite Coldcard Mark 3 Wallet

Coldcard Mark 3

Coinkite’s Coldcard MK3 is a third generation bitcoin hardware wallet that allows users to securely store and submit transactions without exposing (or transmitting) your private keys. The Coldcard is a small palm-sized device (9cm x 5cm x 0.5cm) which can easily be mistaken for a mini-calculator. The device has a 128 x 64 OLED screen and a decently sized numpad. The Coldcard currently does not offer a native companion wallet app, but is compatible with Electrum.

  • Large 128x64 OLED screen
  • Full-sized numeric keypad
  • MicroUSB connection and a MicroSD card slot

Price

$120

Released

2019

Popularity

Medium

Screen

Preview

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BitBox02 Wallet

BitBox02

The BitBox02 is a hardware wallet designed and engineered by Swiss company Shift Cryptosecurity. The BitBox02 allows users to independently generate and securely store private keys. A dual-chip approach allows the use of a secure chip for device hardening and, importantly, a general microcontroller for keeping the software open source and verifiable.

  • OLED display and touch sensors
  • USB-C & A compatible
  • Easy microSD backup and restore

Price

$110

Released

2019

Popularity

Medium

Screen

Preview

Shop BitBox02

Hot Wallets
(Desktop, Mobile, and Online wallets)

Accessible User-friendly interfaces Less secure

A hot wallet is a digital wallet that is connected to the internet and online.

Desktop wallets are downloaded and installed on your computer

Electrum Wallet

Electrum Wallet

Desktop

Electrum is a desktop bitcoin wallet, created in 2011 by German computer scientist Thomas Voegtlin, which is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. It is designed to be lightweight, efficient and secure. The server code is open source and anyone can run a server. It also allows support for hardware wallets such as TREZOR, Ledger Nano, and KeepKey.

  • Supported cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin
  • Founded: November 2011
  • Founded by Thomas Voegtlin

Mobile ( Android / iOS) wallets are downloaded as applications to your mobile device

Mycelium Wallet

Mycelium

Mobile

The Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet is available for Android and iOS, with its source code open-sourced and available for review on Github. With its simple and intuitive interface, the Mycelium Wallet has emerged as one of the most popular products in the cryptocurrency market. The wallet was awarded the prestigious "Best Mobile App" award by Blockchain.info in 2014. Both experienced users and novice users can benefit from wallet’s seamless functionality, numerous third-party integrations, and bank-grade security.

  • Supported cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin
  • Founded: September 2013
  • Founded by Megion Research & Development
Breadwallet Wallet

Breadwallet (BRD)

Mobile

Breadwallet is a standalone bitcoin client and one of the easiest wallets to get started with. The streamlined design allows for a quick login, account creation, and Bitcoin transactions. Breadwallet is designed to protect you from malware, browser security holes, and even physical theft. With AES hardware encryption, app sandboxing, keychain, and code signatures, Breadwallet introduces significant security advances over alternate mobile wallets.

  • Supported cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin
  • Founded: 2015
  • Founded by Aaron Voisine
Edge Wallet

Edge

Mobile

Edge is a mobile application designed to simply store and trade Bitcoin, as well as many other cryptocurrencies. The wallet is also integrated with ShapeShift to allow easy conversion of coins and tokens. Edge uses client-side encryption to encrypt all of your private data on your device which means you retain complete control of your digital assets.

  • Supported cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, BCH, ETH, LTC, XMR, XRP, DASH, + more
  • Founded: January 2014
  • Founded by Paul Puey, Damian Cutillo