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If you’re ready to join millions of bitcoin users, your next step should be picking a bitcoin wallet for yourself. What’s a bitcoin wallet? To put it simply, it’s a place to store your bitcoins.There are many types of wallets for various needs, so a beginner might get confused at first. What are the types of bitcoin wallets you can choose from and how to decide which one would be the best for you?
There are 5 main types of bitcoin wallets: software, offline, browser-based, mobile and hardware.
Software bitcoin wallet is a computer application. They can be used only on the computer where you have installed it, so their mobility is extremely limited. You can install it on as a portable application using a USB stick, but still you’d require a computer to use it, so this doesn’t solve the mobility issue.
Offline bitcoin wallet is a kind of safe to securely store your bitcoins. This is the main application for this type of wallet as it doesn’t allow internet communication. Best for securing larger amounts of bitcoins you won’t be using for a longer time.
Browser bitcoin wallet is the most popular way for using bitcoins online. This type of wallet requires only a web browser on a pc, smartphone or any other mobile device. Browser-based wallets offer the highest mobility level, but at the same time the security level is not as high as hardware or offline ones, as your funds depend on a third-party service provider. You shouldn’t keep a big amount of bitcoins in such a wallet and use only a trusted provider as blockchain.info.
Mobile bitcoin wallet has a form of a smartphone or tablet application. As the name says, they offer the highest mobility level, allowing you to pay instantly in any website or places accepting bitcoin as the payment method, like restaurants.
Hardware bitcoin wallet is usually a special type of a USB stick. Hardware wallets offer a very high security level, but their downside is the same as software ones – their mobility is highly limited, a computer with a free usb slot is required to use it.
When you’re done with picking and installing your wallet, you should get some bitcoins and transfer them there. You can get them at a bitcoin exchange website or maybe purchase them from other users. Remember that while offering a similar features as a wallet, bitcoin exchanges are not meant to store your bitcoins.