Bitcoin Wallets

Learning Bitcoin

What is a Bitcoin Wallet?

You need a bitcoin wallet to be able to use bitcoin.

At it's basic level a Bitcoin Wallet holds all information (including your private keys) required to transact and store bitcoins. Bitcoin wallets can be broken down in to multiple categories, offering a variety of options for any use case.

Mobile Bitcoin Wallet

Types of Bitcoin Wallet

Wallets avaliable include desktop, mobile, online, hardware and paper wallets.

Desktop Bitcoin Wallet

Desktop Wallet

A Bitcoin desktop wallet is a piece of software you can download and install, just like any other application you may have on your computer. Software wallets are generally split in to 2 categories, 'full clients' and 'lightweight clients'.

  • Full wallets download and store a full copy of the blockchain (the full blockchain is now over 130GB as of April 2017). Unfortunately due to the blockchain's size and time this wallet takes to keep up to date, it isn't suitable for all users, it's more for advanced users.
  • Lightweight wallets (also referred to as SPV wallets) communicate with a third party full wallet, so you don't have to. This makes lightweight wallet's more user friendly and can be used on pretty much any device, desktops, mobiles and tablets.

Mobile Bitcoin Wallet

Mobile Wallet

Bitcoin Mobile wallets are just like any other app you may download from app stores. It works like a lightweight wallet, so you don't need to download the whole blockchain to your phone.

Web Bitcoin Wallet

Web Wallet

Bitcoin Web wallets work like your online banking, you are simply leaving your money (bitcoins) with another company, that offers a website for you to login and transact with your bitcoins when required. CoinCorner is a great example of a web bitcoin wallet.

Hardware Bitcoin Wallet

Hardware Wallet

Bitcoin Hardware wallets are effectively mini computers built with the purpose of generating Bitcoin private keys offline and allowing for signing transactions offline. By keeping all functionality offline, hardware wallets add extra security and are the most secure method of storing your bitcoins.

Paper Bitcoin Wallet

Paper Wallet

Bitcoin Paper wallets were the best way to store bitcoins offline before hardware wallets became available. You would simply print off your private key on a piece of paper. Paper wallets are not used as often anymore due to hardware wallets, but they are still quite a novelty method for storing or even giving bitcoins out to people.