Best Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Wallets For Beginners: Quick Start Guide
You've heard of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and you've decided it's time for you to join the movement and get some for yourself.
This guide will quickly point you in the right direction for selecting a reputable and secure wallet to purchase, store, and get started with cryptocurrency.
First off, What is a Cryptocurrency Wallet?
A cryptocurrency wallet is the first step to purchasing or using Bitcoin. It is a place to store, send, and receive bitcoin / other digital currencies.
Keep in mind: Every digital currency has its own unique wallet.
For example, Bitcoin wallets only store Bitcoin, Ethereum wallets only store Ethereum, and Litecoin wallets only store Litecoin.
A wallet is similar to that of a bank account.
With a bank account you can:
- Transfer funds
- Receive funds
- Store funds
With a wallet you can:
- Purchase cryptocurrency
- Transfer funds
- Receive funds
- Store funds
What are the different elements of a Cryptocurrency wallet?
Public Key (public address) - also known as the "wallet address". If you want to receive bitcoin from someone you would provide them with your wallets unique Public key/public address/wallet address (all names are interchangeable
Private Key (private address) - A private key provides access to your funds. This is the secret code that grants access to all the bitcoin in a given wallet. A private key is NOT to be shared with anyone, or they will be able to steal your funds.
Public and Private Keys both come in 2 forms:
- QR code: For scanning simplicity
- Random numbers and letters: For copy and pasting
A Private key & Public key looks like:
How do you send a Bitcoin Transaction:
Initiating a bitcoin transaction can be intimidating at first, however, it's very simple. Some wallet providers make sending easier than others. Person-to-person focused apps like Coinpay and Dropbit make sending very easy while also offering traditional wallet features.
All you need to do is:
- Request someone's wallet address
- Copy and paste the wallet address you would like to send funds to
- Specify the amount you would like to send
- Confirm the transaction
What is a Wallet Provider - Different types of wallets
A wallet provider is an app, website, or device that allows you to store and access your funds. To make things simple, wallet providers often support many wallets and allow you to keep bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies wallets all in the same place.
There are three types of wallets to take into consideration, and these all have their own unique advantages.
Custodial Wallets - a custodial wallet is like a bank because it takes control over your funds. For example, If you were to store funds with a custodial wallet they put your funds in their centralized wallet where they provide you access to your share of cryptocurrency. So, in essence, a custodial wallet is not a true bitcoin or cryptocurrency wallet. It's an accounting system that allows you access to your share of their centralized cryptocurrency storage.
Non-custodial Wallets - Non-custodial wallets are true cryptocurrency wallets. They provide people with full access to their funds at any time. Non- custodial wallets set up users with a cryptocurrency wallet that directly stores your funds. that has access to a cryptocurrency's network where they are free to operate their crypto as they please.
Hardware Wallets - Hardware wallets are often used to store larger amounts of cryptocurrency. These wallets resemble a micro USB stick and are the most secure way to store funds. People will often keep these in a safe for longterm "cold" storage
Who are some Reputable Wallet Providers? - The tried and true
Coinpay - a mobile Non-custodial wallet that allows users to send cryptocurrency to one another with usernames similar to that of Venmo. Coinpay is trusted by over 45 countries worldwide. With Coinpay you can Buy cryptocurrency right on the app. They support Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum.
Blockchain Wallet - Blockchain Wallet is a cryptocurrency custodial wallet that allows users to send receive cryptocurrency for a fee. This is looked at as the common person's wallet
Mycelium - Mycelium is a mobile-only non-custodial wallet. Mycelium is not a wallet for beginners because it can be difficult to navigate and understand, however, for experienced bitcoin users, there should be no problem navigating their platform.
Getting started with cryptocurrencies can be difficult if you make it difficult. A great way to keep things simple and enjoy cryptocurrencies is to select the true and the tested companies for onboarding and guidance in navigating the cryptocurrency space.