Best Places To Store Bitcoin
Now that you have your bitcoins, the question is where do I keep them and keep them safe from somebody stealing them? The answer is up to you. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as far as currencies are concerned, is still fairly new and the way you store them may be new to you too. Remember when your grandparents told stories about stashing their money under their mattresses or burying it in the back yard instead of putting it in a bank to keep their wealth private? These places are now your computers, flash drives, devices, and even your smartphone using encrypted digital wallets because you can’t open a Bitcoin account at your local bank. Knowing which type of digital wallet to choose depends on what you plan to do with your Bitcoin and finding the best one of that type is what everyone looks for. There are five types of digital wallets to choose from and each one is designed to fit the type of storage you need. Let’s take a look at the best of each one.
- Web wallets are usually free and most can be found on or associated with exchanges where bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are bought and sold. They are accessed from your browser or mobile app and offer the convenience of making quick buys and sells. Coinbase is an exchange that offers a wallet with a web interface. They have been voted number one year after year with more than 8.3M customers. They support bitcoin and a few other cryptocurrencies and has a user interface that is easy to understand and use. As far as anyone has heard, Coinbase has never been faced with a hack or theft which is very important as web-based wallets have been known to be targets of these attacks. They also charge minimal fees for transactions so it is easy to see why they are the most popular.
- Mobile wallets are accessed from your smartphone or tablet through an app. They are portable and convenient making them ideal when making transactions face-to-face and setup is usually very easy. They are normally treated like the wallet or purse you carry around holding only the funds you plan on spending at the moment as your phone may be susceptible to malware so keeping large amounts of funds in these types of wallets is not a good idea. BRD is the most popular mobile Bitcoin wallet that supports iOS and Android. This app works well with those that are just getting comfortable using Bitcoin or for users who are receiving and spending bitcoins on a daily basis. BRD comes with a simple and appealing interface plus it gives you a code after setup so you can fully restore from backup if you decide to change phones.
- Hardware wallets are one of the more secure ways for keeping large amounts of bitcoin. These devices can be disconnected from your computer and the internet so they can be stored in a safe place. Full backup and restore features keep your funds safe in case the device is damaged or stolen. There are a few top-notch devices on the market but the Ledger Nano X has been voted the best device based on several reviews. This wallet has state of the art security in place and can connect through Bluetooth letting you use it with your phone or computer without using a wire. The Ledger Nano X is not cheap at a little over $100 but it is worth the investment for the security it offers.
- Desktop wallets are highly popular with Bitcoin enthusiasts. They are software apps that are installed directly onto our desktop computer and is a good place to store your Bitcoin if you do not have a hardware wallet. They offer full back up and restore features with paraphrases and can be disconnected from the internet by simply shutting down your computer. There’s a variety of good desktop wallets to choose from. Some have better security than others while some have an easier user interface. Overall, Electrum is voted the best in desktop wallets. The interface may be ugly looking like an early version of Windows but it is voted the most effective and secure desktop wallet available.
- Paper wallets are mostly useful to people with large amounts of bitcoin because they are the most secure way to store them. Private keys and public keys are printed on paper in the form of QR codes and can be stored in a fireproof safe or deposit box. Because they are never connected to the internet, this adds an extra layer of security. The best place to get paper wallets is at Bitaddress. They offer a fast-offline way of storing your bitcoin with full instructions on how to load and spend your bitcoin printed directly on the paper wallet and it is 100% free to use.
This list of the best was compiled by researching several reviews from respected sites. Your opinion may differ depending on your tastes but we all have to agree that security is the top priority when using Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.