Understanding Wallets

There are two main types of wallets: Web-based wallets you log on to over the internet or wallets you install on a local machine, such as your laptop, tablet or phone. Web wallets are generally very easy to set up, requiring only a username and password to start using Bitcoin. They allow you to automate the process of keeping the wallet software up to date and backed up.

Blockchain

 (Web Client Wallet) –

http://blockchain.info/wallet/

This service is considered a hybrid eWallet. There is an encrypted copy of your wallet stored on Blockchain.info’s server. The same wallet can be accessed using the Blockchain for Android mobile or IOS wallet.

Bitcoin-QT

(Desktop Client Wallet) –

http://bitcoin.org/en/download

The original software written by Satoshi Nakamoto, the project’s founder. The client must download the entire blockchain to be fully operational, which can take up to a few days the first time you start the wallet.

Electrum

(Desktop Client Wallet) –

http://electrum.org/

Electrum is a fast and easy way to use Bitcoin wallet client. It’s a desktop client that  doesn’t download the blockchain history but instead uses one of several remote (online) servers for the blockchain history.

CoinHive

(Desktop Client Wallet) –

http://grabhive.com

Hive is a Bitcoin Wallet that is designed to be easy to use and which allows you to select people to pay simply by clicking on their faces in a contacts screen. Hive will charge the users around 0.5% for each transaction.

Web wallets are generally a good starting point for new users who are still learning about Bitcoin. However, you are storing your bitcoins with a third party. The major web wallets are bitstamp.net and blockchain.info.

Some web-based wallets also allow you to trade your bitcoins for your local currency, which you can then draw down to your bank account allowing you to easily access your funds.

With a local wallet you are in possession of your own bitcoins, but this comes with the added administration of doing your own updates and making sure you back it up so you don’t lose your bitcoins. Remember, if you lose your wallet file you cannot get your bitcoins back. A selection of local wallets are available from bitcoin.org.
Remember, when choosing a wallet, no one person is in charge of Bitcoin, so if you don’t like the wallet you are using you can simply move your bitcoins to another wallet, or even store your bitcoins in multiple wallets. Funds can be moved more or less instantly and the process is less complicated than doing a bank transfer.

Never reveal your passwords to anyone, if you do people can steal your bitcoins.
Bitcoin transactions –like cash– are irreversible so if someone steals your Bitcoins they are gone forever.

After setting up your Bitcoin Wallet you can begin sending and receiving bitcoins!


Always enter a secure password. It is important to keep your password save and protected as lost passwords cannot be recovered.