How to get a Bitcoin Wallet: A Complete Guide to Bitcoin Wallets

how to get a bitcoin wallet

Before getting a Bitcoin Wallet, you should know what kind of Bitcoin Wallet is best for your requirement.

What is a Bitcoin Wallet?

A Bitcoin Wallet is a software that lets you to store your Bitcoins. A Bitcoin Wallet consists with a Private Key and a Public Key. You need the public key when you want to receive Bitcoins to your wallet and you need the private key when you want to send Bitcoins from your wallet. Technically Bitcoins are not really stored in anywhere. It’s a record on the Bitcoin Blockchain. But if your wallet has a Bitcoin balance, it lets you to spend your Balance using your private key.

Types of Bitcoin Wallets

Types of Bitcoin Wallets
Types of Bitcoin Wallets

Hardware Wallets

A hardware wallet is considered as the safest method to store Bitcoins. It is a small device that is connected to the internet only when you need to transact with your Bitcoins. Since it is offline most of the times, the wallet cannot be hacked and the coins are safe.

There are also disadvantages of using a Hardware wallet. Since the private keys are stored in the same device your hardware wallet might get lost or stolen with your Bitcoins. Therefore, you must keep your hardware wallet in a secure place.

Ledger, Tezor and Keepkey are some popular hardware wallets. If you are buying a hardware wallet, don’t forget to buy these wallets from the official stores. Buying from 3rd parties is not the best option since the private keys can be already exposed.

Paper Wallets

A paper wallet is a Public Key and a Private Key printed on a paper. You can generate paper wallets online or offline using paper wallet generators. Then you print it on a paper, load your paper wallet by sending Bitcoins to its public key and keep the wallet in a secure place. When you want to get the Bitcoins out of the paper wallet you can use a Mobile or a Desktop wallets, which has the “Sweep paper wallet” function, where you can transfer your Bitcoin balance to the respective wallet.

A paper wallet is one of the most secure ways to store Bitcoins as it is not connected to the internet. You can use WalletGenerator or BitAdress to generate paper wallets with ease. If you are going for a paper wallet, make sure to keep it safe from fire and water, or a termite attack!

Custodial Wallets

A Custodial Bitcoin Wallet is not actually a wallet. It is a service offered to you. This means the wallet provider stores the Bitcoins for you. You only have access to your Bitcoins through the wallet provider. It works like a bank holding your money. Only difference is you don’t get an interest. And there is a risk using a custodial service. If the wallet provider vanishes, you will lose your Bitcoins. Therefore, you must be careful while choosing a custodial Bitcoin Wallet to store your Bitcoins. If you want to use a Custodial Bitcoin Wallet, there are reputable services such as Coinbase who is operating since the early days of Bitcoin. Coinbase also gives you the option to buy Bitcoins with Credit Card depending on your geographical location. If you chose Coinbase you can buy and store your Bitcoins in the same place.

There are Cryptocurrency Exchanges where you can trade Bitcoins with other cryptocurrencies. Binance, OKEx, Huobi, KuCoin are some popular and reputed exchanges. All these cryptocurrency exchanges work as custodial bitcoin wallets. Be sure to do a proper research and select a reputable service if you chose to store Bitcoin in a Custodial Wallet.

Non-Custodial Wallets

A Non-Custodial wallet is a wallet that gives the user a private key. Hardware wallets and Paper wallets are also non-custodial wallets. When it comes to non-custodial software wallets, there are mainly three types;

  1. Mobile Wallets
  2. Desktop Wallets
  3. Web Wallets

Mobile Wallets

You can download Mobile Bitcoin Wallets as apps from Google play store or Apple app store. If you are doing regular Bitcoin transactions, these mobile wallets the best option to store a small amount of Bitcoins. It is recommended to store a small amount of Bitcoins in mobile apps since the device is connected to the internet most of the times.  

There are lots of user friendly mobile Bitcoin wallets with excellent security features. Most of the mobile wallets generate the private key when it is installed in your device and stored in the same device. You can create a backup of the private key and use it to restore your wallet in case you delete the wallet app by mistake or lose access to your device. Nowadays most of the wallets are multicurrency wallets where you can store Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies., BitPay and BRD are some popular mobile Bitcoin wallets with both Android and iOS versions.

Desktop Wallets

Like mobile wallets, there are also desktop wallets where you can store you Bitcoins on your personal computer. If your desktop computer is not connecting to the internet very often this is also a good method to store your Bitcoins. Like other wallets, desktop wallets have its own flows. If your PC is hacked or infected by malicious software, your Private keys can be exposed to unauthorized parties. This may end with losing your Bitcoins.

Exodus, AtomicWallet, Electrum, are some popular Desktop wallets with good ratings.

Web Wallets

Using a Web wallet is a convenient method of storing Bitcoins if you want to access your Bitcoins from any device from anywhere. You only have to have the correct password. This method is easy but less secure because your private keys are stored in the wallet provider’s servers. You have to trust your wallet providers has enough security measures to keep your private keys and the Bitcoins safe. Most wallet providers give you the option to enable 2FA for extra security of your wallet. Be sure to use a strong password and enable 2FA if you choose a web wallet to store your Bitcoins.

If you are looking for a web wallet, or should be one of your choices.

Since you have a Bitcoin Wallet, Let’s get your fist Bitcoin.

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