Heres something every bitcoin owner should know: the safety and security of your bitcoins is ultimately
Combiningdigital security knowledgeas well assecure bitcoin storageis important if you dont want your accounts hacked and bitcoins drained. Remember bitcoin transactions are not reversible. To send or spend bitcoins, one must have access to both public and private keys.Private keys, especially, must be protected.
Read Also:Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin
There are a fewtypes of bitcoin walletsand they have varying security mechanism to ensure the safety of private keys.
Simplistically, bitcoin wallets can be divided into5 types: desktop, mobile, online, hardware and paper wallets. Some types may overlap or used in combination with each other. Im going to touch onwhat to expect from each typeand feature a few examples you can try out.
Here are 14 secure bitcoin wallet options you can choose from.
Bitcoin Core is thefirst and original wallet. Using this option meanshaving control over both your public and private keys, which ensures safe storage.
However, Bitcoin Core alsorequires a lot of spaceas the softwarecomes with data on every bitcoin transaction ever performed.
According to the download page, as of 2016 you need 65GB of free space this number will increase as more bitcoin transactions happen every day.
Calling themselvesThe Only Open-Source Wallet With Cold Storage and Multi-Signature Support, Armory is one of the popular options around for desktop bitcoin wallet.
Private keys arestored in an offline computer, which means that only someone with access to thephysical locationof the computer (it is kept secret) can steal bitcoins.
to ensure users bitcoins are not compromised.
keep only a small amount of bitcoins in mobile wallets
while keeping the rest in more secure options.
Note: All the recommendations below are available for both Android and iOS users.
Mycelium is one of thesafestandmost recommendedoptions for secure bitcoin storage on mobile. Boasting bank grade security, it boastsHierarchical Deterministicwallets,private key deletionandwatch only accounts.
This full-fledged bitcoin service provider offers bothonline and mobilesecure bitcoin wallets. What differentiates Wirex from the rest is itsease of use while not compromising security.
Users getmulti-signature (multi-sig) walletsand can enable2-factor authentication(2FA) for both app and Wirex-linked email address, making third-party breaches hard.
Famous for its vault and security,Xapocombinescold storageandmulti-sig technologyto keep users bitcoins safe. Its servers are kept behind reinforced concrete walls, a steel blast door and radio wave-blocking Faraday cage, located within the Alps.
via any device so long as it can be connected to the Internet.
easier and faster to make transactions via online wallets
Phishing, malware, insider hacking or plain lack of digital security knowledge
The failure of two huge bitcoin exchanges (Mt Gox and Bitfinex)
Although the bitcoin wallets recommended in this section have high reputation, we suggest youkeep larger amounts of bitcoins in other types of wallets.
is the most popular (8 mil wallets) website everyone uses toperform and check bitcoin transactions. They are often praised for itsease of use, multi-country support, and cross-platform capability.
Aside from web wallet, is alsoavailable on desktop and mobile app.
A respected name in the Bitcoin world,BitGoisconsidered a leader in blockchain security. BitGo is great for individuals and businesseswho prefer near-instant transactions. Usually, a bitcoin transaction needs between3-6 confirmations, taking about 30-60 minutes.
With BitGo Instant and itszero-confirmation technology, users can make both secure and fast transactions.
Many bitcoin holdershave the tendency to check bitcoin wallets multiple times to reassure themselves their bitcoins are still there. This constant login-logout might be unsafe if it was done over unsecured WiFi or exposed to malware or phishing tactics.
GreenAddressswatch-only mode helps users tocheck balances without compromising safety. Hierarchical Deterministic wallets also help to keep users bitcoins secure.
One of the biggest fears of a bitcoin holder is unknown transaction that depletes all of their bitcoin savings.KeepKeyhelps to alleviate this fear. Users will have toapprove each outgoing transaction on the KeepKey device, manually.
Private keys remain in the device, which is alsoPIN-protectedin case it falls into the wrong hands.
A trusted name and endorsed by many key Bitcoin community leaders, Trezor is small and simple to use. It featuressecurity against malware and disaster recovery in case of theft or loss.
Thesmallestandmost cost-effective option, the USD-sized Ledger Nano comes in a few variations. Everyday users can select between Ledger Nano or Ledger Nano S. The latter is the first hardware wallet that can alsostore Ether (ETH/ETH),making it the first of its kind.
Bitcoin paper wallets are safe against hackers as
Users have control of their bitcoins at all times as
Paper can be destroyed, torn, fade or otherwise lost
there is no recovery mechanism for paper wallets
so lost bitcoins are lost forever. This is something you need to keep in mind if you want to use this option.
Users canprint tamper-resistant paper walletswith this services to keep their bitcoins offline. Offering additional security tips, designs and supplies, this website is a favorite amongbitcoin cold storage advocates. It even has a handyvideoshowing you how to use this paper wallet.
BitAddressgenerate bitcoin paper wallets easily.
To a new bitcoin user, this information might seem daunting. You might have heard of bitcoin losses due to hacks, malware, or perhaps simply human error.
We suggestkeeping most of your bitcoins in either paper or hardware wallets(or if you have the space, in Bitcoin Core). If you must keep bitcoins in online or mobile wallets,spread them around in a few reputable websites as recommended above.