After Bitcoin’s initial burst into the mainstream success, a lot of new cryptocurrency enthusiasts started taking interest in this crypto coin. Some people only wanted to know what the hype is about, while others were very adamant in investing in and making money from Bitcoin.
Before anything else, a cryptocurrency-holding wallet that would not only be fully functional but also have a high level of security should be the number one priority for the latter group of people. That’s why today we’ll talk about the safest Bitcoin wallet options and where to find them.
We'll start by quickly naming a few reasons for why Bitcoin should be a point of interest for any potential investors out there. Then I’ll review the different kinds of wallets that there are, talk about their pros and cons and see if we can find and name the most secure Bitcoin wallet out there.
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No matter how you feel about it, there’s no denying that this cryptocurrency has stirred up some fuss with its sudden and explosive jump into the mainstream.
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But is this coin as good and useful as it’s hyped up to be? Well, before we try to figure out the safest Bitcoin wallet, I’ll tell you about a few key reasons why people tend to think so, and then I’ll let you make up your mind.
- Anonymity. Bitcoin offers absolute anonymity when it comes to the transactions that you perform or take part in. Every single time that you enter one such transaction, a random address is generated on your behalf - there is no way of tracking these transactions - your secrets are safe with Bitcoin.
- Decentralization. Bitcoin is decentralized, meaning that no one person or organization owns it. This, in turn, means that no one can get involved with a transaction that you make with another individual or company - the relationship is purely peer-to-peer with no third parties stepping into the way.
- Fast and cheap. When compared to other, fiat methods of paying or sending money, Bitcoin is super fast and very cheap. Because it is decentralized, no one government can tax your payments and transfers - wherever in the world you would be!
These are the main points of interest that people underline when talking about Bitcoin’s advantages. Given the information provided above, it rationalizes Bitcoin’s rise to fame, at least by a bit.
Different Types of Bitcoin Wallets
There are many different safe Bitcoin wallets… But you’re here to find the safest Bitcoin wallet, right?
Well, before we try and find the most secure Bitcoin wallet, we should first get to know the two of the main types of wallets that there are.
The term “hot wallet” refers to digital (online or desktop) wallets. This is software that stores your Bitcoin (or any other cryptocurrency) in encrypted, online servers.
It is probably safe to say that digital wallets are the most popular choice when it comes to Bitcoin's safekeeping. Naturally, there are a few reasons why that’s the case.
First of all, they are the most available option out there. All you need to do to get one is to just go to a digital wallet-providing website and download it. Yes, it is that easy.
There are paid digital wallets, but most of them are completely free. This, in turn, lets almost anyone and everyone get one and see if they’re suitable for the “safest Bitcoin wallet” title.
Another huge reason for their popularity is the fact that they can store all cryptocurrencies.
Now, a single digital wallet CAN’T store every single cryptocurrency out there. However, for every single crypto coin in existence, there is a wallet created. Usually, the team that’s responsible for creating or developing a cryptocurrency are the guys that also create a wallet for it.
Digital wallets are often also multifunctional. Some wallets offer a huge variety of functions, not just a simple storage-payment system. You could change languages, transfer micropayments, etc.
There are notable downsides to hot wallets, though. The main issue that people have with them is security.
Digital cryptocurrency storage software is on a constant connection with the internet. Your data is kept on online servers. If something like a technical malfunction or a hacker breach would occur, your cryptocurrency savings are at a huge risk of being scammed and stolen. This is a passive, yet constant issue to keep in mind.
Some websites offer better-protected and more secure versions of wallets than others, but at the end of the day, if your savings are always online - they are at constant risk.
Cold wallets are physical devices that are designed to store your Bitcoin in a safe and sturdy environment.
These devices offer a great level of protection but are yet to be even as remotely popular as digital wallets are.
The main reason behind this is their price tag. Physical crypto storage devices tend to get quite pricey, especially when compared to their free counter-versions - the digital wallets.
Another popular complaint about cold wallets is that most of them only store very specific types of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and other types of popular cryptos are fine, but when it comes to the less-known or less-popular coins in the market, you might struggle to find a device that would store it.
It is worth mentioning, however, that hardware crypto coin storage doesn’t require any type of an internet connection - it’s an offline Bitcoin wallet. The data of your coins are stored inside of the device - even if you plug it into a computer that has a keylogger or some other type of a virus, you’re most likely safe.
The Superior Wallet
You would probably get different opinions every time you’d ask somebody about what the better option for a cryptocurrency storing wallet is - digital or offline Bitcoin wallets.
Some people say that it’s more or less subjective - that it all depends on the person and the specific situation. But there is one key point that you should be aware of.
Imagine that you have ten Bitcoins. By the current Bitcoin price, that’s a lot of money! You do your research and find a wallet that seems to fit your needs and expectations. You transfer all of the Bitcoin into that wallet and move on with your life.
A week later you go find out that all of your funds have been… stolen. They’re gone forever, all because the wallet that you’re using has been hacked into.
Do you get what I’m trying to say? If not, let me reiterate: there is nothing more important when it comes to cryptocurrency wallets than security. If your Bitcoins are stolen and you’re left empty handed, will you mind that the UI is a bit clunky? Or will you care that the transfer rates are the best in the industry? Probably not, because at that point, you’ll have nothing left to transfer.
Security should be the number one thing that concerns you when choosing a wallet, whether it's a digital or an offline Bitcoin wallet. A safe Bitcoin wallet can be clunky, it can suffer in the design apartment or even be somewhat slow - if it guarantees security, it should be a no-brainer.
With that being said, let’s check out some of the most popular and well-regarded (and secure!) wallets that currently dominate the market.
Best Hot Wallets
We’ll start by talking about the best digital wallets available.
Even though Coinbase is a digital wallet, it’s quite unconventional.
This hot wallet is regarded by many to be the safest Bitcoin wallet available. It’s multifunctional, integrated into its market (which means that the transfer, buying and selling rates are super fast and FREE), is beginner-friendly and well-optimized.
What’s super cool about Coinbase is that it offers you a 100% insurance for your cryptocurrency. That means that this site GUARANTEES you that your cryptos are safe and sound. Additionally, you can add verifications (like the 2-step verification) and they even offer the ability to store your cryptos inside of “vaults” for maximum security.
Sounds too good to be true? Well, there is a catch: Coinbase only accepts Bitcoin and Ethereum. Although, given the fact that you’re reading a guide called “How to Find the Safest Bitcoin Wallet?”, you’re probably not looking for other cryptocurrency wallets, are you?
UPDATE 2020: Coinbase now accepts more than 30 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and other popular coins.
Jaxx could probably be considered a hybrid wallet - it often falls into the “safest Bitcoin wallet” category, but it’s a bit tough to say what type of wallet we’re talking about.
You see, Jaxx can be used as a digital wallet online or from your desktop, but its main feature is that it is the world’s first smartphone wallet - this fact almost places it into the physical wallet category.
Jaxx is great when it comes to safe Bitcoin wallets - it has all of the mandatory features that are required for a safe and secure digital wallet.
However, because of Jaxx’s constant updates and new integrations, it might be difficult to get a hang of it for beginners who aren’t experienced in the field of cryptocurrencies.
Best Cold Wallets
Now I’ll tell you about two of the best cold wallets.
Trezor is considered to be the original hardware Bitcoin storage. If you’re looking for the safest Bitcoin wallet, Trezor should probably be somewhere at the top of that list.
Trezor’s strongest quality is its security. This piece of hardware is sometimes referred to as the vault of physical wallets - you could plug it into any device, whether clean or corrupted with malware, and it would keep your keys secure (don’t try it, though. Seriously.).
Standard Trezor costs around $99 - this is considered to be somewhat of a benchmark price for when it comes to good and reputable cold wallets, and Trezor is a strong contender for the “safest Bitcoin wallet” spot.
Ledger Nano S
The main competitor for Trezor, the Ledger Nano S offers very similar user experience and security features, but for a competitive price.
Ledger costs around $65 USD and is compact and fully functional. It’s a great alternative for Trezor, and these two hardware devices have been dominating the market of secure and reliable offline Bitcoin wallets.
The Safest Bitcoin Wallet?
You now know about two of the most popular cryptocurrency wallet types, their strengths, and their weaknesses. So… What is the safest Bitcoin wallet out there?
This doesn’t mean that the other wallets are unsafe or not trustworthy - it’s just that Ledger and Coinbase have almost completely dominated the market AND they have very strong and sustainable foundations for the claims about their safety.
This guide has been a quest for the most secure Bitcoin wallet. Did we succeed? Well, I don’t think there’s a one-sided answer to this question.
Finding and presenting the safest Bitcoin wallet isn’t easy. Not because there’s a lack of information or competence - simply because there are quite a few contenders for the spot of the “safest Bitcoin wallet”. With time, it becomes progressively more difficult to pick and choose the right one.
I have given only two examples each for digital and physical wallets. In hindsight, this is just a scratch on the surface of the number of different wallets out there. But the wallets that I have mentioned (Ledger, Trezor and Coinbase) are the main players in the game - they all have years of reputation building, technological advancement, and overall development under their belts. It’s tough to predict just what type of security-based technology we’ll see in, let’s say, five years from now.
If you agree that the wallets that I have named in this guide are suitable for the name of “best Bitcoin wallet”, don’t hesitate and try them out yourself!