Cryptocurrency Wallet Guide: A Step-By-Step Tutorial

Use this aboveboard guidebook to learn what a cryptocurrency wallet is, how they work and unwrap which one ’ randomness are the best on the commercialize. If you are looking for something a bit more in contingent about cryptocurrencies please check out our course on it .

What is a Cryptocurrency Wallet?

Enjoy a free lesson from the Blockgeeks Library!

A cryptocurrency wallet is a software platform that stores individual and public keys and interacts with diverse blockchain to enable users to send and receive digital currency and monitor their balance. If you want to use Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, you will need to have a digital wallet .

How Do They Work?

Millions of people use cryptocurrency wallets, but there is a considerable misunderstanding about how they work. Unlike traditional ‘ pocket ’ wallets, digital wallets don ’ thyroxine store currency. In fact, currencies don ’ t contract stored in any single location or exist anywhere in any physical form. All that exists are records of transactions stored on the blockchain .
Cryptocurrency wallets are software programs that store your public and individual keys and interface with assorted blockchains so users can monitor their libra, send money and impart other operations. When a person sends you bitcoins or any other type of digital currentness, they are basically signing off ownership of the coins to your wallet ’ second address. To be able to spend those coins and unlock the funds, the private keystone stored in your wallet must match the populace address the currentness is assigned to. If the public and private keys match, the libra in your digital wallet will increase, and the senders will decrease consequently. There is no actual exchange of real coins. The transaction is signified merely by a transaction record on the blockchain and a change in remainder in your cryptocurrency wallet .
Cryptocurrency keys

What are the different types of Cryptocurrency wallets?

There are several types of wallets that provide different ways to store and access your digital currency. Wallets can be broken down into three clear-cut categories – software, hardware, and newspaper. Software wallets can be a background, mobile or on-line .

  • Desktop: wallets are downloaded and installed on a personal computer or laptop. They are alone accessible from the single calculator in which they are downloaded. Desktop wallets offer one of the highest levels of security system however if your computer is hacked or gets a virus there is the hypothesis that you may lose all your funds .
  • Online:  wallets run on the cloud and are accessible from any computing device in any location. While they are more commodious to access, on-line wallets store your secret keys online and are controlled by a third party which makes them more vulnerable to hacking attacks and larceny .
  • Mobile:  wallets run on an app on your phone and are utilitarian because they can be used anywhere including retail stores. Mobile wallets are normally much smaller and simpler than desktop wallets because of the limited space available on mobile .
  • Hardware: wallets differ from software wallets in that they store a user’s private keys on a hardware device like a USB. Although hardware wallets make transactions online, they are stored offline which delivers increased security. Hardware wallets can be compatible with several web interfaces and can support different currencies; it just depends on which one you decide to use. What’s more, making a transaction is easy. Users simply plug in their device to any internet-enabled computer or device, enter a pin, send currency and confirm. Hardware wallets make it possible to easily transact while also keeping your money offline and away from danger.
  • Paper: wallets are easy to use and provide a identical high degree of security. While the term paper wallet can plainly refer to a forcible copy or printout of your public and secret keys, it can besides refer to a firearm of software that is used to securely generate a pair of keys which are then printed. Using a wallpaper wallet is relatively square. Transferring Bitcoin or any other currency to your newspaper wallet is accomplished by the transportation of funds from your software wallet to the public address shown on your newspaper wallet. alternatively, if you want to withdraw or spend currency, all you need to do is transfer funds from your paper wallet to your software wallet. This process, frequently referred to as ‘ brush, ’ can either be done manually by entering your private keys or by scanning the QR code on the wallpaper wallet .

Are Cryptocurrency wallets secure?

Wallets are batten to varying degrees. The tied of security depends on the character of wallet you use ( desktop, mobile, on-line, wallpaper, hardware ) and the service provider. A world wide web server is an intrinsically riskier environment to keep your currency compared to offline. Online wallets can expose users to possible vulnerabilities in the wallet chopine which can be exploited by hackers to steal your funds. Offline wallets, on the other hand, can not be hacked because they merely aren ’ thyroxine connected to an on-line network and wear ’ t trust on a third party for security .
Although on-line wallets have proven the most vulnerable and prone to hacking attacks, diligent security precautions need to be implemented and followed when using any wallet. Remember that no count which wallet you use, losing your private keys will lead you to lose your money. similarly, if your wallet gets hacked, or you send money to a swindler, there is no manner to reclaim lose currentness or reverse the transaction. You must take precautions and be very careful !

  • Backup your wallet. Store only small amounts of currency for everyday use online, on your computer or mobile, keeping the vast majority of your funds in a high-security environment. Cold or offline storage options for backup like Store only little amounts of currency for everyday use on-line, on your calculator or mobile, keeping the huge majority of your funds in a high-security environment. Cold or offline storage options for backup like Ledger Nano X or composition or USB will protect you against calculator failures and allow you to recover your wallet should it be lost or stolen. It will not, however, protect you against tidal bore hackers. The world is, if you choose to use an on-line wallet there are implicit in risks that can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate always be protected against .
  • Update software. Keep your software up to date so that you have the latest security enhancements available. You should regularly update not only your wallet software but besides the software on your calculator or fluid .
  • Add extra security layers. The more layers of security, the better. Setting long and complex passwords and ensuring any withdrawal of funds requires a password is a startle. Use wallets that have a thoroughly reputation and provide excess security system layers like two-factor authentication and extra pin code requirements every time a wallet application gets opened. You may besides want to consider a wallet that offers multisig transactions like armory or Copay. A multisig or multi-signature wallet requires the license of another exploiter or users before a transaction can be made .

Multi-currency or single-use?

Although Bitcoin is by far the most long-familiar and popular digital currentness, hundreds of new cryptocurrencies ( referred to as altcoins ) have emerged, each with classifiable ecosystems and infrastructure. If you ’ ra interested in using a kind of cryptocurrencies, the effective newsworthiness is, you don ’ t need to set up a discriminate wallet for each currentness. rather of using a cryptocurrency wallet that supports a single currentness, it may be more commodious to set up a multi-currency wallet which enables you to use several currencies from the same wallet .

Are there any transaction fees?

There is no straightforward answer here .
In general, transaction fees are a bantam fraction of traditional bank fees. sometimes fees need to be paid for certain types of transactions to network miners as a process fee, while some transactions don ’ t have any fee at all. It ’ mho besides possible to set your own fee. As a template, the median transaction size of 226 bytes would result in a tip of 18,080 satoshis or $ 0.12. In some cases, if you choose to set a abject fee, your transaction may get low precedence, and you might have to wait hours or even days for the transaction to get confirmed. If you need your transaction completed and confirmed promptly, then you might need to increase the sum you ’ rhenium volition to pay. Whatever wallet you end up using, transaction fees are not something you should worry about. You will either pay little transaction fees, choose your own fees or pay no fees at all. A definite improvement from the past !

Are cryptocurrency wallets anonymous?

Kind of, but not very. Wallets are pseudonymous. While wallets aren ’ thyroxine tied to the actual identity of a user, all transactions are stored publicly and permanently on the blockchain. Your appoint or personal street address won ’ t be there, but data like your wallet address could be traced to your identity in a number of ways. While there are efforts afoot to make anonymity and privacy easier to achieve, there are obvious downsides to full anonymity. Check out the DarkWallet project that is looking to beef up privacy and anonymity through stealth addresses and coin mix .

Which Cryptocurrency wallet is the best?

There is an ever-growing list of options. Before picking a wallet, you should, however, consider how you intend to use it .

  • Do you need a wallet for everyday purchases or just buy and holding the digital currency for an investing ?
  • Do you plan to use respective currencies or one single currency ?
  • Do you require access to your digital wallet from anywhere or lone from home ?
  • Take some time to assess your requirements and then choose the most suitable wallet for you .

Atomic Wallet

Atomic Wallet is a new multi-asset custody-free solution for secure storehouse and management of BTC, ETH, XLM, XRP, LTC, and over 300 other coins and tokens. The crypto-assets and features are regularly updated. private keys are securely encrypted on a user ’ south device, so one has full restraint over their funds. The background app is available for Windows, MacOS, Ubuntu, Debian and Fedora. Private alpha versions of Android and IOS mobile apps will be released in October, 2018. Atomic Wallet is a batten all-in-one, non-custodial cryptocurrency storage with a smooth and comprehensive interface. The wallet supports Atomic Swaps, a up-to-date sport that helps users significantly save on fees. Atomic wallet besides enables users to buy cryptocurrency with USD and EUR and exchange their assets at the best rates via Changelly or ShapeShift .

  • Pros : Handy interface, Optimum privacy & security, Decentralized, Multi-currency, Custody-free, Built-in Exchange, Bank cards accepted, 24/7 clamant support .
  • Cons : not all coins support Atomic swaps so far

Bread Wallet

Bread Wallet is a simple mobile Bitcoin digital wallet that makes sending bitcoins adenine easy as sending an electronic mail. The wallet can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. Bread Wallet offers a standalone node, so there is no server to use when sending or receiving bitcoins. That means users can access their money and are in full operate of their funds at all times. overall, Bread Wallet ’ s scavenge interface, lightweight purpose and commitment to continually improve security system, make the lotion safe, fast and a pleasure to use for both beginners and experienced users alike .

  • Pros: Good privacy & security system, beginner-friendly, childlike & blank, open-source software, absolve .
  • Cons: No web or desktop interface, lacks features, hot wallet .


Advanced users searching for a bitcoin fluid digital wallet, should look no further than mycelium. The Mycelium mobile wallet allows iPhone and Android users to send and receive bitcoins and keep complete control over bitcoins. No third base party can freeze or lose your funds ! With enterprise-level security superior to most other apps and features like cold storage and encrypted PDF backups, an integrated QR-code scanner, a local anesthetic trade market and plug chat amongst others, you can understand why Mycelium has farseeing been regarded as one of the best wallets on the market .

  • Pros: good privacy, boost security, feature-rich, open-source software, free
  • Cons: No web or desktop interface, hot wallet, not for beginners


Exodus is a relatively new and unknown digital wallet that is presently entirely available on the desktop. It enables the repositing and trade of Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoins, Dogecoins, and Dash through an fabulously easy to use, intuitive and beautiful interface. Exodus besides offers a very dim-witted usher to backup your wallet. One of the bang-up things about Exodus is that it has a built-in shapeshift exchange that allows users to trade altcoins for bitcoins and frailty versa without leaving the wallet .

  • Pros: Good privacy & security, beginner-friendly, intuitive, comfortable to use, in-wallet trade, supports multiple currencies, open-source software, unblock .
  • Cons: Hot wallet, no web interface or mobile app


Created by Bitpay, Copay is one of the best digital wallets on the market. If you ’ rhenium looking for convenience, Copay is easily accessed through a user-friendly interface on background, mobile or on-line. One of the best things about Copay is that it ’ s a multi-signature wallet so friends or occupation partners can contribution funds. Overall, Copay has something for everyone. It ’ s simple enough for entry-level users but has plenty of extra geeky features that will impress more experience players equally well .

  • Pros: Good privacy & security, multisig transactions, multiple platforms & devices, multiple wallet memory, beginner-friendly, open-source software, barren
  • Cons: Can be slow & unresponsive, limited user support


Jaxx is a multi-currency Ether, Ether Classic, Dash, DAO, Litecoin, REP, Zcash, Rootstock, Bitcoin wallet and drug user interface. Jaxx has been designed to deliver a smooth bitcoin and Ethereum experience. It is available on a variety of platforms and devices ( Windows, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, OSX, Android mobile & pill, iOS mobile & tablet ) and connects with websites through Firefox and Chrome extensions. Jaxx allows in wallet conversion between Bitcoin, Ether and DAO tokens via Shapeshift and the consequence of Ethereum paper wallets. With an array of features and the continual integration of raw currencies, Jaxx is an excellent choice for those who require a multi-currency wallet .

  • Pros: Good privacy & security, Multi-currency, wallet linking across multiple platforms, great drug user support, feature-rich, user-friendly, free .
  • Cons: The code is not open source, can be slow to load.


Armory is an open-source Bitcoin background wallet perfective for feel users that place emphasis on security. Some of Armory ’ s features include coldness memory, multi-signature transactions, erstwhile printable backups, multiple wallets interface, GPU-resistant wallet encoding, winder import, key sweep and more. Although Armory takes a little while to understand and use to its full likely, it ’ s a great option for more tech-savvy bitcoiners looking to keep their funds safe and secure .

  • Pros: good privacy, great security features, multi-signature options, solid cold storage options, free .
  • Cons: Only accessible via the desktop client, not for beginners.


Trezor is a hardware bitcoin wallet that is ideal for storing large amounts of bitcoins. Trezor can not be infected by malware and never exposes your individual keys which make it deoxyadenosine monophosphate dependable as holding traditional newspaper money. Trezor is afford source and guileless, with all technical decisions benefiting from wider residential district consultation. It ’ s easy to use, has an intuitive interface and is Windows, OS X, and Linux friendly. One of the few downsides of the Trezor wallet is that it must be with you to send bitcoins. This, therefore, makes Trezor best for inactive savers, investors or people who want to keep bombastic amounts of bitcoin highly plug .

  • Pros: Good security & privacy, cold repositing, easy to use a world wide web interface, in-built screen, open-source software, beginner-friendly .
  • Cons: Costs $99, a must-have device to send bitcoins

Ledger Nano

The Ledger Wallet Nano X is a new hierarchical deterministic multisig hardware wallet for bitcoin users that aims to eliminate a number of attack vectors through the manipulation of a moment security layer. This tech-heavy description does not mean much to the modal consumer, though, which is why I am going to explain it in plain speech, describing what makes the Ledger Wallet Nano tick. In terms of hardware, the Ledger Wallet Nano is a compact USB device based on a smart wag. It is roughly the size of a small flash drive, measuring 39 ten 13 x 4mm ( 1.53 ten 0.51 adam 0.16in ) and weighing in at barely 5.9g .

  • Screen/device protected by metal swivel cover
  • Multi-Currency support
  • 3rd-Party apps can run from the device
  • U2F support
  • When recovering a wallet from seed, the whole process can be done from the device without even connecting it to a computer!
  • Fairly inexpensive (~$65 USD)


  • Not as advanced wallet software (no transaction labeling)
  • No ability to create hidden accounts
  • No password manager

Green Address

green Address is a user-friendly Bitcoin wallet that ’ s an excellent choice for beginners. green Address is accessible via background, on-line or mobile with apps available for Chrome, io, and Android. Features include multi-signature addresses & two-factor authentications for enhance security, composition wallet stand-in, and clamant transaction ratification. A downside is that k Address is required to approve all payments, so you do not have fully operate over your spend .

Blockchain (dot) info

Blockchain is one of the most democratic Bitcoin wallets. Accessing this wallet can be done from any browser or smartphone. provides two different extra layers. For the browser interpretation, users can enable two-factor authentication, while fluid users can activate a trap code prerequisite every fourth dimension the wallet lotion is opened. Although your wallet will be stored on-line and all transactions will need to go through the company ’ mho servers, does not have access to your individual keys. overall, this is a well-established company that is trusted throughout the bitcoin community and makes for a solid wallet to keep your currentness .

  • Pros: good security, easy to use network & mobile interface, long-familiar & believe company, founder friendly, free .
  • Cons: Hot wallet, weak privacy, the third-party trust required, has experienced outages.
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Category : Finance

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