Having the right Bitcoin wallet is absolutely fundamental to getting involved in Bitcoin.
Without one, you can’t send your purchased Bitcoins to a Bitcoin address. In which case, you can’t buy Bitcoin.
A Bitcoin address is like a bank account, except you hold the keys to that account, whether on your phone, on your desktop or on a hardware wallet.
We talked before about the important factors in choosing a wallet.
In this post, I’m going to tell you about the three best Bitcoin wallets and these are the three that I use personally myself.
I actively use three wallets. This is because I don’t want to put all of my eggs in one basket. I don’t want to have all my coins in one wallet in case something goes wrong with that wallet and I end up losing all of my coins in one go. If that wallet was indeed compromised, I’d rather that I had put some of my holdings elsewhere. It’s a simple way of spreading out the risk.
The 3 Bitcoin wallets I recommend and use myself
This was my very first Bitcoin wallet. I did a lot of research at the time before I made the choice to use Electrum. This was back in May 2017 when I made my very first bitcoin purchase. Bitcoin and available Bitcoin information has exploded even since then.
I chose Electrum because the official Bitcoin site (Bitcoin.org) compared it very favourably against other Bitcoin wallets. Check out this wallet comparison on the Bitcoin.org site.
This image is also from the Bitcoin.org site:
Advantages of Electrum are:
- It’s lightweight, meaning that you don’t have to sync to the blockchain before using it.
- You can also choose fees that you’re willing to spend on sending Bitcoin.
- It’s highly recommended by the official Bitcoin.org site
- It’s quick to open on your machine and very quick to send a transaction and to receive one
- No frills or complications
- Because it’s a desktop wallet, it’s not as secure as a hardware wallet like Trezor (more about this below)
- Doesn’t look as attractive as Exodus (more about this below)
Overall thoughts about Electrum as a Bitcoin wallet
It’s a great wallet for beginners as it’s easy to install and to setup. You get to learn very quickly the details behind sending and receiving bitcoin.
I started using this wallet after the debacle of the Ethereum node wallet that I was using.
Exodus is a desktop wallet, meaning that you download it to your computer. I wrote about how I set up the Exodus wallet for myself in this post here.
I’m a big fan of this wallet because:
- It supports and stores multiple coins (Bitcoin, Ethereum and altcoins). This is a huge plus point in Exodus’s favour. One of the challenges of cryptocurrencies is that each coin (and there could be many that you hold) has its own wallet for storing them in. Say you had holdings in 10 different crypto projects, each with their own coins. The worst case scenario is that you use 10 wallets for 10 different coins. Imagine having to set up 10 wallets, write down 10 different sequences of back up pass phrases?
- it’s visually attractive. Look at that screenshot above. Just gorgeous, particularly when you compare it to most other wallets out there.
- It has Shapeshift built in, so that you can buy other coins without leaving the wallet to do so. So for example if you had 0.5BTC in your Exodus wallet, you could use Shapeshift and convert 0.1BTC into Ethereum or into Augur or into any of the other coins that Exodus supports storage of.
- It’s very easy to send and receive Bitcoin and other currencies. You simply open the ‘wallet’ section of the Exodus wallet, choose the coin you want to send/receive and use the address provided to receive or follow the instructions to send.
Disadvantages of the Exodus wallet
- The main one is that it’s transaction fees to send Bitcoin can be higher than you might find with other wallets. Exodus acknowledges this and the higher fees are because they want transactions to be fast. The fees need to be higher than competing transactions to incentivise the miners to process the Exodus transactions faster. (More info on this from Exodus is here.) If fees are important to you, and you send a lot of Bitcoin, then maybe Exodus is not the solution for you in these regards. However, these considerations don’t really bother me as I’m more using Exodus (and my wallets in general) as a place to store and hold crypto long-term.
Overall thoughts about Exodus as a Bitcoin wallet
I strongly recommend considering Exodus.
Download the Exodus wallet from the official site here.
Trezor hardware wallet
Trezor is my first hardware wallet. I wrote about setting up my own Trezor wallet here.
Advantages of the Trezor wallet
It’s a hardware wallet. This immediately makes it safer and more secure than almost every wallet available. There are two types of storage: hot storage and cold storage. Hot storage is any that is connected to the internet to operate. So desktop wallets and mobile wallets are hot storage. Cold storage is where the wallet is not connected to the internet to operate. So hardware wallets (like Trezor, Ledger and Keepkey) and paper wallets are cold storage.
It’s not free and it’s not that cheap at EUR 89. But that’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind that your Bitcoins that you hold on it aren’t going to get hacked and lost.
Overall thoughts about Trezor as a Bitcoin wallet
Bottom line is I LOVE it. It feels like one of the most secure options out there for Bitcoin storage. Psychologically, I feel that my Bitcoin is safer within my Trezor wallet. That’s not to say that I feel that my other solutions are unsafe, but there’s a feeling of greater relative safety with a hardware wallet and Trezor was the first one I tried and loved and that’s why I’m such fan of it.
Buy the Trezor wallet on the official store here.
If I had to choose one bitcoin wallet to use for storing my bitcoin, it would be Trezor.
Why? Because a hardware wallet is widely acknowledged to be the safest form of storage. It’s safer than a web wallet or a desktop wallet.
However, my ideal bitcoin wallet setup is using multiple wallets that I like
Why? Because it reduces the risk that losing access to one wallet has. It spreads your assets across different wallets so that in the event that you lose one, you haven’t lost everything.
Of the three Bitcoin wallets I’ve recommended above, I would split my holdings by putting the biggest amount of bitcoin into the Trezor hardware wallet, and keep smaller amounts in your Electrum and Exodus wallets.
Tell me about your favourite Bitcoin wallets in the comments below!