Compare Bitcoin Wallets

Find the best bitcoin wallet online.

There are many options for storing your cryptocurrency. We've compared all the different wallets, both software and hardware, so you can strike the balance between security and convenience.

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What should I look for in a bitcoin wallet?

To find the right cryptocurrency wallet for you, compare the different options and find the right balance between security and usability. We've researched all the wallets out there so you can find the best one for your coins.

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The best BTC wallets to store your cryptocurrency.


These are the best options out there for storing your Bitcoin. Have a look at our reviews to find your perfect Bitcoin wallet.

1
£90
BTC
ETH
LTC
XRP
DASH
BCH
KMD
  • Small design
  • Number of cryptocurrencies supported
  • Range of products
2
£75
BTC
ETH
LTC
XRP
BCH
  • Tamper-proof physical device
  • Cold storage wallet
  • Use mobile app to manage crypto
3
£2
BTC
ETH
LTC
BCH
  • Secure vault storage
  • Digital currencies covered by insurance
  • Manage your assets using a mobile app
4
£80
BTC
ETH
LTC
XRP
NEM
DASH
BCH
CRYPTO
  • Cold storage
  • Supports multiple cryptocurrencies
  • Various models available
5
-
BTC
ETH
LTC
  • DAPPs integration
  • Numerous app integrations
  • Option to handle your money
6
-
BTC
ETH
LTC
DASH
BCH
  • Multi-asset wallet
  • Beautiful design
  • Full control of your keys
7
£100
BTC
ETH
LTC
  • Support for erc-20 tokens
  • Virus and malware proof
  • Suitable with PC, Mac, Linux, and mobile
8
£69.53
BTC
ETH
LTC
  • Compact design
  • Easy to use
  • Maximum security
9
£2
BTC
ETH
NEM
DASH
  • Supports multiple cryptocurrencies
  • Easy to use and manage
  • Highly secure
10
-
BTC
ETH
LTC
XRP
  • Integrated with exchange and card
  • Can spend cryptocurrency in real world
  • Holds lots of crypto and fiat currencies
11
£70
BTC
  • Bitcoin fork support
  • Extra flat (4mm)
  • Number of unique features
12
-
BTC
BCH
CRYPTO
  • Hybrid wallet technology
  • Available on multiple devices
  • Encrypted private keys
13
-
BTC
ETH
LTC
XRP
DASH
BCH
KMD
MIOTA
  • Easy and convenient
  • Many different cryptocurrencies
  • Can both buy and sell coins
These are highly volatile investment products. Your capital is at risk.

How to get the best bitcoin wallet in 2018.


What is a bitcoin wallet?

Also referred to as a bitcoin digital wallet, a bitcoin wallet is a program or software where bitcoins are stored. The wallets come in many forms, each providing unique features. There are web-based wallets, mobile wallets, and offline based wallets such as hardware and paper wallets.

Why are they called wallets?

Because, just like regular wallets, the purpose of a bitcoin wallet is to store your money. However, a bitcoin wallet does this by recording the movement of bitcoin in and out of itself on a publicly displayed ledger (the blockchain). The wallet facilitates receiving and sending of bitcoins and gives you ownership of bitcoin balance. Although they function similar to a banking app, wallets are not only online; there are options such as hardware and paper wallets that store your bitcoins offline.

How do bitcoin wallets work?

Bitcoin wallets are made up of two ‘keys’: one public, and one private. These keys work like bank account details, as they store all relevant information necessary for carrying out transactions. The public key works like an account number: it is the address for people to send bitcoin to a wallet and is usually referred to as the wallet address. Just as the name suggests, it’s made available publicly, meaning that it can be viewed by anyone.

The private key, on the other hand, works like a PIN number: it is used when you want to send bitcoins to someone else. And unlike the public key, this one is confidential and known only to the wallet’s owner.

Usually, you will not have to use the private key yourself, or even have to know it. Mobile and web wallets store the private key in an encrypted form on your behalf, and you use your wallet through a personal password. However, some options such as paper wallets and desktop wallet allow or require you to keep both private and public.

Do I need a wallet in order to use bitcoin?

Mostly, yes. In order to hold bitcoins you’ll need a wallet where they will be stored. However, it is possible to use CFD platforms without a wallet, as these platforms allow you to trade bitcoins without ever having to take ownership of them. We have a page that explains how CFD trading works, but if you’re looking to purchase, use, and store bitcoin, you need a wallet.

What kinds of bitcoin wallet are there?

There are various types of bitcoin wallets, and each one of them offers different features. These are:

  • Online wallet. This is a web-based wallet that allows you to access your bitcoins through a web browser. Usually, it is hosted by a provider that’s responsible for managing the security of your private key. Examples of online wallets include Blockchain.info, Coinbase, and Xapo.
  • Mobile wallet. This is basically a bitcoin wallet stored on your mobile phone and accessed through an application. It is easy to access and can scan QR codes while you are on the go. Some examples of mobile wallets include BRD, Edge (formerly Airbitz), and Abra.
  • Desktop wallet. This is a wallet you download and use on your computer. The private key is stored on your computer’s hard drive, meaning that you have complete control and responsibility of its security. If the file storing your private key were to become corrupted or deleted without any backup, you could lose access to your wallet and to your funds. Examples of desktop wallets include Electrum, Exodus, and Jaxx.
  • Hardware wallet. This is a specialized electronic device that’s designed to specifically hold bitcoins. These are the safest form of wallet as they store your coins and private key offline. Some of the most popular manufacturers of hardware wallets include Ledger, Trezor, and KeepKey.
  • Paper wallet. This is simply a piece of paper on which both the public and private keys of bitcoin addresses are printed. Since it’s not connected to a network, the bitcoins are completely secure, making it ideal for long-term storage. You can create a paper wallet with services such as BitcoinPaperWallet and WalletGenerator.

What is a ‘cold wallet’?

Also known as an offline wallet, a ‘cold wallet’ is a wallet that is not connected to the internet. This is the most secure type of wallet because it protects your funds from cyber hacks, unauthorized access, and other types of vulnerabilities that systems connected to the internet are susceptible to. These wallets are useful if you’re storing a large number of coins for a long period of time, but if you want to be regularly trading your coins you’ll want to be using an online wallet.

How do I choose which wallet is right for me?

It depends what you’re looking to do with your coins. If you want to be trading or selling coins regularly, an online wallet attached to an exchange is best since you can quickly access and trade your coins. If you want to hold your bitcoins and probably use them online for purchases or activities such as gambling and betting, then a mobile wallet is a good option. If you want to buy some bitcoin as an investment for a long time, transferring your coins onto a secure hardware wallet or using a paper wallet is probably the way to go because they will be stored offline until when you need to access them.

Are payments between wallets anonymous?

Yes, they are. You see, when a transfer is made to your wallet, what shows on the blockchain is the two wallet addresses (public keys), and they are not attached to the identity of the person who owns either wallet. This makes it difficult to trace the addresses back to a specific identity.

How does a wallet keep my bitcoins secure?

Simply put, wallets give you a unique address that proves ownership of your coins. If someone sends bitcoins to your address, the blockchain displays publicly that you own them. In order to move the bitcoins, you will need a private key, which is impossible to guess, unlike a regular password. This makes transactions between wallets incredibly secure. On top of this, different wallets will have different security features to help protect your private key and keep your coins safe.

How much do bitcoin wallets cost?

Usually, nothing. Most online, desktop and mobile wallets are completely free. You just set one up or download an app on your smartphone and you are good to go. However, if you want to get a hardware wallet you can spend anywhere between £20 and £200 depending on the features you want. Basically, those with more security features and extras such as a display screen are usually pricier.

Should I use a bitcoin wallet?

Yes, ultimately you have to use a wallet of some description for anything but CFD trading with bitcoin. Whether you want to buy, sell, hold or trade bitcoins on an exchange you will require a wallet for the transactions. Depending on what you intend to do with your bitcoins you might want to consider different options. If you want more convenience and your idea is to access your coins regularly, online and mobile wallets are great options. If you want to invest bitcoins for long-term, then consider going for ‘cold wallets’ such as paper and hardware wallets.

Where can I get a bitcoin wallet?

Use our reviews to find the right wallet for your needs. We have links to get the best of each type of wallet, from online-based wallets to mobile wallets to hardware wallets, along with instructions on how to make your own paper wallet. Read through our guides and you will have one set up in a matter of minutes.

Should I use a bitcoin wallet?


Advantages

  • Wallets make it possible for you to send or receive bitcoin instantly
  • You can store different cryptocurrencies in the same wallet
  • Wallets enable ownership of bitcoin
  • They allow you to track your bitcoin payment history

Drawbacks

  • Software wallets can be vulnerable to hackers
  • Hardware wallets can be lost

Frequent questions.


How fast are transactions between bitcoin wallets?

Transactions between wallets are technically instant, but it could take a little bit longer for payments to be verified on the blockchain, especially if there are a lot of transactions currently being verified. If there’s a delay at all it’s usually only a couple of hours at most. Generally, fast and secure peer-to-peer transactions are one of bitcoin’s biggest advantages.

What are private and public keys?

A public key is also referred to as a wallet address and is essentially your account number (to use a banking simile). It’s simply a unique identifier for your wallet that’s known to the public. A private key, on the other hand, is like a PIN number: it is the password required to transfer bitcoins out of a wallet. Typically, it consists of a 64-character long code and can be referred to as the ‘ticket’ that allows you to spend bitcoins.

If bitcoin is a digital currency, how can it be stored offline?

Good question. It gets a little technical, but because bitcoins don’t physically exist, they can be stored virtually anywhere (whether online or offline). Ownership of bitcoins is determined by the records on the blockchain, which show exactly where they have been transferred. If, for instance, you have transferred your bitcoins to a wallet and it then goes offline, the location of those coins will still be stored on the blockchain. All you need to know is the wallet address and private key and you will be able to access them at any time.

Can I have more than one wallet at a time?

Yes, you can have as many wallets as you want to, of all types. Having multiple wallets helps make you even more anonymous and it can be a good idea to spread your bitcoin across multiple wallets. It also helps if you have different investment goals: for instance, holding your coins for long-term on a hardware and paper wallet, and trading bitcoin using an online wallet connected to an exchange.

Can I transfer from my bitcoin wallet to my bank account?

No, you can’t. Bank accounts hold fiat currency, whereas a bitcoin wallet holds bitcoins, so you cannot transfer directly between them. To transfer from your wallet into your bank account you’ll have to sell your bitcoins on an exchange and then transfer the resulting money over to your account. Services like Wirex, who are now offering bitcoin debit cards, are making this a much easier process because they allow users to have a debit card that’s linked to a bitcoin and a fiat currency account. You can easily convert your bitcoins to fiat currency before you spend them.

Should I get a hardware wallet or an online wallet?

Frankly, it depends with your needs. If you want to trade bitcoins regularly, then you will do well with an online wallet. It’s more convenient when it comes to access and making transfers. However, if you want to buy some coins as an investment and not trade them, storing them safely on a hardware wallet is the best option. Take your goals into consideration before selecting a suitable wallet.

Do I need a bitcoin wallet to use an exchange?

Technically yes. If you want to trade bitcoins in an exchange you have to transfer them from your wallet to the exchange. However, most exchanges will usually have integrated wallets built into your account so that you can purchase bitcoins directly and start trading, and then transfer them from the exchange wallet to your personal wallet if you choose to.

Can I link my bitcoin wallet with PayPal?

No, currently there’s no wallet that can be linked directly with PayPal. This is because your bitcoin wallet holds bitcoins whereas PayPal works with regular (fiat) currency. What you can do is sell your bitcoins on an exchange such Coinbase and then transfer that money into your PayPal account.

What connection do wallets have to the blockchain?

The blockchain is the technology that records all the movements of bitcoin between wallets. So if you make a transaction from your wallet, the information is recorded and is publicly visible from the blockchain, but not anything pertaining to either your identity or to whom you are sending, or from whom you are receiving bitcoin.

What is a ‘recovery seed’?

A recovery seed is a mnemonic phrase that usually consisting of 12, 18, or 24 words, that allows you to recover your wallet if you lose access to it (for instance if it gets lost/stolen or corrupted, or if you forget your password).

Wallet software typically generates this mnemonic phrase and instructs the owner to record it somewhere for future reference. It is advisable to write it down on paper and keep it locked away. If you forget your wallet’s details, or - in the case of paper and hardware wallets - your wallet gets damaged, lost, or stolen, you can use the recovery seed to restore your bitcoins to a new wallet/device that uses the same software.

On a technical level, how do wallet transactions work?

Each wallet has a private and a public key. These work like your PIN and account number in regular banking. If you want to send coins to another wallet, you enter that wallet’s public key (commonly called a wallet address) in the field provided, and then enter the amount of bitcoins you wish to send, and hit ‘send’. The wallet creates a transaction output, which is registered on the blockchain network (with your public address as the transaction input).

The blockchain verifies that transaction and it will display as a transfer of X bitcoins from your wallet address to theirs. Your wallet will then have X fewer bitcoins and your friend’s will have X more. Think of it like wiring money from a banking app; once you send money, the amount is deducted from your balance, which is then credited to the user’s balance.

Do I need a wallet to mine bitcoin?

If you’re mining bitcoin you’ll need a wallet address to receive the transaction fees and block rewards generated by mining. Generally it’s not advisable to have these payments going directly to a hardware wallet as payments are generally small and frequent, which can put strain on the hardware. For mining purposes, it makes sense to use web-based wallets or mobile wallets.

If you are using cloud mining to mine bitcoins, however, you might not need a wallet as all bitcoins are credited in your account hosted by the cloud mining provider. But when you want to move them, you’ll definitely need a wallet.

What is a deterministic wallet?

A deterministic wallet is a wallet that can generate many different keys from a single ‘seed’, allowing you to backup and restore your wallet easily in future without needing to provide any other information. These types of wallets have very solid security features. So long as you have the passphrase, you can generate the key pair from it, making bitcoin storage less of a security concern.

Can I connect my wallet to a bitcoin debit card?

No, not yet. Bitcoin debit cards work by connecting to an account which you load with bitcoin. The cards are accepted on any card-accepting merchants as well as ATMs. We have guides to bitcoin debit and prepaid cards to help you learn about how they work, so be sure to check it out.

Are transactions between wallets irreversible?

Yes, they are irreversible. Once you transfer bitcoin’s ownership to another address, it is recorded within the blockchain ledger, and you lose the permission for moving or retrieving the coins again. Unless the new owner agrees to return your coins, there’s no way to undo the transaction. This means that chargebacks are not possible between bitcoin wallets. If you’re sending money somewhere, make 100% sure you’re sending it to the right address, otherwise you’ll lose your coins.

Can wallets be hacked?

Bitcoin wallets cannot ‘hacked’ in the sense of someone forcing entry into the wallet. Private keys are impossible to guess because they contain random long tail code of 64 characters, unlike regular passwords (if your wallet is on an online platform and only protected by a password it is less secure). What hackers try and do is acquire your private key/password through malware and malicious phishing attacks. They tend to target exchanges to try and get everyone’s details so that they can access multiple wallets. If you are using an exchange, make sure it has with good security features such as 2-factor verification.

What if I lose my wallet or forget the details?

This can be a very serious problem. If you lose a cold wallet, you could have no way to access the coins unless you’ve recorded your wallet’s recovery seed (see below) that will enable you generate the key pair. If you forget your details with an online wallet, then there’s usually a way to regain access to your wallet by contacting your provider who can email you a new password/your wallet’s keys to your registered email address. However, it’s always best to write down your keys (public and private keys) if you are using a cold wallet such as paper wallet or your password if you are using a mobile/online-based wallet.

Do I have to pay tax on the bitcoins in my wallet?

In the UK, if you make enough profit then yes. If you buy bitcoin and it rises in value it is subject to capital gains tax: you are required to pay tax of between 10% and 28% (depending on your income) on any profits above £11,700. If you made the coins through mining then technically it is classed as a trade and subject to income tax. In other countries, bitcoin’s tax status varies, and governments are still in the early days of figuring out exactly how to collect taxes on bitcoin.

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