Compare Mobile Bitcoin Wallets

Find the best mobile bitcoin wallet apps.

Wallets held on your phone allow you to access your bitcoins out and about. We'll take you through the best options.

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What should I look for in a mobile bitcoin app?

It's important to remember to choose a mobile wallet that is easy to use and has good security details, such as password protection and reliable backup options. You can find great additional features with mobile wallets, such as the ability to send or receive bitcoins merely by scanning a QR code.

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The top BTC mobile wallet providers.


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  • DAPPs integration
  • Numerous app integrations
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Finding the best bitcoin mobile wallet in 2018.


What is a bitcoin mobile wallet?

A mobile wallet is an app on your phone that stores and moves your bitcoin. Mobile wallets can be downloaded through Google Play or the App Store and are completely free. It’s important to note that all your wallet details are stored locally using your phone’s memory rather than online, so having a secure password on both your phone and the wallet itself is essential. Mobile wallets allow you to access your bitcoins anywhere with your phone, making them a very convenient wallet option.

How do bitcoin mobile wallets work?

It’s simple. Once you install your bitcoin mobile wallet and set up your password/PIN, you can access your bitcoins and send/receive bitcoins through the app. Mobile wallets are designed to have easily usable interfaces to make this as simple as possible.

Other people can transfer you money by entering your public key (wallet address), and you can transfer bitcoins to other people by entering theirs. In addition to this, to make transactions easier, most mobile wallets integrate QR-Code technology, where you just scan the QR-Code of the receiver’s wallet address and send payments with no need to enter address manually.

So they’re like regular banking apps?

Yes, sort of. Bitcoin mobile wallets are similar to banking apps in that you can use them to view your bitcoin balance and transaction history, and send/receive funds. The difference is that a banking app merely gives you a way to access your bank account that is stored on the bank’s servers, whereas a bitcoin mobile wallet is stored on your phone. So they work like banking apps, but your account and your bitcoins are fully controlled by you rather than a third party.

What other types of wallets are there?

When it comes to bitcoin wallets there are a number of options from which to choose:

  • Online wallets. Wallets that are hosted online. Also known as web wallets, these require you to sign up to an online service and access your wallet with an account name and password.
  • Desktop wallets. Desktop wallets work through software that you download onto your computer. Once you have installed a wallet client you can use its interface to store and transfer coins, as well as check your balance.
  • Hardware wallets. Regarded as the most secure wallets around, hardware wallets are electronic devices specifically designed for storing cryptocurrency. They allow you to store your coins completely offline.
  • Paper wallets. Like hardware wallets, paper wallets allow you to store your coins offline. These DIY wallets are literally printed on paper after you have generated a wallet address and private key through an online service.

How are mobile wallets different to online wallets with mobile apps?

The principal difference is where your wallet details are stored, and is very similar to the distinction between mobile wallets and online banking apps. Online wallets are like accounts for regular online services: all your information is stored remotely and accessed through a password-protected account. Any app they provide is just another way of accessing that account. Mobile wallets, on the other hand, are applications that you install on your mobile phone, and which store all of their data (such as the wallet’s private key) in your phone’s memory.

When it comes to keeping your coins safe, mobile wallets are more secure than online wallets because you’re storing your wallet information offline. However, as your device is connected to the internet it’s still not as secure as a hardware wallet. Your phone could be infected by malware or targeted by hackers, so it is important to utilise all of a wallet’s security features.

What are the best mobile wallet providers?

There are more and more mobile wallet providers emerging as bitcoin becomes more and more widely used. Here are some of the best mobile wallets to have a look at:

  • Mycelium. One of the very best mobile wallets out there, Mycelium has a host of excellent security features. The wallet allows you to hold both bitcoin and fiat currency, and to trade between the two within the app.
  • BRD. Originally called Bread, BRD is a highly rated mobile bitcoin wallet available on both Android and iOS. The wallet can hold bitcoin and ethereum, and also BRD tokens, which can be used for rewards.
  • Edge ( formerly Airbitz). Edge is a very easy to use bitcoin wallet with a lot of long-term customers. They also focus on keeping up-to-date with all the latest developments in companies utilising blockchain technology – making Airbitz compatible with all blockchain apps by simply scanning a barcode.
  • Abra. With Abra’s mobile wallet you can buy and store over 20 different cryptocurrencies on your phone. It’s quite like an exchange based on your phone to help you invest in a variety of coins on the go.
  • Copay. Copay is available as both a mobile and a desktop wallet. It has great security features, and even allows you to store separate wallets within one app, much like you can have separate accounts within a banking app.
  • Jaxx. Like Copay, Jaxx is also available as both a mobile and a desktop wallet. Jaxx was launched in 2014 by one of the co-founders of Ethereum and allows you to hold multiple coins and take advantage of exciting new ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings of new cryptos).

Important note: Coinbase is not a mobile wallet. It is an online wallet with a mobile app.

Are mobile wallets free?

Yes, mobile wallets are free to download. There is a wide range of options available all offering great wallets at no cost.

Are there additional fees for using bitcoin mobile wallets?

No, mobile wallets don’t have any extra fees charged by the provider. However, bitcoin wallets will charge transaction fees for sending bitcoin to another wallet. These fees are very low – typically around 0.2mBTC (an mBTC is worth a thousandth of a bitcoin, so this is under £2). These fees are used to pay the miners who verify the blockchain. Some wallets give you the option to pay higher or lower fees: higher fees will mean miners will consider your transaction as a priority and verify it sooner, whereas lower fees save you money but mean the transaction takes more time to be verified. However, in general transactions between wallets are almost instant.

Can I backup a mobile wallet?

Yes, mobile wallets will offer various ways of backing up depending on the provider. The best of these is noting down your ‘recovery seed’. This is a string of words (which can be generated or set by you) that can be used to access a wallet in a later date if you happen to lose your device or forgotten the details of your wallet. Once initiating a recovery on the same or a new device, you will be asked to enter your recovery seed and your bitcoins will be restored in your mobile wallet address.

How to set up a bitcoin mobile wallet

Each individual bitcoin mobile wallet will have its own steps to set up, but generally this is what to expect:

  1. Choose the right bitcoin mobile wallet for you.
  2. Go to the Google Play or App Store and download the app.
  3. Open the app and you’ll usually have the two options: ‘create new wallet’ and ‘recover wallet’.
  4. Click ‘create new wallet’ and follow the steps. Usually this will involve setting up a PIN or password, and revealing your recovery seed (you must write this down as it enables you to back up your wallet).
  5. Note: If you don’t get asked to set up a recovery seed, then find out how to set one up manually within the app or what other features your chosen walled has in order to create a backup.
  6. Once you’ve set all of this up, you’ll be able to use your wallet. Go to your details to find out the wallet address and transfer your bitcoins into your new mobile wallet.


What are the risks of using a bitcoin mobile wallet?

Mobile wallets are safer than online wallets as your details are stored on your device, however, as your mobile is connected to the internet there is still an element of risk from attacks. Your phone could be infected with a malware or virus with the purpose of collecting details of your private key. There’s also the danger of losing your phone, so it’s incredibly important to have your wallet password protected and note down your recovery seed so you can gain access to the wallet on a new device. Additionally, it’s also recommended to activate 2-Factor verification to ensure only you can be able to access the account.

This does not mean that mobile wallets are unsafe necessarily – many encrypt your private keys and store them locally. But all in all, with the few risks involved, it’s not recommended to store large amounts of bitcoin in a mobile wallet. If you have sizeable investments, then look into hardware wallets or paper wallets, which store your private key completely offline.

And what are the advantages?

The most notable advantage is convenience. Being able to access your wallet on your phone like you would a regular banking app makes transferring and receiving bitcoin very easy. You can access your coins from anywhere, whether you want to make payments or send to your exchange for trading. Also, the fact that the private key is stored on your device rather than on the provider’s servers gives you full control of your bitcoins. However, this also means you have to take responsibility over its safety to ensure it’s not compromised.

Should I use a mobile wallet?

It depends. If you’re not holding a substantial amount of bitcoin and want the most convenient way to access it, then yes. If you want to hold a large amount of bitcoin as a longer term investment, you should consider other options such as hardware and paper wallets.

How do I find the best bitcoin mobile wallet?

Right here. We have reviews for the best bitcoin mobile wallets to help you select the right one for your needs.

Should I store my bitcoin in a mobile wallet?


Advantages

  • You will always have access to your bitcoins on your phone
  • Mobile wallets are very easy to use
  • They often have very good security features
  • Mobile wallets are free to download and use

Drawbacks

  • Mobile wallets aren't as secure as hardware or paper wallets
  • You do risk losing access to your bitcoins if you lose or damage your phone

Frequent questions.


Can I connect a mobile wallet to an exchange?

No, you cannot connect a mobile wallet to an exchange. If you want to trade your bitcoins, you will need to send them from your wallet to the exchange for trading. It’s worthwhile to note that some mobile wallets such as Bitcoin.info allow you to trade certain coins within them, but to use an actual exchange you’ll have to create an account and transfer money from your mobile wallet into it.

Are mobile wallets available on all operating systems?

Yes, you can get mobile wallets for all major operating systems. As long as it’s a smart phone, you can download the application of your preferred wallet from the store where you download your other apps.

Can mobile wallets hold multiple cryptocurrencies?

Most mobile wallets will only be able to store one cryptocurrency at a time, but there are some options - such as CoinSpace, Bither, and Jaxx - that will allow you to store multiple coins. Although usually you will be limited to only the biggest coins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin even with wallets capable of holding many different cryptos.

Is it secure to use my mobile wallet on 3G?

Yes, it can actually even be safer to use your mobile wallet on 3G/4G rather than Wi-Fi. This is because your connection to mobile data is solely yours, because it’s assigned only to your line. When it comes to Wi-Fi connections, any information passed through it is accessible to other people using the same network.

What you should never do is use your bitcoin wallet on public Wi-Fi. Your information can be easily intercepted by anyone on the network and your details stolen. If you must use Wi-Fi, use a private one with a strong protected password. With bitcoin you want to make extra sure your transactions are secure.

Are mobile wallets large apps?

No, they’re no larger than standard apps. Typically a bitcoin wallet app will be in the region of 30MB.

What’s the battery usage of a mobile wallet?

The battery usage of bitcoin mobile wallets is negligible. Their main function is to display your balance and allow you to transfer them. This is not a very energy intensive process, so your battery’s charge will be largely unaffected.

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 and online wallet.

Are mobile wallets ‘cold wallets’?

No, mobile wallets are what are known as ‘hot’ wallets as they are on a device connected to the internet. ‘Cold wallets’ such as hard and paper wallets are not connected to the internet at all. Technically if you downloaded a mobile wallet and then turned the internet completely off on your phone you could turn it into a cold wallet, but the point of mobile wallets is to have easy access to your bitcoins, so chances are that you turn on your internet regularly. For less than the price of a mobile phone you could buy yourself a far superior hardware wallet, so there’s no reason to try and use a phone as cold storage.

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 paper and hardware 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 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.

What is a mobile wallet’s relation to the blockchain?

In terms of how mobile wallets work in relation to the blockchain, mobiles are not large enough to download all the blockchain data (as some desktop wallets do), and instead use what’s known as Simple Payment Verification (SPV). This is a lightweight bitcoin client that verifies that a transaction is included in the blockchain. What happens is that mobile wallets syncronise to the blockchain through the internet to record transactions. This is why they’re often referred to as ‘light wallets’.

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.

What if I lose my mobile phone?

This can mean you have lost your coins completely if you haven’t taken steps to back your mobile wallet up. The best way to do this is to record your recovery seed, which will allow you to recover and restore your bitcoins. Providers often have different options to make a backup as well, such as asking you to back up your private keys to an external storage such as flash drive or SD card so that you can use it at a later date to access your account.

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.

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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