Are your bitcoins safe from hackers? If you keep them in an exchange like Coinbase or Binance, then your answer is not entirely. The only way to completely control your bitcoin stash is to keep it in a bitcoin wallet. A wallet’s private key is owned by you, as opposed to cryptocurrency exchanges. If an exchange is hacked your bitcoin can be compromised. The best way to store your bitcoin safely and still be accessed quickly is by using a bitcoin wallet app.
There are several types of bitcoin wallets and each have their own benefits with one commonality: you hold the private key (the code to transfer your coins) and therefore have ownership of your bitcoin value.
Here’s a quick overview of what kind of cryptocurrency wallets are available:
- Hardware Wallets- stored on an offline device like a USB
- Online Wallets- accessed from the cloud with your key stored online
- Paper Wallets- your key is generated by a software and stored on physical paper
- Desktop Wallets- downloaded and stored on your personal computer only
- App Wallets- accessed from your mobile device
In this article, I will focus on the best cryptocurrency wallet apps, which provide you with security and convenience.
Best Bitcoin Wallet Apps Reviewed
In no order, here are four popular bitcoin wallet apps and their features.
Edge Secure Bitcoin Wallet (Formally known as Airbitz)
Praised for its usable, Edge Secure works well for beginner cryptocurrency enthusiasts who want to store and use their bitcoin on the go. It uses Bluetooth technology to make transactions in 140 different fiat currencies. This is secured by a 2-step authentication process and daily spending limits locked by a pin code.
The wallet is encrypted, and your private key is known only by you; no third parties can access your code. For recovery purposes, your code is backed-up on a peer-to-peer cloud with its location hidden even to Edge. Private keys can be recovered using your private seed code only.
- Decentralized server that works even if Edge is down
- Converter calculator
- Free to use and only charges bitcoin value transfer fees
- Works for android and iOS devices
- Optional plugins like purchasing retail gift cards and reloading your mobile’s data
- Create multiple wallets
- Only mobile version, no desktop interface
- Considered a hot storage option as it stores private keys online
- Only supports Bitcoin, no other altcoins
Jaxx Cryptocurrency Wallet
This versatile wallet allows you to connect to other programs and blockchain projects on 8 different platforms including android, iOS, Windows, and MAC. Sync all your devices with a secure 12-word masterseed phrase that also recovers your private key.
In addition to securing your bitcoin, the wallet also supports dozens of other altcoins like Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum, Qtum, Salt, and many more. You can even check bitcoin price and trade your bitcoin for altcoins right on the app using Shapeshift (a cross-blockchain integration tool). Here’s an updated list of altcoins supported by Jaxx.
- Requires no registration or personal information
- Free to use, only pay transaction fees set by coin networks
- Simple interface design
- Import coins from a paper wallet
- Set transaction speeds based on transfer costs
- Private key is only stored on your device
- Users have reported slow transaction times and bugs
- It was hacked in 2017, but affected only desktop software and may have been from user error, which is no longer an issue
Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet
Launched in 2008, Mycelium has long been a user favorite for bitcoin mobile wallets. It takes security seriously with 12-word masterseed that is used to restore your private key. The private key uses a single address function that is deleted from your device and restored when needed. Use a secure Bit ID to authenticate your account and even change your account to “watch-only” mode that disallows transactions.
It also conveniently adapts to offline hardware storage, so you can back up your bitcoin using Ledger or other cold storage devices. With continued upgrades, Mycelium will eventually include debit card integration and investment portfolio options.
- Address book for storing frequent account information
- Bank account integration for Bitcoin purchases using fiat
- Built-in exchange that only facilitates trades, so it does not own or have access to your bitcoin
- Pin code set up
- Encrypted chat
- Review system for traders
- Billing service (in EU only)
- Only supports bitcoin
- No desktop platform, only for android and iOS
- Advanced, not for beginners
Bread Bitcoin App (Formally known as BreadWallet)
This app is two-fold: a wallet and a soon-to-be reward-based network. It acts as a secure, off-server wallet that connects directly to the bitcoin blockchain. The coming reward system is backed by an ethereum-based blockchain called Bread Tokens (BRD).
The wallet supports bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and ethereum. It is secured by a pin code, and your private key does not stay on any server. You can recovery your private key with a paper key that is stored offline. A nice feature is that you can buy bitcoin on the app with your credit/debit card. Plus, bitcoin addresses change for each transaction to make it secure.
- Memo attached to transactions
- Finger-print unlock
- Import paper wallets
- Option to display bitcoin in bits
- Free to use, only pay coin network fees
- No registration or personal information required for sign up
- No 2-step authentication
- Only supports one wallet
- No desktop platform, only uses android and iOS
After a successful ICO funding, the token-reward system is now in its beta phase and will first be released on iOS. The token-reward system will include perks for token holders and a complete decentralized banking system to pay, send, trade, and lend currencies. Look for an in-depth review of the BRD token coming soon.
Reminder: Remember that no matter how many security options that are available with mobile wallets, it is your responsible to secure your private key and ensure your account doesn’t get hacked. Bitcoin wallet apps offer an easy way for you to keep your bitcoin relatively safe while allowing you to buy, sell, and trade with ease.
This list is not comprehensive, and it is not endorsed by Coin Colony. It merely showcases the features and possibilities available to bitcoiners. Do your research before downloading and transferring bitcoin to any app to avoid fraud.