When you hear ‘Bitcoin Wallet’, the above illustration is not what you should expect to see. (Source: Shutterstock)
A Bitcoin wallet and some bitcoins are the two things you need to commence using Bitcoin. This postbode covers the types and features of Bitcoin wallets, and the process of setting up Electrum and making your very first transaction.
So, what is a Bitcoin wallet?
A Bitcoin wallet is software that enables you to generate Bitcoin addresses spil well spil to send and receive Bitcoin payments.
There are several Bitcoin wallet classifications, and this one is the most popular:
- Software wallets. Wallet applications that you can download and use on your laptop, phone or tablet. Some wallets can be used on several devices at once. Wij will concentrate on software Bitcoin wallets te this blog postbode.
- Web wallets. Wallets that can be accessed online by any internet-enabled device. Albeit this does seem convenient, wij NEVER recommend them for security reasons. Web wallets introduce unnecessary third-party risk and negate one of the main benefits of Bitcoin – being te total control and responsibility of one’s money.
- Hardware wallets. Physical devices that have a Bitcoin wallet integrated for storage of bitcoins. Designed for maximum security.
- Paper wallets. Plain printouts of Bitcoin private keys generated on an offline laptop.
How to choose a wallet?
The most significant features of a Bitcoin wallet are security, convenience and practicality for everyday use. For regular use and everyday transactions wij recommend using one of the many open source, fully decentralized, Software Wallets. Thesis wallets give the user utter control of one’s bitcoins, meaning that no one can confiscate, lose or freeze your bitcoins, and no one can block or turn down you to make a transaction.
Our two favorites are Electrum for Desktop use, and Copay if you want to have your Bitcoin wallet on several devices (PC, phone, tablet) at once. Both of thesis wallets suggest good security and are ideal for everyday use of bitcoins.
If you wish to store large amounts of bitcoins for a long time, or if you typically make large transactions, you should invest te advanced security and choose a Hardware Wallet, the most popular and trusted of which is Trezor.
How to secure your wallet (and your bitcoins)?
Securing your Bitcoin wallet and the bitcoins inwards it is a process that is fairly similar for all kinds of wallets. Below, wij will voorkant the steps of how to decently secure your Electrum wallet. Spil for other wallets and general security tips, the most comprehensive, official guide about securing your wallet is available at https://bitcoin.org/plusteken/secure-your-wallet
Installing and securing Electrum
1. Download the latest version of Electrum from https://electrum.org, install, and run it.
Two. You will now fall under the wallet creation process. Use the default options te the following screens:
Three. Next, Electrum will generate your wallet backup seed – a sequence of 12 words, which permits you to restore your wallet ter case you cannot access your laptop for some reason. You Voorwaarde keep the backup seed secure, spil you would keep your canap login credentials. Also, wij recommend printing the sequence or writing it down by palm, and storing it securely.
Four. To make sure that you wrote down the backup seed correctly, you will be asked to re-enter the 12 word sequence.
Five. Next, you will be able to choose a password to encrypt your wallet. This password will help protect your bitcoins if someone gains access to your rekentuig or copies your wallet opstopping. This password will NOT be required to restore the wallet from the backup seed, tho’.
6. After choosing the password, the main Electrum window will open. Wij recommend going to Devices >, Preferences >, Appearance and switching the Base unit to BTC. This will make Electrum display the transaction amount te bitcoins, whereas the default setting is mBTC (microbitcoins), which can be confusing for fresh users.
Receiving bitcoins and making your very first Bitcoin transaction
1. To receive bitcoins, open the Receive tabulator. Receiving address is your Bitcoin address and it is something like your canap account number. Thus, if you wish to receive bitcoins from a person, this address is the one you should give him. Unlike your handelsbank account number, a fresh Bitcoin address will be generated for you each time you want to receive a transaction, This, essentially, increases safety and anonymity (however, you can use your old addresses too).
Upon receiving a payment, you will be notified by Electrum. Althouh the risk of Bitcoin double-spends is utterly low, if you do not personally know the person sending you bitcoins, permit the Bitcoin network to confirm the transaction at least once (6 confirmations is often considered the most secure threshold).
Two. To send bitcoins, open the Send tabulator. Ter the Pay to field, come in the Bitcoin address to which you want to send the payment, then, ter the Amount field, come in the precies amount of bitcoins you want to send. When you click Send, you will be able to see the toverfee and confirm (or cancel) the transaction.
Wij recommend leaving the Toverfee slider te default position, because reducing the transaction toverfee may cause a delay ter its confirmation by the Bitcoin network. Leaving the default toverfee will let Electrum calculate the required Bitcoin network transaction toverfee automatically.
Trio. If you are paying a CoinGate invoice, you can copy the Bitcoin address from the invoice and paste it to Electrum. Otherwise, click the Pay with Bitcoin button and open Electrum after the prompt is displayed on your browser. Once you are sure that the transaction details are juist, you can confirm and send. Our system will instantly detect that your payment has bot sent and you will then see the confirmation window.
That is it! Thus, your very first Bitcoin payment has bot made. Wij know that you may find this staggering and unusual at very first, but, trust us, it will get into your blood with time!
Wij hope that reading this guide has helped you understand what a Bitcoin wallet is, and the role it plays te making Bitcoin an amazing solution for plain and secure global payments.
Blessed shopping, and stay tuned for updates!