There’s an ever-growing number of bitcoin wallets out there. Some of them are great; others are outright scams. It’s hard to keep up with everything that gets released. Instead, we decided to highlight three easy-to-use and secure choices that we use on a daily basis.
Mobile (iOS /Android): Airbitz
Airbitz has been around for years and has always been an excellent product. Unlike other wallets, there’s no need to remember or write down a long passphrase. A username and password hide the complexity of cryptography and synchronization. Automatic client-side encryption ensures bitcoin keys are always encrypted and protected from malware. HD address rotation, decentralized access, and zero-knowledge encryption protect the privacy of the user. Airbitz connects to multiple public bitcoin nodes to ensure wallets function even if Airbitz servers are down. Its newest feature, Edge Login, is a single-sign-on security platform for blockchain apps.
Instead of relying on enterprise server security, Edge-Security encrypts data first on the user’s device before it ever touches a network or server. So a server-side hack yields nothing but fully encrypted private data. A hack on a user’s device produces only the data of that one user vs. millions of users. The incentive to attack the system is reduced by orders of magnitude.
Mac / Windows / Linux: Exodus
We wrote earlier about this wallet. We were impressed with the slick design, ease of use and solid security. Regular updates have only improved this product. Exodus is the perfect wallet for users who wish to store their bitcoins on their computer without the need to have access to them on the go. There’s a friendly user community on Slack where the developers are actively listening to suggestions and helping users with any problems. The built-in ShapeShift integration is fun for those who like to gamble on the pump-and-dumps of the altcoins.
Just make sure to follow the backup instructions. This is crucial. There is no bank, no third party or web site that hold your funds. You keep your money on your computer. That makes that you are the only one who can keep your wallet safe and secure. Choose a strong password, don’t forget it. Write down the 12-word passphrase and put it in a safe place
Hardware wallet: Ledger Nano S
The safest way to store bitcoins is away from your computer, out of the reach of malware, spyware, and viruses. The Ledger Nano S is a Bitcoin hardware wallet, based on robust safety features for storing cryptographic assets and securing digital payments. It connects to any computer through USB and has a secure OLED display to double-check and confirm each transaction with a single tap on its side buttons. When you own a significant amount of bitcoin, you need to protect your confidential data and the access to your funds.
With the Ledger Nano S, secrets like private keys are never exposed: sensitive operations are isolated inside the hardware wallet within a secure element, locked by a PIN code. Transactions cannot get tampered with; they are physically verified on the embedded screen with a simple press on a button. Through the Ledger Manager app, it is possible to install wallets for all the main scam coins (like Ethereum, Dash, Zcash and others) or other applications like FIDO Universal Second Factor Authentication. It’s priced at €58 on the Ledger website or, if you are located in Cambodia, you can order it on Amazon through Cambo Quick to save on shipping costs.
Notably missing from this overview is Jaxx. Only a few months ago this was, by far, our favorite bitcoin wallet. Alas, development on this project seems to have halted. At this point, the official FAQ even advises against using the iOS version. Other versions have become buggy and slow as well. Last time Jaxx was in the news; it was a story about how they found it difficult to work with the Monero community. Nothing too flattering for anyone involved there. We sincerely hope they make a comeback with a much-needed update. As for now, we would advise steering away from Jaxx until further notice.
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