With over 100 bitcoin wallets available it’s getting harder for many South Africans to choose the best one.
In this article, we’re going to give you Rateweb’s top 3 picks for the best bitcoin wallets.
Choosing a secure, easy to use bitcoin wallet is the first crucial step to owning bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
A Bitcoin wallet is a computer program to send and receive Bitcoins, store Bitcoins and monitor Bitcoin balances. Just like you need an email program like Yahoo, Outlook or Gmail to manage your emails, you need a Bitcoin wallet to manage your Bitcoins.
Cryptocurrency wallets interface with the Bitcoin blockchain. They monitor Bitcoin addresses on the blockchain and update their own balance with each transaction.
A standard Bitcoin wallet will create a wallet.dat file containing its private key. This file should be backed up by copying it to a safe location like an encrypted drive on your computer, an external flash drive or even copying it to a piece of paper and hiding it away.
One of the most important things to remember about a bitcoin wallet is that it is defined by where its private key is stored.
A bitcoin private key is a string of numbers and letters that acts as the password to your Bitcoin wallet. It’s from this number that the bitcoin wallet gets its power to send Bitcoins from one person to another.
You can also think of it as the secret coordinates for locating your Bitcoins. In other words, whoever knows your private key has control over your Bitcoins. The private key is also used to generate your Bitcoin address.
Your bitcoin address is just like your email address. It’s something you want to give out to people who want to send you Bitcoins. However, even though the Bitcoin address is generated through the private key, there’s no way to figure out what the private key is just by examining a Bitcoin address.
To sum it up, the wallet’s core function is the creation, storage and use of the private key. In other words, it automates Bitcoin’s complex cryptography for you.
About 75% of South Africans tend to keep their coins on the exchange they bought them from, basically giving up control and trusting the exchange to keep the coins safe for them. A wallet that doesn’t allow you complete control over your coins is known as a custodial wallet, but the recommended way to store cryptocurrencies is to move your coins off the exchange and on to a non-custodial wallet – a wallet that you and only you can control.
Exodus is a free software wallet that can be installed on your computer or mobile phone.
It’s beautifully designed, intuitive to use and it supports over 100 cryptocurrencies and tokens. Exodus allows you to trade coins from within the wallet and earn interest on your crypto holdings.
Its main disadvantage is that it’s not open-source, meaning its code isn’t publicly visible and therefore doesn’t get reviewed by community members to evaluate its quality.
If you want to take security up a notch you can use a hardware wallet – a physical device that stores your coins offline in a secure manner away from most possible hacks and theft attempts.
The Nano X is easy to use, supports over 1000 coins and tokens and can be controlled from your mobile phone as well as from your computer.
On the downside, the Nano X’s isn’t completely open source either, and it’s a bit pricey; but if you’re serious about security, the Nano X gives you the optimal mix between security and usability.
If you’re looking for an affordable alternative to the Nano X we would suggest the TREZOR One. At less than half the price of the Nano X, the TREZOR One is a battle-tested, open-source, intuitive hardware wallet that supports a wide variety of coins.
Its main downside is that it doesn’t support XMR, XRP or EOS. That’s our top 3 picks for the best in cryptocurrency wallets.