If you invest or hold bitcoin or other digital currencies, it’s important to store your assets in a private wallet so only you can access them. You might ask, “What should I use for a private bitcoin wallet?”
It’s a good question. There are features unique to each type of bitcoin wallet, so it’s crucial to understand how they work to make an informed decision about which to use and why.
What Should I Use for a Private Bitcoin Wallet?
The best private bitcoin wallets are self-custody or non-custodial wallets. These wallets don’t require you to give up control of your private keys to a third party. You use your private keys to verify transactions and confirm ownership of a blockchain address.
Non-custodial wallets can be classified into software wallets and hardware wallets. Within software wallets, we have mobile wallets and desktop wallets.
Mobile wallets are the most convenient way to manage your bitcoin since they are easily accessible and compatible with most mobile devices. On the other hand, while not as user-friendly as mobile wallets, hardware wallets offer a level of protection that mobile wallets cannot provide because they have been designed with specific security considerations in mind.
Here are the best private bitcoin wallets for investors to use:
- Ledger Nano S: Best Hardware Private Bitcoin Wallet
- Coinbase Wallet: Best Mobile Private Bitcoin Wallet
- Electrum: Best Desktop Private Bitcoin Wallet
Ledger Nano S: The Best Hardware Private Bitcoin Wallet
The Ledger Nano S is a non-custodial hardware wallet that offers the best security, keeping your private keys offline and out of reach from hackers. In addition, it is one of the market’s most affordable bitcoin hardware wallets, costing only $59.
The Ledger Nano S hardware wallet offers exceptional levels of security, with its custom BOLOS operating system and protection chip acting as independent pieces of hardware to sign and store transactions, respectively.
It has an embedded display that makes checking details easier than other wallets. In addition, because it stores data offline, there is less risk that someone could hack into your account via the internet. Therefore, this is one of the best options if you want the ultimate protection for your bitcoins.
- Multi-signature support
- Several security features
- Made by a reputable company called Ledger
- Easy to use
- Not as mobile-friendly as other BTC wallets
- Low-resolution screen
Coinbase Wallet: The Best Mobile Private Bitcoin Wallet
It takes very little time to create a bitcoin wallet and start transferring your crypto. The Coinbase Wallet requires you to log in using your email address or username and password and provides the ability to store bitcoin and other altcoins, including Ethereum.
You can add support for a Ledger hardware wallet through the Coinbase Wallet browser extension. This optional feature adds an extra level of security since it requires you to have the hardware wallet to authenticate transactions.
- Supports a good number of cryptocurrencies
- Multi-signature Support
- Two-factor authentication
- Free to use
- User-friendly for newbies
Electrum: Best Desktop Private Bitcoin Wallet
If you’re looking for a free, secure, easy-to-use desktop bitcoin wallet that comes with great security and is simple enough for anyone to use, Electrum is your best bet. It is open source, meaning many people contributed to evaluating and writing the code. This almost eliminates the possibility of malicious code being embedded in the software.
The wallet supports two-factor authentication, passwords, and other security features. It does not save any of your data on its servers, meaning that your private keys belong to you alone. However, the open-source wallet’s user interface has a very basic feel, which might put off newbies used to more user-friendly financial apps.
- Free and open-source
- Several privacy features
- Two-factor authentication
- Not so friendly for newbies
- Supports only one crypto asset
What Should You Consider in Getting a Bitcoin Wallet
Your preferences and value of features like security and usability will determine the bitcoin wallet you opt for. However, we recommend you choose a bitcoin wallet that offers convenience, open-source code, multi-signature support, two or multi-factor authentication, and robust transaction security protocols.
Finally, as most bitcoin traders do, you can adopt crypto storage best practices using a combination of hardware and software wallets to store your bitcoin.