If you opt for a classic online wallet, you need to register and download it. However, some software can be quite heavy since they contain the blockchain (Bitcoin Private Ledger Electrum) in its entirety. For the installation, you will simply have to follow the different steps of the installation. However, once it is complete, you will need to generate an address to receive, send and store your cryptocurrency.
If you use a versatile platform such as Coinbase, BitBay or Binance, you only need to register on the interface in question before validating your account and have your identity verified. Once done, all you have to do is go to your profile to generate a new wallet address. As for the online wallet, you must keep this address to store your cryptocurrency and for your different transactions.
Some interesting features
However, some online wallets offer features that can bring real added value. For example, several online portfolios offer a mobile phone version that will allow you to use it even when on the move . However, smartphone apps are generally not as secure as the desktop version. We therefore advise you to use this option only for small amounts. Another interesting possibility is the integrated exchange service which will allow you to easily exchange your cryptocurrencies.
How a cryptocurrency wallet works?
Whatever its form, a wallet is always composed of at least two elements:
- The public address : it is an identifier that is communicated to third parties to receive cryptocurrency on his wallet .
- The private key : it must never be communicated, because anyone with knowledge can move funds wallet.
The security of a wallet depends essentially on the level of protection of that private key.
Online crypto portfolios ( web wallets )
The wallet web are very simple to use. These can be wallets internal to exchange platforms (Coinbase, Binance, Kraken), or specialized sites like MyEtherWallet. These wallets are particularly practical, since we keep a very high reactivity to buy or sell cryptocurrencies.
But they involve several disadvantages:
- In the case of currency exchange wallets, the funds are managed by a trusted third party, so you do not have the hands on them;
- You do not always have your own private key;
- The security of this type of portfolio is considered low.
It is therefore not recommended to keep cryptocurrencies on web wallets , especially beyond a certain amount. Piracy attempts are very frequent on platforms, and some unfortunately lead to the theft of millions of tokens, emptying the wallet of a large number of users. Not to mention, of course, about the risk of a personal hack specifically targeting your account: this type of hack can easily support if you are not strictly rigorous to follow good security practices (connection on a private and secure network , two-factor authentication, regular change of your passwords, etc.).
Beyond a value of more than 2000 euros of your possessions in cryptocurrency, it is therefore better to direct you to a more secure portfolio and suitable for long-term storage.
Wallet Cryptocurrency Portfolios ( desktop wallets )
The desktop wallet, or desktop wallet , offers a much higher level of security. You then have access to your own private key, and its storage is in a device that belongs to you personally, not by a third party. Office wallet storage allows you to effectively own your cryptocurrency. The desktop wallet interacts directly with the blockchain and no third party intervenes in the storage or management of your cryptocurrency.
This type of portfolio, however, has some disadvantages:
- The private key is stored on a medium that remains vulnerable to computer attacks . It is therefore essential to protect your computer from hackers, if possible to use this computer for your transactions to avoid exposure to viruses and malware .
- It is essential to update its wallet in case of fork , because it becomes possible to send its cryptocurrency on the wrong blockchain.
- Desktops wallets can be full or light clients. The former require downloading the entire blockchain, which requires a large storage space , but has the advantage of being very secure, since it is possible to check the integrity of the entire blockchain. The latter are generally mobile , and are less secure because based on a segment of the blockchain only.
There are a large number of desktops wallets. It is advisable to use open source software and recognized by the community to opt for the most secure solutions possible. 99bitcoins.com considers Exodus, Electrum (Bitcoin Private Ledger Electrum), Copay and Armory as the best Bitcoin wallets of the year 2018.