Welcome to digital wallets
- When you buy, earn, or send Bitcoin Cash (BCH) or Bitcoin (BTC), the coins will appear in your digital wallet (aka Bitcoin wallet).
- This wallet is typically an app that you download to your phone or desktop, but there are other variations, such as web wallets and hardware wallets.
- Depending on how much Bitcoin you own and how often you want to access it, different types of wallets will be better suited to you.
Software wallets: Convenient storage
- For frequent Bitcoin trading, software wallets are ideal.
- These take the form of an app which is downloaded for free to your phone or desktop. You simply open up the app and can make Bitcoin transactions in an instant.
- Since software wallets are connected to the internet, it’s important to make sure your device is well secured to prevent online theft.
- We only recommend storing a limited amount of your coins in a software wallet for regular trading and spending.
Tip: Make sure the software wallet you’re using is fully non-custodial like ours. This means only you can access your coins — not the wallet provider.
Hardware wallets: Long-term storage
- If you own a significant amount of Bitcoin, the best storage option is a hardware wallet (often called a cold wallet).
- These are physical devices created specifically for the purpose of storing cryptocurrencies, and they offer the best security for your digital assets.
- This is because hardware wallets are not connected to the internet, making them invulnerable to online hacking.
- Since they take more time to access, hardware wallets aren’t ideal for making frequent Bitcoin transactions: use them for long-term storage instead.
Tip: Hardware wallets are well worth the money—especially if you own a lot of Bitcoin. To make sure the device is legitimate, only buy one from a company you can trust.
What about storing coins on an exchange?
- Cryptocurrency exchanges are a popular place for many newcomers to buy their first Bitcoin because they make the buying process very simple.
- However, the cryptocurrency exchange itself has control over the funds in your account (web wallet), making them far more prone to theft and fraud.
- As such, we recommend using cryptocurrency exchanges only for trading—not for storing your Bitcoin.
Tip: Cryptocurrency exchanges are not a secure place to store your coins. Once you’ve bought your Bitcoin, move it to your software or hardware wallet as soon as possible.