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    Creating a Bitcoin Wallet

    Now that we have a slight understanding of what bitcoin is let’s dive straight to getting you started with using bitcoin. If you have not read my previous blog on introduction to bitcoin, go ahead and read it here. Using bitcoin requires you to be connected to the internet. In this blog, I will give an outline of creating your first bitcoin wallet. There is a lot that goes into understanding what will be really happening in the background, but to keep this article simple, I will just go through the basics.

    My assumption is you have never used a bitcoin wallet or bitcoin. So let’s take one step at a time. I will begin by showing how you can create a mobile wallet. So get your smartphones charged up.

    Downloading a Wallet

    A cryptocurrency wallet is an Interface that makes it easy for you to interact with the blockchain. Every wallet has a sending and receiving feature. You can also see the value of the cryptocurrency that you have at any time. However, it is also important to note that there other cryptocurrency wallet apps that might have been made with the goal to steal your funds away. So it’s important for you to download from a reliable source. Do check for reviews, and feedback on any wallet before using it.

    Every Smartphone has an applications store(AppStore) where you can download applications of your choice. In this blog, I will primarily focus on two mobile operating systems; iOS and Android. There is a wide range of wallets that one can also choose but I will focus on ones that I have personally used and liked. It is important to know what features you are looking for before choosing a wallet. Some of the things to consider when making a choice are ease of use, security, privacy, and coin support.

    As a beginner, I would encourage anyone to use the Exodus wallet. So let’s get down to understanding some of the cryptocurrency wallets.

    Types of Cryptocurrency wallets

    • Hardware Wallets

    Hardware wallets are also known as cold wallets. This is by far the safest way to store your Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. This is usually a small physical device that holds your private keys offline. An example is the D’Cent Hardware Wallet. In order for you to use a Hardware Wallet, you have to purchase it.

    • Mobile Wallets

    Wallet apps also referred to as software wallets, are considered “hot wallets”, because they are always connected to the internet. This makes them less secure than hardware wallets. It is however convenient for day-to-day use and keeping small amounts of cryptocurrency.

    Exodus Wallet

    Platforms: Mac OS, Linux, Windows, iOS, Android

    Back in the day, when I started using Bitcoin, there were few wallets that you could use. An example is Blockchain Wallet. The wallet only supported Bitcoin because that was the main cryptocurrency. Today there are more than 10 000 different cryptocurrencies that are listed on Coinmarketcap. Therefore it wouldn’t make sense in any way for a wallet to continue supporting only one cryptocurrency.

    Exodus wallet supports a couple of cryptocurrencies, so for beginners it quite user friendly. It comes with a very easy to use interface. You will only need a couple of minutes to understand how to use it. Besides Bitcoin, you can hold a couple of cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, Polkadot, Litecoin and Dash, just to name a few.


    Trust Wallet

    Platforms: iOS, Android

    Like I mentioned earlier, I am recommending wallets that I have personally used. I have used Trust wallet a couple of times and I prefer it to other wallets for a few reasons. Just like the Exodus wallet, it holds a number of cryptocurrencies. However, it supports different blockchains on a single cryptocurrency. An example is USDT, most wallets support USDT ERC20 only, but Trust wallet has ERC20, TRC20, and BEP20. The user interface is quite friendly. The only downside is Trust wallet doesn’t have a desktop wallet. You can also use Trust Wallet for Staking your cryptocurrencies and many other functions.


    Muun Wallet

    Platforms: iOS, Android

    A friend of mine recommended this wallet to me a couple of months ago. For beginners it is a go to, but however it has its own issues at times. This is wallet was recently built so you should expect the few errors at times. The downside is that it only supports Bitcoin at the moment. I hope they will add more cryptocurrencies with it.

    Muun wallet is popular because of its lighting network which quite fast when you are sending bitcoin. You need to understand the basics however to be able to distinguish between the different types Bitcoin addresses.


    Backing up your wallet

    It is of paramount importance to keep your funds safe incase anything can happen to your device or you forget your password. This has happened to me before and sent me through a deep hole of depression, so do not repeat it your self.

    Before using any wallet, make sure you locate the wallet settings. Every wallet that is not centralized allows you to backup your funds. If you loose your mobile phone or laptop, you will be able to access the wallet on another device.

    Backing up a wallet differs on different types of wallets, but usually it involves you writing 12 or 24 words down and keeping them safe. So make sure you DON’T share your private keys with anyone.

    Transfering Cryptocurrency into your Wallet

    Transferring Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency from any wallet to your wallet is as easy as ABC, but you need to be careful. If you have cryptocurrency on an exchange or a friend wants to send you, just click on the request/receive button and an address(long string of letters and characters) will be shown to you. Just copy and send it your friend, or paste it on the sending page of the exchange.

    Usually any cryptocurrency requires a minimum of 3 confirmations to make the funds usable or available. Always check if your transaction has finished the minimum required number of confirmations.

    Conclusion

    There are quite a number of cryptocurrency wallets for Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency that you can think of. Not all cryptocurrencies can be found in a single wallet, so as you keep on holding to more cryptocurrencies you will discover that you will need to have a number of different wallets at the same time.

    If you are still new to cryptocurrencies, start with a wallet that is easy to use and add more wallets as your experience improves.

    Let me know of any wallets you think I should have penned about. I hope to add more wallets that I like here!

    Until next time!

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