Feb / 12

How do I get a Bitcoin wallet?

Ruben Waterman Getting Started

Great! So you’ve decided you would like to start using Bittr, or Bitcoin in general but how do you get started? Before you can receive any bitcoin, you will need to have a bitcoin wallet. This is much like having a bank account in order to send or receive money to other people, except that in bitcoin you don’t need a bank!

There are various ways to set up such a bitcoin wallet and in this blog post, I will explain the different purposes, advantages and disadvantages of each of them. In the world of Bitcoin, you no longer need a bank to safeguard your money, with such financial freedom, comes a big responsibility as well! An important part of this responsibility is backing up your bitcoin! Wait? Did you just read that correctly? You need to make a backup of your money?! Yes, but don’t worry, in follow up blog posts we will go through the process step-by-step for a mobile and hardware wallet.

The different types of wallets

There are essentially four types of bitcoin wallets; mobile wallets, desktop wallets, hardware wallets and web wallets. All of these have different features and come with different security responsibility as you will usually find yourself exchanging convenience for security. In this blog post we will go through the process of setting up a mobile wallet , which is quick and you can do it right now, as well as setting up a hardware wallet. We highly recommend you to invest in your own security and thus set up a hardware wallet as quickly as possible after you’ve started with Bittr. In this blog post we simply explain these two, but we encourage you to check out all the different wallets out there and enjoy this financial freedom of choice!

Why not set up a web wallet or desktop wallet?

If you prefer to have your bitcoin wallet on your desktop instead of your mobile phone, that could work just as well! We believe that in terms of convenience and ease-of-use, the mobile wallets are generally more practical than the desktop wallets. However, the whole idea of bitcoin is financial independence and not being dependant on a financial institution that makes choices for you. We thus encourage to check out the official bitcoin webpage to check all the possibilities of obtaining a wallet and don’t take our word for it!

With this financial freedom comes a certain amount of responsibility as well. In the end, you cannot call or email “Bitcoin” when you forgot your access code or have other issues, as you might be used to nowadays with your bank. In the physicial world, you have a keychain containing all the keys to open various locks in and around your house. In the world of bitcoin, you have a wallet containing all the (private) keys to unlock your bitcoin. The most important part of owning bitcoin is keeping your private keys safe and above all, to keep them yours! As Andreas Antonopoulos often states "Simple rule. If you control the keys, it is your bitcoin. If you don't control the keys, it's not your bitcoin. Your keys, your bitcoin. Not your keys, not your bitcoin.". When you would be using a web wallet, you do not actually own the private keys as the company that’s hosting the website owns the private keys and simply shows you a balance of the amount of bitcoin they manage for you. You may have heard stories of thousands of bitcoins being stolen from customers in bitcoin exchanges. This is only possible if you are not in charge of your own private keys and let another company manage your private keys. This is the reason that Bittr does not open bitcoin wallets for its customers as we believe it is strongly against the philosophy of bitcoin to store decentralized currency in a centralized fashion.

Finally, if you haven’t watched any videos by Andreas Antonopoulos yet, we strongly encourage you to do so as there is nobody who can explain bitcoin better than he does! There’s even a video specifically on how to choose a wallet, watch it here.

Quote of the day

I do think Bitcoin is the first [encrypted money] that has the potential to do something like change the world.

Peter Thiel