How do I get a Bitcoin wallet?
Ruben Waterman Getting Started February 12, 2019
Great! So you’ve decided you would like to use 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 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. In this blog post, we will explain each of their different purposes, advantages, and disadvantages. In the world of bitcoin, you no longer need a bank to safeguard your money. With such financial freedom comes great responsibility as well!
The four different types of wallets
There are four types of bitcoin wallets; mobile wallets, desktop wallets, hardware wallets, and web wallets. These have different features and come with varying levels of security, as you usually find yourself exchanging convenience for security. In the following two blog posts, we will go through the process of setting up a mobile wallet, which is quick, and you can do it right now, and setting up a hardware wallet. We highly recommend you 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 explain these two, but we encourage you to check out all the different wallets 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, mobile wallets are generally more practical than desktop wallets. However, the whole idea of bitcoin is financial independence and not being dependent on a financial institution that makes choices for you. We thus encourage you to check out the bitcoin.org webpage to check all the possibilities of obtaining a wallet, and don’t take our word for it!
Financial freedom & responsibility
With this financial freedom comes responsibility. 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 physical 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, keeping 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 use a web wallet, or leave your bitcoin on a custodial exchange (i.e. Coinbase, Kraken, Binance, etc.), you do not actually own the private keys as the company 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 private keys and let another company manage your private keys. This is why bittr does not host 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.
Do you have any questions? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!