Bitcoin desktop wallet is a software that gives you the ability to access and manage your coins stored in the Blockchain.
As you are reading this post, you’ve probably heard about Bitcoin and you wanted to get a piece of this amazing technology that is taking over the world.
One of the most significant advantages of Bitcoin is that it is decentralized, which means that no one can control it.
There is no middleman between a buyer and a seller.
That comes with a risk.
If you send your coins to a wrong wallet address, as the transactions are irreversible, your coins are gone forever.
That’s why you need to think of securing your wallet properly, so hackers won’t be able to access your coins.
If a hacker finds a way to get his hands on your coins, you can lose them if they are not secured in the right way.
Regardless of the amount of Bitcoin you have, make sure to keep your coins safe and secure.
As we covered before, there are different types of Bitcoin wallets.
In this article, we are going to write more about desktop Bitcoin wallets and which desktop wallets are the best at the moment.
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As mentioned above, it is a software that stores and manages the private keys of your Bitcoins.
The wallets that I am going to share with you are all self-hosted wallets.
It means that you are the only one responsible for the funds.
No third party will have any control over your wallet.
You will be the only one with the PIN to the wallet and recovery phrases.
If you lose the PIN of your wallet, you can retrieve your coins using recovery phrases.
If you lose both, no one will be able to help you access your coins.
They will be gone forever.
That’s why it is essential to extract recovery phases (also called backup key) and keep it safe.
If you are in control of it, you are the real owner of the coins.
As Mr Andreas Antonopoulos said,
Your keys, your Bitcoin. Not your keys, not your Bitcoin.
There are various Bitcoin desktop wallets, and each one has its characteristics.
Some of them will be more user-friendly, that will be the easiest option for beginners to understand and start with.
On the other side, others will be focused more on security, not caring too much about user-friendliness.
Exodus wallet is, in our opinion, best for beginners, while an overall winner is Electrum wallet.
Further down in the article, we will explain both of these wallets in details.
Just to mention, Bitcoin Core is the number one desktop Bitcoin wallet but because it requires you to download the entire Bitcoin blockchain, we find that too hard for the majority.
That’s the reason we didn’t include Bitcoin Core in this review.
If you want to know more about Bitcoin Core, click here.
Exodus is one of the most popular desktop cryptocurrency wallets.
It enables you to store not only Bitcoin but more than 100 other cryptocurrencies (See full list).
Exodus was founded in 2015 by JP Richardson and Daniel Castagnoli with headquarter in Nebraska.
It is easy to use, good looking wallet that is a great choice for those that are just starting with cryptocurrency and need an easy way of storing their assets.
The majority of the actions available are straightforward and easy to follow.
Combined with the clean design, it is very hard for anyone to get lost when sending or exchanging their coins.
Exodus is not just a cryptocurrency wallet but also a portfolio tracker that enables you to track your cryptocurrency portfolio.
It also has a built-in cryptocurrency exchange that you can use to exchange a wide range of digital currencies.
As it is a hot wallet, you need to set up and use a strong password to secure your account.
It doesn’t require any personal information from you, and your private keys and transaction data are encrypted and stored on your device.
If you have any questions about the Exodus wallet, they have a very detailed Support Page with more than 100 articles that should contain the answers to all your questions.
Exodus wallet comes with the versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
To download the Exodus wallet, head to Exodus.io and click on Download.
Only download the wallet from the official website.
After downloading Exodus wallet, the first thing to do is to click on backup and set up a password and extract recovery phrases.
If you do not have a strong password, we suggest you generating one using Secure Password Generator.
At the registration, you will receive 12-word recovery phrases that will be used to retrieve coins if something unexpected happens (you forget the password or your computer gets broken).
The recovery phrases (backup key) has to be written down one by one in order and stored in a safe place.
If a hacker gets his hands over your backup key, you can quickly lose your coins.
Once the setup is done, it is time to fund your Exodus wallet.
To do that, go to the wallet section, choose the coin you want to receive and click on Receive.
You will be provided with the coin wallet address where you need to send coins.
Exodus doesn’t charge fees for deposits.
However, you will probably have to pay fees to the Bitcoin network, cryptocurrency exchange, or another wallet to confirm your transaction.
To send your coins from Exodus wallet, head to the wallet section, choose the coin you want to send and click on Send.
Then you will have to past in the coin wallet address and the amount you are planning to send.
Double-check if everything is alright and click on Send.
To exchange your coins, click on the Exchange tab.
From the two drop-down menus, choose the coins you want to exchange and the coin you want to receive.
Type in the amount, double-check if everything is alright and click on Exchange.
Once you click on the exchange, it will offer you three seconds to cancel your transaction.
The transaction may take from a couple of minutes up to a few hours, depending on the network saturation.
Electrum is a Bitcoin desktop wallet that main focus put on the security and protection of your funds.
While Exodus was the wallet with great user experience, Electrum won’t amaze you by its user-friendliness.
It is an excellent choice for those that are already familiar with the basics of Bitcoin and looking for a feature-rich desktop wallet.
It was created in November 2011 by Thomas Voegtlin and has been modified by various developers as the code is open source.
The private keys of your coins are encrypted and never leave your computer.
If something happens with the wallet or your computer, you can retrieve your coins using recovery phrases that you will get at the installation.
It is essential to write them down and keep at a safe place because without recovery phrases (backup key), you are not the owner of the coins.
It will allow you to store your private keys safely on the hardware wallet while using Electrum’s interface to send coins whenever you want.
In comparison to Exodus wallet, Electrum can store only Bitcoin.
Also, it’s more complicated than Exodus wallet, and we advise Electrum only to those that want the extra security of their funds.
If you have any questions about Electrum wallet, check out their Support Page that should have the answer to your question.
It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
After the download process is over, you need to install Electrum wallet.
For a crypto newbie, this may be a little bit too confusing.
There are a couple of times where you need to choose between different options that don’t have a tooltip that would help you understand each of them.
Our advice is to click on Next all the time to get the preferred setup for your wallet.
Steps to install Electrum wallet:
- Choose a server
- Name your wallet.dat file (that file stores your private key)
- Choose between a Legacy and a Segwit wallet (We advise you choosing Segwit).
- Choose between an exciting wallet, hardware wallet and new wallet.
- If you are creating a new wallet, choose the wallet type (standard, 2fa, multisig).
- Write down your recovery phrases (backup key).
- Create your wallet password.
To receive Bitcoin, go to the dashboard and click on Receive.
You will be provided with the receiving wallet address where you or someone else have to send Bitcoin to.
Copy that address and use it to send coins to your Electrum wallet.
To send Bitcoin from Electrum wallet, you need to click on Send tab where you will have to provide recipient wallet address, the amount you want to transfer and the fees.
What is specific to Electrum is that you are setting up the fee for the transaction.
The more you move the slider to the right, the more fees you will pay and faster the transaction will be picked by miners and confirmed.
If you are starting, Exodus would be probably the best one for you because of its simplicity.
You just have to take the required steps to secure it properly by setting a strong password and extracting the recovery phrases (backup key).
One of the things that favor the Exodus is the fact that you can store other cryptocurrencies as well.
Either one you choose, keep in mind that they are still vulnerable to hacks and that you have to consider getting a hardware wallet that is the most secure digital wallet.
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