A lot of people are getting into Bitcoin right now, and the learning curve is pretty steep all things considered. Maybe you just bought some Bitcoin on Coinbase, or maybe you’re dollar-cost-averaging like a champ.
But now you’re wondering: Where am I supposed to keep my Bitcoin? And for that you’re going to need a wallet.
To analogize briefly, custodial wallets are more like banks that manage, handle, and secure your funds, while non-custodial wallets are more like being your own bank, including all the security responsibilities.
For the purposes of this guide we’re going to focus on non-custodial wallets, though some have rather creative methods of making this easier for new-coiners.
There’s an ongoing debate about whether “everyday Bitcoin users” should use custodial services or attempt self-custody, but in reality many people use custodial services sparingly, then mobile wallets for everyday money and cold wallets for long-term storage.
BRD, formerly known as Bread, is a popular hot wallet (meaning it can receive and send currency) for beginners, and comes with a simple interface that allows you to both send and receive Bitcoin and Ethereum. BRD also makes all of its code open source to help allay concerns about potential security flaws.
BlueWallet has almost every feature you’d want, like support for hardware wallets, multi-sig, offline mode, Lightning wallets, and a truckload of other stuff.
If you’re a newbie and you think you might become a power user, give BlueWallet a try.
Edge is a Bitcoin wallet that offers newbies a more guided experience. Instead of requiring users to memorize a seed phrase to access the key to their Bitcoin, Edge encrypts a user’s key on-device and stores it on a private server. The company claims its encryption prevents it from accessing user funds or seeing usernames and passwords.
You actually can get access to your seed phrase within Edge if you want to ever want to try recovering your funds in another wallet. This makes Edge a hybrid solution where the company is doing the custody of your keys, but in a way that you theoretically control.
Muun is a relatively new Bitcoin wallet for both iOS and Android that offers a few enticing features, like access to the Lightning Network which allows users to send Bitcoin to one another “off-chain.”
ZenGo is a bit of a hybrid between a non-custodial and custodial wallet. Instead of only storing and encrypting keys on a user’s device, the company actually splits a user’s key between the device and its servers, making security less prone to a single point of failure. You can read more about the company’s “keyless wallet” tech here.
There are obviously many, many, more wallets to choose from, but these six should give you a good reference point for what’s out there and what types of features might be important to your crypto strategy. So, without further delay you may now finally get to the easy stuff like figuring out how to buy Bitcoin without losing your shirt.