Cryptocurrency has been around for many years now, gradually gaining recognition as a credible investment option among entrepreneurs. Everyone’s heard of Bitcoin, they’ve been on news for all the right reasons, because of the continuous rise of their value. It is the big thing on the cyber platform right now that you definitely want to be a part of. However, for all its perks, Bitcoin investment is not everyone’s cup of tea. Many of the Bitcoin users aren’t even aware of the technicalities of virtual currencies, and their upkeep. Your Bitcoins are susceptible to theft or unauthorized access by hackers and cybercriminals on the web. Don’t worry though, there are several secure wallets, both online and offline, where you can store your Bitcoins away from the threats.
What are Desktop Wallets?
Desktop wallets are perhaps the safest, most encrypted places you can keep your keys in. These wallets offer the highest level of security for your Bitcoins. You have to first download the software on your computer and then perform all your transactions from your PC. Desktop wallets are best suited for users who have to deal with Bitcoins every day. You need to have some technical expertise and a basic knowledge of Bitcoins to use the desktop wallets. Listed below are the top 7 Bitcoin wallets for desktops (for Windows, Linux and MAC platforms) and here are more bitcoin wallets.
Electrum is one of the most popular and powerful of Bitcoin wallets for desktops – a clear winner in the market. The interface might appear a bit bland and uninteresting but its features and top-notch security options more than makeup for its lack of aesthetics. It is an open source software, that is, you are involved in the reviewing and code composition of the platform. Here, you even get the option of replacing your transaction in case it is not confirmed. Other features include address tagging, encryptions, and provision for fee adjustments.
Exodus is a Bitcoin wallet for the newbies who have just ventured into the world of cryptocurrency and have no idea about what is going on. The wallet was launched in July 2016 and has quickly gained quite a reputation among users thanks to its simple, hassle-free operation and super cool features. The software is available for Mac, Windows and Linux and has the capacity to hold other altcoins as Ethereum, Litecoin, and Dash. On the downside, Exodus is not an open source platform, developers can insert malicious code into the software that you won’t be aware of.
Bitcoin Core is a full-fledged wallet option that takes a lot of space but offers a stronger security for your Bitcoins than the other SPV or lite wallets. The lightweight wallets such as Multibit do not download the entire blockchain to verify the transactions and rely on other networks to give them the required information. Bitcoin core is a full-node wallet system that downloads the entire blockchain to your computer. You can now independently verify the transactions and track them on the network without having to depend on any third party. Of course, the wallet takes up considerable space on your PC (130GB) but that’s a compromiseuserare willing to make.
Copay is an open source Bitcoin wallet that supports Windows, Linux and Mac devices. Launched sometime in 2014 by BitPay, the wallet is among the largest and most used storage providers in the market today. Copay is great for tech-savvy users who want to access their Bitcoins from their mobile phones or laptops without having to deal with the hassles of keeping a hardware wallet. The multisig feature offers extra security against theft; here you can store and manage multiple signatures in one account. Therefore, to access your keys you will have more than one authentication proof.
Armory is a popular and trustworthy brand among users when it comes to Bitcoin security. The wallet option is advertised as “The Only Open-Source Wallet with Cold Storage and Multi-Signature Support”. The private keys are stored on the computer and can be accessed offline. This protects your Bitcoins from online threats like hackers, viruses and other malicious software. Only those who are aware of the physical location of your computer can access your private keys. However, the UI is a bit complicated and can be confusing for newbies. Armory is available for Mac, Linux, Windows Ubuntu and RaspberriPi.
Multi-bit is a Bitcoin wallet for your desktop that supports all Windows, Linux and Mac devices. You can download it from the Multibut.org website for simple, straightforward and hassle-free transactions. Multi-bit is lightweight taking up just 30MB of your memory, you don’t have to install the entire blockchain to use it. Here, you can open and manage multiple wallets simultaneously all with HD support. The user interface is clean and user-friendly. Plus, Multibit supports over 40 languages and has a truly global appeal. Most users prefer using Multibit with Keepkey, a USB device that requires your manual confirmation for accessing the Bitcoins.
Green Address is among the first wallets that offered features like HD multisig, hardware support, dynamic fees and transaction replacement. The solution was developed by duo Lawrence Nahum and Jerzy Kozera. The wallet works with a multi-signature Bitcoin address scheme where you get only a portion of the private key, the other half is stored by Green Address. The wallet, therefore, oversees the activities in your account using a feature called nLockTime. Your keys are never even encrypted by the server as the Green Address transactions are almost instantaneous.
The Bottom Line
The safety and security of your Bitcoin is ultimately your responsibility. You have todevise a storage plan that uses digital security knowledge to safeguard your money against theft. Remember, Bitcoin transactions cannot be reversed, once your money is lost you cannot get it back. To access Bitcoins, one must have both public and private keys. The wallet stores these keys in a safe place.