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What is Atomic Wallet?
Atomic Wallet was designed to leverage the potential of atomic swaps and become part of a fully-fledged decentralised cryptocurrency ecosystem. Atomic swaps allow users to trade cryptocurrencies from within their wallet – similar to an exchange, but using different technology. Atomic Wallet supports over 500 coins and tokens, as well as staking for certain coins.
The “physical” wallet itself is a PC application that you can download to your computer. Your private keys and other data will then be stored on your PC in an encrypted form.
This application then interacts with the blockchains of supported coins. For example, if you check your transaction history in the program, it looks it up on the blockchain and then shows it to you rather than storing this potentially sensitive information somewhere else.
Those who want to get the most out of it can use the Atomic Wallet Coin (AWC) token to pay for features such as rising higher in the atomic swap queue or to pay listing fees to get your own token supported by the wallet.
It aims for a blend of simplicity and power. It’s intended to be simple enough for anyone to use, even without any kind of technical experience, while also being packed with a range of accessible features, including the ability to add custom ERC20 tokens and to trade coins peer-to-peer directly through the wallet by utilising a global decentralised order book.
Atomic Wallet is theoretically completely secure, as long as you do everything correctly. It’s open source, which significantly reduces the chances of bugs or hidden vulnerabilities creeping into the programming and critical data like passwords are encrypted and only stored locally on your device.
However, your funds might still be at risk if you install the wallet on a computer that has malware or which connects to the Internet through unsecured Wi-Fi networks. There’s always some level of risk where Internet connections are involved.
These risks can be mitigated very effectively by pairing your Atomic Wallet with a hardware wallet. The best hardware wallets create a physical layer of security, such as a button that needs to be physically pressed, which prevents people from remotely stealing funds. With the combination of Atomic Wallet and a supported hardware wallet you can simultaneously get the cool features of Atomic Wallet and the extra security that’s needed to use it with near complete confidence. At the time of writing, hardware wallet support is not yet available, but it’s still underway.
Atomic Wallet backup phrase
As with any wallet, never give anyone your backup phrase. Atomic Wallet’s opensource structure means you may have to seek support through unconventional means, like a Telegram channel. When doing so, never give anyone your backup phrase. Your backup phrase is a string of words that will be presented to you upon creation of your wallet and which acts as a secondary password. It will allow access to the funds held in your Atomic Wallet and must be kept private.
Unless you have a one-in-a-billion memory, this phrase should be written down in a physical form and then kept somewhere safe, such as a bank safe deposit box. This backup phrase is how you restore access to your funds if your computer gets fried, goes down in a fire or otherwise experiences misadventure.
How much does it cost?
Atomic Wallet can be downloaded and used entirely for free, although using certain services may incur variable fees at different points.
You can buy cryptocurrency with a credit card to have sent directly through the wallet, but should be aware that there’s a significant 7% commission and minimum $10 fee for doing so. It might be convenient, but there are much more cost-effective options elsewhere.
In-wallet peer-to-peer currency trades can also incur varying fees depending on the currency and the options selected.
There are three types of trade possible and the availability of each depends on the coins you want to trade.
The ShapeShift exchange order book can be accessed through the wallet, allowing direct trades at prevailing rates. Fees applied by ShapeShift may vary.
This works much like ShapeShift, except through the Changelly exchange, which supports a different range of coins.
Atomic Wallet currently only supports atomic swaps between BTC, LTC and QTUM. Support for ETH is coming soon. Fees for using atomic swaps vary, but should generally be minimal, with trades conducted at prevailing market rates. Atomic Wallet uses CoinMarketCap data for its rates.
Atomic swaps have a complicated-sounding name and are technically very difficult to achieve given the complexities of blockchain engineering, but the hard work put into them is why actually performing an atomic swap, through a tool like Atomic Wallet, is relatively straightforward and easy.
It works like a combination of a fully automated currency exchange and a community bulletin board.
Anyone can anonymously put a notice up on the bulletin board saying how many of one coin type they want to trade for another at current market rates. When you initiate a trade, you’re putting up a notice on the bulletin board.
The atomic swap itself is like a robot that receives an order from the bulletin board notices, then automatically picks up the coins from two suitable parties and swaps them around, no questions asked.
Atomic Wallet includes features that let you easily write those notices and a system for matching compatible orders to make the robot’s job easier.
Atomic Wallet supports hundreds of coins, including almost all major cryptocurrencies. It also supports all ERC20 tokens.
It allows sending, holding and receiving of all supported coins, but the trading features available vary by coin.
How do I add cryptocurrency to my wallet?
Add cryptocurrency to your wallet by opening the program, logging in and looking at the list of coins.
Next to each supported coin in the list there is a section titled “your address.” It will be different for each cryptocurrency.
Send cryptocurrency to those addresses to send them to your wallet. Make sure you’re using the correct cryptocurrency’s address. Sending funds to the incorrect address will result in permanent loss of your funds.
To send funds out of your wallet just click on the cryptocurrency you want to transfer. It will expand and ask you to enter the destination address, the amount you want to send and your Atomic Wallet password for security.
Advanced users can also export their private keys.
How to export Atomic Wallet to another device
Follow these directions to move your Atomic Wallet to a new device:
Download Atomic Wallet on the new device.
When you start the wallet, select “restore from backup” at the login screen.
Enter your recovery seed in the field provided.
This is why it’s vital to keep your recovery seed secure. You need it for making backups, but if anyone else finds out what it is, they can follow the same steps to access your wallet.
Where can I get this wallet?
You can download the Atomic Wallet directly from its site.
Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly
volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of
future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information.
You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory
requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may
have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.
Andrew Munro is the cryptocurrency editor at Finder. He was initially writing about insurance, when he accidentally fell in love with digital currency and distributed ledger technology (aka “the blockchain”). Andrew has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales, and has written guides about everything from industrial pigments to cosmetic surgery.
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