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Bitcoin for beginners: Everything you need to know

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Bitcoin has taken the world by storm, bringing cryptocurrencies into the public eye and changing the way we think about money.

It’s impossible to talk about cryptocurrencies without talking about bitcoin. Starting from very humble origins and with a view to disrupting government control over public finances, bitcoin has grown to become a powerhouse in the financial sector. More and more merchants, businesses and even governments are adopting the coin, and the blockchain technology behind it, in ways the creator of bitcoin couldn’t have imagined.

In this guide we’ll take a close look at bitcoin: what it is, how to use it, and what it means.

Learn more Buy bitcoin

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. 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.

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Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Supported Cryptocurrencies
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SWIFT
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BTC, DASH, ETH, XRP, ZEC, XLM
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USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CNY, KRW, AUD, CAD, DKK, NOK, SEK, TRY, HKD, SGD
BTC, ETH, XRP, DASH, LTC, BCH, ETC, OMG, ZRX, CVC, BNT
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BTC, BCH, BTG, ETH, LTC
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What is bitcoin? A brief history

Icon Symbol Initial release date Algorithm type Max. supply
BTC, XBT 3 January, 2009 SHA-256 21 million BTC

Bitcoin started as a paper authored by bitcoin’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, titled: “A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” (2008). In it, Satoshi – whose real identity remains unknown at the time of writing in October 2017 – details a system for decentralizing the financial sector, with the aim of giving power back to the people via an entirely digital transaction system (which would later become known as the blockchain). In January 2009, the first block was mined by Satoshi for 50 bitcoin. While still directly involved in the development of bitcoin, Satoshi is rumored to have mined nearly 1 million bitcoin, an amount that would, just eight years later, be worth upwards of $5.8 billion.


How does bitcoin work?

Before getting started using bitcoin, it’s important to understand how the technology works and the reasoning behind it. This will not only save you a few headaches in the long run, but it will give you a greater appreciation of what’s going on behind the scenes.

The Blockchain

Satoshi’s vision for bitcoin began from a very simple concept: We don’t need a centralized agency controlling our money (i.e. the central bank). To accomplish this, bitcoin needs to be maintained by the people using the cryptocurrency, and it does so by using a public ledger, more commonly known as the blockchain. Understanding the blockchain will help you understand the finer points of the currency.

Imagine three people: Alice, Bob and Charlie. They often have to pay money to each other, but to avoid having to make a payment every time they need to, they decide to start keeping a ledger of money owed. At the end of the month, they work out who is owed what and pay them. To avoid having to trust each other with this ledger, they bring on Daryl, a third party who’s been entrusted with maintaining the ledger’s integrity. The ledger might look something like this:

Alice > Bob $10
Bob > Charlie $25
Bob > Alice $15
Charlie > Alice $55
Charlie > Bob $12

Every transaction made with bitcoin is stored in a digital ledger just like that one. Each line signals a sending address, a receiving address and an amount of bitcoin (BTC at the time of writing, but read our later comment about XBT). There is also some additional security information which ensures that the addresses are correct. Each set of transactions is stored on a “block”, like a page in a ledger. Once a block is filled with transactions, it can be mined by miners (we’ll talk about those in a later section too) and is then attached to the previous block to form a chain of such pages or “blocks”: a blockchain.

Public bitcoin wallet address

To instill some sense of anonymity in the blockchain, bitcoin does not hold the personal information of either sender or receiver in blockchain transactions. Instead, each user gets a public address (a.k.a. wallet address), and these addresses are stored for the transaction instead.

Once a transaction is added to a block and a block is added to the blockchain, it is said to be immutable; it can neither be edited nor deleted. To understand why, let’s next take a look at decentralization.

Decentralization

The problem with this ledger system is readily apparent when we introduce some malice into the system. If Daryl were to cut a deal with, say, Charlie and put in a new transaction showing Alice and Bob owing Charlie money, Alice and Bob are now in a difficult situation. They either have to pay the owed money, trusting Daryl, or refute the idea of the ledger altogether.

Alice > Bob $10
Bob > Charlie $25
Bob > Alice $15
Charlie > Alice $55
Charlie > Bob $12
Alice > Charlie $100
Bob > Charlie $100

To solve this problem, all three participants in our experiment now decide to keep a copy of the ledger. If someone were to tamper with their copy of the ledger, we would simply have to compare it with the others and pick the most commonly consistent ledgers to use.

This is the second important solution provided by the blockchain. This consistency check is built into the blockchain technology – albeit with a little more complexity. Whenever you log into your copy of the ledger, you’ll see a copy of every single transaction made with bitcoin since its inception, and you will become part of this verification process. This democratization of the verification process lies at the heart of bitcoin and the blockchain process.

Alice Charlie Bob
Alice > Bob $10 Alice > Bob $10 Alice > Bob $10
Bob > Charlie $25 Bob > Charlie $25 Bob > Charlie $25
Bob > Alice $15 Bob > Alice $15 Bob > Alice $15
Charlie > Alice $55 Charlie > Alice $55 Charlie > Alice $55
Charlie > Bob $12 Charlie > Bob $12 Charlie > Bob $12
Charlie > Alice $85 Alice > Charlie $100 Charlie > Alice $85
Bob > Charlie $100

Unless you can convince more than 50% of bitcoin users to remove a transaction for you, then that transaction is essentially set in stone.

Check out our full guide to the blockchain.


Bitcoin mining and block verification

The key problem to be solved next is the idea of transaction verification. While there is no central authority that can decide whether a transaction is legitimate or fraudulent, there still needed to be a system for figuring this out. Bitcoin provides this solution via the act of mining. Miners, who are computer experts rather than people who work with pick-axes, do the complex work of mining.

Using powerful processors called ASICs (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits) miners receive a block of transactions and solve a computationally-difficult mathematical puzzle on that block. The details of this puzzle are beyond the scope of this beginner’s guide but suffice it to say that, once solved, this puzzle guarantees that the transactions on the block are valid and can be considered verified.

Once mined, the miner solving the puzzle attaches the block to the blockchain, and receives a small amount of bitcoin for the work. Mining today is highly competitive, and miners have to use the latest Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) on the market, otherwise the cost of energy consumption to solve the puzzle outweighs the rewards.

Read through our full guide to bitcoin mining here.


Where can I use bitcoin?

Bitcoin is one of the most widely accepted cryptocurrencies on the market at the time of writing in October 2017. From online merchants to brick and mortar shops, many service providers have started accepting bitcoin along with fiat currency (i.e. regular currencies such as AUD, USD, and EUR).

You can use bitcoin to purchase various products and services such as the following:

  • Electronics, software and gear. Microsoft, Newegg and Dell, for example, all accept bitcoin payments.
  • Flights and travel amenities. Expedia, one of the biggest travel agencies in the world, allows users to pay with bitcoin.
  • Casino. The bitcoin.com online casino launched in 2016, is completely anonymous and lets you play with bitcoin.

Apart from these big-name companies, lots of smaller merchants and service providers accept bitcoin.


A short history of bitcoin prices

Bitcoin’s been shooting for the moon since its inception, but in 2016-2017 it saw explosive growth. From $997.69/BTC in 01 January, 2017…

…bitcoin grew six-fold to $6,013.23/BTC in less than 11 months.

Buying cryptocurrencies, even something as established as bitcoin, does not come without its risks as we saw in the third quarter of 2017 after China’s refusal to accept bitcoin caused the currency’s value to take a hit, although some expect bitcoin to recover and regain its previous upwards momentum.

Bitcoin’s code: XBT or BTC?

When reading about bitcoin you will sometimes see it referred to as BTC and other times as XBT. So which one should you use? Well, at the time of writing in October 2017, the bitcoin community has not yet reached an official consensus.

Originally, bitcoin’s currency code was BTC but as it grew and gained widespread acceptance, the International Standards Organization (ISO) gave the currency a new code, “XBT”, with the “X” representing the fact that bitcoin is not tied to a specific government (as per the ISO 4217 standard).

Many users of bitcoin still refer to the currency as BTC though, and this is not likely to change soon, even as use of XBT gains traction amongst bankers and financial advisors.

Track the live BTC/USD exchange rate and view historical charts.

Today’s bitcoin price

Historical Rate chart of BTC and USD

1
0
Updated: 16 Oct 2018 23:47:18 UTC

How to get bitcoin

Bitcoin, like other crypto coins, is extremely volatile and the value of the currency remains unpredictable. News and seemingly unrelated events affect its price greatly, sometimes positively, sometimes negatively. However, if you’d like to take the plunge and get some bitcoin, here are two ways to do that:

  • Get paid in BTC

The fastest way to grow your wallet – bitcoin or otherwise – is to start getting paid with bitcoin. If you have an online shop, add a “pay with bitcoin” button to your shopping cart. As an online service provider, you might consider asking your clients whether they’d like to use bitcoin for payment. However, if you have a brick and mortar shop, you could print out your bitcoin wallet’s address QR code and stick it next to the checkout so people will be able to scan it and send you bitcoin instantly. And if you’re an employee, why not ask your employers if they’d be interested in paying your salary in bitcoin instead of fiat?

  • Buy bitcoin

    You can also buy bitcoin and hope that your wallet grows on its own. For example, if you had bought $10,000 worth of BTC on July 26, 2017, (3.92129183 BTC) and sold it three months later on October 21, 2017, you would have more than doubled your holdings.

    When it comes to purchasing bitcoin, keep in mind that past performance is not always an indicator of future performance, and with cryptocurrencies still in their infancy large dips in value do occur.

How to get bitcoin

Sending and receiving bitcoin is a simple process as long as you’ve set up two things:

  • An account on a digital currency exchange. There are many currency exchanges available online from which you can purchase bitcoin. Check out our currency exchange page for information on how to choose the best one for your needs. After you’ve created an account and exchanged some fiat currency for bitcoin, the next step is to set up a wallet.
  • A bitcoin wallet. Again, there are many wallets you can use for bitcoin, and your best bet to choose one that fits your needs is to check out our guide here. Once you’re all set up you’re ready to start paying for products or services. Simply follow the instructions for your wallet of choice and you’ll be trading bitcoin in no time.
Name Product Wallet type Supported Cryptocurrencies
Uphold Digital Money Platform
Uphold Digital Money Platform
Mobile
Web
BTC, LTC, ETH, BAT, BCH, DASH, BTG, XRP
Buy, send and convert more than 35 currencies at the touch of a button.
Ledger Nano S Wallet
Ledger Nano S Wallet
Hardware
BTC, BCH, BTG, ETH, ETC, LTC, DOGE, ZEC, XRP, DASH, STRAT, KMD, ARK, EXP, UBQ, VTC, VIA, NEO, XST, XLM, HSR, DGB, QTUM, PIVX, POSW, EOS, TRX, PPC, BTCP, ZEN, XZC, POA, RSK, kUSD, VET, ICX, PART, ONT, WAN
Securely store some of the world's most popular cryptocurrencies on the Ledger Nano S hardware wallet.
TREZOR Wallet
TREZOR Wallet
Hardware
BTC, BCH, BTG, LTC, DASH, DOGE, ETC, ETH, ERC20, NEM, NMC, ZEC, EXP, UBQ
TREZOR hardware wallet is a secure way to keep your cryptocurrency safe from hackers and malware.
Coinbase Wallet
Coinbase Wallet
Mobile
Web
BTC, BCH, LTC, ETH
As well as being a cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase offers one of the most popular web wallets accessible by mobile.
Altcoin.io Wallet
Altcoin.io Wallet
Desktop Client
Web
BTC, ETH, REP, ANT, BAT, EOS, SALT, CVC, DNT, SNT, SUB, TRX, OMG, BTM, DENT, PPT, MKR, DGD, QASH, ETHOS & 10+ more
Along with being a decentralised cryptocurrency exchange, Altcoin.io offers users access to its beta release atomic swap wallet.
TREZOR Model T Wallet
TREZOR Model T Wallet
Hardware
BTC, BCH, BTG, LTC, DASH, DOGE, ETC, ETH, ERC20, NEM, NMC, ZEC, EXP, UBQ
The next generation of hardware wallet from TREZOR, the Model T includes a host of new features including a touchscreen and improved processing.
CoolWallet S Wallet
CoolWallet S Wallet
Hardware
BTC, ETC, XRP, LTC, BCH, ERC20 Tokens
A mobile hardware wallet for iPhone or Android designed to offer wireless bluetooth transactions and cold storage.
Ledger Blue Wallet
Ledger Blue Wallet
Hardware
BTC, BCH, BTG, ETH, ETC, LTC, DOGE, ZEC, XRP, DASH, STRAT, KMD, EXP, UBQ, VTC, VIA, XST, XLM, HSR, DGB, QTUM, PIVX, POSW, TRX, PPC, BTCP, ZEN, POA, RSK, kUSD, WAN
The Ledger Blue is a multi-cryptocurrency wallet offering Bluetooth support and an LED-backlit touchscreen.
KeepKey Wallet
KeepKey Wallet
Hardware
BTC, BCH , DASH, DOGE, ETH, LTC, NMC
Protect your digital assets from hackers with the virus- and malware-proof KeepKey hardware wallet.
Jaxx Wallet
Jaxx Wallet
Desktop Client
Mobile
Web
BTC, ETH, DASH, ETC, BCH, REP, LTC, ZEC, RSK, DGE, ICN, GNT, GNO, DGD, BCAP, CVC, STX, POE, MCI, QTUM, CFI, ART, PAY & 30+ more
A relatively new wallet on the market, Jaxx offers multi-platform support for seven different cryptocurrency assets.
Exodus Wallet
Exodus Wallet
Desktop Client
BTC, BCH, BTG, LTC, ETH, DASH, ETC, VTC, FUN, DCR, EOS, ANT, GNO, OMG, BAT & 15+ more
Founded in July 2016, this free desktop wallet offers support for multiple cryptocurrencies including live chart tracking features.
Coinomi Wallet
Coinomi Wallet
Mobile
BTC, ETH, ETC, BTG, DOGE, LTC, LCC, BCH, DASH, NBT, PPC, RDD, MONA, DGB, DGC, NEOS, XVG, VTC, BTA, ABN & 100+ more
A multi-coin crypto wallet designed for storing multiple cryptocurrencies on your mobile, including bitcoin and Ethereum.
Electrum Wallet
Electrum Wallet
Desktop Client
Mobile
BTC
Electrum's desktop wallet is designed to efficiently store your BTC on multi-platforms like Windows, Mac and Linux.
Armory Wallet
Armory Wallet
Desktop Client
BTC
Armory is the only open-source wallet with cold storage and multi-signature support features to protect your cryptocurrency.
GreenAddress Wallet
GreenAddress Wallet
Desktop Client
Mobile
BTC
Developed for bitcoin storage only, GreenAddress offers two-factor authentication and protection of your digital assets.
Bread Wallet
Bread Wallet
Mobile
BTC
Bread, previously known as Breadwallet, is a free digital wallet app focused on protecting your personal privacy during BTC storage.
Copay Wallet
Copay Wallet
Desktop Client
Mobile
Web
BTC, BCH
Developed by BitPay to secure BitPay’s funds, Copay has quickly emerged as one of the leading wallet platforms on the market.
Blockchain Wallet
Blockchain Wallet
Mobile
Web
BTC, BCH, ETH
Home to over 15 million wallets, Blockchain delivers an online solution for safe ETH and BTC storage.
Mycelium Wallet
Mycelium Wallet
Mobile
BTC
Founded in 2008, Mycelium is a well-established player in the digital currency industry, evolving to meet the growing needs of bitcoin users.
Edge Cryptocurrency Wallet
Edge Cryptocurrency Wallet
Mobile
BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, XMR, XRP, DASH, REP, WINGS, IND, XZC, FTC
A multi-currency wallet designed with an emphasis on security, privacy and user-friendliness.
BTC Wallet
BTC Wallet
Mobile
Web
BTC, BCH
A web and mobile wallet designed to make it safe and easy to send, receive and store both Bitcoin Cash and bitcoin.
Ethereum Wallet
Ethereum Wallet
Desktop Client
ETH, ERC20
Securely store Ether and other digital assets on the official Ethereum wallet, otherwise known as the Mist wallet.
MyEtherWallet
MyEtherWallet
Web
ETH, ETC, EOS & ERC20 tokens
MyEtherWallet (MEW) is a free, open source tool for creating wallets that work with the Ethereum platform.
Daedalus Wallet
Daedalus Wallet
Desktop Client
ADA
Developed by the team behind Cardano, Daedalus is an open source desktop wallet designed specifically for ADA.
LoafWallet
LoafWallet
Mobile
LTC
Developed by the creators of Litecoin, LoafWallet allows you to securely store Litecoin on iOS and Android.
MetaMask Wallet
MetaMask Wallet
Web
ETH
A popular Ethereum wallet, MetaMask provides private key protection for sending and storing Ether.
LiteVault Wallet
LiteVault Wallet
Web
LTC
Store, send and receive LTC via the open source, web-based LiteVault wallet.
ethaddress Wallet
ethaddress Wallet
Paper
ETH
A free paper wallet to store your Ether with the security benefits of offline storage.
GateHub Wallet
GateHub Wallet
Web
XRP, BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, REP, DASH, QAU, XAU
GateHub’s web wallet offers multi-currency support, in-built exchange features and market analytics.
Litecoin Core Wallet
Litecoin Core Wallet
Desktop Client
LTC
The official Litecoin wallet, Litecoin Core provides straightforward management of your LTC holdings.
Rippex Wallet
Rippex Wallet
Desktop Client
XRP
Purpose-built for XRP, the Rippex desktop wallet offers a simple interface and basic features.
Electrum-LTC Wallet
Electrum-LTC Wallet
Desktop Client
LTC
This basic desktop wallet is simple to use and offers a 12-word security passphrase for added security.
Toast Wallet
Toast Wallet
Desktop Client
Mobile
Web
XRP
Toast sets out to offer a multi-platform Ripple wallet that’s “simple enough for your grandma but safe enough for a Swiss banker”.
Cryptonator Wallet
Cryptonator Wallet
Mobile
Web
BTC, BCH, BLK, BCN, ETH, DOGE, DASH, EMC, LTC, XMR, EMC, VTC, PPC, XPM, RDD, XRP, XPY, ZEC
Cryptonator wallet allows you to store multiple world-leading cryptocurrencies online.
Stellar Desktop Client
Stellar Desktop Client
Desktop Client
XLM
Exclusively for XLM storage, Stellar Desktop wallet allows you to send and receive XLM through secret key encryption.
Stargazer Wallet
Stargazer Wallet
Desktop Client
Mobile
XLM
Conveniently send, receive and trade XLM on multiple devices with the Stargazer Stellar wallet.
Lobstr Wallet
Lobstr Wallet
Mobile
XLM
Lobstr provides a mobile-friendly option for iOS and Android crypto users looking to store XLM.
Astral Wallet
Astral Wallet
Web
XLM
A Stellar web wallet allowing you to earn inflationary XLM every week based on your account balance.
NanoWallet
NanoWallet
Web
XRB
Formerly known as RaiWallet, this open-source web wallet gives you control of your private keys for extra security when storing XRB.
Eidoo Wallet
Eidoo Wallet
Desktop Client
Mobile
BTC, ETH, EOS, TRX, FUN, VET, REP, OMG ERC20 tokens &500+ more
Offering support for nearly 500 cryptocurrencies, this HD mobile wallet is user-friendly and gives you full control of your private keys.
Verge QT Wallet
Verge QT Wallet
Desktop Client
XVG
Exclusively for XVG storage, the Verge QT wallet offers added privacy features for transferring XVG.
Verge Electrum Wallet
Verge Electrum Wallet
Desktop Client
XVG
A lightweight way to store and manage your XVG holdings using Simple Payment Verification (SPV) technology.
Zcash Wallet
Zcash Wallet
Desktop Client
ZEC
Bitcoin Gold Core Wallet
Bitcoin Gold Core Wallet
Desktop Client
BTG
The official full node wallet for BTG, Bitcoin Gold Core helps you to control, manage and mine your BTG assets.
Electron Cash Wallet
Electron Cash Wallet
Desktop Client
Mobile
BCH
Electron Cash wallet allows you to store BCH on your desktop and Android with multisig functionality security.
GUI Light Wallet
GUI Light Wallet
Web
MIOTA
This lightweight wallet is incorporated into IOTA’s graphical user interface (GUI), allowing fast access to your IOTA holdings.
Nostalgia Light Wallet
Nostalgia Light Wallet
Web
MIOTA
If you don’t want to use the GUI or your computer to run a full node when storing and managing IOTA, the Nostalgia Light wallet is worth considering.
IOTA Wallet
IOTA Wallet
Mobile
MIOTA
The official Android app for IOTA, this open-source wallet is free to download and conveniently manage your IOTA holdings.
NEM Mobile wallet
NEM Mobile wallet
Mobile
XEM
NEM Mobile Wallet allows you to send and receive NEM funds on multiple accounts via Android and iOS devices.
NEM NanoWallet
NEM NanoWallet
Desktop Client
XEM
Buy and sell XEM directly on your desktop via NEM Nano wallet's Changelly instant exchange feature.
Dash Core Wallet
Dash Core Wallet
Desktop Client
Mobile
DASH
The official Dash wallet, Dash Core is specifically designed to store, send and receive DASH on your desktop and iOS devices.
Dash Wallet
Dash Wallet
Mobile
DASH
Created by Hash Engineering, this Android app is explicitly for managing DASH assets with the option of offline payments via Bluetooth.
MyDashWallet
MyDashWallet
Web
DASH
A web interface connecting you to the Dash blockchain with InstantSend and PrivateSend features for DASH management.
MyMonero Wallet
MyMonero Wallet
Web
XMR
MyMonero is a popular online wallet for those who don’t want to use their computer to run a full node when storing and managing XMR.
Monero GUI Wallet
Monero GUI Wallet
Desktop Client
XMR
The official Monero desktop wallet, Monero GUI allows you to manage your XMR funds with private key encryption security.
Monerujo Wallet
Monerujo Wallet
Mobile
XMR
If you wish to manage your XMR on the go with private data security features, the Monerujo Android app is worth considering.
Trust Wallet
Trust Wallet
Mobile
ETH, ETC, ERC20, ERC223
Trust Wallet enables you to send and receive ETC and other cryptocurrencies, as well as participate in ICOs and airdrops.
ClassicEtherWallet
ClassicEtherWallet
Web
ETC
ClassicEtherWallet is an open source, JavaScript Chrome extension wallet for storing ETC with private key encryption.
Qtum Electrum Wallet
Qtum Electrum Wallet
Desktop Client
QTUM
The Qtum Electrum wallet supports QTUM storage with multi-signature support for increased security.
Qtum Core Wallet
Qtum Core Wallet
Desktop Client
Mobile
QTUM
The official desktop and mobile wallet for QTUM, Qtum Core enables you to send, receive and store your funds with support for smart contracts.
Qtum Web Wallet
Qtum Web Wallet
Web
QTUM
This official Qtum web wallet places a large emphasis on simplicity, presenting a basic user interface for QTUM fund management.
Bitpie Wallet
Bitpie Wallet
Mobile
BTC, ETH, LTC, QTUM, LSK, ZEC
A HD mobile wallet for buying and selling multiple cryptocurrencies through a built-in peer-to-peer exchange feature.
NanoWallet.io
NanoWallet.io
Web
XRB
Formely known as RaiWallet, this open-source web wallet gives you control of your private keys for extra security when storing XRB.
Nano Wallet
Nano Wallet
Desktop Client
Mobile
XRB
Nano's official desktop and mobile wallets allow you to manage your XRB funds with private key encryption.
Lisk Nano Wallet
Lisk Nano Wallet
Desktop Client
LSK
A popular choice among LSK token holders, Lisk Nano provides simple LSK management through its minimal feature-set.
Lisk Core Wallet
Lisk Core Wallet
Desktop Client
LSK
If you're a developer or technically advanced user wanting to setup a full network node, this Lisk wallet is worth considering.
Lisk Hub Wallet
Lisk Hub Wallet
Desktop Client
Web
LSK
A user-friendly way to store and manage your LSK tokens with access to a blockchain explorer and other features.
Dogecoin Wallet
Dogecoin Wallet
Desktop Client
Mobile
DOGE
The official wallet for DOGE, Dogecoin Wallet enables DOGE management for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android users.
NEON Wallet
NEON Wallet
Desktop Client
NEO, GAS, RPX, DBC, QLC
An open source cross-platform wallet designed for simple storage and management of NEO, GAS and other NEP5 tokens.
NEO GUI
NEO GUI
Desktop Client
NEO, GAS
The official desktop wallet for NEO, this option allows you to interact with your NEO holdings through a graphical user interface.
O3 Wallet
O3 Wallet
Mobile
NEO, GAS & NEP5 tokens
Built specifically for NEO, the O3 wallet enables NEO management via iOS and Android with added UX features.
NEO Tracker
NEO Tracker
Web
NEO, GAS
A user-friendly online wallet for storing and managing your NEO and GAS holdings with private key encryption.
ICONex Wallet
ICONex Wallet
Web
ICX, ETH, ERC20 tokens

Compare up to 4 providers


What to watch out for

Bitcoin is not without its pitfalls, and many of those come from its perceived growth and wide acceptance.

Bitcoin exchange scams

Because bitcoin is one of the most traded cryptocurrencies, it has attracted its fair share of scammers and phishing websites, most in the form of exchanges. Before giving your money to an online exchange make sure that they:

  • Use HTTPS not HTTP
  • Require identity verification
  • Have good reviews online from reputable sources
  • Allow payments via credit cards and bank transfers (this way you’ll be able to get help from the bank if it’s a scam)

Tons of competition

Even though bitcoin paved the way for all the other altcoins available on the market, some coins are doing different things. At the time of writing, Ethereum is implementing innovative features built on the blockchain, including smart contracts and decentralized apps.


What’s next for bitcoin?

Bitcoin has been around since 2009, but important changes are coming its way.

SegWit Upgrade

In 2017, the bitcoin community’s main concern was how to better improve performance and transaction times. As more and more users flock to bitcoin, these have suffered, causing the system to take too long to verify transactions – sometimes up to 10 minutes – while other altcoins do it in under a minute.

This software upgrade has been a long time coming, and should see bitcoin return to lightning speed transaction verification times and even cheaper transaction fees.

Acceptance on the Rise

Every day, more and more merchants are joining the bitcoin community. You will need to decide if this will result in bitcoin’s value continuing to increase. With wider acceptance, there may also come some regulation from governments around the world, but this might not be the killing blow that many bitcoin users fear. Regulation would provide some peace of mind to businesses and organizations that are still afraid of getting their feet wet.

Dive deeper into bitcoin

Frequently asked questions

Image sources: Shutterstock, CoinDesk

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