Bread: a mobile wallet for bitcoin – June 2021 review
Consider storing, sending and receiving bitcoin through Bread’s simple and secure mobile wallet app.
Bread, which was previously known as Breadwallet, is a free digital wallet app for bitcoin. An emphasis on user experience makes Bread one of the easiest mobile wallets for beginners to get started with. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, the Bread company has built a robust security infrastructure into the app to protect personal privacy.
What is Bread?
Available as a mobile app for iOS and Android, Bread is one of the easiest bitcoin wallets to use. A streamlined, highly intuitive design makes the process fast and straightforward for logging in, creating an account and transacting with bitcoin.
Under the hood, the app is built to protect personal information and privacy. The combination of convenience and security makes Bread a good option for bitcoin beginners and non-technical users.
- iOS (including Apple Watch)
How much does it cost?
Bread is free to use. However, when you make bitcoin transactions, you will need to pay fees to the bitcoin network. Recent updates to the app include the ability to adjust transaction fees based on priority, giving users the option to pay more for faster transactions.
When buying bitcoin through the Bread app, you may also incur some fees which are charged by your bank and/or a third-party service used to link your account to your wallet.
Which cryptocurrencies can I store?
How do I add bitcoin to Bread?
Adding bitcoin to Bread is easy and includes some built-in options that are not available in many other wallet apps. To get started with Bread, you will first need to download the app, either for iOS or Android.
- When you launch Bread for the first time, you will want to choose “Create a New Wallet”.
- You’ll be prompted to choose a six-digit pin code to use for logging into your new wallet.
- Once you’ve entered your code, Bread will generate a master “seed phrase” for you, also called a “paper key”. This phrase, which is a series of 12 random words, will allow you to recover your wallet if your phone is ever lost or stolen. It’s recommended that you write down these words (on paper, hence “paper key”) and keep them in a safe place.
- Bread may ask you to enter in a few of the words to verify that you have written down the seed phrase.
- Once you’ve chosen a personal identification number (PIN) code and written down your paper key, your new wallet is ready to use. To add bitcoin to your wallet, you have some options. If you already have bitcoin, you can transfer it into Bread by tapping “Receive”.
- In the “Receive” panel, you can see your wallet address, QR code and a link to easily share this information via email or text message. Simply send your bitcoin to your new address by using one of these methods.
- If you don’t already have some bitcoin, the option to buy bitcoin directly through Bread can be found by navigating to “Menu”.
- To buy bitcoin in cash, Bread offers a convenient mapping feature that allows you to find bitcoin ATMs and retailers in your area.
- To buy bitcoin using your bank account, the Bread app partners with a third-party service, which has its own set of “Terms and Conditions” that users may want to consider before using this feature.
How do I make payments with Bread?
Once you’ve added some bitcoin to Bread, making payments is straightforward. Because Bread connects directly to the bitcoin network, rather than processing transactions through the company’s servers, transaction speeds may vary depending on network activity.
- To send a payment in bitcoin, simply navigate to the “Send” option from Bread’s home screen.
- To enter the receiving address, you have the option to paste it in if you’ve copied it from somewhere else or to scan a QR code using your phone’s camera.
- Once you’ve entered the wallet address of the payee, type in the amount to be sent.
- You can navigate between viewing the amount in bitcoin and fiat currency for easy conversion.
- Optionally, add a message in the “Memo” field.
- Once you have confirmed the details of the transaction, go ahead and hit “Send”.
- Bread uses a simplified payment verification (SPV) model, which enables faster transactions on the bitcoin network, so your transaction should process pretty quickly. As soon as your transaction is verified, it will be added to the blockchain and the fund transfer will be complete.
Is Bread secure?
Bread differs from many third-party bitcoin wallets in the way that it handles transactions. Rather than sending information to Bread’s servers and then on to the bitcoin network, it connects users directly to the bitcoin network from within the app, allowing for transactions to be processed through a more decentralised environment and giving more privacy to users.
Additionally, because Bread does not store user data or private keys on their servers, users are in full control of their funds at all times and removed from any potential vulnerabilities in Bread’s servers.
While Bread, overall, offers a strong level of security, the lack of a two-factor authentication feature does stand out as an area where Bread falls short of many other wallets in terms of adding an extra layer of protection.
Additionally, it’s important to note that some of the features offered by Bread, most notably the ability to buy bitcoin directly through the wallet interface, rely on third-party applications which may have different security practices than Bread itself.
Where can I get Bread?
Bread is available for iOS from Apple’s App Store and for Android from the Google Play store.
Pros and cons
- Easy to use
- No registration or signup required to get started
- Connects directly to the bitcoin network
- Touch-ID login option
- Built-in customer support section
- Does not collect any customer information
- Ability to buy bitcoin directly through Bread app
- A new wallet address is generated automatically for every transaction, enhancing privacy and security
- Numerous customers have reported issues with both the iOS and Android version of the app freezing
- Does not offer two-factor authentication
- Does not offer multi-signature transactions
- May be slow to sync to bitcoin network on startup
- Some features, like buying bitcoin, require the use of third-party services
- Does not currently include replay protection for potential forks in the blockchain
- Does not currently support altcoins
What’s next for Bread?
- Update for Android. Following a recent update to their iOS app, Bread is scheduled to release a new version for Android in the near future. Android users can look forward to some new features, including the ability to adjust transaction fees based on priority, preference settings for how to display your balance and the ability to add “Memos” to each transaction.
- Support for other crypto assets. While Bread currently only supports bitcoin, the company has announced that it will be adding support for other crypto assets in the future.
- Additional financial services. The Bread company has stated that it plans to expand and offer more services to its users beyond the traditional wallet functions of sending and receiving bitcoin.
Frequently asked questions
Image source: Bread