A Bitcoin Wallet is essential to send and receive Bitcoins. Bitcoin wallets have a Bitcoin Wallet Address. A Bitcoin Wallet Address looks something like this: 13vxz4E7ieSRdjT5Z12hv4UYWd6PQ3MRVh . The address is a unique identifier for your wallet and could be thought of in a similar way to that of an email address, except instead of sending an email to an email address, Bitcoins are sent to a Bitcoin Wallet Address, and no one ever has to know who the Wallet Address belongs to.
Most Bitcoin Wallet software, both Desktop Clients and Online Wallets have the ability to create as many unique Bitcoin Wallet Address as anyone could ever want. A new address could be created for every individual transaction or a single address could be used for every transaction, or anything in between.
Which Bitcoin Wallet is Right for You?
If you want to get Bitcoins in and out of your wallet as quickly as possible, you might consider using one of the Online Wallets. Blockchain.info and Coinbase are both very fast and easy to use. Coinbase is clean and simple and Blockchain.info has some very useful security features and is able to be imported into a desktop client if anything were to happen to the website so you would not lose your Bitcoins.
If you want to be in full control of your Bitcoins through your own desktop and help contribute to the backbone of the Bitcoin Network, Bitcoin QT, the original Bitcoin software, is a great place to start. And Armory, an “add-on” for Bitcoin QT, provides advanced wallet management, extra security features and developer tools.
Caution: The first time Bitcoin QT is installed, it will download the Blockchain (the entire history of every Bitcoin transaction) which could take 12+ hours, with some reports of over 70 hours. All before you can make your first Bitcoin transaction.
Desktop Client Wallets
Bitcoin desktop clients are the base level of technology for conducting Bitcoin transactions. Desktop clients store a collection of keys on that computer (or wallet address). These keys allow you to send and receive bitcoins through the Bitcoin network. Nobody has access to these keys except yourself, and they must be kept secure. We always recomend creating a backup of you wallet as if this file gets corrupted or accentually deleted your bitcoins will be lost for good.
The original software written by Satoshi Nakamoto, the project’s founder. This wallet is suited for enthusiasts, merchants, miners, developers and people who want to help support the project. This wallet can be very resource intensive and you should be willing to leave it running in the background so other computers can connect to yours. If your computer is low powered or you aren’t willing to tolerate a 12-70 hour+ initial start time, you should consider other clients.
Go to Bitcoin-Qt
MultiBit’s primary focus is being fast and easy to use, even for people with no technical knowledge. It has a YouTube channel to help you learn the software, and includes helpful features such as an exchange rate ticker. MultiBit supports many languages such as German, Spanish and Greek. MultiBit synchronizes with the network much faster than Bitcoin-Qt and should be ready for you to use within a few minutes. This is a good choice for non technical users who want an easy to use experience, especially if you use a Mac.
Go to MultiBit
Armory is a Bitcoin client that works on top of Bitcoin-Qt, expanding it with functionality for Bitcoin power users. It focuses on advanced features and security options, including “cold-storage” for maintaining Bitcoins on an offline computer to protect your funds from online threats. Armory supports multiple encrypted wallets, each of which only needs to be backed up once using a printer or removable media. Armory is a good choice for experienced Bitcoin users, seeking additional flexibility and security for managing their funds.
Go to Armory
After downloading one of the desktop clients, simply install the client on your Windows, Mac or Linux computer. It will then automatically create a wallet for you and start downloading the transaction history. We recommend taking a backup of your wallet.dat file and keeping it somewhere safe. Like on a flash drive or CD in case this file is ever lost or corrupted. You will need this back up to restore you wallet and ensure your Bitcoins are not lost for good.
Note: You will need to download the full transaction history before your Bitcoins will show in your Bitcoin Wallet.
Web Client Wallets (eWallets)
The wallet available from this service is considered a hybrid eWallet. This means that the bitcoins are not stored with Blockchain.info, but instead held in your web browser. There is an encrypted copy of your wallet stored on Blockchain.info’s server, but that does not have your wallet password and thus cannot access or spend from your wallet. The same wallet is accessed using the Blockchain for Android mobile wallet. To access the wallet, the wallet identifier needs to be known or bookmarked. To allow for the wallet to be accessed using an easily-remembered word or term, the service allows you to enter an alias to the wallet identifier.
Go to Block Chain
This is a hosted web-based eWallet used for sending, receiving and storing bitcoins. This is not to be confused with the data structure in the blockchain which is also named coinbase. This also is not to be confused with a podcast series called Coinbase that was produced by AgoristRadio.com. “The service aims to be the easiest way to get started with Bitcoin. Its service is modeled to provide an experience familiar to those who are comfortable using PayPal”. This eWallet is still in BETA.
Go to Coinbase
Electrum is a simple and easy to use Bitcoin wallet client. While it is a desktop client, it doesn’t download the blockchain history but instead uses one of several remote (online) servers for the blockchain history. You can use the same wallet on multiple computers and backup and export your private keys into other Bitcoin clients. Great redundancy, as your wallet can be recovered from a secret seed or backed up private key but has comparatively low security compared to some other wallets. Electrum is open source and was first released in November 2011.
Go to Electrum
When storing your Bitcoins using a web based wallet, you are trusting that the owner of the website has adequate security in place to protect your wallet from theft (internal and external) and they will not abscond with your Bitcoins. Bit Innovate does not endorse the use of one type of wallet over another or one wallet provider over another. We recommend that you choose a wallet that best suits your needs, for both for security and convenience. For more information on Bitcoins wallets and wallet security go to