The Bitcoin Wallet is an essential part of becoming involved with the virtual currency. The good news is that it’s become easier than ever before to get one installed and set-up correctly on your computer – whether you own an Apple or a PC or have a Linux box. The software is also known as a Bitcoin client. Whatever term you use, we’re going to go over the basics so that you have a better understanding of what you need to do.
Types of Bitcoin Wallets
First, let’s take a look at the three basic types of Bitcoin clients that are available.
Web Based – While somewhat rare, a few web based Bitcoin Wallets exist. There are some benefits to using an online Bitcoin wallet, but in most cases you’ll want to use one of the other two options available.
PC Software – You’ll still need an Internet connection to conduct transactions, but you can also download Bitcoin clients to install on your desktop computer or laptop – no matter what operating system you use.
Mobile Apps – Last but certainly not least, you can also choose to install a Bitcoin wallet app on your smartphone, giving you access to valuable information about the virtual currency you own.
As you can see from the list above, you have quite a few options available if you want to send or receive bitcoins.
Full Bitcoin Client?
If you’re wondering whether or not you should fully install a Bitcoin client on your computer, consider this – the more people that are part of this peer to peer currency, the stronger the entire system is going to be. Supporting the Bitcoin community is the number one reason most people give for installing a full Bitcoin client.
Things to Remember
Before you download and install the full Bitcoin client, here are some important things you should remember.
Security – As with any other online activity you participate in, you’re going to want to make sure you make security a top priority. Luckily, Bitcoin is set-up to make this relatively easy as long as you use your common sense.
Prices – The value of bitcoins is extremely volatile. While perhaps not as bad as the Dutch Tulip market back in the day, the value of 1 BTC has changed dramatically over the years and will most likely continue to be unpredictable for the foreseeable future.
Irreversible – Bitcoin transactions are irreversible, so you should be really careful before you make a decision about whether to move forward with one or not.
Not Anonymous – Additionally, you should note that the Bitcoin network will not allow you to be anonymous. All transactions are public and stored indefinitely.
Keeping the above in mind, it’s easy to choose a Bitcoin wallet and download and install it on your computer or mobile device.
We’ve gone over the basics, but if you want to learn more about Bitcoin wallets, we recommend you download our guide to Bitcoin basics ebook, which is full of information you’ll find useful.