With digital currency’s popularity on the rise, it only makes sense that digital wallets escalate in prominence as well. Among these types of wallets are ‘blockchain wallets.’ These specific digital wallets permit users to wholly manage four cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, and Stellar. Many cryptocurrency investors regard them as being one of the most popular software wallets. This was especially notable in 2018, where blockchain wallets were garnering more attention.
The initial launch of blockchain wallets was back in August of 2011. It has an enduring history with Bitcoin and Ethereum, actively providing secure and efficient storage of these dominant cryptocurrencies. The company that is responsible for the blockchain wallet is the aptly titled Blockchain. This is a company that specializes primarily in software.
Digital wallets, as a whole, allow individuals to store cryptocurrencies. When it comes to blockchain wallets, users can manage their balances of the four aforementioned cryptocurrencies. For the longest time, blockchain wallets have been a reliable choice for those buying Bitcoin and Ethereum. They possess years of experience concerning the crypto space and they also boast millions of users worldwide.
In spite of this experience, high-volume cryptocurrency investors are not one to accept potential risks. Especially regarding the use of an online software wallet in comparison to a cold storage hardware wallet. Still, though, the intuitive interface of blockchain wallets makes it tempting for entry-level users.
- Choice of coins: At this point in time, blockchain wallets support four prominent cryptocurrencies. These are Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), and Stellar (XLM).
- Mobile and Desktop: Because it is a software cryptocurrency wallet, the blockchain wallet has a very specific design. It allows for easy access by way of desktop computers online as well as smartphone and tablet devices. It is actually quite easy to pair web wallets with a mobile device. All it takes is simply scanning a QR code.
- Systems of operation: It is entirely possible to access the blockchain wallet on all desktop operating systems. Moreover, Blockchain developers would eventually go on to create mobile apps that are suitable for both Android and iOS mobile owners. With this app, these users can both store and send their digital assets.
- Wallet fees: Like with other applications and platforms, the blockchain wallet has its own fees. It is specifically for users that want to send cryptocurrencies across the blockchain network. To do this, they need to pay a fee to the mining community. This community has a requirement to authorize and record each transaction. The higher the fee you are paying per transaction, the quicker your transfer confirmation will be.
- Security: There was a security update to the blockchain wallet back in 2016. Because of this, it is now hierarchical deterministic to make sure that any address – like Bitcoin or Ethereum – is unique for every transaction. Furthermore, that one never reuses it.
Levels of security
Security is crucial when it comes to digital wallets. An unfortunate situation of one’s account being illegally accessed could lead to the user losing a lot of their cryptocurrencies. Blockchain wallets offer a three-tier security infrastructure. Such factors as email verification and secret passphrases are in the initial phase. The third-tier option includes the official blocking of IP addresses to keep from accessing your blockchain wallet account.
The three levels of security pertaining to the blockchain wallet are the following:
- Level 1: The general design of security is to help users avoid losing access to their accounts. It gives users the ability to validate their email address by creating a 12-word backup recovery phrase. This phrase is useful in the event of a user forgetting their password. What’s more, they can establish a password hint as blockchain does not technically store the password.
- Level 2: Another key component in security’s design is that it prevents others from gaining unlawful access to the wallet. This includes linking a phone number to the account in order to receive a one-time password whenever the account is logged into. Furthermore, it creates a two-step authorization process.
- Level 3: Security allows users to block IP addresses from accessing your blockchain wallet. Moreover, it blocks Tor (open-source software that enables anonymous communication) requests.
Pros & Cons
There are various pros to using blockchain wallets. For one thing, they have advanced security features, as evidenced by the three-tier infrastructure. An additional pro is the hierarchical deterministic functionality for each transaction. Basically, this means that it produces a hierarchical tree-like structure of private and public addresses/keys. The user interface is highly intuitive and it is capable of purchasing certain cryptocurrencies directly via your wallet. These include Bitcoin and Ethereum.
With all the benefits that come from using blockchain wallets, there is a fair share of cons. The most notable one being that it is only compatible with a select few cryptocurrencies. As you may recall, they are Bitcoin, Stellar, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum. Another one of the most outstanding cons is the fact that software wallets are comparatively more vulnerable than hardware wallets. Specifically, when it comes to cyber-attacks than hardware wallets. What’s more, you are unable to purchase cryptocurrency using fiat currencies directly via your wallet.
There is one particular blockchain wallet that is worth mentioning: the Lumi wallet. The purpose of this wallet’s creation was to meet the demands stemming from novices and experts alike. Its intent is to combine both effective security and a complete sense of anonymity. It does so with a straightforward, yet appealing interface. The mobile apps of the Lumi wallet operate on Android devices as well as iOS devices.
On the topic of private key generation, it is on the user’s device. Moreover, there is no key storage or sending of keys outside the device. Only you have access to your “mnemonic,” as Lumi says. With the use of your mobile phone, signing all transactions is in a safe manner. With this method, the Lumi wallet guarantees that you will always be the only individual in complete charge of your funds.
On Lumi wallet, you are able to store and exchange BTC, ETH, BCH, and EOS with nothing more than a few clicks. Lumi wallet backs the majority of ERC20 tokens, which is over 1,200 in total. Moreover, you can buy and sell Maker, USD Coin, OmiseGO, Aeron, and various others directly within the app. You have the ability to completely organize your digital asset portfolio in a convenient and suitable fashion. This is possible by way of concealing, exposing, and ultimately shifting token wallets. Two components strengthen your overall user experience: 1) crypto price graphs, and 2) the history of your transactions.
Similar to the mobile app, the Lumi Web wallet is fully client-side. It basically means that only the users are able to control their keys and assets. The Lumi Web version is accessible from any computer. It is important to note that you cannot store information on that computer after logging out.
Blockchain gaming is a topic that is often subject to wide discussion within the cryptocurrency industry. It ties into blockchain technology’s desire to hurry their adoption – as well as crypto’s – by the masses. One way it tries to achieve this goal is by incorporating its system into the field of gaming.
This is where Lumi Collect comes in, for it is aimed primarily for the gamer demographic. This mobile wallet app is both iOS and Android-friendly. Moreover, it gives you the ability to store and oversee ERC-721 tokens, supposedly “non-fungible” tokens, or crypto collectibles. From the leading characters to their ammo, your ‘Collection’ can display all the in-game items in your possession. You are able to play the games directly on your mobile device thanks to the utilization of Lumi’s in-app browser. For certain available games, users can effectively perform in-game actions such as gifting, selling, and even breeding.
Best wallet for desktop
If you would like a suggestion pertaining to the wallet that is best for desktop, the preferable option is Electrum.
Electrum is a software wallet, meaning that the storage of your bitcoin is in a set of encrypted files. These files reside on either your laptop or desktop computer. As is, it is currently available for the following:
- Windows (7 and higher)
- Mac OS X (10.11 and higher)
- Python (3.6.1 and higher)
- Android (5.0 and higher)
Electrum is also capable of working with an array of physical wallets. What’s more, it possesses noteworthy flexibility in comparison to using a hardware wallet such as Trezor.
The key benefit is that you can immediately start up and run, successfully storing your bitcoin on your own computer. However, should that computer crash, get lost in a fire, or end up corrupted, then you could lose your coins. Fortunately, the app does support an effective recovery procedure. This will allow you to create a physical ‘cold storage’ with a set of keys that are printed or handwritten.
Are they safe?
By now you may be wondering if a blockchain wallet is, in fact, safe to use. It is important to remember that the platform’s construction was thanks to a company in Luxembourg. This is a principality that believes individual privacy to be a very serious matter. With state-of-the-art security features and a commitment to intuitive user experiences, users are incredibly safe when using a blockchain wallet. There is also, of course, the hierarchical deterministic functionality that ensures unique addresses for each transaction.
Suppose that you are just starting with your cryptocurrency investment journey. If so, then a blockchain wallet is an ideal first crypto wallet. You can pair it to mobile devices from the web version by using only a single QR code.
If you are not a fan of the idea of investing in crypto-assets – not to mention risking losing them because of cyber-crime – you need not worry. There is another way to profit from cryptocurrencies and even burgeoning alternative coins. That alternate method comes in the form of eToro, the world’s leading social trading community. This platform provides a different way of trading digital assets by utilizing ‘contracts for difference’ (CFDs).
When you sign up for eToro, you can place CFD orders drawing from whether you think a crypto coin’s price will rise or fall. In other words, if they will buy (rise) or sell (fall). You can then place closing trades that largely depend on one of two things. Those being whether the price moves in your favor or against your initial trading position. It is not exactly a risk-free cryptocurrency investment tool, but do not let that scare you away. If you are willing to study technical analysis of trading graph mechanics, you may be able to pinpoint support and resistance points. This way, you can make multiple trades daily if you want to.
Blockchain wallets have an interesting history consisting of the process of over 100 million transactions. Moreover, it has a user base that exceeds 15 million crypto wallets. With this in mind, it is no surprise that these wallets are among the world’s leading software wallets. The brand itself intends to develop accessible ways in which users can buy, sell, and store digital assets.