Once you’ve decided to start using Bitcoins, you need to get a unique bitcoin address or wallet to store your bitcoins. Your bitcoin wallet address is similar to an email address; people will send bitcoin to your bitcoin wallet address.
You can share or publish your bitcoin address so that people can send you money at that address. These include online transfers, verification of funds, and such but without the bank or any other central authority.
Bitcoin transactions can be made through sites offering electronic wallets that upload the data to the network. New transactions are bundled together into a batch and broadcast to the network for verification by so-called Bitcoin miners. Bitcoin transactions between wallets are not linked to your bank account.
Bitcoin wallets come in various forms: There are desktop wallets that you download to your PC, a mobile wallet app that you download to your phone, a web based wallet that you can access through the web, a physical hardware wallet, or a secure paper wallet.
When you choose to download the software and keep your wallet on your mobile. Benefits include:
- Keeping it on an offline computer that doesn’t have access to the internet this secures it from potential threats as with your wallet online usually means anybody can have access to it.
- Also mobile wallets allow you to bring Bitcoin with you in your pocket. You can exchange bitcoins easily and pay in physical stores by scanning a QR code or using NFC “tap to pay”.
When it comes to mobile wallets there’s Airbitz, Mycelium, GreenAddress and BitCoin wallet.
The benefits of digital wallets include:
- No central authority telling you what you can and cannot do with your money
- Available in any country, there are no international boundaries: send and receive anywhere in the world for no additional fees
- Unlimited access of your money, 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, from anywhere in the world
- No high banking and transaction fees, monthly and annual fees, overdraft or over limit fees
- No minimum or maximum amount for transactions