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Using a wallet

Summary:

"wallet": a digital purse controlling multiple (bitcoin) addresses

Different kinds of wallets

Desktop wallets

They are programs for operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and MacOS. They are the most used and advanced wallets.

Mobile wallets

They are wallets for Android and IOS. Although some may miss some unimportant features, they are totally correct to use.
Note that for security reasons, you should not use a rooted phone.

Paper wallets

Important informations controlling the address will be printed on a piece of paper, literally.
They are usually cold wallets: the private keys have been generated offline, on a computer which shall never connect or have been connected to Internet, nor the printer will put re-used. This assures you a complete safety against online hacking.
However, they are not practical at all when it comes to trading, as they are mean to be a very long-term way to store coins.

Hardware wallets

They are small devices visually looking like USB keys. They will store your private keys in a way that they are never transmitted to another device, such as your phone or computer. This way it ensures that nobody will steal your fund.
The concept is somehow related to the one of paper wallets. Except that your device will manage all the security itself, while still allowing frequent transfers.

Web wallets

Web wallets are online services who provide a wallet you can use directly from your browser. It can either be hosted locally or on a remote server.
The only advantage is that they are compatible on all devices.
I advise against using them, as the use of a browser to connect to your funds add a layer of insecurity.

Browser plug-in wallets

They are wallets you install locally in your browser. Although it can be easier for developers, due to interoperability, it has the same problem than web wallets: the browser is just another layer bringing all its possible failures to you funds.

List of Bitcoin wallets

Type Compatibility
Bitcoin Core Desktop
Electrum Desktop
Wasabi Desktop
Bitcoin Wallet Mobile
Mycelium Mobile
Electrum mobile Mobile
Coin Mobile & Web
Coinomi Mobile & Desktop
Ledger Hardware
Trezor Hardware

Indicates recommended wallets

Installing and using a desktop wallet: Electrum

The procedure is more or less the same for every altcoin and is instinctive once you understand the thing.

The most famous Bitcoin wallet is called Electrum, download it at electrum.org (don't use any other domain)

Go to the install wizard:

Select a server with Electrum

Select auto connect.

Select the type of wallet you want to create

Select the first option.

Select the type of key you wish you use

A wallet contains multiple addresses; they are generated when needed.
Each address is controlled by its private key.
Each private key is derived from the seed.

If your computer gets into troubles, you will be able to restore all your addresses and your ownership on them, thanks to the seed.

Select the first option.

Activating segwit on Electrum

The segwit technology makes your transactions faster.
I advise you to use it, most services already support it. But if you get into trouble, you may have to create a legacy wallet.

Recording brainkey

Here is your seed: a list of 12 words (order is important).

Testing key backup

Here you have to prove you did a backup.

Encrypting Electrum wallet

The password you choose will be used to encrypt wallet files. You will get prompted for it everytime you make a transaction.

Remember it, or you will permanently lose access to your funds.

Transaction history

The history tab shows all your received and sent activity.

Send Bitcoin from Electrum

The send tab allows transferring of some or all of your capital to someone else.

Receive Bitcoin with Electrum

To receive funds, don't bother with all those fields. Simply give your "Receiving address" to the sender. He can also scan the QR code.
Each time you receive money, a new address will be set up, to improve your privacy. Old addresses are still valid and fully functional.

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