For those who are new to the cryptocurrency space, there are a few things you need to know. Cryptocurrencies rely on blockchain technology to record and retain transactions in a secure and decentralized manner. They aim to cut out the need for banks. As such, they come with a bit more responsibility. For starters, you have to look after your digital assets to keep them safe and secure as well as needing a wallet.
A wallet for cryptocurrency is a little bit different from the one used for holding your paper money and coins. You don’t hold your cryptocurrency. They never come into your possession. Instead, your “ownership” of the digital asset is recorded on the blockchain, and you have your private key to prove your ownership.
Types Of Cryptocurrency Wallets
There are several different types of wallets for the cryptocurrency, including paper wallets, hardware wallets, desktop wallets, online wallets and mobile wallets. Which one you get should depend on your needs.
Paper wallets are secure and ideal for storing cryptocurrency in the long term or for anyone who has a large sum. In this case, a private and public key are generated. Your public key is like your bank account and sort code. You can give this to other people so that they can send you funds. Your private key, however, is for your eyes only. You keep this to claim your funds or to make transactions. Effectively you are your bank, so you need to keep these numbers safe. Ultimately, paper wallets are these numbers, along with a QR code, printed off and stored physically.
Mobile wallets offer more flexibility and the opportunity to make cryptocurrency transactions instantaneously. If a paper wallet is like a bank account, your digital wallet is more like a purse to carry your funds around and spend them. As such, you should be careful not to store too much value in a mobile wallet and to choose the right ones for your device.
There are several Android cryptocurrency wallets available. The Bitcoin Wallet is the original wallet for Android and allows you to make transactions in Bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. The setup and user interface are easy to navigate, and you don’t even need seed words or a PIN to start, making it the simplest wallet to use.
If you want a more secure option with extra features to boot but you’re still working with only Bitcoin, Electrum is probably the right wallet for Android. It has more security, including 12 seed words that you can store to recover your funds, and a six-digit PIN for access. The latest version also has a QR scanner for simple transactions.
If you are using the Ethereum coin and the tokens that utilize its blockchain like VeChain or ICON, you will need a different wallet that is compatible. And new Ethereum-based tokens are coming out all the time, the idea being the tokens can be used for a specific utility. Populous, for example, is a token for decentralized loans while the CHP token can be used as a wager in a cryptocurrency poker room. There are several Ethereum wallets available for Android, but one of the most popular for tokens is imToken.
If you don’t want to limit yourself to a single cryptocurrency, there are also digital wallets available for Android that cater to multiple coins. Coinomi is perhaps the most trusted and has become quite popular since its 2015 release. The wallet supports Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and its many tokens and more coins. It comes with adequate seed and password protection as well as an integrated ShapeShift for swapping currencies in seconds.
Getting a digital wallet on your Android phone is a straightforward process. Once you have decided on the right wallet for you, download and install the app. You will then have the option to connect the app to an existing wallet or to create a new one. Follow the step-by-step instructions to set up your wallet and then you should be able to send and receive cryptocurrency with no problems at all.