Before jumping right in to purchase bitcoin, you will first need to set up a wallet to store and receive bitcoin or send your bitcoin from. In this article, we will explore what you need to know about getting a bitcoin wallet in the UK. We will cover the different types of bitcoin wallets, and of course the top wallets in the UK.
How Bitcoin Wallets Work
The first stage in buying bitcoin is to get a bitcoin wallet. It is important to understand how wallets work. Bitcoin wallets have both private keys and public bitcoin address, like other crypto wallets. The private key enables you access to your public bitcoin address and interface with the bitcoin network. It is a secret pin attributable to a specific bitcoin which is saved in your wallet. Private keys are essential for future transactions. The public bitcoin address on the other hand is used to send or receive bitcoin from other parties.
Types of Bitcoin Wallets
Bitcoin wallets can be either on your mobile device, desktop, physical hardware or even on paper.
Mobile and Desktop Wallets
A major benefit about getting mobile or desktop wallets is the accessibility offered to users. This is because most of us would typically carry our smartphones or laptops beside us throughout the day. These wallets are also free and allow you to send or receive bitcoin through just scanning a QR code, providing ultimate convenience. However, a drawback is that having your wallet on mobile and desktop means that it may not be secure enough for storing large amounts of bitcoin. Therefore, it is important to always keep your software up to date to ensure better security for mobile and desktop wallets.
Physical Hardware Wallet
The best thing about hardware wallets are that they are designed to protect the private key from virus and malware. Hence, it can be said to be the most secure way for storing bitcoin. Hardware wallets can connect to any Linux, Windows or Mac machine as an external device which makes it portable as you can use it anywhere in the world. However, this of course will not be free, and the prices will vary. If you wish to hold large amounts of bitcoin, the physical hardware wallet is pretty much a necessity for security purposes. Some advice for keeping your cryptocurrency safe on hardware wallets is that when you are generating private keys, you should make sure that your environment is offline and secure.
As its name suggests, paper wallets are basically what they sound like. A paper wallet is an offline wallet, meaning that it is protected from malware, virus, and hackers. This way of storing bitcoin is completely physical. It is a piece of the ocument which contains the private key and public address. Many paper wallets use software like QR code form so that you can quickly scan in the info when you want to buy or sell bitcoin. This would mean that you will need to take extra care and caution to protect the physical paper. For example, through laminating it or keeping it in a tamper-proof envelope. However, it also means that this is a very fragile option that could be a hassle.
9 Best Bitcoin Wallets in the UK
Without further ado, let’s explore 9 of the best bitcoin wallets in the UK. These are in no particular order and have been recommended due to their features and reliability which have gained positive reviews from users.
• User-friendly interface
• High security
• Best rates with low fees
• High user traffic can lead to longer transaction times
Coinbase is one of the largest online platforms for buying and selling digital currency even in the UK, though headquartered in San Francisco, California. Coinbase was the first major bitcoin exchange that was granted the e-money license. Back then, this was a huge deal because no other major exchanges were offering GBP deposits through Faster Payments. Therefore, you can now send GBP to Coinbase and have it credited within minutes in the UK which is considered as fast and efficient service.
The simple interface of this wallet is also friendly for new users. Furthermore, it is easy to download and set up too. It is a friendly wallet to use not only for bitcoin but also for other cryptocurrencies. Coinbase is generally a very flexible platform which supports not only digital currencies but also digital collectibles and tokens, allowing you to even access initial coin offerings.
Coinbase is certainly one of the safest options for you to buy bitcoin in the UK by using bank transfer. The safety is also secured through the use of 2-factor authentication and e-mail authentication. Besides, anyone can buy bitcoin through Coinbase at the best possible rate, without incurring any high fees. Coinbase will charge a flat 3.99% fee for all purchases done through debit cards which is among the lowest for US and European customers.
The only thing to watch out for is that you may experience longer transaction times during peak usage times. This is because of the high volumes which can lead to system lags or crash which could interfere with your trading.
• Fast transaction services
• Helpful customer support
• High fees
Coinmama is a two-in-one exchange and wallet. They provide brokerage service for bitcoin, meaning that users will not need to look for a buyer or seller on their own. Hence, the process for transacting bitcoin is simple and efficient.
Coinmama allows you to buy bitcoin easily through debit or credit card, SEPA and SWIFT transfer. It was also the first company to have a partnership with Apple Pay to enable users to buy bitcoin. Furthermore, the transactions are very quick as the company focusses on providing customers the best experience. Typically, the user verification would take around 30 minutes.
The only drawback would be the high fees. On the official website, we found that the brokerage service fee is 5.9%. On top of that, a 5% credit card processing fee is also charged. However, the user experience you get to enjoy will definitely be worth the price you are paying.
Coinmama offers dedicated support. Most positive reviews from users praise the customer support on the website. You can either request for help through their help center or by emailing them. Your requests would usually be answered within the next 24 hours.
• Great security
• Regular firmware updates
• Universally compatible
• Compact and lightweight
• May be a little complicated
The Trezor wallet is a hardware wallet which allows for storing, receiving, and sending not only bitcoin but also other cryptocurrencies. Being a hardware wallet means that provides greater security compared to the traditional software wallets like mobile and desktop ones. This is because the wallet is not connected to the internet server so that you do not have the fear of hackers or malware gaining access to your assets.
The wallet is universally compatible with Windows, macOS and Linux and is ready to plug in and put to use immediately. Furthermore, it is compact and lightweight. It weighs less than half an ounce which is perfect for carrying in a backpack, briefcase or even your pocket.
Trezor’s team releases regular firmware updates which is great because it is designed to protect your device. This ensures improved security and protection against new threats. You will need to check out these updates yourself because the updates are not automatic. The instructions can be found on the official website under “updating the Trezor device firmware”.
Trezor has a price tag to it, however. Hence, it will need to be purchased at $99 for the wallet. Unfortunately, if you would only like to hold a small number of coins, you may need to think twice about how worth it the investment is. However, if you plan to get a significant amount of bitcoin, it will definitely be worth the investment.
A hardware wallet like Trezor may be a little complicated for beginners to the crypto space. This is especially so for those totally new to the device. Hence, it is very important to go through the instruction manual thoroughly before using the hardware wallet so that you will not make a mistake.
• Low fees
• Unique CoinJar Bundles feature
• Helpful customer support
For a new user, CoinJar is easy to use and understand. Sending and receiving bitcoin by using CoinJar is as simple as using a QR code, wallet address or CoinJar username. Furthermore, if you are new to bitcoin wallets and interested to just give it a try, a plus point is the low fees incurred. Furthermore, a 0% payment processing fee is needed when depositing with BPAY or PayID.
An exciting feature that this wallet offers is known as the CoinJar Bundles. This feature allows users to purchase collections of popular cryptocurrencies so that they can diversify their portfolio in a simple transaction. The performance of each bundle will automatically be tracked, and users can grow their bundle by either adding funds or through setting up recurring payments.
The CoinJar team is very helpful and supportive in resolving customer issues. They provide prompt service such as with periodic follow-up reminders when dealing with customers. If you have any issues that needs addressing, their support is only an email away.
• Low transaction fees
• Built-in crypto trading features
• Centralized wallet
Blockchain has been around since 2011, making it one of the older companies providing bitcoin data, statistics, and wallet. The blockchain crypto wallet is considered to be one of the best in the world. What many like about it is the low transaction fees. Blockchain company guarantees that you will be able to enjoy the lowest buying, selling, and trading fees in the industry if you choose their wallet.
The blockchain bitcoin wallet is available for the online version as well as in Android and iOS. The phone version is very optimized and works smoothly. With almost 30 million wallets by Blockchain company, users are assured with security through the creation of password, 2-factor authentication, and recovery phrase.
The phone version also integrates a finger touch ID to increase the security. If you opt for the mobile version, you do not need to worry about what happens if you lose your phone or if it gets stolen. This is because the Blockchain wallet app is protected by pin code. Even if you choose to delete the mobile app, your crypto coins will still be stored on the Blockchain online database.
Apart from trading bitcoin, you can also use the Blockchain wallet to trade cryptos into other cryptos within the wallet itself. This built-in crypto trading features are helpful and makes the trading process smooth and easy. Something that some users may find an issue is in terms of centralization.
Being a centralized wallet means that the Blockchain wallet is governed exclusively by that designated company. However, this has its own pros and cons. A wallet can be better in terms of optimization and features, but it may provide less anonymity.
• Compatibility with major bitcoin hardware wallets
• Quick and easy installation
• Great security
Electrum is one of the few Bitcoin wallets in the market which has done a great job in balancing user-friendliness with great functionality. With an expanding customer base, there are plenty of positive reviews on buying bitcoin with Electrum from both experienced users and newbies. It has the right amount of features that experienced users are looking for, and yet maintains the simplicity and intuitiveness which attracts new users.
Electrum is a desktop wallet. We recommend Electrum as the best wallet for flexibility. It is more flexible because you can install the software directly onto your PC which gives you full control over your bitcoins. Furthermore, the installation is quick and easy. You can also use wallets on different PCs to have more security than online wallets. But do make sure that you download the latest version of the wallet for optimal functionality and security.
One of the best features about Electrum is that it does not download the whole Blockchain which makes it lightweight. Electrum uses servers to collect information, thus saving a lot of memory. Besides, it is end-to-end protected and encrypted with high security.
If you prefer a mobile wallet, do not worry because there is an Electrum mobile version too for Android users. The mobile version has pretty much all the features of the desktop version and has been given just as much thought into the user experience for customers to enjoy.
• Fast and fluid connections
• May be a little complicated to navigate
MyCelium wallet is a mobile wallet for both iOS and Android users. What users like about it is the reliability and security that it offers. MyCelium gives good importance to privacy and anonymity. They encrypt all the user data from chats and transactions, guaranteeing that the only info they receive from customer chats is the timestamp and encrypted text. Only general info from transactions will go to MyCelium such as the bitcoin address, nickname, location, etc.
The MyCelium wallet is specifically designed for bitcoin. Therefore, the wallet does not currently hold any other cryptocurrency. However, this can be seen as a positive point as MyCelium focusses on delivering the best experience for users interested in trading bitcoin.
Furthermore, MyCelium offers a couple of great connections. Connections with platforms like Coinapult, Cashila and Glidera enables the transactions, deposits and withdrawals with MyCelium to be fluid and fast. On the other hand, MyCelium also has connections with Trezor and Ledger – two of the biggest names in cryptocurrency storing hardware.
If all of this sounds too good to be true, brace yourself because the best part is that this bitcoin wallet is completely free to use. You will be able to access the functions and even customize them – all for free! However, of course transaction fees apply and may vary. But apart from that, there will not be any MyCelium wallet fees for using the bitcoin wallet.
A concern that some users have is that the wallet may be a little complicated to navigate, perhaps for new users. If you are an experienced bitcoin wallet user, this should not be a problem for you. However, if you are new to this, we would encourage you to try it out and be the judge for yourself. After all, the wallet is completely free for use.
• Built-in exchange feature
• Great variety of cryptocurrencies
• Suitable for new users
• Advanced users may find some features lacking
Exodus is a mobile and desktop wallet that comes with a built-in exchange feature. By utilizing this feature, you can quickly and easily buy and sell one cryptocurrency for another – all without needing to sign up for an account. One of the most popular things about the Exodus wallet is that it allows swaps for over 100 different cryptocurrencies.
With Exodus, you can manage your wealth of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in a blockchain wallet which combines solid engineering and beautiful design. You can do this easily through features such as live charts that have real-time updates. For sending and receiving bitcoin, it is as easy as the touch of a button using text addresses or QR codes.
Exodus brings its users world-class experience of its design and engineering. Its team has the experience of designing for the likes of Apple, Disney and even Microsoft. With this experience, they were able to put together a bitcoin wallet of great functionality and yet ease of use for its users.
Thanks to its simplicity, Exodus is a great wallet for beginners who are new to the crypto space. Besides, it has great customer support which is very helpful for beginners too. The global support team offers 24/7 services, always ready to help. However, some advanced users may find the Exodus wallet lacking in terms of some features due to the simplicity.
• Ease of use
• Sleek and modern interface
• Dynamic fee settings
• Lacking a 2-factor authentication
Copay is a mobile wallet which offers ease of use. It is offered for both iOS and Android. If you are new to cryptocurrency, you will find Copay like a breath of fresh air as you will not need to worry about the technicalities. With its modern sleek interface, this helps with navigating around.
To get started, select “new personal wallet” under “add wallet” to create your mobile wallet. Next, in order to make bitcoin transactions, you will need to fill up your wallet through the exchange. Copay is connected to Coinbase and Glidera. Once your wallet is filled up, you can start transacting bitcoin.
Apart from bitcoin, an interesting feature is that you can also use this wallet to buy Amazon Gift cards. Another feature that users like about Copay is that it is linked with Bitpay. This is one of the leading payment processors worldwide.
A concern that most users face regarding bitcoin wallets is the security. Copay handles their security well, with multi-signature features ensuring that all transactions are authorized. Furthermore, Copay was among the first wallets which supports the Bitcoin Payment Protocol (BPP) which guarantees that bitcoin will go to the right recipient. The only thing they can improve on is to include a 2-factor authentication.
In terms of fees, Copay offers a dynamic setting. This means that you can customize your fee settings according to super economy, economy, normal, priority and urgent. You can make your choice depending on your need.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: How many wallets should I have?
It is recommendable to have more than one bitcoin wallet. Users may decide to use multiple wallets for storing their bitcoin private keys, or simply to have added security. Furthermore, since bitcoin covers various currencies such as Bitcoin Gold and Bitcoin Cash, different wallets will help to facilitate easier transactions aside from providing greater security.