The Best Online (Hot) Bitcoin Wallets 2018
Now that you’ve got some Bitcoin, you absolutely HAVE TO HAVE a wallet. If you want to keep some crypto online to store, you need a wallet that’s secure, convenient, and simple to set up.
I don’t want to scare you but let me be clear: if you don’t choose the right wallet, you leave yourself open to being robbed of all of your Bitcoins. Think it can’t happen to you? It happens regularly to people around the world.
Don’t worry, there are plenty of great online Bitcoin wallets that keep your crypto safe (relatively), facilitate payments, and even let you trade for other currencies.
I’ve searched around the internet, talked to people in the community, and even used plenty of these myself to bring you this list of the best online Bitcoin wallets for 2018.
But before we get to them, there are a few VERY IMPORTANT SECURITY ISSUES we need to cover.
Online vs. Hardware Wallets: This is VERY IMPORTANT
When it comes to storing your BTC, you generally have 2 options: hardware wallets and online wallets. Paper wallets are also a viable option but we won’t cover them here.
Online or “hot” wallets are in the cloud and connected to the internet. This is great for convenience but any time something is connected to the internet, there is at least some chance that it can be hacked.
Hardware or “offline” wallets are what’s known as “cold storage”. They are disconnected from the internet and totally secure from hacking. Think of online wallets as the wallet in your back pocket—convenient, easy-to-access, and great for small daily purchases. And think of cold wallets like the family vault buried beneath your uncle’s farm—impossible to get to and totally safe from thieves.
You either have the convenience and “spendability” of a hot wallet or the security of cold storage. You can’t have both. That’s why I have to tell you to never keep large amounts on ANY WALLET, even if I recommend it.
If I had to recommend one, it would be cold storage. If you’re serious about crypto and have large amounts, then you need a hardware wallet. The downside is they cost money and make it hard to spend your BTC. For a full breakdown, check out my article detailing online wallets vs hardware wallets.
Are you interested in hardware wallet? Read:The Best Hardware Bitcoin Wallets 2018
How to Add Money to a Bitcoin Wallet
Once you’ve purchased your Bitcoin, either from an exchange or a broker, you’ve got to move that money from your account to your wallet. As soon as you download and make an account at the wallet, transferring money in is easy. Most of the entries on the list will either allow you to generate an address or scan a QR code.
Click “request” or “receive money” from your Bitcoin wallet (see the image below). This will generate a unique address that you will then send money to. From your exchange, choose “send” and enter that destination. It’s that simple.
Understand? OK, good. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way….
The Best Online Wallets for 2018
1) Electrum Wallet
In 2018, I have to give the top spot to the Electrum Bitcoin wallet. It’s fast, lightweight, and can be set up in minutes. Instead of downloading the entire Bitcoin blockchain, it connects to other servers to verify your balance and process payments. But despite it being connected to other servers, your private keys are encrypted and NEVER leave your computer.
What I especially like about it is there are no downtimes and it allows you to create a “watching-only” wallet, which is a way for you to view your coins without making them susceptible to hacks on public wifi networks. If you ever lose access, your funds can be recovered with a secret phrase.
For beginners, it’s a great place to start.
23 million wallets, 160,000 daily transactions, 100 million + powered transactions—Blockchain.info is probably the most popular and well-known name in the online wallet game.
It’s a great launching point for beginners due to its simplicity and accessibility. You can access it from your browser or mobile phone. For added security, you can set up 2FA or a 4-digit mobile password when logging in from your smartphone. It has received major backing from names like Sir Richard Branson and Amit Jhawar, so you can be sure that it’s doing things right. Its base in Luxembourg gives many new users peace of mind (because, you know, Luxembourg?).
3rd-party trust is required since they have your private keys. Also, they have faced some downtimes in the recent past as well. Still, I recommend it for new BTC users.
Sleek, smooth, and multi-functional, Jaxx is a Bitcoin wallet that also lets you store Litecoin, Dash, and Ethereum. The first thing that hits you about Jaxx is that it’s beautiful. I know it’s crazy to say, but in a market dominated by boring wallets, it’s nice to have such a visually pleasing experience for once. It’s so simple that even a complete newbie will have no issues navigating the simple interface.
It’s compatible with most devices but the real game changer is Shapeshift integration. Jaxx connects you to the Shapeshift exchange and makes it easy to trade currencies within the wallet. This makes it one of the most functional wallets in the world.
The downside is that it is not open source. And one bug was found on the wallet in 2017. Still, it has withstood the test of time and is without a doubt one of the best functioning and most well designed wallets you can try.
How to Add Jaxx to Chrome
Jaxx is great because you can add it right to your browser for easy access. Here’s how to add Jaxx as a one-click Chrome extension:
1) Go to Jaxx.io
2) Click Download and Choose the Chrome Extension (see screenshots)
3) Click the Icon in the Top Right Corner
Exodus is a relatively young wallet, but saying that it is already a respected name around the community would be an understatement. See for yourself:
It supports multiple currencies (BTC, LTC, ETH, DASH, and 10 + more), and its interface is on the same level of beauty as Jaxx. It was designed specifically for people who have never used an exchange before, so first-time users will find it easy to navigate.
Another area where the company shines is its support team. They have received hundreds of positive reviews.
When you throw in that it’s also an exchange, it’s hard to see any downsides. If you’re looking for an “all-in-one” app to manage your blockchain assets, it’s a great choice.
Personalized themes, beautiful and detailed charts, built-in exchange capacity—I could go on for days.
MyCelium is known as the “default wallet” because it has been around for 10 years (roughly equivalent to 3 million cryptocurrency years). Over the years it has been tested by hundreds of thousands of users and maintains a 4.5-star rating on the Google Play store. It’s not ideal for beginners, but if you can manage to get used to it, then it’s a great mobile wallet.
MyCelium’s popularity is due to its intricate design and functionality. It’s constantly adding new tools and expanding the way Bitcoiners handle their money on mobile phones. The entire wallet is designed with easy-to-grasp tabs. And in terms of security, MyCelium is leading the way.
It allows you to easily make day-to-day payments, send and receive payments instantaneously, and even trades with locals. With just one touch you can find buyers and sellers in your local radius. For smartphone Bitcoin wallets, it’s hard to find fault with MyCelium.
Bread allows you to store, send, and receive Bitcoin simply and securely. It’s one of the easiest wallets for beginners because of its emphasis on UX and security. The secret is in the intuitive design. It makes it one of the easiest apps to create an account and start transacting with your BTC.
Headquartered out of Zurich, this iOS and Android mobile app is one of the most convenient and secure free apps out there. It connects users directly to the Bitcoin network, which allows for more decentralized (and less vulnerable) transactions. This also allows for more privacy. There’s even a way to buy Bitcoin directly through the app. Depositing and sending money is also a breeze.
With no logins or passwords to remember, you can be set up in seconds flat. It’s a great way to get started in Bitcoin.
7) Green Address
The Green Address wallet is another great wallet with apps available for Chrome, iOS, and Android. It delivers a powerful experience aimed at intermediate users. It is open-source and comes with a wide variety of add-ons you can use to enhance your experience.
It’s unique in that it provides a high level of security along with a measurable amount of convenience. Their unique multi-sig settings allows you to login using your password and a second generated by the wallet. And “watch-only” mode allows you to only view your balance rather than loading your private keys. This is great for public wifi networks. So if you’re the kind of crypto fiend that needs to check his balance from Starbucks while waiting in line, Green Address is a great option.
Serious Bitcoin enthusiasts will know the name Armory. It is another open-source app with high-end security features that make it a favorite among businesses and major investors alike. It is widely regarded as one of the most secure and functional wallets on the market. If you’re concerned about hackers, you’ve found the right app.
You can set up multiple wallet address to separate personal use from business holdings. And Armory also supports cold storage options (it was one of the pioneers in this field).
Multi-sig, decentralized lockboxes, Glacier Protocol, cold storage—the only downside to all of the security features is that they’re hard to navigate for inexperienced users.
Recent entries have been more advanced, so we thought it was time for a breath of “fresh air”. Airbitz is a familiar mobile wallet that is one of the easiest and most beginner-friendly entries on the list. One cool feature is that it has a directory of all local businesses accepting Bitcoin near you. I recommend it because it was designed with user experience in mind.
The UX is top notch. QR code scanning, a smooth interface, local Bitcoin merchants, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) compatibility—it’s all there. Why I really love it though is its range of currencies. It supports Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and over 140 other fiat currencies. The fact that it works on decentralized servers only adds to the already great security.
In good faith, I couldn't review EVERY wallet out there. This is supposed to be an elite list. Not every wallet is going to be amazing.
However, if none of these have appealed to you yet (I don’t know why) here are some other names I’ve come across but not heard enough about to give a clear opinion on. Do some research for yourself and decide.
Billions of dollars in Bitcoin have to been lost to hacks, negligence, or other security breaches. The most important thing you can do for your security is choosing the right Bitcoin wallet. These are the absolute best Bitcoin wallets for 2018 that I could find. Choose the one that suits you best and your millions will be safe from hackers so you can sleep at night.