06 January 2014

3 Free Software Wallets for BitCoins

For those who experiment with BitCoins, wallet is necessity. Your Bitcoin wallet is what allows you to transact this virtual currency with other users. It gives you ownership of a Bitcoin balance so that you can send and receive bitcoins. 

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There are actually three types of the wallets:

1. Software wallets. Software wallets are installed on your desktop computer. They give you complete control over your wallet. You are responsible for protecting your money and doing backups.

2. Mobile wallets. Mobile wallets allow you to bring Bitcoin with you in your pocket. You can exchange coins easily and pay in physical stores by scanning a QR code or using NFC "tap to pay".

3. Web wallets. Web wallets allow you to use Bitcoin anywhere with less effort to protect your wallet. However, you must choose your web wallet with care as they host your bitcoins.

Today, I will present several software wallets you may use:

1. MultiBit

MultiBit is a secure, lightweight, international Bitcoin wallet for Windows, MacOS and Linux.

Main Features:
* MultiBit makes performing Bitcoin transactions quick and simple
* MultiBit comes in a variety of languages
* MultiBit is free to download and is open source (MIT license)
* MultiBit is user-friendly and is easy to install

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2. Electrum

Electrum is an easy to use Bitcoin client. It protects you from losing coins in a backup mistake or computer failure, because your wallet can be recovered from a secret phrase that you can write on paper or learn by heart. There is no waiting time when you start the client, because it does not download the Bitcoin blockchain.

Main Features:
* Instant on: Your client does not download the blockchain, it uses a remote server.
* Forgiving: Your wallet can be recovered from a secret seed.
* Safe: Your seed or private keys are not sent to the server. Information received from the server is verified using SPV
* No downtimes: Several public servers are available, you can switch instantly.
* Ubiquitous: You can use the same wallet on different computers, it will auto-synchronize.
* Cold Storage: You can have secure offline wallets and still safely spend from an online computer.
* Open: You can export your private keys into other Bitcoin clients.

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Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android.

3. Armory

Armory – State of the art bitcoin wallet that is easy to use and provides cold storage. The latest Armory version will work on systems with only 1-2 GB RAM. No other bitcoin wallet provides the ultimate security and ease of use of Armory.

Main Features:
* Multi-wallet interface. Manage as many wallets as you want simultaneously. Armory was designed from the start for multi-wallet operations without limit on number.
* Wallet encryption with time- and memory-bound key derivation.
* Import/Sweep Addresses. Import private keys into your (deterministic) wallet.
* Corruption-resistant wallet files with automatic detection & correction of HDD byte errors.
* Armory can be run on an offline computer without needing the blockchain. Offline computer is only used to manage wallets that never touch the internet, and sign transaction packets transferred via USB. Online attackers can’t steal your wallet if the wallet was never online!
* Message signing with your Bitcoin addresses.

Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Ubuntu, Linux

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