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Secure Bitcoin Wallets (Landline) - Part II

The growth in the rate of the peer-to-peer cryptocurrency Bitcoin is due to the increased interest in it. The web provides an opportunity to mine, accumulate crypto-coins and ensure their safety. For this, special storages are created, which are designed to ensure the highest possible level of security of the clients electronic funds. Lets consider which Bitcoin wallets are proposed to be installed on a PC and their advantages relative to each other.

Types of stationary wallets

Virtual wallets that are installed on a users personal computer are divided into 2 categories:

    Thick clients. They are also called "heavy". This option is considered the most reliable. Popular types include Bitcoin Core and Armory. Such programs must be downloaded from the virtual web and installed on a PC. When used for the first time, the Bitcoin wallet is synchronized with the network. This downloads the entire blockchain, which requires at least 60 GB of free hard disk space. Synchronization may take over a day. In running mode, the wallet uses a P2P action algorithm. Thanks to the presence of this technology, the wallet can send and receive transfers, verify the authenticity and secure actions with a signature without the participation of an intermediary. Such wallets are quite resource-intensive and are intended for long-term storage of cryptocurrency. User information (private and public key, file with transactions) is stored by the client, which increases the security of the Bitcoin wallet.
    Thin clients. Popular wallets include MultiBit and Electrum. The advantage over heavy wallets is the lack of synchronization. This responsibility is shifted to a dedicated server. The wallet access keys are kept by the client, however, the file with the money transactions remains on the trusted server. The installed program, when the application is running, refers to it to collect information. Thin clients are faster and more convenient. These purses are more suitable for laptops or tablets.

Benefits of desktop wallets

More reliable e-wallets than stationary ones, including Bitcoin QT, have not yet been invented. Is that hardware, the so-called "hardware", which are very expensive and inaccessible to the average user. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of desktop wallets.

The advantages of such purses include:

    High level of security.
    Access to the history of all executed transactions.
    Downloading and automatic verification of blocks for authenticity.
    Updating versions of storages, first of all, it concerns stationary wallets.

The disadvantages are:

    Resource intensity of the application.
    Self-configuration of the wallet (Electrum, Armory, Bitcoin Core, MultiBit).
    Mandatory backup of the wallet.dat file.
    Loss of all electronic crypto coins when formatting the PC hard drive or a software failure on the tablet.

The purpose of Bitcoin wallets is:

    The safety of private keys.
    Carrying out bilateral transactions.
    Automatic generation of Bitcoin addresses.
    Providing access to the history of transfers and the balance on the personal account.

Desktop wallet security

As mentioned above, in order to guarantee the safety of cryptocoins, it is necessary to provide the wallet files with reliable protection, for example, a MultiBit wallet. The most important file is wallet.dat. The loss of an important document due to a virus attack, accidental deletion or computer failure leads to the loss of all funds in the clients account.

Copying a document to a USB storage device provides additional file protection. It is preferable to make a complete copy of the entire virtual wallet. Some addresses are used to save changes that are made to transactions, so they are not displayed by default. You can make multiple copies of your Armory wallet and store them in multiple locations that are not accessible to third parties.

Another way to protect an electronic wallet is to create a complex password for it. This will make it much more difficult for hackers to access cryptocoins. In newer versions of wallets, this feature is automatically enabled. In the official client, you can password-protect the wallet in the settings by activating the "Encrypt wallet" option.

The message signing function is implemented in micro-transactions and is available in the official versions of programs. If the user has the slightest suspicion of unauthorized persons gaining access to the Bitcoin Core Bitcoin wallet, it is necessary to immediately change the password from the wallet and transfer the funds to another Bitcoin address.

To improve effective security, the client is required to:

    Install a licensed anti-virus program with the ability to update databases.
    Take seriously the safety of your wallet data and its backups.
    Do not provide personal data to access the wallet.
    Do not run unknown software.
    Do not visit sites that are in doubt.
    Do not install suspicious documents on a computer or tablet after installing the Bitcoin wallet on a PC.
    Create the most complex passwords.
    Dont trust investment offers.
    Use two-factor authentication to protect funds.
    Remember the lack of legal protection for money in almost every country in the world.

Fat Bitcoin QT Wallet (Core)

 Bitcoin Qt is the official wallet developed by Satoshi Nakamoto. Therefore, it is recommended to start acquaintance with the depositories for crypto coins with this wallet. The purse runs on such operating systems as: Windows, Linux, Mac OS. The interface of the best Bitcoin wallet application is Russified. Downloading the program from the bitcoin.org resource is fast, however, it takes more than 24 hours to download the blockchain.

Upon completion of the synchronization phase, the original wallet can be used for its intended purpose. All Bitcoin addresses and access keys are stored on the users PC. If you have a modern powerful computer with a large HDD capacity, this storage is considered the best option. In the case of a standard office unit, you need to choose another version of the virtual wallet.

The advantages of this purse include:

    Maximum level of application security.
    The stability of the Bitcoin wallet.
    High degree of confidentiality.
    Confirmation request before sending cryptocoins.
    Export CSV.
    Displaying transaction history.
    Multi-sending of transfers to multiple recipients.

Disadvantages, like any software, are also present. They lie in resource intensity and the inability to work simultaneously with several digital wallets. If the presence of negative aspects does not confuse the user, then you can get acquainted in more detail with the functions of the wallet. The program is usually installed on hard drive C. The wallet.dat document stores all earned and received Bitcoins.

The Bitcoin QT wallet interface is intuitive. On the left side, the total balance of cryptocoins is displayed, on the right - executed transfers. In the top menu, a backup function is available, setting a password, there is also an option to change the commission fees for transactions. Disabling the commission lowers the priority of making payments.

The menu contains a history of transfers, which allows you to track the movement of crypto coins. To receive Bitcoins, you need to copy the wallet address and send it to the addressee. To send electronic money, just go to the "Send" tab, enter the number, for example, of the recipients Electrum wallet and the transfer amount. To provide increased security to the wallet, new Bitcoin addresses can be generated for each payment. To do this, click on the "New address" button.

By the way, two years ago, in version 0.9.0, the application was rebranded. Bitcoin QT wallet was renamed to Bitcoin Core. This was followed by the process of dividing the whole core into several narrow-profile ones. A version for 64-bit Windows was also developed for the first time.

Heavy client Armory

 This app runs on top of the official wallet version. Suitable for advanced users who want to expand the functionality. As with the MultiBit wallet, the capabilities of the Armory digital wallet help ensure maximum protection for virtual coins. The opportunity is provided to work with several wallets and store them off the global web.

This allows you to protect your own funds from hacker attacks in the best possible way. It is noteworthy that the client application works for two types of OS: Windows and Linux. The wallet is not Russified, which makes it difficult for users who do not know the basics of English to work with it. For the smooth operation of the software, you need at least 2 GB of PC RAM. Armory wallet can take more than 10 minutes of waiting to start.

This client has a graphical interface and does not have any hidden addresses. There is no need to update backups. Addresses are generated in a chain, each private key is generated based on the previous and secret key. The secret key is unique to each wallet. Until recently, the RAM requirements were too high and amounted to 6 GB. Before using the virtual wallet, the database must be fully synchronized, just like in the Bitcoin Core version of the Bitcoin wallet.

To activate the Coin Control function, you need to switch to expert mode, for this you need to select User - Expert in the menu. Activating this option allows you to specify the name of the addresses from which the coins will be sent and prevents third parties from linking addresses to each other. In the wallet, you can track the balance of each Bitcoin address.

MultiBit Slim Wallet

 The most popular thin client has an imperfect security system. The presence of an intuitive interface on the most popular operating systems is its positive th. The Bitcoin wallet, which is not installed on a stationary PC, has a Russian-language version. A currency exchange option is available in the menu, which allows you to convert coins to fiat money from any exchange. The account balance is presented in the form of a graph.

To use a thin client, you need to install it on a laptop or PC. Following the step-by-step instructions will minimize installation errors. For installation you need:

    Download MultiBit from bitcoin.org.
    Run the installer.
    If there is no Java program on the unit, you need to install its device. Best thin wallet Bitcoin program will warn you about automatic app download.
    Download the program for free from the opened site.
    Return to the MultiBit installer.
    Agree to the terms of use of the software.
    Specify the installation path for the electronic wallet.

When you first launch a digital wallet, it is offered the opportunity to transfer crypto coins to it. To create a new wallet address, you need to click on the "New wallet" button. In the window that opens, you need to set the name and storage path for the wallet on the device. By the way, you can create a myriad of Bitcoin wallet addresses. Wallet accounts are different from each other and are completely confidential.

All data is written to a document with the wallet extension. To further protect crypto coins, you need to set a password for the application. This is easy enough. You need to click on the virtual wallet, then select the following actions from the menu "File - Add password". It is recommended that you set a strong password and write it down in a safe place. If it is lost, access to the wallet will be closed forever. And the coins on the account will remain unused. This rule applies to all types of wallets, including Bitcoin QT.

Electrum thin client

 The lightweight e-wallet is available in over 30 languages. The wallet was launched in the fall of 2011. This version of the wallet is updated automatically. The thin client does not load the entire blockchain of tens of gigabytes; the application weighs only a few hundred megabytes. This allows you to speed up the launch of the cryptocurrency storage. When working, the wallet refers to the developers special servers, where it downloads the necessary fragments of the blockchain. An infinite number of addresses can be created in the Electrum wallet, while the function of creating unique addresses for each transfer is supported.

It is noteworthy that this type of wallet has the ability to recover users private keys. To do this, you need to know the secret phrase. It is created during installation and presented as 13 random words. The client of the virtual network must save this offer in a secluded place, and even more securely, print it on a special device (printer). In case of failure of the clients device, you can reinstall the program on another unit and restore access to your own crypto-coins, after entering the mnemonic phrase.

Like the MultiBit wallet, Electrum allows you to import and export the private keys of other Bitcoin wallets. In the absence of an online connection, the creation and signing of transactions is available. However, its distinguishing feature is the ability to track the wallet when using the root certificate together with special programs.

In the spring of 2015, an updated version of the wallet was released, to which the ability to create a multisignature was added, as well as the execution of BIP70 payment requests. The updated version of the wallet allows you to use:

    Standard wallet.
    A wallet that uses two-factor authentication, just like the Armory heavy wallet.
    Wallet with multi-signature function for transfers.
    For cold storage and integration into hardware devices.

The presence of multisignature allows you to control the separate sending of cryptocoins. Its execution occurs after the private key clients confirm it with their own signature. To keep the wallets safe, one of the computer devices must be online while the other can be taken offline.

Finally, stationary wallets are indeed a more reliable option for long-term and safe storage of crypto coins. It is recommended that a beginner start acquaintance with Bitcoin Core - the original Bitcoin wallet, which was created by the developer of the first cryptocurrency in the world, the brilliant Satoshi Nakamoto.