There are many places where you can buy bitcoins. However, after purchasing the bitcoins, you would need a place to store them. This place is known as a wallet and comes in different forms. The wallets offer different kinds of security to the bitcoin owners besides giving them various options to access the bitcoins. Technically, the wallet will not store the bitcoins but will hold the private keys, which are required to access the bitcoin address and spend the funds. These private keys are required to complete the transaction. In case, if the user has lost the private keys, then it directly means that they have lost the bitcoins.
Here are a few types of bitcoin wallets that you can find in the market. These include:
The desktop wallet must be installed on the computer, which gives adequate control over the funds and is also safe. There are thick desktop wallets that allow the users to download the network blocks and gain authenticity besides managing the funds securely. On the flip side, there are thin wallets available, but these wallets do not require any blocks. You can download them to any of the portable devices.
The mobile wallet is taking the bitcoin world by storm. The best part of having a mobile wallet is that you can use the funds from anyplace across the globe. You can pay for a cheque in the restaurant and other stores by scanning the QR code. The Smartphone users can also take advantage of near-field communication feature that allows the users to tap the phone against the reader and provide the required information. The mobile wallets are not bitcoin clients. If you are a full bitcoin client, then you must download the blockchain onto your mobile, for which you would need huge storage space.
This is a web-based wallet where the users will store bitcoins in the form of private keys on the server. You can connect to the online wallet from anyplace provided you have the internet connection. Users can have quick access to their funds from anyplace and at any time, globally. However, there are high chances of the server getting hacked by the hackers and taking complete control over the bitcoins. The risk can be reduced by embracing the right set of security measures.
The hardware wallet is a kind of portable device that stores the private keys and allows you to transfer funds with ease. There is a wide range of hardware wallets available in the market. These wallets allow you to carry money in the pocket, but digitally.
This is the safest of all the other bitcoin wallets. You would have a paper wallet that is with two QR codes. One code will have the public key, which holds the address so that you can receive BTCs, and the other code will have the private key using which you can spend the bitcoins at that particular address. The wallet document has a public address to receive the coins and private keys to spend or transfer the bitcoins that are stored in that address. You can see the paper wallet bitcoins in the QR code form, which you can scan and post the key to the software wallet to initiate transactions. Various services are using which you can generate the paper wallet. You can create a random Bitcoin address with the help of a private key. The best part of the paper wallet is that you can store it offline so that they are not prone to any attacks.
Where you can buy bitcoins
There are various ways to buy a bitcoin. Few of them include:
The number of bitcoin ATMs is growing at a rapid pace globally. On the exchange price, the machine will charge you 3 to 5% of the commission. However, these machines offer the best bitcoin buying experience to the users. You must insert the cash into the ATM or scan the QR code using the mobile.
Bitcoins are widely used to buy gift cards, and these are cost-effective over cash. You can trade the gift cards for bitcoins. You must purchase a gift card and log on to the bitcoin exchange site where the sellers would accept the gift cards and finish the purchasing process.