Those planning on buying, trading, or using bitcoin or any cryptocurrency ought to know that you’re going to need a Bitcoin wallet. Considering the fact that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are digital assets, the way these Bitcoin wallets work differs from traditional currencies. You can treat a crypto-wallet as an access to the cryptocurrency you own, as well as a way to send and receive it.
These bitcoin wallets can be stored on your mobile device, desktop, a physical hardware device, or even a piece of paper. Bitcoin wallets come with both a private key and a public Bitcoin address. Private keys let you access your public key or bitcoin address and interface with the bitcoin network. These keys can be thought of as your pin and are most commonly presented as a 12-word passphrase that gives you access to your cryptocurrency wallet from anywhere.
Why Do I Need a Bitcoin Wallet?
Before purchasing bitcoin, you’ll need to set up a bitcoin wallet to store them. It is important to understand how wallets work. As mentioned earlier, Bitcoin wallets have both private keys and public bitcoin address, just like other crypto wallets. The private key is a secret pin attributable to a specific bitcoin saved in your wallet. Private keys are essential for future transactions whereas a public bitcoin address is used to send or receive bitcoin from other parties.
Types of UK Crypto Wallets
There are different types of Crypto and Bitcoin wallets. They can be either on your mobile device, desktop, physical hardware, or even on paper. Below we will discuss the different types of Bitcoin wallets as well as their advantages and disadvantages.
Mobile and Desktop Wallets
A major benefit of using the mobile or desktop bitcoin wallets is the accessibility offered especially considering the fact that most of us would typically carry our smartphones or laptops with us throughout the day. These wallets are free and allow you to send or receive bitcoin by simply scanning a QR code, providing ultimate convenience.
While there are plenty of misconceptions that software wallets are not secure, that’s not exactly true provided that you pick the right platform with tight security protocols in place such as 2FA verification, IP verification, etc. Software wallets are probably your best option unless you plan on keeping a ton of bitcoins without touching them for a long period of time. It is also important for you to always keep your mobile and desktop software bitcoin wallets up-to-date for better security.
- Free and easy to set up
- Good accessibility as they live directly on your smartphone or laptop.
- Bitcoin mobile wallets allow you to send and receive bitcoins by scanning a QR code.
- Mobile and desktop wallets may not be secure enough to store large amounts of bitcoin.
Physical Hardware Wallet
The best thing about hardware Bitcoin wallets is the fact that they’re designed to protect the private key from the risk of virus and malware. This is considered to be one of the most secure ways of storing bitcoin. Furthermore, hardware mobile wallets are compatible with 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 type of Bitcoin wallet will not be free and the prices will vary depending on the company you choose. If you wish to hold large amounts of bitcoin, then having a physical hardware wallet is 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 you’re doing it offline and in a secure environment.
- Hardware wallets also referred to as cold storage, have been designed to protect your private keys from malware, virus, and phishing.
- Can be connected to any Windows, Linux, or Mac machine via an external device to be used anywhere in the world.
- It is compatible with different wallets such as MultiBit HD, MyCelium, and others.
- They might be more expensive but are a necessary expense if you’re holding larger amounts of bitcoin.
As the name suggests, paper wallets are what they sound like. A paper wallet is an offline wallet (obviously) and is protected from malware, virus, and hackers. This is a completely physical way of storing bitcoin as it’s simply a piece of document which contains your private key and public address. Many paper wallets use software like QR code form for you to quickly scan in the info when you want to buy or sell Bitcoin. Although this is convenient, it also means that you will need to take extra care and caution to protect the physical paper. You can do so by laminating it or keeping it in a tamper-proof environment. However, this is also a very fragile option that could be a hassle for some.
- Their offline nature means it’s protected from hackers and malware.
- Paper wallets are fragile and must be stored with thought and care.
Best Bitcoin Wallets UK
eToro is arguably one of the best platforms to get a Bitcoin wallet in the UK. Unlike a hardware wallet that could cost you somewhere along the lines of $100, the eToro Bitcoin wallet is completely free and it’s extremely convenient as well. The eToro exchange lets you buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies directly on the platform, trade between different cryptocurrencies, and easily send or withdraw bitcoin whenever you want.
eToro is a highly regulated financial platform in the US and UK, so you don’t have to be concerned about security issues. From an operational standpoint, the platform requires two-factor authentication (2FA) to initiate any form of transfer or withdrawal which makes this option as safe as any wallet can be.
- An established reputation within the industry.
- A wide variety of cryptocurrencies to choose from.
- Integrated trade copying function.
- Poor customer support.
- Platform tends to crash.
Coinbase is one of the largest online cryptocurrency platforms that many rely on for buying and selling digital currency. Though it is headquartered in San Francisco, California, the exchange is popular even in the UK. In fact, Coinbase was the first major bitcoin exchange in the UK that was granted the e-money license. This was a huge deal back then because no other major exchanges were offering GBP deposits through Faster Payments yet. Today, you can send GBP to Coinbase and have it credited straight into your account within minutes in the UK.
Looking at their bitcoin wallets, the simple interface is friendly for new users and it’s also easy to download and set up too. This is a friendly bitcoin wallet to use not only for bitcoin but also for other cryptocurrencies. In addition to digital currencies, Coinbase is even flexible enough to support digital collectibles and tokens, allowing you to even access initial coin offerings.
Coinbase is certainly one of the safest options for you to trade bitcoin in the UK via bank transfer. Their processes are secured through the use of 2-factor authentication and email authentication. Furthermore, users buying Bitcoin through Coinbase get to enjoy the best possible rate without any high fees incurred. Coinbase charges a flat 3.99% fee for all purchases done via debit cards, which is among the lowest for US and European customers.
One drawback to this platform is that you may experience longer transaction times during peak usage times. Unfortunately, high volumes can sometimes lead to system lags or crashes which could interfere with your trading.
- User-friendly interface
- High security
- Best rates with low fees
- High user traffic during peak times can lead to longer transaction times
Coinmama is yet another two-in-one exchange and bitcoin wallet option. Not only that, but the company provides brokerage service for Bitcoin so users won’t need to look for a buyer or seller on their own. This makes the process for purchasing Bitcoin in the UK much more simpler and efficient.
You can easily buy Bitcoin through debit or credit card, SEPA, and SWIFT transfer on Coinmama. They are even the first company to have a partnership with Apple Pay to enable users to buy Bitcoin. Furthermore, the transactions through the platform are very quick as the company is focused on providing customers the best experience available. Typically, user verification will take around 30 minutes to complete.
The only drawback to using this exchange-and-bitcoin-wallet combo is their high fees. Their brokerage service fee is 5.9% and if you use a credit card to purchase bitcoins, you’ll need to be prepared for an additional 5% processing fee. However, we believe that the user experience you get to enjoy is worth the price you’re paying for.
Coinmama also offers dedicated support with many positive reviews from users praising their customer support. The exchange lets you request help either through their help center or by emailing them and they will get back to you within the next 24 hours.
- Fast transaction services
- Helpful customer support
- High fees
The Trezor Bitcoin wallet is a hardware wallet that lets users store, receive, and send but only bitcoin but also other cryptocurrencies. Since it is a hardware wallet, this means that it provides greater security compared to traditional software wallets like desktop wallets or mobile wallets. This is because the Bitcoin wallet is not connected to the internet, so you won’t have to worry about hackers or malware gaining access to your digital assets.
The hardware wallet is also universally compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux and is ready to plug in to be put to use immediately. Furthermore, the wallet is compact and lightweight weighing less than half an ounce, making it perfect to be carried around in a backpack, briefcase, or even in your pocket.
Trezor’s team also releases regular firmware updates designed to protect your device. This ensures that you enjoy improved security and protection against new threats. However, you will need to check out these updates yourself as they’re not automatic. The instructions on how to update the hardware wallets can be found on their official website under the “updating the Trevor device firmware” tab.
However, the Trevor Bitcoin wallet does have a price tag to it and needs to be purchased at $99. If you only plan on holding a small number of coins, you may want to think twice about how worth it this investment is. But if you plan on getting a significant amount of bitcoin, then this will be worth it.
A hardware wallet like Trezor may also be a little complicated for beginners entering the crypto space for the first time. This is also especially true for those new to the device. Hence, it is very important for you to go through the instruction manual thoroughly and understand how it works before using the hardware wallet so that you won’t make a mistake.
- Great security
- Regular firmware updates
- Universally compatible
- Compact and lightweight
- May be a little complicated
CoinJar is easy to use and simple to understand, even for a first-time user. The CoinJar Bitcoin wallet has made it so easy for you to send and receive Bitcoin that all you need to do is using a QR code, wallet address, or a CoinJar username. Furthermore, if you’re new to Bitcoin wallets and are interested to just give it a spin, a plus point for this is that it incurs very low fees with a 0% payment processing fee when you choose to deposit funds via BPAY or PayID.
An exciting for this Bitcoin wallet is their CoinJar Bundles feature that allows users to purchase collections of popular cryptocurrencies to diversify their portfolio through a simple transaction. The performance of each bundle will even be tracked automatically and users can grow their bundle by either adding funds or through setting up recurring payments.
CoinJar is also one of the best Bitcoin wallets with an excellent customer support team who is very helpful and supportive in resolving customer issues. Their services are prompt with periodic follow-up reminders when dealing with customers. If you ever encounter any issue that needs addressing while using the CoinJar Bitcoin wallet, their support is only an email away.
- Low fees
- Unique CoinJar Bundles feature
- Helpful customer support
Blockchain has been around since 2011, making it one of the oldest and best bitcoin wallets that even provides bitcoin data and statistics. The Blockchain cryptocurrency wallet is relied on by many crypto traders simply because of their low transaction fees. The Blockchain company also guarantees that you will be able to enjoy the lowest buying, selling, and trading fees in the industry if you choose their Bitcoin wallet.
In addition to that, the Blockchain bitcoin wallet is available as the online version as well as in Android and iOS. The mobile phone version is very optimized and works smoothly on the device. With almost 30 million wallets by Blockchain company, users are assured with security through the creation of a password, 2-factor authentication, and a recovery phrase.
The mobile wallet is also integrated with a finger-touch ID to increase security. You also need not worry about what happens in case you lose your phone or if it gets stolen. This is because the Blockchain wallet app is protected by a pin code in order to access it. And 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 other cryptocurrencies within the wallet itself. This is a built-in crypto trading feature that makes the entire trading process smooth and easy. However, a drawback that some users may find an issue with is in terms of the company’s centralization.
Being a centralized wallet means that the Blockchain wallet is governed exclusively by that designated company and not other third-party associations. However, this does have its own pros and cons as a wallet can be better in terms of optimization and features but it may provide less anonymity.
- Low transaction fees
- Built-in crypto trading features
- Centralized wallet
Electrum is one of the very few Bitcoin wallets in the market that has done a great job in ensuring user-friendliness and great functionality. Electrum experiences an expanding customer base every day and they also have plenty of positive reviews on buying Bitcoin with Electrum from both experienced and beginner users. This Bitcoin wallet has just the right amount of features that experienced users are looking for while maintaining a simple and intuitive design that attracts new users.
Electrum is a desktop wallet and we highly recommend this for those who require more flexibility. This wallet is flexible in a way where it lets you install the software directly onto your PC for full control over your bitcoins. Furthermore, the installation process is quick and easy. You can also use wallets on different PCs for enhanced security compared to having online wallets. But, do make sure that you download the latest version of the wallet for optimal functionality and security against the latest malware and virus attacks.
One of the best features about Electrum is that it is a very lightweight app since it does not download the entire Blockchain. Electrum uses servers to collect necessary information, thus saving a lot of memory on your desktop. Besides, it is end-to-end protected and encrypted with high security.
However, if you do prefer a mobile wallet, the company also provides that option for Android users. The mobile wallet has pretty much all the same features as their desktop wallets with just as much thought into the user experience for customers to enjoy.
- Intuitive design
- Compatible with major bitcoin hardware wallets
- Quick and easy installation
- Great security
MyCelium is a mobile wallet for both iOS and Android users that many love for its reliability and security. The MyCelium mobile wallets place great emphasis on privacy and anonymity by encrypting all 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 such as bitcoin address, nickname, location, etc. will go to MyCelium.
The MyCelium crypto wallet offers a couple of great connections with platforms like Coinapult, Cashila and Glidera enable the transactions, deposits, and withdrawals via MyCelium to be fluid and fast. On the other hand, MyCelium also has connections with Trezor and Ledger, the two biggest names in cryptocurrency storing hardware wallets.
If that sounds too good to be true, then brace yourself as the best part about this bitcoin wallet is that it is completely free to use. This company grants you access to all their functions and even the ability to customize them for free. However, transaction fees will still apply but may vary. Apart from that, there will not be any MyCelium wallet fees for using the Bitcoin wallet.
One concern that some users have expressed is that the wallet may be a little complicated to navigate, especially for new users. But if you’re an experienced bitcoin wallet user, then this should not be a problem for you. Those just starting out may want to give this out a try and be the judge for themselves. After all, the wallet is completely free to use.
- Reliable and secure
- Fast and fluid connections
- Free to use
- May be complicated to navigate
Exodus is a mobile and desktop wallet that features a built-in exchange function that lets you quickly and easily buy and sell one cryptocurrency for another – all without needing to sign up for an account. One of the popular things about the Exodus wallet is that it allows swaps for over 100 different cryptocurrencies.
Exodus lets you manage your wealth of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in a single blockchain wallet that combines solid engineering and beautiful design. It even comes with several helpful features to help you stay on top of the market with live charts that have real-time updates. For sending and receiving bitcoin, all it takes is a simple touch of a button using text addresses or QR codes.
Exodus offers world-class experience with its design and engineering. Its team has the experience of designing for the likes of Apple, Disney, and even Microsoft. With this experience, the company was able to put together a bitcoin wallet of great functionality and ease of use for its users.
And thanks to its simplicity, Exodus makes for a great wallet for beginners new to the crypto space. Plus, it even has great customer support that’s very helpful and always ready to assist. The global support team offers 24/7 services and is a very helpful feature for beginners. However, advanced users may find that the Exodus wallet lacks in terms of other advanced features seen in its competitors.
- Built-in exchange feature
- Great variety of cryptocurrencies
- Suitable for new users
- Advanced users may find some features lacking
Copay is yet another mobile wallet that’s offered for both Android and iOS devices. If you’re new to cryptocurrency, you will find Copay like a breath of fresh air thanks to its ease of use that will not have you worrying about technicalities. The modern sleek interface has been designed to help you navigate around with ease.
To get started, all you need to do is select “new personal wallet” under the “add wallet” section to create your mobile wallet. Next, you will need to fill up your wallet through an exchange in order to make bitcoin transactions. Copay is also connected to Coinbase and Glidera to facilitate your bitcoin transaction.
Apart from bitcoin and bitcoin cash, an interesting feature that Copay has is that it lets you use their mobile wallets to buy Amazon Gift cards. Another cool thing that many users like about Copay is that it is linked with Bitpay – the leading payment processor worldwide.
A common concern that many have when using bitcoin wallets is security. Fortunately, Copy handles all that with their amazing security with multi-signature functionality to ensure all transactions are authorized. Furthermore, Copay is also among the first wallets to support Bitcoin Payment Protocol (BPP) which guarantees that bitcoin will go to the right recipient. The only thing we can think of that they can improve on is to include a 2-factor authentication for transactions.
In terms of fees, Copay offers a dynamic setting that lets you customize your fee settings according to the super economy, economy, normal, priority, and urgent. You can make your choice depending on your needs.
- Ease of use
- Sleek and modern interface
- Dynamic fee settings
- No 2-factor authentication
As you can see, there is much to consider when choosing the best Bitcoin wallet UK for you. We hope that this article has given you some initial guidance into the types of wallets available and who they might be suitable for.
We highly recommend that you do as much research as possible and think about what you want to use your bitcoin wallet for and how before choosing a specific crypto wallet. We have provided a shortlist of the best bitcoin wallets that support UK users who want to buy Bitcoin with GBP. We leave it to you to choose which one suits your investment needs the best, and only recommend that you always apply the best security standards with your digital assets.