It’s very important to manage your bitcoins safely. We assist in buying and selling bitcoins, but you are responsible for managing them yourself. This is the beauty of Bitcoin: you are your own bank!
How do you manage your bitcoins?
You create a bitcoin wallet, which is similar to a digital bank account. On this page we’ll explain all the ins and outs of creating a bitcoin wallet.
Everything about creating a bitcoin wallet and your bitcoin receiving address:
- What’s a bitcoin wallet?
- What’s a bitcoin receiving address?
- Which bitcoin wallet should I choose?
- How do I create a bitcoin wallet?
- Creating a bitcoin wallet backup
- Safety first
- How do I receive or send bitcoin?
What’s a bitcoin wallet?
A bitcoin wallet is similar to a digital bank account. Here you can send, receive, and manage your bitcoin. Here’s how it works: you buy bitcoin at BTC Direct, they are then sent to your wallet. In your wallet you manage your coins. Would you like to send some bitcoin somewhere else? Then you can choose the option ‘Send’ in your wallet, and enter the receiving address of the recipient. The coins will be sent from your wallet to the recipient’s wallet.
What’s a bitcoin receiving address?
A receiving address is similar to your bank account number. Each BTC wallet has a unique bitcoin receiving address. You can share this BTC wallet address with others to let them know how to send coins to your wallet.
A BTC wallet address is alphanumeric and always starts with a 1 or a 3. This is an example of a receiving address: 3FZbgi29cpjq2GjdwV8eyHuJJnkLtktZc5. A common question is how to get a BTC address. Each wallet automatically generates a bitcoin address. If you’ve just created a new wallet, then you have a unique bitcoin address right away. When you enter this address on our order form, we’ll know where to send the coins to.
A new bitcoin address is not only generated once you’ve created a new wallet, but after each transaction as well. And for a good reason: when your address regularly changes, your privacy on the network is better protected.
Would you like to use your old bitcoin address again? No problem! Each address on which you’ve previously received bitcoin, can be used again. It doesn’t matter if someone sends coins to your most recent address or to your oldest address- the bitcoins will arrive in the same wallet. In most wallets all generated addresses can be found in the transaction history.
For receiving as well as sending bitcoin, always copy and paste the receiving address. This lowers the risk of making a mistake. Don’t write or type the address. All cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible: once the coins have been sent, there’s no way of getting them back.
Which bitcoin wallet should I choose?
There is a great number of different wallets to choose from. Which wallet you should choose depends on several factors. Have you just started trading in cryptocurrencies, or are you more experienced? Would you like to buy a small amount, or invest a large sum?
Creating a bitcoin wallet is simple. There are roughly three types of wallets: online wallets, software wallets, and hardware wallets. Online and software wallets are often free. Each type has multiple providers, and each wallet has its own characteristics with regard to things like ease of use and safety.
In the overview below you can see which wallet is suitable for your situation.
The online wallet
- Very user-friendly
- Free of charge
- Low maintenance
- Supports bitcoin and bcash
- 2-FA option to secure the wallet
- Private key is saved online. Be careful with amounts over 500 euros
- Supports multiple coins
- Private key is saved slightly more secure on computer instead of online
- Does not have 2-FA option to secure the wallet
- Desktop only
Ledger Nano S
- Safest wallet
- Supports multiple coins
- Offline storage of your private key
- Not very user-friendly
- Needs to be updated (manually) once in a while
How do I create a bitcoin wallet?
Which wallet suits you best depends on several factors such as what your buying needs are and what you would like to use the bitcoins for. When you’ve just started buying bitcoin, an online wallet is the easiest and most user-friendly way to manage them. A much used free online wallet is BTC.com. This wallet also supports other coins.
In this video we’ll explain how to use Ledger Live, for which you'll need a Legder hardware wallet:
Creating a bitcoin wallet backup
When creating a bitcoin wallet, it’s important to create a backup of your login details as well. This way, you make sure that you’re always able to access your wallet, and therefore your bitcoins.
It’s essential to physically write down the recovery seed of your wallet on paper and store it safely. A recovery seed is a sequence of 12 or 24 words which functions as a backup password. By writing it down instead of storing it digitally, the recovery seed cannot be hacked through your computer.
Just like you keep your physical wallet safe, you protect your cryptocurrency wallet. If your wallet isn’t secure enough, hackers could steal your coins. Luckily, there are a multitude of ways to secure your wallet. Take your time to go over the following tips:
Never store your backup details digitally
Write down the following details of your wallet provider on a piece of paper: login name, password, recovery seed. Store this safely. Don’t take a picture with your phone. A mobile device has a constant connection to the internet. This makes it easier for hackers to access your wallet.
When possible, choose Two Factor Authentication (2-FA)
This may sound complicated, but 2-FA simply means you log in with several devices. Why is this useful? With 2-FA hackers can’t access your wallet with just your password. In order to access your wallet, a code is also required. This code could be sent to you by SMS or through an app such as Google Authenticator. We recommend to enable both options for maximum security.
When you’ve enabled 2-FA through SMS you will receive an SMS with a unique code on your phone every time you log in. To enable 2-FA through SMS you’ll have to enter your phone number in the safety settings of your wallet. This means you’ll need both your phone and your password to access your wallet.
You can find the Google Authenticator app in the App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store (Android). To connect the app to your wallet you’ll need to scan a QR code in your wallet. You can find the code in the safety settings. Make sure to backup the QR code by printing it in case you lose your phone. Once the app is connected to your wallet it generates a new six digit code every thirty seconds. To access your wallet you’ll need to enter the code.
Let today be your first day in the world of crypto. Get started with buying your first bitcoin by clicking this button
How do I receive or send bitcoin?
When buying or receiving bitcoin, you use the receiving address from your wallet. We can’t emphasise it enough: copy and paste this address, do not write or type it. A bitcoin receiving address is similar to your personal bank account number on which you receive your bitcoin. But where do you find your bitcoin receiving address?
The receiving address
First, log into your wallet. In most wallets, the receiving address can be found under the button ‘Receive’. There are wallets in which a bitcoin receiving address will automatically change once it has been used for a transaction. This is in consideration of your privacy. But don’t worry: ‘old’ receiving addresses will always stay valid and linked to your wallet.
Besides, you can always see which bitcoin address you’ve used in the transaction history of your BTC Direct account.
For receiving bitcoin in your wallet, copy the receiving address from your wallet, and paste it on the BTC Direct order form. This way we’ll know which wallet to send the coins to.
Sending bitcoin is just as easy! Click on ‘Send’ in your wallet. Enter the receiving address you’ve copied from the recipient. Fill in how much you would like to send, and confirm.
Do you have more questions about securing your wallet, or about wallets in general? Feel free to contact us, we’re happy to help!