The first part of our research published some days ago provided sterling information on the advantages and disadvantages of desktop wallets. Today we are going to cover the theme of mobile wallets.
The simplest description ever says – mobile wallets are virtual asset wallets that allow You to carry your Bitcoin with You in the pocket. The spending radius is technologically unlimited and the only thing that might stop Your movements is own will. The payments are made by scanning QR codes (carrying information of the purchase including the price) or using NFC “tap to pay” system.
The Pros and Cons of Mobile wallets
Once again, the main advantage is the portable nature of the wallet. As it is installed on a mobile device, for example, smartphone, a camera is definitely provided to scan the QR code of the merchant and to pay for the product or service.
The disadvantages of this type of wallets are related to the weak points of mobile devices. In case something happens to the equipment it has aftermaths on the wallet. In case it is stolen, it starts to remember an ordinary physical wallet. If the battery is too low, or the device switched off the payments become impossible. The level of security in comparison with desktop wallets is strongly lower.
However, the easiness and comfort of use, portability and other features deserve to be considered and might be often useful. The more venues and merchants are going to accept Bitcoin, the more popularity will gain mobile wallets.
Most Interesting Wallets to Consider
Designed for Android, the Bitcoin wallet is easy to use and can be considered as very reliable, secure and fast. The basic principle of design shows a very high level of decentralization and lack of control, as no central service is required for the operations and transactions with Bitcoin. It is advised to choose the application for persons not interested in technology, but willing to use the virtual currency regularly. The availability for BlackBerry OS is another positive point to emphasize on.
It is very remarkable that the Blockchain is actually a service of Internet wallets. Being designed for several platforms the Blockchain wallet for Android is automatically synchronized with the so-called My Wallet account created for the use of the service. The double encryption of the general password is saved on the smartphone, but can be strengthened with an additional password to confirm transactions. This function prevents unsanctioned payments in case the phone is lost or has been stolen.
Automatic backups are also featured by the software. In contribution to the high level of safety guaranteed, the encrypted wallet is synchronized with the server keeping the copy of all data, even if it has been lost by the device. In case the phone is out of order or damaged, the online log in interface will enable the restoration of data and further activities.
The application uses the Websocket Api to save up space and bandwidth. The developers also provide Watch Only Wallets Support for the corresponding wallets.
The app is open source, free and can be found in the github repository.
In addition to basic and most important features the Mycelium Bitcoin wallet for smartphones has numerous special characteristics important for experienced users. The main point of consideration is the unparalleled cold storage of coins for extraordinary offline security. The control of private keys is also very strong; they will leave the device only through the export procedure performed by the owner.
A very fast install and running process as no Blockchain download is required. The fast connection is performed via the super nodes of the service located in the Bitcoin network. The user can import watch-only addresses and private keys. In addition, it supports Bip38 Keys. The set up wallet is protected by a PIN code, but restoration is ensured by the encrypted PDF backup.
The URI handling function makes the software compatible with other Bitcoin services. For example, the app is compatible with Orbot via Tor without rooting.
The Paper Wallet is not an application, but a mechanism of Bitcoin offline storage. The Bitcoins and all relevant data are included in a document that can be kept as any other valuable of the real world. The operating principle is very simple – a new public address and private key are brought to paper by a printer, but Bitcoins are sent for keeping from a “live” wallet. In case all safety precautions are performed well, the money has the highest level of protection among all possible wallets.
This small review of portable – mobile – wallets gives the basic knowledge and some good examples. Definitely, You might find other interesting applications on the web, but always remember to evaluate their key features and protection methods. If You still dislike the desktop and mobile wallets, miss a proper device to handle them, but would like to have, store and regularly use Bitcoins – read out next article on Internet wallets!