What is Desktop Wallet?
Since the birth of Bitcoin in 2008 and the outburst of the ICOs in the year 2017, cryptocurrencies have grown more and more popular over the last decade. As traders and end-users are always seeking for a the easiest and most flexible means to safeguard their cryptos, desktop wallet have been a paramount asset for a crypto enthusiast.
In simple terms desktop wallets are programs that helps us store and manage the private keys or our crypto assets on our computer’s hard drive. In this article, I will highlight the 5 best and most popular desktop wallets from hands-on experience.
1. Electrum Wallet
Top of our list is Electrum. Its no surprise that approximately over 10 percent of all bitcoin transactions happens on Electrum. This is because in terms of security, flexibility and accountability Electrum tops the shelf when desktop wallet is concerned.
Also, it’s open source project, meaning many people have taken part in reviewing and composing the code. This further reduces the chance of malicious code inside the software to practically zero. Often times when the Bitcoin network is “crowded” and transaction fees skyrockets, Electrum is one of the few wallets that allows you to replace the fee you’ve set to an already broadcasted transaction.
This feature is very handy when you can’t get your transaction to confirm. Additional features include address tagging, fee adjustments, encrypting your wallet and signing/verifying messages (this is an advanced feature). This lightweight desktop bitcoin wallet also supports multiple operating systems such as Windows, Mac, etc. It is integrated with premium hardware wallets such as TREZOR, KeepKey and Ledger Nano S. As a service provider, Electrum charges transaction fees, and the default fee is a flat rate of 0.2 mBTC. It is not ideal for beginners and only supports bitcoin.
Exodus is famously classified as the "Beginners Wallet" due to its beginner friendly interface. Initially Exodus only supported Bitcoin storage but now, Exodus supports over 30 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash, Zcash, Ethereum among the popular ones. This wallet offers a beautiful user-friendly interface, and you never have to store the entire blockchain in your desktop. For the transactions made using Exodus wallet, the fee is paid to the network and not Exodus. It is the first desktop wallet that supports the functionality of ShapeShift which makes it a better option than electrum wallet (if you are concerned about in-app exchanges). However, it does not support two-factor authentication, multi-signature and most importantly – it’s not an open source project. This means that the developers can potentially insert malicious code into the software without you knowing about it. And of course, when it comes to money, having a closed source program can raise some concerns.
Overall its been a great wallet for years and one you can safely use with less worries.
3. Atomic Wallet
Atomic wallet stands out as the best cryptocurrency desktop wallet with the vast amount of crypto assets. If your aim is to store all your crypto in one place then this is the final stop for you as Atomic Wallet is a multi-currency wallet that allows you to store up to 500 different coins and tokens in a single interface.
This transparent, powerful and reliable wallet allows users to reduce effort spent on managing crypto assets. And the credit goes to its decentralized Atomic Swap to proceed with cross-chain exchange avoiding third-party risks. Moreover, it has built-in ShapeShift, ChangeNOW and Changelly exchanges for coins not yet supported by Atomic Swap. Thanks to its strong encryption and custody-free solution, only you have control over your funds as your private keys are encrypted.
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4. Bitcoin Core
Bitcoin Core is a full node Bitcoin wallet. What this means is that once you download the wallet, you will also have to download the whole blockchain to your computer drive in order to gain full functionality of the wallet. This is often time-consuming, however, once the Blockchain is downloaded you can start independently verifying transactions on the network. You no longer depend on miners or other networks to verify your transaction.
Except you are a tech-savvy or security-freak you really don't need to use this wallet as the other alternatives are great options.
Copay is a wallet created by BitPay, one of the largest Bitcoin payment service providers around. It offers intuitive, multisignature security for personal or shared wallets along with easy spending proposal flow for shared wallets and group payments. Multisig means that you can have the wallet require an X amount of people to sign off on each transaction in order to broadcast it to the network. Using Copay’s multisig feature allows you extra security against theft and could be a good option if you can’t afford a hardware wallet. Copay’s code is open source and has been around since 2014.
In the early days there was only a few handful wallets generally demanding users to run the the entire blockchain node, it was much lighter then as very few megabytes was needed, but with a complex and techy interface. However in present day there are alot of user-friendly desktop wallet which are beginner friendly, safe and easy to use. We've highlighted some of the best above and now its time for you to choose.
But remember no matter how vast some wallet may be there's never a single wallet to contain all cryptocurrency asset as new cryptocurrency tends to arise everyday, on the long run as you get more entangled with the crypto world you will have to get used to using multiple crypto wallets to safeguard your assets.