About nine in every ten people in the US manage their bank accounts using online banking. It took a long time (since online banking has been around for 14 years) for people to start trusting their computers with their money, but it’s happening now. And most users now prefer to use mobile phones for their online banking and money management. So, if people are comfortable “keeping” their fiat currency money (or at least the access to it) in their mobile phones, why not bitcoin? That’s where bitcoin wallets for android come into play.
Origin Of Bitcoin Wallets
Bitcoin wallets have been around just as long as bitcoin has been. In fact, the first bitcoin wallet was introduced at the same time (2009) by the same entity that’s behind bitcoin and the whole concept of crypto: Satoshi Nakamoto. There were a few issues with it and many of the earlier wallets, but the most prominent one was that you needed to download the whole bitcoin blockchain to use the wallet.
It was not that big in the beginning, but then the internet wasn’t as fast as it is today either. But even with today’s internet, downloading the whole bitcoin blockchain (which is currently 317.5 GB) would not be feasible, definitely not with bitcoin wallets for android.
But wallets have come a long way since then.
What Are Bitcoin Wallets For Android
Just like online or hot wallets that you can use with your computer and browser (or another dedicated software), bitcoin wallets for android allow you to store, send, and receive bitcoin from your android mobile device. Some android wallets might also allow you direct access to exchanges and probably even trading, but that’s not their primary directive.
Hot vs. Cold
Since our android devices are almost always connected to the internet, bitcoin wallets for android are all inherently “hot” wallets. They are “live” and connected to the internet, and therefore, they also tend to be as vulnerable as computer-based hot wallets are. And even though android security has been evolving quite rapidly, it might not make them ideal for people who only trust cold wallets for keeping their precious bitcoin.
There is a way to turn an android device into a cold wallet, but then you wouldn’t be able to use it for anything else.
Bitcoin Wallets For Android: Features And Characteristics
There are plenty of characteristics and features you can look for in a good bitcoin wallet for android, and if they are not present in a wallet you are considering, it might be prudent to stay clear.
Safety And Security
The safety features of a hot android wallet should be the first thing you need to look into. Before making your decisions, go through the app’s reviews and the safety protocols they have published on their website so learn more about this crucial characteristic.
Open Source vs. Closed Source
Some bitcoin wallets for android are open source. The code is available freely on the internet, and coders from around the world can make modifications and improvements, making it evolve faster. Closed source wallets come from one source, and they can either be more secure or vulnerable, based on the quality of the source.
Some wallets allow you to trade directly. The problem is that they tend to lean more towards trading the safety and integrity of the wallet. So if you are considering a “trading wallet,” make sure to research its security features first.
Exchange services within the wallet are a powerful feature, but you should also look at whether your android wallet for bitcoin can hold fiat as well or do you have to divert it to your banking account.
Range of Cryptocurrencies
Wallets that can hold a significant variety of cryptocurrencies expand your trading options as well. Even if you don’t get to store anything other than bitcoin in your android wallet, it’s still a positive feature to have a wide range available.
Even though bitcoin up website and apps allow you to hold crypto while you trade, it might still be a good idea to look into bitcoin wallets for android. It won’t just be more secure but will also isolate the crypto you shouldn’t be trading with. This can be an effective capital preservation strategy (from yourself).