Bitcoin has taken the finance markets by a storm. Interestingly, it is the bitcoin that is considered the original cryptocurrency by many people but attempts to create cryptocurrencies date back 20 years before bitcoin’s creation. We are sure that you must have heard about bitcoin from news and investment websites.
In India, the legal status of cryptocurrencies is still not clear but if you are planning to invest in bitcoins, you will need a bitcoin wallet to store your coins.
What is a Bitcoin Wallet?
Similar to traditional wallets, a bitcoin wallet is a crypto wallet in which you store your money. The only difference is, instead of storing fiat cash or cards, your bitcoin wallet stores a collection of bitcoin private keys. It can be device, physical medium, program or a service.
Crypto wallet is a more befitting term for these wallets, because most of them allow you to store not only bitcoins but other crypto coins as well.
Usually, a bitcoin wallet is encrypted with a password or any other product protective method to prevent unauthorized access. A wallet is controlled only by its owner, unlike the bitcoin network which is distributed and shared.
Types of Bitcoin Wallets
Technology has enabled different kinds of bitcoin wallets. Each wallet provides different features, but all bitcoin wallets are required to conform to the established Bitcoin protocol. It is a mandatory requirement for a wallet to follow this protocol as it enables it to send and receive funds, regardless of the underlying technological implementation.
It is easier to understand if you think of bitcoin wallets as email providers. Many email providers offer some unique features but at the core, they all speak the same language to be able to send and receive messages from each other. Similarly, every bitcoin wallet follows the same protocol.
The main types of bitcoin wallets are:
Web wallets operate through a web browser to send, receive and store bitcoin. Generally, these wallets are most convenient than other types of bitcoin wallets but you have to relinquish some control as web wallets are usually managed by a provider to handle private keys on your behalf.
A desktop wallet stores your bitcoin private keys on the hard drive. As the name suggests, such wallet software is directly installed on your computer giving you full control over the wallet. However, if you do not take reliable backups of your desktop wallet and if the wallet file were to become corrupt, you will lose all bitcoins forever.
These are the bitcoin wallets that are designed to work only on mobile devices. Mobile wallets are light clients that can scan QR codes and can be easily controlled with a touchscreen. Most modern-day bitcoin wallets in India have mobile wallet versions.
Hardware wallets are specialized devices designed to store specifically bitcoins. The biggest advantage of such bitcoin wallets is that they are extremely difficult for a malicious code or a cybercriminal to compromise as compared to any other type of wallet.
How to Select A Bitcoin Wallet?
We often ask, which bitcoin wallet is best, but hardly try to understand what qualities make any wallet the best.
What we are about to list are the criteria we used to pick the best bitcoin wallets for our list.
Private Key Control: In reality, you don’t own your bitcoins if you do not have access to the private keys. It is mandatory to pick a wallet that gives you access to private keys.
Security is paramount: Making sure that the wallet you use is fully secure is important. Two-factor authentication, HTTPS connectivity, secure and strong logins are just a few things we look at to make final picks.
Access: The bitcoin wallet you use must be compatible with several operating systems for easy access. Desktop, mobile, and hardware bitcoin wallets we listed above support most OSes.
Fee: All bitcoin wallets charge a transaction fee. While there are additional charges such as bitcoin withdrawal fee and membership fee, that vary from wallet to wallet. Cheaper fee doesn’t always imply customer friendliness. You have to find a balance between low fee and other features while choosing any bitcoin wallet.
Transparency: It is important to know how a wallet service operates and who they are and most importantly if their wallet code secured and checked for vulnerabilities by the experts.
Anonymity: Cryptocurrencies are hailed for their anonymity factor. When picking any bitcoin wallet look for KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements. As in India, RBI has strict guidelines for cryptocurrency trade, you most probably have to share some registration information to use a wallet.
Hardware or software wallet: If you are going with a hardware bitcoin wallet, look at the price, hardware security features, and compatibility with different operating systems. For app-based wallets, look for the transaction fee they charge and what additional trade options they offer.
Now that you understand the qualities that any reliable crypto wallet must have, let’s have a look at some of the best bitcoin wallets in India.
List of Top 8 Bitcoin Wallets in India
1.WazirX Multi-Cryptocurrency Wallet
WazirX is an India-based crypto exchange that also offers a wallet facility. Regarded as the best bitcoin wallet in India, it offers both web and mobile-based bitcoin wallets.
WazirX wallet allows you to trade on the WazirX exchange and do P2P transactions, that is, buy and sell bitcoins directly. For security, it uses mobile OTP-based authentication and two-factor authentication like Google authenticator.
While deciding which bitcoin wallet is best in India you have to look at the fees charged. WazirX, unfortunately, charges a withdrawal fee (highly competitive compared to other wallets) and also has a limit on the maximum and minimum withdrawal amount.
2.Coinbase Bitcoin Wallet
Coinbase is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. It offers a mobile-based wallet to store bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Coinbase wallet app has a proprietary Secure Element Technology that uses biometric authentication to keep private keys safe.
One of the advantages that make it the best bitcoin wallet is that you do not need a Coinbase account to use the wallet. However, you will have to pay a miners fee when you make any payment using a Coinbase wallet. Coinbase passes this fee on to the cryptocurrency miner.
3.Zebpay Multi-Cryptocurrency Wallet
Zebpay is another multi-cryptocurrency exchange that also offers wallet service. Zebpay is a bit different from other bitcoin wallets as it stores all your cryptocurrencies, not in individual wallets but a secured pool.
This might seem like a risk to some investors but Zebpay bitcoin wallet stores all the crypto coins in cold wallets (hardware type) that are signed using HSM (a hardware wallet security protocol). Additionally, to add another layer of security, Zebpay uses its own proprietary security protocol Omnitrixx to protect all transactions. You can directly transfer your bitcoin to your wallet or other exchanges with Zebpay.
When using Zebpay wallet, you have to pay a monthly wallet maintenance fee of 0.0001 BTC. Fees for making deposits and withdrawals are separate.
4.Unocoin Bitcoin Wallet
Security and ease of use are mandatory requirements for every bitcoin wallet but support for more cryptocurrencies can also be an advantage. Unocoin, is a bitcoin wallet that supports 40 cryptocurrencies.
Unocoin is a mobile app-based bitcoin wallet. This wallet is also integrated with a merchant gateway service allowing businesses to accept payments from customers in bitcoins. You can use your Unocoin wallet to recharge your phone plans and DTH services.
For security, Unocoin wallet uses a two-factor Google Authenticator. You also have the option to store your bitcoins in Unocoin’s Paper Wallet rather than on your device. For bitcoin to a bitcoin address transactions, you need to pay 0.0005 to 0.0009 BTC as miners fee.
5.Ledger Nano X Bitcoin Wallet
This one is a hardware wallet that keeps your bitcoins secure from regular cyber-attacks. Ledger Nano X is a USB stick type bitcoin wallet that comes with a secure chip and software compatible with Windows 8 and higher versions, macOS 10.10+ and Linux OS.
Ledger Nano X has a certified secure chip and a custom OS for offering maximum security. Considering the security features, this is simply the best bitcoin wallet that can help you manage up to 24 coins and 1250+ ERC-20 tokens (a cryptocurrency). You can manage the Ledger Nano X hardware bitcoin wallet with your smartphones running iOS (9+) or Android (7+).
6.Guarda Bitcoin Wallet
Guarda bitcoin wallet offers you to choose between web-based, mobile-based, or desktop-based wallets. This bitcoin wallet does not store your private keys or any other information. When you use this wallet, the public and private keys for bitcoin transactions are generated in real-time in your browser. Guarda uses its encryption technology to secure your transactions and private keys.
When using this wallet, you have to be careful as you will handle all your coins on your own. If you lose your password or backup, then your wallet will be lost. There is no fee for downloading or using Guarda wallet, but for transactions, you may need to pay a network transaction fee.
BuyU Coin is a multi-cryptocurrency exchange that offers wallet service in India since 2016. To keep its infrastructure safe from hacking attacks, BuyU Coin stores crypto coins in a secure offline wallet. Furthermore, to prevent fraudulent login, this wallet uses encryption and hashing along with a salting algorithm.
All BuyU Coin wallet users are subjected to two-factor authentication to log in. You need to open a BuyU Coin account to use this wallet. Withdrawal charges are applied to all cryptocurrencies.
8.Trezor Model T Bitcoin Wallet
Another hardware wallet to keep your bitcoin safer in an offline environment, Trezor Model T wallet can secure up to 8 bitcoins. If you are looking for a hardware bitcoin wallet, then this is one of the best bitcoin wallet in India. For maximum security, Trezor Model T wallet implements firmware signature verification along with a protected bootloader software.
With ultrasound hardware seals, USB connector, and full-colour intuitive interface touchscreen, which bitcoin wallet is best in India?
Yes, it’s Trezor Model T Bitcoin Wallet.
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are here to stay as the technology progresses. If you are investing in bitcoin, you need to choose from bitcoin wallets listed above to securely store your cryptocurrency. Always double-check the wallet you are planning to go with to make the minimum requirements as we listed above.
We hope this guide will make it easy for you to decide which bitcoin wallet is best in India.
Q. Can anyone steal your money from your bitcoin wallet?
Wallets are a great way to store cryptocurrency, but caution is still needed on your part. Just to be safe, choose well-known bitcoin wallets that use the latest technologies to protect their customers.
Q. Is buying cryptocurrency legal in India?
As of January 2021, according to RBI guidelines, cryptocurrencies are not a legal tender in India. However, buying and using cryptocurrency out of the country is not illegal.
Q. Can bitcoin be converted to cash?
As direct trading with bitcoins is illegal in the country, it is not that easy to convert bitcoin into fiat currency in India. However, there is only one Bitcoin ATM located in the Garage Society in Gurugram where you can cash your coins.