Bitcoin wallet starter guide

As discussed before, Bitcoin is a fully digitalised coin. This entails that you cannot store it in a safety deposit or hide it under your mattress. Bitcoins are stored on a digital domain on the blockchain, and they can only be transferred by someone who knows the encrypted key belonging to that digital domain. Essentially, a Bitcoin wallet amounts to not much more than a combination of this address and the matching encrypted key. The concept is straightforward but highly effective nevertheless. A Bitcoin wallet allows you to manage your assets without the need for banks or other third parties. All this may appear to be a bit difficult to understand for now, but once you grasp the gist of it, you will notice how surprisingly straightforward it is.

Lesson 1: be your own bank

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are currencies that are managed decentrally and fully digitally. The cool thing about this is that you can manage your cryptocurrencies utterly independent from banks and other financial institutions. And with your wallet, you gain complete control over your crypto assets. Bitcoin was initially founded based on these ideals back in 2008. We founded SATOS a few years later with the same ideas in mind. 

At SATOS, we choose not to manage the assets of our clients. We believe that the option to maintain full control over your assets is perhaps the most generous feature Bitcoin offers. It may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but on this page, we will explain to you the basics of managing Bitcoin with your Bitcoin wallet. If you still have questions after reading this page, our support team is always ready to answer them! The best way to reach us is via the live chat at the bottom of this page.

What is the best Bitcoin wallet?

On the internet, you will find many different types of Bitcoin wallets. How do you know which Bitcoin wallet suits you best? In this section, we list the different types of wallets and briefly discuss the pros and cons of each type. This allows you to make a better judgement and helps you decide which wallet is the best choice for you. When considering different wallets, you need to take a couple of factors into account. For instance, it matters whether you already have experience in trading crypto and whether the planned investment is only modest or relatively sizeable.

There are four different types of wallets you can use for Bitcoin storage. These are the mobile wallets, software wallets, hardware wallets, and web wallets. Every wallet boasts different features, and there are plenty of wallet providers. We will now discuss the various wallet types one by one.

Make sure that you choose the correct cryptocurrency for the wallet. There are different wallets for different cryptocurrency. For the specific wallets for cryptocurrencies see:

Mobile wallet

It is possible to manage your cryptocurrencies with your smartphone. This way, you always carry your assets with you. Installing a wallet app is usually also free of charge. It is an affordable and easy way to store your Bitcoin. Mobile wallets are also particularly well-suited for the starting investor. Are you going to make significant investments? Then we advise you to opt for a safer option, for instance, a hardware wallet. Your assets may be vulnerable when stored on your mobile device, mainly because you carry it around everywhere and are prone to losing it.

Software wallet

Installing a software wallet on your computer is a bit more secure than managing your cryptocurrencies with your phone. A software wallet allows you to manage your Bitcoins directly from your PC. This option usually also does not entail any additional costs. A software wallet is more secure than a mobile wallet, primarily because you do not drag your computer with you at all times. Equipping your computer with a good virus scanner is also more straightforward than attempting this on a mobile device. If you are considering investing with relatively sizeable amounts, the software wallet could prove a good match for you. Do you need even more security? Then we advise you to purchase a hardware wallet.

Hardware wallet

A hardware wallet is a physical device made for the sole purpose of managing cryptocurrencies. There are a few leading providers of hardware wallets. A new model will set you back a bit over a hundred euros. These devices offer the most secure way to manage your Bitcoin assets. They are designed for more experienced traders and certainly come in handy when you are planning to make substantial transactions.

Web wallet

The final type of wallet we are discussing here is the web wallet, which helps you manage your cryptocurrencies on the internet. Although these might be quite easy to obtain, we do not recommend our clients to use web wallets. Web wallets are often owned by third parties, which are also responsible for the security of your cryptocurrencies. It runs counter to the idea of being in complete control over your assets. Are you considering to buy Bitcoin? Then always opt for one of the three types of wallets discussed before.

How to get a Bitcoin wallet?

By now, you have found out why it is crucial to have your own Bitcoin wallet, how sending and receiving works, and what different kinds of wallets are available. Now it is time to install a wallet. You can find various manuals for installing the most popular wallets in our support environment. If you have any further questions about storing Bitcoin or selling Bitcoin our support team is always ready to help you!

How do I create a bitcoin wallet address?

We have already briefly discussed this subject, but a Bitcoin wallet only consists of two elements. The first element is the public key, your Bitcoin address. The public key is used to receive Bitcoin. You can compare it to your email address. You can hand your public key to others so they can transfer Bitcoin to you. The other element is the private key. The private key is probably the single most crucial part of your Bitcoin wallet, as it allows you to manage your assets. You use the private key to confirm transactions and to transfer Bitcoins stored on your domain. Therefore, it is vital to store your private key somewhere safe. We will discuss later in this article.

Sending and receiving Bitcoin with a wallet application is usually very straightforward. To accept Bitcoin, people will need your recipient address. A Bitcoin recipient address starts with a '1’ or a ‘3’ or with ‘bc1’. It is 26 to 36 characters in length. A typical address looks like this: 19C3nCXNfFwFApex3EPcEfb6JrBLqduBR5. Of course, this is merely an example address. Do you want to receive Bitcoin? Then always copy the address from your own wallet. You also need this address when placing an order with SATOS. When you provide your public key during the ordering process, we will know where we need to send the Bitcoin to.

Sending Bitcoin is just as simple. You copy the Bitcoin address of the recipient, open your wallet app, and enter the copied address. Once you have clicked on the ‘send’ button, the wallet app will confirm the transaction by signing for it with your private key.

As you know by now, sending and receiving Bitcoin is very easy. How cool is it to have full control over your assets? Without the need for institutions like banks to act as intermediaries! Indeed, that is the power of Bitcoin.

How can I securely store my Bitcoin?

The amount of money stored on your cryptocurrency wallet can grow exponentially. You should not forget that this process concerns real money. Hence, you should make sure that your digital wallet is as secure as it gets. That's why we wrote a dedicated page on wallet security and offer you a couple of more tips here that help you better secure your digital capital.

  • Are you storing your cryptocurrencies on a computer? Then always ensure that you have installed a good virus scanner. You are in charge of your assets, but that also entails responsibility for their security.
  • Make a physical backup of your wallet before you start using it. It would be regrettable if you also lose your entire cryptocurrency capital when dropping your phone into the toilet. Most wallet-applications display a so-called recovery phrase during the creation process. Write these words down and store them in a safe spot. This way, you can always restore your wallet, even when your device gets lost. 
  • If your device features 2FA (Two Factor Authentication), it is always advisable to enable it. It provides your assets with an extra security layer, which makes it more difficult for hackers to gain unwarranted access.
  • It's probably not something you like to think about, but one day you will depart from this world. Always make sure that someone you fully trust has access to your Bitcoin-assets. Another way to handle this is to split up your twelve backup codes and -hand them to two different individuals. 
  • Finally, it is vital that you always copy addresses when transferring or receiving Bitcoin. Do not try to re-type them! Besides, we advise you to always double check the address before completing a transaction. For instance, check the first and last few characters.