What is a good resource to help newbies choose their first wallet/s?



While editing the Bitcoin Newb Guide, I realized I can't find a single page that covers all major clients in a Newb-friendly manner.

  1. bitcoin.org doesn't seem to mention web wallets such as My Wallet
  2. The wiki page is not IMO newb-friendly ... one big table, no clear way for a newb to decide which wallets he should try out. Yes, the features are listed in the table, but a newb won't understand them.

What is the best objective resource to help newbs choose their first wallet/s?


  • Objective source (as much as possible)
  • Updated Frequently, preferably user editable / reflects user votes
  • Includes major desktop clients
  • Includes major web wallets / mobile wallets
  • Noob Friendly - just dumping all clients in a big table will scare off noobs. I want a page that, while giving out sufficient information, is well structured and will not scare noobs. The Wiki Page is a good counter example.


Posted 2012-07-14T04:57:19.663

Reputation: 25 852

@Lohoris: no, blockchain.info's web wallet works OK, but their wallet apps (both Android and iOS) are a disaster. Highly NOT recommended for beginners, it will only frustrate them. – Madzi Konjo – 2014-10-22T16:16:23.370

1And and do note the distinction between "the blockchain" (an important part of the Bitcoin technology) and "blockchain.info" which is an independant 3rd party website offering some Bitcoin-related utilities and services. Big difference. – Madzi Konjo – 2014-10-22T16:18:32.373

@MadziKonjo I've had a few beginner friends using them successfully, no problem. No clue why you claim they are a disaster. They can be improved a lot, surely, but disaster is another planet. – o0'. – 2014-10-22T19:23:36.200

1"Just use blockchan's mywallet" is the best guide IMHO – o0'. – 2013-01-07T11:49:48.643

1I'm new to bitcoin, but I just opened an account with coinbase.com to get started. – chovy – 2013-01-09T06:54:13.077



Essentially it boils down to the tradeoffs between security and convenience.

Instawallet is incredibly convenient, but not all that secure (as no password is required, and if you lose the URL, you lose the ability to spend the funds.)

Paytunia was a great shared (hosted) EWallet for a beginner, and there is a mobile app (for Android). A new version of Paytunia is in the works for a 2014 release.

Blockchain.info/wallet is a great hybrid (browser-based) wallet and also has a mobile app (for Android, and for Cydia / jailbroken iPhones). Configured properly, with backups sent to your e-mail inbox, this is probably the best combination of security and convenience.

If you only need a mobile wallet, the BitcoinSpinner works well also.

Stephen Gornick

Posted 2012-07-14T04:57:19.663

Reputation: 26 454

2I've just downvoted this answer, because it is outdated with some examples not even operating anymore. I suggest that you check out the other answers as well. – Murch – 2017-10-19T10:11:59.997


I'd recommend to read up on Bitcoin to understand what you're doing. Then you can find an overview of wallets on bitcoin.org, but for a quick start, the fastest way to get started is:

These are all fairly easy to use, and don't bother you with all kinds of advanced options.

This post was adapted from my answer on How to get started with a Bitcoin wallet.

Madzi Konjo

Posted 2012-07-14T04:57:19.663

Reputation: 756


Great resources here to help you select an individual wallet: https://bitcoin.org/en/choose-your-wallet

Truthfully, having your own wallet that works across Windows/Android/Chrome might be on the tricky side for beginners. If you don't mind a web-based wallet where it's controlled by another party, I'd suggest using Coinbase, Xapo, or Circle as the easiest way to get something cross-platform.

With a web-based wallet, you can still maintain a degree of control by keeping the majority of you bitcoin on a hardware wallet, a dedicated, offline computer that runs its own wallet, or a paper wallet, and then use the web-based wallet for smaller amounts.

Josh Cincinnati

Posted 2012-07-14T04:57:19.663

Reputation: 676

Hi, this answer was moved to another question due to merging. Please kindly check and perhaps edit it to make it fit here. – Murch – 2016-08-23T13:27:29.230


This chart comparing all major desktop clients is pretty good, and is well maintained by a bitcointalk regular: http://dre.natverk.org/compare.htm

Discussion about it here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=83768.0

Nothing about e-wallets, though.

John Blatz

Posted 2012-07-14T04:57:19.663

Reputation: 269

1http://dre.natverk.org/compare.htm link is down :( – Enrique San Martín – 2017-12-09T21:28:02.797


Personally I would recommend Electrum, it's a local wallet, doesn't require you to download the entire blockchain, has good features with regards to recoverability and accessibility. Also you can run it in multiple locations at the same time (something the standard bitcoin wallet doesn't allow you to do), and you can also run it on your phone provided it's not an iPhone.

Other than this blockchain.com provide a good online wallet although I'm always cautious of these as you have to trust the company running the wallet not to make off with your coins. One place I would definitely suggest not leaving them is in exchange wallets, at least no more than you can afford to loose, and for when you make your cryptographic millions Cold Storage.


Posted 2012-07-14T04:57:19.663

Reputation: 841

Running Electrum on a phone, you sure? Is there an Android or WindowsPhone version of Electrum? – Madzi Konjo – 2014-10-23T04:54:15.913


This is a project I discovered to be quite effective at evaluating the privacy provided by each wallet. Obviously in most cases, choosing a wallet is based on a trade-off between privacy/security and convenience and I found this particular repository to be useful at considering various aspects of a wallet.

Open Bitcoin Privacy Project

Various well-known developers and wallet maintainers also contribute to this project, so it should be fairly reliable. As a word of caution though, one must always be skeptical at all times when it comes to cryptocurrency.


Posted 2012-07-14T04:57:19.663

Reputation: 2 282


This site is not really meant for product reviews or recommendations. Anything answered here might be outdated in a few months or years. And it might actually turn out to point to a scam site if the domain or whole wallet is taken over by evil people.

It's probably safer to only point to www.bitcoin.org and follow the steps there, one of which is choosing your wallet. Those people put a lot of effort into thoroughly reviewing and comparing wallets on points that matter greatly (i.e. security) and will try their best to exclude anything bad or remotely scammy.

Of course my initial warning still applies here too: let's hope that domain does not get hijacked or evil people sneak a bad wallet past their review.


Posted 2012-07-14T04:57:19.663

Reputation: 6 046

1Hi Jannes, I've merged a duplicate question to this one. Please kindly check whether your answer might need a tweak to fit here. – Murch – 2016-08-23T13:30:37.240


My recommendation would be to use bitcoin.org. It's the original bitcoin site, and it's also the best, IMO. They include almost all the wallets, from multisig to hardware ones.

But if you were to ask me, I would recommend you to narrow down your search to only hardware wallets, desktop/full wallets. The latter should be used in tandem with the cold storage method, where you host a client on an offline computer, sign a transaction there, then broadcast it using a computer connected to the internet.

Here is an tutorial and explanation for cold storage on the wiki.

My Recommendation would be the Trezor wallet, even though I own a Ledger HW.1.

Definitely one of the best wallets out there, it can take a physical beating, and has great software. It's cold storage for the pros! :)

Whyte the Weeabear

Posted 2012-07-14T04:57:19.663

Reputation: 540


Try https://blockchain.info/wallet it has Android and IOS clients. It is easiest client for begginer.


Posted 2012-07-14T04:57:19.663

Reputation: 117