Setting up a Wallet
There are dozens of wallets to choose from when it comes to securing your private keys. Hardware, software, metal, paper, each with their own trade-offs. Remember: if you aren’t holding your own private keys, you don’t actually own bitcoin - you just own an IOU for BTC!
- Do not use wallets that don’t give you recovery data; these wallets are likely controlling your keys.
- Do not use paper wallets unless you’re an advanced user who understands all the risks.
- Do not store large amounts of value in single signature wallets.
- Make sure your heirs know how to recover your wallets without you!
Note that it is NOT recommended that novices use the Bitcoin Core wallet. If you want to use a wallet backed by a fully validating node you run, read Securing Your Financial Sovereignty.
- Hardware: Coldcard,Trezor
- Desktop: Electrum
- Android: Samourai Wallet
- iPhone: Blockstream Green
- Web: BitGo
- Extreme Privacy: Wasabi
- Extreme Security: Casa Keymaster
- Technical Wallet Recovery Info
- Wallet Recovery Services (established 2013)
- Wallet Recovery (established 2018)
- Wallet Recovery (brute forcing tool)
Securing Your Wallet
Managing private keys securely in order to “be your own bank” can involve some complex processes if you want to protect against every possible threat. There’s also a balance against making it so complex that you lose access to your own keys - keep it as simple as possible!
- Bitcoin’s Security Model: A Deep Dive
- Jolly Roger’s Security Guide for Beginners (online OPSEC)
- Thoughts on Secure Storage of Crypto Assets
- Crypto Scam DB (list of known scams)
- Documented Physical Attacks
- Documented Timeline of Exchange Hacks
- Bitcoin Security & Storage 101 (Pamela Morgan)
- Cryptoasset Inheritance Planning (Pamela Morgan)
- Coindesk’s Bitcoin Storage Guide
- Cryptocurrency Security Standard (for enterprises)
- Hardware Wallet Comparison
- Securing Your Wallet