Bitcoin is the preferred method of payment for those looking for a high level of privacy and anonymity. The fact that Android took the lead by being the first mobile platform to offer Bitcoin wallets doesn’t come as a surprise, after all Android is a flexible solution that supports a wide variety of features. Since Bitcoin’s first years, Android has offered fully-functional apps that don’t need a central server in order to process transactions. The first versions of these standalone apps downloaded the whole Blockchain, but given the large size of this, more practical options have become available. Nowadays, it is possible to find Bitcoin wallets that use a system called Simplified Payment Verification or SPV. SPV allows the wallet to connect directly to the Bitcoin network, but instead of syncing the full blockchain, it focuses on syncing the most relevant data. Below you will find a list of the best Bitcoin wallets for Android.
Copay is not only great for Android, but it also offers solid performance for other platforms including iOS, Linux, Mac and Windows Phone. The highlight of Copay is its multi-signature functionality, which allows you to set up a single Bitcoin wallet with multiple users, or devices that can be signatories. Thanks to this feature, you will be able to set up a Bitcoin address with three keys, one kept on your phone, another one on your computer then one that you simply write on a piece of paper, just in case. Two signatures are required for each transaction, which can be obtained from your phone and computer. Someone could attack the two devices, to get access to your money. The third wallet serves as a back up in case your devices are damaged or stolen.
Copay also allows multiple users to hold a bitcoin wallet and key thanks to its multiple addresses system. A set number of signatures can be required to process transactions and the system is convenient for businesses who need to allow different users to manage funds. In spite of the convenient features that it offers, Copay comes with a downside. The app relies on a central server to keep track and to transmit transactions. If the server is down, or if it comes under attack, you won’t be able to use your Bitcoin, which would be an convenience, to say the least. While large organizations may be able to use an alternative server, this option may not be available for individual users. Still, Copay is a solution that is rich in features and that offers convenience through its multi-signature wallet.
Created by Andreas Schildbach, this wallet has been around for quiet a while and it was originally named after it’s developer. Previously, the Bitcoin Wallet downloaded the full Blockchain, but since the process has turned into a hassle due to the high amount of transactions involved, the wallet has adopted the convenient SPV technology. With SPV, downloading the complete history of Bitcoin transactions is not required. Apps can connect to the network, check the wallet’s balance and process signed transactions. Schildbach’s Bitcoin Wallet is trusted by millions of users around the world. It is simple and lightweight, and it is regularly updated. The app supports NFC and Bluetooth so you can complete Bitcoin transactions through a different device that uses these technologies.
Ease of use is one of the main reasons why Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet makes it to the list. Since 2013, Mycelium has enjoyed a lot of popularity thanks to its great selection of features. It supports of HD (Hierarchical Deterministic) seeds, which allows you to back up your Bitcoin just by remembering a dozen of English words. It is crucial to keep these words safe as they are what grants access to your money. Mycelium and other wallets that use HD, are ideal for keeping your privacy protected since they use a different address for every transaction. What makes Mycelium stand apart from other options is that it lets you route all your data through the Tor Network with the help of Orbot. This will even help you to hide the fact that you are using Bitcoin.
With Mycelium, you can also keep separate accounts for different purposes. It is possible to add additional wallets and manage them separately to keep track of them easily. Just keep in mind that each of them has to be backed up separately. Mycelium also makes things simple when it comes to sweeping all your backups and paper wallets. To obtain private keys, you can scan a QR code straight into your device, or simply enter the twelve words into the app so that Mycelium transfers the coins to one of the secure keys it holds. For enhanced security, you can use hardware Bitcoin wallets such as Ledger and Trezor, in combination with Mycelium.
It is worth noting that hardware wallets are external devices similar to USB sticks that allow you to store Bitcoins securely. They feature a display that allows you to check transactions. In order to carry out a transaction, you can connect your hardware wallet to your phone, then you can open Mycelium and complete the process. The transaction can then be confirmed in your hardware wallet, ensuring that your private keys are always in your device and that they are only transmitted through it.
Another great aspect about Mycelium is its marketplace, where you can find people nearby who want to trade Bitcoin for cash. Overall, Mycelium is a practical solution that works with hardware wallets and that is easy to use. It allows backup without complications and it is also effective for sweeping Bitcoin from cold storage.
The three Bitcoin wallets in the list offer reliability and features that make them worth considering. Copay stands out for its multi-signature capability that gives you flexibility to distribute funds across multiple devices or users. Bitcoin Wallte is simple and it’s less than 3MB. Mycelium is a fantastic solution that combines ease of use, good design and useful features.