TIPS TO SET UP A BITCOIN WALLET FOR BEGINNERS

INTRODUCTION

This article will help you set up your first Bitcoin wallet. The process is simplified into simple steps for you to follow. This will be a guide to help you set up your Bitcoin wallet. We shall use two different wallets (types) –

A. Blockchain.com Wallet

B. Atomic Wallet.

They are both easy-to-setup wallets, particularly for beginners

There are two broad categories of wallets – the Custodial Wallet and the Non-Custodial Wallet.

The custodial wallets are usually integrated with a crypto exchange and you do not have the private keys. The third party holds the private keys and manages the movement of your bitcoins on your behalf. We will be setting up blockchain.com wallet as the custodial wallet option.

Non-custodial wallets are the preferred wallet of choice as they give you access to your private keys. The responsibility of managing the wallet and ensuring the security of the private keys is yours to handle. We shall be setting up an Atomic Wallet to demonstrate for the Non-custodial wallet.

A. Blockchain.com WALLET SET UP (CUSTODIAL WALLET)

Blockcihain.com wallet is an easy-to-set-up wallet, particularly for beginners. It has several features that are easy to use. The drawback may be that it is controlled by a third party which may not be ideal under certain circumstances.

Why Blockchain.com Wallet?

Well, it has been around for a long while and is one of the most popular Bitcoin wallets. It currently has over 82 million users as of 2022, (according to Statista) and there has not been any reported hack or major vulnerability.

Be aware of the fact that blockchain.com wallet is a hot wallet – i.e., the type you use to make frequent transactions and for smaller amounts. If your goal is to keep a large amount of Bitcoin for a long period (Cold Storage), you may want to consider other options such as hardware wallets (ledger, Trezor, Safepal, etc)

The following are the steps to help you set up your Bitcoin wallet.

STEP 1.

Go to your browser visit the domain https://www.blockchain.com/ and click on the sign-on button

There is also the option of using the mobile application but may need to set up the web version first before linking it to the mobile app. It is good practice to use links provided on the official sites as there is the possibility of downloading phishing wallet applications from the Google PlayStore.

Blockchain.com website

STEP 2

Fill in your email in the column provided and choose a strong password.

The password should contain a minimum of 8 characters (the more the better) and should be a combination of upper and lower case alphabets, a number, and a special character/symbol.

Select your country of residence from the drop-down box and click on “Continue”.

An email verification will then be sent to your email.

STEP 3.

Login to your email and confirm your registration in the link sent to you.

Verification email for blockchain.com wallet sign-up

You will then be directed to the login page to input your password.

STEP 4.

Login with your new password from step 2.

Blockchain.com wallet has a lot of security authorization, you will again be asked to verify the login in the link that is sent to your email.

STEP 5.

Authorize your login in the email link forwarded to you – the second email, and you will be granted access to the wallet dashboard.

Authorization email for blockchain wallet login session

Note your Wallet ID as indicated in the mail and keep safe. It is a part of your login credentials (with your password).

After successful authorization, you will then be granted access to your wallet dashboard.

Blockchain.com wallet is closely integrated with the blockchain.com exchange as well as other decentralized applications. You can explore the different functionality of the wallet in your dashboard.

STEP 6.

Verification (optional)

You may be required to do some verification (since they are closely integrated with a centralized exchange).

Blockchain.com wallet interface.

The verification process will require you to submit a valid means of identification. It gives you access to some of the more advanced features of the blockchain.com wallet.

CONCLUSION

Blockchain.com is a custodial wallet, easy to set up and fully integrated with an exchange to purchase your first Bitcoin seamlessly. You however will be entrusting the management and safety of your bitcoins to a third party.

B. ATOMIC WALLET SET UP (NON-CUSTODIAL WALLET)

Atomic Wallet has had some good support from the crypto community and has so far proven to be a good wallet with a lot of functionalities. It boasts of being secure, decentralized, and anonymous. It is a non-custodial wallet and as such you are the only one who has access to the private keys. There are no KYC requirements.

Atomic Wallet is a multicurrency wallet but a good fit for your use as a Bitcoin wallet.

To set up an Atomic wallet, here are the steps you will need to follow ( and of course, similar to all other Bitcoin/crypto wallets where you will have access to the private keys)

STEP 1.

Go to https://atomicwallet.io/ to download and install the wallet application.

The download button at the top to download the wallet application. It is supported on both desktop and mobile devices. For this demonstration, a mobile app is used. The process is the same for a desktop device.

Desktop View of Atomic Wallet

After installation is complete, proceed to create a new wallet.

STEP 2.

Click on “CREATE NEW WALLET” and set up a good password

STEP 3.

Chose and confirm your wallet password

Confirm your wallet password

STEP 4.

The most important step: Copy and Safely Secure Your Backup Phrase

Write down your 12-word Backup phrase and keep a copy of it in a secured lock. The 12-word Backup phrase or Private key is the most important component of your wallet. Whoever has access to this phrase controls your wallet.

A compromised crypto wallet revealing the private key

The private key or backup phrase in the screenshot is compromised as anyone online can read the details (For security reasons, there are no funds in the wallet and I will not be using it. It is purely for demonstration)

The Backup phrase can be used to gain access to your wallet even if you do not have a password. It is also used to restore your wallet to a new device if your old device gets missing or is damaged.

Some wallet providers will require you to verify this backup phrase, just to be sure you have copied them safely/properly. Access to the wallet will only be granted after you have verified them.

STEP 5.

A multi-currency wallet for your Bitcoin

Explore and start making use of your Bitcoin wallet. You also have other digital assets like Ethereum, Ripple, Binance Coin, and several others included in the atomic wallet.

CONCLUSIONS

Atomic Wallet is an easy-to-setup wallet for beginners. It gives you access to the private key, with no KYC requirement, and no email for signup. It is your full responsibility to keep your Private keys private and stored in a safe place. Losing them means losing your bitcoins (and other assets) tied to the private keys.

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