5 Best Bitcoin Desktop Wallets 2018 – Mac, Windows and Linux Supported

If you’re looking for wallets in which to store your cryptocurrencies, you’re prime possibilities would be hardware wallets or online wallets.

Amongst online wallets, you can choose to store your bitcoins in mobile wallets – both Android and iPhone – or in desktop wallets. Mobile wallets are a great option for people who are always on the move and as such need wallets that they can use on the go. They’re ideal for flexibility. However, if you have a mobile wallet, then your private key is also stored in that mobile wallet. As such, if you lose your mobile, you could possibly lose all your cryptocurrencies.

The other alternative – desktop wallets – is a lot more secure. This is largely because desktops are a lot harder to lose or steal than mobile phones. However, they don’t offer the kind of mobility found in mobile devices.

In this article, we’ll explore the 5 best bitcoin desktop wallets that you can use.

Warning:

You should only store limited cryptocurrencies in desktop wallets. These are “hot wallets” because they’re connected to the internet all the time, and as such they’re a lot easier to hack than hardware wallets. As such, you should only store as much cryptocurrencies as you actively require for trading purposes.

For long-term large scale safe keeping, you should use hardware wallets such as Ledger Nano S and TREZOR, both of which are highly secure USB-type devices which you can connect to your computer whenever you need to access the cryptocurrencies.

5 Best Bitcoin Desktop Wallets Reviews and Comparisons

Before you go ahead and check out the best bitcoin desktop wallets, you can go through the following comparative table. This will help you narrow down your options based on criteria such as anonymity, compatibility, etc.

Bitcoin Desktop WalletsSecurityAnonymityCompatibilityEase of UseCheck Website
ExodusOkayMediumGoodEasyCheck
ArcBitPoorHighGreatEasyCheck
ElectrumGreatHighOkayDifficultCheck
Bitcoin CoreGoodMediumGoodDifficultCheck
ArmoryGreatHighGreatAverageCheck

Now that you’ve gone through the basic comparison, you can go though their intros in the following parts.

PART 1: Exodus

Exodus is the ideal bitcoin desktop wallet for beginners who have just started dealing with cryptocurrencies and are still wrapping their heads around it all. It’s an extremely aesthetically pleasing but dumbed down version of several more superior desktop wallets.

However, it gets the job done and the user interface is highly intuitive, which makes it a great wallet to start with. The simplicity of use and pleasing design has helped Exodus gain a large traction in the short period since its launch in 2016.

exodus home

 

The biggest drawback to this platform is that it’s not an open source one, which makes it less transparent. As such, it gives developers the ability to insert ill-intended code into the software and it could harm you in ways you don’t understand initially. When it comes to holding cryptocurrencies, a closed-source platform should always ring some bells because there are a lot of malware programs out there. However, Exodus is quite popular and as such you can trust it.

Exodus is also highly compatible with all desktop platforms – Mac, Windows, and Linux. Furthermore, it also supports various cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum, and various others in addition to Bitcoins.

Read: Exodus Review

PART 2: ArcBit

arcbit home

ArcBit is a basic desktop bitcoin wallet. It’s highly intuitive, however it lacks strong features and it’s also lacking in several other factors such as transparency, security, etc. It’s compatible with all desktop platforms, and you can start sending and receiving bitcoins immediately after installing the software.

The private key is kept in the desktop software. However, even if you lose it or your desktop stops working, you can use a recovery phrase to restore access to your online wallet in another device. The recovery phrase stores a backup of all your transaction details and history.

ArcBit is pretty great in terms of support because they have a “Help” section built in the app and it’s full of FAQs. They also have an email ticket query system built into the app, and as such you can easily contact customer support with any questions or problems.

This software also serves as an HD wallet and it has features to reuse addresses or put them under stealth mode. It also supports the forward address feature, and can be used to store over 150 cryptocurrencies.

Finally, unlike Exodus, ArcBit is an open source program, which makes it quite trustworthy.

PART 3: Electrum

Electrum is currently considered to be one of the most secure and powerful bitcoin desktop wallets in the market. However, despite its efficiency, transparency, and reliability, it’s not the most popular one.

That’s largely because of one reason – it’s not packaged well. That is, Electrum has an ugly and complicated interface. As such, if you use it long enough you’ll get a hang of it, but it will take you quite a while to be comfortable with it. Furthermore, if you’re a beginner, then you better look for wallets elsewhere, you will not be able to handle this,

electrum

Having said that, Electrum is one of the most effective wallets if you get past the interface issues. Let’s start with the transparency – Electrum is an open source software, and as such developers from around the world can upgrade it, develop it, and inspect it. As such, there’s absolutely no chance that any malicious code would be present within it.

Furthermore, Electrum comes with a range of features that improve functionality and security. These features include address tagging, adjustment of transaction fees, and encryption of wallet verification for security purposes. Even all the messages exchanges in the platform can be encrypted so no one can access them besides you.

PART 4: Bitcoin Core

Bitcoin Core, as the name suggests, is a bitcoin desktop wallet for hardcore users and traders of cryptocurrencies. The previous desktop wallets in this list have been SPV or lite wallets, which means they’re used mostly for storage purpose or for browsing through bitcoins online. They don’t have the full copy of blockchain which gives power to approve transactions.

Bitcoin Core, in comparison, is a full node wallet. As such, once you download this software to your computer, you also download the complete blockchain. However, this will take a long time to accomplish, will require an extremely fast network speed, and a LOT of empty space in your hard disk. The Blockchain is 130GB, and as such it will take a long time for the download to complete. However, once you have the blockchain, you can directly approve transactions in the network.

However, only if you’re a hardcore trader of cryptocurrencies will you be interested in this. For regular transactions and storage purposes, the previously mentioned SPV bitcoin desktop wallets work just fine.

PART 5: Armory

bitcoin armory

Armory is a highly secure and reliable bitcoin desktop wallet. However, like some of the previous wallets, this is also ideal for advanced users due to a complex (but sophisticated) user interface.

If you don’t mind the complex interface and are rather focused on security, then Armory is ideal. It comes with the possibility of cold storage and confirmation of offline transactions so as to enhance security. While this doesn’t make it as secure as hardware wallets, it’s still more secure than most “hot wallets” out there. They also use encryption of data to keep all your transaction details and messages complete private.

Another aspect that makes Armory so reliable is the fact that it’s an open source wallet. As such, it’s always being developed, upgraded, and inspected. As such, it’s highly transparent.

Armory might not be suitable for everyone, however, if you don’t mind complexity, it’s the most respected software out there. It’s also highly compatible and can be used on all desktop platforms such as Mac, Linux, Ubuntu, Windows, and RaspberriPi.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a lot of different bitcoin desktop wallets to choose from. You should ideally use hardware wallets such as Ledger Nano S and TREZOR to store your cryptocurrencies.

However, if you require flexibility and if you need to store a small quantity of bitcoins, you can use any of the desktop wallets mentioned in this article. Depending on your comfort with cryptocurrencies, you can choose to use highly powerful wallets such as Armory or Electrum. However, if you’re a beginner, you can instead use software such as Exodus and ArcBit.

Whichever wallet you decide to use, please feel free to comment down below and let us know all about it!