Last year in covering some of the top emerging technologies of 2016, we highlighted the Blockchain. This is the electric ledger behind Bitcoin, and for a few years, many in the tech world thought that it, rather than the actual digital currency, was the more significant innovation. This may still be true as we’re still seeing different industries adopting Blockchain-inspired technology for all kinds of interesting purposes. However, the actual digital currency has also become more practically useful.
It seems that with each passing month we hear about new companies, online merchants, or parts of the world embracing Bitcoin. Governments are gradually easing restrictive regulations, store owners are recognizing the benefits of accepting digital payments, and in some cases, the security of Bitcoin transactions (rather than the convenience) gives them a leg up. Lately, we’ve seen the online gaming industry get on board purely because of added security and no transaction costs. It’s just one example, but it’s an interesting one given how simple it is for those factors to give Bitcoin casino platforms an edge on ordinary payment sites.
[caption id="attachment_2695" align="aligncenter" width="800"] BTC vs USD - 1 Year Price (with Bolinger band) & volumes - Source: https://bitcoincharts.com[/caption]
Along with the expansion of Bitcoin acceptance and usage, the digital currency’s value has soared. It has hovered around the $3,000 mark (as in $3,000 per Bitcoin) at times this year. While some argue that kind of strength isn’t sustainable, it has made digital currencies seem all the more credible. Expect that in the months and years to come, more consumers explore the idea of using Bitcoin, at least occasionally.
There are so many wallet options emerging it can be difficult to choose the right one. To narrow things down, here are a few of the top options in circulation this year.
Localbitcoins.com – This has become the go-to Bitcoin wallet for a lot of people, largely because of its reputation for security. The company claims to be as secure as a bank, and also benefits from a sleek interface and ease of use. It also facilitates local exchanges (meaning exchanges with friends and family).
Coinbase - Our favorites, they are a "one-stop-shop" meaning they offer a secure online platform for buying, selling, transferring, and storing digital currency. They not only support Bitcoins but also some other virtual currencies like Etherium and Litecoin. Currently, they have a referral program; if you join using the given link and buy/trade bitcoins worth $100 USD within 180 days, you will get free bitcoins worth $10 USD.
Breadwallet – This is probably the simplest Bitcoin wallet to use, and that alone gives it an edge. Compatible with iOS and Android devices, it provides you with direct access to the Bitcoin network, rather than to an intermediary storage server.
Armory – The drawback for Armory is that it’s primarily compatible with desktops rather than mobile devices. But it also appeals to a lot of Bitcoin users because of its security setup. It’s one of the few major wallets that use “cold storage,” meaning private keys are actually stored on computers without internet connections.
Wirex – This wallet has emerged as perhaps the most direct competitor to Breadwallet. It may be the easiest wallet to use that still covers a full range of services. These include buying and selling Bitcoin as well as adding funds to your account for future purchases.
If case you are in a generous mood, or if you want to try out sending bitcoins, you can always send us some at our wallet address: 138rFBBXu6njkxu9sFyAzgtn2Pomxkat7r - do tell us in case you do, we'll make sure to use that money for the promotion of science amongst youngsters.