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Bitcoin Cash Wallets. Beginners’ Guide

Before you can start trading or mining Bitcoin Cash, you need a place to store it, i.e., a wallet.

A wallet consists of two very long sets of random numbers and letters. One of them is your wallet’s public address which other users will use to send BCH to you.

Another one is your private key, which gives you access to your funds and is used to sign off for a transaction. Always make sure to keep your private key safe and secure, as if you will lose access to it, or simply forget it, you will not be able to access your finds. Similarly, if anyone gets hold of your private key, all the funds in your wallet will be stolen.

If you’re registered with a cryptocurrency exchange that supports Bitcoin Cash, it will automatically provide a wallet for you. However, for the safety of your tokens, it is recommended you store them in a different wallet. This is because exchanges that provide wallet services essentially are in possession of your private keys and, by extension, your funds.

Moreover, there have been a lot of instances of exchanges getting hacked and losing their customers’ funds without being able to reimburse them, and even simply shutting down and running away with the users’ money.

Free Bitcoin Cash coins (How to claim Bitcoin Cash)

If you were in possession of Bitcoin tokens before Aug. 1st, 2017 when the Bitcoin Cash hard fork happened, you are entitled to receive the same amount of tokens in BTH. The methods of claiming your free Bitcoin Cash tokens will vary depending on the kind of wallet you use.

If you’re using a full node wallet, which is a wallet that requires you to download the entire Blockchain, essentially all you need to do is back it up into a wallet.dat file. Once it’s done, simply import it into a full node Bitcoin Cash wallet, such as Bitcoin ABC, where you BCH tokens will be available to you.

Treasure in a smartphone

To be on the safe side, it is recommended you install your full node Bitcoin Cash wallet on a different computer. This is because some full node wallets will use the same data directory, so installing a new one may result in the previous one’s data being overridden. If this happens, you may lose both your Bitcoins and Bitcoin Cash tokens forever.

If you prefer a lighter SPV (Simplified Payment Verification) wallet, which is a wallet that doesn’t require you to download the entire Blockchain, the procedure is a little bit easier. Most of those wallets use a recovery seed, which is a phrase that holds your Bitcoin private keys, and, by extension, your Bitcoin Cash private keys. So, you should be able to access your BCH simply by inserting this seed into a dedicated wallet.

Below is a list of wallets that support the multiple chain verification with links to related announcements:

Bitcoins and a black hole

Paper wallet

Essentially, a paper wallet is just a public and a private key printed together, usually in QR form for ease of use. A paper wallet is a type of ‘cold storage,’ which is the safest way of storing you crypto funds, as there is literarily no contact with the Internet. This makes paper wallets completely unhackable. Once printed out – you can do whatever you want with it: put it in a safe deposit box, keep it under your pillow or even bury it in your backyard. This way, your funds will be safely waiting until you’ll decide to spend them.

The easiest way of creating a paper wallet is saving a wallet.dat file from a wallet that keeps your private keys on your computer, printing it out and erasing the original from your computer afterward.

Bitcoin paper wallet as an origami crane

Alternatively, you can use one of the several online services that can do it for you. WalletGenerator and BCCAdress are the most popular of such services. They are open-source random key and address generators and, most importantly, they use your browser’s JavaScript engine to generate the wallet, which means no keys are sent to you over the Internet.

There are numerous other similar services, such as BitcoinPaperWallet, which will create a Bitcoin Cash paper wallet with a colorful design and offer you to buy tamper-evident stickers, and Mycelium that offers a USB device that you simply plug into a printer, avoiding computers altogether.

Software Bitcoin Cash wallets

Software wallets are installed on your computer or mobile device and, unlike wallets provided by exchanges, most of them store your private keys offline, on a device where they are installed. All you need to do to create one for yourself is download a client to your device and follow the instructions. Many of software wallet clients support multiple cryptocurrencies and allow you to create multiple wallets. Moreover, provides such as Exodus and Jaxx have ShapeShift integrated into them, which allows for instant exchange between various major cryptocurrencies all within the client.

Wallet

Platforms

Electron Cash

MacOS, Windows, Linux, Android

Bitcoin.com

MacOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android

Unit

iOS, Android

BTC.com

Online, iOS, Android

Mobi

iOS, Android

Bitpay

MacOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android

Stash

Android

StrongCoin

MacOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android

Coinomi

Android, (iOS coming soon)

Jaxx

MacOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome Extension

Exodus

MacOS, Windows, Linux

 

Mobile crypto wallet and a chain

Hardware Bitcoin Cash wallets

In the cryptocurrency world, hardware wallets are as safe as storage gets. They look very much like conventional portable hard disks but designed specifically to be used to store cryptocurrencies. They generate transactions offline and on the go, which means you can plug them into any computer to make a transaction.

Bitcoin wallets: Trezor, KeepKey and Ledger

Just like paper wallets, hardware wallets are immune to cyber-attacks and hacking, as they aren’t connected to the Internet. Modern hardware wallets come equipped with backup options and they can be even further secured with a two-factor authentication or a PIN password. These days, all the major hardware wallets are also equipped with a screen, so you can sign for transactions on the device itself.

However, they are the only wallets in existence that you will need to pay for. But they are worth their price, especially if you’re storing a considerable amount of Bitcoin Cash. Finally, as purpose-made devices released in limited quantities, they can sometimes be hard to get hold of.

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