ExpressVPN reviews the three best Bitcoin wallets for iOS
Last Updated: Aug 17, two thousand seventeen @ Trio:Eighteen pm
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As recently as 2014, there was only one Bitcoin wallet for iOS — but then it got banned.
Bitcoin users could not keep and spend Bitcoins with their iPhones in a safe and legal manner, despite the most popular wallet being downloaded 120,000 times before it was banned.
In protest of the ban, over 6,000 people signed a petition on switch.org, while others vowed to ruin their iPhones, with one user on reddit even promising a free Google Nexus to everyone who posted a movie of themselves smashing their iPhone.
Remarkably, the Reddit post received over two thousand five hundred upvotes, but was later liquidated from r/all for reasons unknown.
There’s Now Slew of Bitcoin Wallet Choice for iOS Users
Today, ExpressVPN found over thirty Bitcoin wallets in the Apple AppStore, just by quickly glancing through a search for ‘Bitcoin Wallet.’ Tho’ not all wallets are set on equal footing; some are more centralized than others, making them vulnerable to DDoS attacks. While your funds are not put at risk by a DDoS, you could potentially be shut out of your account for the duration of the attack, which is exceptionally frustrating.
Securing your Bitcoin is vital and how a wallet treats the encryption of your keys is significant. Some wallets host your encrypted keys on a server, while others store them on your phone. It is considerably more safe to keep the keys to your funds on your phone and never permit them to leave your device, but this makes a backup procedure necessary in case your phone gets lost or bruised.
These are ExpressVPN’s beloved Bitcoin wallets for iOS.
Breadwallet – Open Source and Fine UI
Breadwallet’s main advantage lies in being a standalone Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) wallet. This means there is no Breadwallet server, just the app. The app connects directly to the Bitcoin network to fetch your balances and broadcast your transactions.
Breadwallet is assured to have 100% of uptime, just like the Bitcoin network.
Keys are only kept on the mobile phone, so you need to make sure they’re decently backed up. But as long as you have not rooted your iPhone, and it’s secured with a good enough passcode (ExpressVPN recommend six digits), you are at a very low risk of hacking.
Keeping secure backups can be difficult, tho’. Breadwallet gives you a backup phrase consisting of thirteen English words and anyone with access to these words can get hold of your Bitcoins, so you need to store them cautiously. You should under no circumstances make a screenshot of these words or copy them into any electronic document unless it is very well encrypted. Your password manager might be a good place, but otherwise, it is very likely safest to simply write them down by arm (never print them out) and store the chunk of paper somewhere safe, for example in a safety deposit box or at a secret location.
Breadwallet automatically calculates the required network fee and does not permit you to switch it. As Bitcoin fees have become rather significant over the past few months, ExpressVPN is ripped inbetween not wanting to overpay, but knowing underpayment can lead to transactions being stuck in limbo for a few hours, or even days. In ExpressVPN’s tests, about US$ 0.03 – 0.05 per transaction seemed enough to see payments confirmed within a few blocks, albeit fees (as recommended by Breadwallet) have spiked to as much as US$ 0.50. This is not Breadwallet’s fault, in fact, their fee estimation seems to be very sophisticated.
Breadwallet Pros and Cons
- Open-source wallet with superb usability and plain user interface
- 100% uptime and effortless backup mechanism
- Reliable fee estimation, but no extra features
- Denominates all values in bits (one millionth of a Bitcoin), which can be fine, but also confusing
- No incoming funds notifications
Copay – Lots of Features
Copay was built by the Bitcoin payment processor, Bitpay, and borrows its name from an insurance term. A copayment usually describes the process of an insured patient covering part of the payments for prescription drugs or medical treatment.
In Bitpay’s terms, a copayment is a payment signed off by numerous parties. You can for example create such an address to secure your organization’s donations, which is what The Qubes Project does.
Copay is by far the most user-friendly multi-signature wallet out there, and as such is worth high praise.
With Copay you can create such multi-signature wallets for up to six copayers. These copayers do not need to be separate individuals, you can, for example, create a wallet with three copayers that requires two signatures per transaction (called a 2-of-3 transaction).
A copayer could be a phone in the mitts of a director of your organization, but it could also be your phone, your computer, or even a paper backup. Every time a transaction is made, it needs to be confirmed by two different methods, just like two-factor authentication. This makes sure that even if your computer or phone were hacked, an attacker could not steal the funds. They would need to hack both devices at the same time, arguably far more difficult.
Unluckily, such multi-signature transactions put a more strong fountain on the Bitcoin blockchain, meaning they are significantly more expensive than regular transactions. A 2-of-3 transaction, for example, is about two to three times as expensive as a normal transaction.
Another plus of Copay is the amount of features it supports. You can have many wallets at the same time, and give them each different names and colors. You can also switch the URL of the wallet service, which is fine if you want to run your own system — something a company might want to do to reduce their dependency on Bitpay. You can add an email address to receive wallet notifications, or set extra ‘spending passwords’ for each of your wallets.
Copay also comes with integrations for the Ledger and Trezor hardware wallets.
Coplay Pros and Cons
- High powered, easy-to-use multi-signature wallet
- Lots of features
- Depends on a centralized server for key-management — risky for outages. Sends notifications for incoming funds.
Luxstack – Fantastic Integrated Options
ExpressVPN doesn’t indeed understand why this wallet gives the option to add a profile picture, but it gives a wallet a nice private touch at least.
The Luxstack wallet is lean and effortless to navigate, and most likely no other wallet lets you commence making transactions quicker.
The backup process works the same as the other wallets but offers a different way to create an encrypted seed, however it’s not as slick as that of Copay’s or Breadwallet’s system.
To backup your wallet you have the option to inject your phone’s password, then select a fresh password just for the recovery seed. This can then be copied and pasted into your encrypted backup and saved anywhere.
As the wallet backup is only secured with a four-digit password using this method, it will very likely not withstand a brute-force attack, so ExpressVPN recommends that you only put it in your password manager, or not use this feature at all.
Useful features include being able to view Bitcoin markets from within the app, and support for Apple Observe.
The app uses a immobilized fee (100 bits) for a transaction, which might at times be too much, or during periods of high request for Bitcoin transactions, too little, leading to delays and confusion.
Luxstack Pros and Cons:
- Supports Apple Witness
- Integrated options to witness markets
- Confusing backup options. Better stick to writing down backup on a chunk of paper!
Breadwallet Is ExpressVPN’s Beloved Bitcoin Wallet for iOS
Breadwallet is ExpressVPN’s clear beloved. The app feels exceptionally slick, is effortless to use, and always gets the fees right.
Bitpay’s Copay has turned the complicated process of making multi-signature wallets effortless to use. If you are holding funds for an organization, this should be your number one choice, even if it is more centralized than the others.
If you are a trader or own an Apple Witness, Luxstack will very likely be your very first choice.
All of the wallets ExpressVPN surveyed give a different address each time you make a transaction. This is good for privacy, but by far does not make your transactions anonymous. If you require a high level of privacy or anonymity, check out ExpressVPN’s Guide to Bitcoin Anonymity.