It’s no exaggeration to say Bitcoin has become a household name in tech. The revolutionary currency opened the floodgates to a new ‘Wild West’ of finance that now boasts an estimated 7,800 cryptocurrencies and counting.
For the uninitiated, getting started with Bitcoin may understandably seem complicated. Bitcoin apps take away some of that complexity by providing users with a centralised place to buy, sell, and securely store their currency.
For this guide, we experimented with some of the most popular crypto apps on the market. We curated our findings into a list of the best Bitcoin apps in 2021.
Our Top Picks of The Best Bitcoin Apps
There are thousands of Bitcoin apps on the market, and new ones pop up every day. New users do not have the knowledge base required to know what constitutes a good or bad app, so we did the work for you. Below are our top picks based on the features they offer.
What is the Purpose of a Bitcoin App?
A Bitcoin app is a mobile or desktop app that lets you to manage your cryptocurrency portfolio. It is essentially a digital wallet that enables you to purchase, sell, trade, and store cryptocurrencies. Its purpose is akin to how a banking app functions as a bridge between you and the global economy.
When you first use a Bitcoin app, it will create a unique Bitcoin wallet address and provide you with a private key. The key is essentially a secret password that allows you to access your coins and conduct transactions. If you lose it, you lose access to your coins—forever. It cannot be understated—there have been numerous reports of users losing access to millions of dollars’ worth of coins because they misplaced their private key. Make sure you write down or print out your address and private key for offline storage.
There are many different types of wallet apps with varying levels of security. The more stringent ones will require you to register an account with a government-issued ID before you can conduct transactions. However, many only require registration with an email address to open an account. Once you’ve registered an account, you will have access to a Bitcoin wallet. You can now connect your bank account to the app to make deposits and start to buy or sell BTC.
How to Find the Best Bitcoin Apps
App Design and Usability
The first thing that you are going to want to consider when selecting your Bitcoin application is the general design and usability. Some apps are bare bones and only generate new addresses and facilitate transactions. Others are more robust with features such as push notifications, PIN code security, trading exchange access, real-time payment tracking, and more. The best Bitcoin apps strike a balance and provide users with just enough functionality without verging into bloat territory.
Make Sure Your Crypto Funds Are Safe
If you are using an app that stores or trades Bitcoin, always check the verification requirements before you commit to using an app. Ensure that the app has 2 factor authentication enabled where possible, and that you are the only one who has access to your phone pin or biometric registered access. Remember, if other people have access to your phone, they may be able to access the contents and data of your Bitcoin application. Users who are conscious about privacy can find apps that only require email verification, but they tend to have limited trading capabilities.
Storing Conditions and Tools
If you are intending on using an app that stores your cryptocurrency, be sure that it provides you with private keys. Otherwise, you are using a non-custodial storage solution that may be vulnerable to attack. Users who want a Bitcoin app for trading should pick one that provides real-time data on markets. Profitable trading means having access to minute-by-minute changes, especially in a market where valuable crypto data can become obsolete in a matter of hours.
Is a Bitcoin App Trustworthy?
Cybersecurity is a concern when dealing with digital currencies. There are several security issues Bitcoin holders need to watch out for, including scams, theft, hacks, and data corruption. The best Bitcoin apps use tried-and-tested security measures to protect your assets from all potential attack vectors.
One common security measure that builds trust is KYC (Know Your Customer) verification. It is a security standard adopted by all reputable crypto platforms to comply with government regulation and curb bad actors. It involves providing your full name, a copy of your government-issued ID, and sometimes a selfie. Apps that use KYC are trustworthy because they follow regulatory rules, which means you will legally have a leg to stand on if the platform behind the app does anything shady.
Good apps also follow industry-recommended security measures to encrypt user data and protect your wallet. Some basic ones include:
- SSL certificates – Any Bitcoin app worth its salt will use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates to avoid sending sensitive, unencrypted data over the web. Without an SSL protocol, hackers could steal authentication data or even access your user account. It is a security requirement you should not compromise on when choosing an app.
- Two-factor authentication – 2FA is a standard that must be adopted by every online service, not just crypto apps and exchanges. Once implemented, it adds an extra layer of security to your account by requiring you to provide a second factor, such as a security token, in addition to your password before you can log on. It is a crucial feature for crypto apps because if a hacker uses your wallet to successfully initiate an unauthorized transfer, there is nothing you can do to cancel or reverse it.
For secure asset storage, reputable apps offer a vault that functions as savings account for your digital assets. It provides separate storage with optional security features to prevent your assets from being transferred without consent. For example, you could set up a secure approval process with a group of people you trust. Vault withdrawals without majority approval are canceled within 24 hours.
Secure storage is a big deal not just for users, but for the app platform as a whole. A simple private key is generally enough to secure the Bitcoin wallet of an individual user, but it becomes a vulnerability for a platform that deals with token quantities worth millions of dollars. Bitcoin app platforms that value security uses a custody solution for storage. Custody services offer independent storage to exchanges, hedge funds, and institutional investors who need to store large amounts of tokens. Apps that use independent custodians for asset storage are less prone to hacking and internal mishaps.
Despite taking all of the above precautions, hacks and theft can still happen as new vulnerabilities are exposed. To deal with this uncertainty, some app platforms have started to offer insurance options to protect users from potential loss. Exchanges have also jumped on the insurance bandwagon and offer plans to users who choose to trust them with their asset storage. To cover against personal foibles, such as the loss of a private key or a personal hack, some app platforms even offer personal wallet insurance in exchange for a small percentage of your total stored funds every month.
All that said, there is no perfect solution that will protect users against all possible attacks. However, the more security measures an app uses, the less likely it is to lose your assets in a hack. All of the apps we’ve picked for this guide are licensed and regulated. They comply with financial regulations and follow modern security standards.
The Wild West unleashed by Bitcoin is slowly coming to an end as cryptocurrencies become more regulated and accepted by global financial institutions. Bitcoin trading apps have also played a part by providing a simple and efficient way for anyone to buy, sell, or store coins.
While the world of crypto finance is still in its infancy, you no longer need to tackle a steep learning curve to become a part of it. Find the right Bitcoin app for your needs, make sure it adheres to industry-approved security standards, and begin trading. It is that simple to begin investing in Bitcoin.
Frequently Asked Questions
That is entirely up to you. There is a limited supply of Bitcoin available, which means its value should continue to remain high for the foreseeable future.
Yes. It is safe as long as you secure your private key and store your wallet offline.
Through Bitcoin apps tied to crypto exchanges. It is a fast and secure way to purchase coins.
Yes. Leading exchanges allow users to trade in their coins for cash and offer multiple payment options.
Yes. The volatility makes it ideal for day trading. One BTC could be worth $32,500 in the morning and $35,700 before dinner, and savvy investors know how to take advantage of that.
No. While it is expensive, patterns of prices suggest Bitcoin will remain a valuable commodity for many more years to come.
The price is governed by supply and demand. If the price is falling, then demand is down—for now.
Established cryptocurrencies with a long history and active base of users are the safest to deal with.