Getting a good mobile wallet is a little more difficult that getting a good desktop or online client, for various reasons. Mobile wallets in general are not as secure as desktop clients as they are always connected to the internet and you carry them on your device wherever you happen to be.
Mobile wallets are designed to make the transfer of cryptocurrencies easier, so transfers can be made on the go. They are a bridge between fiat money and cryptocurrency and are increasing in popularity.
All wallets are free aside from the necessary mining fees charged by the Bitcoin network. This has nothing to do with the wallet itself. Below is a review of the best bitcoin wallets for iOS/iPhone.
Breadwallet is not only a top Android wallet, it also works equally well for iOS. This is not the case for all wallets, such as MyCelium, which tend to be better on one operating system only.
Breadwallet is renowned for being both the most secure and the easiest wallet to use on the mobile marketplace. The interface is very simple, consisting of two screens and a send and receive button. It is perfect for newbies because it is so safe and easy.
Breadwallet does lack some of the advanced features of other wallets because it is designed for newcomers to the cryptocurrency market. The mining fee is manual as opposed to custom, and this is definitely a good feature for Bitcoin newcomers. Many set the custom fee too low which results in their Bitcoin taking days or weeks to send.
Their transactions will remain unconfirmed for a long time. This is the typical mistake everybody makes when first sending Bitcoin. It is also quite reliable with a good customer support team, something which is missing in most Bitcoin wallets.
One of the criticisms of Breadwallet is that the initial recovery seed associated with the wallet is not compatible with other Bitcoin wallets. Usually, when a wallet is no longer supported you can simply import your funds into a different wallet with your recovery keys. This option is not available with Breadwallet, should it no longer be supported.
However, it is still possible to generate compatible software and there will probably be alternatives available. The reason for this is that Breadwallet takes security more seriously than their competitors, and if it was compatible with other wallets it could be a security hazard.
Holding your Bitcoin with Breadwallet is safer than holding it on an online exchange such as Coinbase or Kraken. The company does not hold any information about your Bitcoin and only you have the recovery seed.
If the company goes under you should be able to recover your Bitcoin with the help of a few technical friends or by following YouTube tutorials. Breadwallet also features hardware-level encryption and takes advantage of the security measures on iOS.
It is extremely difficult for anybody to access your data. A criticism of Breadwallet is that it is not compatible with hardware wallets such as the Ledger Nano and it does not have much third-party integration.
Despite some flaws, Breadwallet is the safest and the simplest iOS wallet, by a large margin. For these two reasons it is the best Bitcoin wallet for the iPhone. Additionally, the Breadwallet team are currently working on Ethereum support.
Airbitz is new to the Bitcoin marketplace. Initial reviews of this wallet have been very positive, and it is a competitor to Breadwallet in many ways. It is also very easy to use but has the advantage of some extra features and a slick user interface.
Account creation is simple and wallets are automatically encrypted. All user keys and data are encrypted with AES 256. There is no user info required to use this wallet, such as mobile number, name or email. Airbitz is a secure and private mobile wallet that allows users to have multiple wallets per account.
Experienced users will love the active directory on Airbitz. It lists locations where users can spend their bitcoins directly.
So if you are looking for a place that accepts Bitcoin payments for a latte (they are there, just hard to find), then the active directory will have it listed.
Users can also buy and sell Bitcoin directly if they link their bank account. Discounted gift cards are available through the application itself.
Airbitz also supports Bitcoin Cash. It is not compatible with any hardware devices at present.
Airbitz is safe as a mobile wallet, but is possibly a little less secure than Breadwallet simply because the developers of that particular wallet put security above all else. With Airbitz you get a neat interface and some extra features that make spending Bitcoin a dream.
With Airbitz, unlike other mobile wallets, you have access to your funds even when the company servers go down. No other mobile wallet has these decentralized servers right now. The wallet itself is always auto-encrypted, backed up and can even function when the Airbitz server goes down.
Airbitz has the same focus as Breadwallet, but it has a couple of extra features that set it apart. At the same time, it is slightly less user friendly and slightly less secure. The brand is not well established but it will be more well known by late 2018.
Copay is one of the larger and more well-known mobile wallets. It has quite a lot of third-party integration and is compatible with the Trezor and Ledger Nano S.
What this means is that you can keep the majority of your funds on your hardware device and transfer them to CoPay as needed. This is the most secure method of using your mobile wallet.
CoPay was invented in 2014 by Bitpay, one of the largest Bitcoin payment processors who target businesses who wish to integrate Bitcoin payment methods into their services.
The CoPay interface is quite neat and easy to use, which are prerequisites to a good mobile wallet. It is a very clean-looking wallet.
One of the better features of CoPay is that it breaks down the mining fees into “urgent”, “normal” and “economy”. This is far better than having a bar for users to manually insert the Bitcoin mining fee because most new users will simply select the lowest fee.
Who would not select a lower option, given the choice? The result of this however is that the transaction will not be confirmed for days or weeks.
Still, advanced users would like to see a custom fee bar to insert whatever fees they choose. CoPay doesn’t ask for any personal data and also supports Bitcoin Cash.
Many claim that Bitcoin Cash does not work, as they fail to understand that Bitcoin Cash needs a different wallet address. They are two different cryptocurrencies and these negative reviews are unwarranted.
CoPay has multi-signature support and multiple Bitcoin wallets can be stored on the platform. Multi-signature support means that users can own joint wallets, which are joint accounts. Not all wallets have this feature and it is very important for some.
You can buy and sell Bitcoin on the CoPay application and you can also buy Amazon.com gift cards. It is linked to the Coinbase and Gildera exchanges.
However, you still have to register an account at these exchanges to use them. CoPay works with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome extension and Linux. And the application looks great on all of them.
If you are looking for a wallet you can share then CoPay is number one. And you can create up to 12 users on the wallet, each with their own account.
But if you happen to be keeping large amounts of Bitcoin, then there are other mobile wallets which are more secure. Breadwallet and Airbitz are more secure, though they lack the shared accounts feature.
CoPay is easy to use and looks awesome. It is also one of the more versatile wallets that works on multiple platforms. However, it is best used in conjunction with a hardware wallet, due to the fact that it is not as secure as other available options.
CoPay does not have its own customer service team, relying instead on BitPay, which is not really acceptable.
Other Bitcoin Wallets
MyCelium is possibly the most famous Bitcoin wallet on the market place right now. It has a nice interface and extra features which set it apart from wallets such as Breadwallet.
It is geared towards people who are used to cryptocurrencies and want to use the application often, and thus has a number of extras.
These extras generally come at the cost of privacy, ease of use and security. For example, MyCelium is not an SPV wallet and it does not feature hardware-level encryption, unlike Breadwallet. If the MyCelium servers go down it could lead to lost funds, unlike Breadwallet.
However, MyCelium is integrated with hardware wallets which means you can get the best of both worlds if you do things correctly. By keeping a small amount of funds on MyCelium and the rest on your hardware device you are as secure as it gets.
Unfortunately, while MyCelium is possibly the best wallet for Android, it is not so good for iPhone. Many users report it functions far better on Android, however this could be remedied in the future.
Coinbase is an exchange and not a Bitcoin wallet, as they have publicly stated. You can use the Coinbase application on your iPhone and your funds will be stored online on the Coinbase servers.
While this is the least secure way of holding your cryptocurrency, it is not as bad as it sounds. This is because Coinbase is the most secure exchange in the world, rivalled only by Kraken. Their site is regulated and secured and the majority of cryptocurrency funds are kept in cold storage.
Even in the unlikely event of the exchange being hacked and your wallet funds being stolen, you would probably get your funds returned. Coinbase offers third-party insurance on all cryptocurrency deposits and it has become standard to refund customers in the event of a security breach.
The Coinbase application itself is rated very highly in the app store and is beginner friendly and very easy to use, much like the exchange itself. You can buy and sell on the Coinbase exchange through the application.
Just remember to avoid the Coinbase fees by transferring your funds to their GDAX exchange, which is essentially free.
Blockchain is a very popular iPhone wallet with a whopping 23 million users at the time of writing. It is highly rated and allows uses to store Ethereum as well as Bitcoin. It has a slick interface and a good track record. It is the most widely accepted digital wallet.
It is based off Blockchain.Info, the famous online web wallet. It has a security center where you can add additional layers of security. This wallet is easy to use and widely accepted.
The disadvantage is that you have to register with Blockchain.Info and you cannot purchase Bitcoin with fiat directly through the application.
Best iPhone Wallet Summary
If you want a simple wallet that is easy to use and highly secure, then Breadwallet is the way to go. It is both the easiest and the most secure wallet on both Android and iOS.
Breadwallet may not be enough for users who want a neat interface and some extra features. If this happens to be you then you need to get Airbitz, which is moving rapidly and adding new features. Its active directory is perfect if you need to find places nearby to use your bitcoins.
After this there is quite a steep drop. If you need shared accounts then CoPay is the way to go. Coinbase and Blockchain offer convenience at the cost of security and privacy, requiring users to sign up via email. Mycelium is a fantastic wallet that unfortunately has some bugs on iOS.