The most important decision you can make is not what cryptocurrency to invest in, but where you store it. This is because the cryptocurrency world is rife with stories of hacked exchanges and lost wallet keys.
It is crucial to choose the best wallet to store your Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies so they are safe. The good news is that there are a lot of high quality wallets, especially for Bitcoin.
Electrum was created by a German software developer called Thomas Voegtlin, who estimates that up to 10% of all Bitcoin transactions are sent using the client. Electrum is one of the most well known and trusted Bitcoin wallets available.
Electrum is a desktop client. What this means is that your funds are stored locally on your computer instead of on an exchange or on an online wallet. This means that hackers do not have any access to your funds, unless your computer is compromised.
There are sites such as Blockchain.info that are as robust as an online wallet can be, but this is never as safe as a desktop client which is not connected to the internet. With Electrum, your recovery seed is never exposed to any type of network. If it was, then hackers could steal the seed and access your wallet from another device, which is obviously not good.
Note that your computer is still connected to the internet so it is possible for hackers to gain access to your computer and thus your wallet. However, it is still far safer than keeping your funds online in an exchange or online wallet because hacking an individual computer can be more difficult and the hackers can’t know what is on your computer. Hackers normally target online exchanges instead as they know that millions of dollars are stored there.
It is also easier for hackers to use phishing scams than to try to infiltrate individual computers or wallets. This is where a fake website is created that pretends to be the official site to download wallets. The user then downloads the wallet from the “official” site and the fake wallet diverts all funds to the hacker’s account.
Electrum is open source so the code can be reviewed. One of the reasons it is so highly regarded is because of its age. It has been around since 2011, making it one of the very first desktop wallets. Ever. It is fast, safe and private with large community backing.
Electrum’s installation process is very simple and straightforward, but it isn’t very beginner friendly, which is its main disadvantage. Electrum has an incredibly basic interface which some have said is almost too basic, though it gets the job done and is easy to use.
It lacks the sophisticated user interface and smooth features of many of the more recent clients. Electrum is integrated with many hardware wallets such as the Ledger Nano S and Trezor.
Like Electrum, Mycelium have been in the cryptocurrency game for a long time. In fact, the company was founded before Bitcoin, back in 2008.
The developers are well known and are trusted by many in the cryptocurrency community. It is a very popular wallet and one of 3 released by MyCelium.
MyCelium is mainly known for being a mobile wallet to send and receive Bitcoin. It is widely regarded as the best Bitcoin mobile wallet on the market, and won an award for this in 2014 from Blockchain.info.
It is free to use with a tiny fee based on mining difficulty. It is compatible with Android and iPhone. Many users report that is operates far more efficiently on Android as opposed to iOS.
MyCelium is not 100% open source, as it operates under a closed license. This means it is available for review but you can’t do anything with it. One advantage of MyCelium over Electrum is that the interface is a little better.
Like Electrum, MyCelium is integrated with Trezor and the Ledger Nano S. This is a very important feature as you can have the ultimate security with a hardware device and transfer funds from the hardware device to your MyCelium account, which is slightly less safe (but still very safe) and much more convenient.
MyCelium has more features than Electrum and the setup is quick and easy. It is closer to bridging the gap between fiat money and cryptocurrencies, which is its stated aim.
The Bitcoin world loves MyCelium and there are very few negative reviews, which is exceedingly rare in the cryptocurrency industry where users are often frustrated with the technology.
Its popularity is mainly due to the ease of use and flawless design. It is so easy to send and receive Bitcoin with your smartphone and a QR code thanks to MyCelium.
Electrum v MyCelium Summary
Both wallets are highly secure and are similar in many ways. Both are free and the fees depend on the mining difficulty. Electrum is built for desktop use while MyCelium is built for mobile use.
So basically if you are looking for a desktop wallet then Electrum is the way to go and if you are looking for a mobile wallet then MyCelium is the appropriate choice.
Which one is safer is up for debate. There is an argument that hackers will target desktop clients first, especially Windows.
However, MyCelium has to be run on a network connected phone but you can run Electrum in offline mode which protects the private keys.
Either way, both wallets are highly secure and very unlikely to be hacked at the present time. Aside from hardware wallets both are as good as it gets.
If you were to review all of the online commentary, you would possible find that developers and cryptocurrency enthusiasts are more in favor of MyCelium, mainly because it is easier to use. Then again, with MyCelium you will be looking at a small screen on a smartphone, so it is really geared only towards those looking for mobile wallets.
They have different purposes and the majority of users will prefer to install desktop clients with Electrum. Electrum for long term storage and MyCelium for a wallet that gives a mix of security and ease of use.