What is a Bitcoin Wallet

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Let’s talk about Bitcoins Wallets. To make it simple we’ll compare it to email.

If you want to receive Bitcoins you’ll need a unique personal address, just like an email. Let’s call this address your Bitcoin address, and just like your email address anyone can see it and anyone can send Bitcoins to it.

Now you decide that you want to access your Bitcoin address to see how many Bitcoins you own. Well, if this were your email you’d first go to your email program – like Gmail or Outlook. The same program exists for Bitcoin and it’s called a “Bitcoin Client”.

So you’ve opened up your Bitcoin Client, and now you need to log in. For email you’d enter your email address and password. When accessing your Bitcoin program you will need to enter your Bitcoin Address and “private key”.

It’s important to know that every Bitcoin address has only 1 matching private key. But each private key can be used for multiple addresses. Just think about it this way, each email address has only 1 password that opens it. But you can use the same password for multiple email addresses.

It’s crucial that you keep the combination of your Bitcoin address and private key safe. Exactly like you’d guard your combination of email address and password. Some people write it down on a piece of paper and hide it away, others store it in an encrypted file on their computer, there are also dedicated websites that hold your private and public keys for you. Any place that these 2 pieces of information are stored at is called a Bitcoin Wallet. Even if you decide to memorize your Bitcoin address and private key by heart, it will mean that your brain is your Bitcoin wallet.

Today most programs act as a Bitcoin client and a Bitcoin wallet together. For example, Blockchain.info will store you public and private keys and also allow you to send out Bitcoins. That’s it! You now know what a Bitcoin wallet is. 

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Ofir Beigel

Owner at 99 Coins ltd.
Blogger and owner of 99Bitcoins. I've been dealing with Bitcoin since the beginning of 2013 and it taught me a lesson in finance that I couldn't get anywhere else on the planet. I'm not a techie, I don't understand "Hashes" and "Protocols", I designed this website with people like myself in mind. My expertise is online marketing and I've dedicated a large portion of 99Bitcoins to Bitcoin marketing.

17 Comments

  1. Thanks for the video. I believe this course was designed to demystify the whole crypto-currency concept. This particular video did just that for bitcoin wallet and client, and i appreciate it.

  2. Well, am not too clear with this lesson #2.
    Anyway, my question is (1) Is the wallets address similar to a bank account number?
    (2) Is the wallet address one use for any bitcoins transaction?

    • 1. Yes, you can say that – your wallet address is like your bank account
      2. I didn’t understand this question, can you rephrase?

  3. Char Carradine on

    Like dude are you kidding me. That video was so short and uninformative. I just have problems with sending and receiving, plus finding someone to practice with. I was making sure I had set time aside for a lesson. Dude, send me the rest if they are all that short. The first one as good.

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