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Bitcoin Wallet – Definition

Bitcoin Wallet Definition

A bitcoin wallet can be a software program which can be handled online or offline in which bitcoins are kept or stored for future transactions. Unlike cash in banks or assets, bitcoins are not typically stored per say in any place, and these wallets only represent access keys that allows you to trade or make use of bitcoins in transactions. Basically, it’s like an over-the-air monetary unit which can only be accessed via an access key, just like cloud data. These wallets assist the owners in making transactions and grant them access to their account balance. There are basically four forms in which wallets are accessible. They include: desktop, mobile, web-based wallets, and hardware codes (basically offline wallets that look like transaction tokens).

A Little More on What is a Bitcoin Wallet

Also known as a digital wallet, a bitcoin wallet merely stores a key to access a bitcoin balance. In any bitcoin transaction, having a wallet is the most crucial step, since no exchange will occur without one. Using comparison strategy, we can liken bitcoin to cash in any currency, and thus, like a digital wallet to a physical wallet or purse. However, the difference here is that our wallets store hold the cash, while the digital wallet holds just the information needed to access the bitcoins, and engage in transactions just like a debit card.

Bitcoin wallets come in different forms, and they include web based wallets, desktop wallets, mobile and hardware (offline wallets). Each wallet has distinct features although they may perform almost similar functions. In the case of web based wallets, anybody can access them through the web if they hold proper authorization to do so. This is because they’re browser-based and can be accessed via a URL code. Examples include Coinbase and Binance.

Desktop Wallets can only be accessed by desktop-based applications. The user needs to install the software on their computer and after that is done, they’re just need to put in the proper details to gain authorization to their information. These wallets seem to be much more developed than the web-based ones since users can easily generate addresses for exchanges using them and they also have the ability to store details or keys in the software. Examples include Electrum and Bitcoin Core.

Mobile Wallets

Just like everything mobile-based, these wallets aim to break the limitations of desktop-based wallets/. An example of such limitation will be quick accessibility since almost nobody carries their desktop computers around. Most mobile wallets are paid apps, although recent ones are given to the public free of charge. Here, you just need to login to your account, and the display of your desktop wallet will be optimized for your mobile. However, it is important to note that different malware might disguise as wallets, so a little research before dumping your details into an app wouldn’t hurt. Some trusted wallets include Bitcoin Core for Mobile, and Mycelium Bitcoin wallet. Mobile wallets are not one-fits-all, so you should download something that is compatible with your OS.

Hardware wallets are the safest method of storing bitcoins. It’s like having money in an unbreakable safe in your home. You know you have something to rely on if it goes south with your online information. Hardware wallets generally command a price unlike others which can be accessed for free. A typical example of such wallet will be a USB drive which can be plugged into a computer, or a mobile-like device whose only functionality is accessing your wallet if authorized.

Safety is paramount in all things finance, and you wouldn’t want carelessness to make you fall prey to hackers who are constantly on the move to break into bitcoin accounts. The best security advices we can provide you with is encrypting your wallet with strong unguessable passwords (don’t use things that can be easily traced to you), storing via hardware devices, and keeping your access details on paper. The last step is crucial as it is rare to see someone breaking into a home to steal a code for an online platform. It is also important in a case where you misplace your login details or forget them. You can also choose to back up your account regularly to save you the hassle of inputting login details each and every time, and also to help you access your account even in a case of accidental erase. Also, make use of two factor authentication codes if possible, and protect your information like you would do your government issued details.

Reference for “Bitcoin Wallet”

https://bitcoin.org/en/choose-your-wallet

https://bitcoinwallet.com/

https://wallet.bitcoin.com/

https://www.blockchain.com/wallet

https://wallet.btc.com/

Academics research on “Bitcoin Wallet”

Threshold-optimal DSA/ECDSA signatures and an application to Bitcoin wallet security, Gennaro, R., Goldfeder, S., & Narayanan, A. (2016, June). Threshold-optimal DSA/ECDSA signatures and an application to Bitcoin wallet security. In International Conference on Applied Cryptography and Network Security (pp. 156-174). Springer, Cham. While threshold signature schemes have been presented before, there has never been an optimal threshold signature algorithm for DSA. The properties of DSA make it quite challenging to build a threshold version. In this paper, we present a threshold DSA scheme that is efficient and optimal. We also present a compelling application to use our scheme: securing Bitcoin wallets. Bitcoin thefts are on the rise, and threshold DSA is necessary to secure Bitcoin wallets. Our scheme is the first general threshold DSA scheme that does not require an honest majority and is useful for securing Bitcoin wallets.

Bluewallet: The secure bitcoin wallet, Bamert, T., Decker, C., Wattenhofer, R., & Welten, S. (2014, September). Bluewallet: The secure bitcoin wallet. In International Workshop on Security and Trust Management(pp. 65-80). Springer, Cham. With the increasing popularity of Bitcoin, a digital decentralized currency and payment system, the number of malicious third parties attempting to steal bitcoins has grown substantially. Attackers have stolen bitcoins worth millions of dollars from victims by using malware to gain access to the private keys stored on the victims’ computers or smart phones. In order to protect the Bitcoin private keys, we propose the use of a hardware token for the authorization of transactions. We created a proof-of-concept Bitcoin hardware token: BlueWallet. The device communicates using Bluetooth Low Energy and is able to securely sign Bitcoin transactions. The device can also be used as an electronic wallet in combination with a point of sale and serves as an alternative to cash and credit cards.

Bitcoin: benefit or curse?, Hurlburt, G. F., & Bojanova, I. (2014). Bitcoin: benefit or curse?. IT Professional16(3), 10-15. The new world of mobile devices offers reasonable likelihood that virtual currency will prevail on a global scale. Currently, the bitcoin crypto-currency model appears to be a forerunner. Bitcoin, a highly disruptive technology, has both supporters and detractors. Nonetheless, in concert with other trends, some form of virtual currency, even if a successor to bitcoin, appears to have a path forward. Virtual currencies will likely gain in stature as other novel, unspecified, and disruptive innovations take hold in a world of increasingly autonomous systems. This department is part of a special issue on mobile commerce.

Bitter to better—how to make bitcoin a better currency, Barber, S., Boyen, X., Shi, E., & Uzun, E. (2012, February). Bitter to better—how to make bitcoin a better currency. In International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security (pp. 399-414). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. Bitcoin is a distributed digital currency which has attracted a substantial number of users. We perform an in-depth investigation to understand what made Bitcoin so successful, while decades of research on cryptographic e-cash has not lead to a large-scale deployment. We ask also how Bitcoin could become a good candidate for a long-lived stable currency. In doing so, we identify several issues and attacks of Bitcoin, and propose suitable techniques to address them.

Highly-efficient and composable password-protected secret sharing (or: How to protect your bitcoin wallet online), Jarecki, S., Kiayias, A., Krawczyk, H., & Xu, J. (2016, March). Highly-efficient and composable password-protected secret sharing (or: How to protect your bitcoin wallet online). In 2016 IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy (EuroS&P) (pp. 276-291). IEEE. PPSS is a central primitive introduced by Bagherzandi et al. [2] which allows a user to store a secret among n servers such that the user can later reconstruct the secret with the sole possession of a single password by contacting t + 1 (t <; n) servers. At the same time, an attacker breaking into t of these servers – and controlling all communication channels – learns nothing about the secret (or the password). Thus, PPSS schemes are ideal for on-line storing of valuable secrets when retrieval solely relies on a memorizable password. We show the most efficient Password-Protected Secret Sharing (PPSS) to date (and its implied Threshold-PAKE scheme), which is optimal in round communication as in Jarecki et al. [10] but which improves computation and communication complexity over that scheme requiring a single per-server exponentiation for the client and a single exponentiation for the server. As with the schemes from [10] and Camenisch et al. [4] we do not require secure channels or PKI other than in the initialization stage. We prove the security of our PPSS scheme in the Universally Composable (UC) model. For this we present a UC definition of PPSS that relaxes the UC formalism of [4] in a way that enables more efficient PPSS schemes (by dispensing with the need to extract the user’s password in the simulation) and present a UC-based definition of Oblivious PRF (OPRF) that is more general than the (Verifiable) OPRF definition from [10] and is also crucial for enabling our performance optimization.

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