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Cryptocurrency online wallets: the review of the most popular services and their capacities

20/02/2017 00:00
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The Bitcoins keeping at own PC or laptop i.e. local wallet for cryptocurrency is the highest level of Bitcoins security. But what shall be you have to do in case you simply like or need to have access to your coins any time and any place, and you don’t have the possibilities to carry your laptop any time? In such case the wonderful solution will be the usage of on-line wallets you can access from any part of the world.

On-line wallets general characteristics

Such wallets are very convenient during travels, for small donations or internet purchases. The same wallet will be convenient for the operation at non verified resources such as casino, HYIPs, Bitcoin cranes and other sites, where you don’t like your main wallet to be tracked or use it for not important transactions.

 The option of online wallets will be perfectly suitable for novices, as the later are not always capable to provide coins safe keeping and work with “light” or “thick” cryptocurrency wallets at their PCs.

 It is worth to make detailed analysis if the resource is worth trusting for keeping the coins and define optimum amount before getting registered at specific online service you’re your Bitcoins management. We recommend transferring from time to time some sums from main wallet to –online wallet.

During the time of cryptocurrency existence, due to hackers attacks, well –known thefts and accidental losses of big sums the existing online services for cryptocurrency management have developed specific rules and coin protection measures starting from SMS confirmations, multi signatures and two factor autentification till the insurance and “cold” storage of user’s money.

 The usage of online wallets doesn’t require specific installation of any software, by thus not taking PC resources and memory. While such wallets functionality doesn’t differ from the one of hardware Bitcoin wallets and in some cases bear the range of advantages such as Bitcoin purchase and sales, products and services payments, getting the list of address books and transactions history be email or via SMS.

Online wallets types

Depending on the ways of private keys storage, online services for cryptocurrency management are divided into hybrid and traditional ones. The first wallet type is characterized by key separate storage with the usage of multi signature. The second wallet type is characterized by the keeping of closed keys at server and user is able to use back-up copy only.

 The advantages of hybrid wallet lies at the fact that developers don’t have complete access to user coins. The transactions made at such service require common signature of customer and service, by thus providing higher protection level.

The HD wallet technology (seed, secret phrase according BIP39 standard) is the most widespread way of private key keeping, when server dynamically generates key (token) after user enters code phrase. In case you forget this phrase you will automatically lose all your coins, so we don’t recommend keeping it in electronic way in order not to make it vulnerable for hackers. That is why the separate instrument for keys safe keeping is the security indispensable part.

 One way or other online wallets for cryptocurrency are rather widespread now and conduct transactions for rather big sums. That is why it will be quite viable to provide brief review of such type of wallets.

Blockchain

The Blockchain which has been developed by the company with the same name is the most reliable and well-known online service for Bitcoins and other cryptocurrency management. The amount of active users estimates more than two millions of people around the world.

This online wallet has the following advantages:

  • Online operations simplicity and comfort
  • High security level – SMS-code and 2FA;
  • Operator high reliability;
  • Storage of closed keys and addresses at developers’ servers in encrypted mode;
  •  The user gets access to the coins after opening Blockchain.info web site in browser;
  • Presence of Russian version;
  • Mobile applications for two the most popular ОС – Android и iOS;
  • Option of private keys export.

Blockchain wallet conducts tens thousands of transactions every day. The overall amount of money conducted via this service estimated more than twenty million dollars.

Coinkite

Coinkite wallet is a hybrid multicurrency web wallet developed by well known Canadian company, which also provides the service of debit cards and POS terminals servicing. Coinkite offers immediate transfer of lightcoins and Bitcoins via terminal bank account or credit card in US or Canada without conversion fees.

This online wallet has the following advantages:

  • Separate or common keeping of closed keys;
  • Multilanguage interface including Russian version;
  • Mobile version for both popular OS: iOS, Android;
  • High level of security: 2FA, extended multi signature, e-mail and SMS confirmations;
  • Unique multi signature system;
  • Operator high reliability.

The absence of closed keys export option shouldn’t be considered as Coinkite disadvantage. There is no necessity in it due to unique system off formation of multi signature to transactions. Around 15 users can participate at signing! At the same time online service doesn’t keep closed keys, or can store some back-ups in case if user loses them. In case of multi signature refusal closed keys are stored at operator only. But the developers promise that in case of service closure or failure they will send symmetrical keys which can be imported to closed keys and move transactions history to another wallet.

Coinkite provides the option of mobile connection payment via Bitcoin, Blackcoin and Litecoin by means of money sending via SMS or e-mail.

 Besides traditional usage of online wallet, which is perfectly compatible to all browsers, the Coinkite provides POS terminals and other trade instruments for sales points.

Coinbase

The Coinbase became popular not only as the service providing users with online wallets but as well as payment gateway used by many retailers for getting Bitcoins from retail sales.

The Coinbase wallet is bright representative of traditional online wallets with control over secret keys from server. But despite this fact the amount of its users grows due to the following factors:

  • Popular name of developer company;
  • Option of direct sales and purchase of Bitcoins;
  • Convenience of products payment during sales and purchase;
  • Successful functioning in 24 countries of the world;
  • Presence of mobile version at two operational systems: iOS, Android;
  • Security in accordance to 2FA and the option of “cold” storage.

The distinctive trait of Coinbase wallet, each user should know about is the specific procedure of money withdrawal to bank card, supposing both user (screenshot of ID) and bank verification during first purchase of cryptocurrency in euro or US dollars. In the latter case user should transfer currency to Coinbase bank details having provided his bank details.

 The transaction immediate confirmation is another advantage of the service. The disadvantage is at the fact of closed keys export impossibility and only partial Russian language localization.

BitGo

The BitGo online wallet is distinguished by high security level. Each transaction requires two signatures due to which Bit coins are protected from various malware. The BitGo platform doesn’t have entire access to user’s coins: the later has two secret keys. The third one is kept on the server as back-up copy. Besides this the wallet usage is possible after two factor authentification. Such security measure completely offsets the necessity of private keys export.

 The presence of additional options for business customers, money insurance is the К особенностям BitGo specific trait which became available since 2015 after developer has signed cooperation agreement with Innovation Group LLC.

 The most significant drawback of this online wallet is the absence of mobile version and product Russian localization

GreenAddress

GreenAddress – is the first project of Russian developer, performed with professional approach. Service offers multi0platform online wallets with rather huge amount of functions:

  • Each transaction is done with an application of multi signature, while automatically signed transaction а автоматически подписанная операция (nLockTime) allows user to wait for selected time and get access to the coins in case of resource sudden closure;
  •  Possible setting of limits for the amounts of transactions for a specific period of time;
  • All transactions for online wallet are transferred to new automatically generated address;
  • Option of cryptocurrency sending to followers on Twitter, friends in Facebook, to phone number or e-mail.

Despite the operator low reliability the online wallet allows rather safe management of the coins you have. This became possible due to the incorporation of such technologies as 2FA, PIN-code, HD wallet (seed, secret phrase).

The presence of mobile applications for iOS, Android, and ChromeOS is another advantage of GreenAddress.

Hive

Hive – is a multicurrency online wallet supporting Lightcoins and Bitcoins.

You can get access to the wallet via any browser after entering key phrase. The same process occurs in case of necessity of cryptocurrency management from mobile device, while it will be necessary to enter key phrase when entering from browser or via Android or IOS application. The secret phrase is the wallet key so it is important to take care about its safe keeping.

The keeping of closed keys is done using HD wallet technology (seed, secret phrase) meaning the absence of export necessity.

Hive online wallet for MAC supports BIP70 protocol used in the popular payment gateways – Coinbase, BitPay, and various sellers accepting Bitcoin

The service is without Russian interface.

StrongCoin

StrongCoin has started to function in 2011 and is one of the first online wallet for cryptocurrency management. The developers consider these service as hybrid one. But generally speaking it is not like that. The payments are processed in browser and private keys storage is done at server in encrypted mode. It is always possible to export closed keys.

Service differs by

  • The option of creation unlimited amount of bitcoin addresses:
  • Understandable interface
  • Option of cryptocurrency purchase from verified sellers;
  • Affiliate program: user can get reward for the transactions of invited users.

The absence of mobile version and Russian interface is the strong coin minus.

Xapo

Xapo – is online wallet from the company the owner of Bitcoin cold storage. The users’ coins are stored at protected servers in autonomous mode without connection to Internet. The high level of cryptocurrency safety is provided by servers located at former military bunker in Switzerland Alps.The overall security of land network is controlled by X-ray satellite system.

The online Haro wallet provides comfortable usage of Bitcoin wallet via PC or laptop, mobile device and insured “cold” storage in safe. The trait specific peculiarity is the connection of Haro debit card which you can use for payments around the world.

 The main drawback of this online wallet is the absence of modern security measures. It supposes user de-anonimizing provision of documents and telephone number. Another drawback is the absence of Russian interface which causes some inconveniences.

Summary

The simplicity and comfort, additional functions of online wallets are sure to be serious arguments but in any case when selecting the gateways for internet investments transactions we recommend verification before trusting.

First of all it is recommended to pay attention to the place of private keys storage and the option of coins saving in case of service sudden closure or claims from operators behalf. The optimum selection is the service which doesn’t store users’ keys on server and uses the combination of several modern technologies such as: 2FA, HD wallet, multi signature and back-up keys as security measure. The same situation is with the user’s responsibility for his money safety. Everything is like with hardware wallets.

The reliability is the second index you should take into account when selecting online wallet- duration of completes functioning, financial indices, reputation the presence of other services and products. But there are specific nuances here, important operators are rather conservative about new technologies implementation.

In case if you select traditional online wallet with operators control of private keys the option of back-up copy export is important as well.

BitGo, Coinkite and GreenAddress are the most safe and flexible wallets among all presented in report. On the other hand, Coinbase и Blockchain are the “monsters” of cryptocurrency business and have completely clear reputation despite the fact of technologies oldness. Recently these systems have earned so0me negative reviews about service complete control of closed keys of users.

Bear in mind that the work of such companies is regulated by the legislation of the country where they are registered. This makes company observe various requirements including AML policy. So you should be ready that you might be required to pass identification and provide proofs of your cryptocurrency origin like in usual banks.

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