A Bitcoin wallet is a software program where Bitcoins are stored. To be technically accurate, Bitcoins are not stored anywhere; there is a private key (secret number) for every Bitcoin address that is saved in the Bitcoin wallet of the person who owns the balance. Bitcoin wallets facilitate sending and receiving Bitcoins and give ownership of the Bitcoin balance to the user. The Bitcoin wallet comes in many forms; desktop, mobile, web, and hardware are different wallet options. (Source: Bitcoin Wallet Definition | Investopedia)
Edge is a mobile Bitcoin wallet app, easily installed on iOS and Android devices. Bitcoin.com also allows you to download apps and wallets for iOS and Android devices and has a much easier front-end interface to create your wallet. If you desire more flexibility, then Blockchain.com and Coinbase.com both offer web-based and mobile app options. While most wallet setups generally work the same way, we will demonstrate how to set up a wallet using Coinbase.com.
The ”Sign Up” link is in the upper right-hand corner of the main website page. Once you click on it, you will be prompted to enter your information as shown in Figure 1:
Coinbase.com will give you an indicator of password strength, as shown by the green circle. The green circle indicates that you have created a strong password. Blockchain.com takes it one step further and tells you how long it would possibly take to crack your password (see Figure 2). In this case, this user’s password is estimated to take 13 years to crack! Going back to permutations, this password consists of 18 characters, so:
94 × 94 × 94 × 94 × 94 × 94 × 94 × 94 × 94 × 94 × 94 × 94 × 94 × 94 × 94 × 94 × 94 × 94 = ????
…well, that’s a lot of numbers and a lot of different possibilities…
Once you click on “Create Account,” your wallet will be created. Creating your wallet takes a multi-step verification process. In general, you will receive an email with your wallet ID and email verification code to sign in for the first time. Follow the steps to complete the sign-up and verification process. Once you are signed in, you will finish the verification process by providing your personal information, such as birthdate, address, social security number. You will then verify your banking information with your routing number and account number. Finally, you will be prompted to provide the front and back of a photo ID to complete the verification process. This process varies by wallet provider, but the process generally consists of the same steps. (Figure 3)
When setting up your Blockchain account, two small microdeposits will be made into your bank account. Once the deposits appear, enter that information in your Blockchain wallet to complete the verification process. It may take up to five days for the micro-deposits to be made. You will not be able to make transactions until the verification process is complete.
Once everything is verified (Figure 4), you will be able to buy and sell cryptocurrency!