You’ll need a Bitcoin wallet to have an easy access to your Bitcoins. It can look almost whatever you want it to look like — simple sheet of paper, super technological software with loads of security functions on the Flash-medium and so on. The main function of the Bitcoin wallet is to keep secret digital keys that give you access to the Bitcoin address and obviously your money.
It’s clear that it’s very important to provide its security and make it as unbeatable as possible. Moreover, the backups are a must in this case. Technically Bitcoins aren’t even kept anywhere, Bitcoin wallets only contain secret digital keys that are needed to access public Bitcoin addresses and give you a possibility to “sign” transactions. This is exactly the information that is being kept with the help of Bitcoin wallet.
There’s a lot of forms of wallets, but they can all be divided into four categories: for PC, mobile, online and offline Bitcoin wallets. We are obviously more interested in mobile wallets.
PC wallets are quite good, but not exactly very comfortable, especially when you are outside and want to pay for something on the shop. In this case the mobile apps with wallets come to the rescue. They work like an app in your smartphone and give you the possibility to pay directly from your phone, it’s made possible by keeping the closed keys to your Bitcoin addresses right in the app. In some cases you can even use the non-contact NFC technology and pay just by touching reader, not giving anyone any of your data.
The common feature of all of those mobile wallets is that they aren’t fully functioning Bitcoin clients, so that they don’t need to download the whole blockchain, which continually gets bigger and reaches the size of multiple gigabytes. It would lead to the huge mobile traffic and our mobile operators would happily send us an equally huge receipt for it. Anyway, most mobile phones simply don’t have enough memory on board to keep the whole blockchain.
Instead of that, mobile clients are often developed with the help of such system as simplified payment verification (SPV). They download a very little amount of blocks from chain and just relay on other, reliable units of Bitcoin-network to confirm the correctness of existing data.
Bitcoin as a payment method
We hope that in the nearest future cryptocurrencies will spread around the world much wider that they are now, and people will stop seeing them as something exotic and unusual. Moreover, today they already are one of the safest (if not the safest) type of digital money.
Bitcoin nowadays is a modern digital currency that is already pretty good suited for the transactions in the web. More and more shops are taking Bitcoins as one of the options for the payment. Simplicity and convenience of opening the bank account are attracting more and more attention to this currency. And, what’s notable, it’s people from all around the world. In many Asian and African countries the Bitcoin network replaces the expensive and difficult bank maintenance.
In the most forward-minded countries the POS-terminals for Bitcoin-transactios are already getting used in the shops, just as ATMs for cryptocurrencies and hardware-powered Bitcoin wallets are. There’s a true start-up boom going on at the Bitcoin market. It’s turned out that blockchain technology can not only be used for financial calculations, but also for distributed keeping of a data of different actives. There are tens of thousands of other cryptocurrencies already, some of them are based on Bitcoin, some are absolutely independent.
The main reason why Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies rise that fast is the big players joining the market. Investors and their foundations, international corporations, billionaires and even some governments have made it clear that they will support and start using some of those currencies and blockchain technology as a whole — it gives investors and cryptocurrency holders a huge confidence boost. The market isn’t taking Bitcoin as a joke, it’s a financial asset that is volatile, maybe hard to understand and even harder to explain, but absolutely real and functioning.