What is a bitcoin wallet and what is a bitcoinaddress?
Before you can receive and send bitcoins, you need a wallet, from which you manage bitcoin addresses. There are different types of wallets available, you can determine which one suits you the best by doing good research. You manage and secure your bitcoins yourself. Therefore, make sure that you inform yourself well. Secure your wallet well before you do important and/or valuable transactions with it.
A bitcoin address is a little bit like an accountnumber for bitcoin, except not with a bank: anyone with a bitcoin wallet can create unlimited amounts of new bitcoin addresses. You can provide bitcoin addresses to anyone who wants to send you bitcoin. Your wallet controls the unique access codes (private keys) with which you can spend bitcoins. Wallet software does not have to be ‘turned on’ in order to receive funds, but it does need to be active in order to access or spend funds.
There are different wallets available that provide different amounts of security and ease of use:
Smartphone. There are several apps available for smartphones. These are especially useful if you regularly make bitcoin payments. Our advice: only use these apps for small payments, do not carry more bitcoins (in overall value) than you would carry in cash. Losing (access to) your phone means losing the bitcoins stored on the phone. (you will have to recover the wallet with your seedphrase to get your bitcoins back)
Laptop/desktop. A good balance between security and ease of use can be a laptop/desktop wallet. Be aware of the wallet you're installing though. If you install a wallet like Bitcoin-core it might require a lot of computing power and disk space on your computer and it can take hours up to several days before it is ready for use. There are other wallets available that are easier to use and don't require that much processing power.
Hardware. The safest way to store your bitcoins is storing them offline by using a USB-device. These require some investment, but by storing your bitcoins offline you run the least amount of risk in terms of cybersecurity.