Your guide to finding the ideal BCH wallet for you!
Wallets are programs that manage your private keys which are used to acces your cryptocurrency. Most of the time such a private key is represented to the user as a "seed phrase" of 12 or 24 words. These words in that specific order give you acces to your coins which means you can acces the same wallet balance from multiple devices by importing that seedphrase. It's called a "private key" because you should never share it with anyone else! It's crucial to make a backup of your wallet when using any significant amounts, because otherwise you might lose acces to your cryptocurrency in the event of a lost phone or a crashed hard drive. Naomi Brockwell gives a great introduction to wallets in the video below: Cryptocurrencies stand out because they give the user full control over their own money so they are self sovereign. Of course it is still possible to delegate custody to someone else, this is more akin to a crypto bank where a trusted third party manages your money. Confusingly they are sometimes called "custodial wallets" and in contrast to "non-custodial" or "self-custodial" wallets discussed before where the user is self sovereign. Many coins have been lost because of they were left on an untrustworthy exchange hence the saying not your keys not your coins. This website will only discuss noncustodial wallets.
‘Hot wallet’ means the device is connected to the internet, this includes mobile, desktop, web wallets etc. Hot wallets are convenient for day to day use in contrast to cold storage which is more security focused. Many cryptocurrency users make use of both!
'Cold wallet’ means a wallet for long term offline storage, also called ‘cold storage’. This category includes paper wallets and hardware wallets. Offline storage is considered more secure because it's not susceptible to malware like keyloggers, screen captures, etc.
More information on the two BCH wallets featured in Naomi's video can be found below as a quick alternative to comparing many options. For a more detailed comparison on the overview page we list many more Bitcoin Cash wallets by different categories (mobile, desktop, hardware, web & browser) and with filters for specific features!
The Bitcoin.com wallet is probably the most used Bitcoin Cash mobile wallet with over 16 million wallets created. The wallet is very popular in the BCH community because of its laserfocus on ease of use. The user interface is extremely polished as can be seen on the image (you can see both BCH and BTC are supported). Recently the app has seen great speed improvements which make it even more convenient for day to day purchases. The focus on usage is clear from the shop section which features popular business where you can use BCH as well as a map where you can find merchants in your local area who accept Bitcoin Cash.
The wallet is also popular because of its features: it supports tokens, transactions as shareable links, sweeping paper wallets, buying and selling BCH, exchanging to stablecoins, requesting a specific amounts and scanning (BIP70 type) payment requests from merchants. The main disadvantages are that the wallet uses a special derivation path namely m/44'/0'/0' and hence can not be imported in all other wallets and that the app is not fully open source anymore.
The Electron Cash wallet is without a doubt the most popular Bitcoin Cash desktop wallet. While the user interface can look a bit outdated or not for your average user, the wallet is actually very easy to use. The wallet has a great reputation in the community because it has a lot of powerful features and it has been a very reliable wallet with active development since the split in 2017.
The wallet is known as the swiss army knife of BCH wallets because of its wide set of features. The wallet supports sweeping paper wallets, requesting a specific amount, scanning (BIP70 type) payment requests from merchants, cashaccounts, address conversion, tokens, multisig, UTXO management and more! The wallet allows you to specify the derivation path and is compatible with the bitcoin.com wallet. The Electron Cash is the only wallet with the innovative privacy tool Cashfusion implemented and also supports 3rd party plugins some of which bring privacy improvements and others new usecases like Flipstarter. All these privacy options make it the go to desktop wallet for the privacy-minded Bitcoin Cash user. Under the hood, the electron cash wallet does SPV style verification which is another selling point for the crypto enthusiast. Electron Cash also has a mobile wallet for both android and IOS but they are not on par with the capabilities of the desktop wallet currently.
Bitcoin Cash is one of the most popular cryptocurrencies. It is the branch of bitcoin that resulted from 'the great scaling debate' which got resolved august 1st 2017 by a split of the bitcoin community into two separate networks. People in Bitcoin Cash believe in onchain scaling by increasing the blocksize limit from roughly 1MB on BTC to 32MB and by improving capcity through new technologies like CTOR, schnorr signatures and blockcompression technologies like graphene. In contrast to BTC, Bitcoin Cash does regular hardforks to upgrade the protocol which has been used to enrich its smart contract capabilities and improve its difficulty adjustment algorithm (DAA).
Bitcoin Cash has a rich histroy which includes a hashwar again CSW, AKA faketoshi, on November 15th 2018 and a split to prevent a node implementation from funding themselves through the coinbase reward on November 15th 2020.
Bitcoin Cash aims to become p2p electronic cash for the whole world and has a vibrant ecosystem and passionate community that wants to make this goal a reality. Throug a strange quirk of history many BCH supporters hang out on the subreddit r/btc .
A big selling point of BCH is that it works fast cheap and reliably today. There has been an explosion of development happening to improve on the solid bitcoin foundation. BCH has multiple development teams working on the protocol. You can get an idea what new features and protocol upgrades are being worked on bitcoincashresearch.org.