What Is Bitcoin Core Wallet?
Bitcoin Core is a software on which the entire bitcoin network is run and if you download it you can qualify as a full node and validate transactions and blocks. Bitcoin Core Wallet is a built-in software implementation that serves as a secure digital wallet that allows users to store, send and receive bitcoins.
But the Bitcoin Core Wallet is not for any user, especially those lacking technical expertise, as it does require some time, setup and coding knowledge.
The software can be downloaded and installed on the following systems:
- Windows 7/8.x/10
- Mac OS X
- And some ARM chipsets (including Raspberry Pi V.1 and V.2)
The only supported crypto that can be stored is bitcoin.
Before you can install the Bitcoin wallet client, you will have to download the Bitcoin Core. Also, before downloading the software, your computer has to meet some requirements:
- A minimum of 145GB disk space
- Download capacity of 500MB/day (15GB/month), plus a one-time 140GB download the first time you launch Bitcoin Core
- Upload speed of 5GB/day (150GB/month)
- 1GB RAM
- Compatible operating system
Installing Bitcoin Core
If you meet all the requirements for Bitcoin Core, you can start the download. After you have downloaded it, open the file and get ready to wait.
When you first open the software, the entire blockchain is downloaded, which has over 100 GB in size. This process can take hours or days, depending on your internet speed.
You will then have to set up a password for your wallet. Through Bitcoin Core’s GUI or the command line go to “Settings” and select “Encrypt Wallet” and set a password. Losing your password means that you will lose your wallet’s funds forever as there is no backup or restoration function.
After your password was saved, Bitcoin Core will shut down automatically. Relaunch Bitcoin Core to access it again.
Features of Bitcoin Core Wallet
The core wallet features a very basic GUI and a command line option is also incorporated. The latter will require some technical know-how.
The wallet lacks an aesthetic interface like other wallets, but it does feature all the basic buttons required for performing a transaction. The “file”, “settings”, “send”, “receive”, “overview” and “transactions” buttons are all in a simple bar.
How to use Bitcoin Core
Making transactions is easy. In order to add funds to your core wallet:
- navigate to the “file” button, and select “Receiving Addresses”.
- go to the“send” button, click it and select the “pay to” field.
enter the recipient’s address and set a reasonable miner fee before sending. You can set the fee by using a slider. Keep in mind, a lower transaction fee means longer confirmation times.
Bitcoin Core Wallet Security
Bitcoin Core features a high degree of privacy and security and there is the option for additional security implementations:
- Bitcoin Core is compatible with Tor, which can anonymize your IP address and make it much harder for your real transaction details to be tracked down by third parties.
- As the entire Bitcoin network is downloaded, you as a user become part of a massive decentralized network and benefit from the security offered through it and its members.
- All sent transactions are transmitted within the distributed network which makes them almost untraceable.
- You are able to search through the entire blockchain for your transactions. This enables you to have privacy and security for your transactions.
Bitcoin Core can be downloaded from its official website. Avoid downloading this software from unofficial sources as they can have security issues.
Pros and Cons
- Increased privacy for sent and received transactions.
- Tor compatibility
- You can validate bitcoin transactions yourself
- Full control of the wallet and its contents
- Decentralized community
- Initial download requires a lot of time
- Minimum of 140GB hard drive storage space
- bandwidth limits can affect the performance of Bitcoin Core.
- Not recommended to beginners.
Bitcoin Core Wallet Verdict
Bitcoin Core wallet enables you to be part of the decentralized community as a full node and to benefit from the autonomy the network offers. However, it does require a lot of time to download the copy of the blockchain and the interface, and no key restoration option is availed if you lose your funds.
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