Airbitz is a great iOS and Android wallet with an integrated business directory showing bitcoin merchants in your vicinity.
- iOS, Android
- Trusted Node
- Integrated exchange offers additional convenience
- List of bitcoin-accepting merchants – with coupons!
- Robust and user friendly at the same time
- Encrypted private key on airbitz cloud servers
Airbitz is an innovative and ambitious mobile bitcoin wallet that, aside from performing its core tasks of security and facilitating the easy transfer of bitcoin to and from the app, are working to create a product that actually makes spending bitcoin easier. To that end they have integrated a comprehensive directory of bitcoin businesses that can be displayed based on category and proximity, and set up a method of buying and selling bitcoin with two different exchange partnerships. Payments can be made using a bluetooth connection, which is quite convenient for merchants in the directory. While relatively unknown at the moment, we could envision Airbitz growing into a bigger player in the bitcoin space.
Upon first opening the app, users are asked if they’d like to allow airbitz to know their location – this is necessary to take advantage of the bitcoin business directory, which we touch on later in the review. If you are interested in knowing the location of bitcoin-accepting businesses, allow; if not, then no need. You will then be required to acknowledge your use of the software, which is open source and is not a custodian of your bitcoin, is at your own discretion, and in compliance with local laws.
After that’s out of the way, go ahead and sign up, which consists of picking your username, a four-digit pin which allows quick re-logins – though touchID is activated for compatible devices as well – and a password for master login and changing sensitive settings. Next, allow camera access – neeeded for QR code scanning, and then allow/disallow access to your contacts. Contact information allows for more easily sending bitcoin to your contacts, and the information is private and encrypted by password. Airbitz, nor anyone else, can see the information.
Phew! You are in!
The Airbitz Wallet
After login, users find themselves in the transactions page, which displays wallet holdings in bits and USD, and offers request and send buttons. Once you started sending and receiving bitcoin, this is also where you’ll see those transactions.
At the top of the screen, and this is true across the application, you will notice a “My Wallet” button. A click on this will open the wallet admin, from where you may create new wallets (click on the + sign, give it a name and a corresponding fiat currency and your done) download a CSV with all your transactions, or download your private key. If you create more than one wallet, this is also where you choose which one to use for any particular transaction. If you’d like to archive a particular wallet, which disallows sending or requesting bitcoin, simply hold the three bars next to the wallet name and drag under the archive folder.
Request a Payment
A click on request, which is also accessible from the navigational bar at the bottom of the screen, opens a page displaying your QR code as well as the full bitcoin address. A click on the QR code will open a number panel from where an amount in bitcoin or USD may be entered. This request can then be sent, via email or sms, and will present the payer with a bitcoin payment request, complete with the amount requested, the address and QR code to which the amount may be sent, as well as the name of the requester.
Make a Payment
To make a payment, click on “scan” from the bottom navigational bar or “send” from transactions. This will open a camera screen, which allows for instantly scanning a QR code. Alternatively, select “transfer” to move funds between your wallets; “address” to stick in a bitcoin address which, incidentally, will have addresses associated with your contacts automatically available to paste; and click on “photos” to access a photo of a QR code from your smartphone camera. If there are bluetooth payment requests in the vicinity, these will populate at the bottom of the screen – click on the appropriate recipient (if you are expecting it of course) to send bitcoin.
Airbitz has integrated broker services to offer bitcoin for purchase in USD or EUR. They’ve partnered with clevercoin to offer the euro market, Glidera for USD purchases ( which can be linked using bitID). For those interested in these services, it is accessible through the “menu” button at the bottom of the screen.
You’ll also find a settings icon in the menu tab. From settings you may choose which bitcoin denomination – btc, mbit or bits – you’d like to use within the account, you can change security information like passwords and recovery questions, add a name to your payment requests, choose which exchange to use for exchange rate display, set daily spending limits, and perform a whole host of useful administrative and security functions.
Bitcoin Business Directory
Which brings us to the bitcoin business directory, which will be a really nice addition for some. The directory is a comprehensive list of bitcoin-accepting businesses as well as important details like address, distance from your current location, hours of operation, description, photos, etc. You can search by category or location, or check out listings on with a map view based on your current location.
Basically, great feature for those who look to spend their bitcoin, not very useful for long term holders. (but then, you probably shouldn’t be holding your funds in airbitz anyway to be fair).
Airbitz is a really lovely mobile bitcoin wallet. There are tons of different features wrapped in a user friendly and well-designed product. It is great to see the integration of innovative stuff like the bitcoin buy/sell functionality, and one can see how this, combined with the business directory and hopefully good discounts, could encourage value seekers to get on the bitcoin train. And of course, removing all the frills, the app is very easy to use, comfortably allows newcomers to send and request bitcoin, and secure for day to day bitcoin use.