Bitcoin Core Review
The Bitcoin Core wallet was the first, and has been trudging along ever since. Not the fanciest, but has the longest track record of success.
- Full Node
- Bitcoin’s OG, seven years and counting
- Run the full node and contribute to the network!
- Segwit Compatible!
- Hasn’t really kept up with those newfangled wallets
- Desktop only
This is the mothership. Download Bitcoin QT, become a full node, and join the revolution. While this isn’t the best wallet, or the most convenient, or the most secure, or the easiest to use, or the prettiest, it IS the oldest and has passed the test of time. If you prefer a more mature partner – with all the charm that entails – this is the one for you.
Head over to bitcoin.org and download the bitcoin core wallet. When you first get the client up and running, you will notice a box at the bottom called “synchronizing with the network”. As bitcoin core is a full node, get ready for a long wait, as you begin to download close to 8 years worth of blockchain records! PRO TIP: If the syncing seems to get stuck, click the “reload” sign. Learned that one from experience.
While you are waiting, you can go ahead and take care of some house keeping. Click on settings, and select “encrypt wallet”. You’ll be prompted to enter a new passphrase – 10 or more characters or eight or more words. Once you have encrypted the wallet it is entirely up to you to remember your passphrase! Failure to do so will render your bitcoin lost FORVER!!!
After you’ve encrypted the wallet, be sure to create a backup. This is best done on a usb drive or somewhere that is not the same computer upon which bitcoin core is running. The purpose of the backup is, after all, to be able to replicate the wallet elsewhere – most preferably on an encrypted USB drive. Simply navigate to file, select backup wallet, and save the .dat file to the drive.
The bitcoin core wallet
OK, so this is the grandaddy, the wallet which started them all. This is where Satoshi sent his first mined bitcoins, and the wallet provider in which they, along with another 979,950 still sit today. Using the core wallet means you are acting as a full node, making your altruistic contribution to the network. It also means, of course, that it you are missing out on many of the fancy bells and whistles of wallets which have come after it. Bitcoin Core is not an HD wallet. The client, by default, sets up with 100 addresses, one of which is used for each transaction or click on “new address”. After you have eaten through those 100 addresses, you’ll need to backup the wallet. Changing the passphrase requires backing up the wallet. Importing new private keys requires backing up the wallet. If and when you need to restore your wallet, it will only restore to the last backup point – this can be vital if additional private keys have been imported.
After you’ve sorted the admin, you can get on with requesting or sending bitcoin. The Spartan client has four tabs, overview, send, receive and transactions. Overview shows you the wallet balance and recent transactions. The send tab has a “pay to” bar, next to which you’ll find a button for your address book, in which you may add bitcoin addresses and label them, and a paste button. You can choose to deduct any fee from the amount – a few which can be adjusted based on your required confirmation time, but comes with a recommended level – and clicking send gets the job done. The receive tab is…for receiving bitcoin. You can basically stick a message into a payment request form, which generates a QR code and address you can save or copy to send via email or sms.
And there you have it, more or less.
Well, Satoshi Nakamoto uses it. What, you think you are better than Satoshi Nakomoto? Do you even lift, bro?