A Bitcoin wallet is loosely the equivalent of a physical wallet on the Bitcoin network. The wallet actually contains your private key(s) which allow you to spend the bitcoins allocated to it in the block chain. Each Bitcoin wallet can show you the total balance of all bitcoins it controls and lets you pay a specific amount to a specific person, just like a real wallet. This is different to credit cards where you are charged by the merchant.



Just like with paper dollars you hold in your physical wallet, a bitcoin wallet is a digital wallet where you can store, send, and receive bitcoins securely. There are many varieties of wallets available, whether you’re looking for a web or mobile solution. Ideally, a bitcoin wallet will give you access to your public and private keys. This means that only you have rightful access to spend these bitcoins, whenever you choose to.



A method for storing bitcoins for later use. A wallet holds the private keys associated with Bitcoin addresses. The wallet does not keep the bitcoins, they are recorded in the blockchain. The blockchain is the record of the bitcoin amounts associated with those addresses. A Bitcoin wallet is a file named wallet.dat and contains keypairs for each address, transactions to/from the address, user preferences, default keys, reserve keys, accounts, a version number, key pool. The data file for the wallet is wallet.dat and is located in the Bitcoin data directory. It is intended that a wallet be used on only one installation of Bitcoin at a time. Attempting to close a wallet for use on multiple computers will result in “weird behavior”. The format of this file is Berkeley DB.


Malone, J.A (2015). Glossary of Bitcoin Terms and Definitions. United States: Lulu Press, Inc

A wallet, in the most generic sense, refers to anything that can store ether or any other crypto token. In the crypto space in general, the term wallet is used to mean anything from a single private/public key pair (like a single paper wallet) all the way to applications that manage multiple key pairs, like the Mist Ethereum wallet.




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