Bitcoin is becoming more popular (and valuable) by the day. Recently, we’ve been talking to people of all stripes about getting started on their bitcoin journey. Most often, new bitcoin converts want to know what mobile apps we recommend to help them manage their bitcoin. The mobile bitcoin wallet we’re asked about most—and most recommend for new users—is Bread (previously known as Breadwallet, available for iOS and Android).
Bread is a super simple wallet with an excellent, user-friendly interface and is dedicated to maintaining the highest security. There are lots of great mobile wallets out there, and many have additional features that Bread doesn’t offer, but few can match the easy-to-use design of Bread. Bread makes it easy to buy, send, and receive bitcoin, and doesn’t distract you with the swiss-army-knife approach that makes others a pain to use.
The app does a great job of walking you through the startup process, so we don’t need to spend much time here. When you first open the app, it will simply ask you to choose a 6-digit PIN that you will use to access your wallet. And, in case you ever forget your PIN or lose access to the app, it gives you a 12-word ‘paper key’ to write down & keep in a safe place.
Now, you’re ready to fill your wallet with bitcoin. If you already have bitcoin stored in another wallet, Bread offers two convenient “Import Wallet” functions. To import a private key via QR code, select Menu, then Settings, then Import Wallet. The app will then open your camera, ready to scan in the code and import the bitcoin into your Bread wallet.
If you want to import another Bread wallet, use the “Start/Recover Another Wallet” process. From the app home screen, simply tap Menu, then Settings, then Start/Recover Another Wallet. Then, you’ll simply need to enter the twelve-word Paper Key, followed by the target wallet’s Paper Key. This process will replace the active wallet, but it can be easily recovered later using the same process.
If you don’t have any bitcoin waiting to be transferred to your new wallet, Bread also makes it easy to buy bitcoin right from the app. To get started, tap Menu, then Buy Bitcoin. The app will then use your location to help you find places nearby where you can exchange cash for bitcoin. Or, if there are no bitcoin ATMs nearby, you can connect your wallet with your bank account to make purchases via Glidera.
As you might have gathered by now, moving your bitcoin with Bread couldn’t be any easier. The Send and Receive functions are accessible right from the app’s home screen under your account total & transaction history.
To send money, all you need is the bitcoin address of the wallet you want to transfer bitcoin to; this can be in the form of a QR code or a text string. When you’re ready to go, just tap Send. Next, you’ll enter the address by typing it out, pasting it from an email or text message, or scanning the QR code. Now, enter the amount you’d like to send (you can choose whether to enter a bitcoin or dollar amount), write a short note if you’d like to remember what the transaction was for, and tap the Send button. Boom! Your first bitcoin payment.
Receiving bitcoin in the Bread app is pretty similar, just in reverse! When you tap Receive on the app’s home screen, a unique bitcoin address will appear, accompanied with a QR code.You can choose to share the address & QR code via email or text, read it out the old-fashion way, or simply let the sender scan your QR code with their own mobile app. For convenience, you can also specify the amount requested. That amount will be contained in the QR code, and will appear in the sender’s form.
And that’s it! As mind-boggling as bitcoin can seem, Bread makes managing your new digital currency as easy as possible. Of course, as you become more bitcoin-savvy you will probably want to try different clients to manage your investments. At that point, you’ll want a wallet with more options such as support for cold storage and multiple cryptocurrencies (which Bread plans to offer soon). But, we’ve found Bread’s interface to be just what the doctor ordered for first-time and casual bitcoin users. Give it a try, and let us know what you think on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.