Review 8 – Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet

Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet

I really like Copay mainly because it runs on everything. It makes a very good teaching tool because it’s very intuitive and I don’t have to explain how to do things differently based on which platform my readers may choose to use. But if someone asked me which Bitcoin wallet software happens to be my favorite I would not hesitate to say Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet. Mycelium is available on Android and iOS. As I don’t have an iOS device to test and do screen shots, I’m going to write this as if you’re on Android.

Mycelium is a wallet truly built for Bitcoin enthusiasts. There are many Bitcoin wallets that attempt to make things easier, to push the Bitcoin to the back of the picture, and leave out settings or features that may confuse. Mycelium does not follow that philosophy. It is feature rich, customizable, and tries to stay on the leading edge of wallet development. And most of all it just makes it feel like you’re using Bitcoin.

There are many Settings you can change to customize Mycelium to suit you. There are regional settings like language and local currency. There are also style settings like denomination, exchange source, and block explorer. One definite is to set a PIN and require that PIN on start. Not having a PIN on the app is something I really dislike about Copay. I’m glad Mycelium has it.

Sending and receiving are just as intuitive as Copay. One difference, however, is that you can change the Miner Fee between levels directly on the transaction so it’s on a per transaction basis instead of only being able to do it in the general settings window. This can be handy. Other than that, this is just about the same.

Mycelium really is the whole package. It can support multiple HD wallets. It can also support the Ledger HW.1 if your phone supports OTG (USB On The Go) and the Ledger Unplugged if your phone supports NFC. It also supports Trezor, again, if your phone supports OTG. This allows you to introduce hardware and multisig into your security repertoire. You can also import wallets like accounts on paper wallets if you choose, but individual wallets not created by your backup seed are not backed up. You’ll have to manually do those backups. I don’t recommend this unless you’ve got a vanity wallet, which I will explain some other time, or a specific address you need to retain for some reason after changing wallet software.

You can also use Coinapult, which is a service that allows you to change Bitcoin into your local currency to maintain its value in case of price fluctuations. But I caution against using this. It may be nice if there’s a crash because selling $100 worth of Bitcoin and having it crash could mean you still have $100. But if the price were to rise suddenly you may get less Bitcoin back than what you sold because you’re buying it back with the same $100. Remember that price fluctuations go both ways. Use this feature with caution.

Mycelium also features Cold Storage Spending. You can sweep paper wallets instead of importing like I mentioned above. You can do this with QR code inputs, clipboard inputs, a master seed, or even a Trezor. You can directly spend from paper wallets to merchants or services, or you can sweep them to a wallet you control before spending. Either way is up to you. There are also some more advanced features that I haven’t really explained in my Tutorials. You can sign messages, if needed. You can also archive or export wallets.

One of the coolest features of Mycelium is the Local Trader. Mycelium Local Trader is a service that can connect people who want to buy Bitcoin with those that want to sell Bitcoin. On the Balance screen you’ll see Buy/Sell Bitcoin. Clicking on that brings you to the Local Trader. Hit the Change button and set your location. You’ll get a list of people closest to you that are willing to sell you Bitcoin. Clicking on any of these ads will give you more information. If you’re looking to Sell, go to the next tab and you’ll get similar ads. This makes it easy to find a local exchange without having to go through another service. However, only the people that use Mycelium Local Trader are going to show up here. I recommend checking other services to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

If you wish to become a trader in your area go to the My Ads tab and fill out an Ad. Be sure to go to the My Info tab and create a trader profile to bring in business. I’ve not become a trader yet for reasons of legality. Be sure to check with your local government to see if you need to register as a money business or acquire a money transmitter license before proceeding. I have not properly researched this part, so I have not proceeded to test it. Still, it’s exciting to know that the option is there. I will probably look into this more in the near future. Hopefully regulation of this area doesn’t stifle progress.

Normally I would now be at the part where I talk about things I don’t like about a product. I literally have nothing I can complain about. There’s not one feature of this wallet I don’t like. There’s not one feature I wish I had that I don’t. Mycelium has worked hard to incorporate everything I feel is a necessity and make it all work smoothly.

I can’t speak highly enough of this Bitcoin Wallet software, and I’m not alone. If you’re looking to move up to something more advanced, with more features and capabilities, look no further. Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet is my daily driver and I look forward to future releases of this product as well as the multitude of other projects Mycelium has in the works.

Posted in Brokers, Mobile, Reviews, Services, Wallets

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