Before owning any bitcoin, you need somewhere to store them. Copay bitcoin charts place is called a “wallet.
Actually, a wallet usually holds several private keys, and many bitcoin investors have several wallets. Here we’ll briefly look at the different types. Electronic wallets can be downloaded software, or hosted in the cloud. The former is simply a formatted file that lives on your computer or device, that facilitates transactions. Installing a wallet directly on your computer gives you the security that you control your keys.
Most have relatively easy configuration, and are free. The disadvantage is that they do require more maintenance in the form of backups. If your computer gets stolen or corrupted and your private keys are not also stored elsewhere, you lose your bitcoin. They also require greater security precautions. If your computer is hacked and the thief gets a hold of your wallet or your private keys, he also gets hold of your bitcoin. The original software wallet is the Bitcoin Core protocol, the program that runs the bitcoin network. All are easy to set up, come with desktop and mobile apps which make it easy to spend and receive bitcoin, and most are free.
The disadvantage is the lower security. With your private keys stored in the cloud, you have to trust the host’s security measures, and that it won’t disappear with your money, or close down and deny you access. Mobile wallets are available as apps for your smartphone, especially useful if you want to pay for something in bitcoin in a shop, or if you want to buy, sell or send while on the move. Hardware wallets are small devices that occasionally connect to the web to enact bitcoin transactions. They are extremely secure, as they are generally offline and therefore not hackable. They can be stolen or lost, however, along with the bitcoins that belong to the stored private keys. Some large investors keep their hardware wallets in secure locations such as bank vaults.
Perhaps the simplest of all the wallets, these are pieces of paper on which the private and public keys of a bitcoin address are printed. They are, however, easier to lose. Send some bitcoin to that address, and then store it safely or give it away. That depends on the version and format you have chosen, and how you use them. The safest option is a hardware wallet which you keep offline, in a secure place. That way there is no risk that your account can be hacked, your keys stolen and your bitcoin whisked away.