Bitcoin core is an open source desktop wallet. It is one of those wallets that must be connected to the internet for it to operate and dude, it takes time for it to launch and once it does, don’t expect a beautify GUI. The interface is just like the name, still at its core, secure but basic and it’s limited to Bitcoin transactions only.
Bitcoin core overview
If you decide to download the core, then you automatically qualify as a full node and as such you can participate in transaction and block validation. One thing you should know: this core is not for every Smith and Harry. You must have the technical capacity to set up. Even though downloading Bitcoin core is free because it is open source operating under an MIT license, you will have to sacrifice your time, your computer space-copy of blockchain is more than 160GB and it keeps growing every day-and your internet. Don’t also forge that you will have to pay for all transactions within the network just like everybody else.
We cannot therefore talk of Bitcoin core without what is called Bitcoin Unlimited. Bitcoin is a digital asset and a lot of money has been put on it. There are often three vetoing powers in Bitcoin and all of them must come to agreement for a proposal to be implemented. That includes Miners, developers and the business community-exchanges and others.
If they don’t, the proposal is dead as well. Now Bitcoin Core got the backing of miners-the first Centre of power while Bitcoin Unlimited has the business community support.
The funny thing is that these two versions are seeking the same solution of security, complete decentralization and mass adoption. For the latter to happen, then it must be scalable and may Bitcoin users felt that these developers were not fast tracking this and they switched sides. Most of these guys blame a cartel within the Core team called BlockStream whom they say are blocking progress for their own gains. Whether that’s true or not, that I don’t know and it will depend on your own judgment.
On the other hand, Bitcoin Unlimited will allow miners to reconfigure the size of the block they want to validate. This proposal is facing strong resistance and the core team already laid out SegWit which lays the ground for Lightning Network.
What is Bitcoin Core?
Bitcoin Core wallet is compatible with several operating systems like windows 7+, Mac 10+ and Linux. You will also need some several specialized computer chipsets like Raspberry Pi.
Additionally, make sure your system meets the minimum requirements for set up. Meaning, your computer should have at least 2GB RAM, internet should be fast with at least 50kbps with more than 200GB of HDD. Then don’t forget that you should run your full node at least 6 hours a day. While it is on, you can do other things with your computer.
Bitcoin Core is an open source wallet, that has full node validation. Since it downloads the full blockchain it will take some time as well as a lot of space on your computer.
Download and Set Up Of Bitcoin Core Wallet
Once you meet the above criteria, proceed to www. bitcoin.org/en/bitcoin-core/ and download the core. Don’t be lied to, unless its industrial speed internet, downloading this will take you a minimum of 10 days and you will have to wait for 10-30 minutes for synchronization to be complete every time you open the client.
Complete your download, open the file and wait for your client to synchronize. When it’s done, set your password.
Features of Bitcoin Core:
Like all other wallets, you lose your password, forget about all your coins and efforts required to set up. While setting, you notice that the core use a very basic GUI and there is even an option of using command lines. That is why I said it requires technical know how to set up.
The home page is not fancy when compared to other web wallets like Exodus. It has the same feel like Windows Classic back in the day and has all the basic buttons you need to transact. You can navigate to the “file” button needed when backing up, to the “settings” button when you want to change passwords for example and the “send”, “receive”, “overview” and “transactions” button are all in a simple bar. All in all, it’s simple when you get the gist of it and they are useful especially if you are not that a fan of using CMD prompts.
The moment you are done with setting your password, the client will automatically shut down and you will have to manually re-start your system and begin transacting.
After that, back up your wallet by navigating to “file” and hit the “backup” button. We recommend transferring the back up into a different offline computer just in case your computer crushes and make several copies of the same.
Bitcoin Core Usability:
Transacting here is simple. Simply add funds to your core wallet and you are good to go. Depending on whom you are sending BTC to, all you have to do is navigate to the “send” button, click it and select the “pay to” field.
Here, you will enter the recipient’s address and proceed to set a reasonable miner fees before sending. The effort you had to go through while setting up is compensated here because it’s upon you to preset the amount of BTC you will have to pay as transaction fees.
There is a slider for that. As always, the lower the fee, the longer it will take for transactions to go through and if it is very low, the transaction will be cancelled altogether.
Can be used with Mac OS, Windows and Linux operating systems.
Bitcoin Core Security
The security level is good. Anonymity level is high and you gain the control and autonomy. Here are the security benefits you get from the core wallet:
- It is very compatible with Tor and that means you will have handled your privacy. Tor is a privacy centric browser that hides IP addresses and as such no one unauthorized agent can link or even track your transactions to your pseudonymous account.
- You downloaded the whole Bitcoin network and therefore you are part of this massive decentralized network. You automatically benefit from security offered by new members and the number inside the network.
- The way normal “sending” works is that your transactions must be recorded within a public digital ledger. Here, all sent transactions are relayed and transmitted within the distributed network which makes it almost impossible to track.
- You also have the whole blockchain and you can search ally our transactions in case you have any doubt. This gives you that perfect privacy and security which you won’t get it from any other wallet.
Bitcoin Core supports transactions done with bitcoins.
- You are part and parcel of the decentralized community as per Satoshi’s mission.
- Stellar security and private features as mentioned above.
- Users control the amount of fees they pay. No third parties are involved which makes it even more attractive.
- The control and autonomy goes back to the user.
- Forget it if you are a beginner
- Viruses are known to hide within the blockchain which you are required to download. Therefore if you have a strong anti-virus, core operation can be impeded from full functionality.
- Internet and bandwidth will be overstretched.
- If you are impatient, don’t get involved. Download takes more than a week while setting up requires computer with certain minimum requirements.
Final verdict for Bitcoin Core:
This wallet offers ideal security for your Bitcoins. Apart from being a member of the decentralized community as a full node, you also benefit from the autonomy on offer. The only downside is the time taken especially to download the copy of the blockchain and the interface. Something needs to be done about it as it can be prohibitive for newbies eager to join and distribute the network further. Safe that, you chose what you want to pay and third parties are eliminated.