Mycelium wallet is one of those pioneering wallet which started out in 2013 and if you want a mix of functionality, experience, ease of use, it presses all the right buttons. Unlike the underlying technology in BTC, Mycelium core software is partly open source. I say that because while it is open for review, the code cannot be redistributed or changed in case you notice an error. Even though it would have been better to make it free, Mycelium wanted to manage the app better.
However, Mycelium hot wallet is free, and all you have to do is invest on a smart phone, preferably Android or iPhone and download the app free of charge from Google or Apple stores. Easy peasy right?
It is without a doubt that the rise of cryptocurrency popularity as an alternative means of payment has forced us all to take a second look at the whole payment thing. In fact with the trajectory this nascent sector is taking, it’s hard not to see why it will evolve and even double up as a store of value. Think of digital gold which Bitcoin is quickly becoming.
Given the slew of features and Mycelium wallet security focus, it is no wonder the general Bitcoin community has kind words for this wallet. Perhaps it is the expertise behind it but thus far, they are rated 4.5 stars which is a feat. Very few wallets or even alt coins have this user approval rate.
To begin with, Mycelium wallet was voted as the best mobile app of 2014. On its own, Mycelium is a world class mobile wallet facilitating crypto trading and should be your first acquisition if you are serious about owning Bitcoins securely.
In our slow journey back to a cashless society that is our ironically our future, Mycelium presents itself as a perfectenabler that allows you to store, transfer, transact or even trade Bitcoin easily.
Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet interface:
Mycelium wallet is a unique and intuitive platform with an easy to use interface that is secure and expertly designed.
Functionality wise, it checks all the correct boxes. Bitcoin transactions are seamless, convenient and straight from your smartphone.
Even though users with Windows OS will have challenges accessing this beautiful interface, Android and iOS smartphone user can easily download it from Google play store or iTunes.
Figure 2: Home Mycelium
Download and Set Up of Mycilium wallet:
After downloading it, the wallet needs to be secured before completing any transaction. You can do this by setting up a pin.
Figure 3: Mycelium Pin
The design of the wallet is based on a hierarchical deterministic HD function allowing you to control several accounts while not using your address more than once. For this to happen, Mycelium accounts use what we call a “master seed” to derive all consecutive bitcoin addresses. This ability is not only secure but advantageous to you. You will only have to back up your account once.
figure 4: Mycelium Back up
To back up your Mycelium account, you need a 12-word seed that you’ll need to remember and store securely. You can jot it down on a piece of paper as it will come in handy if you lose your phone and you need to recover your account.
Once done, your account is ready for use and you can now send or receive coins.
How to Send and Receive Bitcoins Using Mycelium Wallet:
Figure 5: Mycelium facilitating options
Using Mycelium is undoubtedly a walk in the park.
Once everything is set up you simple need to use your eyes if you can read. There is a QR code representing your Public key or address and other transaction facilitators like the “SEND” or “RECEIVE” buttons.
To send coins, you just need to access the “BALANCE” tab and tap “SEND”. Once you input the recipient’s address or scan their QR code, you transaction is as good as done.
Figure 6: Sending Bitcoins in Mycelium
While sending coins, miner’s fee can be changed depending on the emergency of the transaction. Once can chose between “Normal”, “Economic” or “Priority” with the later attracting higher miner fees but is settled faster. At current rates, selecting “Priority” as your preferred channel will cost you $13.57 or ~0.9398 mBTC but settles within 10 minutes.
Receiving Bitcoins is also as simple.All you need to do is to give the sender your bitcoin address through the “SHARE BITCOIN ADDRESS” feature or let him/her scan your QR code.
There is also the “RECEIVE” button to confirm BTC reception.
To make things easy, Mycelium is equipped with an address book for the commonly used receiver’saddresses.
Figure 7: Mycelium Address Book
Mycelium Account Types:
Apart from the native HD (Hierarchical Deterministic) accounts, Mycelium is dynamic and supports other accounts variable like the Single Address Account suitable for storing more than 100 Bitcoins.
These account types give you this freedom to voluntarily wipe the account’s private keys and when coins are in demand, the equivalent private keys are imported within seconds. Mycelium wallet has some super fast nodes to execute this import.
Moreover, Watch Only Accounts are available if you don’t want to spend your Bitcoins. These are special types of accounts where addresses are kept in Mycelium hot or cold wallets minus its original private keys.
Figure 8: Mycelium HD Accounts
This feature will allow account holders to watch but not spend their Bitcoins. To enable this, Mycelium wallet easily links with hardware wallets like Trezor, KeepKey or Ledger. Paper wallets can also be used.
By keeping private keys offline doesn’t mean you won’t spend your coins. You can do so faster than you think. Simply scan the QR code on your paper wallet and spend those coins instantaneously.
Figure 9: Integration with Cold Storages
Mycelium Security Features:
Let’s cut to the chase and talk facts. If your wallet was porous like Mt. Gox BTC exchange, would there be any need of owning one? Like you, I wouldn’t have thought of a hot wallet. Instead I would have focused on other cold storages and hardware wallets that can do the job better. Mycelium has a different evolving objective and security policy in place. Let’s for a moment forget about basic security features like pin codes and the backups.
Mycelium is a hot wallet, yes but security is at enterprise level. Apart from primary features, they go a step further and embed what is called a BitID protocol, inherent to Bitcoin applications that further enhance security. With this protocol, Mycelium users don’t rely on insecure user generated passwords or usernames for security during transaction execution. Instead, private keys which are cryptographically generated are used to send or receive coins. This way, the user is protected even if their smartphones are compromised. Remember, ownership is client based and you are basically in charge of your own private keys unless maybe you want to export them. All Mycelium does is collect store your Bitcoin address and other information needed for Local Trader Feature to work.
The integration with hardware and paper wallets such as KeepKey and Trezor is another big plus. By integration, it means a Watch-Only account comes to life but there is more other than that convenience. It also mean anytime users can generate and securely store Bitcoins off grid in times of uncertainty through Mycelium Entropy or transfer to cold storages like KeepKey. A perfect example when this was used was during the days before BTC Segwit 2X hardfork which failed to execute.
Additionally, if you are not a fan of Google collecting your information and selling them to third parties, there is a way Mycelium prevent this. You can securely connect to their fast nodes using Tor Network to prevent this information harvesting. While it is cool, your Smartphone’s performance might take a hit.
Mycelium Wallet Bonus Features
Figure 10: Mycelium Gear
Other services by the platform include using Mycelium Gear. From my own view, I really think this is a cool innovation especially if you are a merchant or a frequent shopper. With Mycelium Gear, there will be no need of uploading any of your personal details to any intermediary for payment to be executed. Payments are free and direct from your wallet with no processing fees loaded on sender or the receiver (merchant).As if that is not enough, this gear can be integrated with common hardware wallets like Trezor.
Figure 11: Mycelium Entropy
Then there is Mycelium Entropy a USB like device which is of extreme use when you want to create a Bitcoin paper wallet. All you need is a printer that allows printing of photos from a USB device. Once you have access to one, you can go ahead and print your paper wallet securely.
Figure 12: Mycelium Card
There is also a Mycelium Card that is a payment interface that works just like a normal Visa but instead radio standards as a secure gateway. You don’t even need to be connected to the internet to transact with this card. Fees are low. With the card you by-pass intermediaries and transfer funds from one user to another or pay merchants using Mycelium hubs. The card can be connected to a computer via a reader to access transaction records while security is guaranteed by block chain and keying in a pin on the card’s keyboard that has a display.
The last service to be featured by Mycelium wallet is Mycelium Swish which somewhat resembles Mycelium Gear but is designed for restaurants and bars. It automates the ordering and payment processes ultimately saving money by reducingadministrative cost and enhancinguser experience.
Figure 13: Mycelium Cashila
Additionally, Mycelium integrates Cashila meaning you can pay all utility bills within the EU and Glidera so you can buy or receive Bitcoins using a US or Canadian bank account.
Mycelium wallet also has a Local Trader Feature allowing users within a given radius to exchange BTC directly to their wallets without the need of an intermediary. To facilitate this, there must be a form of communication right? Mycelium employs an end to end chatting feature for users to discuss and seal deals remotely. For authentication, Mycelium servers stores the user personal details, trade history and any sell orders transacted within your location.
Figure 14: Mycelium Local Trader Feature
- Mycelium has a one of the fastest connection speeds to the bitcoin network and this can no doubt save time.
- The platform is well known in the crypto currency world as it supports the two major mobile operating systems: Android and iOS.
- From user rating and more than 4, 500reviews, it is obvious that Mycelium has a global reach meaning it is a trusted brand.
- The security features of the wallet are among the best in the world making it one of the safest wallets you can use to store your Bitcoins.
- Supports 164 fiat currencies and therefore you can view our BTC in any of your preferred currency.
- Mycelium don’t operate in isolation, it support other BTC applications.
- You can use your QR scanner and directly spend funds if need be.
- Users are allowed to export their wallets as QR codes or even encrypted PDFs if they want another layer of security.
- Users can readily share their public addresses through social media
- Local Trader feature allows you to buy or sell Bitcoins locally.
- With Tor, Google and other search engines can’t collect your personal search and other details. Privacy is therefore enhanced.
- Different accounts available depending on your needs.
- You’d need to be an intermediate Bitcoin user to get the full advantage of this wallet. The interface is relatively easy to navigate but the functions somewhat advanced and would need someone with a bit of experience in the field to use it.
- There also a few bugs that need to be fixed and features such as a notification bar so that you can be alerted when you receive Bitcoins should be added.
- The app should also be developed further to be used on more than a smart phone. We need it on desktops and tablets.
- Then again it is semi-open source.
Mycelium wallet is a definite must have if you are looking to be a part of the cryptocurrency network. It is a simple application that delivers on all fronts and especially on security matters and functionality. It avails a wide variety of features that not only improve the user experience but also moves block chain adoption.
Its advantages outweigh the disadvantages that in my opinion are small matters that are bound to be fixed as the platform develops. Mycelium is indeed revolutionary and should be rated (rightly so) as a five star smart phone wallet application because it is.