A little while ago, we started off our series of Bitcoin wallet alternatives with an article about GreenAddress, a cross-platform multi-signature BTC client. Most of you will be aware there are a ton of different alternatives available, and we do plan to look at each one of them individually. Up next on our list is a Bitcoin wallet gaining in popularity, called Mycelium.
Some of you may wonder why we need so many different Bitcoin wallets. The answer to that is relatively simple, as plenty of people have different tastes in what they would like to see. Some like the very simple and somewhat boring clients, others like fancy graphics and charts. But if we want to push Bitcoin mainstream adoption, we need a few different mobile wallets too, and that is where Mycelium comes into the picture.
What is Mycelium?
Mycelium is a Bitcoin wallet developed specifically for mobile users. Originally, Mycelium was only available for Bitcoin enthusiasts with an Android device. However, a few weeks ago, the Mycelium wallet finally made it to Apple’s App Store, which you can find here. Some functions are not available yet for iOS users though, such as multiple currency selection support.
Most people may not know that the Mycelium Bitcoin wallet has been around since September of 2013, even though it was originally announced on a separate forum in its early beta stage. The reason for that is because Mycelium is the successor of BitSpinner. Rest assured however as Mycelium is based on a total code rewrite compared to BitSpinner, and a name change was in order.
Thanks to a ton of community feedback and requests, the Mycelium Bitcoin wallet has undergone many upgrades, which all brought new features to the table. As things stand right now, this Android application has been installed more than 50,000 times, and the Mycelium Bitcoin wallet was last updated on December 22nd 2014.
List of Features
In order to make Mycelium stand out compared to other mobile wallets, the developers have been working hard on adding as many features as possible, while also keeping a focus on security. As Bitcoin cold storage is becoming ever more important, it is a feature users want to see in their (mobile) Bitcoin client as well. Mycelium offers their users that feature, and funds can be spent directly from a paper wallet, as you can see in the demo video below :
Importing private keys from previously generated Bitcoin addresses is very important to experienced Bitcoin users. Private keys can be imported using SIPA and mini private key format (found on Casascius coins for example) from QR codes or clipboard. Plenty of options available to gain full control of your favorite Bitcoin wallet address when you switch to Mycelium.
However, sometimes people will have the need to export their private keys, whether for security reasons or otherwise. The Mycelium Bitcoin wallet lets you export a private key in several formats : a QR code, via the built-in clipboard, or even directly to your printer when you make use of an external SD card, as you can see in this demo video :
There will be certain times in life when you generate a new Bitcoin address with the sole purpose of being able to watch transactions come in during the day while you are at work, school or occupied otherwise. Instead of opening up the Blockchain.info website, Mycelium lets users generate watch-only Bitcoin addresses for exactly those purposes.
No Bitcoin wallet would be complete without some way of displaying the value in fiat currency. Mycelium supports 164 different fiat currencies, and will get it’s values from several exchanges, including Bitstamp. Users can also switch between Bitcoin & fiat currency when either making or requesting payments, which is a great feature appreciated by all users.
Even though Bitcoin’s blockchain serves as an open ledger for all transactions, there is a vast amount of people who want to protect their privacy. Mycelium is one of the few Bitcoin wallets allowing Tor connections, which is achieved by using Orbot with a SOCKS proxy. It will be interesting to see if we see this feature in more Bitcoin wallets in the future.
Why Use Mycelium Over Any Other Mobile Bitcoin Wallet?
Honestly, that is different from user to user as everyone looks for something different in their mobile Bitcoin wallet. I am using the blockchain.info Android wallet at the moment, but by the time we are done checking out all of the different optons, that may no longer be the case. Stay tuned for future articles about different Bitcoin wallets!
Which Bitcoin wallet do you use on your mobile devices? Let us know in a comment below!