With the increased concerns regarding privacy and safety of the coins within the cryptocurrency industry, online wallet platforms are racing to offer both for their clients. The blockchain is one of the largest wallet service providers, as it claims to be user-friendly, secure and flexible.
This review checks these claims, as we go through the wallet’s properties, supported currencies, fees, available platforms and security functions. The article concludes with pros and cons of the website, which shall be benchmarked against other wallet companies, Xapo, CryptoPay and Cryptonator.
General Information about Wallet
Blockchain claims that it holds over 100 million transactions on monthly basis due to the largest customer base in the market. The platform is based in Luxemburg and is owned by a company of the same name.
It is an online “hot” wallet that offers fast transactions at a low price for the clients bent on a trade that requires speed. Blockchain’s services are available globally as anyone with BTC balance or with a wish to own one can register an account at Blockchain.
The online storage is compatible with most exchanges and even other wallets, as you have address codes that can be used to transfer coins around.
Registering an account at Blockchain, as with many other wallets, is completely free. It takes few minutes to make an account on the platform. You will get a code with which you log into your account and you need to verify your email.
As for the verification, apart from email, the only other thing that you can verify is your phone. The mobile number check is required only if you wish to add security functions to your account. Thus, Blockchain is considered as one of the most private wallet platforms in the industry.
Blockchain provides price charts that you should check out from time to time, as it indicates the trends in the coins’ value. The charts vary in the information they provide, form coins in circulation, price value and others, as shown in the picture below.
Unlike CryptoPay and XAPO, which offer only bitcoin wallet services, Blockchain accepts both BTC and Ethereum (ETH). You can transfer in and out both currencies equally, while bitcoins are the only one you can buy directly from the platform’s linked exchanges. The site does mention that ETH purchase and sale is currently in works as well.
In the meantime, you can exchange the coins between each other at any time, as shown below.
Although it supports more cryptocurrencies than Xapo and CryptoPay, Cryptonator offers a lot more coins than Blockchain. CryptoPay offers fiat currencies as well, while Blockchain specializes in digital money only.
Platforms and Features
Blockchain has several platforms available for its clients to use, them being web browsing and mobile environments. The mobile platforms are available for both Android and iOS users while the interface itself is not much different between phone apps and web browser. The phone app can be downloaded for free, as shown in the snapshot of Google Play store below.
The number of available platforms at Blockchain is in line with the industry, as most other wallets, such as CryptoPay and Cryptonator offer similar environments. Only Xapo offers solely mobile platform, bringing an upper hand to Blockchain against that particular wallet.
Price & Fees
The only fees that you will pay at Blockchain are the miner fees, which stand at 0.0001 BTC. The fee is dynamic, however, depending on the daily volume traded on the entire network. It is possible to transfer coins without a cost if several conditions are met:
- your transfer is smaller than 1,000 bytes
- outputs are bigger than 0.01 BTC
- priority of your order is high
Blockchain excels in security when compared to other online wallet platforms. As shown in the picture below, you can set up your recovery phrase and password hints. These are used in case your account has been compromised by an outside hacking attack.
You can also set up two-factor authentication (2FA) using your verified phone number, while IP address blocks can limit the number of potential intruders. The only other “hot” wallet that overpasses Blockchain’s security functions is Xapo. The platform uses vaults, which provide you with private keys and several other safety functions.
The support desk offers FAQ section, which is extensive in its own right. Apart from questions and answers, you can also use the ticket system to reach directly to the customer department.
Apart from that, there really is nothing else to be found at Blockchain’s support center. CryptoPay, for example, has an instant messaging system in place if you need to solve an issue with the support representative. Thus, the support at Blockchain can be said to have limited customer support.
Apart from the limited support, the consensus of the cryptocurrency communities is that Blockchain is a legitimate platform when it comes to wallet services. The security functions are an aid to be adequate with some minor issues mentioned on rare occasions.
The site was launched in 2011 by a company of the same name, Blockchain. Its headquarters is located in Luxembourg and was considered as one of the largest wallet providers in the world in the year 2013. In the same year, the company purchased ZeroBlock LLC. who are makers of the mobile apps.
In 2014, the platform reached 1 million user wallets, growing to 3 million in 2015. In 2016, the company announced project “Thunder” which is an implementation of the lightning network.
Pros and Cons
Overall, Blockchain is a wallet platform that you should definitely consider when planning out your bitcoin storage strategy. The wallet is one of the cheapest in the industry, as you have t pay only miner fees (0.0001 BTC).
It also provides privacy, an identity check is not required to use all services provided by Blockchain. On the other hand, it supports only BTC and ETH, so if you happen to have other coins, such as LTC and DASH, Blockchain would be out of your range.