Using bitcoin on the iphone

By now you know what Bitcoin is, but the big trick is how you can start using it. Apple recently has lifted the ban on Bitcoin wallet apps and you can now find a Bitcoin wallets in the App Store.

While you might say “hey what’s the big deal mankind is been carrying money in their pockets for hundreds of years”, carrying virtual money in your pocket does give you some significant advantages. The main two advantages are security and your ability to send and receive money globally. While exchange costs are obscenely low when compared to other methods like credit cards, PayPal or western union, passing $100 bill to a friend still cannot be beat for its zero cost of transaction.  However once you have to mail that hundred dollar bill to your friend in Bolivia, transaction costs go thru the roof.

In looking at Bitcoin wallets on iPhone, I had a look at two apps currently in the App Store. I tried out CoinPocket and bitWallet.

CoinPocket has a nice modern clean. Interface. It requires you set a master password before using the app. Do not forget this password. . For getting paid you can generate a QR code with your Bitcoin address or send your Bitcoin address by email or message. Receiving a Bitcoin took me about five minutes. Sending it took about the same. To send the Bitcoin you’ll need the receiver’s address and also the password you set at installation.

BitWallet also has a nice clean interface. It has the ability to generate multiple Bitcoin addresses as well as copy and paste the Bitcoin address.  There is a watch lists feature that allows you to watch various BTC accounts for transactional activity.  Bit wallet also has optional wallet security, unlike CoinPocket’s mandatory password.

While both are quite similar and functional, I think after some brief use bitWallet would be my preferred choice, due to the copy and paste and a bit more sensible layout.

Here are some screens of the process with CoinPocket:

After setting your master password, you can receive BTC with your new address.

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Compose email places the BTC address into an email to send to anyone.

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Once you transfer in a BTC, you’ll see this

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Send screen.  I found the fee calculation a pain, as you have to send .0001 BTC less than your total to account for the fee.  This should be automatic.

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Send requires your password

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Detailed info on the confirmations and fee.

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bitWallet

First create a new BTC address and name it.

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Then request payment into your new wallet. Copy the BTC address, send it via message or email, or another mobile user can scan the QR code.

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You can see once the blockchain has seen the transaction.

 

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Copy your BTC address any time.

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