Bitcoin Wallets and Bitcoin Exchanges: How to Get the Best of Both Worlds

In a previous post, we compared Bitcoin exchanges and Bitcoin wallets on security, convenience, and utility. What are the best tools for storing and using bitcoin today?

For Bitcoin, both exchanges and wallets offer powerful benefits.

Even if you don’t want to store any of your bitcoin on an exchange long-term, you’ll likely still need an exchange account to purchase bitcoin (unless you’re paid in bitcoin or are mining it yourself).

And even if you trust an exchange to store your bitcoin, you'll probably still want to keep some Bitcoin in a reliable bitcoin software wallet for making bitcoin purchases. Exchanges often take a couple of hours to batch and broadcast outgoing payments, so they frequently fail to send payments on time.

We know it's hard to choose. The FOMO is real.

"¿Por que no los dos?"
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Thankfully, you can have the best of both worlds – exchanges and wallets. It's possible to easily move spending money out of an exchange into a spending wallet for your occasional bitcoin purchases. It's also possible to store your bitcoin savings in a more secure software wallet while still getting access to the buying and selling features of bitcoin exchanges. Let us show you how.

Using Your Exchange-Bought Bitcoin In Your Spending Wallet

You’ve likely had trouble with a credit or debit card at some point, but almost everyone everywhere takes cash. Just as cash is easier in the real world, the bitcoin you hold in a software wallet is easier to use in the digital world.

Fortunately, moving money from your exchange to a spending wallet takes only a few clicks and a few minutes to get started.

Before moving any bitcoin from an exchange, make sure you have a good bitcoin wallet. BitPay recommends the BitPay and Copay wallets for secure bitcoin storage and on-time payments, but other wallets on our list of fully up-to-date software wallets will do the job, too.

Moving Bitcoin from an Exchange to a Wallet

If you’re unsure how to move bitcoin from an exchange to your wallet, we created a video guide to help you get started.

Our example exchange is Coinbase and our example wallet is the BitPay wallet, but the video should help with any exchange and any wallet.

Most exchanges make it easy to move your bitcoin to an outside wallet. Here are some simple guides for four of the most popular bitcoin exchanges:

Getting Exchange Functionality In Your Bitcoin Wallet

If you want bitcoin, you usually need to buy it from an exchange. But that doesn't mean you can't have the security of a bitcoin software wallet for your bitcoin savings. In fact, you don't have to leave your funds on an exchange at all, even if you want to make some occasional trades.

Thankfully, the BitPay wallet can integrate with your Coinbase account to buy and sell bitcoin. Depending on your Coinbase settings, your bitcoin should quickly show up in your BitPay wallet when you buy it. Voila! You've just combined the convenience of a leading bitcoin exchange (Coinbase) with a leading bitcoin wallet (BitPay).

Other wallets are also integrated with other exchanges, so it's becoming easier than ever to get the best of both worlds as a bitcoin buyer or seller.

Did we miss anything?

If you have any tips or tricks on how to get the best of bitcoin wallets and bitcoin exchanges, or you would like to see instructions for more exchanges on this list, please send us a tip at thoughts@bitpay.com.

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