There are lots of great bitcoin wallet providers, with varying features depending on their user-base. For people that are new to the cryptocurrency space, we recommend starting off with a blockchain.info wallet. The benefits of using their simple and logical interface are numerous:
- Easy to use.
- Able to manage multiple currencies (bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and ethereum) within the same interface.
- Wallets are built on the industry standard HD (hierarchical deterministic) framework. In short, this means that a new address is generated each time you request a payment. Sending bitcoin (or other cryptocurrencies) to a new address each time improves your privacy and makes it harder for prying eyes to find out how much bitcoin you own.
- Blockchain.info does not have access to your information, and maintains a high degree of security, with regular audits taking place to look for vulnerabilities.
- No need to keep wallet software up to date – simply access your crypto from the convenience of a web browser.
- Their codebase that powers the platform is open source and available for anyone to evaluate.
This article is intended to serve as a step-by-step guide on how to make a wallet on blockchain.info and securely backup your crypto. As we will see below, the most important part of backing up your wallet is keeping multiple copies of your wallet ID, password and 12-word recovery phrase in secure places where only you can access it. This is very important!
Go to the blockchain.info website, make sure that you are accessing the correct webpage https://blockchain.info and that there is a green secure label next to the address (always remember to check for the green label when accessing blockchain.info). Click on “get a free wallet”
Enter your email address, create a strong password, agree to the terms of service and click “Continue”:
Here are a few tips on how to create a strong password:
- Use a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
- At least 12 characters long.
- Don’t use any personally identifying information such as birthdays and pet names.
- Don’t use this password for any other login.
Once you’ve registered your email address and password, you will then be redirected to the dashboard. Click “get started” on the popup to begin:
Here, you can send and request payments in bitcoin, bitcoin cash and ethereum, view price history, balances and recent transaction activity.
Verify your email address. When you registered your account in step 2, blockchain.info will have sent you a verification email. In this email, there will be a Wallet ID. Record the wallet ID in a safe place and click the “YES, THIS IS MY EMAIL” link to verify your account.
Congratulations! Your blockchain.info account is now verified:
Now it’s time to secure and backup your wallet for future purposes. Begin by opening the dashboard and going to the security center:
Back up your 12-word recovery phrase. This is the most important part of your wallet. Anyone who knows this seed can access all coins contained within the wallet. The seed is developed using an industry standard framework whereby your coins can be recovered using another wallet provider if blockchain.info ever shuts down. MAKE SURE TO KEEP THIS SEED SECURE AND BACKED UP. Don’t store it on a computer or digital device unless you are absolutely sure that it cannot be accessed by anyone other than yourself.
Click “Print Recovery Sheet” and open the PDF template. Once you have printed this piece of paper, click “Next Step” to record your recovery phrase (also known as a seed).
Record each word in the order it is presented. Click “Next 4 words” and repeat twice. Once you have recorded all 12 words of the recovery phase in order, click “Final Step”
You will then be asked to recall 4 random words to ensure that you recorded the phrase correctly. Do this and click “Finish”.
Your recovery phrase/seed is now backed up. Keep this secure, and preferably in multiple locations. If you need to record your seed again, you can see this in the “settings” tab on the dashboard.
(Optional) create a password hint:
Once completed, click “Save” to store your password hint.
Setting up 2-step verification (2FA). This is used to help ensure that you are the legitimate owner of the wallet. 2FA makes it harder for hackers to access your wallet, as they need to provide a unique code that is only available from your registered mobile device or 2FA app, alongside your Wallet ID and password. Blockchain.info offers two ways of using two-step verification. You can verify your mobile number and/or use a 2FA application such as Google Authenticator. We recommend that you do both.
To set up mobile verification, enter your mobile phone number, and continue to receive the code. Enter the code that you receive via text and click “Verify”:
Time to set up Authentication codes. These are 6-digit numerical codes that change every 30 seconds. If you don’t already have a 2FA app on your phone, follow this guide to set up Google Authenticator
Now that you’ve successfully set up Google Authenticator, let’s continue:
Click “Enable” to begin setting up 2FA.
Click “Use Google Authenticator or Yubikey”
Scan the QR code using your Google Authenticator app, and enter the number that appears on your phone in the box below. Click “Enable 2FA” to continue. Note: you need to enter the 6 digit code and click Enable 2FA before the timer on the code runs out. If the timer runs out, you must enter the new code that appears on your phone.
You now have mobile verification and 2FA activated on your blockchain.info wallet.
Final step, block TOR requests. This prevents hackers from using a common type of layered encryption to anonymously hack your account.
Congratulations! You should now have a wallet set up with 2-factor authentication, TOR attack protection against anonymous hackers, and securely backed up keys. From here, managing your bitcoin, ethereum and bitcoin cash should be a breeze using the blockchain.info online interface.
It’s important to remember that blockchain.info doesn’t have access to any of your information. The wallet information stored on their servers is backed up through 2 sets of encryption which is only unlocked when you log in to your account. It is therefore of utmost importance that you securely store your Wallet ID, password and (most importantly) your 12-word backup phrase. If you forget your backup phrase and login details, you will not be able to access your cryptocurrency. Do not share this information with anyone, and make sure that you store the keys securely. The cryptocurrency contained within your wallet may well be worth a fortune one day!
If you would like to learn more about how Blockchain.info securely stores your information, and a brief overview of how the ‘back end’ words, check out this article