Managing your bitcoin is a unique journey of self-discovery as a range of software provides you free access to broadcast to the chain. There is no right or wrong way to interact with the bitcoin network, but there are specific security measures you should be aware of before using any open source or closed source software wallet.
Compared to years gone by, 2022 offers bitcoin users a buffet of wallet options; some are simplified to keep the experience streamlined others can give you access to a wide range of features. It depends on the level of control and expertise you have managing wallets.
One of the more popular or rather marketed wallets is the Atomic Wallet, which was founded in October 2017 and hails from Estonia. The ability to manage assets across chains has seen many users opt for these wallets to it, especially speculators and those who want to manage stablecoin balances.
Note: Using Atomic Wallet can be a bitcoin-only experience if you choose to use it this way, but the UI is very much centred around multiple asset management. You will be venturing into shitcoin and highly speculative assets as it overlaps with some of the services the wallet provides, so be aware that not all bitcoin on Atomic wallet is backed by the security of the bitcoin base chain.
How to set up a Atomic wallet?
Search for Atomic Wallet in your preffered app store or visit the app’s webpage here. Select the device option you prefer from the download list. Atomic Wallet does not have a desktop app and focuses purely on the mobile user.
What devices support Atomic Wallet?
Atomic wallet is available for both desktop and mobile devices and you can link both your desktop and mobile wallet to manage the same wallet from multiple devices.
Atomic Wallet Desktop supports:
Atomic Wallet Mobile supports:
How to set up Atomic Wallet?
Install the Atomic Wallet software on your preferred desktop or mobile device and boot up the app, you will be asked to either create a wallet or restore a wallet. If you already have a bitcoin wallet and want to migrate over to Atomic Wallet, then select the restore option and follow the prompts to add your private key.
If not, you will need to start a wallet creation process from scratch with a new seed phrase/private key.
Remember: Atomic Wallet is a hot wallet and your keys are stored on the device, so be sure not to store too many sats in a software wallet and rather move to cold storage if you’re feeling uncomfortable. A hot wallet should be for day to day transactions and not hold a large amount of funds as the wallet can be compromised through insecure internet connections or other apps having access to your device.
Backing up your wallet with a Atomic wallet?
Once you’ve agreed to the wallet creation process, you’ll be given a set of private keys which you need to document. Write down the words “Atomic Wallet” shows to you on a piece of paper and click “Next” until you’ve written all 12 words down.
Note: Please, do not keep a digital copy of these words on your computer as anyone access to these 12 words can access your bitcoin; it is much safer to keep these offline on paper and preferably in a safe. If you’re looking for ideas on how to store your seed phrase, check out our guide here.
After you’ve written down the 12 words on a piece of paper you click “Next” on the last page. Now it’s time to verify your wallet; you will be asked for a few random words out of your 12-word selection. Please make sure once again that you wrote down all 12 words correctly in the order it was provided, or you won’t be able to verify your wallet.
Now that you verified the backup phrase, you can use it to recover your bitcoin in case of emergency.
Adding an access pin with your Atomic wallet
Now that you’ve created and verified the wallet, you want to restrict access to the software by creating a pin. It is recommended that you configure a passcode. The passcode is used when you open the app to access the wallet and as a confirmation, once you want to send a payment.
The access pin will not be set up automatically you will need to head over to settings and then security and enable app lock. You can then set your pin and when logging in or signing transactions have the pin be another line of defence.
How to receive bitcoin with my Atomic wallet?
Now that you’ve set up your bitcoin wallet, it’s time to receive funds. Select the wallet type you need, and select “Receive”. After you click “Receive”, you will be shown the first address in your wallet. The wallet will provide you with a string of text or a QR code, and you can use either method.
You may share this freely with the world or use it on an exchange as this is kind of like your bank account number. Remember to be very careful when setting up Atomic Wallet since it manages both Bitcoin and Wrapped Bitcoin and if you do not look carefully you may generate the wrong type of address for the transaction.
Bitcoin can only be sent to native bitcoin addresses, while wrapped bitcoin needs to be sent to the address format that matches the chain it is built on. If you send BTC or WBTC to the incorrect address, it will be lost forever.
BTC support on Atomic wallet
Once you’ve set up your wallet, you’ll need to enable the assets you want to manage using the wallet. You can enable or disable wallets by clicking the options icon in the top right-hand corner and toggling the assets you want to manage. This is where the forewarning regarding shitcoining comes into play.
Atomic Wallet offers native bitcoin support, but it also supports a range of wrapped bitcoin options, namely:
- pTokens BTC – ERC-20 (Etherem based)
- Binance Wrapped BTC – ERC-20 (Etherem based)
- Wrapped BTC – ERC-20 (Etherem based)
- renBTC – ERC-20 (Etherem based)
- Houbi BTC – ERC-20 (Etherem based)
These tokenised versions of bitcoin will not display in the wallet by default, you will need to add them manually using the contract address.
As you can imagine, this can quickly become confusing, and unless you’re fully clued up with the risks involved in using representative bitcoin tokens on other chains, it’s best to avoid it. If these tokens are your only access to bitcoin due to your location and support for exchanges, this can be a roundabout way to get into bitcoin.
Wrapped Bitcoin is not real bitcoin, but tokens backed by Bitcoin and held by a third party, and is nowhere near as safe to hold as native bitcoin.
I would, however, recommend that once you’ve accumulated a reasonable amount of any of these tokens, you have them swapped for native BTC instead to avoid carrying third party risk of these chains and the custodians who manage the supply of these tokens.
Swapping assets in Atomic wallet
Atomic Wallet has in-app support for swapping assets into bitcoin, such as wrapped bitcoin or stable coins. If you receive funds such as stablecoin, you can swap it directly in the wallet to a BTC native address.
Where I think Atomic Wallet excels is if you are someone who uses or receives payment in stable coins, as it has support for various stable coins on different chains. You can then do swaps in the app or create an exchange sale through the app.
Swaps and order book transactions are processed through an exchange it can include maker or taker fees and will include chain fees depending on the asset you are swapping. The swap service may be handy but there is a cost involved so be sure to review the cost of on-chain transfers before making your decision.
Buying Bitcoin directly in Atomic Wallet
Atomic Wallet also allows users to purchase Bitcoin directly inside the wallet, all you need to do is select the buy option in your wallet and you will be redirected to a screen to set the amount you want to buy.
All fiat to bitcoin transactions are conducted via Simplex, you can place your purchase in USD or several other fiat currencies.
Select the option you like and you will be transferred to their website via the in-app browser where you will complete the process. Once the purchase is complete you will receive on-chain bitcoin to your wallet as per any normal bitcoin transaction, you will need to wait for at least 1 confirmation to see the funds reflect in your wallet.
Note: These fiat to Bitcoin service providers do require KYC to complete a purchase
When to use a Atomic wallet?
I would not recommend Atomic Wallet for beginners due to the level of complexity involved in the use and the UI of the app. The Atomic wallet is ideal for those situations where you do not want to keep your funds on an exchange but doesn’t want to use a cold storage solution because you want instant access to your funds.
The Atomic wallet allows you flexibility since you can manage multiple assets or stable coins and can access swaps between them pretty easily. If you are the type to deal in stable coins from multiple chains or want to access bitcoin from other chains then this is the wallet for you.
You can always store your bitcoin on the base chain by swapping any assets you hold for native bitcoin once you’re ready to move over.
It’s important to note that the Atomic wallet is still a hot wallet, and the keys are hot on the device you’re using. Adding your Atomic wallet on multiple devices also means more devices now hold your keys which creates attack vectors for your keys to be compromised.
Never keep large amounts in any hot wallet, and always use this as a stop-gap towards cold storage.