GreenAddress wallet is a bitcoin-only wallet created in 2013 by Lawrence Nahun and Jerzy Kozera. It is run by GreenWallet – a technology company registered in Malta – but was in 2016 acquired by Blockstream. On the GreenAddress website, the company is described as a safe wallet that gives you control of your wallet. It also adds that GreenAddress adopts a multi-faceted approach to keeping crypto coins safe and ease of use doesn’t let you “choose between security and convenience” or “compromise your privacy.”
It has integrated numerous security and operational features, geared towards making GreenAddress the safest and most intuitive bitcoin wallet. But what are these features, and how have they impacted the wallet’s safety and convenience?
We detail the GreenAddress key features here, vet its ease of use, list its pros and cons, and compare it with other Bitcoin-only wallets before telling you if it really is the safest Bitcoin wallet.
GreenAddress key features:
Cross-platform: Though it started with Android and iOS mobile apps, the GreenAddress wallet recently launched a Google Web extension for the wallet.
Address book: The GreenAddress wallet also features an address book for saving wallet addresses for individual and exchange wallets you interact with regularly. It goes a long way in helping you avoid the often-costly errors of getting the wrong wallet address.
Instant confirmation: When sending or even receiving cryptos in and out of your GreenAdress wallet, you will have the option to turn on the Instant Confirmation feature that notifies you immediately a transaction is confirmed, effectively eliminating the possibility of double payment.
Hardware wallet support: You also have the option of integrating the GreenAddress hot wallet with a hardware wallet. This not only boosts the wallet’s security but also increases the number of coins you can interact with.
GreenAddress security features
Password + PIN: When setting up the wallet and creating a user account, you will be required to set a passphrase and a PIN code. The passphrase gives you access to the private access and doubles up as the encryption tool while the PIN code opens the wallet’s watch-only mode.
Two-factor authentication: There are three verification methods supported by the GreenAddress wallet’s two-factor-authentication functionality. You can choose to authorize transactions via an SMS alert, email notification, or a robocall.
Hierarchically deterministic: The process of generating wallet addresses for new transactions is hierarchically deterministic. And this comes in handy when you want to throw off trackers and ensure that the parties you interact with don’t get to view your past and future crypto transactions.
Open source: The wallet address is also open-sourced and open to vetting and auditing by both wallet users and the rest of the crypto community. This privacy guarantee ensures that the wallet is free of bugs, security loopholes, and malicious codes.
Non-custodial: The GreenAddress website claims that the wallet will “Never store your private keys, not even (when they are) encrypted.” They are encrypted and stored within your mobile or computer device, giving you total control.
Watch-only mode: When using public wi-fi or suspicious internet connection, you can access the wallet in a watch-only mode that allows you to view balances and accept transfers in. When using the watch-only mode, you don’t have access to the private keys and any sensitive wallet information, you cannot send coins, and you cannot alter the app settings.
How to set and activate the GreenAddress wallet (web wallet)
Step 1: Open the official GreenAddress wallet website (https://greenaddress.it/en/) and click on the ‘Create Your Wallet’ icon on the upper right corner of the homepage
Step 2: A warning will pop up asking if you want to continue with the registration via the web site or you wish to download the GreenAddress wallet app
Step 3: If you chose ‘Continue Using Webpage’ you will receive the mnemonic backup phrase that forms the recovery seed
Step 4: Write them down on a piece of paper and save them offline. Acknowledge that you have noted them down and press continue
Step 5: Verify that you have accurately written them down and in the right order by filling in the missing words.
Step 6: Activate the two-factor authentication and verify your identity by linking the web wallet with your Google authenticator, adding your email address, or phone number.
Step 7: Enter the verification code you receive on your chosen 2FA method
Step 8: Set the wallet PIN (between 5 and 15) numbers
Step 9: Tap on the “PIN set, ready for step 3” to complete the process
Step 10: The wallet is now active and ready for use
How to add/receive Crypto into your GreenAddress wallet
Step 1: Log in to your GreenAddress wallet and click the “Receive” tab on the user dashboard.
Step 2: If you have multiple wallet addresses, chose the one you want to use
Step 3: Copy the wallet address and forward it to the person sending you Bitcoins.
Step 4: Wait for the coins to reflect.
How to send Crypto from your GreenAddress wallet
Step 1: Log in to your wallet and click “Send” on the user dashboard
Step 2: If you have multiple wallet addresses, choose the one you would like to use
Step 3: Enter the recipient’s address and the number of Bitcoins you wish to send on the transfer window.
Step 4: Review the transaction details and hit send.
GreenAddress wallet ease of use
GreenAddress is a highly intuitive and customizable Wallet. You can easily customize most aspects of the wallet, including themes, set your preferred exchange rate, and change the privacy and notification settings. It also allows you to change the denomination of your wallet’s base currency from Bitcoin to mBTC, uBTC, or Bits. You can also choose between the 12 language settings, determine the daily/weekly/monthly transaction limits, add more user accounts or wallet addresses, and even incorporate advanced wallet security settings.
GreenAddress wallet supported currencies and countries.
GreenAddress will only support Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
GreenAddress wallet cost and fees
GreenAddress is a free wallet. It is free to create a user account and store coins here. You will only have to pay the Bitcoin network fee charged when you send coins to another wallet or exchange.
What are the pros and cons of using the GreenAddress wallet?
- There is no limit to the number of wallet addresses or Bitcoins you can hold in your GreenAddress
- Allows you to incorporate advanced security settings
- The wallet is relatively easy to use
- It can be easily integrated with hardware wallets
- It gives you absolute control over your private keys
- GreenAddress is a Bitcoin-only Crypto wallet
- GreenAddress does not give wallet users a choice in choosing the multi-signature partner
- One may consider the signup process to be laborious and the wallet not beginner-friendly
Comparing GreenAddress wallet with other Bitcoin-only wallets
GreenAddress wallet vs. Blockchain Core
GreenAddress and Bitcoin Core are both Bitcoin-only wallets. But while GreenAddress is a mobile/web crypto vault, the Bitcoin Core is a full-stack desktop client wallet. Additionally, while both wallets are hierarchically deterministic, the GreenAddress wallet generates a new address for new transactions automatically while address-generation for Bitcoin Core is manual.
Although Bitcoin Core may be considered safer as it integrates more effective security measures, GreenAddress carries the day for convenience. It only takes up limited storage space and even more intuitive.
Verdict: Is the GreenAddress Wallet safe?
Well, we consider the security measures GreenAdress wallet has put in place adequate for individuals looking for short-term storage for their coins or active traders. However, we find fault with their multi-signature functionality that does not present users with any other choice of a signee other than GreenAddress itself. Further, GreenAddress is a hot wallet and thus susceptible to the inherent threats associated with online wallets.