A bitcoin client is the end-user software that facilitates private key generation and security, payment sending on behalf of a private key, and optionally provides:
- Useful information about the state of the network and transactions.
- Information related to the private keys under its management.
- Syndication of network events to other peer clients.
This table compares the features of the different clients. All of the listed clients are open-source.
- Wallet Security
- How well the client protects your private keys from people with access to the machine the wallet is stored on. The private keys can be encrypted, for example. The private keys can also be either stored on your device or on a remote server.
- Network Security
- Clients which more fully implement the Bitcoin network protocol are safer -- they can't be as easily tricked by powerful attackers. A client which fully implements the protocol will always use the correct block chain and will never allow double-spends or invalid transactions to exist in the block chain under any circumstances. Clients which only partially implement the protocol typically trust that 50% or more of the network's mining power is honest. Some clients trust one or more remote servers to protect them from double-spends and other network attacks.
- Setup Time
- Some clients require that you download and verify a large amount of data before you can send or receive BTC.
- When the project was started.
|Client||Get Started||Audience||Wallet Security||Network Security||Backups||Setup Time||Disk Space||Maturity||Multi-user||Available for|
|Armory||Download||Power users||Encrypted, on-device||Addon||One-time||Varies||6+ GB||Jul 2011||Multi-wallet|
|Bitcoin Wallet||Google Play BlackBerry World||End-users||Isolated, on-device||Partial||Manual||Instant||15 MB||Mar 2011||on JB tablets|
|Bitcoin-Qt||Download||End-users||Encrypted, on-device||Full||Manual||Hours||6+ GB||May 2011||No|
|bitcoind||Download||Programmers||Encrypted, on-device||Full||Manual||Hours||6+ GB||Aug 2009||Virtual accounts|
|Electrum||Download||Power users||Encrypted, on-device||Minimal||Memorized||Minutes||5 MB||Nov 2011||No|
|GreenAddress||Web ChromeApp Google Play||Everyone||Encrypted, on-device||Remote||Memorized/Manual||Instant||None||Apr 2013||Yes|
|MultiBit||Download||End-users||Encrypted, on-device||Partial||Automatic (local)||Seconds||50 MB||Jul 2011||Multi-wallet|
|My Wallet||Web-based||Everyone||Encrypted, on a server||Remote||Automatic||Minutes||None||Dec 2011||Yes|
|Gocoin||Build yourself||Power users||Designated offline PC||Full||Memorized||Hours||6+GB||May 2013||Multi-wallet|
This table shows additional information about various Bitcoin clients that may be relevant to developers.
|Bitcoin Wallet||Link||Github Google Code||GPLv3||Google+ community / Bitcointalk||SPV|
|Bitcoin-Qt / bitcoind||Link||Github||MIT||Sourceforge||Integrated|
|bits of proof||Link||Github||Apache 2.0||Bitcointalk||Server-Client|