Mycelium Wallet: Hold your Bitcoin Safely
This time-tested Bitcoin wallet offers ease of use and control of private keys. But it may seem outdated and its user base may be falling
Mycelium Wallet is a Bitcoin-only carrying system for mobile devices that unfortunately lost some credibility in the past year. In addition to competition from other wallets, Mycelium staged a crowd sale of tokens to raise funds.
Since then, the specially created coin was briefly traded on Bitsquare and there is little information on what would happen after the funding round. The trade for Mycelium token has stopped completely, with the last orders in the fall of 2016.
The Mycelium Strength
Mycelium still positions itself as one of the oldest user-tested wallets. And it is still available through the Google Apps store and the iOS store.
The main strength is that you can export and keep your private keys away from an online device. You can also access private keys and reach the balance of other Bitcoin wallets. Simply create a new wallet, then follow the prompt to save your pass phrase.
Mycelium promised and delivered several small updates. Now the wallet offers various kinds of accounts to store colored coins and cash. Some types of accounts are generated using the private key for your main account.
Mycelium uses a 12-word mnemonic phrase. When installing the wallet onto an Android device, keep pen and paper close by. The wallet will display the words one by one- write them down in the exact order they appear. Mind spelling idiosyncrasies- I had one wallet display a word that could easily be mistaken.
The wallet will then prompt you to write in the phrase again- a bit inconvenient on a small keyboard. But that is how your wallet can be revived on any device if your phone bricks. Essentially, the pass phrase is your access to your funds, so keep it safe.
Buying and Selling with Mycelium
The Mycelium wallet has a built-in marketplace to buy Bitcoin for cash, sending you to a browser page. The other option is the Gildera system for the US or Canada. And the third option is a medley of local sellers that you could contact through Mycelium to buy Bitcoin. Those sellers are offering prices quite steeper compared to other exchanges. Remember, this seems to be a personal type of market, so keep your funds safe to avoid scams.
For other transactions, you can track the Bitcoin price by selecting an exchange to show the current buy rate.
You can spend funds from other wallets where you have the private key. You can access paper wallets through your phone camera, and then all information about the private key would be deleted from the device.
User complaints are mostly about advertising within the wallet. The other problem seems to be fees, but Mycelium has some limited options to customize the fee and avoid the fate of a transaction not included in a block.
Mycelium and Bitcoin Cash
Mycelium does not currently support Bitcoin Cash. But since it is a private key wallet, users that held their funds there before the hard fork on August 1st can claim their Bitcoin Cash, if they have not done so.
You can change the block explorer that sends information to your wallet- just use the top right side menu button to change the source.
This menu is where you can also set the miner fee from a small pool of options.
You can even have your Bitcoin denominated in fractions for easier use.
You have the option to use tor connection to disguise your identity when downloading blockchain information. Since a mobile wallet could never run a full node, your IP would be exposed when you get your data from the Mycelium centralized servers. This would give you an additional level of privacy. For now, users cannot connect to a node of their choice.
The Verdict on Mycelium
Seems a bit outdated, especially if you have used other wallets and tokens. A basic mobile wallet that combines portability with security, and control over the private keys. A good option to spend Bitcoin or send it to trusted persons.