How to Transfer Bitcoins Between Wallets?

When you’re beginning to invest in cryptocurrency, it’s quite enough to just open an account on a reputable cryptocurrency exchange such as Coinbase or Binance, and download a popular digital crypto wallet like Trust Wallet or Atomic Wallet. These popular wallets even enable users to purchase crypto with USD or other fiat cash, through a credit card or debit card transfer. 

However, as your crypto investment journey starts progressing and you begin exploring various altcoins and different blockchains, you’ll probably need to consider holding several crypto wallets and transferring funds between them. 

Some blockchains aren’t supported by some wallets and you need to use intermediary cryptocurrencies to purchase a specific token and store it in a third-party wallet. The most popular intermediary coin is definitely Bitcoin (BTC) because it’s the largest crypto on the market and nearly every multi-currency wallet is compatible with BTC. 

Gold physical bitcoin

If you’re a crypto beginner, you might not be familiar with the whole process of transferring BTC between wallets, because you’ve either bought Bitcoin directly through your wallet, or you had it sent to the wallet from a crypto exchange.

That’s why we compiled a detailed guide on how the BTC blockchain works, what are Bitcoin transactions, and how to conduct a transfer between different crypto wallets.

How Does the Bitcoin Blockchain Work?

The Bitcoin blockchain is the first digital currency network in the world. It was launched in 2009, shortly after the publication of the BTC whitepaper, which introduced the concept of decentralized, digital cash. 

The idea was to enable people to conduct fast transactions between virtual, blockchain locations that are accessible from anywhere in the world, through the internet. The most innovative part of the concept was the fact that Bitcoin didn’t require any central authority to operate the network. Instead, the authority to validate and process transactions were delegated to network nodes, which are actually BTC miners and their computer rigs.

Traditional payment services such as Visa and Mastercard are based on centralized network nodes that are all part of a single entity, controlled by the company that issues the payment cards. With the Bitcoin network and other Proof of Work (PoW) based cryptos like Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC), there isn’t any single authority that controls the system. Everything is decentralized and therefore much more secure because it isn’t possible for a cyber attack to just block or shut down the whole blockchain.

how to store bitcoin

The BTC blockchain is made of data blocks that store transaction data. Every block can contain 1MB of data, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s only one transfer per block. That depends on the size of the transactions within the data block. These blocks are set chronologically, from the first-ever BTC block, the genesis block, to the most recent one. 

The contents of the blocks are immutable and no one can change them if they are already approved and added to the blockchain. In order for a transaction to get added to the blockchain, it needs to pass a thorough validation process that makes sure the contents of the transfer are legit and that it isn’t a double-spending attempt.

Bitcoin Transactions

A BTC transaction is definitely the most frequent operation related to Bitcoin because if you want to pay for a service or a product, you need to conduct a  transaction. If you just want to shift some BTC from one wallet to another, or to an exchange platform account, you also need to initiate a transfer through the blockchain. 

Bitcoin transactions are possible because of public addresses and private keys. A public address is the destination address in which someone is keeping their BTC. This address is always publicly visible on a blockchain explorer and anyone can see how much BTC is located within any public address. You can also trace your BTC transactions through block explorers, which is especially useful when your transfer stays unconfirmed for some time. The private keys to your crypto are never publicly visible and you shouldn’t share them with anyone, because they act as proof of your ownership over the coins in your public Bitcoin address. With these private keys, you have the authority to send and spend your BTC as you like. If you lose the private keys or someone manages to steal them, you’ll also lose access to your Bitcoin. That’s why it’s important to always use a trustworthy wallet with multiple layers of protection and keep your private keys safe.

When you start a transaction to, let’s say, another crypto wallet, your transfer goes into the blockchain memory pool (mempool) where it waits for a miner to pick it up for processing. After a miner chooses your transfer based on the attached network fee, they use their computing power to find the right 64-digit hash for your transfer. This can take a lot of time and that’s why miners join forces in mining pools to verify more transactions and earn more block rewards.

Sending and receiving bitcoin transactions

Once miners find the right hash, they disseminate it to the rest of the network nodes as proof of work and wait for a couple of additional confirmations in order to be sure that the transfer is legit. After the transaction is finally confirmed, it’s added to the next data block and processed to the destination wallet address. The whole process takes between 5 and 10 minutes.

How Do Cryptocurrency Wallets Keep Your BTC Safe?

Crypto wallets are created as storage solutions to keep your private keys safe. There are several crypto wallet types, such as hot wallets, which depend on a constant internet connection, and cold wallets that store private keys offline. Both wallet types are quite secure and provide great services if you manage to choose a trustworthy wallet. There are hundreds of wallets on the market and most of them, unfortunately, don’t have very strong security measures in place. 

That’s why you should always choose a wallet manufacturer that’s never been hacked and has a huge user base, numbered in millions of users such as Trust Wallet, Atomic Wallet, Trezor, or Ledger.

The best crypto wallets have several security layers in place, in order to make hacking them and stealing your private keys extremely difficult, if not impossible. Passphrases, seed phrases, passwords, PIN codes, and 2FA (two-factor authentication) are some of the key security measures used by top-quality crypto wallets to keep hackers far away from your assets. 

Safety of bitcoin storage

Digital wallets such as mobile wallets and desktop wallets usually keep your private keys on the device you’re using, which means that as long as you keep your mobile phone or PC safe from malware and hackers, your private keys are safe. 

Hardware wallets have your private keys directly stored on them and they keep all sorts of internet connections separate from your private keys. You do need to use the internet when transferring crypto to and from your hardware wallet, but the best hardware wallets, like Trezor, have encryption measures in place that block your internet connection from ever reaching the private keys in the wallet.

It’s a good idea to use a reliable multi-currency wallet for storing your Bitcoin because you’ll have much more options at your disposal than if you just use a BTC wallet that doesn’t support any other crypto. Multi-currency wallets enable you to swap and trade BTC in just a few clicks, which is a great option if you’re an active crypto trader.

Transferring BTC Between Crypto Wallets

Here’s a detailed, step-by-step tutorial on how to transfer your Bitcoin between crypto wallets.

Transferring BTC Between Two Digital Bitcoin Wallets

The transaction process is pretty much the same with any two digital BTC wallets. Of course, wallets manufactured by different developer teams can have dramatically different user interfaces, but the key aspects of the transaction process are very similar, if not the same for most digital wallets. 

  • Let’s imagine you want to transfer BTC from your Trust Wallet to your Atomic Wallet.
  • Open your Trust Wallet app and you’ll see all of your available crypto balances on the wallet’s main screen. 
  • Select your Bitcoin balance and click on the Send button.
  • You’ll be taken to the BTC transaction screen, where you need to paste the destination address and specify the amount of BTC you wish to send.
  • Now open your Atomic Wallet app and find your BTC wallet section on the Atomic Wallet main screen.
  • Click on the BTC section and click Receive. Now, you’ll see your BTC Atomic Wallet address in alphanumeric and QR code format. Copy the address and paste it into the Trust Wallet Bitcoin receiving address section.
  • You’ll be all set to initiate the transfer. Click on Continue and start the transaction by approving the transfer smart contract, which will also include the BTC transaction fee.
  • Your Bitcoin will arrive at the destination address in 5 to 10 minutes.
  • The procedure is the same when you’re sending BTC the other way around, and it’s also similar to most digital wallets.

Transferring BTC Between a Hardware Wallet and a Digital Wallet

The process of transferring Bitcoin between a hardware wallet and a digital wallet is slightly different, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize the process is also really simple.

Digital bitcoin wallet

We’ll take the example of the Trezor One hardware wallet because it’s one of the most popular cold wallets on the market.

Sending BTC From Trezor to a Digital Wallet

  • Connect your Trezor device to your computer and sign in to your Trezor firmware app.
  • Select Bitcoin in the top left section of the interface, in the dropdown menu.
  • Choose the account from which you wish to send your BTC. You can have several accounts associated with Trezor.
  • Choose the Send option in the top section of the window.
  • Specify the amount of BTC you wish to send, paste the BTC public key from your software wallet, and select the appropriate BTC transfer fee. Trezor allows users to manually set the transfer fee. It’s best to select an average transaction fee to be sure your BTC will get processed in a reasonable period of time.
  • Click Send, approve the transaction, and that’s it.

Sending BTC From a Digital Wallet to Trezor

  • In case you want to send some BTC from your digital wallet to your Trezor device, the only thing you need is the Trezor Bitcoin destination address.
  • Open your Trezor app, select Bitcoin, and go to the Receive section.
  • Click on the Show Full Address button to display your Trezor BTC address.
  • Verify the BTC address by comparing the address displayed on your Trezor device with the one on your PC.
  • Click Continue on your Trezor device, copy the destination address to the recipient field of your digital wallet’s Bitcoin transfer screen, and initiate the transaction safely. You’ve entered the exact amount of Bitcoin you’re sending.
  • You have now successfully sent Bitcoin to your Trezor device and it should be available in less than 10 minutes.

A Few Ending Words…

As you can see, the process of transferring BTC between wallets is pretty straightforward, but it can surely be intimidating for crypto beginners who aren’t sure what they are doing, especially if a transaction gets delayed due to high network traffic, which is quite common. 

Just follow the steps described in this guide and you won’t have trouble transferring your BTC.