The BRD Wallet, or Bread Wallet as it is now called, is by far the simplest and most secure mobile wallet for Bitcoin out there.
This is due to the simple fact that Bread – unlike most of its peers – connects users directly to the Bitcoin Mainnet. And by wrapping up this neat functionality in a plain and uncluttered user interface, Bread makes transacting your Bitcoin as easy as buttering your toast.
So keep reading, and find out how exactly to use this application, and the advantages of doing so in the first place. This is our Bread wallet review and guide.
Where the BRD Wallet scores over its competition
So what does Bread have to set itself apart?
The Problems with the usual Bitcoin Wallets
Creating a cryptocurrency wallet is a tricky business. The coins themselves are not actually stored on the wallet. Instead, the coins are kept on the publicly accessible digital ledger called the Blockchain.
With Blockchains, each user – or account – has its own ‘key’, which can be used to access and spend its coins. This key is usually a string of nonsensical letters and numbers, to make it impossible to memorize.
This means that all a cryptocurrency wallet has to do is keep track of the user’s keys. Simple, right? Not quite.
Writing the keys down to the user’s device itself is a straight recipe for disaster – losing the device would mean losing all the coins. Or even worse, a thief with access to the phone could steal all your funds in a blink.
Copying it down to a piece of paper? Sure, that could work, though it would mean losing the convenience of a digital wallet. Still, a paper wallet is the way most people would advise you to go for long term crypto storage.
What most digital wallets do, however, is they put the data on a server. That way, it is easily accessible at all times (even if you lose your device), while being safe enough.
The issue with this approach is the same one with all centralized services – what happens if the server itself gets hacked? Major crypto players have gotten hacked several times in the past (the Mt. Gox hack being the most startling example of this), and will certainly be hacked again.
And when servers are hacked, the funds stored in hundreds to thousands of accounts are compromised.
The Problem with the not-so-usual Bitcoin Wallets
Okay, I get it. Servers are bad. So what do we do then? What stops your typical user connecting to the Blockchain directly?
To connect with the Bitcoin Blockchain, you need to be running a fully featured ‘node’. Lengthy explanations aside, it means that your device needs to become a member of that blockchain, verifying transactions and doing its bit to hold up the network.
This extra work slows up the application and drags out transactions to a snail’s pace. Especially on the limited bandwidth of mobile, the resulting delay could be quite significant. That makes wallets directly communicating with the Blockchain a rare sight in the market.
This leaves users to having to compromise between ease and reliability.
The Solution: BRD wallet
Bread combines the best of both worlds. While it belongs to that rare breed of crypto wallets that do not rely on servers, it does so without sacrificing speed or reliability.
It achieves this by utilizing SPV, or Simplified Payment Verification mode. SPV is an implementation of the Bitcoin protocol suitable for lightweight nodes, such as mobile phones. It lets the node process transactions on the Blockchain without validating the included transactions.
This not only improves speed, but also puts a lesser strain upon your device’s resources.
Add to that Bread’s minimalistic and polished user interface, and you have all the ingredients for a killer app.
Bread Wallet Key Features
Transactions, including buying Bitcoin, are much easier with the Bread Wallet. Apart from regular ways of getting Bitcoin into your wallets (such as from an exchange), the wallet also supports in-app purchases. You can use a credit card, a Bitcoin ATM, or a convenience store to get your digital gold.
Also, with the inclusion of cryptocurrencies like Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and a growing number of ERC-20 tokens, it is also possible to convert your acquired Bitcoin into any supported coin.
Intuitive User Interface
You can see the amount of work the Bread team has undertaken to present a seamless experience. The app has been designed from ground up with simplicity in mind, which reflects in every aspect of its interface.
As a result, the learning curve of the wallet is smoother than that of its peers, allowing the application to be used to its fullest extent by even those who are new to the world of cryptos. And the best thing? This does not come at the cost of security or nifty features. Phew.
Bread is one of the few crypto wallets that can claim to be fully decentralized. It has no accounts to set up, no passwords to remember – and consequently – no servers to hack. This means that your funds are secured no matter what, be it a stolen device or a hacked system.
Furthermore, the funds can be easily retrieved from any device, anywhere in the world by using a 12 word paper key that you get on setting up. Now that’s what we mean by a decentralized crypto storage system.
This point cannot be stressed enough.
These days, cryptocurrency related applications are being developed by the dozen. While almost all will get the job done, virtually none provide support in case things do go wrong, which is more than probable in such a quick growing space. Even comprehensive documentation – a staple in all things technical – is often missing, leaving users grasping in the dark.
Bread, in contrast, has a built-in support section in the app itself. It features an extensive knowledge base, covering most common issues. In case things still don’t work for you, the Bread team can be directly contacted by e-mail. And before you ask– yes, they do respond, even within a few hours. And on nights and weekends as well.
How To Setup the BRD Wallet?
Get the application from your respective application store. Head to Google Play if you are on Android, and the Apple App store if iOS is your platform of choice. It’s a free install on both.
Get The BRD Wallet App On iOS Now!
Download The Bread Wallet On Your Android Device!
Fire up the application. You should be presented with a screen like this.
The Recover Wallet option is for when you lose your mobile, or simply want to migrate to a new device. For now, we will stick with creating a new one. Tap on the ‘Create New Wallet’ option.
Now the app will prompt you to set a six digit PIN. Decide on a PIN you can remember without writing down, but try not to choose something too obvious either.
The Bread Wallet is an HD wallet; this means it will generate your addresses from a starting value that is presented to you as a 12 word phrase. This string of nonsense will actually work as the key to your wallet, allowing you to restore your funds in case of damage or loss of your device.
Make sure that you note it down somewhere safe. Under no condition should you simply type it into a text file and store it; electronic media can be hacked, with such unencrypted (read: stored in plain sight) files being the prime target.
Also avoid saving just a screenshot, for a hacker can gain access to those pics just as easily. The best option by far is to write it down the old fashioned way – on a piece of paper.
And do save it; the app will prompt you to re-enter a few of the words before continuing to make sure that you didn’t cheat.
Since the Bread Wallet supports multiple cryptocurrencies now, you will be prompted to select the coin that you wish to work with. For now, we will go with Bitcoin. Select the option, and you will be brought to the home screen at last.
And that’s it! Your decentralized Bitcoin wallet is all set up and ready to use!
For the specifics of actually using it, keep reading.
How To Receive Bitcoin?
Receiving Bitcoin to your Bread Wallet – from a friend, or maybe from a crypto exchange you bought it from – is very easy. To begin with, navigate to the home screen and tap on ‘Receive’.
This is what you will see.
Share your Bitcoin address
Now, you have four different options for proceeding. If the person sending you the amount is somewhere around, they can simply scan the QR code with their own app. Alternatively, you can tap on the share button to send an e-mail with your Bitcoin address.
Another way is to simply tap on the address to copy it to the clipboard, after which you can enter it into the required field yourself (for example in case of a self-transfer from a cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase or Gemini).
The final method is to ‘Request’ an amount. Selecting this option brings up a form like the one below.
Requesting an amount
Again, the options are similar, with means to share the address via copying to clipboard, an Email or Text Message. The only difference is that the amount is specified by you instead of being set by the sender. This feature is mostly useful only in case of utilizing Bitcoin for payments, where the amount is billed by the seller instead of the sender of the funds.
Or you can use it just to make transactions precise.
Once you have shared your Bitcoin address, the ball is in the sender’s court now. In case that person is you as well (if you are withdrawing funds from your crypto exchange account), put that address in the ‘destination’ field, select the amount to send, and you are done.
As you may already know, transactions on the Bitcoin network are not instantaneous in nature. The transaction has to be vetted by miners, and added to a block. Even that must be done a sufficient number of times before the transaction could be definitely considered to have been completed.
To track the progress of this somewhat lengthy process, Bread gives you a transaction receipt.
The receipt tracks your transaction in 20% increments, which is actually a mark of a certain number of confirmations on the Bitcoin network. For an even more exhaustive list of details, select the transaction itself to open this message.
As you can see, it contains all the details regarding your transaction, for future reference and record keeping. And once your transaction is finally complete, you will also see an updated receipt to notify you of the same.
And that’s it for receiving funds to your Bread Wallet!
How To Send Bitcoin From A Bread Wallet?
Sending Bitcoin is equally easy on Bread. Navigate to the home screen, and this time, tap on Send. You will find yourself with the appropriate form.
All you have to do now is to update the amount, put in an address, and you are done. For the address, you can either scan the QR code, or paste it from the clipboard.
Tip- You can toggle between fiat and Bitcoin by tapping on the button next to the amount field.
Selecting a Speed
As mentioned earlier, transactions on the Bitcoin Blockchain involve a bunch of miners to process them. To speed up the process a bit, you can choose to add a little incentive by the way of extra fees. On the other hand, if the transaction is not urgent, you can pay the bare minimum and choose to wait instead.
This is the standard mode for Bread transactions. Comparatively, it is the more expensive option, allowing your transaction to complete within an hour. The applicable network fee is displayed for your convenience.
It is the go-to option for transactions of urgent nature, such as payments.
This is the cost-effective option. If you are not in a particular hurry, choose this option. It will save you some on the network fee, but the transaction confirmation can take up to 24 hours, which is fine for most regular Bitcoin transfers though.
Once you have chosen a speed, you need to add the required network fee into the amount as well, otherwise, the app will throw this message at you.
Adjust the amount accordingly, and you will be able to press the Send button. There is, however, one more step before your Bitcoin goes on its way.
In order to prevent someone else from accessing your device (while left unattended on the Bread app itself), the Wallet will ask you to re-enter your six-digit PIN.
Enter it, and the transaction will go through, immediately presenting you with the receipt for it.
As before, the transaction will be tracked in increments of 20%. As you can see, the receipts stack upon each other, so you can view the status of all your recent transactions at once.
Depending on the transaction speed chosen, the process will complete in either a day or an hour, with a notification being sent to you as soon as it is done.
How To Buy Bitcoin through Bread Wallet?
Bread also offers you the handy option to buy Bitcoin from the app. There are two main ways; using the Glidera service (now renamed Kraken Direct), or from a Bitcoin retailer or ATM nearby.
The latter option is more or less a built-in search function; the app does not process any payment or deliver the Bitcoin to you. Still, it could be the fastest and the most hassle-free method, provided there are stores nearby you.
Buying Bitcoin Directly Through The BRD App
For this, we will choose the first option. The following screen will greet you.
To purchase Bitcoin from Glidera, you need to link a Bank account. Tap on the “Get started with Glidera” option to continue.
After linking an account, simply follow the in-app instructions to buy Bitcoin. Keep in mind, however, the delivery of the coins takes a handful of days.
How To Enhance Your Bread Wallet Security?
By default, Bread is pretty secure. It forces you to set a six-digit PIN, which, in combination with your twelve-word pass-phrase, should safeguard your funds. But in case you are looking for an extra layer of security (or just want to change the PIN or obtain the paper key again), there are options for doing so.
First, navigate to the Bread Menu. On the menu, tap on the Security Center. The page will load.
It only gives you three options. Option one lets you change your PIN. The second option is the only thing that is new here; it activates Fingerprint Authentication to approve your spending up to a set limit. The third option just lets you note down your twelve-word backup phrase again.
From the same menu, you can also navigate to Support. Basically, it is a compendium of frequently asked questions about using Bread, covering almost every issue you might face on the application.
Not Just a Wallet
While currently Bread functions just as a cryptocurrency wallet (albeit a good one, at that), it does not intend to remain so forever. Ultimately, the team behind Bread have plans to implement a complete financial services ecosystem, building upon the ease of use of the wallet.
The Future Roadmap
Decentralized Asset Exchange (DEX)
We are already seeing plenty of tokens built around the same premise: a trustless asset exchange, powered by atomic swaps. The advantage of Bread is that it already has a large user base, and a tested product that could act as the platform for such an exchange.
Another hot button area for crypto. Every coin is trying to crack the payments platform business, which could send existing solutions running for their money. Bread is aiming to integrate a third party payments system directly into the wallet app, making spending your Bitcoin (or other cryptocurrencies for that matter), as easy as fiat.
Similar in aim to the Ethos project’s Fusion Financial collaboration, the portfolio management platform will be a natural evolution for Bread. For once it starts supporting a large number of cryptocurrencies, it will just be a step away from allowing the trade and management of these assets.
Furthermore, such a platform might even allow users to invest in ICOs from a secure platform, recreating the traditional investment industry’s solution in crypto.
Additional Financial Services
Many have remarked on crypto’s ability to replace the traditional Banking system. Services like bill payment, loans via peer-to-peer lending, long-term savings accounts, and even direct deposit of user salaries in the form of cryptocurrency, could be offered by such a platform.
And among the many projects striving to create a crypto Bank, Bread is certainly a forerunner, leveraging its existing market reach and demonstrated technical excellence to make this dream come true.
BRD: The Bread Token
To fuel the financial ecosystem the Bread is envisioning, the team decided to launch its own token. Trading with the ticker symbol BRD from the winter of 2017, the coin went on to raise $20 million in its Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
The funds are being used to implement the roadmap aggressively, to take Bread to the next level as soon as possible. Moreover, the coin is a utility token; once the myriad services are in place, it would see a central role in facilitating the functioning of the system.
All in all, Bread is a solid Wallet to use if your crypto of choice is supported by it. With its slick interface, impressive speed and time-tested reliability, you would be hard pressed to find a better alternative.
By also offering multiple sending speeds and other advanced features, Bread gives enough customization options to achieve every purpose efficiently. Add to that its impeccable security and transactions on Bread work like a charm.
And finally, the continuous development of additional, ambitious features bodes well for the application and its ecosystem, promising bright things ahead for its users.