In this blog post, we will answer the most FAQs about the development of cryptocurrency wallets. All the most important about primary functionality, technology stack, and free tools for the crypto wallet in one place. Stay tuned!
A crypto wallet is expected to have a set of primary functionalities for security and user experience purposes. The primary features of a crypto wallet should include:
• Cryptocurrency purchase, selling, and transfer: Fundamentally, a crypto wallet must allow its owner to transfer cryptocurrency in and out of their wallet. Software developers include functions related to the purchase and selling of cryptocurrency with another currency in the wallet as well.
• User profile: A crypto wallet should also have a user profile showing the portfolio, transaction history, security settings, notifications settings, backup options, seed phrases, and other useful information.
• Multi-crypto asset support: A crypto wallet should support multiple assets such as the popular coins (e.g., Bitcoin and Ethereum), stablecoins, and other altcoins.
• QR code scanner: Every crypto wallet must have a QR-code scanner for quick and easy user transfers in their daily lives.
• Account authorization features: All crypto wallets should have account authorization features where the wallets require the owners to input the passwords, private keys, or seed phrases to access their wallets.
• Security-based functionalities and anti-DDos protection: A crypto wallet should have additional security functionalities to protect the user data from being stolen, as well as the anti-DDoS feature (Distributed Denial of Service) which protects the server from the traffic overwhelming.
• Fiat withdrawal: In some crypto wallets, especially those on centralized exchanges, users can directly convert their cryptocurrency into fiat currency and transfer the fiat currency into their bank accounts.
There are various types of crypto wallets. Axon builds software wallets where the two most commonly used are web wallets and mobile wallets:
• Mobile wallets are applications that users need to install on their phones. This type of wallet is highly portable and typically comes with QR code functionality for easy payment.
• Web wallets or online wallets are wallets that users can access via any web browser without installing any particular software. This type of wallet is the most portable but least secure as it is constantly connected to the internet.
Bitcoin is by far the most well-known cryptocurrency. Furthermore, its code is open-source, meaning that anyone in the world can view and reference its architecture. As a result, the development of a Bitcoin wallet for personal use is not too difficult. There is even an assortment of free libraries in the community that developers can utilize to simplify the wallet application development. Here are some examples of the most popular libraries:
• Coinbase Software Development Kit (SDK): Coinbase, one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, offers an SDK for wallet application development. It is a cross-platform Java library that supports Java, Python, Ruby, and platforms like Android and iOS. Developers can use it to implement features such as transaction management, cryptocurrency payment support which allows users to use Bitcoin to purchase other cryptocurrencies.
• Blockchain's wallet application programming interface (API): Blokchain.com offers a free API that developers can utilize to develop wallet applications for platforms such as Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. The API also supports languages such as Java, Python, and Ruby. The API allows developers to quickly create a wallet application with essential functions such as Bitcoin transfers, wallet balance checking, and password setup.
Those looking to build a crypto wallet from scratch without relying on existing libraries will require a professional development team. Prior to app development, there must be a planning phase that involves a product discovery process, which is an iterative process that teams use to reduce uncertainty around the product to meet the needs of their target audience.
In the product discovery process, the team should all be clear on the problem that they are solving and have the problem defined clearly. This is to prevent team members from overextending and including irrelevant features, wasting precious time and money. In addition, during the product discovery stage, the team plan software architecture and consider aspects such as:
• The synchronization of the blockchain network with the wallet to correctly generate wallet addresses, recognize the transactions, calculate transaction fees, and other important functions.
• The creation process of the wallet application and the relevant components that developers need to integrate, such as the necessary APIs, programming languages, and suitable payment gateways.
• The features of the wallet that users want in their wallet applications, such as balance checking, transaction history, and portfolio tracking.
To develop the product optimally, the development team must include people with experience in software solutions development, such as:
• User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) designers build the interface of the wallet. They create user-friendly interfaces that users can easily understand to utilize the wallet fully.
• Front-end developers then ensure the development of the user interface and optimization of user experience by implementing the design into the crypto web application.
• Mobile developers provide the creation of iOS and Android apps for your crypto wallet or a cross-platform solution in case you are focused on MVP development. The last option ensures a quicker development process.
• Back-end developers are responsible for the development of operations that occur on the server-side. The backend is an essential part of application development as it handles, stores, secures, and processes the data for smooth operation.
• Quality assurance (QA) engineers test the wallet application to ensure all the functions work as intended without bugs or errors. They are responsible for creating and running tests that identify potential issues with the wallet application before product launch.
For businesses looking to accept Bitcoin, they do not need to build their own Bitcoin wallets. Instead, these businesses should integrate one of the many ready-made payment services that support Bitcoin:
• Coinbase offers a payment gateway where Bitcoin can be instantly converted into fiat currency even if the merchant did not request a withdrawal. The payment gateway is free for the first $1 million of transactions and requires only a merchant fee of 1% afterward.
• BitPay offers a feature where merchants can set the withdrawal to occur at specific time frames. It charges a simple 1% transaction fee (which may be higher for riskier industries) with daily settlements and unlimited monthly transactions.
• Shopify offers integrations with various other gateways such as Coinbase to facilitate payment processing. It has different tiers that charge different monthly fees depending on the merchants' needs.
The development team will have to choose suitable programming languages for the crypto wallet application depending on the platforms of choice. Here are some examples of programming languages and SDKs that developers can use for wallet application development:
• Java or Kotlin: Developers considering releasing the wallet application on Android can look at Java or Kotlin. Java is a very popular language for developing Android applications due to being simple to use. On the other hand, Kotlin is a newer programming language and is Google's preferred language for Android application development. Kotlin is also easier to learn and is completely compatible with Java.
• Swift or Objective-C: For iOS application development, developers can consider using Swift or Objective-C. Objective-C is a very established but closed-source programming language. In contrast, Swift is a newer, open-source language created by Apple for developers to build applications on its platforms. Swift is also easier to read and learn compared to Objective-C.
• Flutter: This is an SDK by Google and relies on Dart, a flexible programming language developers can use to build applications that run on most platforms without limitations. The Flutter SDK suits teams looking to release cross-platform wallet applications as it simultaneously supports six different platforms. The six platforms are Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, and on the web.
The popularity of Bitcoin has resulted in the emergence of many different blockchain projects and an increased interest in learning about cryptocurrency and its relevant applications. Among such applications, the crypto wallet is one of the most essential components as they grant users access to their cryptocurrency.
Crypto wallets generally have a set of useful functions such as sending and receiving cryptocurrency and transaction history. Developers looking to create their own crypto wallets can either rely on existing libraries or build the wallet application from scratch. Currently, Axon supports many of the technologies mentioned above and can create a robust and feature-rich crypto wallet app to suit your needs.