Mycelium Mycelium Website

Android Mobile, paper wallets when using Mycelium Entropy, and an autonomous payment system called Mycelium Card.
  • ValidationCentralised
  • AnonymityLower Intermediate
  • Ease of useIntermediate
  • Supported Coins
  • BTC

Pros & Cons

  • Mycelium supports many different payment methods, making it a favourite for vendors and shoppers.
  • Mycelium’s code is fully open-source.
  • You control your own private key, putting you in charge of your own funds.
  • The development team is known for its innovation and is likely to continue to bring out new features.
  • Mobile applications are less likely to be hacked than desktop applications.
  • Only Bitcoin is offered on this wallet, making it unavailable to people who wish to use different cryptocurrencies.
  • The Mycelium wallet is considered to have intermediate difficulty to use, so it may be difficult for beginners and first-time users to understand.
  • Users’ private keys are also stored on the Mycelium network. Although encrypted, they are not impossible to decrypt.
  • Mycelium does not support either two-factor authentication or multisignature authorisation, meaning that its security could be improved.

Features

Mycelium Gear (Automated and simple online payment system for merchants), Mycelium Swish (for restaurants and bars), Mycelium Card (an autonomous, battery-operated, fully functional point of service terminal), and Mycelium Entropy, a USB device that allows easy printing of paper wallets.

Wallet Info

Founder(s)
The Mycelium team consists of twelve people – Alexander Kuzmin, Bijan Mawji, Jerome Rousselot, Leo Wandersleb, Andrew Toth, Constantin Vennekel, Dmitry Murashchik, Daniel Kravisz, Jan Dreske, Andreas Petersson, Mariya Brown, and Vitaly Yuschkov.
Price
Free to download. No fees are paid to Mycelium. All transaction fees go to the network.
Private Keys Stored by
You and Third Party (Encrypted)
Security
Good/Great (Depending on the individual user's own ability to secure their private key)
What it is

A mobile hot wallet on the Android platform, with cold storage available on a prepaid paper wallet system (Mycelium Entropy).

Introduction

From an initial reading of Mycelium’s offerings, my immediate impression is that the developers have designed Mycelium to facilitate easy payments, both for businesses and for individuals.   Its offerings include a mobile application, an autonomous payment system, a payment system optimised for bars and restaurants, a merchant payment system, and a prepaid paper wallet system.

Mycelium is known for its developers’ high level of attention to continued development and frequent innovation, and its fairly sizeable development team.

Out of 29 user reviews, 18 gave Mycelium the top 5-star rating, with an average rating of 3.7 stars. The wallet application and its related offerings are available on www.wallet.mycelium.com

Security

When using Mycelium, I own my private key, which can ultimately make me the one in control of my cryptocurrency on the site. No matter the state of Mycelium’s servers, I can easily move and spend my cryptocurrency elsewhere. I recommend that you protect your private key well – if someone wanted to steal your cryptocurrency, your private key is all that someone would need!

When you set up your Mycelium wallet, the program generates a seed key for you. It is strongly advised that you write this key down in full, as if your mobile phone is ever stolen, you will be able to restore access to your funds through the use of the seed key. Your PIN code for using Mycelium is six digits long, so it is certainly not trivial to crack; if a thief stole your phone it is not likely they would be aware that you had a cryptocurrency wallet installed on it in the first place. When you restore your backup, be sure to send the funds out of the compromised wallet, in case the thief does manage to crack the PIN code.

Mycelium does not support either multisignature or two-factor authentication, so I think it may be a good idea to use it only for small transactions, as befits their focus on transactions, buying and selling over investing. If you are an investor, store the bulk of your cryptocurrency on a hardware wallet, or use Mycelium Entropy, their paper wallet system.

I consider Mycelium’s anonymity to have medium strength, because you can generate multiple wallet addresses with Hierarchical Determinism. This can certainly help you stay anonymous, but it isn’t enough by itself to do completely private trades. It does help prevent a single wallet address becoming associated with you as a user.

Using this Wallet

I consider Mycelium’s usability to be of lower intermediate difficulty. It does not have a built-in exchange, and the onus is on you to learn some basic computer security, such as how to keep a private key safe and how to back up your wallet.

With a look at the products Mycelium offers, easy buying and selling seems to be the priority of Mycelium’s developers.  Firstly, the main Mycelium application is a mobile application, which means that it is meant to be used ‘on the go’, such as when I am at a check-out counter, I can take out my mobile phone and use the Mycelium app and scan a QR code in order to facilitate easy payment between the vendor I am trading with and my own account. Secondly, should I decide to become a vendor myself, either online or offline, I can use Mycelium Gear to allow any currency to be deposited straight into my Mycelium wallet and converted automatically from whichever currency my customer is using. Thirdly, if I am running a bar or restaurant, Mycelium Swish automates payments and has a staff payment system too. Fourthly, the system Mycelium Card is a fully autonomous payment device that can be charged by USB and can complete in excess of one hundred transactions before running out of power. When you plug it in via USB you can view all transactions easily.

Finally, for higher security, there is the option to generate prepaid paper wallets that are linked to my Mycelium wallet.  Paper wallets cannot be hacked through any computer device until the information they store is entered on a computer device. However, don’t forget that paper can burn, become wet, or can be made otherwise unreadable.

Mycelium’s visual interface is a sleek black background with white text and dark blue bars and menus. Its visual design suggests simplicity.

Interestingly, Mycelium’s web site lists no fewer than seven new offerings that are being developed. These include support for multiple fiat (conventional government money such as pounds and dollars) accounts based in blockchain, a feature that will make remittance cheaper, debit cards linked to wallets, personal finance management with invoicing, investment portfolios with hedging, fully protected escrow accounts for transactions, and crypto assets exchange creation.  This list of new features definitely suggests an active development team that listens to what their customers want.

Alternatives to this wallet

Wallets most similar to Mycelium include Enjin and SpectroCoin, both of which are mobile hot wallets and considered good for commerce on the go. Airbitz/Edge has a similar design philosophy, but it is focused more on investing than commerce because it has a built-in exchange but nowhere near as many commerce features.

One desktop application that also lacks a connected exchange is myEther, for Ethereum trading. As ever, though, the most secure wallets for high volumes of cryptocurrency storage are hardware wallets, such as Ledger and Trezor.

Conclusion

Mycelium’s main market includes customers who frequently buy with cryptocurrency, and businesses that sell and trade with cryptocurrency. If these are among your goals, few wallets will offer a more convenient or all-in-one package. Storing large amounts of cryptocurrency on any hot wallet for the purposes of investment or saving is inadvisable, and Mycelium is no exception to this rule. Their paper wallet feature is more secure than their hot wallet, as it cannot be accessed from any point using the Internet until the key code is entered, but paper wallets have their own vulnerabilities: paper can become wet, lost, burned, stolen, or otherwise unreadable.

Users requiring higher security may prefer multisignature authorisation or two-factor authentication, which Mycelium does not support. In this way, its security could be improved.

Open-source enthusiasts will be glad to know that Mycelium is fully open-source.

Overall, I would recommend Mycelium primarily for customers who shop with cryptocurrency frequently, businesses who wish to trade with cryptocurrency, and for intermediate users that want to trade in Bitcoin in fairly small amounts on a frequent basis, never holding a large percentage of one’s net worth in the wallet at any given time.

AuthorDavid Nugent

David is a forex trader and writer who has spent the last few years giving his opinion and spreading news about oncoming markets and trading tips. Besides from being a trader he is also a lifelong Everton fan and enjoys spending free time watching his beloved team in the premier league.

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