Mycelium Wallet Review and In-Depth User Guide
Mycelium is a secure mobile bitcoin wallet that allows users to store, send, and receive Bitcoin. The creators of the Mycelium wallet have been working in the cryptocurrency scene since 2013 and have created an entire “Mycelium Ecosystem” of products, with this wallet being the focal point. The project developers’ goal is to keep Bitcoin decentralized and in the hands of the users, not the banks. Mycelium is available on both iOS and Android mobile devices as a free download from their respective app stores.
In this review of the Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet, we’ll cover the following topics:
- Ease of Use
- Unique Features
- Mycelium User Guide
Mycelium has a standard horizontal tab-based menu and a no-frills design. Making transactions is fairly straightforward, but there are perhaps too many customization options. There are multiple wallet addresses, local Bitcoin purchase options, address books, cold-storage options, and secondary menus in almost every tab. This sort of customization would be better served in a browser-based wallet, with a more minimal companion mobile wallet, similar to the Blockchain wallet. Advanced users may appreciate the customization options but newer users will probably find the menus overly cluttered.
If Bitcoin wallets were chosen via Tinder, you’d probably swipe left on Mycelium; it is not a superficially attractive wallet. The whole black-and-white color palette plus the chosen text font gives it a “Windows Command Prompt”-like vibe. Even the Mycelium logo, a cuboidal-hexagon with an amalgam of prime colors, looks awkwardly juxtaposed onto the spartan, almost unfinished, wallet design.
Cryptocurrencies in general can be off-putting to new users because of the required learning curve. This is why some other successful mobile wallets like Blockchain, bread, and Jaxx use softer color tones, more natural fonts, and more pleasant interfaces. They create an aesthetically pleasant experience that facilitates and enables quick learning, whereas Mycelium is about as inviting as your University’s old, damp, basement computer lab.
Fortunately for Mycelium, looks aren’t everything and with Bitcoin wallets “personality” matters. The Mycelium wallet has numerous unique features for users to take advantage of. One of the more novel features involves the ability to temporarily link Mycelium to a cold-storage wallet for payment. Mycelium will then delete all traces of your cold-storage keys as soon as the transaction is complete.
Another part of the aforementioned “Mycelium Ecosystem” is a small, USB-powered paper wallet printer, called “Entropy”. Entropy allows you to connect to your Mycelium app and create paper wallets without a computer interface. Entropy is only compatible with the Mycelium application and is the only wallet-specific portable printer on the market.
There is also an interactive feature within the ecosystem and wallet app called “Mycelium Marketplace”. The marketplace allows users to make trades with local Bitcoin buyers and sellers. Trades between fiat and Bitcoin can occur through the Mycelium app using your phone’s Near Field Communications (NFC) functionality. While it’s an interesting idea, the marketplace seems to have been clumsily shoehorned into the wallet. It offers a bubbly, positive, social-networking-type aspect to an otherwise sterile application.
This guide will cover the Mycelium app for Android devices. Mycelium has fewer features on iOS, but still serves as a functional Bitcoin wallet. The setup process is similar for both platforms.
To get the Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet on your Android-powered device, you have two options. You can download the Mycelium .apk file directly from the Mycelium website to your mobile device, or you can download the Mycelium application from the Google Play store. In the Google Play store, search for “Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet” (1). Press “INSTALL” (2).
You’ll be informed via a pop-up prompt that Mycelium needs access to your mobile device’s GPS Location (1), as well as Camera (2). This access is for the local Mycelium network Bitcoin trading functionality and the QR scanner, respectively. Press “ACCEPT” (3).
Once the application has completed its download, press “OPEN” (1).
On the welcome screen of the wallet, you’ll be given the option to restore a backup of a former wallet using your 12-word-seed, or to create a new wallet. Choose “Create New” (1).
Mycelium’s default home screen is the “BALANCE” tab (1). This allows for quick deployment of the wallet’s transactional functionality. You’ll see your wallet’s unique address (3) and corresponding QR code (4) atop the screen.
Beneath those are “Send” (5) and “Receive” (6) payment options. There is also an option to “Buy/Sell Bitcoin” (7) that we will explore in the features section of this guide.
Before using your wallet for transactions, however, it would be prudent to set up your wallet’s security. To do so, select the “ACCOUNTS” tab (2).
Mycelium’s security options can be greatly customized based on individual users’ needs and preferences. These customization options are what sets Mycelium apart from competitors like Blockchain and bread. This guide focuses on general security options.
After you have switched to the accounts tab, you’ll see information for one “Bitcoin HD”. “HD” is an acronym for “Hierarchical Deterministic”; this is a secure type of wallet that generates all Bitcoin addresses sequentially based upon a master seed. Select “Account 1” (1).
“Account 1” (1) is the default name of this wallet. You can easily change the name to something you are more comfortable with by pressing the label icon (2). This is useful as the Mycelium wallet gives you options to add more than one wallets and accounts. Press “CREATE BACKUP” (3).
We’re now going to set up a backup for your wallet. This will allow you to restore your digital funds in case you ever lose access to your mobile device. Mycelium facilitates backups by giving you a 12-word master seed. If you ever attempt to restore your wallet on another device, you will be asked to enter your recovery seed. You’ll need to write the seed down on a piece of paper and then store the paper in a secure location.
Once you have paper and a pen ready to record your 12-word master seed, press ‘Yes’ (1).
The Mycelium application disables the Android screenshot feature for the master seed setup so we can’t give you images. You’ll be shown 12 words. Record them on a piece of paper in their correct order. You’ll then be asked to confirm the words by entering word “1 of 12, 2 of 12, 3 of 12…” Once you enter all 12 words, you’ll be shown a verification message. Press the ‘ok’ button to continue.
At this point, you need to set a transactional PIN on your account. From the accounts tab, press the menu button (1) on the top-right of the application. Press the “Settings” option (2) in the drop-down menu.
Scroll through the menu to the “PIN SETTINGS” portion. Check the box (1) that requires your PIN number upon application startup.
Press the “Set PIN Code” button (2). The Mycelium application once again disables Android screenshots at this point. You’ll be asked to input a 6-digit PIN, then to confirm that PIN on a second screen.
Check the “Resettable PIN” box at the bottom of the PIN input screen so you can create a new PIN after a seven-day waiting period should you forget your original.
Navigate back to the accounts tab, then press the key-shaped icon with the addition sign next to it. This allows you to add new accounts as needed. You can “Add HD Account” (1) based on the 12-word master seed you have already recorded.
Mycelium is partnered with a third party service called Coinapult which allows you to hedge gains or losses by storing a portion of your Bitcoin as fiat currency within your Mycelium wallet. Press “Add Coinapult Locks Account” (2).
To set up your Coinapult account, you’ll need to link an email to your Mycelium wallet and go through a few additional steps via the third-party program. If you want to do this, select “I agree” (1).
Now that your wallet is secure, we can start making transactions. First let’s talk about how you would go about sending Bitcoin. Navigate back to the balance tab and select the “Send’ button (4).
Sending Bitcoin on Mycelium requires you to enter the recipient’s address, the amount you’d like to send, and a miner fee. There are four options by which you can acquire the recipient’s address. You can use your mobile device’s camera to “Scan QR Code” (1). You can search through any addresses you saved to your Mycelium wallet with “My Addresses” (2). You can paste an address from your mobile device’s “Clipboard” (3). Finally there is a “Manual Entry” (4) option.
Once you have the address entered, you can enter the “Amount” (5) to send in Bitcoin (BTC). You can also choose the “Miner Fee” (6) with which to send your transaction. Your options range from “Economic” to “Priority”.
Once your information has been filled into the form, select the “Send” button (7) to finalize your transaction.
Now let’s talk about receiving Bitcoin. Return to the balances tab and choose the “Receive” button. You have several options with which to share your Mycelium wallet’s Bitcoin address with another person. If your trading partner is nearby, you can allow them to scan your QR code (1), you can show them your alphanumeric address (2), or you can use your mobile device’s “Near Field Communication (NFC)” capabilities (3). Alternatively, you can select “Share Bitcoin Address” (5) to send your address via email or SMS message, or select “Copy to Clipboard” (6) and share your address however you see fit.
Finally, you have the option to enter the amount of Bitcoin (BTC) you want to receive on the amount field (4).
Mycelium also gives users the ability to buy and sell Bitcoin directly through the wallet. Return to the balances tab, then select “Buy/Sell Bitcoin” (6).
You’re given three options for buying and selling Bitcoin. You can use a credit card or debit card to purchase Bitcoin at the current market price by pressing the “Credit Card” option (1), you can use the “Mycelium Marketplace” feature (2) to buy Bitcoin from local Mycelium users, or you can use “Glidera” to buy or sell Bitcoin using a bank account (3).
The last option on the balances tab is “Exchange other coins to BTC” (7). This feature allows you to send either Synero (AMP) (1) or Bitcoin Cash (BCH) (2) to your Mycelium wallet and exchange a certain amount of it (3) for Bitcoin (BTC) (4). Press the “Continue” button (5) to finalize your transaction.
Now that we’ve covered everything you need to know about the balances tab, we’ll talk about some of the other tabs in Mycelium. The “TRANSACTIONS” tab (1) provides you with a visual ledger of all transactions that occur within your Mycelium wallet.
The “BUSINESSES” tab (1) provides you with links to some of Mycelium’s partner businesses.
Finally, the “ADDRESS BOOK” tab (1) allows you to save addresses with which you commonly interact. Press the “Add Contact” icon (2) to add an address.
You can then either add an address with the “Scan” feature (1) or by importing it from your mobile device’s built-in “Clipboard” (2).
The Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet brings convenience and security to iOS and Android mobile devices. The wallet offers users a lot of customization options as well as solid security. It has some unique features like Mycelium Marketplace and third-party options which can be enabled for fiat interoperability. TIt can also be linked temporarily with your cold-storage wallets or create new cold-storage wallets when coupled with the Mycelium Entropy printer.
Mycelium isn’t particularly user-friendly or aesthetically appealing, but it does get points for the “meat and potatoes” security features and address customization options of the wallet. It’s a functional, if not inspiring piece of software. The Mycelium wallet best serves advanced Bitcoin users who care only for security and not appearance or simplicity.
Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet Review
- Supported Cryptocurrencies
- User Experience
I’m an American teacher, living and working in Korea, who developed a passion for cryptocurrency early last year. As a political and financial Libertarian, I find the concept of bankless, blockchain-based-commerce absolutely intoxicating. My goal is to help people SAFELY enter the world of crypto through education and non-biased writing.