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After purchasing Bitcoin on an exchange, you’re going to want to start looking into storage options.
Hardware wallets are by far the most secure option for storing your valuable Bitcoin.
Here’s the thing:
Hardware wallets cost money.
We know… paying for stuff sucks, but the security hardware wallets offer are unrivaled by software wallets.
Below, several well know hardware wallets are compared and contrasted to help find the best Bitcoin hardware wallet for you!
Hardware wallets are a method of securing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
They are physical products created by third party companies. Most of the time, the entire code of the wallet is made open-source, proving just how trustworthy these devices are.
Think of a hardware wallet as some sort of storage device for your private keys.
Hardware wallets offer the most security out of any other storage method due to them having multiple lines of defense.
Now that you know why hardware wallets are so secure, let’s jump right into some of the best hardware wallet options out there. We’ll briefly cover our favorite options, to learn more be sure to check out each wallets official review, detailing everything you need to know.
Coming in at $119, the Ledger Nano X is the cryptocurrency hardware wallet that we recommend the most. Ledger has been around in the cryptocurrency space since 2014 and known to push out some of the highest quality products out there, including the Ledger Nano S which we’ll mention later in this guide.
Some of the most attractive features of the Ledger Nano X are it’s an extremely simple user interface that’s operated through the two buttons shown above, an intuitive hardware wallet setup process, and a wide selection of cryptocurrencies.
Check out our full review of the Ledger Nano X, which includes a step by step wallet activation guide.
Next up, is the Trezor T. Similarily to Ledger, Trezor is a company that’s been involved in the crypto security space for 7 years now, under their main branch of SatoshiLabs. The wallet sells for $169 making it the most expensive of the bunch, but we don’t feel like a few factors of $10 should determine which device you’re putting the bulk of your cryptocurrency in for cold storage.
Prior to the Trezor T, was the Trezor One, which was an enormous hit these past few years. Some of the top selling points of the Trezor T are its ergonomic design, touch screen, simple setup, and support for over 1000+ cryptocurrencies.
Check out our full review of the Trezor T, which includes a step by step wallet activation guide.
The Bitbox02 is one of the newer hardware wallet releases coming out in 2020 by the ShiftCrypto team. This device sells for $119 making it pretty competitive with some of the other wallets mentioned in this guide.
The two things I love about this wallet is the sleek design and small size, and the fact comes in a Bitcoin ONLY version. You may be wondering why this is important. When it comes to security, the fewer attack vectors the better. Bitcoin is the most established and studied cryptocurrency out there, which makes it very difficult to attack.
Keepkey is another great option when it comes to cryptocurrency hardware wallets. Backed by Eric Vorhees and the ShapeShift team, it’s a pretty cheap reliable option costing $49. We would rate KeepKeys security to be in line with all of the wallets we mention here, without the main con being the look and user interface of the wallet. But this all comes down to personal preference.
In the coins department, the device only stores 40+ so if a wide variety of cryptocurrencies is a selling point to you, we wouldn’t recommend this wallet.
The Ledger Nano S is another popular wallet, although it’s been on the market for a few years. Because it’s been out for much longer, the wallet costs $59. If the price of the hardware wallet is your main concern (we think that’s a bit silly) then look no further than the Nano S.
The Nano S will support all the coins the Nano X will, and have many of the same security features.
Ledger is known to be one of the most transparent and best companies in the cryptocurrency space and they have once again lived up to expectations.
Hopefully, this review gave you some valuable information and will allow you to make an educated purchase.
One of the most popular complaints from the community about the old Ledger Nano S is that it was hard to see the screen.
Because of this, the Ledger team has increased the device size on this model to 72mm x 18.6mm x 11.75mm (Left) compared to the old 56.95mm x 17.4mm x 9.1mm (Right).
The Ledger team has heard plenty of community feedback asking for an increase in the number of assets the device can store. And oh did the Ledger team deliver. The entire list of assets can be viewed on the Ledger website.
The Ledger Nano X also features the ability to connect your Nano X with a mobile device allowing transactions to be made on the go. Depending on you’re storage needs, this may or may not be useful for you.
In order to maneuver across the screens, you’ll want to use the left and right buttons to scroll. To confirm a menu option, click both in at the same time. This can be confusing at first and takes some getting used to.
To do this, you’ll want to go to the manage section and download the respective wallet software. If you do not see the cryptocurrency you want, use the search bar.
Absolutely! The Ledger Nano X is placed #1 on our cryptocurrency hardware wallet list for good reason. It’s proven track record of security and levels of security make it an incredible choice for storing cryptocurrency.
There’s no limit to how many coins a Ledger Nano X can hold. As long as your desired cryptocurrency is supported by the wallet, it can store as much of it as you need!
Withdrawing from a Ledger Nano X is extremely easy to do. Open the Ledger Manager app which will give you an interface to interact with.
From here, navigate to the coin you are trying to send, paste the deposit address, and wait for the coins to arrive!
We get it…
This can be expensive for some, but the extra security this device offers is certainly worth it.
Unlike most other hardware wallets, the Trezor Model T has no physical buttons. Instead, there is a full color touch screen that makes navigation super simple.
The Trezor model T can be used as a secure storage device for all your online passwords. This works similar to LastPass or Dashlane, but instead of a 3rd party storing all your passwords, you store them yourself.
The Trezor can also act as a hardware two factor, similar to a Yubikey. Whenever you log into an online account, you’ll need to plug in the Trezor to gain access to the account.
Trezor has listened to community concerns about their past wallet not supporting a variety of altcoins.
Which is why the Trezor Model T supports over 1,000 cryptocurrencies. These include alts such as Dash, Zcash and all ERC-20 tokens.
By default, the Trezor may only support a few coins, but the necessary firmware for each can easily be installed on the Trezor wallet dashboard.
The main differences between the two devices are the wallet appearance and navigation system.
The Trezor One is smaller and uses 2 buttons to navigate. Some people did not like this, so the Trezor T has a very responsive touch screen.
Originally, the Trezor One supported very few cryptocurrencies.
After an update, both wallets are able to store the same cryptocurrencies. The wallets aren’t too different aside from the mentioned features.
Like always, for these extra features, you’ll end up paying more.
As stated above, the Trezor T sells for around $165, while the Trezor One is going for $78.
These devices are relatively similar and offer unrivaled levels of security to other wallets. The main differences between them would most likely be the Bluetooth functionality of the Trezor T, the materials each are made of, and the buttons/user interface.
The Trezor T features Bluetooth abilities to link to your phone or other devices for use on the go. Depending on your intended use for the wallet, this can be a pro or a con. If you are making frequent transactions this can be an outstanding feature.
However, if your wallet is mainly for cold storage, Bluetooth offers another attack vector for a hacker, so it may not be worth it. This is entirely up to you.
As far as materials, I’d assume the Trezor T is mostly high-quality plastic, while the Ledger Nano X consists of brushed stainless steel and plastic.
The Bitbox02 is the latest cryptocurrency hardware wallet from the ShiftCrypto team.
Released in 2019 after the success of the first Bitbox, the new version has made significant improvements.
But we know what you’re thinking:
Let’s jump into some of the features of the device and who the device is for.
Some of the best features of the Bitbox02 include its easy backup MicroSD, OLED display and touch sensors, secure chip hardware, USB-C & A compatibility, and U2F support. The code for the software is completely open-source, adding an additional layer of trust to an already widely trusted company in the cryptocurrency space.
Next, we’ll get into the unboxing of the device.
In order to control the device, you simply press on one of the edges, or both at the same time. While it’s a bit strange to get used to at first, the system becomes more intuitive and grows on you.
Depending on which model of the Bitbox02 you decide to get, the wallet will or will not support altcoins.
The Bitbox multi-edition will support Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and all of the ERC-20 tokens. They plan to add many more tokens and cryptocurrencies as time goes on.
If you choose the Bitcoin only version, then obviously, it will only support Bitcoin.
You can learn more about ShiftCrypto’s bug bounty program here. They display a list of the current leaders in the bounty program which can be interesting to keep an eye on, as bugs are found.
The Bitbox02 competition mostly consists of the Ledger Nano X, Trezor T, and Keepkey.
In terms of price points, cryptocurrency variety, and security, all of these wallets are going to be pretty comparable. It’ll really come down to your personal preference on the looks, interface, and controls of the device
While the BitBox02 is one of the cheapest, we don’t think a mere double-digit price difference should have much of an effect on the hardware wallet you decide to go with.
Cryptocurrency presents a double-edged sword. On one hand, investors can custody their own funds, similar to keeping gold in a safe. This can be beneficial as it can protect a person or business against asset seizure.
This is no trivial matter. Between 2000 and 2013 the United States’ government seized more than $20 billion worth of assets from individuals and businesses.
While in many instances that seizure was justified by crime, in an alarming number of cases there is little to no justification for the seizure and innocent people have had their lives ruined by government overreach. With crypto, you can self-custody your funds and asset seizure becomes much more difficult.
On the other hand, if you fail to store your funds correctly you may lose everything. The downside of a blockchain currency is that if something goes wrong there is no recourse or refund.
Unlike the traditional banking system which has safeguards built-in (bank transfers can be reversed), once a crypto transaction is confirmed the money is gone. That means that if a hacker drains your account the funds are lost.
Even if you can trace the path of your funds on a public blockchain there is no way to stop him from spending the money he’s stolen from you.
All of these facts are leading us to the topic at hand: securing your crypto with a cold wallet. A cold wallet is one that’s disconnected from the internet in order to prevent it from being hacked. As mentioned there are two types of cold storage wallets: software and hardware.
A majority of new Bitcoin users decide to leave their Bitcoin’s in online cryptocurrency exchange wallets such as Coinbase. While this is convenient, you are not keeping your cryptocurrency secure.
Private keys ultimately decide who owns the Bitcoin. When Bitcoin is left in a wallet like Coinbase they hold your private key for you.
If you want to use your Bitcoin to transact, consider also having a hot wallet.
Hot wallets are typically software wallets that store lesser amounts of Bitcoin. These are great for spending Bitcoin on everyday items.
You can never be too secure when it comes to cryptocurrency, which is why hardware wallets are the #1 option for storing cryptocurrency.
Depending on your needs, certain cryptocurrency wallets are better than others.
This is one of the most important frequently asked questions when it comes to hardware wallets. NEVER purchase a cryptocurrency wallet from anyone that is not the original manufacturer of the device or an authorized reseller, such as Privacy Pros.
There have been several cases of people purchasing hardware wallets on Amazon or eBay. They deposit some cryptocurrency on the wallet and go about their day.
Later on, they go to check their wallet, and all of their cryptocurrency is gone!
The 3rd party seller managed to gain access to the wallet and waited for the buyer to load it up with cryptocurrency.
Once the wallet had a balance, the seller sent all of the funds to a different address that they control!
This is a devastating and unfortunate scam that can be easily avoided by only purchasing hardware wallets from the original manufacturers.
After purchasing the wallet from one of these trusted sellers, it’s also important to check if the tamper-proof strip is still there on the device. Keep in mind that not all hardware wallet manufacturers use this strip. Ledger is one example.
This is a difficult question to answer, as the best hardware wallet for one person, won’t necessarily be the best for another. If you’ve made it this far, you’ve probably come to the understanding that hardware wallets are mostly used for cold storage.
With a cold storage wallet, you’d want a secure option with as few attack vectors as possible right? All of the options on this guide are great options with a long history of security.
Due to the high amount of people using the Ledger Nano X, and the Trezor T, we recommend these extremely high due to the immense security that they provide. However, you really can’t go wrong with any option on this guide.
If Bitpremier didn’t trust a wallet creator, we wouldn’t list them on the site.
This is not a good question to ask. All hardware wallets are around $100 of each other. As stated before, no amount of security is ever enough when it comes to cryptocurrency. Why risk not having top-level security for $100? The amount you plan on storing surely has to be more than $100.
That’s why this should absolutely not be a factor in the hardware wallet purchasing process. Choose a wallet based on its features and security, NOT its price.
However, to answer the question, the cheapest wallet would most likely be a Keepkey or OpenDime.