The most secure way to store your cryptos is somehow through crypto hardware wallets. Some crypto hardware wallets come with a two-factor authentication process and a PIN code. Also, hardware wallets can be attached to any device via a USB port. However, we recommend that you understand some concepts before choosing a wallet, as secure storage is key.
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What is a Crypto Wallet?
When you send or receive any crypto, you’ll do so from a wallet.
Your crypto wallet is considered your “address” on the blockchain network that crypto operates on. Crypto wallet addresses exist in the digital domain. You can also access them through crypto wallet software or hardware.
Cryptocurrency wallets held by exchanges are functionally similar to a bank account. An online crypto exchange wallet doesn’t offer you full control over your crypto but makes accessing, receiving, or sending crypto easy.
Crypto wallet software is installed on a smartphone or computer that provides users access to their private keys. Therefore, it gives full control over a cryptocurrency wallet and the crypto it contains.
Furthermore, crypto hardware wallets function similarly to software wallets. In that, users hold full control over their digital assets. With an added benefit, the crypto hardware wallet is entirely offline and is considered the most secure means of storing crypto.
How do Crypto Wallets Work?
In its simplest form, a cryptocurrency wallet consists of two elements: a private key and a public key.
The private key linked with a wallet is the key to access it and consists of a long, complex key of letters and numbers. A public key is the public address of a crypto wallet and is used to send or receive crypto.
Private keys should be put in a highly secure way. Anybody with access to the private key linked with a wallet can access the crypto it keeps. Therefore, it’s essential to take private key security seriously.
Cryptocurrency wallets allow users to interact with a blockchain using a private/public key pair. Crypto wallets that are “hosted” by exchanges such as Coinbase or Binance don’t provide your private key access. They will store them on your behalf.
In a crypto wallet, users hold full control and responsibility for their capital. While private and public keys both may sound confusing, most crypto wallets’ effective use is relatively direct. Here’s how the various types of cryptocurrency wallets work:
Why Crypto Hardware Wallets?
The users usually go for hardware wallets for the following reasons:
- Unlike software wallets, hardware wallets are not likely to spam, get viruses, phishing attacks, or malware of the system. Instead, they are highly safe from those threat-producing viruses.
- They offer high protection to the private keys when compared to other sorts of wallets.
To help people looking to invest in crypto safely, we listed the best crypto wallets and storage devices. These are the best wallets that can store more digital currencies than just Bitcoin and added security measures. To learn about specific wallets, such as hot and cold wallets, you can check this list for detailed information.
For now, you can imagine hot wallets as a less secure way to make transactions quickly. And cold wallets as a more reliable way to store for longer terms.
A good crypto hardware wallet is essential for many of us. Besides, it helps us feel more connected to our funds. When investors think about crypto, they manage to focus more on making profits from price swings. But, what happens when the crypto you have invested in won swings upwards? What if you want to keep your digital assets for a longer term? You store your crypto in a wallet and wait.
This is why hardware crypto wallets are crucial for investors — especially those who want to keep their coins for a little longer and wait. However, there are different wallets available for securing your digital cash. This includes desktop wallets, mobile wallets, paper wallets, and web wallets. History has shown that hardware wallets are the most secure and most preferred amongst long-term holders.
Best Crypto Hardware Wallets 2021
Unlike software wallets, hardware wallets come with two-factor authentication and a PIN code. With many incidences of crypto fraud and hacking, hardware ensures that you not only store your coins in a single, secure place but also have control over them. While there are a lot of hardware wallets in the market, not all perfectly serve your purpose. Here are a few that have proven to be excellent when it comes to both reliability and safety.
Ledger Nano S
Ledger Nano S is one of the most common and affordable hardware wallets in 2020 made by Ledger. The device has first-rate safety with a CC EAL5+ reliable feature. Nano S was released back in 2016 but still is one of the most cutting-edge devices for saving crypto.
The device is suitable for novice investors looking for an affordable way to store their digital coins. This cold storage supports more than 1100 different crypto, including Bitcoin, Ethereum & ERC-20 tokens, Tron, Litecoin, XRP, and more.
Ledger Nano S is compatible with most devices that connect with USB micro-B. Specifically, 64-bits desktop computers (Linux, macOS 10.8+, Windows 8+). Nano S is also compatible with smartphone devices (Android 7+ or iOS 9+) via OTG cable. This cold storage uses a secure ST31H320 + STM32F042 processor. And it has a small size of about 56.95mm x 17.4mm x 9.1mm.
Ledger Nano X
Ledger X is the second cold storage from Ledger. It comes as an upgrade to the previous version of Ledger Nano S. With the new features, Ledger Nano X is one of the best crypto hardware wallets in the industry. Ledger increased the capacity for coins and added Bluetooth making this device a dynamo for managing digital currencies.
Ledger Nano X also comes with a larger display and more internal space to store more than 100 different digital currencies. With this device, you not only get the advantage of holding and reaching your digital assets on the go, but you can also save various portfolios on a single machine.
Ledger Nano X is suitable for traders who own many coins, make regular transactions, and want cold storage with multi-signature support. You should expect Ledger Nano X to be slightly bigger than Nano S at 72 x 18.6 x 11.75 and heavier at 34g.
Although it supports Bluetooth connectivity, the Ledger Nano X also has USB cable type C and a secure processor, ST33J2M0 + STM32WB5. It also has a rechargeable battery (100mAh) to support your trading every day.
The BitBox02 is a hardware wallet made in Switzerland. It features an OLED display and invisible touch sensors. It also comes with offline backups to both microSD cards, USB-C and USB-A support, and BIP39 mnemonic. You can easily manage your coins via the companion BitBoxApp.
Furthermore, the wallet gives you full control over your bitcoins. Therefore, no third party can freeze or lose your funds. You are, however, still accountable for securing and backing up your wallet.
Payment validation features come with the software wallet you use with this device. Besides, it is open-source and built deterministically. This means any developer can audit the code and ensure the final software isn’t hiding any secrets.
This wallet is filled from a secure specific environment provided by the device. The device offers reliable protection against computer malware and vulnerabilities since you can’t install any software in this environment.
BitBox02 supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Chainlink, Litecoin, BAT, and 1500+ more. However, the software wallet you use with this device is the one that offers the fee control features.
TREZOR One is the oldest cold wallet for cryptos. SatoshiLabs released it in 2014. Like its competitors, TREZOR One is a battle-tested cold wallet that supports many digital assets. You can store over 1000 coins and ERC-20 tokens, including some well-known names such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, Zcash, and Dash, among many others.
The additional security measures such as PIN codes and passphrases make this hardware wallet as close to hack-proof as it gets. The device is also made by one of the industry’s biggest companies, a company responsible for various well-known crypto projects such as Slush and CoinMap.
TREZOR One wallet uses USB 2.0 cable compatible with Linux, macOS, and Windows. It comes with a 120 MHz ARM Cortex M3 chipset and weighs about 12g with 60 mm x 30 x 6 mm dimensions.
TREZOR T is the second-gen of SatoshiLabs’ hardware wallets, after the TREZOR One model. This model’s design is similar to the previous one. But it comes with a bigger color touchscreen eliminating the visible buttons. TREZOR T, also called the TREZOR core, was also coded from scratch to enhance its security further.
TREZOR T supports a wide variety of crypto, including Ripple (XRP) and Stellar Lumens (XLM), that TREZOR One doesn’t support.
Furthermore, the device supports over 1000 digital assets, including all the most popular ones. The device uses a USB-C connector connecting to various devices, including PCs and mobile phones. It weighs about 16g, measuring 64mm x 39mm x 10mm.
Ellipal Titan model improves the Ellipal hardware wallet, including features like Anti-Disassembly, Air-Gapped, and Anti-tampering. This wallet offers adequate security as it is entirely detached from networks and has no connectivity options like Cellular network, Wi-Fi, USB, Bluetooth, or NFC. It is a wholly offline wallet, which works with QR codes to sign the transactions.
Titan hardware wallet features better physical protection. Besides, it protects against tempering, thief, supply-chain attacks, and hackers. It comes with a large screen display that works with Ellipal one-stop app. Similarly, Titan supports around 1000+ tokens and 20+ coins, including ERC20, EOS, TRC10, TRC20, and BEP tokens. Other major attractive features include coin conversion, Binance DEX inclusion, earning interest on cryptos, and staking.
BC Vault One wallet offers few distinctive features when compared to the other wallets. First, the device stores encoded Pvt keys in Ferroelectric RAM storage. With BC Vault, your password is encrypted along with your wallet address, which means the recovery method is much easier and secure.
Second, to back up your coins, the device gives you the option of saving encrypted hardware wallet info on an SD card or print out the encoded data as a series of QR codes.
Like other popular cold storage for crypto, the device supports various coins. It also uses a USB Type-C connector. It weighs about 41g, with dimensions of 100mm x 57mm x 10mm.
D’CENT Hardware Wallet
D’CENT wallet is a secure next-generation crypto hardware wallet. Bitcoin and Altcoins claim to be the world’s first Bitcoin smart contract-ready hardware wallet with RRC-20 and RSK. It is a multi-crypto wallet that supports Bitcoin, ETH (ERC20) RSK, RRC-20, XRP, and more coins.
The hardware wallet has a built-in fingerprint scanner that gives users an extra security level through biometric authentication. D’CENT comes with a 128×128 Oled display where users can view their transaction details and display a QR code for each wallet.
KeepKey is one of the latest crypto hardware wallets in the market. A well-known organization called ShapeShift created it. KeepKey works the same way as all the above hardware wallets. It also connects to the computer using a limited protocol, never revealing the private key.
This cold storage device also supports many cryptocurrencies. KeepKey also uses a standard USB Micro-B connector. Aside from this, it weighs about 51 grams, with dimensions of 38mm x 93.5mm x 12.2mm.
Crypto hardware wallets are dedicated devices with secure screens. They have two main goals: keep your private keys safe from any form of unapproved access and never expose them to any networked device.