Having been around crypto for a few years I’ve seen a multitude of hardware wallets burst onto the market to keep our well hodled coins safe. But… has much changed for these devices since they first appeared?
Here are some of the interesting ones out there at the moment:
Dubbed “The Coldest Wallet” the Ngrave Zero is new, so new, in fact that as of writing this it’s not out (due later this month). It’s party piece is that it communicates using 1-way QR code rather than USB.
The start-up spun out of Imec who’re well known and respected as a security research company, and that’s not all - they’ve also come up with a clever set of two encoded stainless steel sheets for backup phrases which are pretty much indestructible. Price is a little unknown at the moment. I’m on the mailing list to find out
Ngrave Zero, cost TBC. https://www.ngrave.io
Ledger Nano [Model X and S]
Super well known and battle tested, the Ledger series of hardware wallets are a go-to for many. The device supports over 30 cryptocurrencies. It looks straight forward, like USB a memory stick and the latest Nano X has a nice sleek stainless body and OLED display. The previous Nano S is still a good [cheaper] buy in my opinion. Bluetooth connectivity and mobile support are the two major upgrades that the Ledger Nano X has over the Ledger Nano S, which perhaps don’t warrant the higher price in real terms?
Nano X, around £120. Nano S, around £55. https://shop.ledger.com
Produced by industry heavyweights Shapeshift, the KeepKey is similar size to the Ledger Nano, but in my opinion, it has a better/easy to read display. I particularly like the sleekness and simplicity of this device.
It synchronises directly with a Shapeshift wallet which gives seamless access for exchanging crypto. Two fairly interesting quirks with this device are: it’s usable only when connected via USB to an internet-connected computer and it needs 3rd party software to match features delivered by others, e.g. the Trezor (listed next) or Ledger.
KeepKey, around £25. https://shapeshift.com/keepkey
Trezor [Model T and Trezor One]
The Trezor is produced by Satoshi Labs. They were the first mainstream hardware wallet provider in the world and the the Model T is their latest model. It features a nifty touch screen interface and wide cryptocurrency support.
I don’t have much experience with this device, but like the Ledger comparison it seems like the latest model has similar features to the Trezor One. The Model T is about three times the price so I’d be tempted to save my money and bag the cheaper one.
Trezor T, around £180. Trezor One, around £60. https://trezor.io
Corazon Titanium [for those that got in early?]
Wow, now we’re onto a rather expensive device. This one is milled beautifully out of aerospace grade aluminium. It does look good to me. However, for £580 (ouch!) you get essentially the same hardware and software as the Trezor Model T, is this the Vertu of hardware wallets? Probably not one for me right now. Manufactured in partnership with GRAY and Trezor, it’s got good pedigree and hopefully great support.
Corazon Titanium, £580. https://gray.inc/collections/corazon-wallet
PS. If you’re thinking that this version isn’t bling enough, they do a GOLD version which is a whopping £1247 and limited to only 100 pieces.
Wrap up thoughts
Safety/security is always on our minds when keeping assets in storage. It’s pretty well known that USB devices or other hardware devices can be compromised before they reach your doormat. Maybe modern software wallets like MEW or Argent.xyz could be more secure? I’d love to hear your thoughts.