Hardware wallets are a popular choice for cryptocurrency holders. They offer greater security than software wallets, and they are also more secure than paper wallets. In this post, we will take a look at the best crypto hardware wallets on the market today.
Before buying a crypto wallet, it's important to learn all about the differences between a cold wallet and a hot wallet.
Disclaimer: We want to emphasize that this is not financial advice. Cryptocurrencies operate in a volatile market, where values can drastically fluctuate in a blink of an eye. It is imperative to conduct thorough research and seek guidance from a qualified financial advisor before investing.
About Hardware Wallets
Crypto hardware wallets are physical devices used to store cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. They provide an extra layer of security by storing the user’s private keys offline and away from malicious actors or hackers. Unlike software wallets, they are much more secure as they cannot be hacked into or infiltrated by malware. Crypto hardware wallets come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and the features of each one can vary depending on their manufacturer. However, they all provide a secure way to store your digital assets, giving you peace of mind that your funds are safe.
What Is a Crypto Hardware Wallet?
Crypto software wallets are a type of digital wallet that stores your cryptocurrencies on a user’s computer. They are convenient as they can be installed on most desktop and laptop computers, making them easy to use. However, they are not as secure as hardware wallets as they can be hacked into by malware. Additionally, cryptocurrency holders often have to trust the software provider with their private keys. Crypto software wallets also come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the features of each one tend to be more limited than those of crypto hardware wallets.
1. Trezor Wallets
Trezor revolutionized the market in 2012 by introducing the world's first hardware wallet. Since then, they have consistently upheld their commitment to open-source code, privacy, and security.
Trezor offers two options: the Trezor One and the Trezor Model T. While the Trezor One suffices for most users, the Model T takes convenience and security to a different level. With the Model T, users never have to expose sensitive information, like their passphrase, through their computer keyboard, ensuring an extra layer of protection.
While Trezors have been targeted by hackers in the past, employing a complex and lengthy passphrase renders these devices virtually impenetrable.
In our opinion, the Trezor Model T represents the optimal choice, striking the perfect balance between user-friendliness, convenience, and security.
2. BitBox Wallets
When it comes to hardware wallets, the BitBox02 stands as our second choice, offering a compelling combination of security and usability. Developed by Shift Crypto, the BitBox02 is available in two versions: the Bitcoin-only edition and the multi-coin edition.
One of the standout features of the BitBox02 is its top-tier security measures. It employs industry-standard practices to ensure the safety of your cryptocurrency holdings. With randomized secret data points, including a secure chip and microcontroller secrets, along with your personal password, the BitBox02 provides robust protection against potential threats.
In terms of usability, the BitBox02 is designed with simplicity in mind. The wallet comes with a desktop app that offers an intuitive user interface, making it easy to manage your crypto assets. Additionally, it also has a mobile app for Android users, allowing you to access and control your funds on the go.
It's important to note that the BitBox02 has different versions for different needs. The Bitcoin-only edition is tailored specifically for Bitcoin users, offering a streamlined experience and focusing solely on Bitcoin's security and functionality. On the other hand, the multi-coin edition supports a wider range of cryptocurrencies, making it suitable for those with diversified portfolios.
However, there are a couple of drawbacks to consider. Firstly, the BitBox02 does not support iOS devices at the moment, limiting its accessibility for iPhone and iPad users. Additionally, while it supports popular cryptocurrencies, there is a limited number of supported assets, which may not cover all the coins in your portfolio.
3. Keystone Wallets
Keystone wallets have made their mark as a solid choice in the market and in our comprehensive evaluation, they have secured the third position in our top five selection.
One of the key advantages of Keystone wallets is the heightened level of security they provide. By operating in an air-gapped environment, completely disconnected from the internet, they offer robust protection against potential thefts and crypto scams. This assurance of security is paramount when safeguarding your valuable digital assets.
Another notable aspect of Keystone wallets is their robust design. Built with durability in mind, these wallets feature a solid and rugged construction. This not only ensures a comfortable grip but also reduces the risk of damage in case of accidental drops. The sturdiness of Keystone wallets adds an extra layer of protection, extending the lifespan of your device and maintaining the safety of your cryptocurrencies.
When it comes to user experience, Keystone wallets excel with their intuitive features. The inclusion of a 4-inch color touchscreen enhances usability and responsiveness, making interactions with the wallet seamless and enjoyable. This user-friendly interface is particularly beneficial for beginners, providing a straightforward and accessible platform to manage their digital assets.
However, it's important to consider a couple of limitations associated with Keystone wallets. Firstly, they do not come with a micro SD card for firmware updates. This means that to perform necessary updates and access different blockchains, users will need to separately purchase an SD card. While this adds an extra step, it ensures the optimal performance and compatibility of the wallet.
Secondly, Keystone wallets lack a built-in gateway for purchasing cryptocurrencies directly. Unlike some competing hardware wallets that offer this convenience, Keystone wallets focus primarily on storing, sending, and receiving crypto from other wallets. To acquire cryptocurrencies, users will need to utilize third-party vendors or exchanges, which may be less convenient for some individuals.
4. Ledger Wallets
While Ledger wallets have historically been regarded as a popular and secure choice in the hardware wallet market, it's important to acknowledge recent concerns that have affected their reputation. In our evaluation, Ledger occupies the fourth position in our top five selection.
Ledger wallets have gained popularity due to their robust security features, ease-of-use, and the wide range of tokens they offer to cater to different user requirements. These cold storage wallets provide a secure environment for storing cryptocurrencies, combining physical and digital protection measures.
However, Ledger has faced a significant setback that has eroded trust among some users. In recent times, it was discovered that a backdoor in Ledger devices allows the seed phrase, a crucial element for wallet recovery, to be transmitted online via the Ledger Recovery feature. This raised concerns about the potential exposure of sensitive information and compromised the very foundation of Ledger's promise of security.
The revelation of this security flaw led to a loss of trust in Ledger as a provider of secure hardware wallets. Users became rightfully concerned about the potential risks associated with their personal information and the security of their cryptocurrencies. Ledger took steps to address the issue and implement measures to enhance security, but the incident has undoubtedly affected the perception of the brand.
It is essential to consider this incident when evaluating Ledger wallets. While they still offer strong security features, ease-of-use, and a wide variety of tokens to choose from, the trust and reputation of the brand have been impacted by the discovered backdoor vulnerability. Users should carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages and make an informed decision based on their individual security needs and risk tolerance.
5. Coldcard Wallets
Coldcard is widely regarded as one of the most secure wallets available in the market, making it a preferred choice for Bitcoin enthusiasts. Its emphasis on security is commendable, although its complexity and limited support for other cryptocurrencies may restrict its target audience.
One of the standout features of Coldcard is its unwavering commitment to ensuring the utmost security and safety of Bitcoin stored within the device. The inclusion of air-gap support, which keeps the wallet completely disconnected from the internet, adds an extra layer of protection against potential online threats. Additionally, the wallet offers easy navigation and allows users to create multiple PINs, providing options to destroy the secure element or open fake wallets, further enhancing security measures. The use of open-source software also contributes to the transparency and trustworthiness of Coldcard.
However, the heightened security of Coldcard comes at the expense of convenience. The wallet's operation requires users to navigate through multiple steps that necessitate a certain level of technical knowledge and understanding of Bitcoin. This complexity can make Coldcard less beginner-friendly compared to other wallets that prioritize ease of use.
Another aspect to consider is Coldcard's limited support for cryptocurrencies. As of now, it only supports Bitcoin and shows no plans for adding support for other coins. While this may not be an issue for Bitcoin enthusiasts, those seeking to store multiple cryptocurrencies will have to look elsewhere.
A Digital Alternative: Exodus Wallet
Exodus Wallet, founded by JP Richardson and Daniel Castagnoli, is a testament to their dedication to creating an exceptional cryptocurrency experience. Established in 2015, Exodus aims to simplify the complexities of cryptocurrencies, making it accessible and enjoyable for all users.
JP Richardson, a technical expert, has made significant contributions to the cryptocurrency space. His expertise and the development of numerous open-source libraries have been instrumental in shaping Bitcoin and cryptocurrency software widely used today. JP's unwavering commitment to innovation ensures that Exodus remains at the forefront of technological advancements, delivering a seamless and secure cryptocurrency experience.
Complementing JP's technical prowess, Daniel Castagnoli brings his creative finesse to Exodus. With a strong background in design, Daniel has worked with renowned brands, bringing his artistic talent to each aspect of Exodus. From visually appealing icons to smooth animations and subtle sounds, Daniel's attention to detail creates an enchanting and immersive atmosphere within the Exodus Wallet.
Exodus is committed to continuous improvement, evidenced by over 200 product updates across desktop, mobile, and hardware platforms. The team's dedication is showcased through regular software releases every two weeks, demonstrating their pursuit of excellence and a desire to provide the best user experience possible.
The ecosystem of digital assets supported by Exodus is extensive, with over 260 cryptocurrencies available. From well-established cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum to emerging altcoins, Exodus ensures users have access to a diverse range of digital currencies, allowing them to explore and engage with the evolving crypto landscape.
However, it's important to note that one major drawback of Exodus Wallet is its closed-source nature. As a closed-source software, the inner workings of Exodus are not publicly available for scrutiny. This lack of transparency raises concerns regarding the security and trustworthiness of the wallet. Users who prioritize open-source solutions may find this limitation a significant drawback when considering Exodus as their wallet of choice.