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By Zach — 2 years ago
Is the Cobo Vault the best unbreakable crypto hardware wallet of 2019? Is it as tough and inpenetrable as they claim? Stay tuned for the whole Cobo Vault Review to find out! I recently wrote an article on an upcoming device that appears to be directly competing with this product called the Ellipal Titan. If you want to read that review after this one to get kind of a side-by-side comparison, you can check out the in-depth first look of that device HERE.
Overall, my first impression of this device was very good. It appears to be targeting an entirely different segment of the cold storage crypto wallet market, which is something I obviously follow quite closely. They are marketing this as a “Military Grade Durability and Security” device, which is definitely the case as it has all the proper ratings a certifications to protect against impact, water resistance, and shock resistance to ensure it is as rugged as humanly possible.
If you are new to cryptocurrency security in general, please check out my free e-book HERE. This dives in deep on the basic (and some advanced) security tips on how to best manage your cryptocurrency by learning from my mistakes. I guarantee you will learn something new and it will help you on your crypto journey! So, let’s get to why you are here and jump right into the Cobo Vault Review. Let’s do this!
What’s In The Box?
There’s a lot of bang for your buck here and certainly attempts to justify it’s current price tag of $479. This is no ordinary crypto hardware wallet, this thing is very different than Ledger, Trezor, and KeepKey as there are no active ports or USB connectors to allow you to interface with this product. I will get more into this in the next section, but needless to say this is a unique device!
Here’s what comes in the box:
-Cobo Vault Hardware Wallet (4 inch touchscreen)
-The Cobo “Vault” (Houses The Device)
-A Removable 1540 mAH Battery
-USB-C Cable (For Charging)
-Mnemonic Steel Recovery Seed Device
-Steel Tiles For Recovery Seed Phrase
The box is very large and feels heavy when you get it because of the steel grade quality of all of the components. There is an unboxing video below that will explain how this all works and gives you a visual cue of everything that is included and what each piece is used for.
The most “compelling” piece to me here is the steel mnemonic tablet that is used to secure your 24 word seed phrase. This is TYPICALLY used by other providers by writing it down on paper, which is vulnerable to the elements. These devices can cost upwards of $300 by itself, so this is a HUGE value add and absolutely necessary for anyone that takes their cryptocurrency security seriously.
If you are not familiar with what this and why it’s needed, you can read an in-depth review of the best standalone titanium recovery seed backup HERE.
Setup And Use
This device has NONE of the following connections:
This means that it is completely off the grid. So how do you use it and set it up? QR Codes. The device has a 5-MP camera for scanning QR codes on Cobo’s website and then the companion app for managing assets from their hot wallet over to the offline device.
This is a very prolonged and arduous process. In terms of security, this is a VERY good thing. It’s like having a 7-step authentication system. However, for ease of use, it’s a killer, and most wallets try to strike a balance between ease of use and security. Cobo does not appear to care about what it’s competition is doing in this regard, since it’s breaking out into it’s own little sub-niche of cold wallet security. Here are the steps I had to follow to setup and use the device:
1.) Download the “Cobo” mobile app
2.) Power on the Cobo Vault device
3.) Go through the recovery seed phrase process. This includes writing it down and verifying it through the touch screen
4.) Set a custom passphrase that has stringent requirements including multiple special characters and at least 10 characters minimum.
5.) Scan the QR code on Cobo’s website to authenticate the firmware and authenticity of the device.
6.) Once authenticated, you scan a dynamic and ever-changing QR code on the companion mobile app to initiate transactions
7.) If you want to receive any payment directly on the device, you just generate a QR code and your sender can scan the code to initiate. If you want to send a transaction, follow the steps 2-6 above and repeat the process.
Features: What Makes It Inpenetrable?
So, in addition to having a water resistant, shock resistant, and using “Military Grade” materials and configuration, it also has a “Self-Destruct” mechanism if it expects foul play. Let me explain. The device cannot be hacked through any ports or any wireless type connections. However, if someone tries to extract the private keys manually, the chip will have a timer initiate a countdown. If the screen is broken or if the device is opened up internally in any way, it will completely wipe the device.
If this happens, the only way to restore this is through your recovery seed phrase that you now have in stainless steel thanks to having it included in the box. This can be imported to any BIP-32, 39, 44 wallet to restore your funds with this seed phrase.
Additionally, if someone tries to steal the device and initiate a transfer of the funds through their own Cobo Vault, they will not be able to, as during your initial setup it is coded to the QR code you scanned on your app that is unique on your mobile phone. This device is really the Fort-Knox of crypto wallets. It took me about 30-40 minutes from start to finish when I unboxed, setup, and made my first transaction on the device. As I mentioned above, this DOES make it very secure, but for ease of use, it’s kind of nightmare. There are no trade-offs here.
Cobo Vault Coins Supported
This device claims to have a lot more coins that will be supported on their road map, but this is definitely one of the “cons” of this device as it is of the utmost quality, but also is VERY lacking in the coins that are supported. Below is a picture of all the coins that are currently supported as of this writing.
For those that are not familiar with all of these coins or brands, I will list them here: Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Tron (TRX), Eos (EOS), Litecoin (LTC), and Dash (DASH).
This is a premium device and the price reflects that. It’s $479 USD to get this device and may have some shipping costs associated with it if you are outside of the U.S. As this is a higher-end device, you get what you pay for. I have not come across a more durable and secure device yet, but the Ellipal Titan appears to be a cheaper option that is going to be competing with this directly when it is released to the public in late August 2019. You can check out my review/first look HERE.
Cobo Vault Review: Conclusion
Overall, the Cobo Vault device is probably the strongest and highest quality device physically, that I’ve ever used in a hardware wallet. It feels solid, and I know that if I drop it, get it wet, or otherwise try to damage this, it will stand the test of time. In terms of security, I have yet to personally test a device that compares to this one.
I had several steps and verifications in order to just set it up, let alone make a transaction. I believe this device is designed to be used VERY sparingly and is not used in a daily setting. This is a long-term “HODL”er device, which is good, but if you frequently transact, it is a hassle.
Also, it only supports 8 coins currently. It claims to be supporting more coins soon, but it has mentioned that since it’s launched and have not seen any announcements of movement on that front for several months.
Finally, we have to consider the price. $479 is no cheap price for a hardware wallet and this is a premium and high end device, so I personally use it as a backup and long term device. I do not use this for frequent trading and transacting for obvious reasons described above, but I like having it for my long term stash.
So what’s the bottomline?
If you are new and are looking for your very first hardware wallet, I would personally recommend getting a KeepKey device. It is very nice quality and just launched a brand new platform that integrates trading and is the only one that allows you to keep your private keys offline and in your personal possession the entire time. It’s my go-to wallet for daily use. You can get that HERE.
If you are looking for a secondary or longer term wallet to diversify, then I would ABSOLUTELY recommend this wallet, as it is probably the most secure wallet you can get and the quality is unmatched. I have only used mine twice, but that also means it’s safe and sound and I have no second thoughts about someone being able to crack it, even if they get it in their hands. I feel very comforted knowing that this is literally unbreakable. You can get the COBO Vault hardware wallet below and check out some reviews on their site below
The Crypto Renegade
NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links. This adds no cost to you but it helps me focus on giving as much value as possible in every single post by being compensated for recommending products that help people succeed.Post Views: 59
By Zach — 2 years ago
BC VAULT vs KeepKey! In this comparison, we are going to do a head-to-head of two of the most competitive and popular new cryptocurrency hardware wallets in this edition of the hardware wallet roundups.
I am going to dive into which of these hardware wallets is better and more secure. How big is your portfolio? Do you need mobile AND desktop support? Do you use any 3rd party wallets for integration? Do you need web-based access instead of a required download?
These are all questions you will need to consider when deciding which of these wallets will be best for you. At the end of the day, the coin support is one of the most important factors (besides security) when deciding which hardware wallet is best for you.
Ultimately, if it doesn’t support the coins you want to store offline, it won’t work for your particular situation. So keep that in mind as we dive into what I consider to be the most important factors when making such an important decision, such as choosing a cryptocurrency hardware wallet.
BC VAULT: Overview
Unlike most other popular cryptocurrency hardware wallets, like Ledger Nano X and Trezor Model T, you do not set up a recovery seed card before you initialize the device. In fact, there is a gyro sensor for you to randomly generate private keys by physically shaking the device (seriously).
You can also hold more than 2000 unique wallets within the web app, and can granularly set specific passwords for each one and setup multiple PIN’s to not only make it more secure, but also allows for an easy way to share the device and use Multi-Sig. In fact, this is the first device that natively allows you to use Multi-Sig on a per wallet basis and set multiple PIN’s.
This wallet does not use HD wallets, so each wallet has its own unique backup. This does make it more secure, however, if you lose or forget the global PIN and global password for the device, your funds are locked inside forever. They do have an encrypted QR code backup for each individual wallet, or you can create a backup on the included micro SD card that comes in the box.
BC VAULT: Security
The storage is reliable. The BC Vault’s private keys have complete encryption and they are stored in the FRAM device. The FRAM is fully tamper-resistant and thanks to the reversible USB 3.0 Type-C connector any damage occurring from mechanical error is fully prevented.
In addition to the secure FeRAM that is securely encrypted, and the large display which is useful when confirming transactions, you have peace of mind not having to worry about anyone locating or using a recovery seed phrase to render your funds useless.
You can also import any private keys you have elsewhere via the SD card as well, so you can easily interchange private keys from other wallets if you have them in the correct format.
BC VAULT: User Experience (UX)
This wallet has some pretty unique features I will admit, and it’s pretty refreshing. For example, you can use multiple cryptocurrencies at once. There are no “apps” you need to install or fear or worry of running out of space that most wallets have when upgrading the firmware.
Additionally, the amount of coins and wallets that can be used/stored simultaneously is astounding. As mentioned above, you can have up to 2000 unique wallets and can interchange multiple cryptos in multiple wallets.
BC VAULT: Coin Support
This is usually one of the most important factors when deciding on a hardware wallet (with the exception of security). If the wallet doesn’t currently support the coins you need to store offline, you can’t really take it too seriously as a deciding factor for purchase. Regardless of whether or not they claim to add more coins in the future.
Needless to say, they have some unique choices for coin support HERE.
KeepKey has been one of my absolute favorite hardware wallets to use in 2019. I was asked to test and report back issues with the ShapeShift beta that was a complete overhaul and utilized the KeepKey as it’s cornerstone of promoting keeping possession of your private keys under your control while you conduct trades, which has never been done before.
It was an ambitious goal, but they pulled it off in spades, and as a result it resulted in one of the best user experiences while using a hardware wallet I’ve ever encountered. It was quick, safe, and makes it easier than ever to manage your assets, portfolio, and trades all while keeping all your keys on a hardware wallet and never forfeiting custody. This is truly a game-changer and will pave the way for future hardware wallets moving into the next decade.
Let’s find out why below!
1) Your wallet is secure from physical theft.
2) That a hacker couldn’t steal bitcoins from your wallet with malware.
The seed is generated using entropy from both the device itself and the computer used for setup. The seed is generated offline on the KeepKey and displayed on the device’s screen. The device’s offline screen makes sure the seed is never displayed on an internet-connected device.
KeepKey: User Experience (UX)
This is a complete overhaul that includes all of their services including: Instant Trades, Real-Time Market Data via CoinCap, In-App Crypto Purchases, and KeepKey Integration. That last part is of particular interest to me because I’ve wanted to find a way to execute purchases and trades while having my KeepKey connected, while ensuring that my private keys are protected throughout the entire process.
This is a very important detail, especially if you want to make purchases online with that extra protection and also ensure that my private keys are never compromised in a trade. This truly is the ultimate non-custodial hardware wallet solution. Here’s a few screenshots and user flows based on my experience using this web app.
KeepKey: Coin Support
Natively, this wallet in the current form supports over 40 assets with more on the way! Here is a current list of assets that are supported right now. Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty. For years, KeepKey only supported: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Namecoin, Dogecoin, and Dash. For a hardware wallet that needs to compete in this market place, that needed a serious upgrade.
Luckily, they have been making some AMAZING changes and not only added a ton of ERC-20 Support, but more importantly, they are revamping their entire platform to have one fluid, seamless application that integrates all of their core services (See my previous post for details on this). This is extremely powerful, and a decision that I believe will catapult them ahead of the competition. They are currently in a closed beta, and it is expected that they will be releasing this later in 2019. Stay tuned for news on this.
Some of the notable coins that have been added are:
-Binance Coin (BNB)
BC VAULT vs KeepKey: Conclusion
Honestly, this is a tough one. My experience has been extremely pleasant when using both of these hardware wallets and I use them both for different coins and different use cases. Having said that, I enjoy the trading and portfolio experience on the KeepKey better.
The BC Vault is a VERY unique and robust wallet, especially if you want to secure share this hardware wallet with multiple people and want to use multi-sig to have shared wallets with multiple “voters” required in order to spend a transaction.
As of the time of this writing, you can can get a Keepkey for under $50 during this holiday season special and comes in multiple colors, so you will get a high quality device that is easy to use and uniquely allows you to trade your assets without ever releasing custody of your private keys.
All this to say, if you want a robust “vault” that is very intricate and allows for multiple users to use it safely, go with the BC VAULT. If you like to trade and want a very user friendly way to manage your portfolio, you can’t go wrong with the KeepKey.
BC VAULT vs Keepkey! What do you think? Would you choose the BC VAULT over the D’CENT Wallet? Let us know down below in the comments!
The Crypto Renegade
NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links. This adds no cost to you but it helps me focus on giving as much value as possible in every single post by being compensated for recommending products that help people succeed.Post Views: 46