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ShapeShift’s Brand New Platform – Review (2020)

In this article, I will review Shapeshift’s brand new platform! I’ve always been a fan of ShapeShift, and in fact, Erik Voorhees is one of the inspiring figures that helped get me into the crypto space to begin with, as we share a lot of the same fundamental philosophies on freedom and liberty. That’s why I was thrilled and honored when I was asked to join the private beta to test out the new platform, especially since I have a KeepKey and I use it frequently to manage my crypto on a regular basis.

It did not disappoint.

 

**Keep in mind that this is currently in BETA, and is not finalized in terms of design, complete look and feel, or full functionality**

 

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.

When first gaining access to beta.shapeshift.com, you will be asked to register for a trading account (if you haven’t already), so that you can seamlessly use the trade feature in the dashboard when your KeepKey is connected. Second, you will plug in your KeepKey and it will notice you will need a new firmware update to “Pair” your KeepKey to the new platform.

This will require a few steps of plugging in the device and unplugging it a few times to confirm this upgrade. Additionally, it will pull up the random number generator here so you can enter the PIN that is listed on the device screen to sync and authenticate your device and session.

This where the fun begins.

 

Shapeshift Beta

 

(PRO-TIP: You can view all of your transaction history, assets, current prices of assets and contents of your KeepKey WITHOUT having it plugged in. This can provide you a quick snapshot of where everything stands, even if your device is not present)

 

As you can see below, this a very clean, simple, and easy to user interface. You have all the key information at a glance that you need to manage your portfolio. It show’s your asset allocations, any losses or gains of your combined assets in real time, and the most recent transaction history below the chart. In the top right, it will show if your device is synced and connected, and will show your current fiat value of each individual asset if you drill down, or the combined asset value as a whole. At a glance, this is the information most people need to decide what action they need to take next.

 

ASSETS

The assets you see here are just a handful of the assets that are supported. If you would like to see the full asset support list, click here. At the top, you will see the 2 assets I have been using to test this software in order from the most USD value, to the least on my KeepKey at the time. The assets that you see below that are greyed out will show you what’s supported and available for you to receive on your KeepKey when ready. Each asset breaks down the charts over time in terms of price and you have a toggle view with the balance. Pretty slick.

 

TRADE

The trade feature is super easy to use and automatically calculates any minimums or fees needed in order to execute a trade, almost instantly. One thing I will point out is that some assets that are supported on the KeepKey itself, may not be available to trade via the ShapeShift platform, like SPANK for example.

If your particular coin is not showing in the drop down menu when swapping assets, it simply means it’s not supported on the ShapeShift trade engine. Another key feature is that all trades are executed on the KeepKey device directly, so you don’t have to risk exposing your private keys while they are in transit. This is a mix of the classic ShapeShift trade engine, but is simplified and integrates with your hardware wallet very seamlessly.

 

PURCHASE

This is done via a new feature they have been testing out with a button “Buy Crypto $” at the top, next to “Send” and “Receive”. This is facilitated through Wyre, which is a 3rd party platform that you can purchase crypto with your bank account or credit card. I have not tried this feature yet, but I plan to shortly. This is just another great design decision where you have a platform with both on and off-ramp needed for users or all levels.

As you can see in the screenshot, you can buy Bitcoin, Ether, or DAI to get started and you will have an array of options to trade with directly on the platform once you’ve completed this process. Now, you can easily receive any amount of crypto with any of the supported assets on this list directly to your KeepKey (or without) that you have at another address. You also can receive any amount to the platform and once you connect the KeepKey, your private keys will automatically be transferred onto your device, and will update the dashboard when it syncs.

One thing that really makes this trading platform special is the fact that you are not restricted to trading pairs. for instance, when you are wanting to trade multiple coins and you’re on Binance for example, you need to first get BTC, then from there you can trade into any altcoin they support. Here, if you have a supported coin, you can directly swap it for another and not have to default back to BTC in order to pull the trigger. That’s a game changer for me.

 

STABLE COINS (EASTER EGG)

shapeshift

This was a pleasant surprise to find that assets are able to be converted into various stable coins directly in the system. This is especially helpful if you are trying to lock in profits on a recent trade and have it stand idle until you either decide to invest your profits into another asset or simply wait for another trade.

Unlike the Ledger Nano S that only lets you hold a handful of apps on your device at one time, this allows you to have any assets private keys on a single device at any given time. As seen above, they also feature DAI (Ethereum’s Stable Coin) as well that is a very welcome addition to the stable coin list.

Below are some caveats and things that will hopefully be added over time. I am already thrilled by how my beta experience has been so far and I know that it will only continue to get better and better.

 

[One Caveat: You cannot complete any trades unless your device is there to sign and confirm the transaction.]

 

WISH LIST:

  • It would be nice to facilitate a trade from the ShapeShift mobile app to lock in a trade price on the go and then sync the private keys when I logged in via the web app
  • Support multiple browsers: Currently the WebUSB function in the beta only supports Chrome as a browser. I hope they widen this to Firefox (No pun intended), and hopefully Brave soon. I understand they do not currently support WebUSB yet, but the request has been put in.
  • Allow me to view my balance with “Satoshis” instead of fiat. At very least you should be able to toggle between the denominations and should support us looking at pricing in those terms.
  • The ability to label certain accounts on transactions. For instance, if I receive a transaction from another exchange or wallet to my KeepKey as in coming transaction, it would be nice to customize and label the transaction for my records. (i.e. savings/day-to-day spending/groceries, etc….)

At this point, these are just nice-to-have’s and with that said, this is just the first iteration of the beta. I am sure there are many new features and integrations planned for the future to make this even better, but that takes time and developer resources to properly implement them.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE KEEPKEY DIRECTLY FROM SHAPESHIFT!

 

CONCLUSION:

 

I don’t think I’ve been this excited when using my hardware wallet, since I first discovered them in 2016. There is no doubt that I have a new favorite user experience and I plan on helping improve this process in any way that I can to help inform people the best and easiest way to manage their portfolio and private keys.

 

CLICK HERE TO RESERVE ACCESS TO THE NEW SHAPESHIFT

 

You will be BLOWN away.

 

(PRO-TIP: Once you sign up via my link, you will get your own referral link. If you refer 5 people via your link and they sign up for a ShapeShift account, you will be given a code for a FREE KeepKey, in case you don’t already have one.)

 

Cheers,

 

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.

SafePal vs Ledger Nano S (2020) | Which Entry Level Hardware Wallet Is Better?

SafePal vs Ledger Nano S! 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 entry-level hardware wallets is better and more secure. How big is your portfolio? Do you need mobile OR 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.

 

Ledger Nano S: Overview

 

 

The Ledger Nano S is a very compact, sleek, and secure device that allows you to store over 1,100 cryptocurrencies at the time of this writing. This is crucial as more altcoins gain acceptance and you need a wide portfolio to protect longer term. Ledger takes their security very seriously and for good reason. There have been a number of exchange hacks and reports of people losing or having their wallets hacked by nefarious individuals throughout history. This is why having this device is so crucial.

Ledger Nano S is a device that is upgraded frequently with new features and firmware upgrades to ensure that it has the latest security protections and new assets being added every single month. Not to mention, it is currently the cheapest among the 3 best-known hardware wallet companies, starting at only $59 USD!

 

Ledger Nano S: Security

 

The Ledger Nano S has an A-grade security setup which sets it apart from the competition. It uses a secure element which holds and stores the private keys in a separate and secure environment from the rest of the operating system. This ensures that if for any reason the rest of the device is somehow compromised, you precious private keys are safe.

It also supports the standards BIP-39 protocol that requires you to setup a recovery seed phrase of 24 words during the initial setup, that allows you to restore your coins to any other wallet in the event you have broken, lost, or somehow cannot gain access to the device itself, so you have a fail safe.

Ledger Nano S: User Experience (UX)

 

 

I will keep this section short and sweet, as I addressed above, this is a sleek and compact device, which makes it very stable and durable. It has a small OLED screen and 2 physical buttons. This is used for navigating apps, verifying your pin to access to the device, confirming a transaction, and generating the recovery seed words upon first time setup.

When entering in your PIN on the device, the right button will function as the “Up” arrow, and the left button the “Down” arrow for scrolling through your selections, then pressing both at the same time will confirm your selection, so it’s pretty intuitive. It has a one port which is micro USB that connects to a cable to a standard USB port that can be used on a MAC or PC.

 

Ledger Nano S: Coin Support

 

Technically, this device supports over 1,000 different coins, with a few caveats below. I will also leave a link for the full list of supported coins HERE.

– You can really only hold 3 or 4 apps on the device at once. I originally only kept 3 apps on the device, as those were the only coins I needed to add at the time. However, when I went to add a 4th, it told me I needed to remove an existing app to make room. The RAM or space is on the device is very limited, so it’s good if you have only 2-3 coins you want to manage at once.

-They require you go through the process of removing and uninstalling all apps and then going in and reinstalling them for EVERY firmware update. This is tedious and really obnoxious for the serious hardware wallet user. I understand you need to have backups and be careful with every upgrade but c’mon, this is the only device I have this issue with.

SafePal: Overview

 

This device was originally created by Binance Labs division and wanted to have a unique approach to a hardware wallet that was cheap enough for the average user, but also supported the Binance chain and added support for their internal projects. This really is a unique entry level hardware wallet, that greatly differs in terms of design, functionality, and overall user experience.

 

SafePal: Security

 

 

This can be considered one of the most attractive features of the device as it’s only $39.99 for this hardware wallet. Yes, you read that right. But why is it so cheap? Well, even though it looks like a very sleek and expensive device, its is made of plastic coating and a very small camera module that is used to transact at a very low resolution.l It’s obvious that they built this as cheaply as they could, while still remaining secure.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, but you also get what you pay for. One of the key features that sets this device apart from most other competing hardware wallets is the fact that there is NO:

  • NFC
  • BLUETOOTH
  • USB
  • CELLULAR
  • EXTERNAL DEVICE CONNECTIONS

This gives it extra security, but it also makes it easier to use, as there are no extra devices necessary for this to operate, other than your smartphone. All you need right out of the box is a charger that supports USB-A to charge the device and a smartphone to download the SafePal App to setup and initialize the device.

SafePal: User Experience (UX)

 

This is the cheapest completely wireless hardware wallet on the market. It interacts only with your smartphone and the camera embedded into the device that allows you to transmit encrypted data via the QR code. This is truly a unique device.

This is a pretty solid introductory hardware wallet. It’s unique from its direct competitors and its simple and easy to use. As mentioned above, it has no connection weaknesses and cannot be hacked by any radio frequency or directly connected internet device. It’s truly a unique wireless hardware wallet that can be used on the go and is one of only a few hardware wallets that are “truly wireless” with no dependence on other devices. Oh, and did I mentioned it’s under $50?

 

SafePal: Coin Support

 

 

This is the one weal point of this product is the lack of coin support, as it only supports: Bitcoin, Ether (and ERC-20 Tokens), BNB, Litecoin, Dash, and Bitcoin Cash. However, they have mentioned that there is Ripple (XRP) and Tron (TRX) coming very shortly. They truly are attempting to add more coins, and over time, if they don’t raise their price, this option will be a slam dunk for most users.

Additionally, I will add that the Binance Chain Coins (BEP2) tokens are also supported as this is a Binance hardware wallet after all. Below Is a full list of coins currently supported.

 

 

SafePal vs Ledger Nano S: Conclusion

 

At the end of the day, these are the two most trusted entry level hardware wallets on the market today. They both have an entry point under $60 (which is very cheap considering the competition), and the SafePal is currently on sale for under $40.

On the one hand, the Ledger Nano S has a massive development team and “technically” supports over 1,000 coins, however, as I mentioned above, it really only allows you to hold 3-4 coins on the device at once. The coin selection is a very nice feature, especially if you want to expand and swap out your portfolio. However, even though the SafePal does not hold nearly as many coins (currently), it is VASTLY more secure.

Having no connection to USB, Bluetooth, or any other transmission method other than an encrypted QR code via a camera, is a very attractive selling point. Not to mention the fact that you don’t need a computer and a USB connection to use it, makes it more accessible for a much larger market.

Personally, it really just depends on your current situation. You need to ask yourself: “What coins do I need to store offline?” “Am I ok with having to use a computer to use this device?” “Do I want to hold more than 3 different coins at once on the device?”. If it were me, I would choose the SafePal. This by NO means the Ledger Nano S is a bad device, I just believe the fact that I can use the SafePal with a smartphone and also having no insecurities makes it a very compelling choice. The fact that it’s currently cheaper is just a bonus.

 

 

What do you think? Would you choose the SafePal over the Ledger Nano S? SafePal vs Ledger Nano S! Let us know down below in the comments!

 

Cheers,

 

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.

SafePal S1 Review (2020) | Binance’s “Unique” Entry Level Hardware Wallet

In this review, we are going to deep dive into what makes the Safepal S1 hardware wallet unique. Why is it any better than Trezor or Ledger? Why is the price so much lower? How secure is this new and fairly unknown hardware wallet maker? Is it backed by Binance? Stay tuned for this article to get all of these questions answered and more!

This device was originally created by Binance Labs division and wanted to have a unique approach to a hardware wallet that was cheap enough for the average user, but also supported the Binance chain and added support for their internal projects. This really is a unique entry level hardware wallet, that greatly differs in terms of design, functionality, and overall user experience.

I will also link to the full reviews for the Trezor One hardware wallet, and the Ledger Nano S hardware wallet, HERE and HERE, respectively for comparison. Also, if you have any questions that were not answered here, leave a comment down below and I will personally answer them for you.

Now, onto the Safepal S1 hardware wallet. Let’s go!

 

,

SafePal S1 – What Makes It Unique?

 

 

The Safepal hardware wallet is first and foremost an entry level hardware wallet competing directly with Trezor One and Ledger Nano S, in terms of pricing and functionality. However, although this wallet does not support anywhere near as many coins as the Trezor and Ledger (more on that bellow), but it’s truly a wireless, disconnected and unencumbered security device.

This device is 100% completely offline. This is not true of the two other wallets mentioned here. So how does this device work, then? Two words for you: QR Codes. The device has a camera installed on the back and has a 1.3 color LCD screen to verify transactions, which has the ability to display a QR code for you to make transactions directly from your smartphones mobile wallet, directly to the Safepal.

The Safepal S1 hardware wallet is built with dual chip architect. Embedded with financial grade EAL5+ crypto chip, S1 keeps your private key in top security. It has multiple layers of sensor detects any possible software or hardware attacks, and once a malicious attack is detected, the device will activate self-destroy and key-erasing mechanism, preventing anyone from stealing your money.

This is most likely why thy don’t ship the box with any anti-tampering mechanisms, much like Ledger.

 

 

What’s In The Box?

 

 

This device has everything you need to get setup right out of the box (minus the Safepal App for your smartphone). Recovery seed cards, user manual, stickers, and more.

• SafePal S1
• User Manual
• USB Cable (Charging Only)
• Mnemonic Recovery Card (x3)
• SafePal Stickers (x2)
• Cleaning Cloth

There isn’t anything else you need, except either a charging adapter, or your computer to power up your device on the only button on the side of the device. However, my device came with a little juice already on it when I pulled it out of the box.

 

Features & Price

 

 

This can be considered one of the most attractive features of the device as it’s only $39.99 for this hardware wallet. Yes, you read that right. But why is it so cheap? Well, even though it looks like a very sleek and expensive device, its is made of plastic coating and a very small camera module that is used to transact at a very low resolution.l It’s obvious that they built this as cheaply as they could, while still remaining secure.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, but you also get what you pay for. One of the key features that sets this device apart from most other competing hardware wallets is the fact that there is NO:

  • NFC
  • BLUETOOTH
  • USB
  • CELLULAR
  • EXTERNAL DEVICE CONNECTIONS

This gives it extra security, but it also makes it easier to use, as there are no extra devices necessary for this to operate, other than your smartphone. All you need right out of the box is a charger that supports USB-A to charge the device and a smartphone to download the Safepal App to setup and initialize the device.

Additionally, this is the first and only device to support the Binance DEX (decentralized exchange) for ERC-20 and BNB tokens for trading offline. Pretty sweet.

 

 

Coins Supported

 

This is the one weal point of this product is the lack of coin support, as it only supports: Bitcoin, Ether (and ERC-20 Tokens), BNB, Litecoin, Dash, and Bitcoin Cash. However, they have mentioned that there is Ripple (XRP) and Tron (TRX) coming very shortly. They truly are attempting to add more coins, and over time, if they don’t raise their price, this option will be a slam dunk for most users.

Additionally, I will add that the Binance Chain Coins (BEP2) tokens are also supported as this is a Binance hardware wallet after all. Below Is a full list of coins currently supported.

 

 

 

Safepal – Conclusion

 

 

Overall, this is a pretty solid introductory hardware wallet. It’s unique from it’s direct competitors and its simple and easy to use. As mentioned above, it has no connection weaknesses and cannot be hacked by any radio frequency or directly connected internet device. It’s truly a unique wireless hardware wallet that can be used on the go and is one of only a few hardware wallets that are “truly wireless” with no dependence on other devices. Oh, and did I mentioned it’s under $50?

There are higher quality and more durable devices that use a similar method of communication, such as the Cobo Vault and The Ellipal 2.0 (and upcoming Ellipal Titan), however those devices are much more expensive. Personally, If I mainly only wanted to secure Bitcoin, Ethereum, and only a handful of ERC-20 tokens, then I would definitely go with this device over the Ledger Nano S, or even the Trezor.

Not because the above are bad in any way (because they are not), but because for the price and no dependence on other devices, this is truly a contender for the best “entry-level” hardware wallet.

 

 

What do you think? Is there a better deal for an entry level hardware wallet? Sound off below!

 

Cheers,

 

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.

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