In this article, I will give you a deep dive into the KeepKey wallet and provide you a review of my personal experience thus far with a keepkey review. I started using KeepKey about 3 years ago and boy has it come a long way. At first it was the simple bitcoin wallet that only supported about 6 coins, and was the easiest wallet to use at the time (including Trezor and Ledger). It’s selling edge was the physical wallet itself which is a nicer aluminum finish and clean and upscale look and significantly differed from the flimsy plastic Trezor and Ledger presented you out of the box.
As a result, it was priced as such, and many people would not pay more for a device that only supported 6 coins. In 2018, it started adding 3rd party wallet support, like MyEtherWallet and MyCrypto.com and ERC-20 tokens. In this review, I will go over what has changed since then and ultimately if this wallet is the best choice for you or not.
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KEEPKEY REVIEW: WHAT COMES IN THE KEEPKEY BOX?
First off, they have a really solid presentation. The box is a quality box and is sealed by an anti-tamper sticker to indicate if the box has attempted misuse or access to it. Secondly, it comes with the following items in the rectangular apple-esque box:
-Nylon Woven USB to Micro USB cable
-2 Recovery Seed Cards
-Getting Started Guide
The device itself is rectangular and only has one singular button on the top right used for signing and authorizing transactions. This is why it can be defined as the simple bitcoin wallet and is mechanical in design. Overall, this is a non-nonsense wallet that is made up of solid, sturdy construction and is physically larger than the Ledger and Trezor wallets.
KEEPKEY REVIEW: WHAT COINS ARE SUPPORTED?
Natively, this wallet in the current beta 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)
KEEPKEY REVIEW: HOW TO SETUP THE DEVICE
This information will be outdated soon, but I will leave a link to the current setup and initialization of the device as of June 2019 for most people here. I am more interested in talking about my experience with their new unified platform that will be released to the public shortly. Essentially, once you take the KeepKey out of the box and plug in the USB, it will prompt you to download the firmware updater and initialization steps once you login to your account. Currently, this is done on beta.shapeshift.com.
Once you have updated the firmware by plugging it in and holding down the single mechanical button as you disconnect and re-connect, it will process the update for you very quickly, usually within about 30 seconds. From here it will connect your KeepKey and there will be an animation in the top right of the dashboard letting you know it’s current status and then prompt you for the pin that is randomized every time it’s plugged in to ensure you have proper access to the device.
Once you’re validated, you can trade, view your accounts, and send/receive from your existing accounts and it’s a seamless process that will prompt for your PIN again to make any changes. I will leave a photo below for you to see the dashboard layout and it is very clean.
KEEPKEY REVIEW: SECURITY
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.
You can recover your wallet using the backup seed if your device is lost, stolen, or damaged. Recovery can be done in this new beta platform, but it has yet to be released on the current version. Make sure to keep multiple backups of your seed and use a metal recovery seed backup for extra protection.
The wallet’s screen allows you to sign and confirm the transaction on the device itself, so you can verify the address matches when sending on the web app and the device to prevent unauthorized bait and switches, but does not prevent phishing attacks.
KEEPKEY AND SHAPESHIFT: USER EXPERIENCE (UX)
As you can see in the interface, besides the assets list on the left, most people like to trade within the app. All this is done within the app, so your private keys are never exposed online or to a 3rd party, which again, makes this new platform EXTREMELY compelling.
Additionally, unlike most exchanges you do not need pre-designated trading pairs that are usually defaulted to BTC. This means you can trade from altcoin to altcoin without having to trade back into BTC first, which will save you a ton on trading fees.
You can also buy crypto directly in the app via Wyre and can do a bank transfer that takes only 1-3 days and with only minimal fees. This is a huge advantage over Binance or other exchanges that charge exorbitant fees to have it done via a credit card and pay a lot more for that instant gratification. Again, when you do this, the private keys will go directly on your KeepKey so they are never exposed to the internet , even for a second.
Finally, here is a glimpse of the assets list. At the time of this screenshot, I only had 2 assets for testing and I haven’t tested this with bitcoin directly and dealt with DOGE and SNT at the time. I have since distributed that between about 9 different assets and have had a good experience with seamless trades that all end up on my hardware wallet, instantly after signing and authorizing a trade.
KEEPKEY REVIEW – CONCLUSION
In the end, I still would take the KeepKey over the Ledger if I had to choose. The Ledger Nano S only holds 3 or 4 apps at the same time, and if you plan to expand or add more, you will have to remove and uninstall what you have to make room. KeepKey does not have this storage issue.
As mentioned above, with KeepKey will not give you this issue and you can trade assets very seamlessly and without the need to give up your private keys over top an exchange. This is a HUGE advantage and not one that any other hardware wallet can compete with. Having a non-custodial wallet is key and having one that is designed to never expose the private keys is even better.
The UX has been greatly improved and you can actually initiate a trade, sign the transaction on the device, and then unplug and off you go. You do not need to wait for the trade to take place, which is super convenient. Right now it costs $79 and is only 20 bucks more than the Ledger. It feels like it should be worth twice that since the quality you get is superior. Honestly, if you asked me which wallet should I choose a year ago, and is KeepKey is better than Ledger?
I would’ve said “No”. But, this new user interface and overall experience managing your assets all in one place and one screen, and not needing to install and uninstall several applications is unbeatable. Using their beta and testing their new platform has been a great experience and one that I would recommend to my closest friends and family at this point. Even if you are brand new and don’t have much experience. KeepKey is the best choice for a hardware wallet right now in 2019.
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What do you think? Which hardware wallet is your favorite and why? Sound off in the comments below!
The Crypto Renegade
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