You Might also like
By Zach — 3 years ago
In this review, I will go over all 3 primary hardware wallets and see the show down of KeepKey Vs. Trezor Vs. Ledger. People always ask me when they realize they need to start taking their private key security seriously is “Which hardware wallet should I buy?“ This questions has been presented to me hundreds, if not thousands of time, and there is no one real “clear” answer.
It ultimately depends on which coins you want to store and how you want to access them. Do you plan on trading your coins often? Are you simply just trying to “buy and hold” for several months and several years, like a set and forget situation? Are you planning on using the wallet to “bake” or use to contribute to the blockchain on proof-of-stake (POS) networks?
While these are all valid questions, I personally have all 3 wallets and use them regularly. Why? Well, aside from being in the industry, and needing to stay up to date on these devices and their features and capabilities, the main reason is to diversify. What do I mean by this?
Well, if you have (or plan to have) significant holdings, it is smart not to have all of your coins or private keys on one wallet, just in case. Now I’ve created a free e-book that explains how to avoid this which you can get for free HERE, but ultimately if you are in the market for a wallet for the first time, I will tell you the wallet I like to use the best right now in May of 2019.
KeepKey VS. Trezor VS. Ledger
Stay tuned below for the final result, but I go over some pros and cons of each device below. They all are very secure and safe to use, but it really just comes down to preference and really how often you decide to interact with the device. Let’s get right to it!
There are two versions of Trezor: Trezor One and Trezor Model T. The former is the entry level device that came out 2013 and has since received regular firmware upgrades enhancing it’s security and adding new software support for native and 3rd party applications for new coins. In 2018, they released their 2nd-gen product called the “Model T“.
The latter is a larger device with touch screen and is operated by a “Beta” wallet that supports over 1,000 coins between it’s native applications and 3rd party integration. Most recently, they added NATIVE support (which is a huge upgrade in my opinion) for Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC). This means it is connected to its unique application that was custom designed by Trezor to manage your ETH accounts directly in the app. Previously, any ETH or ERC-20 based token required to use a 3rd party wallet, which was annoying and cumbersome.
I understand there is a lot of development work that goes into creating and managing any native app, but Ledger and Trezor already had native support for this, (as they should) considering it’s been in the top 3 coins by market cap consistently for years.
Trezor Model T however, is a massive upgrade and adds not only native support for multiple coins, but has added security in the form of a PIN entered in on the touch screen of the device instead of the web app used on the web application. This upgraded device was used for several new features including a password manager and multiple additional security options and ease of use for recovery options on the device itself. Very powerful. Below is the overall feeling I have about the device(s) and the overall team behind them.
Bottomline: They have upgraded some basic functionality, which is good, and to their credit they have added support for some coins that really need it, such as Monero and Tether. This is of course when their team collaborates and helps build a supported wallet to tie into their code base. They have been building a foundation for the future and that is going to work in their favor as soon as each coin’s respective development team decides to catch up.
-Binance Coin (BNB)
-Tether (USDT) *Stable coin*
Keepkey has always been a favorite of mine, as it’s a solid design and very sleek and stable frame that just feels good when you hold it in your hands. 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.
Bottomline: Keep an eye out for the newest upgrades and the new platform that is coming soon. I hope to gain access to the private beta soon, and if given access, I will ask permission to write a review for your guys. *UPDATE* I have gained access to the beta and have tested it thoroughly, please see below.
-Basic Attention Token (BAT)
-TrueUSD (TUSD) *Stable coin*
Ledger is considered “The most recommended hardware wallet” on the market. The simple reason for this is because it’s cheap (low barrier to entry) and they have been working on upgrading their infrastructure and recently released Ledger Live, which is their new desktop (and iOS) application for managing all of your coins. This is much better than their previous solution of using a chrome extension to access the UI, but Ledger Live is not without it’s quirks.
Overall, the UI is pretty clean and is pretty straight forward in terms of first time setup and detects your device when it’s plugged into the USB port and asks you to authenticate to view the app. The one thing most people don’t understand is the Ledger Nano S has very little RAM, so even though they advertise that it supports over 1,100 coins, you can only have approximately 3 or 4 coin apps installed at once on your device.
You will want to make sure you choose your coins wisely and perhaps get multiple devices if you want to diversify and/or use a 3rd party wallet as mentioned above to manage more coins on the same device.
This however, does not apply to the new Ledger Nano X. In addition to the new design and being able to manage this wirelessly via bluetooth, you can manage your coins anywhere on an iPhone or Android effortlessly. You also can support up to 10x the amount of apps or “coins” to be supported on the same device at once. This is huge if you want to diversify and be able to hold more than 3 or 4 at a time. The device is approximately $119 right now and it should be available to the public within the next 7 days. Very exciting.
Bottomline: It’s not perfect, but it has made some good improvements over the last year and is continually updating it’s coin support. I will list below some of the coins that are supported on Ledger currently that are not yet available on other platforms, which brings it’s edge.
I will say the best advantage (for me, anyways) that Ledger has going for itself right now is the fact you can “bake” Tezos on your hardware wallet directly, and no other hardware wallet on the market currently supports that. As a firm believer in that project and the fact I can participate in the network, while keeping my private keys offline is a HUGE plus.
-USD Coin (USDC) *Stable coin*
KEEPKEY VS. TREZOR VS. LEDGER CONCLUSION: WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU BUY?
As I mentioned above, there is no definitive “correct” answer, as each person’s needs may differ. Now that I have that disclaimer out of the way, I will provide my personal recommendation if you are a first time hardware wallet buyer and you only need one to start out with. I will say this was NOT an easy decision, but here is what I would recommend to my mother or personal friend who is looking to secure their cryptocurrency in an easy to use way. I would recommend getting a KEEPKEY.
Why is this my answer? Well, as I updated above, I was invited to participate in their private beta (In depth review on that coming shortly) and I was blown away. ShapeShift (the company that bought KeepKey) has revamped their entire interface. This is extremely noteworthy because before, you had to download multiple applications, and chrome extensions to manage your private keys and it was not the best user experience. This has all changed.
Their new platform that will be coming out very soon and is by far the easiest to use and best hardware wallet experience I have seen yet. Not only can you easily trade coins while keeping your private keys on the device the entire time, managing your portfolio has never been easier. At the time of this writing, it is only $79, and while it is not the cheapest device, it is certainly the highest quality, and best user experience I have seen yet on their new platform.
As far I know, they have plenty of new coins and features in the pipeline, and it is so easy to use, even my grandma could use it and wouldn’t have to explain much. It really is the first plug and play hardware wallet experience I have used (and I’ve used them all). Again, it’s hard to give visualization of my experience, but with my upcoming review, you will see some screenshots and see what I’m talking about.
Overall, it has proven to be the easiest way (so far) to manage my funds safely, and the ONLY way to trade assets without handing my private keys over to an exchange or any other type of wallet or custodian. I highly recommend this hardware wallet if you are making your first purchase and trust me, you won’t regret it.
What do you think? Would you have chosen something different? Please let me know 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: 631
By Zach — 3 years ago
In this article, I am going to dive into hot wallets vs. cold wallets – which one should I use? This is an interesting topic, and in fact, it was one of the first topics I started researching when I first discovered cryptocurrency and ultimately inspired me to create this website. As you can see, I have a bias towards cold storage wallets, but what exactly is the difference? I am going to discuss below what the pros and cons of a hot wallets vs cold wallets are and in what scenario you would need to use both. As cryptocurrency payments become ubiquitous, it’s important for your own safety and best security practices in managing your wallets and private keys on an on-going basis. Let’s begin.
WHAT IS A HOT WALLET?
In short, a “hot wallet” is a digital wallet for your cryptocurrency that is connected or is easily connected to the internet. This provides a lot of convenience for making day to day purchases as most active hot wallets are either on your smart phone or also on a desktop wallet on your computer for easy access for making online purchases. I always use the comparison of using your hot wallet like you would for a wallet in your back pocket that holds your credit cards, ID, and fiat. By a general rule of thumb, you should never hold more money on your hot wallet than you would normally keep in your leather physical wallet on a regular basis. Most people never keep any more than a couple hundred dollars in there at any given time, which is smart. The same applies to a hot wallet.
These wallets are designed for your average day to day spending. This could be at your local merchant down the street, or even if you’re browsing online at and trying to purchase gift cards at a site like bitrefill.com. This is done typically by scanning the screen’s QR code with your smartphone via your own wallet to make a quick transaction and simple transaction or even buy something off Amazon (like millions do everyday), but by using Purse.io, which is a platform that is built on top of amazon but accepts multiple cryptocurrencies as payment, and at a steep discount. Click this link to get some free BTC if you want to get started. Most purchase discounts range anywhere from 15-33% off anything at Amazon through this site.
These are just a few examples of how/when you would use your hot wallet for a simple transaction. You can also pre-load Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) on Bitpay’s visa debit card. I will link my video review of this from Youtube HERE.
WHAT IS A COLD WALLET?
A “cold wallet” is also a digital (or sometimes physical, in the form of a hardware wallet) wallet that is kept completely offline. Why? Because any funds that are kept offline cannot be hacked or tampered with. You can think of this as virtual bank vault, that is very secure, hard to access, and is designed to store your larger amounts of crypto and primarily your longer term holdings. There are many advantages to having these wallets, and even safer to implement Multi-Sig wallets. It is also recommended to diversify your holdings between multiple hardware wallets when you start to accumulate a vast sum of crypto.
I have a soft spot specifically for hardware wallets as I’ve actually designed and built one for a prominent cryptocurrency company (although due to an NDA, I cannot discuss it yet). But the reason I think it’s important is because using and owning this kind of device is like putting up a nice big middle finger to the big banks and over-reaching governments that tend to control our money supply and bank accounts whenever they see fit. No “authority” should have that kind of power. Hardware wallets are symbolic of sovereignty and self-reliance. That is why literally “becoming your own bank” is so important. One of my favorite quotes in this space is “Whoever controls the people’s means of exchange, controls the people”. This is scary, but very true. When you use cryptocurrency, you are taking personal control and responsibility of your finances, and that is SO empowering. Just writing about it send chills down my spine, but I digress.
If you are new to hardware wallets, I recommend getting a Keepkey device for beginners. Why? I have been testing their closed beta of their new platform and it is by far the easiest and most user friendly hardware wallet platform I have used (and I’ve used almost every one of them). I think I could teach my grandma how to use it, and that’s saying something. The current platform works fine, but the future platform is very exciting and if you are brand new, you will be pleasantly surprised. I will be writing a review on this platform shortly and I will update this post with a link as soon as I do, so stay tuned.
WHY WOULD I NEED EITHER ONE?
As you can see from the examples of use cases listed above, it is important to protect your cryptocurrency and make it useful and convenient when you need it. But it’s even more important to protect it and secure it when it’s required. As the user adoption begins to snow ball, it’s crucial for everyone to understand that they will need both a hot and cold wallet for their various uses. You can even make transactions online with your hardware wallet connected via USB for even more protection. Most hardware wallets never expose their private keys to the internet when making the transactions by design. This is super helpful because you want to ensure that from every point in a given transaction, you do not want your private keys to be exposed in transit and potentially have your keys copied by a 3rd party before it reaches the intended destination.
Having said that, most digital wallets on your smart phone are typically secure enough for day to day spending and you shouldn’t be too concerned, so long as you have a trusted wallet for your phone. The top 3 I use on a regular basis is Bitpay, Jaxx, and Blockchain. These are all non-custodial wallets and have security features built in and can have 2FA or (two-factor authentication) enabled to confirm each transaction and will include Touch ID and Face ID, if you enable it.
I already recommended my top hardware wallet for beginners in the previous section, but any of the wallets that I offer through this website, are all trusted and good to use, it just depends on your needs and wants out of a secure air-gapped device.
Please sound off below! What hot and cold wallets do you like? Do you have any other wallets you can recommend not listed above? Let me know 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: 935