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Cold storage 2016: best bitcoin hardware wallets

Last update: December 12, 2016

So what is the business with Bitcoin hardware wallets?

They are far more secure, they can have a watching only wallet for you to keep track of your incoming transactions and they are tiny enough to stay with you all day in your pocket.

We have already talked about bitcoin hardware wallets before, back then we only covered Trezor and Ledger wallets.

If you are just starting with Bitcoin

Right first off: If you are new to the squad go for Ledger. The security specs are very good for any hardware wallet, Ledger is the cheapest option. The cheapest HW.1 model of Ledger costs about 20 € with tax.

Ideal is you want really safe storage but don’t feel like chucking into this business a whole lot of actual money.

Ledger on your computer

Ledger was paired with CoinKite which announced the end of their service. However they also have their own native app for Chrome, Chromium and smartphones.

It also pairs with Mycelium (the most popular mobile wallet), Electrum (the most popular self-hosted lightweight software wallet) and Green Address (a browser plugin).

= Get Ledger HW1 for ~ 20 EUR

Learn more:

If you don’t want pin

PIN is quite a typical additional layer of security. You get the possibility of static pin with Samourai wallet , with Mycelium Android app and even on Kraken exchange (there it’s a primitive version of 2FA).

For KeepKey and Trezor’s the validation when sending out money is the PIN. It’s fairly secure, considering you are initiating the transaction from a different device. The attacker would have to get access to your computer wallet, the physical device and also know the PIN. They PIN is in both devices typed in through a rotating keyboard. No keyloggers.

Still, if you for some reasons just cannot be bothered with another number: Ledger Unplugged is the only hardware wallet to integrate a phone validation. Ledger Unplugged is the Ledger wallet that looks like credit card. It is EAL4+ Java Card, they use these to make passports. All sensitive procedures happen inside the card in a tamper-resistant element.

= Get Ledger Unplugged for ~ 30 EUR

Recovery of hardware wallets

Some people are very cautious about the recovery options. It makes sense, if you want to have your coins safe you need to be sure you won’t lose them by performing recovery on some insecure device: If you lose your hardware wallet you might choose to recover it with a computer-based HD wallet. It is possible with a wallet of the same BIP (usually 39 or 44, depends on your hardware wallet).

KeepKey is the only hardware wallet to tune up the recovery procedure. It uses a rotating cipher to enter the mnemonic words that represent the private key. The only thing the connected computer can see is the number of characters the user enters before the word autocompletes on the screen of the device.

= Get KeepKey for ~ 99 USD

That being said, Trezor’s recovery is safe enough though in principle the method is considered less secure. Trezor’s has a 24-word seed to make recovery secure, KeepKey is just more sophisticated with their encryption. More information here

= Get Trezor for ~ 99 USD

If you want it pretty

Not even kidding. Redditors show their human side and are taken aback by the slick design and large display of KeepKey!

So, here’s the thing:

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