Hardware Wallets and Their Types
Bitcoin and its other alternatives are witnessing a steady increase in value. This means that more and more people are purchasing them, and that- in itself- means that more and more people are at the risk of digital security threats. In order to guard themselves, people have started to demand more security devices, hence the demand for hardware wallets. As of now, there are a lot of options available to customers, as opposed to when the first Bitcoin hardware wallets came out. Also, these new hardware wallets provide a lot of more functions, and they also provide support for more cryptocurrencies.
A cryptocurrency hardware wallet is a physical device that keeps private keys enclosed and stored within an area in the device.
A lot of people see the functionality of hardware wallets due to the fact that they act similarly to paper wallets. However, they are uh ore desirable and advantageous for the process of sending and receiving cryptocurrencies. Till now, there still hasn’t been any significant incident that pointed to the vulnerability of hardware wallets or any verifiable incident where hackers and malicious people stole cryptocurrency funds from people who make use of these security devices, and that track record alone is a strong case for the desirability of hardware wallets. However, if there is one thing that the digital age has been able to reach us, it is that one can never be too secure on the online landscape. This precautionary reason is one of the major driving forces behind the demand for hardware wallets. Also, hardware wallets exhibit high resistance to viruses, and it is not possible for private keys to be removed from these devices in plaintext.
Although it is true that there is no security device that is 100% secure. However, users of the Bitcoin platform are of the belief that there are many significant advantages of using a hardware wallet.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some types of hardware wallets:
Ledger Wallet is a well-known brand, and they have one product that is currently available to their customers; the Ledger Nano S. You should know that there are plans for the release of the ledger Blue, but it is only still available for pre-orders currently.
The Ledger Nano S is a highly rated hardware wallet that has gotten a slew of good reviews on the site ever since it was first developed. The device is able to hold a wide array of crypto assets, including but not limited to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.
So this is how Nano works; a user simply tethers the wallet to a Chrome plugin, and a standard micro USB connection is used by the user to connect to connect the device. An OLED display is embedded by the Nano for users on the device for PIN identification, confirmation of transactions, seed restoration, and much more. The physical wallet also has a few buttons on the side that can be used to operate it.
According to Ledger, shipping is supposed to take about a fortnight, and although most people will testify that it is better for you to purchase the device directly from the company, third-party platforms like Amazon also have the device on sale and available. One of the biggest security risks that users of hardware wallets face is the fact that the wallet can easily be compromised during the shipping process. However, a lot of people still prefer to order from third-party retailers as they believe the prices will be much lower. A single Nano S wallet can be purchased from the official Ledger Wallet site at about $69.
Trezor is another popular brand that manufactures hardware wallets it was created by Satoshi Labs, and they make hardware wallets that provide the storage of private keys for crypto assets like Bitcoin, various altcoins (Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, and co.), and ERC-20 tokens. The Trezor wallet is also highly versatile in theist is capable of acting as a password manager, performing 2FA functions, and much more. Also, with the help of GPG, the Trezor wallet is able to offer document signing functions and reliable encryption. Being around for some years, Trezor has gained credibility in the cryptocurrency market. The device has also been able to gather some solid and rave reviews.
Just like the Nano S, the Trezor wallet also makes use of a physical LED screen and two buttons for performing operations like firmware updates, confirmation of transactions, and PIN identification and verification. Trezor has a plastic case, and it connects thanks to a micro USB connector. As of right now, Trezor has stated that a single device can be shipped within two business days thanks to priority shipping. Without considering the cost of shipping, a device goes for about $100 (or its equivalent in Bitcoin. The company has also announced that they will be releasing a newer version (called the Trezor 2), so enthusiastic users might want to wait a bit or that device to be released.
Keepkey is a manufacturer of hardware wallets that is owned by a cryptocurrency startup known as Shapeshift. The Keepkey wallet has a bigger size than both the Ledger and the Trezor, and it also comes with an anodized aluminum case. However, just like the previous two, it offers a micro USB connection, as well as a 3.12″ OLED screen display that makes it easy to perform functions such as transaction confirmations and PIN verifications.
One major option that is unique to Keepkey is its ability to connect to the Shapeshift exchange. It offers a more secure connection mode, and that alone adds to its stock. Keepkey is also able to store private keys for various crypto assets, and it is possible for users to create custom firewalls as well.
KeepKey doesn’t enjoy the market presence of longevity of Ledger or Trezor, but it has been able to maintain a strong reputation reviews for the wallet have also been above average. The device goes for about $129, and acceptable payment methods include credit card, PayPal, and Bitcoin. Buyers have the option to choose whether to ship it out through the standard mail (a period of 3 to 9 business days and an extra cost of $15) or FedEx priority shipping (a period of 2 days, and an extra cost of $48).
Digital Bitbx is a relatively new hardware wallet that was created by a Swiss-based company known as Shift Devices AG. The Bitbox is the hardware wallet with the smallest size on the market as it is able to connect to a computer directly with the help of a USB connection. Also, a recover micro SD card accompanies the device, and it provides key storage capabilities for various types of crypto assets as well.
One of the most interesting features of the Bitbox is the fact that it is able to process multi-signature features “out of the box.” However you should also know that unlike many other hardware wallets, Bitbox does not have a screen, and neither does it have an abundance of physical interface procedures.
When the Digital Bitbox was first reported on by many platforms, there was a very high demand for it, and this caused there to be a shortage of information due to a lack of reliable sources. However, things have cleared now, and it is common knowledge that the Bitbox goes for about $54. You will also need to pay an extra $50 to cover FedEx Priority Express (although this doesn’t apply to buyers within Switzerland).
As stated earlier, the device is still relatively new on the market, so there aren’t many reviews that can be found online.
Bitlox is a type of hardware wallet that is relatively new. Created and manufactured by a company known as Bitlox Limited (based in Hong Kong), Bitlox has a bigger size than most hardware wallets on the market today. It is just about the same size as Keepkey, but it offers three different types of wallets. Users are free to make a choice between the Advanced (which goes for $98), the Ultimate (which goes for $148), and the Extreme Privacy Set (which goes for $198).
You can connect Bitlox with the help of a standard USB cable, and the wallet is able to offer both BIP32 and BIP39 seed phrases. You can also find a display screen as well as a few buttons on the face of the device.
One offering of the Bitlox product that is seemingly unique is the Bluetooth functionality, which makes it compatible with smartphones as well. In truth, there aren’t many reviews about Bitlox online that can point the fact that users have enjoyed the device. However, you can easily find some videos on YouTube as well as reviews on Bitlox. The device can be bought by customers with either PayPal or Bitcoin, and the company can ship it anywhere in the world.