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Top 3 Crypto Hardware Wallets


Comparison between the best cryptocurrency hardware wallets in terms of security, supported coins and ease of use

June 10, 2021

Crypto Wallets

Top 3 Crypto Hardware Wallets

Top 3 Crypto Hardware Wallets

Intro

If you own any type of cryptocurrency or digital assets like NFTs then making sure they are secure and inaccessible to hackers and thieves should be paramount. Would you share your bank account PIN with someone else? Ofcourse not, however this is effectively what you're doing when you buy and hold crypto on an exchange like Binance or Coinbase.

Crypto transactions occur on a blockchain using public and private keys. These keys can be called the crypto equivalent of a bank account number and internet banking login details respectively. The former is something you can share with others to receive funds in your account. But your private key is more like the key to your secret safe. Whatever’s in it is only safe for as long as you do not share its key with someone else. The private key gives you access to your crypto funds that are always stored on a blockchain.
ledger.com

When you sign up to these exchanges, a "hot" wallet is created for you. This in turn creates your public/private key pair and interacts with the blockchains to display the right amount of cryptocurrencies you own. This is very convenient and allows you to immediately start trading without having to worry about how you're going to store your assets, however because the exchange has your private key - they are the ones who are controlling access to your funds. Even if you don't actively trade but are looking to hold assets long-term, keeping them stored on an exchange, web(e.g. MetaMask) or mobile(e.g. Coinbase Wallet) wallet is not the best idea as these are constantly connected to the internet and therefore potential targets to hackers.

There are 2 main types of crypto wallets, "hot" and "cold" wallets. Let's see the difference.


Hot vs Cold Wallets

Hot Wallets

ProsCons
More user-friendlyAlways connected to the internet and blockchain
Easy to complete transactionsPrivate keys stored on internet-connected application
ConvenientAlways exposed to hacks and threats

Hot wallets should be used for small day-to-day transactions, not long-term storage or holding large amounts of crypto.


Cold Wallets

ProsCons
More secureHarder to use
Not connected to the internet(offline)Funds are difficult to access
Impossible to hackCan be lost

Cold wallets are a better, more secure option, they oppperate in an offline mode and so cannot be hacked over the internet - just be sure not to physically lose you wallet. You can still make transactions from offline wallets all while keeping your private keys off the internet. Hardware wallets secure your keys using security element (SE) chips to reduce the possibility of attacks on the wallet. These are the same chips used to secure biometrics in your passport.


Types of storage and examples
Preview
Hot vs cold storage with examples


Ledger Nano S

Ledger Nano S
Preview
Ledger Nano S

Ledger was founded in 2014. The Ledger Nano S is most popular hardware wallet and a great choice for people who are looking for a simple and well-trusted solution to storing digital assets.


Features

  • Cold offline storage
  • 1300+ supported coins (Full List)
  • Small digital screen
  • Size 56.95mm x 17.4mm x 9.1mm
  • Weight 16.2g
  • No battery required
  • Multiple coin support
  • Made of stainless steel and plastic
  • 1 USB(Micro-B) cable included in box
  • 24-word recovery phrase is the only backup of your private keys


D'CENT Biometric Wallet

D'CENT Biometric Wallet
Preview
D'CENT Biometric Wallet

Launched in 2018, they offer a new-generation of advanced crypto cold storage featuring highly secure biometric fingerprint authentication.


Features

  • Biometrics Authentication (PIN or fingerprint)
  • 1800+ supported coins (Full List)
  • Cold offline storage
  • Large 128x128 OLED screen
  • Secure Private Key Management
  • Size 78.2mm x 43.2mm x 10.8mm
  • Weight 36g
  • USB or Bluetooth connection
  • Battery 585mA
  • Back up and restoration in case of lost, stolen, or wiped to factory setting


Trezor One

Trezor One
Preview
Trezor One

Created by SatoshiLabs, a company established in 2013 with extensive roots in security and cryptocurrency. Trezor is their flagship product and most successful project.


Features

  • 1600+ supported coins (Full List)
  • Cold offline storage
  • Monochrome OLED 128x64 display
  • Size 60mm x 30mm x 6mm
  • Weight 12g
  • Micro USB cable included
  • No battery required
  • 12 to 24 words long recovery seed to restore entire wallet


Table Comparison

Ledger logo Nano SD'CENT logo Biometric WalletTrezor logo One
Year Released201620182014
Supported Coins137918051649
SecurityPINPIN + Biometrics fingerprintPIN
Storage TypeCold/OfflineCold/OfflineCold/Offline
Screen128x32 digital display128x128 OLED display128x64 OLED display
Size56.95mm x 17.4mm x 9.1mm78.2mm x 43.2mm x 10.8mm60mm x 30mm x 6mm
Weight16.2g36g12g
BatteryNone585mA batteryNone
Recovery/BackupYesYesYes
Secure NFTsYes, through MetaMaskNoYes, through MetaMask
Compatibility64-bits desktop computer (Windows 8+, macOS 10.10+, Linux) excluding ARM ProcessorsWindows + MacOSWindows (version 10 or newer), MacOS (version 10.11 and higher), Linux
£55 Buy on Amazon£100 Buy on Amazon£50 Buy on Amazon