Anybody that is a regular participant in the cryptocurrency market and is a cryptocurrency investor and owner, will know the importance of security and privacy. Especially when it comes down to where and how their digital assets are stored.
The security of digital assets is a matter of great concern to everyone in the cryptocurrency market because of the lack thereof any centralised systems. When there is a central system there is a way to get back something that was stolen or lost, but with the cryptocurrency market and world pushing for decentralisation, it is every man/woman for himself/herself.
When it comes to wallet services, a lot of people are comfortable with storing their assets on exchange provided wallets and mobile wallet applications. While there is no actual problem with it, because most of these wallets do take the required precautions to make sure that they are secure enough.
But for investors with large investments and digital asset pools, it is always better to take the target off their backs and take over the way their assets are stored and managed. A good way to do so is to take your assets off the internet and start using hardware wallets.
What are Hardware Wallets?
Hardware wallets are physical devices that are used to store digital assets. They are impenetrable because they are not connected to the internet and the owner is the sole controller of the assets stored.
The fact that it is not on the internet makes it almost impossible for an external attack to take place. However, these devices are susceptible to theft. But even then there are authentication processes in place that will defer the access to the funds.
Hardware wallets are recommended for people with large investments and a big digital asset portfolio because otherwise owning one is a bit of an overkill. Hardware wallets are the most secure way of storing digital assets available in the cryptocurrency market as of now.
Here is a list of the
Top 5 Bitcoin Hardware Wallets.
Ledger Nano S
The Ledger Nano S wallet is unanimously the most used and popular wallet in the market right now. It is the undisputed winners of hardware wallets because of its various features.
The Ledger Nano S is a multi currency wallet. It supports Bitcoin and most of the altcoins in the market. The Ledger Nano S is as small as a pendrive and is priced very competitively at $65 USD.
Being as small as a pendrive, the Ledger Nano S is quite portable and has a small screen built-in. The screen allows the user to see status of funds and access a limited amount of funds using it.
The limit on the funds that are accessible from the screen alone is set by the user itself and is a security measure. So that in the event that you lose your device, the bulk of your assets are safe and even if there is a loss, it is significantly minimised.
Price: $110 USD
Trezor is the gold-standard for hardware wallets. Being one of the first companies to start making hardware wallets, Trezor is the wise old man of the hardware wallet sector of the cryptocurrency market.
The Trezor device is not flashy or sophisticated, it is a very simple, user friendly box with a couple of buttons on it. But what it lacks in flashy sophistication, Trezor compensates in privacy and security.
The Trezor hardware wallet device is one of the most secure hardware wallets out there. It keeps all private keys offline and makes sure that it is impenetrable. Even when connected to a compromised computer, Trezor stands its ground by keeping private keys off the internet and on the device.
Trezor supports the top 10 coins in the cryptocurrency market right now and also supports the entire suite of ERC20 tokens that come from the Ethereum network.
Price: $65 USD
Developed and launched by a relatively new company, KeepKey is another hardware wallet solution in the market. Being a new company, the design of the device itself is more polished and attractive.
Even though it is a flashy, good-looking device, it makes no compromises in terms of security. The hardware wallet at setup asks the user to make a master seed of 12 words to make sure there is a recovery avenue for the assets on the device.
The device is practically impenetrable because it has no internal operating system and cannot be affected by transferable malware and bugs, etc. KeepKey currently supports only five cryptocurrencies. However, the company has said that they will be adding more soon.
Price: $129 USD
Digital Bitbox is a hardware wallet that comes from Switzerland from a company called Shift Devices AG. It is a small, inconspicuous device that is actually the size of a small pendrive. The device itself has a small button on one end of it that is used to accept or reject actions that happen on it.
The hardware wallet is relatively new in the market. As of now the hardware wallet only supports a few coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum and all ERC20 Standard tokens. The device comes with its own inbuilt software that reduces the risk of browser extension malware by a large extent.
As the use of the Digital Bitbox picks up, the parent company has said that they will be subsequently adding more coins that it will support.
Price: $69 USD
CoolWallet is a fairly new hardware wallet. Its first iteration came in 2016 and was followed by the next one two years later in 2018. It boasts of being the first and, so far, only hardware wallet that has been made for phones.
CoolWallet is a small, convineinet device to carry around in your pocket that allows users to transact directly from their wallet using the phone application. The privacy provided by this particular hardware wallet is very high as the entire system is completely anonymous and private.
The wallet currently supports Bitcoin, Ethereum and the whole suite of ERC20 tokens. The new iteration of the wallet has Bluetooth capabilities that allow it to connect to the phone and transact therein.
Price: $99 USD
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