Anyone that has serious intentions of holding Bitcoin over the long-term needs to own a high-quality hardware wallet. It might sound silly, but security of funds is something that many Bitcoin investors tend to overlook. Instead, they stick by lightweight and potentially flawed software wallets, of which some can present serious problems when it comes to fund protection.
Because of the public demand for hardware wallets, the market has exploded in recent months. In a little over a year, such devices have gone from being something exclusive to the cryptocurrency community to something that even a casual investor should look to own. The Bitcoin hardware wallet market is currently flooded with options in 2018, so it can become a little overwhelming. But, don’t fear, as BitStarz is here to help – we’ve scoured the market, locating the biggest and best hardware wallets around!
Ledger Nano S Wallet
Ledger Nano S features on every list of the best Bitcoin wallets for a reason. The Ledger Nano S is arguably the complete hardware wallet when you consider that it costs under $100. Developed by Ledger, with the Ledger Nano S the company has finally stepped out of the shadow of rival Trezor, but more on them later. Making the Ledger Nano S such a standout product is just how flexible it proves to be. Featuring an intuitive UI and strong altcoin support – Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Zcash, Dash, Stratis included – the Ledger Nano S has plenty going for it.
Water proof, fire proof, shock proof, and supposedly hack proof, the Ledger Nano S delivers more or less the complete product at a cost that won’t hit you in the pocket. However, the device does carry one single, incredibly small drawback. For all of the amazing features – PIN code and anti-tampering seal included – the design isn’t the most inspiring. It looks like a common memory stick in many ways, while some have questioned whether or not it’s a novice-friendly device. Again, this is only a minor drawback, with it certainly not taking anything away from the overall quality of the Ledger Nano S.
Ledger Blue Wallet
Taking the core fundamentals of the Nano Ledger S and giving it a supercharged twist, for many the Ledger Blue represents the pinnacle of hardware wallets. Featuring a touchscreen and Bluetooth technology, it in many ways solves the complexity issues of the Nano Ledger S. The Ledger Blue allows anyone to access stored crypto in just a few screen taps. It also has the largest multi-crypto storage support on a single hardware wallet as well – up to 10 in this case.
If you know what the Nano Ledger S has to offer, then you’ll be aware of what’s under the hood of the Ledger Blue. But, here comes to the bad news, as the Ledger Blue is the most expensive hardware wallet on the market. It’ll cost you $300 to buy one, so this is anything but a small purchase for most people. Will the Ledger Blue and its impressive setup be future proof? It’s hard to say, but it’s certainly a stylish way to store your crypto.
Coolwallet S Wallet
Many have argued that the Ledger Nano S (along with the Ledger Blue) is in a class unto itself when it comes to hardware wallets. However, the competition is improving to the point where many products can now rival what it brings to the table. One such competitor is the Coolwallet S, a credit card style wallet from the team at CoolBitX. We’ve already looked at the hype surrounding this new device and from what we’ve seen so far it is managing to live up to it. Its design is what will immediately catch your eye, as it is far and away the sleekest looking hardware wallet on the market. Sliding directly into your wallet, there is something immensely slick about the Coolwallet S – and that’s saying nothing of its features.
Interesting features within the Coolwallet S include NFC and Bluetooth technology, with it possible to tether it to a mobile app via iOS or Android. From a security perspective, its tamper-proof EAL5+ certified Secure Element microchip is certainly a nice addition. But, before anyone buys the Coolwallet S the “new product warning” must be issued. It’s certainly early days for the Coolwallet S, which means that should you buy it you must be prepared to take the rough with the smooth. Cryptocurrency support remains light at this point, covering Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Ripple. Additionally, bugs have been reported in its software, along with supposed safety cutbacks that allow the devices to be more flexible.
Coolwallet S from CoolBitX adds a whole new dimension to the hardware wallet market, but time will tell if it has the ability to hold up over the long term.
From the new school to the old school, before any of the fresh-faced brands entered the hardware wallet scene there was Trezor wallet. While it might be the oldest hardware wallet on the market, it’s still one of the very best – even at $110. What’s allowed Trezor to remain near the top of the pile is its effortlessly easy to understand UI. This makes it perfect for cryptocurrency beginners that are making the first foray into the hardware wallet market.
There is a huge amount to like about the Trezor, especially as it has some heavy-duty security values at its core. However, this does weigh down the device slightly when it comes to flexibility. Currency support is a little limited – outside of Bitcoin you only have Zcash, Dash, and Ethereum to work with. Overall, the Trezor remains robust and certainly time-tested, so it’s is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a beginner friendly hardware wallet.
Keepkey is a well-known name on the hardware wallet scene, as it shares many features with the other devices on this list. That information alone makes it viable and worth taking a look at. Ignoring the obvious, it must be noted that the Keepkey does have its flaws, which explains why it’s seldom anybody’s first choice.
While the Keepkey certainly looks sleek – we like the black display and simple UI – it’s easily one of the biggest hardware wallets on the market. For that reason, it’s not exactly convenient to carry around in your back pocket. Questions have also been raised about the company behind Keepkey. Let us stress that the Keepkey product itself has had very few complaints regarding security, but there are concerns to be found elsewhere. The customer support page in particular has had issues with response times and SSL certification.
Keepkey is certainly an impressive product, but it does have a few issues that all prospective buyers should research prior to purchase.
The Contenders to the Hardware Wallet Crown!
BitStarz has become a true voice of reason in the world Bitcoin, so trust us when we say that the hardware wallets above are the real deal. This list is not a ranking of hardware wallets, nor are we hear to recommend one of these wallets over the other. All of these wallets will be worth your time, effort, and – more importantly – money. But, the final call will always come down to personal preference. Think about what it is you require from a hardware wallet, weigh that up against what you’ve read here today, and you’ll find that the perfect hardware wallet for your needs is within reach.
Keep checking back in the weeks to come, because as new hardware wallets are released, BitStarz will bring you an unbiased and uncut opinion on what they have to offer!