Here are the best of the best cold wallets
Cold crypto wallets are considered almost impenetrable, thus, being the best-known way to store crypto assets. The global hardware wallet market was valued at USD 202.40 million in 2020.
According to Mordor Intelligence, it is expected to reach USD 795.32 million by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 26.72% over the forecast period (2021-2026). The increasing popularity may soon bring more new players to the market now ruled by a mighty few companies.
A number of truly good cold hardware wallets is scarce. Yet, their functionality and security levels are very impressive.
1. Ledger Nano X
The latest product from the top-notch French software developer offers encrypted Bluetooth connectivity via the Ledger Live mobile app. That allows users to manage crypto assets on the go, without compromising their security. It supports over 100 crypto apps with 27 coins and more than 1500 tokens available for purchase and exchange. To manage other assets, you can use an external wallet. Staking Tezos, Tron, Cosmos, or Algorand and lending DAI and USDT within Ledger Live can bring the wallet owners additional revenues. Compared to the previous device versions, Nano X has more storage space and a bigger screen with a higher resolution. Ledger Nano X battery capacity is 100 mAh allowing it to work about 8 hours non-stop. It doesn’t need to get charged for a few months while the device remains idle.
Meanwhile, your private key is protected within a certified chip. The chip of choice for Ledger hardware wallets is called Secure Elements (SE). These are the only chips accepted for secure solutions such as passports and banking cards. SE chips are also properly certified and have undergone intensive testing by a third-party security lab.
However, no systems are 100% secure. Ledger users must particularly beware of phishing attacks. Due to the infamous data breach in July 2020, personal details of about 1 million clients leaked from the crypto wallet company’s e-commerce database. Recently, home addresses and telephone numbers of 272,000 Ledger customers have been released online by hackers. Though it doesn’t directly affect their digital assets or hardware devices, Ledger customers must take all precautions and check the Ongoing phishing campaigns page to find out more about the already detected schemes targeting crypto owners.
2. Trezor Model T
The Model T from a subsidiary of Satoshi Labs features a touchscreen, enabling users to verify and confirm their crypto transactions conveniently and intuitively. The wallet supports over 1000 selected coins and is compatible with Windows (version 10 or newer), MacOS (version 10.11 and higher), Linux, and Android. It has enhanced backup functions, being the first hardware wallet in the world to implement Shamir Backup (SLIP39). This method splits the seed into multiple unique shares. To recover the wallet, a specified number of shares has to be collected and used. Shamir Backup also uses a completely different wordlist than BIP-39 recovery seeds.
Trezor Model T stores not only your digital assets. Passwords are also individually locked within Trezor Password Manager, which is using your digital keys. The Model T can also serve as a U2F hardware token. Trezor utilizes its Trusted Display to fully inform you about the authentication request before you approve it, by clearly displaying the service you are logging in to. Another convenient feature is a Micro SD-card slot to encrypt the PIN. It will allow you to have onboard encrypted storage in the future.
3. Ledger Nano S
Ledger Nano S is a more economic variant than its Nano X counterpart. The S model costs half the price of Ledger Nano X, though using the same security principles. It has a bit smaller screen and is not Bluetooth-enabled. Nano S also has no battery, so it’s automatically turned on when plugged into a power source. Since you can’t use it on the go, the battery is not really needed. The device can store from 3 to 20 crypto apps. It is also protected with a Secure Element chip, though it is a little less powerful than the one in the Ledger Nano X. All the operations are controlled through two buttons only and are displayed on the device screen. Overall, it is a good reliable wallet tested by hundreds of users. If you don’t need all the advanced features offered by Nano X, this is a viable option.
4. Trezor One
Trezor model One was the pioneer of cold storage. For many people, it has become the security standard for storage and transactions with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This offline wallet uses a PIN for identity verification, with both a PC desktop and a wallet screen engaged. This clever scenario makes your PIN code very hard to steal. There’s also additional passphrase protection.
The device has a beautiful design and comes in two colors – black and white. Trezor One is smaller than many of its competitors, which makes it highly portable. On the other hand, the wallet has a relatively small screen size. Both the hardware and software of a Trezor are open-source. This means you can verify the components and the code for yourself.
At first glance, this elegant modern wallet differs from all its rivals. Namely, KeepKey is significantly bigger than its market competitors. It makes it harder to carry this wallet around. At the same time, it gives more space to the widescreen allowing you to see the entire cryptocurrency address without the need to scroll back and forth. That greatly improves usability. The device has only one button that switches the wallet on/off and controls all operations.
Payment validation and fee control features are provided by the software wallet you use with this device. The currencies can be easily swapped, due to the integration with the Shapeshift exchange. Since last year, the Google Chrome KeepKey client has been unsupported. It still exists, but there are many fake KeepKey chrome phishing apps available to download. Therefore, the official software interface for KeepKey is now via the ShapeShift Platform.
The KeepKey wallet also has the unique security feature of switching your PIN code numbers from time to time. Additional passphrase protection and customizable transaction speeds are among the device’s benefits. The only significant drawback is that it only supports a few coins (about 40). If you prefer the best-performing assets, you’ll be fine, but this wallet won’t help you with less popular tokens.
Previously, we’ve presented a thorough selection of the best hot crypto-wallets.