Good cryptocurrency exchanges store most of their coins in cold storage as an extra precaution against theft only keeping a minimum amount in hot wallets. However, they are still vulnerable during transfers or rogue employees.
Cryptocurrency hardware wallets offer a far more secure alternative for storing your bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. These devices let you stay in full control of your precious assets.
One of the many advantages of hardware wallets is the fact you can always restore your coins even if the device is stolen or lost. You need a PIN code to transfer coins from a hardware wallet. Because it uses no resources from your computer, hardware wallets are hard to compromise. Numbers are randomly displayed on the LCD screen making it harder for remote keyloggers.
Hardware wallets basically store your bitcoin private keys offline. These keys are generated when you enter the correct PIN code allowing you to spend your coins.
Hardware wallets have a stellar record for security so far. That is because your keys are kept offline. If you hold a substantial stash in bitcoin or you are in this game for the long term, we highly recommend a hardware wallet for cryptocurrency . Another secure way of storing bitcoins is to use a paper wallet.
Let’s look at the best bitcoin hardware wallets available.
Trezor is the pioneer bitcoin hard wallet developed by SatoshiLabs. It remains one of the most popular due to its solid reputation. The trezor 2 which came later features brighter colours. Earlier Trezor devices featured darker colours.
All sensitive operations like transfers must be confirmed on-device for extra security. This means you can securely sign off transactions even if your computer is compromised.
Trezor can be integrated with other wallets such as Mycellium as well as android devices. Trezor used to work with a chrome extension as well but Google has discontinued this support.
This hard wallet is, however, pricier than any other in the market. You can buy trezor 2 otherwise known as Trezor Model T for $198 on Amazon.
Ledger Nano S
Ledger Nano is another good hw wallet made by a French start up company. Ledger features a sleek and attractive design and supports several cryptocurrencies. It looks more like a bitcoin usb wallet. You can actually connect it to a PC using a USB port. Apart from that, there is an OLED screen with buttons on the side for navigation.
You choose a PIN while setting it up after which you will receive a 24-word seed to be used to generate bitcoin private keys.
Be sure to write down the 24 word see and store it securely just in case you lose your hard wallet. You can also integrate it with wallets such as Mycellium, CoPay of MyEtherWallet.
Ledger Nano currently supports Bitcoin, ethereum, ethereum classic, zcash, litecoin, stratis, dogecoin and a whole lot more.
Ledger’s price tag is slightly lower than that of Trezor. Ledger Nano S currently goes for about $95 on Amazon.