In part one of this article, we discussed the best hot wallets that you can use to store your ETH coins and other ERC-20 tokens.
However, if you’re more of a buy-and-hold type of investor, cold – or hardware–wallets might prove to be a more efficient way of holding your assets. Hardware wallets store your private keys in an offline device, making them virtually impossible to hack. Such wallets are the epitome of secure crypto self-custody.
Before we look at some of the most popular hardware wallets, it’s important to note that you should never make a digital copy or store your recovery phrases online. The best way to make it as secure as possible is to write down the recovery phrase on multiple sheets of paper and store them somewhere safe.
Also, there are special products that allow you to engrave your recovery phrase on a piece of metal and store it in a steel capsule.
With this caveat out of the way, let’s look at the best cold – or hardware – wallets for your ETH and other tokens.
Ledger is the most popular hardware wallet on the market today. The company’s flash drive-shaped devices are secure, robust, and offer a variety of perks, both to those looking to actively use it and those who just want to safely hold their assets, like coins and NFTs.
Ledger hardware wallets are very secure because they hold your private keys in a safe hardware device. This makes it impossible for hackers to access your wallet through the internet.
Ledger has a few wallets on offer. Its Ledger Nano X is the most advanced and comes with industry-leading security features, including a CC EAL5+ certified secure element chip. It can store over 1,800 different cryptocurrencies and can also be connected to a computer via Bluetooth.
However, if you only need to store a few coins, Ledger Nano S Plus is also a great choice. It can store fewer tokens and coins and doesn’t have a Bluetooth connection, but is perfect for holders.
All Ledger wallets connect through a USB cable. Ledger wallets come together with the Ledger Live app, which allows owners to buy, send, receive, and stake their tokens. It also lets users connect to different decentralized applications. It’s important to note that each transaction made through the Ledger Live app requires a confirmation done via the device.
More importantly, users can hold not only Ethereum-based tokens but also other coins, including Bitcoin (BTC), Polkadot (DOT), Cardano (ADA), Solana (SOL), and others.
But what if you lost your device? Or what if Ledger, the company, dissolves and no longer develops its products? It’s simple – if you have your 24-word recovery phrase (which you should!), you can recover your wallet on a new device or wallet provider like MetaMask. In other words: your keys, your coins.
And it seems like Ledger isn’t going anywhere. In fact, in the wake of the collapse of FTX, Ledger saw its sales explode by 300%. Talk about popularity, huh?
Ledger Nano S costs $79, while Ledger Nano X – $149.
Trezor is the runner-up in the best hardware wallet competition, behind only Ledger. The company offers two products: Trezor Model T and Trezor One. Both of them share the majority of features but differ in some major aspects.
For example, Trezor Model T has a 1.54” touchscreen, supports 1,456 coins and tokens, and features FIDO2 and U2F security authentication standards. Trezor One, on the other hand, has a two-button pad instead of a touchscreen and supports 1,289 coins and tokens, including ETH, BTC, and others.
Both models can be used with the online Trezor web wallet on desktop, mobile, or the Trezor Suite app. Wallet owners can buy, sell, swap, send, and receive digital assets with no additional Trezor fees.
Most importantly, Trezor users are always in control of their digital assets, be they coins, tokens, or NFTs. If anything breaks, you just need to have your recovery phrase. You can be sure you’ll have access to your wallet.
Trezor can also be integrated with decentralized applications like NFT marketplaces or exchanges. Trezor apps are available on all major browsers and operating systems, except Android.
Trezor Model T is the pricier model and costs $213. For users focused more on long-term holding and don’t mind the absence of a touchscreen, Trezor One is a great choice. It costs $67.
KeepKey is a hardware wallet built by the developers of the Swiss crypto exchange ShapeShift. The wallet features a large display aimed at improving visibility and decreasing the chance of any accidents.
As you could’ve guessed, KeepKey is integrated with ShapeShift. This allows you to easily trade your tokens directly from the wallet. It’s also integrated with ShapeShift’s web platform, which consolidates numerous crypto tools into one environment.
KeepKey is completely open-source and has a variety of interesting integrated features. For example, users can customize their transaction speeds, set up PIN codes, track their portfolio performance, and use an additional passphrase to increase security. Every transaction, of course, needs to be confirmed via the device.
KeepKey supports only seven cryptocurrencies and 30+ Ethereum tokens. However, if you’re more of a holder than a trader, this amount will suffice.
As with other hardware wallets, KeepKey connects to the computer via a USB connection. When setting up a new device, users are given a 12-word recovery phrase. They can use this to recover the wallet in case of an emergency.
KeepKey costs $49.
SafePal, a firm backed by Binance, is a company that offers a complete package of products that go hand in hand with their hardware wallet, SafePal S1. This hardware wallet has interesting features, like a random number generator and a self-destruct mechanism.
Like Ledger, SafePal S1 has EAL 5+ independent secure element chip integrated. This means that if someone tries to hack or gain unauthorized access to your wallet, it will automatically trigger the self-destruct feature and delete your keys.
SafePal’s hardware wallet also integrates with the SafePal app and browser extension. It supports over 500 different coins and tokens. This allows you to trade, send, and receive digital assets, as well as connect to decentralized applications like Unisawp.
SafePal also offers accessories like a cipher seed board, used to safely store your recovery phrase, and a leather case for the hardware wallet.
SafePal S1 costs $49.99 and comes with a one-year warranty.
Cold – or hardware – wallets are perhaps the most secure way to store your crypto holdings today. The fact that hardware wallets hold your digital assets in a wallet that has its private keys stored in an offline device surely allows for a good night’s sleep. Self-custody is a powerful concept.
Still having doubts about whether to get a hardware wallet or not? Remember all of the halted withdrawals, all of the hacks, all of the bankruptcies, and all of the lost billions of dollars this year alone due to someone else holding your assets for you.
After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.