There is a saying in the world of cryptocurrencies: ‘Not your keys, not your coin.’
This saying refers to the need to own the private keys to the cryptocurrency wallet that stores your cryptocurrencies.
Ultimately, the one who is holding the private keys to the cryptocurrencies decides how it’s spent.
For example, when you are buying cryptocurrencies on cryptocurrency exchanges, you are handing over the private keys for your cryptocurrencies and entrusting them to a third party.
This is why we would recommend you to store the private keys to your large cryptocurrency holdings onto your own cold wallet as it grants you complete control over your cryptocurrencies and provides better security as well.
As such, here are some of the best Cryptocurrency hardware wallets to consider.
Disclaimer: The information provided by Seedly serves as an educational piece and is not intended to be personalised investment advice. Seedly does not recommend that any cryptocurrency should be bought, sold, or held by you. Readers should always do their own due diligence and consider their financial goals before investing in any investment product and consult your financial advisor before making any investment decisions.
TL;DR: 4 Best Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallets to Consider
|Crypto Hardware Wallet||Price (Including Shipping)||Number of Cryptos Supported|
|Ledger Nano S||S$125.70||~1,000
(~6 Crypto apps limit)
|D’CENT Biometric Wallet||S$201.30||~1,921|
What Are Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallets? Wallet Keys Explained
But first here is a quick primer on cryptocurrency wallet keys.
These cryptocurrency wallets have a receiving address which is known as a public key — cryptographic code that allows you to receive cryptocurrency transactions without the need for third party verification.
When someone sends cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to you, they will send it to your public key.
Like the name suggests, you can share this public key publicly without compromising your cryptocurrency holdings.
This public key is paired together with a private key.
Private keys are key to keeping your cryptocurrencies safe as anyone who has the private keys to a cryptocurrency wallet can freely send and receive cryptocurrency from there.
Put simply, the private keys function like a biometric password that proves that prove you are the owner of the cryptocurrency received in the transaction.
Private keys are typically either a 256 character long binary code, 64 digit hexadecimal code, QR code or a Mnemonic phrase.
Thus, the phrase ‘not your keys not your coins’ refer to private keys.
Acces vs Ownership of Cryptocurrencies
Whenever you log into your prefered cryptocurrency exchange, it may appear that you are the owner of the cryptocurrencies as you can log in to gain access to them.
But, the reality is, you do not actually have total control of the cryptocurrencies.
You will know this when the exchange is hacked and unfortunately, this has happened quite a bit. According to a report from Atlas VPN, about US$3.78 billion was stolen in Blockchain hacks in 2020.
Also, there have been instances where owners of the cryptocurrency exchange run away with the investors’ funds.
For example, Faruk Fatih Ozer the founder of Turkish cryptocurrency Thodex, disappeared with about US$2 billion of its investors’ funds in April this year.
This situation extends to basically any cryptocurrency wallet provider that does not allow you to hold the private keys to the cryptocurrency wallet.
Decentralised Finance (DeFi) projects are also not exempt from this.
In short, you technically do not own your cryptocurrencies if you do not hold the keys to them.
Thus, you can consider storing your cryptocurrencies in a cold wallet if you are not comfortable placing your cryptocurrencies with a third party.
Put simply, the cold wallet is a cryptocurrency wallet that stores your store your private key on hardware that is offline. Some even come with compatible software that allows you to view your crypto portfolio without exposing your private key.
One type of cold wallet that is more popular is the cryptocurrency hardware wallet which usually comes in the form of a USB drive device.
Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet Best Practices
Also, here are some things you need to take note of while using cryptocurrency hardware keys:
- Never ever share your recovery password, in any form, with anyone.
- Do not store your recovery password online or locally on a computer or mobile phone.
- Secure your recovery sheet information to ensure that it will not be lost or damaged by accident.
- Be wary of what you see on your computer or smartphone screen as it can be tampered or hacked any time.
- Reset your hardware wallet before you use it.
- We would recommend buying the hardware wallet directly from the manufacturer to reduce the risk of forgery and the risk of the private keys being compromised.
Here are four of the best ones.
1. SafePal S1 (S$78.40)
First up we have the SafePal S1 a portable credit card-sized cryptocurrency hardware wallet that lets you track and manage your cryptocurrency wherever you go.
This product is released by Shenzen-based SafePal, a company backed by cryptocurrency exchange Binance.
You’ll be glad to know that this S1 supports 19 blockchain networks and a little over 10,000 individual cryptocurrency tokens and coins.
The hardware wallet has support for unlimited currency storage and will be periodically updated to add support for new cryptocurrencies.
Is The SafePal S1 Safe?
The S1 is pretty safe too.
According to the Search Data Centre:
An Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) is a category ranking assigned to an IT product or system after a Common Criteria security evaluation an international standard in effect since 1999. The level indicates to what extent the product or system was tested.
A product or system must meet specific assurance requirements to achieve a particular EAL. Requirements involve design documentation, analysis and functional or penetration testing. The highest level provides the highest guarantee that the system’s principal security features are reliably applied.
Although assurance requirements for each product and system are the same, functional requirements differ. Functional features are created in the Security Target document, which is specifically tailored for each product’s evaluation. A higher EAL does not indicate a higher level of security than a lower EAL because they may have different functional features in the Security Targets.
EAL Level Description EAL 1 Functionally tested EAL 2 Structurally tested EAL 3 Methodically tested and checked EAL 4 Methodically designed, tested and reviewed EAL 5 Semi-formally designed and tested EAL 6 Semi-formally verified design and tested EAL 7 Formally verified design and tested
But, what you should take away from this is that the S1 has been rigorously tested for its use cases (securing your private keys) and has fulfilled the international requirements and standards to be given this EAL 5+ security rating.
This security rating is about as good as it gets.
In addition, the S1 is 100 per cent offline as it has not Bluetooth, WiFi, NFC or Radiofrequency connections.
This bodes well for the S1 as it has a truly offline air-gapped signing mechanism.
Where to Buy The SafePal S1
2. Trezor One (S$112.30)
Next up we have the Trezor One.
This hardware wallet is created by SatoshiLabs a company based in the Czech Republic with a renowned cybersecurity team.
FYI: ‘Trezor’ means ‘vault’ in Czech.
Trezor are considered pioneers in this space as the company created the first cryptocurrency hardware wallet for using updated cryptography.
The Trezor One features a bright LED display and intuitive user interface. To access the wallet, you will need to use a pin and the added 2FA when verifying your Cryptocurrency transactions.
You can use the wallet with Windows, Mac, and Linux.
In addition, the Trezor One provides support for over 1,700 cryptocurrencies.
Is The Trezor One Safe?
You can always access the entire wallet via your personal 12 to 24 words long recovery seed.
When you first set up your Trezor, it will generate a unique seed for you. When you need to restore access to your wallet, use this offline backup.
The recovery seed follows a standard created by SatoshiLabs, but it is widely used, compatible with many wallet apps.
If you want to get the upgraded version, you can consider the Trezor Model T which retails for about S$255 on Trezor.
However, the Trezor One uses an older Micro-USB connection.
Where to Buy Trezor One in Singapore
3. Ledger Nano S (S$125.70)
Next up we have the Ledger Nano S.
The Ledger Nano S is an oldie but goldie as it was one of the first cryptocurrency hardware wallets to be released.
The company has been making hardware products for cryptocurrency security since 2014.
To date, Ledger claims to have sold over three million hardware wallets with 1.5 million people using its Ledger Live software every month.
The Nano S allows you to support up to six applications on your device at one time depending on their size and supports over 1,000 cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar and more.
You also have access to the Ledger Live software.
This means that the hardware wallet can only support a limited amount of cryptocurrencies on the Ledger device itself. You will have to delete existing cryptocurrency apps to add new ones.
However, you will still be able to see deleted wallets and the associated cryptocurrencies on Ledger Live.
However, the Nano S uses an older Micro-USB connection.
There is also only support for about six cryptocurrency apps. You might have to delete an app to add another cryptocurrency. But it will not affect your cryptocurrencies.
Is The Ledger Nano S Safe?
The Ledger Nano S is independently certified to have received the EAL 5+ security rating from the National Agency for the Security of Information Systems (ANSSI), a French cybersecurity Government body.
In addition, the Nano S has support for two-factor authentication (2FA)!
But, do note that back in July 2020, Ledger was hacked and compromised.
Data like the names, phone numbers and even home addresses of 272,000 Ledger customers were leaked online by hackers.
Although the private keys were unaffected, it is ironic that a company like Ledger would have this internal security breach considering the products it sells.
If you want an upgraded version of this, you could always get the Nano X for S$189 on Ledger.
How to Buy The Ledger Nano S in Singapore
4. D’CENT Biometric Wallet — Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet (S$201.30)
Last but not least, we have the most premium D’CENT biometric wallet from IoTrust Co., Ltd a Korean security solutions hardware company.
If you want a safe, convenient and straightforward way to carry out your cryptocurrency transactions, this is it.
The stand out feature of the D’CENT is that it has a in-built fingerprint reader that allows its users to swiftly authorise transactions.
This is a feature not seen in many cryptocurrency hardware wallets.
In addition, the D’CENT supports Bluetooth connectivity that allows users to manage the hardware wallet wirelessly and a bright 1.1-inch OLED display.
Not to mention that the D’CENT supports over 1,921 cryptocurrencies.