Your crypto is not safe if you are keeping your coins and tokens on a centralized exchange a lending service or even in a software wallet, you are running the risk of losing access to that digital gold as recent events have shown entrusting your crypto to a third party can have distressing consequences that’s why for the ultimate in crypto security you need a hardware wallet.
Before we dive into our top safest wallets it’s important to show and explain the concepts of self-custody and hardware wallets. Now what self-custody means is that you will personally hold the private keys to your crypto, this is as opposed to keeping your crypto on a centralized service where it controls the private keys and hence has full control. You essentially have to trust that these companies will honor a withdrawal request when you make it. However when you hold the private keys to your crypto in an unhosted wallet it means that you are in full control of your coins and tokens, it’s permissionless spending at its finest as satoshi intended.
First up we have the trezor model 1 it’s the entry-level device made by a company called satoshi labs which is based in the czech republic, now they have been building these devices for over 9 years. Now the trezor 1 was in fact the first hardware wallet that we bought back in the day. Firstly the trezor 1 has firmware verification that means that the devise will only ever run if the firmware that has been installed has been cryptographically signed by satoshi labs so no room for malicious updates. If the firmware signature is indeed invalid then the bootloader will erase the device memory, then the hardware is sealed and welded ultrasonically any tempering to get into the device itself will destroy it.
Secondly, the Ledger nano S which at 59£ makes it even cheaper than the trezor 1. Now Ledger is a company that’s based in France and has been around for about 5 years so it has a slightly shorter track record than tresor, that’s aside ledger’s devises have become some of the most popular in the crypto space and much like the tresors, they employ some pretty advanced tech to keep your private keys secure for example they possess a secure element that’s cryptographically protected similar to those that you’ll find in passports. Ledger has also built its own custom operating system designed specifically to protect crypto assets. When it comes to usability the Nano S is pretty similar to the trezor 1, that’s because it’s operated with buttons and has a small led screen.
Keepkey hardware wallet which comes in at an impressive 49£, this is a hardware wallet that was initially launched back in 2015, however in 2017 it was acquired by the folks over at shapeshift. Now if you haven’t heard of shapeshift it’s one of the oldest non-custodial crypto exchanges out there and was started by eric voorhees a bitcoin. The keepkey device itself is similar in appearance to the Ledger nano devices in that there’s a small black and white oled screen that’s a small black and white oled screen that’s controlled by buttons on the top of the device. However the keepkey wallet is a lot more bulky than the ledger nano or the tresol 1.