Like a bank account, a crypto wallet is a software with mechanisms to send, receive, track and store your cryptocurrency. With the emergence of Bitcoin as a major asset class in the recent past, there is a great need to guarantee secure storage.
First of all, to store your BTC tokens, you should first buy Bitcoin. If you would like to go deeper, here are some guides we created:
Enter hardware wallets. Though there are numerous types of wallets, hardware wallets provide the most secure storage solution. We explore hardware wallets in detail and untangle this seemingly complicated topic.
Here’s Our List of Top Bitcoin Hardware Wallets in 2023
You’ll need to consider various factors before settling on a hardware wallet as our own Bitcoin wallet. The task will be daunting because much research and due diligence are a must. We’ve explored various wallets, and below is a list of top Bitcoin hardware wallets.
|Partner Name Label||Label||CTA||Customer Support||Launch Date||Security Features||Security Features||Disclaimer|
|1. Pepperstone||4.5||Visit Websitepepperstone.com||Email, Live Chat, Telephone, Whatsapp||2010||2FA, Biometrics, Pin||2FA, Biometrics, Pin||Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 80.9% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.|
|2. Eightcap||4.4||Visit Websiteeightcap.com||Live Chat, Email, Telephone||2009||2FA, Pin||2FA, Pin||CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79.04% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.|
|3. Coinbase||4.2||Visit Websitecoinbase.com||2012||2FA, Pin , Biometrics||2FA, Pin , Biometrics|
|4. Changelly||3.7||Visit WebsiteChangelly.com||Email, Live Chat||2015||2FA, Biometrics||2FA, Biometrics|
What Is a Bitcoin Hardware Wallet and How Does It Work?
A Bitcoin hardware wallet is a physical device that securely stores your Bitcoin private keys in an offline environment. Private keys are a string of 64 characters, verifiable digital signatures that show ownership of your Bitcoin.
These devices operate offline and provide complete isolation between your Bitcoin and easy-to-hack computer or mobile device. Hardware wallets are also referred to as cold or offline crypto wallets.
Features of a hardware wallet mainly depend on the brand and model. Here are some of the use cases you can expect to find on these wallets:
Secure Storage of Bitcoin:
This is the principal use of hardware wallets. They’ll store your Bitcoin private keys locally and offline, ensuring safety. Apart from Bitcoin, some hardware wallets store in excess of 1000 digital assets, such as Ethereum and Cardano.
Send and Receive Bitcoin:
It is possible to send or receive Bitcoin from an exchange or another wallet.
Yes, this is also possible. Some of the hardware wallets have apps that connect to exchanges. These automatically connect to the hardware wallet where your keys are stored after purchasing Bitcoin.
Stake Your Bitcoin:
Combining your hardware wallet and apps, you’d stake your asset from the wallet and watch it earn interest.
There is a popular saying in the crypto world, “not your keys, not your coins”. This essentially means owning your Bitcoin private keys gives you custody over your assets. Leaving your Bitcoin on crypto exchanges is not a good practice. But why?
Exchanges represent a single point of failure, and we’ve seen various security breaches both recently and in the past where hackers made away with digital assets. The Mt. Gox incident represents a painful reminder. It’s always wisest to store your crypto in a wallet for maximum security.
Best Bitcoin Hardware Wallets For:
Bitcoin demands more investment per coin than any other cryptocurrency by some distance. Due to its pseudonymous nature, investors can have full custody of their private keys.
Some inventors may prefer to HODL(store it for the long-term investment) while others invest large amounts. It’s therefore paramount to find a tamper-proof storage solution.
There’re many different types of hardware wallets. Others come with a better user interface, while others come bare bones. Let’s look at this in better detail.
We understand that new investors value ease of use, security, and value for money. We’ve compiled a list of Bitcoin hardware wallets that will meet your needs immediately and into the future.
Ledger Nano S
The Ledger Nano S comes as a small USB-like device with a small OLED screen. Combining the device with the Ledger Live app makes the device even more powerful.
Buy, exchange, and grow your crypto
Install up to 3 apps
Compatible with IOS, Android, MAC, Windows, and Linux
Secure chip technology
This is yet another entry-level hardware wallet that supports over 1000+ cryptos. Both this wallet and the Ledger Nano S have a great reputation even among corporate circles. Unlike the Ledger Nano S, it comes with a bigger screen to better carry out your operations
Next-generation password manager
Secure admin SSH access
Sign and encrypt with GPG
This is a Swiss-made hardware wallet. It supports over 1500 cryptos plus ERC20 tokens. It is mobile-ready. You'll have the option of purchasing a Bitcoin-only edition and a multi-edition.
The Bitcoin edition comes at a higher price ($119) than Ledger Nano S and Trezor One. Both the Trezor One and BitBox02 are open source and offer Tor support.
Secure multisig support
Backup and recovery support
There are hardware wallets mostly tailored for advanced users and their needs. These may come at a higher price compared to entry-level Bitcoin wallets. These are ideal for substantial amounts of Bitcoins, group investments, and large long-term holding. Let’s explore some examples.
Trezor T is an improved version of the Trezor One. This wallet is recommended for multi-crypto holders and traders. It packs more features and is more expensive.
Easy backup feature
Self destruct PINs
Universal 2nd-factor authentication.
Sign and encrypt with GPG
Ledger Nano X
This is the most popular Bitcoin hardware wallet in the market. Priced at $119, it comes with what many industry experts consider high-security standards. It’s comparable to the Trezor T in its offering.
Supports multiple crypto wallets
Support for multiple apps
Ledger Live app
This is yet another hardware wallet you can easily use to store your Bitcoin. The wallet is from Binance labs and retails at $49. It is relatively cheaper compared to the Trezor T and Ledger Nano X.
Multiple layers of security sensor
Self destruct mechanism
Random number generator
EAL 5+ independent secure element(industry grade crypto chip)
How to Add Funds to a Bitcoin Wallet?
For Hardware Wallets
You can easily add funds to a hardware wallet. We’ll use the example of moving funds from Coinbase to Trezor One wallet as an example:
Step 1: Plug in your Trezor device and input the PIN
Step 2: Select the account for the transfer, e.g., Bitcoin
Step 3: Select ‘Receive’ and copy the full wallet address (ensure you verify the address)
Step 4: Log in to your Coinbase account and select ‘Accounts’ from the dashboard
Step 5: Select the account (in this case, Bitcoin), and click on ‘Send’
Step 6: Input the address from your Trezor wallet and complete the transaction
For Software Wallets
Assuming you want to move your funds from an account on Coinbase to a software wallet such as Exodus. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Access your portfolio by logging into the Coinbase
Step 2: Locate your Bitcoin asset and click on ‘Send’
Step 3: You’ll be asked for a wallet address. This will be the address you want to transfer your Bitcoin to (Exodus wallet)
Step 4: Go to the Exodus wallet, get the receive wallet address, and copy it
Step 5: Paste the receive address and ensure it is correct. Remember, Bitcoin transactions are irreversible
Step 6: Execute the transfer from Coinbase to the Exodus wallet. Confirm the transaction is successful
What Are the Different Types of Bitcoin Wallets?
Bitcoin wallets take the form of software and cold wallets. Let’s look at the different types in depth.
Software wallets are digital wallets that can be downloaded or accessed via the web on your smartphone or personal computer.
Most of these wallets are free to download and use, although some charge minimal fees. They come into three categories.
Web Wallets (Exchange Wallets):
Web wallet runs without downloading the app. You’ll just need your browser to access it. Most exchanges and some entities offer this type of wallet. Examples of such wallets include Paxful and LocalBitcoins Wallets.
You’ll have to download desktop wallets onto your PC for use. They require a connection to the internet for operation. Unlike some web wallets, they give you custody over your keys and crypto. Popular examples areExodus and Coinomi.
These are mobile apps that help you manage your cryptocurrency. Although they may not match the full array of features on desktop wallets, mobile wallets are handy for those who’d like to spend their crypto or trade on the go. Examples are Trustwallet and Mycelium.
Cold wallets store private keys offline. They protect your Bitcoin from the vulnerabilities of online storage. Paper wallets and hardware wallets are different forms of cold wallets. We consider them the safest option for Bitcoin storage, especially for long-term holders and heavy investments.
These are physical devices that store your private keys. They are always offline, protecting your Bitcoin from the susceptibility of leaving your Bitcoin online.
This is a piece of paper on which the private key (seed phrase) and crypto address are printed. They may also be printed in the form of QR codes. They’re a secure way to store your private keys since there’s no connection to any online server.
How Much Does a Bitcoin Wallet Cost?
Expect Bitcoin wallet prices to range from $0 to $200. These prices depend on the features, brand, and type of wallet. Let’s look at some examples:
Bitcoin Wallet Name Type Price
Ledger Nano S Hardware $59
Keepkey Hardware $99
Trezor One Hardware $59
Ledger Nano X Hardware $119
Trezor T Hardware $159
Electrum Hot Wallet 0.2mBTC
Exodus Hot Wallet Free
Coinbase Wallet Hot Wallet Free
Hardware and hot wallets have different economic models. With a hardware wallet, expect an upfront purchase fee. On the other hand, most hot wallets don’t charge a fee, while others take minimal fees like the Electrum wallet.
How Do You Cash Out Your Bitcoin Wallet?
Several options exist, but the most prevalent is using a crypto exchange from your Bitcoin hardware wallets. Other options are direct trading using P2P marketplaces and Bitcoin ATMs. However, this process will definitely depend on which wallet you are using. For instance, cashing out on a Trezor wallet is not similar to a ledger wallet.
We’ll give you step-by-step instructions on cashing out your Bitcoin from a ledger wallet in this example. When using a ledger, it’s possible to sell your Bitcoin through the Ledger Live app. The exchange that will make it possible is Coinify.
Before beginning, be sure you have downloaded Ledger Live.
Step 1: Installations on the Hardware Wallet
Step 2: Preparing to Sell
Step 3: Sell your Bitcoin
What to Consider When Choosing a Bitcoin Wallet?
It’s always advisable to do complete research and educate yourself on a wallet that best suits your needs. Understand that no one wallet can cover all needs. Let’s see some considerations to make when choosing a Bitcoin wallet.
Bitcoin wallets integrate various security features to prevent unauthorized access. However, top features are certainly likely to come at a cost. To better understand this, let’s check some of the features on offer across different wallets:
Most wallets will have this feature. Some will require you to activate it, but it is paramount to ensure it is active. A code is sent to your phone(via SMS or email) for a second authentication step.
A feature that supports multiple keys before allowing transactions from a Bitcoin wallet. It makes your wallet hardy and tamper-proof. This is mostly seen in organizations that invest in crypto assets where some members need to approve transactions.
Facial recognition or fingerprint recognition is available on some Bitcoin wallets. These may be important for those who actively access their wallets periodically.
Efficient Session Logout:
This feature ensures active session management and tracks user interaction with the wallet. Inactivity, and it logs out. This is to limit the chances of unauthorized access.
Ease of Use:
Most beginners and experienced users prefer simple Bitcoin wallets with an intuitive user design. It must be easy to connect via Bluetooth and compatible with MAC Windows, Linux, IOS, and Android.
Support Multiple Cryptocurrencies:
Apart from Bitcoin, the wallet must support other cryptos, including ERC tokens and Binance smart chain tokens. Having multiple wallets that support a limited number of crypto makes it hard to manage.
A Bitcoin wallet needs to have a robust backup feature in case of any mishaps. Your device may fail for some reason, and your wallet must include a systematic and straightforward way to recover your Bitcoin. Some wallets provide a dry run for this, such that you test the recovery process when you purchase the wallet.
It may sound off, but yes, good customer support is critical. This option is primarily available on hardware Bitcoin wallets. They come in handy once you are stuck. Please note that it’s always important to seek help from official sources only to avoid falling for scams.
The crypto field is mostly decentralized and highly unregulated. Some wallet companies are set up as exit scams. We advise selecting wallets that have proven to be stable and secure. Another thing to keep your eye on is past security breaches on your wallet of choice.
New crypto is pushed onto the market daily. Apart from Bitcoin, you may wish to diversify your portfolio and invest in other cryptos. Ensure that your wallet periodically pushes new updates frequently, whether it’s for the firmware or new cryptos.
Hardware wallets are the most secure wallets you can use to store your Bitcoins. However, the type you'll use depends on a variety of factors. Consider aspects like ease of use, price, and security.
The Trezor One seems to be the best hardware wallet for beginners. Meanwhile, the Ledger Nano X is the best for experienced users.