Pedro Picks the Top cryptocurrency hardware wallet under $100 in this special episode of NeoCash Radio. We take a look at the Trezor One, Ledger Nano S, and the KeepKey. In the video version we show how to initialize the wallets, send, and receive transactions. Finally Pedro shares his review of the wallets, likes/dislikes, and his top pick!
Please note the audio version of the show does not contain the wallet initialization and testing due to the need for a visual element.
Let’s start by discussing how crypto wallets work and why they should be used. The private keys to any cryptocurrency are used to both generate the wallet addresses as well as authorizing the transfer of coins. Anyone with the private keys can spend from that wallet and this is why it is critical to keep these private keys off line and secure for any wallet with significant funds. While mobile devices are great for convenience, think of them as your physical traditional wallet that contains cash, it should only have amounts you can live with losing.
Securing your private keys can be done with using a hardware wallet that keeps your private keys offline in a secure area of the device. These private keys can never leave the device so in order to spend funds, an unsigned transaction is sent to the device where you have to physically press a button that will allow the device to sign the transaction with the private key. The signed transaction can then be broadcast without fear the private keys were ever exposed.
Hardware wallets are backed up with a 12 or 24 word passphrase which is the “backup” of the wallet. Multiple copies of these should be secured in multiple locations. The passphrase should never be photographed, typed into any digital document, or photocopied. Additionally, with these Hardware wallets you compare the address funds are being sent to with the address that will be displayed on the device. This protects you in case someone compromised the java code or app that is used for wallet functions on your computer
When purchasing any of these hardware wallets, it’s recommended to do so from either the manufacturer or a reputable vendor like Amazon. Someone who purchased a Nano Ledger S from ebay lost funds because the scammer generated a key and then made the backup card look like a “scratch off” to reveal a unique private key. All of these hardware wallets should be initialized and a new seed generated.
Be sure to store multiple copies of your seed phrase in multiple locations!
Any one of these wallets will secure the private keys to the coins they support and are much more secure than keeping private keys on computers & mobile devices. If the hardware wallet is lost or destroyed, they can be restored using the backup passphrase.
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