Top 3 Ethereum Hardware Wallets
A POWERFUL AND FLEXIBLE DEVICE
The Ledger Blue is the latest generation product from Ledger, result of more than two years of research and development. This high-end device embeds a large touchscreen to securely manage transactions and complex smart contracts. Its slick yet robust casing encloses the best-in-class technology built upon the Blockchain Open Ledger (BOLOS) platform, a powerful and flexible operating system.
PACKED WITH HARDWARE FEATURES
The Ledger Blue is based on a dual-chip architecture embedding a ST31 Secure Element and a STM32 microcontroller thus achieving a fully isolated environment. It features a LED-backlit color touchscreen to navigate easily and validate transactions. It is powered by a lipo rechargeable battery and communicates with USB or Bluetooth* devices.
DESIGNED FOR MULTIPLE SECURE APPS
Thanks to its modular architecture, the Ledger Blue runs multiple dedicated companion apps in full isolation on top of its firmware. The strong security model allows to add new cryptocurrencies or apps without risk of compromising the master seed. Transaction integrity is ensured by the WYSIWYS paradigm (What You See Is What You Sign). The flexibility of the device enables enterprise level usage: with all major crypto libraries embedded in the firmware, any type of blockchain can be supported.
Battery-powered, Bluetooth* and USB enabled, the Ledger Blue can operate with any computer and smartphone.
- Battery 500mA LiPo
- BLE 4.1, USB 2.0 Full Speed, NFC (requires firmware update)
- Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Chrome OS
The Blue is built upon an advanced operating system that supports easy installation of applications, accessible via a quick-launch dashboard.
- Install & remove apps with Ledger Manager
- Free firmware upgrades
- Enterprise app licensing & support
Ledger Blue uses WYSIWYS (What You See is What You Sign) to mitigate threats.
- Malwares, viruses
- Man in the middle attacks
- Proof of presence
The Blue embeds a color display and a large capacitive touchscreen with anti scratch glass, encased in a strong cover.
- 3.5 inch display
- Full color, 320×480 pixels
Your confidential data is never exposed: it is strongly secured and isolated inside a Secure Element, locked by a PIN code.
- Secure Element: EAL6+ / ST31
- BOLOS isolation technology
- 4 to 8 digit PIN code
BACKUP & RESTORATION
The configuration of your device is backed up on a recovery sheet. Easy restoration on any Ledger device or compatible wallets.
- Built-in onboarding and configuration
- BIP39 and BIP44 standards
- 12, 18 or 24 words recovery
LATEST GENERATION HARDWARE
When you own cryptocurrencies, you need to protect your confidential data and the access to your funds. With Ledger Nano S, secrets like private keys are never exposed: sensitive operations are isolated inside your hardware wallet within a state-of-the-art Secure Element, locked by a PIN code. Transactions can’t get tampered with, they are physically verified on the embedded screen with a simple press on a button.
PAY AND AUTHENTICATE
Ledger Nano S includes Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Ethereum Classic companion apps, and other blockchain-based cryptocurrencies. You can send and receive payments, check your accounts and manage multiple addresses for each currency from the same device. Nano S also supports the FIDO® Universal Second Factor standard that simplifies the authentication process on compatible online services such as GMail, Dashlane, Dropbox or GitHub.
Ledger Nano S supports Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and altcoins: hold different assets in the same hardware wallet.
Check and confirm transactions on the display and confirm with using the physical buttons (anti-malware second factor).
Your confidential data is never exposed: it is secured inside a strongly isolated environment locked by a PIN code.
Use companion apps such as cryptocurrencies wallets, and also FIDO® U2F, GPG, SSH or build your own applications.
FIDO® CERTIFIED U2F
Ledger Nano S supports the FIDO® Universal Second Factor authentication standard on Google, Dropbox, GitHub or Dashlane.
BACKUP & RESTORATION
Your accounts are backed up on a recovery sheet. Easy restoration on any Ledger device or compatible wallets (BIP39/BIP44).
Ledger Nano S is based on a dual chip architecture (ST31/STM32, Certification level: CC EAL5+). The firmware integrity is guaranteed by cryptographic attestation.
Initialization or restoration of your configuration is fully done on the secure environment of the Ledger Nano S. Your cryptographic secrets are never exposed to the outside world.
Ledger Nano S ensures only you can access your accounts by requiring a 4 digit PIN code each time it is plugged to your computer.
Your private keys are never held or known by Ledger or a third party: they are hard locked in the Secure Element. With Ledger Nano S, your wallet remains decentralized, you are your own bank.
No matter whether you’re new to Bitcoin or already a security expert. TREZOR is the Bitcoin wallet choice #1 for everybody. Leave behind the viruses and keyloggers. Forget about doing regular backups, reading encryption manuals, printing paper wallets and making offline storages. Next time you see another 10+ steps guide to secure your bitcoins, just skip reading it. Bitcoin is secure by design. All you need is a tool to use it without risk. All you need is your own TREZOR wallet.
TRUST YOUR OWN EYES
Check important transaction details before you confirm. The display will always tell you the truth.
TRUST YOUR OWN HANDS
Everything important needs your direct physical approval.
SMALL AND STURDY
Fits into your palm. Tamper-proof, water-resistant and extremely durable.
TREZOR uses and creates the most advanced standards in the cryptography and bitcoin.
What is Cold Storage Ethereum?
Cold storage ethereum refers to ether (or the private keys for those funds) that is stored offline.
Ethereum, bitcoin, and other altcoins are more popular than ever, but that popularity has also garnered the attention of hackers.
Unfortunately, cryptocurrencies like ethereum cannot be stored in a traditional bank, so owners of ethereum do not benefit from the safety and insurance that a bank provides.
This means that the owner of ethereum is solely responsible for protecting their own digital funds. This is where cold storage ethereum comes in.
Storing your ethereum offline keeps it safely outside of the reach of hackers. Cold storage options include:
- USB drive
- Paper wallet or QR code
- Physical wallet
- Sound wallet
- Hardware wallet
A common concern for someone using a USB drive, paper wallet, QR code, physical wallet or sound wallet is that if any of these items fall into the wrong hands, the private keys are extremely vulnerable.
Because of this, many people who use cold storage methods like a paper wallet or USB drive store that device in a safe deposit box for added security. However, doing so makes it more difficult for them to access the ether when they need it.
A hardware wallet, on the other hand, is widely considered the safest form of ethereum cold storage, and provides ease of use as well.
What is an Ethereum Hardware Wallet?
A hardware wallet stores your digital funds’ private keys in an offline hardware device that you can connect to a computer or smartphone to make transactions.
As cryptocurrencies like ethereum and bitcoin have become more common, hardware wallets have become popular as safe, functional, and easily accessible cold storage solutions.
Ether that is stored in a hardware wallet is protected even if the computer you are using falls victim to a hacker or a virus.
The private keys stored on a hardware wallet also can’t be transferred in plaintext, protecting you from malware.
Because hardware wallets require a PIN code to access, it is difficult for a thief to access funds from it even if they steal the device.
ERC20 tokens can also be stored on a hardware wallet, but must be accessed via a software wallet such as myetherwallet.com.
While there are, in theory, ways that a hardware wallet could be compromised (a bug in the firmware or software, a corrupt shipping process or production/assembly system), at the time of this writing, there is no record of a theft from a hardware wallet. Because of this, hardware wallets are commonly accepted as the safest means of cold storage ethereum.
Meanwhile, with easy connectivity via smartphones and computers, hardware wallets provide easy access to your funds when you need them. Hardware wallets seamlessly blends security and protection with ease of use and accessibility.
Let’s take a look at some of the best ethereum hardware wallets on the market.
Best Cold Storage Ethereum Hardware Wallets
The Ledger Nano S, Ledger Blue and Trezor ethereum cold storage wallets stand out in a crowded marketplace. All three of these wallets are offered by trustworthy companies and developed with technical proficiency.
These ethereum hardware wallets each have distinctive features that we will outline below. They also have some things in common. They all utilize PIN code verification, and two factor authentication, and are compatible with Mac OS, Linux, Windows, or Chrome OS. Also, all three require the use of Google Chrome or Chromium browsers.
Ledger Nano S
The Ledger Nano S is a wonderful portable solution—it weighs just 16.2g and measures 98mm x 18mm x 9mm when fully open (60mm x 18mm x 9mm when closed). It looks like a thumb drive and at a price point of €58, it is the most affordable of the three.
Comprised of stainless steel and plastic, the Ledger Nano S features a sleek, efficient design. Two buttons located on the side of the device allow you to confirm transactions easily while enjoying the protection of physical transaction verification. The Ledger Nano S keeps your ethereum safe without sacrificing style.
In addition to ethereum, the Ledger Nano S can store bitcoin, litecoin and other altcoins. It is compatible with GPG, SSH, FIDO®, U2F and more. The Ledger Nano S was built on dual chip architecture (ST31/STM32, Certification level: CC EAL5+), so its firmware is guaranteed through cryptographic attestation.
The Ledger Blue is the biggest of the three ethereum hardware wallets, though it is still a handheld device that measures 97mm x 68mm x 10mm and weighs in at just 90.0g. It features a 320 x 480 color touchscreen that is LED backlit.
The Ledger Blue is the primo cold storage wallet made by Ledger Wallet, with a price point of €229. Its key features include both Bluetooth and USB connectivity, and it is battery-powered.
Not only that, but the Ledger Blue is compatible with any computer or smartphone, and protected with 4 to 8 digit PIN Code verification, giving this hardware wallet the perfect combination of security and accessibility. Using dual chip (ST31G480 (secure) + STM32L476, Certification level: CC EAL6+) architecture, your ether is stored offline and backed up with a 12, 18 or 24 word recovery seed.
The Trezor is also a powerful ethereum hardware wallet. The Trezor’s OLED screen (measuring 128 x 64 pixels) can display six lines of text together—giving it the ability to show you all necessary information needed to complete transaction at once.
The Trezor hardware wallet measures 60mm x 30mm x 6mm and at a price point of €89, it nicely balances function with affordability.
Perhaps the most unique feature the Trezor offers is the system by which one enters their PIN Code. The numeric block of one through nine which one uses to enter their PIN is not only randomized (i.e., not in order of 1, 2, 3…) but presents in a different order every time. So, even if someone were to see the pattern you entered for PIN code verification, they would not be able to discern the numeric sequence, thus, protecting your ethereum from wandering eyes.
As ethereum, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continue to gain popularity, the risk of theft from hacking continues to grow. With no banks to protect your digital currency, it is important for each owner to secure their funds from potential threats, as well as have a way to easily access their digital funds.
Luckily, hardware wallets for cold storage ethereum allow you to have your cake and eat it too. You can have secure cold storage ether funds you can access effortlessly and efficiently.
The Ledger Nano S, Ledger Blue and Trezor are three great ethereum hardware wallets. Each can keep your ether safe, and they each offer unique convenience and accessibility options. For this reason, many cryptocurrency users actually utilize more than one of these cold storage hardware wallets.