Hardware wallets

Hardware wallets are very similar as software wallets in the sense that both safeguard your private keys, the hardware wallets do have one great advantage when compared to software wallets.

Under normal circumstances software wallets are installed on mobile phones or computer systems this makes them HOT wallets as they are always connected to the internet, hardware wallets are a piece of hardware that is isolated from the internet until is need to manage a transaction, below I will cover three hardware wallets that I own and use.

Coldcard MK3: In my opinion the most secure wallet out of the three mentioned here, this wallet can be used totally airgapped which means that the keys that are being held in the wallet are never exposed to the internet, instead transactions are constructed and signed using a micro SD card, this wallet is bitcoin only. This hardware is manufacture by Coinkite. To learn more about it and their other offerings visit their website.

Trezor One: Out the three hardware wallets mentioned here this one is the easiest to use in my opinion, it is also the first hardware wallet and was first released in 2014, This wallet connects to your computer via usb cable in order to manage transactions. This wallet is made by Satoshilabs. To learn more about it and their newer wallet offering visit their website.

Ledger Nano S: This hardware wallet is also to use and can store your bitcoin the Nano S was first introduced in 2016, this wallet also connects to your computer via a USB cable in order to manage transactions. This wallet is made by Ledger. To learn more about it and see their newer wallet offering please visit their site.

This is an small selection of the hardware wallets that are currently available, as with everything bitcoin it is important to do your own research and continuing your travels down the rabbit hole.

Additional notes about hardware wallets:

It is always a good Idea to keep the firmware on these updated to keep them operating correctly and bug free in order to avoid jeopardizing your bitcoin, it is also a good idea not to be one of the first to upgrade just in case there are bugs introduced, you should always monitor how the upgrades are working out with people that have completed the upgrades.

It is also extremely important with hardware wallets as with software wallets to save your seed phrase in order to recover your wallet if anything goes wrong during updates or in case of loss or malfunctions.

Additionally it is also important to note that unlike the Coldcard which is a bitcoin only wallet and does not include any wallet software the Trezor and Ledger hardware wallets are able to accept other coins and tokens and also provide wallet software.

In my use case I do not use their software or store keys for any other coin or token keys these are used as bitcoin only wallets.

The wallet software that I use in order to communicate with all these hardware wallets is Sparrow Wallet and Specter Desktop, I will be covering these pieces of software in more detail and how they interact with the hardware at a later date.