Many people hold crypto on exchanges . People also use their phones and computers to store and access their crypto quickly for trading and spending it.
Crypto exchanges are convenient, but is your crypto safe there?
— Not entirely
Honestly, it’s not the best way to go.
For one thing, centralized and even decentralized exchanges can suffer from hacks. Hot wallets (connected to the internet) can come with technical vulnerabilities, making it possible to have the crypto siphoned off them by a malicious dApp or phishing site.
We generally say it’s fine to keep some crypto on an exchange or on your smartphone, but definitely not the majority of it.
If you plan to hold it for the long term, you should think of upgrading your storage and taking it offline.
In contrast to an app or hot wallet, a hardware wallet is disconnected from the internet.
This is called cold storage, and it eliminates many vulnerabilities facing exchanges and hot wallets.
While there are many new up-and-coming hardware wallet companies, this article compares two of the most prominent leaders in the space: Trezor and Ledger.
|Standard models||Premium models|
|Trezor One||Ledger Nano S||Trezor Model T||Ledger Nano X|
|Coins||More than 1200 including BTC, ETH, LTC etc.||More than Trezor wallet. UNI, AVAX, GRT, CELO, YFT, ADA, XMR, EOS, XTZ||All the coins from Trezor One plus ADA, XRP, XMR, EOS, XTZ||More than Trezor wallet. UNI, AVAX, GRT, CELO, YFT, ADA, XMR, EOS, XTZ|
|Display||Monochrome with two buttons: 128 x 64 pixels||128×32 pixel organic LED||Color touchscreen: 240 x 240 pixels||128×64 pixel organic LED|
|Supported OS||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS|
|Mobile App?||In development||Yes||In development||Yes|
|Third-Party Wallets Supported?||Electrum, Etherwall, Exodus, Metamask, Mycelium, MyCrypto, MyEtherWallet, Nano Wallet, Walleth||23 wallets including MyEtherWallet, MetaMask, Binance DEX, Kyber Network. Does not support Exodus.||Electrum, Etherwall, Exodus, Metamask, Mycelium, MyCrypto, MyEtherWallet, Nano Wallet, Walleth||23 wallets including MyEtherWallet, MetaMask, Binance DEX, Kyber Network. Does not support Exodus.|
|Price||59 EUR||$89||189 EUR||$199|
Trezor is a hardware wallet produced by SatoshiLabs headquartered in Praha, Czech Republic.
It was first released in 2013 and has since sold several iterations and versions of the original product. The original founders were involved in Bitcoin early on but wanted to develop ways to store crypto securely.
The Trezor One was developed and released, followed shortly after by the Model T in 2018.
Trezor is also integrating software that is compliant with strict anti-money laundering laws in Switzerland, making it easier for people to prove they own their cold wallet.
Ledger was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Paris, France.
In addition to offering two different crypto wallet options, the company also develops infrastructure for larger financial institutions to help secure their holdings.
Key Features Compared
The Trezor is slightly larger and kind of looks like a digital thermometer.
The Ledgers look more like a USB drive.
All the Trezor and Ledger wallets currently connect to Linux, Windows and Mac Operating systems. They come with a USB cable that can connect to a laptop or a PC. The Trezor can also connect to an Android device, whereas the Ledger Nano X is compatible with Android and iOS.
The Trezor has a slightly larger display, making it easier to read. The new Trezor Model T has an LCD color touchscreen which has better resolution than the Ledgers. However, even with a larger screen you need to either use a stylo or your own fat fingers to target the tiny buttons on the Trezor screen.
Ledger has physical buttons. This is actually easier in some ways but can also take more time. For example, entering a number 6 means clicking a button six times compared to tapping a keypad once.
The Ledger Nano X has Bluetooth capabilities – while this can be seen as a feature, it may also be possible to exploit this as a bug.
It’s basically even across the main features, however if you want to use your smartphone, the BlueTooth connection gives Ledger Nano X the upper hand.
We also like the feel of the Ledger Nano X over the Trezor Model T — its more solid and the physical buttons are reassuring. It’s made (partly) of stainless steel.
Trezor is plastic and feels a bit cheaper.
I don’t have the fattest fingers and i still think Trezor’s touchscreen is also hard to use. Maybe it easier with a stylus.
All that being said, the Trezor Model T (connected to Exodus wallet) is easy to recommend – mostly because Exodus is such a great software wallet.
This combination is a great way to get the best of hot and cold storage.
Review: Exodus – Best Crypto Wallet
Ledger offers support for more than 1,800 cryptocurrencies edging out the Trezor. The Ledger allows users to hold Bitcoin, Ethereum, Polkadot, Stellar, and many other popular altcoins; there’s a really good chance that if it exists and has some popularity, the Ledger can store it.
The Trezor family supports over 1800 cryptos but does not support many non ERC-20 compliant tokens. T
he Trezor One supports less than the Model T and doesn’t support many popular altcoins (like ADA, BNB, EOS, SOL, XTZ, XRP, XMR).
In addition, both the Ledger and Trezor have built-in cryptocurrency exchanges that let you buy, sell or trade tokens securely.
If you plan to HODL a bunch of different cryptos, you either need to get multiple hardware wallets or one that can handle them all.
Ledger Nano X
It stores more cryptos and using Ledger Live to manage them gives you some pretty good options like trading and staking.
Both wallets provide users with a private key, a long string of words, that never leaves the devices. Securing this private key is important in case your hardware wallet is lost or damaged. The Ledger is built with a double-chip base, with the second chip being a bank-grade secure element that provides additional security against certain hacks and attacks. The Trezor, meanwhile, only sports a single chip base.
Trezor uses open-source firmware, while Ledger wallets are closed-source. This means that it isn’t available for third parties to review and test for vulnerabilities.
The Trezor Model T also offers an additional Shamir Backup for improved private key security. Both Ledger and Trezor, however are still vulnerable to breaches.
Both wallets support third-party waller applications like MyEtherWallet, MetaMask and MyCrypto. Trezor connects to Exodus, but overall it connects with fewer third-party wallets than the Ledger.
The Trezor offers two models: the original Trezor One and the Trezor Model T (which comes with a touchscreen).
The Ledger offers the entry-level Nano S and the Nano X.
When you’re in the market for a hardware wallet, you can’t really go wrong with Trezor or Ledger.
You could start with one of their basic wallets, pick one that suits your storage needs, and hold the crypto you want to store. Alternatively, you could splurge on the high-end model – after all the contents are sure to be far more valuable than the wallet.
Check that the cryptocurrency you want to HODL and the third-party applications you want to use are supported by the wallet.
Make sure you write down your recovery phase, store it securely and never share it with anyone.
Don’t forget to disconnect it from your phone or computer when you’re done using it. The whole point is to store your crypto offline.
Note that if you plan to transfer assets from a hot wallet to a cold wallet, this will cost gas or transaction fees for many popular cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum or other ERC-20 tokens. These fees range according to the crypto and the amount of network congestion.