The cryptocurrency market is like a roller coaster. If you are in for the whole ride and don’t want to take trading risks, the best way to maximize profits is to store crypto long term, aka hodl.
When considering long-term storage, a hardware wallet is the most optimal solution to keep cryptocurrencies secure and not expose your investments to online threats. Ledger Nano S and Trezor are pioneers among cold-storage devices, their third strong contestant being Keepkey.
But a new product has recently been launched on the crypto market, the BC Vault, which boasts as the most secure and practical crypto hardware wallet currently available. So let’s compare some key features of the four most popular devices and see what the future of cold storage looks like.
BC Vault Vs Ledger Vs Trezor Vs Keepkey: Which is the Best?
1. BC Vault
At first glance, the BC Vault feels larger than other wallets. However, the device is not really bulky and can easily fit inside the pocket. It features a large OLED screen that displays all important transaction information at the same time, including the full deposit address and amount, which is crucial to minimize the risk of a man-in-the-middle attack. What I especially like about the BC Vault is the D-pad, which makes the device easier to use than Ledger or Trezor wallets.
The device and its app have native support of all ERC20 tokens (around 190,000) and a large number of cryptocurrencies, most popular being Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ripple, Dash, and many others. You can manage multiple currencies on a single device within a single application, which is not only much more practical but also safer than using other online services.
The most unique thing about the Vault is that it generates independent anonymous wallets by randomly shaking the device. Competing hardware devices have mathematically linked wallets that are all connected to the recovery seed, so if anyone learns the seed they have access to all other wallets.
BC Vault wallets are non-deterministic – you can encrypt and back them up individually – so if any of your wallets gets compromised, it will never lead to another wallet stored in the Vault. Encryption is the biggest strength that other hardware wallets lack. Besides having a Global password and PIN for BC Vault, every wallet can be encrypted with an additional password and PIN, and backed up on a microSD card or on paper as a QR code.
Backups are encrypted with your passwords/PINs by default, but you can also back up your wallets unencrypted (not recommended!). Ledger, Trezor and KeepKey all use the BIP39/44 seed to restore wallets. Seed phrases are not encrypted, so you need to store them somewhere safe.
All in all, the security on BC Vault is without a doubt superior to competing cold-storage wallets. BC Vault is the only device that lets you lock every generated wallet individually, so you can actually share one device with other trusted relatives or friends. With global and individual wallet login details, you can protect each wallet with up to 4 codes.
BC Vault creators are also confident in their encryption skills, so they pre-loaded each device with a private key corresponding to a bounty wallet with 1 BTC. If you are able to crack it, the reward is yours.
Did you know @bc_vault #cryptowallet Bounty Wallet (1BTC wallet that is on every shipped BC Vault – you can unlock it, it's yours) is now actually worth more than 1 BTC as somebody donated 0.16183 BTC to it 🙂https://t.co/97ZG3TTGOp
— Alen Salamun (@AlenSalamun) April 10, 2019
Trezor One was the first available crypto hardware wallet. A huge security issue with the first model was that data was not stored on a secure chip. The new Trezor model T got rid of this liability, but still doesn’t offer users to encrypt their backup. It is promoted together with Cryptosteel, a steel locker you will be prompted to buy as an extra to keep your recovery seed safe (package price 229 EUR).
Even without Cryptosteel, Trezor T sells insanely high, for 180 EUR. The new model has a larger display than Trezor One, on which the font size is poorly legible. But instead of keeping the buttons, Trezor T has a touch screen, so the display is still too small to make the whole user experience pleasant.
Similar to Ledger and Keepkey wallets, Trezor stores the recovery seed in the flash memory. In comparison, BC Vault stores data in FRAM, which is a much faster and more durable storage medium.
Both Trezor and Ledger wallets support a wide range of cryptocurrencies, but not all are natively supported, so you can transfer them around only through third-party services.
3. Ledger Nano S
Ledger Nano S is an affordable crypto wallet in the form of a USB flash drive, which introduced an important advantage to Trezor One – it was the first to store data in a secure chip and not expose it unencrypted.
It is the smallest of the compared hardware wallets, but its size does not necessarily do it a favor. The display is too small to show all transaction details, and the two tiny buttons make navigation and transaction confirmation clumsy.
Ledger wallets are deterministic, so every wallet you generate is mathematically related to others and linked to the same, unencrypted BIP39 recovery seed. If any wallet address gets hacked, others are automatically endangered, which is also the case with Trezor and Keepkey. Another back draw is that the device shows no noticeable damage if opened with force, unlike Trezor and BC Vault, which both have tamper-evident hardware.
Furthermore, you will need to uninstall apps for firmware upgrades with Ledger, while with BC Vault firmware upgrades are done on a non-active partition to avoid data loss.
Ledger Nano S supports a lot of different coins and tokens, and sells for less than Trezor, Keepkey and BC Vault. But this doesn’t change the fact that it has limited capacities, so you will be able to use a small range of cryptocurrencies at the same time.
Keepkey is the bulkiest and heaviest among compared hardware wallets. The display is large and covers the whole front size of the device. It is a bit more expensive than Ledger Nano S, but still quite affordable (79 USD).
Keepkey natively supports only 7 cryptocurrencies and a few ERC20 tokens, so it would only be of use to those who own the most popular currencies like BTC, ETH, etc. Just like Trezor and Ledger, it does not offer encrypted backups by default and generates deterministic wallets, linked to the same recovery seed.
Which Hardware Wallet Stands out?
The wallet that offers the highest security, supports various features and is most practical to use is definitely the BC Vault. Considering the price-performance ratio, it is the cheapest investment. BC Vault is the next generation hardware wallet that has important advantages to other well-established wallets, recognized under brand names like Ledger and Trezor.
BC Vault is the most secure device for your crypto assets because it randomly generates independent wallets that are not linked to the same BIP39/44 recovery seed. Each wallet can be locked with up to 4 codes (Global password PIN, wallet password PIN), and backed up individually with all passwords on a microSD card or on paper. Ledger, Trezor and Keepkey wallets can be restored only with the given seed phrase, which is not encrypted, so it has to be kept somewhere safe.
Unlike other wallets that use FLASH memory, BC Vault stores data in FRAM, which has a longer life-span and more capacity. You can create more than 2000 individual wallets with BC Vault, and manage many different cryptocurrencies and all ERC tokens at the same time – on a single device, in a single app.
Jacob is the master-mind behind BitCongress. Over the years he has dug into the world of bitcoin and cryptocurrency and really nerded down on all the products and services. Beyond sitting in front of the computer and absorbing information on crypto, he really likes to play Zelda.