The top 5 hardware wallets for bitcoin
Hardware wallets serve an important role in helping you secure your bitcoin. These devices enable you to take possession of your keys and your bitcoin.
If you’ve never used one before, however, it can seem intimidating to shop around and find the one that is right for you. In this short guide, we’ll cover five common devices, all of which are compatible with Casa.
What is a hardware wallet?
Hardware wallets are dedicated devices for storing your bitcoin private keys offline, an essential part of keeping your bitcoin safe.
There are a variety of terms people use for them, depending on the context. Sometimes, users will refer to them as “cold storage wallets,” and recently, manufacturer Coinkite has been advocating for adoption of the phrase “signing device” for simplicity’s sake.
Regardless of whatever term you may prefer, Casa allows you to use multiple devices as “hardware keys” in your keyset, along with a mobile key and the Casa Recovery Key, for more robust security.
How do hardware wallets work?
Hardware wallets house your private key securely within the device, so you can sign and broadcast transactions without ever revealing your key. Technically speaking, these devices are known as hierarchical deterministic (HD) wallets because a single seed phrase can be used to produce an infinite number of keys.
Wallets are used to verify addresses and create digital signatures, which act as proof for spending bitcoin. Once initialized, these devices should be stored offline, so avoid connecting them to the internet unless you’re ready to spend.
🛒 Shopping tips
These days, you can expect to purchase a device for between $75 and several hundred dollars once you factor in shipping and taxes.
It’s important to choose a reputable model, especially if you intend to secure a significant portion of your net worth. Used and secondhand devices should not be trusted. Instead, we recommend that you purchase new devices directly from manufacturers or obtain devices through a Casa activation package.
🔑 Are you looking for the safest way to secure your bitcoin? Casa protects your bitcoin against accidents, theft, and device failure for ultimate peace of mind. Get started today.
Now for the list…
Deciding on the best hardware wallet is dependent on many factors, including price, security, and user experience. At Casa, we take a security-first approach to device integrations.
Device selection is a matter of personal preference, so this list is presented in no particular order. All of the following devices have been tested and approved by our engineering team. Please perform your own research as well.
Model(s): Ledger Nano S Plus ($79), Ledger Nano X ($149)
Ledger is one of the most popular hardware wallets on the market today, and it was one of the first devices we integrated with Casa App. Looking similar to a USB drive, it is easy to use and store and supports bitcoin and other crypto assets.
To use a Ledger wallet, you’ll need to download the companion software Ledger Live, which is available on desktop and mobile. Earlier Ledger devices connect to your computer via USB, and the Nano X can use a Bluetooth connection (not yet supported by Casa).
Read more about how to set up your Ledger device with Casa.
Model(s): Mk3 ($110), Mk4 ($158)
Coldcard is a line of bitcoin-only hardware wallets manufactured by Coinkite. Resembling a calculator, it is popular with passionate HODLers and produced with open-source code.
Coldcards come with a lot of customization options and additional security features, such as air-gapped transactions with SD cards and BIP-39 passphrases. These features come with benefits and tradeoffs, but they aren’t necessarily a good fit for everyone. Using Coldcard with Casa App is only recommended for advanced users, but Coldcard is as cypherpunk as you can get!
Read more about how to set up your Coldcard device.
Model(s): Trezor One ($72), Trezor Model T ($255)
Described as “the original hardware wallet,” Trezor is a popular brand of devices, and it has been integrated with Casa since we first started offering private key management.
Trezor wallets are straightforward to set up and use, beginning with a pocket-sized design. Trezor uses internet browsers to facilitate transactions, so you will need to download Trezor Suite. The devices support other assets beyond bitcoin.
Read more about how to set up a Trezor One or Trezor Model T device.
Model(s): Keystone Essential ($119), Keystone Pro ($169)
Keystone is a newer brand of devices designed around QR-code signing. Featuring a tablet-like design and a touchscreen, it allows you to broadcast transactions using a built-in camera and a companion mobile app.
Keystones are designed with user-friendliness in mind using features such as a fingerprint sensor for authentication. While Keystone supports other assets beyond bitcoin, Casa customers can use bitcoin-only firmware to use their device with Casa.Read more about how to set up a Keystone device.
Model(s): Passport ($259)
Foundation is a new producer of bitcoin-only devices leaning into a QR-code signing experience, and its Passport device is our newest integration at Casa.
When you look at the Passport device, you may notice it resembles a retro phone with portability in mind. It comes with no USB port, so no cable is required. The latest batch of Passport devices uses a mobile companion app, Envoy, to broadcast transactions, and the device only supports bitcoin.Read more about how to set up a Passport.
Hardware wallets are special devices with a variety of features. Whichever option you ultimately choose, follow the instructions closely to initiate your device and keep it in a secure place, far from prying eyes.
Once you’ve set up your device, it is important to take good care of it and follow smart maintenance practices. In the below article, you can learn how to give your devices a safe home and keep them up to date. With diligence and luck, your devices can secure your bitcoin to the moon and beyond.
🙌 Protect your bitcoin with multiple keys
With Casa, you can use three or more bitcoin keys to keep your money safe. Our basic Gold plan lets you get started with self-custody with full sovereignty over your keys.
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