Is it Hard to Use a Hardware Wallet?
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Getting a hardware wallet makes Bitcoin easy
Think back to the last time you bought Bitcoin. Did you finish the purchase, or did you leave your coins on the exchange wallet, with no idea who has the keys to it? Every few months, someone wakes up to find the exchange they were using was compromised, resulting in billions of dollars going to criminals each year.
Cryptocurrencies are not like other digital assets. They are completely trustless, so they can not be secured the same way a bank secures fiat money. Instead, they depend on users holding sole control over their coins and being the only ones who can use them. This is a lot to ask for many less-technical investors but some enthusiasts have spent many years making it easier for everyone to safely buy and store crypto for the long term.
What can be done to protect cryptocurrency?
The truth is that any cryptocurrency that isn’t under the user’s direct control can disappear in an instant. That’s where hardware wallets come in. A Trezor gives physical control over coins, by keeping keys permanently offline so no-one can ever copy them, and always showing the true details of any transaction it signs.
Cryptocurrency investors must understand that digital assets need a more comprehensive security solution than traditional trust-based finance. Getting a physical wallet that securely creates keys offline should be the first step everyone takes, but too often an exchange or mobile wallet is thought to be enough, by investors who are used to opening an account at a bank and depending on that institution to act as custodians of their wealth.
The best thing about cryptocurrency is not needing to trust anyone. If you own the keys to an address, the coins that are sent there are yours and no-one else needs to know about it. When crypto users trust exchanges or third parties, they open themselves up to abnormally high risk of loss, as the space is still loosely regulated compared to banking. Losing money is tough, so hardware wallets make it easy to take custody of digital assets, ensuring full control over private keys and protecting users’ privacy all the while.
A hardware wallet is worth it for any size investment
Over the last year, a $200 feeler investment in Bitcoin would have become over $1000. The current uptrend is making for some incredible long-term projections of hundreds of thousands of dollars in a few years, and there’s no doubt that in the time between now and then we will see many more hacks and losses which could easily be avoided. Those who want to see it to the top, would do well to get a hardware wallet.
Wallet manufacturers like SatoshiLabs, who invented the first hardware wallet, are making it easier to use Bitcoin by integrating useful features directly in the Trezor Suite interface so anyone can use them with a single click. This comes alongside new companies that make it easier to buy Bitcoin safely. Invity, a service for buying and exchanging crypto, offers a choice of many different trusted exchanges to make it easy to invest through Suite without being exposed to risk.
With Invity, users can already compare offers across exchanges and choose the price and payment method that suits them best. Soon it will also be able to DCA (dollar-cost average) an investment, making it easier than ever to steadily buy Bitcoin without needing to follow the charts or time an entry. All coins will be sent directly to the wallet, so they’re immediately in secure custody.
Hardware wallets have grown up alongside Bitcoin
The first Bitcoin hardware wallet, the Trezor Model One, was built to address a particular problem with Bitcoin as a network. Users’ keys could be leaked or observed and they wouldn’t know until it was too late. Taking the key generation and signing offline solved the problem, and a simple interface let users manage their money safely.
Bitcoin evolves constantly and is only getting better, thanks to a community that maintains it and cares about it being the best form of money. Major open-source contributors like Trezor help set standards for how Bitcoin is used. The end goal is to connect real users’ needs to how Bitcoin is implemented in the world.
This is most clearly demonstrated by the BIP-39 improvement, which came during the development of the Trezor Model One in 2013. Since then, this widespread standard known as a seed phrase or mnemonic has been implemented into most wallets and apps on the market.
Improving on the standard, a theft-resistant version known as Shamir backup was launched with the Trezor Model T, innovating a more robust solution for long-term storage. This creates a number of shares which can restore a wallet even if some are stolen or destroyed, without compromising security.
Protect personal data to protect digital assets
There is no need to broadcast personally identifiable information on the internet. For privacy geeks, Tor is a must-have everyday tool - the bedrock of safe browsing. But most people don’t realize how important it is to protect their IP address, or find it too complicated to use. Trezor Suite lets users mask their connections through Tor in a single click.
Privacy is one of the three pillars that SatoshiLabs is bringing to the average user. With many more advanced privacy functions being packaged into Trezor Suite, it is the best place to be to take advantage of constant, dependable privacy, usability and security when using cryptocurrencies, even casually.
Driving cross-compatibility throughout the ecosystem
Usability of cryptocurrencies in general has been spurred on by hardware wallets. Complex but really useful functions like replace-by-fee (RBF) for fixing stuck transactions are now a trivial matter and thanks to integration in many third-party apps like metamask, one can even use a Trezor to secure keys used in more experimental projects such as DeFi staking or NFT apps.
At the forefront of it all is security, and to be cross-compatible across the ecosystem, hardware wallets must be transparent about how security is achieved. Anyone can build a Trezor from off-the-shelf parts and enjoy the same security benefits as a customer, because the security methods used are completely self-evident. Rather than trusting claims of security, it is better to verify that the wallet is secure, which can not be done for any device which uses a closed-source security chip.
There’s no better way to achieve security than a multi-billion dollar bounty for exploits, and no one has ever successfully stolen keys by cracking open source hardware wallets, because the mathematics makes any such attempt futile. This track record and widespread integrations is what has made Trezor so successful among the core cryptocurrency community.
Businesses built for Bitcoin by Bitcoiners are deeply entwined with the open source, decentralized philosophy of Bitcoin. There is no place for trust with a custodial asset - either you can verify it is secure or you cannot. Software and hardware made by companies like Trezor is completely transparent to the world, refined to be as easy to use as possible, and compatible across the board, making it the perfect companion for cryptocurrencies from day one.