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A Few Key Points to Correctly Choose a Hardware Wallet

Bitpie Team: A Few Key Points to Correctly Choose a Hardware Wallet

The last round of the bull market has created a lot of wallet teams. Many of them have also designed a variety of hardware wallets. With all these hardware wallet products, how do you make choices?

As the only wallet team in China that has come through the previous round of complete bull-bear cycle and has never had a security incident for 5 years, we are going to tell you about the selection of hardware wallets.

First, price is not the major factor in choosing a hardware wallet.

Remember, neither the more expensive the better, nor the cheaper the better. The current global mainstream, well-structured, safe and reliable hardware wallet price range is generally between 100 to 200 US dollars. If it is low, it may not guarantee good quality. If it is high, it may just try to make you think that the more expensive the better quality. The purpose of buying a hardware wallet should be to securely store large amounts of bitcoin and blockchain assets, rather than to show off. Therefore, security and reliability are more important. You should choose “iPhone” instead of “Vertu”. What’s more, for those who bought Vertu phones, others may feel that they’re rich, but buying the so-called “Vertu” wallet, people will just think you’re stupid.

Second, please choose an open-source hardware wallet solution.

The hardware wallet must be open sourced. In fact, the Bitcoin community had a broad consensus 5 or 6 years ago.

A fully open sourced, auditable, and verifiable hardware wallet solution ensures that third parties can’t be evil which truly meet the needs of users to securely store cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin without trusting third parties. Since you have already decided to buy a hardware wallet to take care of digital currency assets, why trust others? If you trust others then it would be nice to have the currency stored in a big exchange because you just want to find a trustworthy third party.

The “open sourced” here is referred to “truly open sourced”. In these 2 years, there is something not quite good happened in the blockchain industry, for the purpose of promoting, people made up “pseudo open source” (releasing a small part of the code, and telling the public that they are open sourced). This behavior in the open source community is actually awkward, but many users doesn’t know that. Remember, “truly open sourced” means that others can completely construct the identical products and services based on the open-source code. If we apply this principle to the hardware wallet making, it means a third-party engineer can easily make a fully same hardware according to the open-source hardware design; plus, as per the original open-source firmware code, he is able to compile, packages and write in the firmware to the hardware wallet. This is important because it is the only way to be truly auditable and verifiable. Under this condition, even the wallet development team ITSELF can’t be evil.

In this regard, the earliest hardware wallet maker — Trezor is doing quite good. Other Trezor followers and now the leading hardware wallet solution BITHD.com all strictly achieved open source.

BITHD and Trezor’s open source codes keep updating on github.com

Third, choose the hardware wallet team that keeps the product updated.

Since the development of the blockchain field is fast, in the traditional world, a software that is not updated regularly may still work, yet, in the blockchain world, the wallet that is not iterated for several months may be not usable. In this regard, you can always find some wallet products that have disappeared in the past few years and no longer update. Check if they are still working or not.

The bear market has been lasted for a year, no one knows how long it will last. Many teams, in the bull market, wanted to have a try or make a great coup by making a new wallet will hardly survive in this bear market. In this case, it is indeed important to choose the wallet solution that you want to use and purchase the hardware wallet products carefully.

For open-source wallet products, you can usually find the corresponding source code on github.com. By checking the source code submissions, historical versions in the repositories, you will know whether the team is doing things or not. Make your own choice carefully!

Trezor and BITHD are products with very fast version updates and very frequent iterations. For example, in the past 1 to 2 months, BITHD has released multiple versions. First, it provides Bitcoin multi-signature function that can be used by Xiaobai. Then It also achieved the world’s first and only hardware wallet that supports ETH and EOS multi-signature functions. While developing these features, it also developed several EOS DApp-related functions on the hardware wallet. The fast product iteration speed and the super wallet team cannot be compared to the others.

Now, if we tell you that, in such a busy research and development timeline, we, bitpie team, have also designed a new generation of hardware wallet, and the new generation offers 2 different types to meet the different needs of users, you should have been convinced.

Fourth, the hardware wallet must have a screen.

This topic has been fully-discussed in the Bitcoin community a few years ago. We have repeatedly reminded the teams in the industry to pay attention to this when designing hardware wallets. Unfortunately, there are still many teams made screenless solution.

Why does the hardware wallet have to have a screen? The reason is very simple, that is, users need to see what they are operating on the hardware wallet (for example, to send 10 bitcoins to 1 ABC… or to send 5 EOS to an EOS DApp contract, etc.) ; moreover, you have to confirm this operation yourself on the hardware wallet so that it is absolutely safe. If there is no screen on the wallet, you are forced to trust an external device (such as a computer or mobile phone). If you think twice before doing so, you would understand that it is unnecessary to buy a hardware wallet since you already trusted an external displaying and the safety therefrom.

In addition to the above 4 points, when purchasing a hardware wallet, you should also consider such things as team history, public opinion, hardware structure, and program model of this team. However, the most important thing is the above mentioned 4 major points.

In conclusion, when you are purchasing a hardware wallet, please choose a reasonable, open sourced, ever-updating, screen-based, well-structured hardware wallet product. Please carefully evaluate the contents of these 4 points before making your decision.

Bither/Bitpie Team

15 January 2019

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