Acquiring the best cold storage wallet solutions for your crypto assets is a necessity as of today, as through holding assets on exchanges, you’re essentially playing Russian Roulette on their safety.
Further, keeping crypto on centralised exchanges (CEXs) has proven to be a rather silly idea in 2023, with the likes of FTX, Celsius, and BlockFi serving as proficient examples as to why.
And in adding more reasons to seek hard wallet solutions, even financially-sound platforms still run the risk of being hacked… where per calculations from last year, almost $4 billion was stolen by crypto hackers in 2022.
Thankfully however, the decentralised nature of crypto means that investors have self-custodial storage methods that they can opt for…with these coming in the form of self-custodial software wallets, as well as self-custodial cold storage wallets…where as the title suggests, this article will be exploring the latter.
More specifically, this article is the product of hours of research that’s related to finding the best cold storage wallet solutions currently on the market.
The 5 Best Cold Storage Wallet Solutions
NGRAVE ZERO - For Those Taking Security Over Price
Ledger Nano S Plus - For Crypto Trading Novices
Ledger Nano X - For Mobile Crypto Traders
Trezor Model One - For Guaranteed Security at a Reasonable Price
Trezor Model T - For Those After Industry-Leading Hardware & Software
The Best Cold Storage Wallet Solutions: What Are They?
The best cold storage wallets can essentially be described as industry-leading compact devices that are engineered for the sole purpose of managing, storing and safeguarding private keys, as well as authorising crypto transactions…
Where for context, private keys are multi-word phrases that are comprised of random words (often 12 or 24 words long). In essential terms, these then serve the gateways into accessing and transacting your self-custodially stored digital assets.
Often resemblant of a traditional USB stick, the best cold storage wallets store private cryptographic keys ‘offline’ (a.k.a. in a ‘cold environment’) - where pivotally, this means that all-important data is isolated from the online world, and therefore kept away from common malware threats.
By virtue of their extra security prowess, non-custodial cold storage wallets also come with more inconveniences compared to CEX crypto storage (where you essentially leave your crypto where you bought it). Intuitively, these arise through the fact that you can only access your funds if you’re actually in possession of the device (which, to reiterate, is also an apex security feature).
And unlike their software counterparts, the best cold storage wallets are never free to acquire - which is why our following list also considers ‘value for money’ when deciding on the products on the market.
The 5 Best Cold Storage Wallets
As you’ll see in the following list, we have categorised our best cold storage wallet solutions in terms of their manufacturer.
Through this, the list explores one device pioneered by NGRAVE, as well as four respective devices developed by hard wallet kings Ledger and Trezor.
In turn, this therefore means that there are five of the best cold storage wallet solutions in discussion (and in no particular order).
The NGRAVE ZERO is a relatively chunky and more substantial device compared to the other devices on this list - therefore making it harder to lose, as well as a lot harder to break.
Dubbed as the world’s first ‘EAL7’ certified cold storage wallet - which is the highest security certification possible in TradFi and DeFi matters - it sports a two-factor authentication process that involves a fingerprint reader and PIN pad.
As part of an elaborate system for minimising the risks of ‘man in the middle’ attacks - which are when hackers secretly intercept and alter communications between users and websites - it also comes with an innovative seed-phrase generation mechanism which uses a sophisticated system for achieving the highest levels of randomness.
On the physical front, the NGRAVE ZERO features an easy-to-use user-interface on its 4-inch touchscreen - with such screen being of use when signing transactions, scanning QR codes, or entering PIN codes.
It also comes with a cool metal seed card that you can punch your seed phrase onto using its accompanying punching tool (however, of course, be sure to hide this discreetly).
The reason for the device’s inclusion on our list stems from these industry-leading features…however that isn’t to say that it doesn’t come with a few frailties.
For example, the product’s relative infancy means that its coin support is fairly limited, as in addition to accepting all tokens on Ethereum (ETH) and MultiverseX (EGLD), it only supports a little over a dozen coins (albeit the biggest altcoins you can think of).
Additionally, its price of just shy of $400 makes it a rather expensive purchase, however to compensate, the product’s roadmap states that it’s looking to expand its functionalities moving forwards (and therefore its value for money). Although only words for now, these are expected to be made within the realms of token support, as well as added staking functionalities.
In all, the NGRAVE ZERO’s indisputable security functions makes it a no-brainer hardware wallet for those concerned with safety rather than price.
Ledger (Nano S Plus & Nano X)
If you didn’t already know, Ledger is commonly known as the GOAT when it comes to producing the best cold storage wallet solutions- where as of today, its flagship products - the Nano S Plus and Nano X - are two of the best cold storage wallet solutions on the market.
In diving into both, the cheaper Nano S Plus provides all the essential functionalities for securely storing a variety of digital assets. Further, this fact alone makes it the perfect ‘entry level’ Ledger wallet.
On the other hand, the more expensive Nano X is optimised for mobile usage, as it uses bluetooth in order to connect to mobile devices whilst on the move (which is facilitated through the ‘Ledger Live’ mobile app).
The Ledger Nano X also supports over 5,500 coins and tokens, and is compatible with 50+ other wallets, NFT storage, and dApp connections. On the other hand, the Nano S Plus only supports 100 different crypto coins.
When it comes to security, both devices use a ‘Secure Element’ chip in order to store private keys, whilst also running on the company’s proprietary operating system. In turn, this provides robust protection against potential malware attacks.
To get your hands on the vastly-proven devices, the Nano S Plus will set you back $79, whereas the Nano X costs $149.
For mobile users concerned with safety, the Nano X is most-certainly the more-suited option, whilst for newbies - or those that undertake crypto tasks in one physical place - the Nano S Plus may be a more fitting choice.
Like the Ledger Nano S Plus, the Trezor Model One is more of an entry level device, whilst its Model T counterpart is designed for more-advanced crypto traders that are after higher specifications.
When it comes to the former, it supports an impressive 1000+ cryptocurrencies whilst simultaneously offering some of the most robust security mechanics available.
It also has an easy set-up and installation process, where in addition to a PIN code and 24-word seed phrase, Trezor offers a third layer of protection in the form of a ‘pass phase’.
With regards to the more-expensive Trezor Model T, such product intuitively boasts the same features as the Model One, and more…where for starters, it supports 1,300+ different tokens.
Regarding further distinctions, the Model One features two push buttons and a small monochrome screen that supports 6 lines of text. The Model T on the other hand has a full-colour LCD touchscreen (therefore meaning PIN codes don’t have to be entered using your computer).
As part of a more-advanced security protocol, the Model T also offers a ’Shamir Backup,’ which essentially allows you to create even more security phrases (wherein two are always required in order to access the device).
When it comes to what the company offers as a whole, both devices run on Trezor’s bespoke open-source software, whilst its website makes it insanely easy to verify whether your desired tokens are supported.
And when it comes to pricing, the Model One comes in at a price of $67, making it one of the most affordable A-grade hardware wallet solutions on the market. On the flip side, its superior Model T counterpart can be purchased for a much heftier $219.
The 5 Best Cold Storage Wallet Solutions: A Review
Whilst each and every crypto trader has their own unique semblance of requirements when it comes to choosing the best cold storage wallet solutions, we’d like not think that the five aforementioned products cover near-enough all bases.
The backbone to this consensus lies in the sheer security of the brands involved, as first and foremost - and being founded in 2014 and 2013 respectively - Ledger and Trezor are both unequivocal crypto hardware wallet OGs. Further - and in proving their legitimacy - neither company has ever faced a crypto token hacks, nor have their devices ever experienced any major security concerns.
With this in mind, we hope that the alpha engrained in this article gives you the confidence to go ahead and make a crypto hardware wallet purchase.
Here, the only caveat we must include when it comes to finding the best cold storage wallet solutions is to ensure that you only make purchases on official stores and online vendors (as compromised devices from unauthorised sellers are also in circulation).
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This article is intended for educational purposes and is not financial advice.