Hardware wallets are the safest way to store your cryptocurrency in New Zealand. 🇳🇿
Follow our guide to learn everything you need to know about hardware wallets in NZ. 🙂
What is a Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet ?
Whenever you make an outbound transaction from a hardware wallet, you’re required to physically approve the transaction from your device, via a connection to your PC or mobile.
Your private keys never leave your hardware wallet so they’re virtually impossible to be penetrated or infected; hence why hardware wallets are known as the apex of crypto security.
A hardware wallet simply put, is a very basic computer that has been stripped down to the bare necessities. The only capabilities of them are to store your private keys offline and sign crypto transactions offline, making them virtually immune to online hacking attempts.
Pros and Cons of Hardware Wallets
- Highest Security – Hardware wallets offer the highest level of security for crypto storage.
- Multi-coin Support – Storing all of your assets in one place easily enables users to keep track of and trade or spend your cryptocurrencies.
- Pin Protected – Most hardware wallets enable extra security through a pin or password so your funds cannot be randomly accessed if the hardware is stolen.
- Price – Hardware wallets can be rather expensive. ($150 – $300+ NZD) 😨
- Replicas – Due to the high price, people naturally attempt to find a cheaper place to purchase, sometimes this results in these people being scammed with ‘fake’ hardware wallets.
- Limited Accessibility – In order to make a transaction from your hardware wallet you must connect it to your pc or smartphone. Although this increases security, it decreases accessibility (this is easily solved by using both cold storage and hot wallet simultaneously).
How to Buy a Hardware Wallet in NZ
It is always recommended to buy your hardware wallet directly from the manufacturer, rather than from places such as TradeMe due to the threat of ‘fake’ or tampered-with wallets.
However, there are a number of trusted vendors within NZ that stock brand-new, authentic cryptocurrency hardware wallets, such as the Trezor model T or Ledger Nano X. 🙏
*Note; if you’re ever worried you’re late to the crypto party, remember Noel Leeming, Harvey Norman, and JBHIFI are yet to stock any type of Bitcoin or cryptocurrency wallet in NZ.
Buying from the Trezor or Ledger website is theoretically the safest option, but buying from a vendor within NZ means you get your wallet delivered to you faster. This decision is on you.
- Trezor official website – https://trezor.io
- Ledger official website – https://shop.ledger.com/
- EasyCrypto Shop – https://shop-nz.easycrypto.ai/
- Crypto Store NZ – https://www.cryptostore.net.nz/
- Coined NZ – https://coined.nz/ledger/
Trezor vs Ledger
The two most popular hardware wallet providers are Trezor and Ledger; and although there are a few other hardware wallets on the market, these are the two that we at Cryptocurrency NZ recommend looking into, with our personal preference being the Trezor model T.
Both companies are industry leaders in security and therefore both offer excellent hardware wallet options. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Almost all hardware wallets fundamentally serve the same purpose and do the same thing, but of course Trezor and Ledger products do have key differences between them. Below we have listed some of the key features and differences between the two companies’ newest and most advanced wallets on the market (Trezor model T and Ledger Nano X).
- Ease of use – Trezor T devices are extremely easy to use and set up. They are rated slightly higher in ease of use than the Ledger equivalent due to their large colour touchscreen (240×240 pixels).
- Application – Trezor offers two applications that can be used in conjunction with the hardware wallet, Trezor Wallet and Trezor Suite. These applications are multifunctional platforms designed to increase the ease of configuring and managing Trezor devices. Currently the apps are only available to download on PC, however Trezor plans to introduce a mobile app in the fourth quarter of 2021.
- Price – The Trezor model T is priced at $270 NZD (at the time of writing).
- Supported Coins – Trezor hardware wallets support around 1650 different cryptocurrencies, although this number is likely to increase as the cryptocurrency market evolves.
- Connectivity – Trezor devices are connected to your computer or phone via a USB-C cable (currently Trezor devices can only connect to android phones, though it is likely this will become available in the future for iphones as well). Trezor has opted out of offering a bluetooth connectivity function to reduce the wallet’s exposure to hacking attempts.
- Open Source – Since day one everything about Trezor hardware wallets has been completely open source, meaning anyone can view and audit their hardware or software; this consequently strengthens the security of their product as everything gets tested by a great number of experts.
- Features – Trezor hardware wallets enable you to send, store, receive, and trade your cryptocurrencies as well as control the transaction fees according to your personal needs.
- Exodus Partnership – Trezor have partnered up with Exodus to offer users the ability to manage and exchange their crypto assets securely from Exodus using the safety of a Trezor hardware wallet. See the video below 🙂
- Ease of use – The Ledger nano X is also relatively easy to use and set up. Although the screen is slightly larger than their previous model, with 128×64 pixels it still falls short in comparison to that of the Trezor T.
- Application – Ledger also offers applications (for both mobile and PC) to assist in managing your crypto assets, additionally each cryptocurrency has its own ‘app’ that can be downloaded onto the hardware wallet; this can be rather tedious in comparison to Trezor devices which come preloaded with the equivalent capabilities.
- Price – The Ledger Nano X is priced at $230 NZD (at the time of writing).
- Supported Coins – The Ledger Nano X currently supports over 1800 different tokens and the device can be downloaded with up to 100 ‘apps’ at the same time. The number of supported tokens is likely to increase as new tokens gain traction.
- Connectivity – The Ledger Nano X wallet can be connected both via usb cable as well as bluetooth, the bluetooth function enables connectivity with both android and Iphone devices.
- Open Source – Ledger hardware wallets run on their own closed source operating system (OS). Meaning their OS cannot be audited by third parties to evaluate any weaknesses.
- Features – Ledger hardware wallets enable users to send, store, receive, and as of recently sell cryptocurrencies directly through the wallet as well as determine the network fee you pay based on your preferences.
Hardware Wallet Security
Hackers with the intention to steal your cryptocurrency might attempt to use malware to access your computer or view your screen, if the malware infected computer is running your cryptocurrency wallet then your private keys could subsequently be exposed; allowing the hacker to send your cryptocurrency wherever they choose.
Keeping in mind the logic that the more complex a device is, the more opportunities hackers have to infiltrate it; hardware wallets being stripped down to the bare necessities means that because they are so “simple” it’s practically impossible to infect them with any type of malware or malicious code.
Hardware wallets can not connect to the internet or run complicated applications, they are simply a form of storing your private keys offline; also known as cold storage, unlike a hot wallet which can connect to the internet.
Both Trezor and Ledger wallets can be set up with an on-device password/pin of your choice to add an extra layer of security. This will prevent your keys from being accessed in the case of your hardware wallet being stolen or found by someone other than yourself.
Trezor and Ledger wallets can both be set up to have multiple passphrases linked to different sub-wallets or “hidden wallets”. This can be used to protect your funds in situations like being physically threatened and forced to unlock the wallet (also known as the $5 wrench attack).
To utilize this function you would set up a ‘dummy wallet’, with a specific password that you would use in the event of being physically threatened; the idea is that the thief would get away with a small portion of your actual holdings, and you will get away free of physical harm.
The Trezor hardware wallet has the option to set up a ‘wipe code’ which will cause the device to metaphorically self-destruct. The wipe code is an advanced feature of the Trezor wallet which will erase all data from the device, it is by no means mandatory to have enabled, however it can be a deterrent to thieves.
Consider a scenario where someone has discovered your hardware wallet and is attempting to gain access to your funds, if you had your ‘wipe code’ written down somewhere near your Trezor as a decoy pin; someone entering this code would cause the device to erase itself and this will deter them from stealing your cryptocurrencies.
What if I lose my Hardware Wallet?
In the event of your hardware wallet being lost or destroyed (or self destructed), this doesn’t mean your crypto is gone forever; your funds are still accessible to you through the use of a secret recovery phrase.
You can enter your recovery phrase on a new device to recover full access to your cryptocurrency; however it is instrumental that when setting up your hardware wallet for the first time you keep this phrase properly secured, anyone with access to your recovery phrase…..well it goes without saying.
Below we have listed some good security measures everyone should practice:
- Write your recovery phrase down on a piece of paper and keep it in a safe place.
- Never take a photo of the phrase.
- Never enter your hardware wallet’s recovery phrase on any computer or smartphone.
- Never tell anyone your recovery phrase.
- Don’t tell anyone that you don’t trust 100% how much crypto you are holding (this could defeat the purpose of your emergency sub-wallet).
Using a hardware wallet to store your private keys offline is the safest way for you to store your cryptocurrency, but your hardware wallet is only as safe as you allow it to be.
You should never tell people how much crypto you’re holding, never disclose your private keys or recovery phrases (to anyone or on any device that connects to the internet), never put yourself in a position to be vulnerable to a ‘$5 wrench attack’, and always double check addresses before signing off on transactions.
Both the Trezor model T and the Ledger Nano X are excellent options for hardware wallets in NZ and we encourage you to do your own research to see which suits your preferences.
We at Cryptocurrency NZ actively use and would recommend the Trezor T due to its simplicity in operation, sleek design and large touch screen, compatibility with Exodus, as well as the founder’s belief in the power of open source.
We hope this guide has provided you with value in one way or another, and hope we’ve encouraged you to make the next step in securing your Bitcoin, Ethereum and other crypto.