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 – including how they work, how much they cost, and where to buy hardware wallets in NZ.
Cryptocurrency NZ Recommendation
Trezor Model T
Purchase Cost: $219
Cloud Storage: No
Cold Storage: Yes
At Cryptocurrency NZ, we endorse the Model T as our preferred hardware wallet for several reasons, with security being at the forefront. The Model T offers robust security features, including offline storage of private keys and the availability of a physical security key, which provides an extra layer of protection against threats.
Pros of Trezor Model T:
✔️ Versatile Crypto Support: Trezor stands out for its compatibility with a array of currencies, enabling users to store multiple assets in one wallet.
✔️ Available Touch Screen: The presence of a touch screen on certain models of Trezor enhances user interaction and navigation. This feature contributes to a more intuitive and user-friendly experience.
✔️ Highly Secure: Trezor is renowned for its robust security measures. By storing private keys offline in the hardware wallet, it provides optimal protection against online threats such as phishing attacks and malware.
Cons of Trezor Model T:
❌ Security key exclusive to Model T: While the Trezor Model T offers the added security of a physical security key, other Trezor models lack this feature.
❌ Relatively High Cost: Compared to some software wallets, Trezor hardware wallets are relatively more expensive. The investment in hardware security might deter budget-conscious users or those with smaller crypto holdings.
❌ Not Beginner-Friendly: Trezor’s advanced security features and configuration options may overwhelm beginners new to crypto. The setup process to operate the hardware wallet effectively may require some technical knowledge.
The Trezor Model T Wallet is a cutting-edge hardware wallet designed to provide top-notch security for managing cryptocurrency assets. With its sleek design and user-friendly touch screen, the Model T stands out as a versatile solution.
One of its distinguishing features is the availability of a security key, which further enhances the protection of your private keys and sensitive information. This hardware-based security approach significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access. For New Zealanders seeking a secure and efficient way to safeguard their digital assets, such as their Bitcoin the Trezor Model T Wallet is an excellent choice.
To learn more about the features and benefits of Trezor Wallet, we recommend checking out our comprehensive guide, “What is Trezor Hardware Wallet NZ.“
Ledger Nano X
Purchase Cost: $287
Cloud Storage: No
Cold Storage: Yes
Its secure offline wallet, protected by a metallic strip, ensures physical protection. The 100mAh battery, PIN code, and seed phrase add an extra layer of security, making it a reliable option for safeguarding and hodling cryptocurrency assets.
Pros Of Ledger Nano X:
✔️ Intuitive Ledger Live Interface: Ledger Live boasts an intuitive and convenient user interface, simplifying crypto management for users.
✔️ Support for 100 Apps: The Ledger Nano X can support up to 100 apps, allowing users to store and manage multiple cryptocurrencies effortlessly.
✔️ Open-Source Software with Community Support: Being open-source, Ledger’s software benefits from customer and community contributions.
Cons Of Ledger Nano X:
❌ Potential Bluetooth Cyberattack: The Bluetooth integration, while convenient, introduces a potential cyberattack vector (although USB-C remains an option).
❌ Bluetooth Feature Still Maturing: The Bluetooth feature is still under development and not yet perfected, which may raise security concerns.
❌ Unavailable Bluetooth with Desktop: The current limitation of unavailable Bluetooth support with desktops may inconvenience some users.
The Ledger Nano X is the second-gen hardware wallet by Ledger, a French company established in 2014. Resembling a USB drive, it connects via USB or Bluetooth to iOS and Android devices, supporting over 5,500 tokens with continuous updates.
Ledger Live software complements the cold storage wallet, allowing easy management of diverse portfolios. With widespread popularity, the Ledger offers versatility by connecting via USB-C or OTG cable for smartphones.
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 wallet so they’re virtually impossible to be penetrated or infected; hence why hardware wallets are known as the apex of crypto wallet security.
A hardware wallet simply put, is a very basic computer that’s been stripped down to the bare necessities. The only capabilities of them are to store your private keys offline and sign 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).
Why Hardware Wallets Are The Best Wallets
In the realm of NZ crypto wallet security, hardware wallets such as Trezor and Ledger are hailed as the apex of safeguarding digital assets. Their fundamental strength lies in their offline operation, ensuring that private keys, (the critical access points to funds), remain untouched by potential online threats. This is why they are called ‘cold storage’ wallets.
Traditional software (online) wallets often fall prey to malware and phishing attacks, compromising the security of private keys. In contrast, hardware wallets are inherently immune to such threats. These devices execute transactions within the confines of a secure physical environment, keeping private keys isolated from malicious actors.
Tamper-evident packaging is another feature of hardware wallets, ensuring the integrity of the device by alerting users if it has been tampered with or opened. Additionally, these wallets generate a recovery seed phrase during setup, serving as a crucial backup. This seed enables users to restore their funds on a new device in case the original is lost or damaged, emphasizing the importance of secure offline storage for this backup.
Despite their advanced security features, hardware wallets are designed to be user-friendly. Equipped with intuitive interfaces, hardware wallets cater to both beginners and experienced users. Reputable manufacturers also commit to regular firmware updates, addressing potential vulnerabilities and reinforcing security measures.
In summary, the robust security mechanisms, offline operation, and user-friendly design position hardware wallets as the preferred choice for individuals seeking the highest level of security for their cryptocurrency holdings – essential for holding crypto long term.
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 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 within NZ means you get your wallet delivered to you faster. This decision is on you.
Trezor vs Ledger
At Cryptocurrency NZ, we strongly endorse Trezor and Ledger as the two most reputable hardware wallet providers. Both companies excel in security, offering excellent options.
While most hardware wallets serve the same purpose, there are notable differences between Trezor and Ledger products. Our personal preference leans towards the Trezor Model T, but both brands are industry leaders with outstanding options to explore.
Below, we highlight key features and differences between the latest and most advanced wallets from both companies – the Trezor Model T and the Ledger Nano X.
Trezor Hardware Wallet
- 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 have plans to introduce a mobile app.
- Price – The Trezor model T is priced at $270 NZD (at the time of writing).
- Supported Coins – Trezor hardware wallets support over 1800 different cryptocurrencies, although this number is likely to increase.
- 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.
- 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 –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 🙂
Ledger Hardware Wallet
- 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.
- 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 can be connected both via usb cable as well as bluetooth, the bluetooth function enables connectivity with both android and Apple.
- Open Source – Ledger hardware wallets run on their own closed source operating system (OS). Meaning their OS cannot be audited by third parties.
- 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 can both be set up to have multiple pass-phrases linked to different sub-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.
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.
Cryptocurrency NZ Final Verdict
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 – never try manually type wallet addresses.
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. The Trezor is the most highly respected hardware wallet producer in the world, a wallet used by thousands of Kiwis.
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 other crypto wallets in NZ.