Imagine a hardware wallet as your bank account for all your cryptocurrency – it allows you to send and receive Bitcoins or other assets. This is your personal interface or link to the entire Bitcoin network where you keep your private keys, PINs, and passphrases.
A hardware wallet is simply a device for you to manage your private keys and one of the most popular ones that will be tackled is the KeepKey wallet – a hardware wallet which has been well received by cryptocurrency investors over the last few years.
In terms of hardware wallet users, the main goal of these investors is not to only grow their assets but to keep their assets safe while they are occupied in their Bitcoin transactions online and still have these assets safeguarded while they are offline.
KeepKey is one of the most advanced and secured Bitcoin hardware wallet there is in the market. It is still one of the more expensive hardware wallets today, currently at $129, from its original price of $239 when it was first launched. Nevertheless, you’re guaranteed that your assets are in good hands.
When KeepKey was introduced last 2015, it used state of the art technology to provide users with one of the most protected environment for their cryptocurrency. Since KeepKey is a Hierarchical Deterministic (HD) wallet, one can think of it as a mini computer intended to store private keys that is not only safe and secure but stylish and in-the-now.
Founded in 2014, ShapeShift AG operates a platform to offer Bitcoin and altcoin conversion. Its platform provides Bitcoin and altcoin conversion with a level of consumer protection and efficiency. ShapeShift AG enables users to convert Litecoins, Bitcoins, Peercoins, Darkcoins, Dogecoins, Feathercoins, Blackcoins, Namecoins and many more.
You do not need to create accounts, deposit funds or provide personal information because the company’s aim is to ensure the users identity is safe from theft; this is a critical development in exchange for the technology it offers.
KeepKey is known to be one of the first hardware wallets to offer trading abilities within the wallet. KeepKey is an HD (Hierarchical Deterministic) wallet; it allows users to create and store unlimited number of private keys. A private key is a kind of cryptography that allows users to access their cryptocurrencies or assets.
KeepKey comes in a well-packaged black case similar to that of a smart phone. The black box is sealed in plastic wrap and when removed, you’ll notice that there is a tamper-resistance tape holding the case closed.
This high-quality and durable hardware wallet has a polished and solid design that feels sturdy and maybe a little bit large. The large LED screen gives plenty of real estate to show transaction confirmations in easily readable messages along with QR codes.
It has a single button which is used for confirming transactions which is conveniently located that does not block the screen making it very efficient. It also has an anodized aluminum case and a polycarbonate front that gives it a sleek look but makes it a bit prone to dents and scratches if it is dropped from a higher place.
- Large LED screen with single button for PIN entry and transaction confirmation;
- Chrome browser extension to manage and transaction on multiple accounts;
- Ability to transfer between supported crypto assets directly on the device.
This hardware wallet is a well-built device that makes keeping cryptocurrencies easy for beginners but it lacks mode advanced features for experienced users.
As mentioned previously, KeepKey is currently priced at $129 which was originally at $239 when it first came out. This is a hardware wallet that is more expensive than the other hardware wallets available in the market to date.
KeepKey incorporates with the hardware wallet software on your computer by taking over private key generation, storage and transaction signing. It is compatible with certain operating systems (OS) like PC, Mac, Linux and Android; and with software wallets like Electrum, Multibit and Mycelium.
The device has one of the largest displays in the hardware wallet market. It is stunningly designed and much easier to read and navigate than much of the competition. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use your KeepKey.
Step 1: Download and Install the KeepKey Client App
Using your computer, navigate to the Google Chrome web store and type in “KeepKey Client App”. Then, download and install this app on your computer.
Step 2: Plug in your KeepKey
Use the USB to micro USB cord that comes with your KeepKey and plug it in your computer.
Step 3: Launch the App
Launch the app and update your KeepKey device to the latest firmware. Then select initialize KeepKey to begin the set-up process.
Step 4: Set your PIN
Create a 1–9 digit PIN that will be used to unlock your KeepKey device.
Step 5: Write down Recovery Phrase or Passphrase
You will be shown a 12-word recovery phrase on your KeepKey device. Write the words down in sequential order on the order on the recovery phase card provided in the box with your KeepKey.
Step 6: Initialization Complete
Your KeepKey is initialized and ready to use.
An advantageous feature of KeepKey is that the coins it supports can be exchanged using ShapeShift from within the wallet software.
Here are the assets or cryptocurrencies that KeepKey supports:
The company states that there plans to add support for additional coins in the future.
The main purpose of a hardware wallet is to store private keys when you are offline and it stores it in a secure environment. KeepKey is so secured that you can use it in any computer that has been infected with malware or viruses or might have been accessed by hackers without compromising the security of your private keys.
This is the reason why KeepKey is not only considered one of the most expensive hardware wallets there is in the market, but more importantly, it is the most secure as well. Here are four (4) security measures it has.
- Private Key. Your private key is stored directly on KeepKey and never leaves its system.
- PIN Code. Your PIN Code prevents any unauthorized user from viewing your balances or transactions.
- Recovery Sentence. Your entire hardware wallet is backed up with a 12-word recovery sentence which is generated on set-up. This will be used to recover your private keys in an unlikely case your KeepKey is compromised.
- Passphrase. In addition to your recovery sentence, users can opt to add a word attached to the recovery sentence. The passphrase option is only recommended for experienced users as it cannot be recovered or reset; it is important not to forget the passphrase if the option is enabled.
You can recover your hardware wallet using a PIN if your device is stolen, lost, or damaged. This is done in KeepKey’s Chrome extension. KeepKey’s screen allows you to make sure that you are sending assets to the right recipient at all times.
There may be one thing that KeepKey could improve on and it is to provide users with a means to regulate transaction fees for sending cryptocurrency – they affect the convenience of each transaction but this is a feature most wallets have. The function to transfer assets using ShapeShift integration without leaving the app saves several steps for most users and provides transparency into the charges involved.
How to Make Payments with KeepKey
The process for sending and receiving payments is the same with other hardware wallets. The major difference is that your computer no longer store your private keys which means, no one else could access them when someone else uses your computer to do transactions. All your transactions must be passed to the KeepKey in order to be signed. Once a request is received by your hardware wallet (KeepKey), the user will be notified to make a manual confirmation of the transaction.
Once your transaction is approved, it is then returned to the computer client to be announced on the cryptocurrency network. Although users need not install any drivers to use KeepKey, they would still need the KeepKey Chrome app.
Below is the process of adding an account or currency in your KeepKey.
Adding an Account:
- Open the KeepKey app and enter your PIN.
- Click on the (+) button on the bottom right corner of the window.
- Choose the account that you will add.
- Enter a name for the account and select, “Add Account”.
Note that once you added an account, it can no longer be removed or deleted from your system.
Comparison to Other Devices
In general, KeepKey just like other wallets in the market, it allows users to store multiple cryptocurrencies. It may be more expensive than other wallets but nonetheless, the device has a more exceptional look thanks to its sleek style. The KeepKey is also packaged nicely like other wallets that have well-packaged boxes.
KeepKey vs Ledger Nano S
KeepKey is a 2015 model whereas Ledger Nano S was released last 2016. Ledger Nano S sure is cheaper than KeepKey with a price of $59 and $129 respectively.
If you are new into cryptocurrencies and plans to store many different coins, a Ledger Nano S may be the easiest and cheapest way to secure your assets.
KeepKey vs Trezor
Trezor is an older version compared to KeepKey since it was released in 2013 and as mentioned beforehand, KeepKey was released two years after that. Unlike KeepKey, Trezor is a $99 thumb-sized device whereas KeepKey offers a superior feel to it – something both the Ledger Nano S and Trezor lack.
KeepKey is a port of the code and firmware of TREZOR. KeepKey is aluminum and heavier than TREZOR. TREZOR is plastic and therefore is lighter and may be more durable in case it is dropped.
Pros and Cons
There are always things to consider when purchasing items, especially when you want to be extra careful with such purchase. In this case, here are the pros and cons in choosing KeepKey as your hardware wallet for your cryptocurrency.
- KeepKey is the most secure and feature packed Bitcoin hardware wallet available in the market to date.
- KeepKey has a metal body with a digital screen that makes it hip and well-protected.
- KeepKey can be operated smoothly and with ease. It is user-friendly and has a comfortable interface.
- KeepKey is a bit costly for some people at $129, however, you sure will be getting what your money is worth.
- Since KeepKey is a new hardware wallet in the market, buyers are still unsure if this is in fact the best choice.
- KeepKey does not support as much cryptocurrencies than other hardware wallets.
Is It Worth It?
Overall, the KeepKey hardware wallet can be operated smoothly and with ease. It is user-friendly, so setting it up will not be a hassle. Its interface is more comfortable than some hardware wallets like the Ledger Nano S but unlike Trezor and Ledger Nano S, KeepKey uses only one button navigation but still functions smoothly with its day to day tasks like sending and receiving assets.
KeepKey does not support as much cryptocurrencies than other hardware wallets but as far as the coins it does support, KeepKey offers ease in terms of its operating system and is just as secure, if not more secure as its competitors.
Saying that KeepKey is worth it or not still depends on the user taking advantage of the services it can offer – state of the art security features; attractive and modern design; multi-currency support and value for money are few of the things KeepKey can offer its users. Choosing a hardware wallet still depends on the users’ needs and goals in terms of managing their cryptocurrencies, and only then can one say that their hardware wallet is worth it.