- ValidationFull Node
- Ease of useIntermediate(Lower)
- Supported Coins
Pros & Cons
- Very high security with a trusted brand name in cryptocurrency.
- Supports fifteen different coins
- Users are in control of their own cryptocurrency, and do not have to enter their private key, so it is safe.
- Backed up by seed key, so losing the device doesn’t cause the loss of your cryptocurrency.
- Trezor runs with open-source software.
- You have to pay upfront to buy the hardware device.
- It is not practical to take your Trezor and laptop everywhere you go to pay for things.
- It can be inconvenient to have to find your Trezor every time you wish to transact.
- It can be expensive to transfer Bitcoin between your cold and hot wallets when Bitcoin fees are high.
- No hardware device is impervious to being physically broken, lost, stolen, or becoming corrupted.
Includes a small LCD display for you to verify transaction contents, and contains password manager software to help users keep track of their passwords.
- Pavel Rusnak and Marek Palatinus
- 89 EUR (currently about £78)
- Private Keys Stored by
- What it is
A USB device that stores cryptocurrency keys (i.e. a ‘cold’ wallet, as it spends most of its time disconnected from the Internet.
Trezor is one of the best-known brands in cryptocurrency storage. First invented in August 2014, it was the original cold-storage option to keep cryptocurrency holdings as safe as they can be. Indeed, many users call Trezor a ‘cryptocurrency safe’, comparing it to a metal box that is heavily locked up and stores items of high value. Trezor’s own slogan is “The Bitcoin Safe”.
Trezor supports fifteen different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, DASH, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Ethereum Classic.
Out of 16 user reviews, 9 gave Trezor the top 5-star rating, with an average rating of 3.6 stars. The wallet can be bought at www.buytrezor.com.
Trezor is definitely the go-to option for those looking to maximise security in their transactions. Private keys are stored entirely on the device, and never sent online. The device signs the transaction itself, and if I look at the built-in OLED display, I receive a visual notification when the transaction is signed. Even if my computer happens to be infected, the device itself will not be, and the funds will be safe, because the private key cannot be harvested off the device. Another advantage of the visual notification system is that it informs me whenever a transaction has occurred, so that I know if anyone is attempting to hack it.
When I install the device, I set up a PIN code, which my computer automatically encrypts, and it cannot be stored by a keylogger. Any subsequent use of the device to send money requires entry of this PIN code. If someone steals the device, they have to try and guess the PIN, which is extremely difficult to do, because after each incorrect guess, they have to wait exponentially longer before trying again.
With a Trezor device, my cryptocurrency is backed up with a seed key that I wrote down when I first initialised the device. Once written, this seed key must be stored in an extremely safe place, because another person could theoretically access my cryptocurrency if they knew my seed key. Some people can memorise theirs with a mnemonic. If you think that you may be a target for cryptocurrency theft, store your backup seed key in a different location to your Trezor device.
Trezor requires full node validation, which is a high level of online transaction security as only fully compliant nodes can validate a Trezor transaction. This is relevant for when I want to send my cryptocurrency to a hot wallet, or for when I transact from my computer.
Trezor only has medium anonymity, because it is effectively designed for me to have as few wallet addresses as possible. It is possible for an address to become associated with a user, especially if they have enabled online payments as a vendor. For this reason, it is better not to use a Trezor for transactions that you intend to keep private.
I can set up two-factor authentication for all payments if I want to, which will then check both for a given Trezor device and for being plugged into a pre-authorised computer. This is yet another way of preventing someone who stole only the Trezor device from accessing funds.
Trezor’s password manager also contains one rather interesting feature, which I will call Anti-Duress. If set up correctly, if I am forced by threat of violence to enter my password to use it, I can enter a secondary ‘duress’ password that will appear to work correctly by bringing up a wallet that has much less value than my primary one. This means that a robber may get away with far less than they were hoping for – as long as I don’t already have a reputation as someone who has massive cryptocurrency holdings. Even if this robber ends up taking away the physical device, I can still access your primary wallet by use of the seed key as soon as I am safe from any threat.
Using this Wallet
Despite all the security layers of using Trezor, it is still a relatively simple device to understand and use. Whenever you unplug the device, it is automatically ‘locked’ and needs to be unlocked with the PIN code. If you wish to make a payment, you open your bundled Trezor Wallet software and enter the address, or alternatively, display the QR code to your computer’s webcam. You can send to multiple addresses at a time too, in order to save on transaction fees. The payment will then appear on the device, and if the address displayed is correct, then press the Confirm button.
Trezor might be very secure, but one thing that it is definitely not designed for is mobile payments. If you like to shop on the go, it may be beneficial for you to have a hot wallet that you use specifically for the purpose of shopping. What you can do then is use Trezor to transfer money to your hot mobile wallet and then use the hot wallet like you would a debit card.
If you have a Trezor device, it is best that you hide it well, where no one else can find it. If your seed key is written down anywhere, it is even more critical that you hide this piece of writing well – possibly consider storing it away from your home or business addresses, and instead consider leaving it in the possession of an extremely well-trusted friend.
Alternatives to this wallet
The wallet system most similar to Trezor is the Ledger Nano wallet. Complaints and compliments exist in roughly equal number for each device, but they are not especially different from each other.
One other way to use cold storage is to use a paper wallet, which you can do with the Mycelium Entropy system, or create online at WalletGenerator.net).
A majority of other wallets are called ‘hot’ wallets and are always connected to the Internet. For this reason, such wallets are very different from USB-device hardware wallets, in that they are a lot more convenient and vastly less secure.
If you are the type of person who stores a lot of cryptocurrency, especially if this cryptocurrency should constitute a large percentage of your total net worth, Trezor is an indispensable device that you should not find yourself without. Effectively, Trezor is designed for investors, not for traders. Its use case is not designed for taking around with you and using to transact, buy and sell with – you will have to use a hot wallet if you want to do this.
Therefore, if you are an investor who wishes to hold on to cryptocurrency for an extended period of time and sell when the time is right, I would certainly recommend Trezor to keep your cryptocurrency safe. As such, Trezor is useful for intermediate and advanced users. Beginner users may find a use for it too, and it is not especially difficult to use. It is intuitive and helps to give the user an introduction to the crypto world. My only potential concerns for beginner users include accidental loss of the device, accidental loss of the seed key, and surprisingly high transaction fees when swapping cryptocurrency between wallets.