When you first hear the term “altcoin,” you might immediately think of one of the biggest names in cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. However, altcoin refers to a broad spectrum of literally hundreds of different cryptocurrencies that provide an alternative to Bitcoin.
If you’re interested in buying any cryptocurrency, Bitcoin or altcoin, then you’ll need a wallet that can safely stow your access to your tokens or coins. A wallet features a set of public and private keys to get into to the coins held by the wallet and algorithms that manage those keys and let you carry out transactions in a digital currency network.
The wallet doesn’t store the actual cryptocurrency which stays in the virtual space but does hold your keys and prevents them from being exposed to online hackers who could take your keys to gain access to your digital currency.
Hardware wallets are known as “cold” wallets. A “hot” wallet is an online one. And since everything online faces some risk of being hacked, hot wallets attract viruses and attacks from hackers. A cold wallet is secure because it’s offline and you can’t lose the contents on the Internet.
Are you really running that great of a risk by leaving your digital currency online and not storing your keys in a cold wallet? Well, cryptocurrency funds stored in exchanges are saved in servers connected online which leaves them open to theft. $473 million of Bitcoin was stolen in the notorious Mt. Gox hack of 2014.
For the most part, hardware wallets:
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Top 8 Best Hardware Wallet for Altcoins
The Trezor One provides a high level of security for digital currency, manages passwords, offers second-factor authentication, but is designed to be easy to use for beginners and experts alike. You can demonstrate your ownership or confirm someone else’s, and you can also link it to third-party wallets and services.
The Trezor One has a quick setup process that allows you to get started quickly through a private, secure procedure. It has an innate interface to enhance your experience and security regardless of how protected your internet connection is, includes a touchscreen for offline transaction signing and verifying contents, and has a speedy processor.
It comes in a secure box with anti-tamper tape that establishes the device hasn’t been manipulated with before you receive it. You can use the Trezor One to protect altcoins like Ethereum, Stellar, Litecoin and hundreds more.
Over 500 reviewers on Amazon give the Trezor One a four or five-star rating saying its one of the best ways to get your keys offline, easy to install, and allows you to set up hidden wallets encrypted with a passphrase. However, some warn that because it is so small, you have to take care not to lose it and the small screen can be hard to read when confirming the address of a recipient’s wallet address.
The CoolWallet S is the first wireless hardware wallet, so you don’t have plug it into your desktop to use it. You can actually use it with either an iPhone (iOS 9.1 or later) or Android mobile device. It’s the size of a credit card so that you can carry it on you in your wallet or purse and it’s also waterproof.
Your private keys are backed up on a recovery sheet of 17 words which you can use to restore your keys to any CoolWallet S or other BIP39-compatible wallets. You should be able to get about two weeks of use from one wireless charge, which takes about an hour and a half to complete.
The CoolWallet S supports Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, and ERC20 tokens and you can confirm transactions or check balances on the display screen. It’s backed by military-grade Bluetooth encryption to allow you to conduct transactions, including exchanging currencies, wherever you go after you complete the three verification steps to ensure your resources are secured.
Many like the convenience of being able to check their wallet from anywhere and that it links to their phone. Others say it was easy to set up and that it provides a middle ground between the traditional hardware cold wallet and online hot wallet.
If you’re looking for an altcoin hardware wallet that won’t have you squinting at the tiny screen to read your transactions, then you might be interested in the Ellipal. It has a 4-inch touchscreen that allows you to see your transactions clearly and avoid any errors.
The Ellipal is a cold wallet that allows you to not only store your cryptocurrencies but also to exchange and trade them. It works with a companion app that you can access through your Android or iOS device to connect to exchanges, manage your accounts, and access real-time market information.
Ellipal buyers like how the device handles the private key signing of transactions and feel that it’s convenient and has helped to keep their cryptocurrency safe.
The Temexe X wallet has an Android and iOS app so that besides managing your cryptocurrency from a desktop environment, you can conduct mobile transactions as well. It has a Bluetooth 4.0 military grade encryption algorithm to protect any exchanges made from your mobile device and 256-bit hardware encryption to add another layer of security for your private key.
Each time you pair the Temexe X to your phone, it requires a PIN which protects you if anyone tries to steal your wallet and match it to their phone. If your Temexe X is lost or stolen, you can perform a backup using a recovery phrase on any new hardware wallet to restore your cryptocurrency seeds.
The Temexe X can store up to 500 different wallets and the altcoins supported are increased through
Over 75 percent of people who have reviewed the Temexe X have given the hardware wallet a five-star rating citing that it is easy to use and felt it was a good value for Amazon’s price of $70 although some buyers say that despite the encryption, having a Bluetooth element means its not a cold wallet.
RATING: 4 /5
The Trezor Model T wallet has an Android and iOS app so that besides managing your cryptocurrency from a desktop environment, you can conduct mobile transactions as well. It has a Bluetooth 4.0 military grade encryption algorithm to protect any exchanges made from your mobile device and 256-bit hardware encryption to add another layer of security for your private key.
Each time you pair the Trezor Model T to your phone, it requires a PIN which protects you if anyone tries to steal your wallet and match it to their phone. If your Trezor Model T is lost or stolen, you can perform a backup using a recovery phrase on any new hardware wallet to restore your cryptocurrency seeds.
The Trezor Model T can store up to 500 different wallets and the altcoins supported are increased through
Over 75 percent of people who have reviewed the Trezor Model T have given the hardware wallet a five-star rating citing that it is easy to use and felt it was a good value for Amazon’s price of $70 although some buyers say that despite the encryption, having a Bluetooth element means its not a cold wallet.
RATING: 4 /5
The Kasse Hardware Wallet has BIP39 universal compatibility so you’ll set up a 12-24 word seed and passphrase that you can use to recover your information should you lose it or transition to another wallet. It’s intended for use with either a Windows or Mac operating system and requires verification of your user-created PIN to gain access to the wallet.
You can use the Kasse wallet for Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin, Qtum, Ripple, Zcash, and Hyundai DAC with plans to add more cryptocurrencies as well as Linux and mobile access soon. Their software also supports ECR20 tokens.
Some reviewers say the Kasse is more affordable than the Nano and easier to use than the Trezor and others say it’s one of the safest wallets for those holding cryptocurrencies for the long term. Others feel that its association with Hyundai Pay lends to the wallet’s credibility.
However, some feel that it’s limited and are waiting for Kasse to support more coins.
With the Ledger Nano S, your accounts are backed up to a recovery sheet which allows for faster restoration to any Ledger device or wallets that are compatible. It has an anti-malware second factor so you can confirm transactions of over 25 altcoins on the device’s display and confirm by using the physical buttons.
The Ledger Nano S uses the FIDO Universal Second Factor authentication standard on Dropbox, Github, Dashlane, or Google. Protect your private key within a secure chip locked by a PIN.
Over 1.2 million units of the Ledger Nano S have been sold making it one of the top-selling hardware cryptocurrency wallets. Despite that, the Ledger only has an overall three-and-a-half star rating on Amazon with buyers saying the wallet limits you to four cryptocurrency wallets at a time, the displayed information is basic, and it’s slow to synchronize.
KeepKey doesn’t have an operating system which prevents hackers from being able to use malware, keyloggers, or viruses to infect the device and gain access to your keys. When you first set it up, you can create a twelve-word recovery sentence to backup your KeepKey which allows you to regain access to your keys if your device is ever lost or stolen.
KeepKey supports altcoins like Ethereum, Namecoin, Dogecoin, Dash, Testnet, Litecoin and many others. It is combined with Shapeshift to facilitate transactions between supported assets. Besides working on PCs, Macs, and Linux operating systems, you can also use it on Android.
KeepKey is a USB HID device like a keyboard or mouse, you can plug it into a USB port, and it will work without needing to install any drivers. Approve all transactions by verifying the information on the display and using the confirmation button.
Although over 70 percent of reviewers on Amazon rate the KeepKey within the four or five-star category, over 20 percent give it only one or two stars, which is not ideal when you’re dealing with transaction security. So, it’s a toss-up as to why so many people find it’s easy to use and have had a positive experience but nearly a quarter of reviewers disagree.
When you’re shopping around for the best hardware wallet for altcoins, there are a few things most buyers are looking for.