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Trezor Vs. Ledger Vs. BC Vault Review – An Updated Analysis [April 2019]

· 03 Apr 2019 in Analysis, Guides

After you’ve made the choice to be part of the cryptocurrency craze, you’ve acquired Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin or other cryptocurrency and you’re HODLing. Now what? Well, your top priority is to protect your digital assets.

Hardware wallets are usually the safest and are the preferred storage method for many cryptocurrency holders. Typically, these wallets connect to a computer via a USB port or a handheld device via Bluetooth.

There are two mainstream hardware wallets on the market – Trezor and Ledger Nano S and a new powerful competitor – BC Vault

Both Trezor and Ledger have established themselves as popular cold wallet options. BC Vault is a recently launched product made by a security focused company. They have a few major benefits over Trezor and Ledger that we’ll look into below.

All of these wallets save your cryptocurrency private key in an offline environment, so that hackers can’t steal your private key. For anyone to steal your coins, they’d need to steal your hardware wallet and somehow get you to give them your password and PIN code.

Advantages of Hardware wallets

  • The private key information is kept safe within the hardware and is never exposed to the working system.
  • Hardware wallets are resistant to any malicious software designed to root out private keys and steal funds.
  • If you happen to lose your wallet, you can always recover your coins using a seed recovery phrase or other backup methods (BC VAULT).
  • Before spending any coin, the hardware wallet will request you to confirm the transaction on your computer. This ensures no coin is spent without your knowledge.
  • Wallets are secured by encryption with a PIN code like debit cards, which adds more security to your digital assets.
  • Most hardware wallets are able to support multiple cryptocurrencies.

So which is the best hardware wallet? We think it’s best to let the features speak for themselves.

Trezor Review

Trezor hardware wallet was launched in the summer of 2014 by a Czech-Republic-based startup – SatoshiLabs. It was the first Bitcoin wallet on the market and probably the most reputable one as well. It offers a combination of secure cold storage and the ability to spend cryptocurrencies with the same convenience as a hot wallet. It allows you to store your private keys and digitally sign transactions without any Internet connection.

Trezor Wallet attached to c omputer e1514611511143

Source: https://www.easycoinbuy.com

Ledger Nano S Review

The Ledger Nano S hardware wallet is the brainchild of eight experts from a France-based company called Ledger. Launched in 2014, Ledger is a very secure alternative for storing and managing cryptocurrencies. The Nano S offers a variety of nice features. In addition to the already appealing design, the hardware wallet based on the BOLOS platform is a small cryptographic wonder with high-security features like BIP39 Seed (12 to 24 words) and 4-digit login PIN code.

ledger wallet review 1

Source: ledger.com

BC Vault Review

BC Vault is a hardware wallet created by Real Security. They’re a company focused on cyber security and the hosts of the biggest security conference from the Adriatic region – RISK Conference.

BC Vault was created because established hardware wallets like Trezor and Ledger do not focus 100% on their issues. For example, Saleem Rashid posted a major Ledger security issue on his website. Bitcoin Magazine also reported an article about the Wallet.Fail demonstration . The response from Ledger & Trezor appeared pretty soon, but they weren’t exactly what the crypto community was expecting. That’s why BC Vault came to life, so your funds can be secured by a team focused solely on security.

Moreover, each BC Vault is shipped pre-loaded with a private key, encrypted as every wallet on the device. The key corresponds to a public address that owns 1.0 BTC. Break it and those funds are yours. This reminds us of the ESG glass story – which put $3 million in cash in a bus stop and whoever could break it – could take the money home. The money is there even now.

Moreover, BC Vault is protected by a global PIN and a password – both needed to access your funds. You can see more details about how to set it up in the video. Another interesting thing that needs to be mentioned about BC Vault is the fact that they don’t even use BIP39/44 and its the first commercially available multi-crypto wallet with secure backups by default. The private keys are encrypted and stored in a state of the art store medium – Ferroelectric RAM. FRAM has retention of data measured in decades and supports many more write cycles as traditional Flash storage.

User Interface And Design

In terms of design, the wallets are practically the same. All three are small and compact. They should comfortably fit in your pocket and be usable in one hand. However, Ledger Nano S has a slight advantage, in the sense that it boasts a stainless steel casing which is pretty robust. Trezor is made out of plastic but is more compact than Ledger Nano S.

Ledger and Trezor both have two physical buttons that are used to confirm or deny the action. Moreover, each fully utilizes its screen which shows transaction information. It is worth noting that Trezor’s display is slightly larger than Ledger’s screen. However, that doesn’t have an impact on performance. The wallets come in the form of a tiny attachment to the USB port. You can connect your device to a PC, smartphone or any other device using the USB cable.

Ledger’s weight is 16.2 grams and its dimensions are – 98mm x 18mm long x 9mm thick. The Trezor Wallet weighs 12 grams and is definitely smaller (30mm x 60mm long and 6mm thick), which makes it more portable and easier to carry in your pocket.

BC Vault on the other hand is a bit different. The sizes are 100mm x 57mm x 10mm (3.937’’ x 2.244’’ 0.394’’). The weight is a bit more than an average Trezor or Ledger, with 41 grams. The operating temperature can be between 0 and +60 Celsius grades and the device has an OLED screen of 61.5 mm (128×64) pixels. The bigger screen is a major plus for BC Vault as it makes reading the address and confirming a transaction way easier than it would be by using a Ledger or a Trezor.

You can connect the BC Vault to your laptop by using a USB type-C cable and the best part about it is that it has an additional slot for a Micro SD which comes included with the device.

What’s inside the Trezor, Ledger and BC Vault retail package?

Trezor

  • Trezor device
  • USB cable
  • Strap
  • User manual
  • Two recovery Seed Cards

Ledger Nano S

  • Ledger Nano S device
  • Start manual
  • Keyring, lanyard, and other resources
  • Recovery card
  • USB cable

BC Vault

  • The BC Vault One hardware crypto vault
  • Sticker
  • USB-C cable
  • User manual
  • 1 GB microSD card

Using The Device

Both Trezor and Ledger support a variety of operating systems (OS). They work with Windows, Mac and Linux Operating Systems. You will need to connect the devices to a computer via a micro-USB cable. Also, they both support nearly all Android devices. Trezor has a Google Chrome extension that features a standalone device management. The extension allows applications and websites to communicate with a Trezor device. BC Vault is not different at this. The new vault for cryptocurrencies have an application for OS X, Windows and Linux. Moreover, the BC Vault is supported on a wide variety of browsers such as: Firefox 52+, Chrome 50+, Opera 51+, Safari 11+ and IE 11+ (all new version). Moreover, with the launch of BC Vault 1.2.1 – the web daemon of it now allows 3rd parties to integrate the BC Vault functionality in their webpages.

Security

On the security part, it feels that new is sometimes better. BC Vault gained an advantage here by not using BIP39/44 and instead stores the private keys on a Ferroelectric RAM – which has more writing cycles supported than a traditional flash storage. You can also do secure backups either to an Encrypted MicroSD (there’s a 1 GB one included ) or in the form of printable QR codes.


On another note, both Ledger and Trezor use deterministic wallets – which means that multiple wallets on the same device can be tracked back to the same seed. BC Vault doesn’t do that. They use non-deterministic wallets – so wallets cannot be mathematically linked. Each wallet is generated using a true RNG (random number generator). The RNG is initialized with a gyro sensor by shaking the BC Vault at the setup. Also, on a Ledger you have the same passcode for any wallets that you’d try to login. BC Vault is a bit different here, you can have more than 2000 unique wallets, each encrypted with additional and different passwords – basically, it’s almost like a MultiSig.

For the Bitcoin wallet, BC Vault supports both SegWit and Legacy – same as their competitors. The difference is that using BC Vault – you can use it as a single wallet.

Cryptocurrencies Supported

Both Trezor and Ledger support most of the popular digital currencies. At the time of this writing, the Trezor’s and Ledger’s list of supported digital coins include:

Trezor Supports:

  1. Bitcoin
  2. Ethereum
  3. Bitcoin Cash
  4. Litecoin
  5. Bitcoin Gold
  6. Ethereum Classic
  7. Dash
  8. DogeCoin
  9. Zcash
  10. NameCoin
  11. NEM
  12. Expanse
  13. ERC-20 Tokens
  14. UBQ

Ledger Nano S Supports:

The Ledger Nano S offers support for more cryptocurrencies than Trezor. Therefore, if you want to buy and sell multiple cryptocurrencies, Ledger may be more suitable. Cryptocurrencies supported by Ledger:

  1. Bitcoin
  2. Bitcoin Gold
  3. Bitcoin Cash
  4. Ethereum
  5. Ethereum Classic
  6. Ripple
  7. Zcash
  8. PIVX
  9. Digibyte
  10. Qtum
  11. Komodo
  12. Dash
  13. Litecoin
  14. Dogecoin
  15. PoSW
  16. Zencash
  17. BTCP
  18. Stealthcoin
  19. Neo
  20. Ark
  21. ERC-20 Tokens
  22. Stellar
  23. Stratis
  24. Ubiq
  25. Viacoin
  26. Vertcoin

BC Vault Supports

There are a lot of cryptocurrencies supported by BC Vault. All the ERC-20 native tokens are supported by BC Vault. The total number of these raises to more than 177,000 – though in circulations and daily usage – there are a lot less. Other cryptocurrencies that are natively accepted by BC Vault are:

  1. Bitcoin
  2. Ethereum
  3. Bitcoin Cash
  4. Litecoin
  5. Ripple
  6. Stellar
  7. Dogecoin
  8. Dash
  9. TRON
  10. VECHAIN
  11. BINANCE COIN
  12. ICON
  13. OmiseGO
  14. WaltonChain
  15. Polymath
  16. 0x
  17. Salt
  18. Cindicator
  19. Dynamic Trading Rights
  20. Iconomi
  21. OriginTrail
  22. Viberate
  23. CargoX
  24. InsurePal
  25. Xaurum

Price Points

Trezor Model T – $169 / €149

Trezor One White – $79 / €69

Ledger Nano X – $133 / €118

Ledger Nano S – $67 / €59

Ledger Blue – $309 / €272

BC Vault – $149 / €131

Final Thoughts

Our overall feeling is that all the hardware wallets mentioned above are worth trying. Each have a few unique things that makes them special. We personally use one of each to keep a portion of our crypto investments there and we’re happy with all of them.

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