In the earliest days of Bitcoin, traders, investors, and enthusiasts had only the most rudimentary ways to store their cryptocurrency. Amidst these basic software wallets, SatoshiLabs was the first company to provide a solution for investors who didn’t need on-demand access to the market. For those wanting to “keep it secret, keep it safe”, their Trezor product was a groundbreaking solution and still lives up to its reputation for safety.
Trezor is Czech for ‘vault’, and it is indeed an impenetrable treasury for one’s private wallet keys. By adding an extra security layer to all outbound transactions and a new wallet recovery system on the device itself, Trezor laid the foundations for other hardware wallets like the Ledger Nano S.
Trezor Wallet Security
Using a hardware wallet like the Trezor is the safest way to store your cryptocurrency. Trezor devices are not connected to the internet and keep the private keys to your various blockchain wallets using secure encryption, a PIN code input into the wallet itself, and a long-tail passphrase. The PIN protects the device, while the 24-word phrase grants access to the wallet’s deposit and withdraw functions. It can also be used as a backup, to restore your private key (and the contents of its wallet) onto a new hardware wallet , should you lose yours. Additionally, the wallet is compatible with all BIP39 and BIP44 wallets, so the 24-word seed can be used to restore access via many other wallets, both hardware and software.
At some point, the hardware must be connected to the internet via a cable that comes with it and works with any standard USB input. This is the only time when the wallet is vulnerable, though it is mostly used with SatoshiLabs’ own protected applications, which are very secure. Another point in this wallet solution’s favor is the unique PIN system. The way that the PIN feature works is special in regards to other hardware wallets, and arguably more secure. It incorporates a constantly-changing 2FA-esque code, so you must have the device to log in on your browser.
One potential security flaw is that non-native applications are available for some people use with their Trezor, to support cryptocurrencies that haven’t yet received a native app from SatoshiLabs. Though over 500 cryptocurrencies can be used in conjunction with Trezor, only a handful have official support. This is a slight risk to the person who chooses the unofficial option, but it is not mandatory, of course. The company was even thoughtful enough to make it possible to have multiple accounts, so that if someone forces you to access it under duress, it’ll only display your secondary account’s minor balance, for example.
It’s simple to set up and begin using a Trezor, and to dust it off and get it running again after it’s sat a while. New users will first be prompted to install the latest firmware when connecting the USB initially, and after it’s downloaded from the company website, you’ll need to input the PIN displayed on the screen into your browser. The next step is to write down the 24-word private key phrase that is shown, and Trezor even provides a small piece of paper for this very purpose.
Trezor operates through one’s internet browser via the company website, so there are no extra applications to download (unless you need a non-native cryptocurrency storage solution). The website requires your Trezor to be connected to access your wallet contents, but this isn’t the worst method, as a keyboard and mouse make entering the PIN and key phrase easy. Otherwise, using one’s cryptocurrency is as simple as it is with any other blockchain wallet. There are clear Deposit and Withdraw buttons, lists to show balances per coin, and of course both My Account tab that allows you to change your preferences.
Sending and receiving crypto is easy, and the speed of the transaction depends largely on the specific blockchain and the fees chosen. Users can choose the lowest possible fees and wait for their turn in line, or opt into high fees and push their transaction to the front of the next block.
Like the Ledger Nano S, SatoshiLabs doesn’t provide customer support over the phone. However, this is expected, considering that most issues experienced are not unique and can likely be solved with Trezor’s thorough FAQs section. Other questions, problems, or comments are welcomes on the r/Trezor subreddit, which has almost 9,000 active subscribers. The company is also active on Twitter, and will respond relatively quickly when you tweet something relevant and productive at them. They aren’t known to answer basic troubleshooting questions via Twitter, however.
Banking With Trezor
Trezor was the first hardware wallet to hit the young cryptocurrency scene, and is still popular today due to its unmatched effectiveness. While it is a bit more complicated to use than the Ledger Nano S, it packs increased utility, and support more cryptocurrencies for those looking to circumvent its supported software. Still, for basic cryptocurrency holding and occasional spending, there is no safer solution.