We have all heard horror stories, ranging from the man who lost 7,500 BTC after accidentally tossing his hard drive, to the unfortunate thousands of people who have fallen victim to one of the numerous exchange hacks of the years.
Despite the woeful situation at the moment, surprisingly few people take control over their funds, and opt to securely store them in cold-storage. Part of the reason is likely due to misconceptions regarding both the cost and learning curve associated with using cryptocurrency hardware wallets — both of which have reduced considerably in recent times.
If you are a cryptocurrency holder still sitting on the fence over whether you need a hardware wallet or not, consider these three points to help make your choice;
The Markets are Recovering, Protect your Portfolio
Since the start of 2019, the great majority of major cryptocurrencies have witnessed a remarkable recovery, many of which have gained more than 50% since the start of the year. If Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies continue on this bullish trajectory, it might not be long until they again reach their all-time highest value, potentially making your portfolio quite the goldmine.
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) May 9, 2019
Unfortunately, in the crypto world, hacks and thefts are far more common than anybody would like, and those who store their funds in exchange wallets are particularly at risk. In 2019 alone there have been several prominent hacks, with the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchange Binance being hacked for $50 million, whereas Korean exchange Bithumb was hacked for the third time in two years!
Because of this, although storing your funds on an exchange or web wallet is convenient, it comes with significant risk — all of which can be avoided by simply taking back control of your private keys, and storing your funds on one of the myriad hardware wallets available.
Hardware Wallets are Better Now
If you have been invested in cryptocurrencies for several years now, you may be stuck with the opinion that hardware wallets are these restrictive cold-storage devices that only let you store a small variety of cryptocurrencies.
While this might have been true for first-generation hardware wallets, this is certainly not the case for current generation wallets, which are often compatible with an extraordinary number of digital assets. Looking at the Ledger Nano S and Trezor One as examples, we find that both are compatible with well over 1,000 cryptocurrencies and tokens, including almost all of the most popular cryptocurrencies.
Beyond the wide variety of cryptocurrencies they support, some modern hardware wallets, such as the Trezor Model T and Ledger Blue also have much larger displays with a touch-screen interface — making the navigating and using the device much easier. This is also taken a step further by Bluetooth-enabled wallets such as the Coolwallet S and Ledger Nano X, both which can be used wirelessly.
If that wasn’t enough, many hardware wallets can also be used as FIDO two-factor authentication devices, helping you secure more than just your cryptocurrencies.
During a Bull Run Prices Increase
Arguably one of the most appealing reasons to purchase a cryptocurrency hardware wallet sooner, rather than later is the tendency of these wallets to increase in price as the market picks up. Since we are likely at the very base of a new 2019 bull run, cryptocurrency hardware wallets are already beginning to increase in demand — and as we all know from Economics 101, increased demand usually leads to increased prices.
As it stands, the most popular hardware wallets currently range between $69 and $99, which is close to their lowest price ever. However, if history tells us anything, it’s that during times of peak demand, popular hardware wallets such as the Ledger Nano S and Trezor Model One regularly go out of stock. When this happens, the remaining resellers and third-party merchants hike up their prices, often to ridiculous extremes.
Because of this, it is a good idea to get your hands on a hardware wallet while they are still cheap, or run the risk of being forced to pay over the odds when the supply dwindles. Alternatively, if you’re just making your first steps into the world of crypto investments, it might be wise to test the waters with a budget hardware wallet first.
Image credits: Ledger, Trezor