2013 was quite a year in the world of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin was peaking at around $700 which at the time seemed like the highest it would get, a laughable though now that the coin fluctuates that amount in a matter of hours these days. Bitcoin would begin its slow descent back down to around $200, supporters were wavering, as many long-time holders were beginning to sell. Many people just associated Bitcoin with illegal activities on the recently shut down silk road 1.0 and 2.0. Thankfully the recent downturn in support of the coin didn't discourage Satoshilabs, a software and hardware security company based out of the Czech Republic. They launched a product, which at the time was unheard of, a product that would become the first of many Bitcoin hardware wallets. The TREZOR.
So what makes a hardware wallet so great? Well, it is the most secure way currently to store coins while still making it easy to send and receive. Here is a basic rundown, anyone who has your private key can access your coins, this, while giving users complete control their coin, opens up a new world of problems, if a scammer or some other unsavory person comes across your keys you may lose your data, and by data I mean coin. Online, and other “Hot Wallets” generate your keys while connected to the internet in a not-so-closed environment, so if you happen to have a virus or malware on the device it is created on the data may become compromised. TREZOR solved this problem by creating a new piece of hardware that generated the keys to your wallet in its own environment, a true Cold Wallet, meaning you can generate your keys in a safe environment and plug it into your computer, infected or not, and still have a secure transaction.
The TREZOR wallet provides security both virtually and physically. Users are in control of their keys which are protected by a 24 word seed generated during the set-up of the device. Users may also set up an addition passphrase as a 25th word for additional security. If your device is lost or stolen you can recover them using the 24 word seed onto another Trezor device or another wallet like Electrum or Mycelium, if you set up the 25th word though, make sure not to loose it, you'll need it in case you need to recover, and without it your coins could be lost forever.
Trezor Wallet Features
The TREZOR features a small LED screen that displays transactions and pins. The Pin is created at set up and is required for any spending, make sure not to mess it up though as the wait time between allowed guesses increases 2x for every incorrect guess, and no one wants to wait 30 years to get into their wallet. A neat security feature of the TREZOR are the 2 physical buttons below the screen, not only are they fun to press, but they can be used for document signing, as well as being required to physically press in order to send transactions from the device, meaning unless someone steals the device, figures out the pin and passphrase, your coins are pretty safe.
What cryptocurrency does Trezor support?
TREZOR support multiple alt coins as well as bitcoin and is always expanding their support. The devices don't have any serial numbers, no usernames and passwords are needed and the software is open source, so unlike most other companies in this day and age Satoshilabs isn't going to try and track you.
Of course the amount of true security depends on how you set up the device, and the software you use once connected, TREZOR supports tons of online wallets as well as TREZORS own “myWallet” it is recommended to download the chrome extension in order to set it up on a computer that is offline, to avoid any issues with security. TREZOR now offers two factor authentication for added security, instead of traditional two factor authorization the wallet utilizes universal second factor (U2F), which never reveals sensitive information.
Trezor Model T
SatoshiLabs is launching a new version of the TREZOR soon named the “Model T” which is currently available for pre-order. The model T offers just as much security as its predecessor. The first thing you'll notice is the much larger screen color screen and lack of buttons underneath. There are many other slight improvements, different connectors, more support with alt coins and as always the firmware is going to remain open source in order to constantly improve upon itself. The price tag for this new version is going to be around $175 which isn't too bad.
Even with all the new wallets being release TREZOR remains a classic, easy to use, powerhouse of a device. I don't think the TREZOR is going anywhere soon and will more than likely be around for many years to come.