The number of available hardware wallets on the market appears to be increasing on a yearly basis, but two options that have been around for at least five years now are the KeepKey and the Trezor One. The Trezor One was first made available all the way back in 2014, while the KeepKey followed a year later. These two devices are pretty well-known by cryptocurrency enthusiasts at this point, but they’re still available as budget options that can get the job done when it comes to private key security.
By: Arthur Crowson | Jun 18, 2020 | Modified Sep 25, 2020
The KeepKey was the third major hardware wallet offering to appear after devices were made available by Ledger and Trezor. While Ledger and Trezor are still the two most well-known brands in the hardware wallet space, KeepKey was able to carve out its own space in the market and eventually get acquired by well-known cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift in 2017.
The Trezor One is one of the most important hardware wallets of all time because it was also the first device on the market. Although this hardware wallet has been on the market since 2014, it includes all of the features a cryptocurrency user needs to secure their coins properly and keep them out of the hands of nefarious actors on the internet.
|Headquarters:||Denver, Colorado||Prague, Czech Republic|
|Security features:||PIN code, recovery phrase, passphrase||Open-source firmware, passphrase, PIN codes|
|Available cryptocurrencies:||Bitcoin, Ethereum ( Total 9 supported )||Bitcoin, Ethereum (1,000+)|
Hardware wallets tend to give a lot of attention to user experience. Hardware options are intended to make it much easier for the average person to make sure that their coins are being stored in a safe location and away from the internet. That said, the KeepKey hardware wallet is not quite as good as the Trezor One when it comes to beginner friendliness.
In short, there are a few features that make the Trezor One a much better option than the KeepKey for beginners. For one, the number of cryptocurrencies supported on KeepKey may not be the best option for new users looking to store a wider range of cryptocurrencies. Also, a user may find that not all cryptocurrency wallet softwares work with their KeepKey device. This is not a problem for a user who is just starting off with crypto, but may be hard for someone who already has cryptocurrencies stored in different software wallets.
Both Trezor and KeepKey have faced a number of security issues over the years, but the Trezor comes out on top when it comes to a general rating of trust and security. Trezor is one of the most-trusted brands in the hardware wallet space, while KeepKey is making its way into the market to gain user trust.
That said, KeepKey and Trezor devices work on a similar security setup in that they both operate with open-source firmware. This is in contrast to Ledger, where the Secure Element used to secure private keys is less transparent.
While the security setup of these devices is somewhat similar under the hood, they look like two completely different hardware devices from the outside. The KeepKey includes a much sleeker design that includes a better-looking display, while the Trezor One comes in a plastic casing that leaves something to be desired in terms of aesthetic appeal. That said, these two devices function in a very similar manner.
Neither of these hardware wallets comes with a touchscreen, which makes it much easier to use a cryptocurrency hardware wallet in a secure manner. The use of physical buttons on the hardware does make it possible for the user to interact with the device without inputting sensitive information into their smartphone or laptop computer. That said, the inclusion of two buttons on the Trezor One improves the user experience of interacting with the hardware in some situations, as compared to the single button structure of the KeepKey.
Both the KeepKey and the Trezor One have their own native software applications that can be used to set up the devices. The installation and set up process is going to be pretty similar with both devices. In both setups, the user is asked to create a PIN and backup their seed phrase before using the device for real-world transactions.
One notable difference between the KeepKey and Trezor One set up processes is that KeepKey will not ask for the backup phrase before activating the device. New users need to be extra diligent to remember to backup their seed phrase in this case. If the seed phrase is lost, there is no other way to recover funds from the wallet.
Cryptocurrency support is where you can see a clear difference between the KeepKey and the Trezor One. While the Trezor One does not support as many crypto assets as its successor, the Trezor Model T, the first device from Trezor still supports many more crypto assets than what’s available in KeepKey.
The KeepKey supports nine cryptocurrencies, in addition to a much larger variety of ERC-20 tokens from the Ethereum network. Before making a decision to purchase either wallet, you should check to see if the cryptocurrencies you wish to store are supported by either KeepKey or Trezor One.
Trezor One and KeepKey are compatible with software wallets and browser extensions. The number of wallets that build integration software with both wallets is growing each day, although there is a greater chance that more wallets are compatible with Trezor One since it supports more cryptocurrencies.
Both of these hardware cryptocurrency wallets will work with apps on your desktop computer, smartphone, or laptop. Although, it should be noted that smartphone support for the Trezor One is much greater than for KeepKey. That said, KeepKey can be connected to Android-based smartphones to access the Mycelium wallet.
As these are both first-generation hardware wallets, there is not much to look at in terms of stand out features. In terms of the Trezor One, it has been around since 2014. The KeepKey hardware device came a year after the Trezor One, and it mostly uses the same security model as the Trezor One.
In terms of the KeepKey, one point of differentiation is the price point. It offers a high level of security for a hardware device and is less expensive than the Trezor One.
Both of these hardware devices will be useful in securing your cryptocurrency private keys. That said, the Trezor One offers a variety of additional features for users who are willing to pay an extra $5 for the device.
At the end of the day, it depends on what you’re planning to store on your hardware device that will impact your decision to go with Trezor One of KeepKey. Both hardware wallets offer a high level of security and come at a good price. The decision of what works best for you is wholly dependent on which hardware wallet supports the cryptocurrencies you wish to store.