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This is a promoted article by SatoshiLabs.

Securing BTC in a hardware wallet is often seen as a critical step to take when getting serious about Bitcoin. But this suggests a certain level of expertise or a large enough investment has been made before making the proper effort to secure it, which is not the case. By design, the only way to own cryptocurrency is to own the private keys, so the logical first step is to properly secure them, not to wait until becoming more “serious.”

Anyone reading this article with a bit of hard-won experience will find it easy to envy newcomers. User experience has finally started to catch up to the buzzwords, and a decade of lessons learned means it’s easier to stay informed and safe when entering the industry. Anyone can now get the full crypto experience as a plug-and-play product, and stay safe from day one.

Data shows that the safest and most profitable approach to invest in bitcoin has been to simply secure funds offline for the long-term. Exchange thefts, lost wallet files and infected software have all siphoned the equivalent of billions of dollars of cryptocurrencies from early investors. The main takeaway here is to always keep those keys offline, even if the amount stored seems small at the time.

How A Hardware Wallet Works

Hardware wallets take verification and signing of a transaction offline, so the data that the device shows on its screen is always exactly the data that will be signed and sent. Verification is taken out of the virtual space and brought into the room with you: No matter what your computer says, you can ignore anything other than what your Trezor shows on its trusted display.

For those who want to know for sure that their transactions aren’t being redirected, a hardware wallet is one of the only tools that allows them to be certain. By keeping the most sensitive processes offline, a hardware wallet lets users detect any tricks or inconsistencies before making the mistake of signing the transaction. Rather than taking a risk every time you connect to a software wallet or install an update, a hardware wallet keeps everything isolated and secure, and easily managed at the press of a button.

Hardware Wallets Make It Easier To Use Bitcoin To Its Full Potential

Ever since the world’s first hardware wallet, Trezor, was crowdfunded by early bitcoiners Stick and Slush, it has consistently ranked as one of the best ways to keep cryptocurrencies safe. Keeping users’ keys permanently offline, it also secures third-party apps and makes it especially easy for beginners to take full custody of their crypto assets from day one.

Whether users want to run Bitcoin-only firmware, or ride the wave of NFTs and DeFi, a hardware wallet will give peace of mind across the ecosystem. Many investments can be protected by using a Trezor with MetaMask, for example, which will help avoid falling victim to phishing sites or malicious extensions while using Ethereum-compatible networks.

New software interfaces like Trezor Suite have made it easy to use otherwise prohibitively-technical processes. Things like using replace-by-fee to speed up transactions and masking connections over the Tor network, are available at a click. There’s no need to learn how they work to benefit from the extra convenience and privacy they provide.

Other aspects of crypto technology, like addresses, have developed over time, leaving remnants and incompatibilities along the way. A good wallet will offer cross-compatibility or stop its users from sending a transaction somewhere it can’t go. That means a Trezor works with all different types of address without the sender having to think about it.

Open Source Is More Dependable Than Certifications For Crypto

A security certification is a common way to claim that a device is secure. But there are no widely accepted certifications that have been put together with cryptocurrency in mind. Rather than design a new set of tests to properly evaluate the crypto threat model, security certifications for crypto wallets are misleading in that they are not certified for the use case.

There are no shortcuts in security. A certification can only cover a few preset security models — they do not exhaustively test devices in a real-world setting. The only way to test all the possible attack vectors is through hundreds of hours of penetration testing. The best way to do that? Make it open source!

Like Bitcoin, Trezor wallets are as open source as it gets. Both the hardware and software is available to anyone, so there is huge incentive to find vulnerabilities. Transparency is more effective at improving security and is a more suitable model for new technology.

Security is one thing, but open source also helps usability constantly improve thanks to a decentralized team of contributors. Integrations can be managed by anyone who wishes to connect their app or network to Trezor wallets. While SatoshiLabs’ team improves the most important aspects of security and user experience, external contributors build the ecosystem outwards.

Take The Easy Route

There’s no reason to wait before buying a hardware wallet. They’re intuitive enough that anyone can easily use them to protect their coins without any previous experience. For investing in crypto, most experts agree that a long-term investment is the best strategy, so buyers should look to make sure they will still have control over their coins many years down the line.

As the original hardware wallet manufacturer, SatoshiLabs have long been actively involved in the development of cryptocurrency standards, and is among the main proponents of new usability and security improvements that the industry has adopted. By buying open source, investing into a hardware wallet means investing into the long-term growth of the ecosystem.

An open-source approach means that the Trezor devices and the Trezor Suite interface can be kept running even if SatoshiLabs disappears. Users can take over the codebase and continue to upgrade against new threats. Transparency keeps away bad actors, so the community is able to make Trezor work for them however they prefer. Closed-source wallets make users dependent on the company they buy from — do you really want a company to have control over how you use your coins?

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