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Author Topic: Trying to have more knowledge about hardware wallet  (Read 340 times)
Outhue (OP)
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March 12, 2022, 10:44:23 AM
Merited by o_e_l_e_o (4), CryptoHeadlineNews (4), DdmrDdmr (3), aylabadia05 (2), Rruchi man (2), JoyMarsha (2), Lida93 (2), vapourminer (1), Lucius (1), NotATether (1), PrivacyG (1)
 #1

This question is for all hardware wallet users I'm just trying to know more about hardware wallet in general thank you.

1. What makes hardware wallets more secured for users? Standalone? Open source? Some kind of binary computing on first new users?
2. Do I have to connect hardware wallets to PC to send transactions?
3. If NO can hardware wallet connects to the internet using WiFi networks or how? Because I'm sure that Internet connection is a must.
4. Can a hardware wallet secure it's private key itself?.

Don't be annoyed if few on my questions sounds stupid atleast this is what this forum is all about.

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Charles-Tim
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March 12, 2022, 10:58:33 AM
Last edit: April 05, 2022, 02:12:45 PM by Charles-Tim
Merited by DdmrDdmr (2)
 #2

Hardware wallet is safer if compared to online wallets because its private key do not connect online. But it is good to go for open source hardware wallets because their source code is available to the public unlike close source which are not recommendable.

It depends, some make use of QR code for transferring unsigned transaction which may not even require PC, some make use of bluetooth, some make use of NFC connection which are available on mobile phones. But I will recommend USB. But I will mostly especially recommend QR code which is one of the safest means of transferring unsigned and signed transactions.

It is better to make use of secure connection from your interest service provider while also enabling Tor.

Reputed hardware wallet private keys are offline unlike online wallets, they are secure. But I will recommend open source hardware wallets.

Open Source Hardware Wallets



Still always be careful of clipboard malware, check and recheck the address you paste, clipboard malware can change it from yours to hackers address. Also be careful of malware generally and protect your device.

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March 12, 2022, 11:28:29 AM
 #3

@Charles-Tim so there are closed source hardware wallets?  Shocked Shocked Shocked wth? I've never heard about this before and also no one is talking about it, I thought only mobile wallets and web wallets have closed source...arrgghh who created closed source hardware wallets? What is their motives? Seriously this information needs to be shared on here I bet very limited number of people knew.

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March 12, 2022, 11:43:04 AM
 #4

I've never heard about this before and also no one is talking about it, I thought only mobile wallets and web wallets have closed source...arrgghh who created closed source hardware wallets?
Its pretty much common knowledge that the most popular hardware wallet (Ledger Nano s) is not an open source wallet as we can see it doesn't affect them much since they are market leaders.

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March 12, 2022, 11:46:25 AM
 #5

so there are closed source hardware wallets?  
Yes, Ledger wallets are closed source. Refer to this quote below;

Ledger uses a unique blockchain open ledger operating system (BOLOS) that is an open-source framework. However, unlike Trezor, Ledger wallets use closed-source firmware, meaning it’s not available for third parties to review or test for vulnerabilities. The devices also differ because the Trezor One wallet requires users to enter the password via a keyboard, whereas Ledger users enter it on the hardware.

In general, all of these hardware wallets are safe (at least the top 3, ledger, trezor & keepkey). In my experience for having and owning a ledger nano s more than five years. I don't experience any problems owning it, getting in and out transactions from my ledger wallet.

They're also up to date with their software updates and that's why I find it a good thing upon using this hardware wallet. Also, I don't usually connect them to the internet at all times since I can always check my portfolio through their app, the Ledger Live.



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March 12, 2022, 11:58:53 AM
 #6

I am a longtime user of one HW and I will not name them because I do not want to give them a free promotion, but I will just say that no one should be trusted blindly, especially if they are not completely open-source. Although such devices provide a certain amount of security when it comes to creating your seed words (the whole process takes place offline on the device), there are always possible vectors of attack that at this time no one is even aware of.

What is far safer (though not easy for many) is to create a cold wallet that will always be completely isolated from the internet and thus prevent any possibility of being hacked. Most HWs need to connect to the internet to be able to install coin apps or make a firmware upgrade on them - and this completely nullifies all those claims that describe them as cold wallets.



@Outhue, a lot of relevant information can be found in -> Hardware wallets

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March 12, 2022, 12:04:38 PM
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 #7

@Charles-Tim so there are closed source hardware wallets? 
You can check this lists:

Secure Element in Hardware Wallets

There are also some hardware wallets that do not support other wallet extension like Electrum for making transaction other than their own wallet extension which can be close source, like Safepal.

who created closed source hardware wallets? What is their motives?
Any hardware wallet developer can choose to either reveal the source code or not to the public. One of the motive is to never reveal the code to the public, some people can copy and include the source code into their own wallet they are developing and some scammers can easily find the source code and use it to create a scam app. But if some wallets can be open source like Electrum and Trezor, I think that should not be an excuse.

The problem that close source wallets can cause is that malware can be included along like spyware while public will not notice as they do not know what is running underground. Even if the secure element is close source, it is possible for the wallet to generate pregenerated seed phrase in a way people will not know.

Its pretty much common knowledge that the most popular hardware wallet (Ledger Nano s) is not an open source wallet as we can see it doesn't affect them much since they are market leaders.
Ledger Nano is completely not a close source wallet which makes it completely not an open source wallet as well, only its secure Electrum is close source. The wallet can even be used with open source wallets like Electrum.

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March 12, 2022, 12:08:26 PM
 #8

Do remember that a hardware wallet is typically a USB device. Replying to all your questions one by one.

Quote
What makes hardware wallets more secured for users? Standalone? Open source? Some kind of binary computing on first new users?

Yes, one of the reasons is that they have open source either firmware or software or both. Another important feature is that they are non-custodial and are cold wallets.

Quote
Do I have to connect hardware wallets to PC to send transactions?

Yes, in order to initiate any transaction you need to connect it to a PC.

Quote

If NO can hardware wallet connects to the internet using WiFi networks or how? Because I'm sure that Internet connection is a must.


Please read this article - https://medium.com/radartech/hardware-wallets-explained-da8bd93ce801

Quote
Can a hardware wallet secure it's private key itself?.

That is the reason why they are considered the most secured cryptocurrency wallet and better than others.




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March 12, 2022, 12:27:11 PM
 #9

The idea of ​​the hardware wallet is that the private keys are generated without an Internet connection and will not connect to the Internet, so the addresses are signed there without fear of losing money, and it provides an easy and friendly interface for the user who does not know how to do it himself.

  • The fact that the wallet is open source gives it additional value, but none of the hardware wallets has been hacked without physical access and therefore you can consider yourself safe.
  • Hardware wallets are good for those who want to use Bitcoin once or twice a year and want to keep several cryptocurrencies.
  • Using hardware wallets does not mean that you are safe. If you download wrong or unknown software, your money may be stolen.
  • Learning the basics will enable you to get higher security and pay lower fees.

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March 12, 2022, 12:38:06 PM
 #10

Can a hardware wallet secure it's private key itself?.
Yes, this is the main advantage of hardware wallets. When it comes to the security of private keys then they are as safe as cold wallets. Private keys/seeds are generated of line and never leave your device and transactions are signed offline also meaning your PKs will not be exposed to the Internet.
The problem with closed source HWs and all closed source wallets is that the end user has no way to know how his wallet generates the private keys/seeds and verify whether they are generated in a safe and random way or not. He has to trust the developers on this.

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March 12, 2022, 01:37:56 PM
 #11

Yes, in order to initiate any transaction you need to connect it to a PC.
Not the case. There are several hardware wallets which will work with mobile phones rather than PCs, and there are several which are entirely airgapped and don't need to connect to anything at all. Instead they use a camera to scan a QR code to import an unsigned transaction, and then display a QR code of the signed transaction on their screen, which can then be scanned and broadcast by a computer, without ever having a physical connection.
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March 12, 2022, 01:41:21 PM
Last edit: March 12, 2022, 11:21:06 PM by Mr. Big
 #12

I've never heard about this before and also no one is talking about it, I thought only mobile wallets and web wallets have closed source...arrgghh who created closed source hardware wallets?
Its pretty much common knowledge that the most popular hardware wallet (Ledger Nano s) is not an open source wallet as we can see it doesn't affect them much since they are market leaders.
God damn! If ledger nano ain't an open source why does hardware wallet matters? I've read dozens of posts on here saying hardware wallets are the best, everyone including legendary members recommend hardware wallets, they never said some are closed source. Safest my footh!



Can a hardware wallet secure it's private key itself?.
The problem with closed source HWs and all closed source wallets is that the end user has no way to know how his wallet generates the private keys/seeds and verify whether they are generated in a safe and random way or not. He has to trust the developers on this.
And this my friend is a big red flag 🤣🤣🤣

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March 12, 2022, 05:11:22 PM
 #13

so there are closed source hardware wallets?  
Yes, Ledger wallets are closed source. Refer to this quote below;

Ledger uses a unique blockchain open ledger operating system (BOLOS) that is an open-source framework. However, unlike Trezor, Ledger wallets use closed-source firmware, meaning it’s not available for third parties to review or test for vulnerabilities. The devices also differ because the Trezor One wallet requires users to enter the password via a keyboard, whereas Ledger users enter it on the hardware.

In general, all of these hardware wallets are safe (at least the top 3, ledger, trezor & keepkey). In my experience for having and owning a ledger nano s more than five years. I don't experience any problems owning it, getting in and out transactions from my ledger wallet.

They're also up to date with their software updates and that's why I find it a good thing upon using this hardware wallet. Also, I don't usually connect them to the internet at all times since I can always check my portfolio through their app, the Ledger Live.
I have family members that have been using trust wallet for the past 6 years while I thought that crypto was scam, nothing happened to their wallet for that long which is why I think that having hardware wallet isn't that a first priority, one can do well with trust wallet and buy hardware wallet later.

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March 12, 2022, 05:26:54 PM
 #14

God damn! If ledger nano ain't an open source why does hardware wallet matters? I've read dozens of posts on here saying hardware wallets are the best, everyone including legendary members recommend hardware wallets, they never said some are closed source. Safest my footh!
It matters if your hardware wallet is open source & nothing malicious (Ledger Nano is closed source but they are planning to go with open source), if your wallet is truly air-gapped. That's what matters the most. Your private keys are safe as they are not connected online and are unlikely to get hacked. Legendary members recommended hardware wallets as best because they are best. ledger Nano is a closed source but still, they have some good names in the market.

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March 12, 2022, 07:39:43 PM
 #15

1. What makes hardware wallets more secured for users? Standalone? Open source? Some kind of binary computing on first new users?
2. Do I have to connect hardware wallets to PC to send transactions?
3. If NO can hardware wallet connects to the internet using WiFi networks or how? Because I'm sure that Internet connection is a must.
4. Can a hardware wallet secure it's private key itself?.

Don't be annoyed if few on my questions sounds stupid atleast this is what this forum is all about.
1. What do you mean by Standalone?  Anyway, here is how I take this Hardware Wallet thing.  There are some who think partially open source Hardware Wallets like Ledger's Secure Element are more secure than fully open source Hardware Wallets, and there are those who think fully Open Source Hardware Wallets like Trezor are safer.

It ultimately all goes down to what you trust more.  Having a Trezor, out of which the seed can be extracted by anyone with enough knowledge and the proper tools, or a Ledger with a Closed Source Secure Element no one but Ledger has any idea what it does?  Trezor's vulnerability can be fixed by a strong Passphrase, but you can not do much about Ledger's Secure Element except trust that they do not do anything malicious with it.  Maybe the Secure Element transfers information to intelligence servers.  Maybe it stores your seed and allows the intelligence to tamper with your Ledger in case they find and seize it.  Who the hell knows.

I will not answer the rest of the questions, since they have already been answered above.  My personal choice is Trezor.  They offer a fully Open Source product of which millions of units have been sold, so you can call it battle tested.  Particularly when you know that not even some of the best hackers in the industry have been able to do anything besides extracting its seed which is an useless vulnerability when you have a Passphrase they can just not brute force.  And since having a Passphrase is recommended anyway, you get the idea.  This is why they are my choice.

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March 12, 2022, 09:54:50 PM
 #16

1. What makes hardware wallets more secured for users? Standalone? Open source? Some kind of binary computing on first new users?
Most popular hardware wallets are not open source and I don't suggest using blackbox devices like that, but they are still better than hot wallets.
Some examples of open source hardware wallets are Keystone, Passport, Trezor, Bitbox and some diy wallets like SeedSigner.
Most secure option is using airgapped option that are not connected with other devices in any way than with QR codes.

2. Do I have to connect hardware wallets to PC to send transactions?
It depends what hardware wallets you are using, they are different in many ways, so you need to be specific.
Some of them are only working on PC and others can be connected with smartphones, but you need to have desktop version for firmware updates.

3. If NO can hardware wallet connects to the internet using WiFi networks or how? Because I'm sure that Internet connection is a must.
Whole point of hardware wallets is to keep seed words offline, and you need internet for broadcasting transactions.
I would not use any hardware wallet that have wi-fi connection, it's much higher risk of hacks and exploits.

4. Can a hardware wallet secure it's private key itself?.
Hardware wallets are securing seed words and private keys are derived from that, so they are indirectly secureing them.

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March 12, 2022, 10:55:09 PM
 #17

I have family members that have been using trust wallet for the past 6 years while I thought that crypto was scam, nothing happened to their wallet for that long which is why I think that having hardware wallet isn't that a first priority, one can do well with trust wallet and buy hardware wallet later.
Well, you'll change your mind later about having a hardware wallet if your funds are getting bigger.

Trust wallet is owned by Binance. Yes, it's one of the reputable exchanges that we have. But still owning a hardware wallet should be prioritized.

Well, if your relatives know how to keep themselves safe then that's good. You can use that wallet and any other wallets as long as you know how to make yourselves safe from being hacked or phished.

There are also some techniques like, if you own that much bitcoin and you have spare device like a laptop. You can download electrum there or any other reputable bitcoin wallets and keep that wallet installed and don't connect it to the web for a long time. It will serve as your alternative hardware wallet.



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August 25, 2022, 01:27:39 PM
 #18

I have family members that have been using trust wallet for the past 6 years while I thought that crypto was scam, nothing happened to their wallet for that long which is why I think that having hardware wallet isn't that a first priority, one can do well with trust wallet and buy hardware wallet later.
Well, you'll change your mind later about having a hardware wallet if your funds are getting bigger.

Trust wallet is owned by Binance. Yes, it's one of the reputable exchanges that we have. But still owning a hardware wallet should be prioritized.

Well, if your relatives know how to keep themselves safe then that's good. You can use that wallet and any other wallets as long as you know how to make yourselves safe from being hacked or phished.

There are also some techniques like, if you own that much bitcoin and you have spare device like a laptop. You can download electrum there or any other reputable bitcoin wallets and keep that wallet installed and don't connect it to the web for a long time. It will serve as your alternative hardware wallet.
What amount of funds you will hold that you will start getting worried of having to buy a hardware wallet? Can you give me a number? 5000$ 10,000$? What advice would you give someone under 1000$ of asset in hold?...

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o_e_l_e_o
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August 25, 2022, 02:18:31 PM
Merited by Pmalek (2)
 #19

What amount of funds you will hold that you will start getting worried of having to buy a hardware wallet? Can you give me a number? 5000$ 10,000$? What advice would you give someone under 1000$ of asset in hold?...
There is no fixed number because everyone's risk tolerance is different. My benchmark question is usually how much cash would you feel comfortable carrying around in your wallet. If you would be fine walking down the street with $100 in cash in your pocket, then you can store $100 on a software wallet. The risk is similar - easily lost, easily stolen. Would you be comfortable walking down the street with $5000 in your pocket? No? Then you shouldn't be storing $5000 in a software wallet and should have it on something more secure, which is a hardware wallet for most users (or an airgapped wallet for more advanced users).

Another benchmark some people use is whenever you start talking about sums of money which are more than the cost of a hardware wallet. You can get a decent hardware wallet for under $100, so anything more than that and you should be thinking about something more secure than a software wallet.
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August 25, 2022, 03:38:09 PM
 #20

What amount of funds you will hold that you will start getting worried of having to buy a hardware wallet? Can you give me a number? 5000$ 10,000$? What advice would you give someone under 1000$ of asset in hold?...
There is no fixed number because everyone's risk tolerance is different. My benchmark question is usually how much cash would you feel comfortable carrying around in your wallet. If you would be fine walking down the street with $100 in cash in your pocket, then you can store $100 on a software wallet. The risk is similar - easily lost, easily stolen. Would you be comfortable walking down the street with $5000 in your pocket? No? Then you shouldn't be storing $5000 in a software wallet and should have it on something more secure, which is a hardware wallet for most users (or an airgapped wallet for more advanced users).

Another benchmark some people use is whenever you start talking about sums of money which are more than the cost of a hardware wallet. You can get a decent hardware wallet for under $100, so anything more than that and you should be thinking about something more secure than a software wallet.
It's also worth considering what market condition we're in right now and not only thinking about a UTXO's current USD valuation, but also looking at it measured in BTC.
This requires a bit of speculation, but an UTXO may be worth a small amount now and worth a lot more by the time you are going to spend it.
Storing coins for a long time is a pretty good reason to move them offline anyway (no matter the amount), since the device which runs your software wallet is obviously exposed to more risk of theft and loss the longer you run around with it.

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