When it comes to cryptocurrency wallets, there have been a lot of options from fairly early on. Numerous desktop, mobile, and hardware wallets have long been available, and you can find about a thousand articles littered across the internet discussing the pros and cons of the different options. Among those pros and cons there tends to be a lot of talk about the security of various software wallets. You’ll see complex little codes meant to denote various security qualifications or certifications, and more often than not you simply have to accept that they sound strong. One thing that’s becoming increasingly apparent however is that a lot of these wallets aren’t quite as secure as we’d hope. In addition to internal problems they can have, there are also methods of hacking bitcoin wallets that make them somewhat risky.
It’s because these issues are becoming slowly more apparent that it feels fair to ask if we might simply transition to hardware wallets as we move further into the cryptocurrency era. The idea of a hardware option being safer to use isn’t exactly new. One of the clearer general looks at the various options you have for storing bitcoin put it nicely a little while back, stating simply that the leading hardware wallets are marketed on the strength of their class-leading security. And putting it even more simply, a device that isn’t connected to the internet can’t be corrupted by it. This is the basic perk of hardware wallets (aside from the fact that some people just prefer to have some kind of physical representation of any cryptocurrency they own).
This is not to say hardware wallets are completely invulnerable. They do have to connect to internet devices in order to conduct transactions, which leaves them temporarily vulnerable. Their software can have problems, and as physical objects (and small ones at that) they can easily be lost or damaged. In many cases however people don’t mind these risks as much as the unknown ones related to software wallets. It’s not your fault if someone hacks Coinbase or its servers crash; it is your fault if you lose your TREZOR wallet. Oddly, the possibility of the second option can be more reassuring, because people tend to trust that they won’t lose their things. The element of mystery can be unsettling.
It speaks further to the security advantages that there are several terrific hardware wallet options available as of 2018, when it would have been conceivable a few years ago that they’d disappear. It is a little bit paradoxical after all that a technology that exists for the sole purpose of taking currency fully digital (and making it secure) operates more effectively via physical storage than digital. One might have guessed that the software wallets would have won out by now. They haven’t, however, and security is the reason why. And because of this it’s not interesting to think about things moving in the other direction, such that in another few years a majority of cryptocurrency could be held on hardware wallets.